Daily Archives: February 24, 2014

Up, Up, and Away

The only thing I’ve ever heard Jim mention that he would like to do that we haven’t already done is take a hot air balloon ride.  This opportunity was offered at Vuyani and I was determined that Jim would have this experience.  I, however, have NEVER wanted to go up in a hot air balloon.  The policy was that at least 2 people had to book the trip so I said I would do it, only if I was needed to make it possible for Jim.  When we arrived that morning, I was delighted to see 7 other people had booked the flight so I expected I was off the hook.  When I found out, however, that we would have to pay for 2 unless we canceled a day in advance, I wasn’t going to pay for something I didn’t do.  So, in spite of great anxiety, I went along.  It was AWESOME and I’m glad that we had this experience together.    

 

 

 

 

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Kruger National Park

Visiting Kruger National Park is like going to Yellowstone National Park in the US without all the bumper to bumper traffic.  Other vehicles were on the roads but we definitely saw more animals than vehicles.  The animals were in larger herds in Kruger than what we saw on the private reserve but you can’t leave the roads and track the animals at Kruger like we did at Vuyani.  Kruger is also more open bush because they do controlled burns periodically so the animals are more visible whereas Vuyani is thicker bush.  So, both offer valuable but different experiences.

Here are some of the sights for your enjoyment.

Jesse and Stuart making our breakfast.

Jesse and Stuart making our breakfast.

With 12,000 elephants in the park, it would be unusual not to see them on the road.

With 12,000 elephants in the park, it would be unusual not to see them on the road.

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We saw lots of babies with their mothers.

We saw lots of babies with their mothers.

Elephants will easily tip over a car if provoked.

Elephants will easily tip over a car if provoked.

Wildebeest, also called gnu, travel with zebra because the zebra eat the top of the grass and the wildebeest can then get to the lower grass which they prefer.  Zebras, however, will sacrifice the wildebeest to a predator by chasing them into harms way.

Wildebeest, also called gnu, travel with zebra because the zebra eat the top of the grass and the wildebeest can then get to the lower grass which they prefer. Zebras, however, will sacrifice the wildebeest to a predator by chasing them into harms way.

Zebras will stand neck to neck to present a larger silhouette to predators making them appear less vulnerable. They run single file for the same reason.

Zebras will stand neck to neck to present a larger silhouette to predators making them appear less vulnerable. They run single file for the same reason.

There are 3500 white rhino like this in Kruger but only 300 black rhino. White rhino are grazers eating grass and have larger heads.  Black are browsers eating bushes.

There are 3500 white rhino like this in Kruger but only 300 black rhino. White rhino are grazers eating grass and have larger heads. Black are browsers eating bushes.

There are 130,000 impala in Kruger, kind of like seeing deer in Iowa.

There are 130,000 impala in Kruger, kind of like seeing deer in Iowa.

 

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