Hey hey hey - do you find yourself hitting a brick wall?
Are you eager
for photo opportunities
but don't get any? Do you want to be awe-struck?
Then I've so
got the answer for you!
All you have to do, is... pray
Why, it only stands to reason
- the One who created the animals is the One who can send them to you for a viewing!
What I do - I make a list of animals that I'd like to see and He shows them to us.
No, we don't see all the animals on one trip. We are still to see cheetahs, wild dogs and eland.
For years I've been asking God that I'd like to hear a lion roar. I've heard so many people say that it's an amazing experience. And last year I was in the shower when it happened!
On Wednesday morning (yeah, two days ago, and now I'm stuck in the office!!) we went out around 5 am and on the Maroela drive we came across impala (the staple animal of Kruger, right?). I was still staring into the veld when my dad said: "Look in the road in front of the car..." When I turned - there were two highly alert lionesses standing in the middle of the road, facing us, about 10 metres away! They were the tallest, most magnificent lionesses I had ever seen. There legs were so long!
Just compare these two:
Compare the one on the right, which is a carcass-fed lion in a lion park, to this beautiful female; the one on the left still has better condition and is more beautiful!
These two lionesses started wandering off into the veld to our left, and when they were out of sight, I turned back. And saw... two male lions laying on the road!
(Unfortunately I don't have a photo with male and female standing together, but this one comes closest. They are almost matched, shoulder to shoulder!
Also, compare the usual difference in size between the male and female in this photo:
These ladies were specimens
And then, on cue, both the males got up and approached us.
About two metres away, the first came to a standstill. And another two metres behind him, the second stood.
And then it happened - the closest one started roaring! And then the second! As the first inhaled, the second roared, and when he
inhaled, the first
roared. The steam was streaming from their mouths in the cool morning air.
And then the females
started roaring in sync from where they were hidden in the bush.
I have never heard anything like it in all my life! They completely dominated
the bush. It felt as if the very air was vibrating! The atmosphere was truly electrical. It felt like almost 30 seconds that they kept on roaring. I felt as if I was caught in a time warp.
After their roaring symphony, the males just went back to their business - just walked back a few feet and flopped down on the side of the road.
After their stereo performance, the lionesses eventually came back and traipsed across the road, and - disappeared into the bush.
The males got up, and trailed behind them.
And it was all over, the feeling of reality seeping into the bush with them.
I can now see why Jesus is called "the Lion of Judah". What magnificent animals.
On this trip we saw so many shy animals. The miniature mongooses are usually impossible to capture on camera. All you ever see of them is at such a distance that you can't make out any of their features. They usually dash across the road and disappear into the underbrush. This time we saw one dashing over the road, but instead he stayed there so that we could get close. When we got there, I noisily opened my window, got my camera fired up, and, while two more appeared from the grass, put it on video mode. We leisurely watched them until we got tired of them
...and left them behind.
We even saw bush babies in Skukuza rest camp. While we were sitting next to the braai, some 3 metres away from us two bush babies were climbing the trees. They even tolerated the torch light on them, and my niece and nephew went to fetch their cameras. Unfortunately my camera was on the blink and I couldn't catch them. I'll ask them if they can send me some photos.
These bush babies aren't the regular small ones, they are the "bos-nagapie", about the size of a lemur. But they look like stuffed toys! They are so woolly and beautiful.
We also saw a group of - wait for it - 9 rhinos together!
At that distance, we at first thought it was elephants on the horizon, but I hope you believe me - they really were rhino.
And as we stopped at Malelane gate to sign out and say goodbye to Kruger for another year - just look at what we saw between the tiny flowers. Look at the size of this tiny little 'seisie'. What a perfect little bird. All I had ever experienced of them, is that 'ticking' sound - like a wrist watch flying by. And to think that God made so many different birds, and every single one has her own built-in song.
Kind of like our laughs - God must've had such fun when He programmed our laughter. I think He was thoroughly enjoying it. This one has a giggle, that one has a snort, this one a puff and a hiccup...
See you again next year. Fondly yours,