Saturday, August 1, 2009

Big 6 Plus

Whilst most of the guests I guided through South Africa during the last 2 weeks are still on their way home (after flying back to Germany, Austria or Switzerland) I'm already posting some of the photos we "shared" during this trip [CLICK on photos to enlarge].

Today is "dedicated" to what is being marketed as the BIG 6 in SA - the BIG 5 plus the whale - all of which we hoped to encounter during this tour.......

...... PLUS a cheetah - which was the first wild animal we saw when entering the Kruger National Park. Unfortunately we didn't have the chance to get a good "photo-visual" because a man in a car behind our bus got out of the vehicle (!!! to our disgust) & this move frightened the 2 cheetah we originally saw. As a result the cheetah ran away & we only got a "so-so" visual of one cheetah.

Number 1 of the "real" BIG 5 is the elephant - although it wasn't the first animal we saw.

In actual fact the first of the BIG 5 which we encountered were 2 lions on the prowl - it was an exciting moment even if it were 2 females & a more "handsome" male was missing. We certainly had good visuals of them as this photo of a lioness 'serves' as proof.

Next in line & soon after, we "discovered" this leopard in a tree concentrating on some impalas, which were grazing blissfully unaware of any danger lurking in the vicinity.

The occupants in our open safari-vehicle were also "blessed" with this sighting of a couple of old buffalo bulls.

Before the day ended we "clocked" the BIG 5 once we found these 2 'lazy' rhino lying on the ground - 1 in the shade of a small tree whilst the other one in the sun was better camouflaged (= not as easily visible as the 'darker' shape). So our day in the Kruger National Park was very "successful". [I'll soon "post" photos of some of the other animals we also encountered = other than the BIG 5].

A few days later we were even more lucky when we sighted a Black rhino in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve. Although this park is "famous" for its rhino, visitors seldom encounter this notoriously shy animal.

In contrast visitors usually encounter some of the more numerous White rhino - but again, less seldom a female & its newborn, which we were lucky to observe (unfortunately these last 2 visuals aren't the clearest of photos, because it was late in the day = quite dark).

Last but NOT least - number 6 (of the so-called BIG 6) = whales!! We encountered these Southern Right whales during a boat trip in the bay of Gansbaai [I'll soon post more photos of these giants of the oceans].

So: during this tour we had the luck to encounter the largest mammal on land (= the elephant) & the largest mammal living in the sea (= a whale).

No comments: