Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy birthday, America!

The 4th of July is Independence Day in the United States.  It was 239 years ago, in 1776, that our Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress paving the way for the formation of a new nation.  Throughout the country there will be parades, picnics, fireworks, and concerts to celebrate our country's birthday.  Happy birthday America!

Friday, July 3, 2015

An Adventure of a Lifetime, Part 4

This will be my final post about our great African adventure.

One morning, while still at Sabi Sabi, we were given the option of either walking a bush walk or going to a local rural village. Tom chose the walk, and I chose the village. The village has a population of about 4000. I particularly enjoyed going to the pre-school. The children were so friendly! They loved giving "high  fives" and having their photo taken.

This is the school's  library.

We all were amused by the title of this book.

When it  was time for us to leave, a large group of children sang to us.

A group of ladies from the village also sang and danced  for us.

The sounds you hear in the background were made by this woman.

I also enjoyed watching another woman who was beading.

We next headed to Zimbabwe. We had a boat trip on the Zambezi River our first evening. We saw only a little bit of wildlife, but still enjoyed the trip.

Monitor lizard  (He was enormous!)

From our hotel we could see the mist from Victoria Falls.

The next morning we visited a wildlife sanctuary.

This is Sylvester, a cheetah, who was rescued as a cub before his eyes opened. When he was two days old, his mother and her four other cubs were attacked and killed by a lion. Luckily for Sylvester, a game scout witnessed the event. A husband and wife decided to take care of the cub and named him after the game scout who had saved him. When he opened his eyes there were only humans around, and he bonded with them. If interested, you can read more about Sylvester here.  He even has his own Facebook  page.

We were also able to get close to some elephants at the sanctuary. The elephants are very accustomed to people. There is a one-to-one ratio of elephants to trainers. These elephants are not held captive but are free to leave whenever they'd like.

If you wanted, you could feed  them.

After lunch, it was time for a mud bath.

Then we were off to Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Falls are on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia. This bridge connects the two countries.

It was a beautiful day, and we were lucky enough to see several rainbows, including a double rainbow. We just didn't find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

And so ends our great African adventure!  It  has been fun to share it with you.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

An Adventure of a Lifetime, Part 3

I'm glad that so many of you have been enjoying my photos. As you can probably tell, we were amazingly close to the animals. Yes, we had a telephoto lens, but we were often too close to the animals to use it, sometimes within just a few feet of lions and leopards. Despite that, we never felt endangered because our trackers and rangers were experts. We were told what to do and what not to do. For example, we were told not to stand up in the Land Rovers. The animals were used to seeing Land Rovers and thought of the Land Rovers and those inside it as another "animal" who would not threaten them. They are not used to seeing  people standing up in the vehicles. That might startle and scare the animals.

Today I'm showing you photos from the remaining game drives. There will be little text, because I think the photos speak for themselves.

There were lots and  lots of impala.


cape buffalo

The lions were sleeping when we arrived, but slowly began to wake up.

There was a limit of three Land Rovers at any site.

Our tracker, Zulu, heard that there was a cheetah nearby. Since they are rare in the area, he suggested we try to find it. Although it was dark by then, thanks to Zulu and his spot light, we were able to find the cheetah.

The morning game drives began at 6am, before sunrise. Here is a view of sunrise one morning

These people  were so absorbed looking at elephants that they didn't realize there were some also behind  them.

These zebras are black with white and brown stripes.

more cape buffalo

wart hogs



rhino at night at a watering hole (Zulu shone his spot light on him.)

another sunrise

Do you see the lion in the tree?

more rhinos

lilac breasted roller

And this was the last thing we saw as we were getting ready to leave our Lodge and head to Johannesburg and later to Victoria Falls.

I'll wrap up our amazing adventure in my next blog post.