Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Our First Game Reserve Adventure

Yield to the animals, please.
This was a day for which we were waiting! We were heading out on another great World ARC tour to see the wild animals of Africa. Our daylong trip began early in the morning with a bus ride to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve. Apparently, it is the best place to see the African Big Five in KwaZulu-Natal: Lions, Elephants, Black Rhinoceros, Buffalo and Cheetahs.

This Reserve is an unspoiled wilderness of rolling hill, subtropical forest, acacia woodland and palm-lined rivers. It is 372 sq. mi. in size and has a range of altitudes. It is known for its rhino conservation program. The biggest threat to the rhino is man: as in "poachers" who are after the rhino horn. The area is fenced, but not to keep animals in. It is fenced to make it difficult for poachers to enter. It is one of Africa's leading wildlife sanctuaries.

In addition to the black and white rhinos, we had the chance to see many other animals: lion, giraffe, impala, warthog, baboon, zebra, elephant, wildebeest, kudu, nyala and buffalo. There are also cheetah, leopard and hyenas in the park.

Let the adventure begin. There is a big animal world out there!
Our tour took us to see where a lion was dining on a dead giraffe. Apparently, two giraffes had a fight and one did not survive. Once it was down, the lion moved in to begin a several day feast. Unfortunately, it was too far away to get a good photograph. It was sad to see, but we must respect this is the natural selection process that has its own food chain.

We drove through many different terrains and climates from the lowest at the river to the highest in the mountains. Different vegetation and water holes draw different animals to various areas.

We also saw the watering holes where many types of animals appeared to be existing in harmony. Maybe the rest of the world could learn from them!
Nine of us in each Jeep vehicles are off to see ....

In the middle of the road there was a Dung Beetle rolling
a ball of dung where the female Dung Beetle lays her eggs

Our tour stopped at a picnic area where we all got out of the vehicles and feasted on some typical African foods. Delicious! We are looking forward to more culinary adventures, too. Each area of Africa has its special foods to try.

I will let the photos tell the rest of this story:

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