Archive for the 'Mammals' Category

08
Nov
10

Mammals of Africa – Best Photos

Mammals: big and small, furry and nurse their young, our close relatives in the animal kingdom. Unless I miss my guess, mammals are the reason people travel to Africa. Here are the best (IMO) of the previously blogged mammals of Africa taken between October and November of 2009. Hope you enjoy them!

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14
Sep
10

Serengeti National Park Day 3/Ngorongoro Crater II – Tanzania

Day 3 in Serengeti and back toward Arusha via the Ngorongoro Crater for the second time with another wonderful night in the Endoro Lodge: great food, wonderful bed, luxurious shower all in a beautiful setting. You can see our accommodations in Serengeti – a little outdoor campsite with tent and cot and real live sheets/blanket/pillow. Bathroom, need you ask, was a 2 minute walk westward. If you looked through the trees you could see animals wandering around, so security is some issue. Mostly things like Zebras (pronounced ZEH-bras) and cape buffalo (one of your “big five” game animals). The last night we had drunken Finns (very young) making noise until the wee hours of the morning. Serengeti – Masai for “endless plain” is a place that  you could stay forever and see new things every day.  There are fancy lodges at $300+ a night and our campsite plus a small village where there is a store, bar (I suspect ladies of the night), housing and such for park workers. John took us there so we could score a cold Kilamanjaro beer before heading back to As we drive off back in the direction of Ngorongoro Crater we pause at a kopje where a female lion is surveying the plains.

Lions in kopje on our way out of Serengeti

Nyani or Baboon "bush camp" - Serengeti

Nyani (baboon) campsite sign - Serengeti

Here is Nyani campsite. Our tent is in the right foreground. Drunken Finns are nowhere to be seen.

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04
Sep
10

Victoria Falls – Zambia – Lions and Rhinos and Cobras, oh my

Midpoint of the trip: we stopped for 3 days to allow a dozen AIF travelers off and pick up 4 more. Pity. Wasn’t an even trade. Check the white rhinos we walked with on a tour and the slithering, Mozambique or black necked spitting cobra (Naja mossambica) that came through our campsite along the Zambesi River. A word about spitting cobras: they can bite but much prefer to spit, aiming for the eyes. I didn’t know at the time what sort of snake it was, but was willing to be this was a bad one. This is one of seven African spitting cobras (aren’t you glad there are none in your country?) plus six Asiatic species. Their venom can travel up to two meters (about where I was willing to photograph from but the idiot Dutch guy was half that distance but at least wore glasses).

Speaking of which, the Dutch crew (all decked out in their ever-so-stylish camo clothing) wanted to kill the snake. I said I thought that was unnecessary and Sue was semi-apoplectic even though the snake had almost crawled across her feet.

Six feet distance was my limit for photos

Spitting Cobra - Victoria Falls Camp

We also saw a green snake at the fancy lodge next door where you could get a latte (and snakes). The wait staff assured us this was a green mamba (and plenty bad medicine if true) but it surely was not. Also not about to get close to this bold little fellow. Further research shows this to be the spotted bush snake (Philothammus semivariegatus).

Taken with the small Canon A520

Green Snake Next Door To - Victoria Falls Camp

Yummmm!!!!

Terry enjoys a latte - Victoria Falls

We took a “drunken” cruise in which all you could drink was included. I’m afraid one alcoholic drink was my limit – besides the photo ops from the boat were exceptional. This was our last evening with several new friends to be replaced in the morning by a boorish group of Brits who I hope will never read this post, but if so, ah well.

The statue you see is David Livingstone who apparently was the first westerner to clap eyes on this  wondrous falls, now more Victoria Canyon than falls. I would also be willing to bet that this snake was poisonous (slightly swollen back of the head where poison glands could be) and not a mamba which can chase you up to 4 mph and so take a good run to avoid.

Eventually we packed up and off to one of the hidden gems of Africa: South Luangwa National Park replete with lions and leopards.

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