Monday, April 12, 2010

Recent Tour

During the last tour, we were "treated" to this sighting of klipspringers, which are usually found amongst rocks or boulders. When standing or walking, they "balance" on the tips of their narrow, blunt-tipped hooves, which are specifically adapted to rocky terrain (= their habitat). Klipspringers are browsers & feed on a variety of wild fruits & leaves - which (in most cases) provide all the moisture they need.

To our delight, the young lady with the "eagle-eyes" [See: previous entry] also "discovered" 3 lionesses amongst thick grass during a game drive in open safari-vehicles in the Kruger National Park. A lion's feeding pattern customarily "depends" on the success in hunting of the females in a pride. Lions require a great deal of food - although their "favourite" prey include larger animals like buffalo, giraffe, zebra & wildebeest, lions aren't "fussy" & will feed on any mammal crossing their paths, as well as birds, reptiles & insects, even carrion, if necessary.

Knowing that lions have such an "all-embracing" diet, isn't it surprising that they seldom regard humans as potential prey? Whilst watching these 3 lionesses crossing the road ahead of our vehicle, we were delighted (instead of afraid) by their "caring" behaviour - so familiar amongst most cats.

Further on, this herd of elephants suddenly "emerged" in the road - appearing to aim straight for our vehicle! Although enormous, they seldom strike one as "dangerous" & in this case, soon veered off the road - their target: the nearby river (& NOT to cause us "any grief").

My first reaction, when near a river, I saw this elephant on the ground: had it slipped? Was it hurt? I soon had my answer:

The elephant only had some fun! Now it reminded me of a puppy exuberantly rolling in the sand. It also reminded me of a scene I had "witnessed" last year - of a frolicking hippo [SEE my blog-entry Friday, 6 Nov 2009].

Amongst thick undergrowth, I "detected" what I thought was a peacefully serene impala-scene. It would ideally have "fitted" amongst the pages of my latest book, Impi the Impala - a "story with photos" - [View my blog: OR see what the cover looks like on this blog, posted Friday, 19th March 2010]

Although today's entry is "dedicated" to larger "creatures", I do want to share this photo of a (grey) squirrel, who was collecting "provisions" ahead of winter & who's "home" is the Company's Garden in Cape Town. It's NOT an indigenous species, but was introduced to the Cape by Cecil John Rhodes at the end of the 19th century. This squirrel is a "native" of North America, was brought from there to England, from where Rhodes decided to "introduce it" (amongst many other exotic species from all over the world) to his Groote Schuur Estate.