Day 7 - 22 August, 2010
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– 22 August, 2010
This day dawned
clear and not so cold. We didn’t
need our hot water bottles, but the blankets were still appreciated for the
first hour or so. We were treated to
another beautiful sunrise
and a small group of
wildebeest just off the driveway. Off
to one side and all by himself, was this lone male
and I remember
thinking, “I wonder if that’s Lonesome George?”
(Lonesome George was a male wildie who hung out around the water hole for
a couple of years, always seeming to be by himself.)
We headed back down
the main road towards Gowrie Gate and found this very old male Giraffe.
Jason was talking to
us about him, telling us how old he was and that he had probably lost one of his
horns in a fight, when suddenly he got a radio call which sent us flying back
down the road toward Nkorho again. He
wasn’t telling us anything, just concentrating on his driving, while we were
all concentrating on staying in our seats! When
we got near to the water hole, suddenly he slowed, then stopped, and gave us a
look at this beautiful Brown Snake Eagle.
While we were oohing
and aahing over the bird, Jason was listening very carefully to what was going
on on the radio, and suddenly we were on the move again, to where, only Jason
knew. Suddenly we were looking at a
pretty incredible sight. There in
front of us, scattered over a fairly large area were 4 male Cheetah!!
Since, as I said,
they were scattered, I didn’t get any group shots.
(Not to worry, the group shots will come!)
Since they were
moving, and attracting a great deal of attention from a host of game drive
vehicles, we were only able to stay on them for less than 5 minutes, then we had
to back off and give others their turn. These
last two shots were as we were leaving.
We hung around for
about an hour, not too far away, hoping to get another opportunity to spend more
time with them, and sure enough, around 8:30 the word came down that we could
move back in for a second viewing.
This time, they were
all laying around in the shade with what appeared to be very full stomachs, so
we assumed they had eaten well the previous night.
would get up and change position,
then lie back down.
It seemed that one of them was alert and head up, almost all the time, as
if on sentry duty.
We were able to stay
with them for about 20 minutes this time. We
found out that they were 4 brothers who had just recently been seen, moving into
this area. For the sake of all those
who come after us, I hope that they will stay around for a while, since they are
a sight to behold. We were extremely
fortunate to see this many Cheetah together, a very rare sighting.
I was able to get
one picture, which is probably the best of the whole trip.
Jen captured exactly the same thing on the video camera, and she can be
heard whispering, “Eyes on Eyes”.
Hence, that became the very apt title for this picture.
Later, on our way
back to the lodge we came across a pair of Egyptian Geese.
This one was really quite handsome, and I decided to include him in the
blog. Actually, though we see them
all the time at the water hole, we don’t often get to see how really beautiful
around the lodge through the middle of the day, Jason drove us down to the
waterhole so that we could wave to friends and family on the cam.
Click HERE for a
bit of video that Morris recorded off the Nkorho camera.
While we were there
we snapped a pic of the camera tree……………….
Old Faithful is the
skull of an old buffalo who died near the waterhole a couple of years ago.
He’s become a bit of a symbol to Africammers.
From time to time, he’s disturbed by giraffe who lick the skull for
it’s calcium. When this happens,
one of the rangers will put him back where he belongs.
As we drove back to
the lodge we got this nice shot of the lodge, deck and pool.
As soon as the
afternoon drive started, we got one more opportunity to spend a little time with
our new Cheetah friends. We found
them, lying in the shade, taking their afternoon nap.
(As opposed to their morning nap which we saw earlier.)
sleep as much as lions, but if their bellies are full, they spend a fair amount
of time resting. As the world’s
fastest mammal, they expend a tremendous amount of energy pursuing their prey,
and therefore need to recharge their batteries after a kill.
The rest of the
drive was quiet, with not much seen except this male waterbuck, who was watching
us watch him.
And so, with another
our last full day at
Nkorho came to an end. If this
wasn’t our best day, so far, it was very close!
It’s just not that often that we get to have three separate
opportunities to spend time with one of Africa’s scarcest and most beautiful
Brown Snake Eagle Egyptian Geese
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