Daily Archives: April 14, 2010

Rhinos, Warthogs, etc.


We saw three sets of rhinos. The first pair were so far into the grass that we never got a good shot. The two on the left above were just off the road. The group of 5 or 6 in the other two pictures were gathered together – something we do not often see. They are amazing animals and move very quickly for something that large.


Warthogs come in all sizes but the old boy on the left was the biggest I have seen. He was big enough that at first I thought he was a small rhino. I think the one in the middle is a mother because she was herding along four little ones. These ugly beasts have become one of my favorite African animals.


Mary caught a good picture of the one monkey we saw. The center picture is one of the donkeys that hang around one of the group of buildings in the reserve. I usually do not bother to take pictures of impalas but this buck had a nice set of horns and was willing to pose for me.

Elephants –


We always know that every game drive is different and sometimes we will see lots of elephants and sometimes we are lucky to see one. The last time we were at Umfolozi we basically ended up in a herd of elephants by the river. This time we were lucky to see two and both at a distance. This one crossed the road about 300 yards from us and by the time we got to where he crossed he was moving away. We have lots of shots of the back end of animals and elephants have really big ones.


We were only about 2 kilometers from the exit when we came across this young elephant spraying water over itself. By the time we got to where we could take a picture it had started to move away from the water hole. At least this time we got a couple of shots of its side instead of its rear.

Helicopter Roundup


We came across a herd of wildebeests enjoying their lunch. Then we saw a helicopter weaving back and forth over the river valley.


The first animal that came running by was an impala in a real hurry. It was soon joined by the wildebeest and finally there came a large herd of Cape buffalo that was being rounded up by the helicopter and moved to an area where they could be innoculated – or so we were told as we left the park.

Tall Tails – Giraffes


The picture on the left shows a bird perched on one of the horns – sometimes there are a half-dozen birds pecking away on one giraffe.



I mentioned it before but I will again say that a baby giraffe falls about 6 feet when it comes out of the womb…talk about getting slapped on the back.

Zillions of Zebras


We came across this gathering of zebras and they all seemed to be resting their heads on each other. Most of them had paired off but there were groups of three or more. It was interesting to move down the road and see pair after pair relaxing together.



Mary said she wanted a good head shot of a zebra so here it is. The group in the middle were in a pasture that was thick with flies and their tails and ears were going a mile a minute. I have a video of a congo line of of behinds with tails constantly flicking. The poor zebra on the right has a real problem – his hair on his tail is missing. Either he was just quick enough to get away from a lion or maybe he lost it in a fight . The loss of hair did not stop him from flicking the stub to try and chase away the flies.

Game Drive – Lions

We saw more lions today than on any other drive. Unfortunately one set was not where we could get good pictures but two of them were within a few feet or less of the car.


We came across a car stopped with everyone leaning out windows with their camera. We stopped behind them and soon saw this male lion in the grass. Then an young lion popped up. It soon got annoyed by all the attention and walked behind the car and across the road. Notice its back right leg seems to be damaged.


The male then got up and moved off into the trees on his left. I backed up to see if I could catch him crossing the road and all of a sudden there he was looking right at me and the car that was blocking his path. I thought at first he might just jump on to the car and then off again but instead he turned around and crossed the road further up.


Later we came across other cars by the side of the road. One of them said that there were 4 lions in the grass. I finally found one but the other three were such that we never did get to see them. Two tour cruisers came by and they had a great view from their height. This was one of the times I wish we had a big range rover. But the air-conditioning pretty much makes up for the lost opportunities and we did not do bad at all seeing animals on this trip.

Pictures – Birds

 None of the pictures do justice to the beauty of some of these birds. I wish I had a camera with a true long distance lens but at least you can get an idea of what the birds are like.


Wire-tailed swallow – Hamer Kop – Cape Glossy Starling


African Hoohoe – Pied Crows – Cape Glossy Starling