Today was THE SAFARI day! Our group of 12 was paired with a family (a kid probably around 20 with his two uncles) from Mexico for the entire day. These three were quite a hoot; they were visiting Africa mainly for the World Cup, but they had taken a few days to fly over to Livingstone to do all the touristy things (Victoria falls, safari, ELEPHANT ride, etc). The boy, Julian, had recently been abroad in China studying Mandarin and now he was vacationing in Africa seeing nine of the world cup games (no big deal). Catherine asked him what he did for work his response, “I am a Daddy’s son.” Haha Nice. He did later inform us that his dad, including all of his uncles are lawyers and that he plans to study law when he returns to Mexico (whenever that may be?).
Julian and his World Cup Scarf
We started our safari by crossing the border into Botswana then getting on a boat and going across the Zambezi River. We then entered the Chobe National Park where we began our safari on the water in a double decker boat. Lacey, Catherine, and I stayed on top of the boat the entire time. It seems to be a trend with the three of us always wanting to be in the sun. Caroline, Ian, and D.T. also graced us with their presence on the top of the boat. We were able to take time away from looking at animals to take a few “snaps” of each other…
Yes, we took shadow pictures...we even made a sentence (more to come later).
Lace, Cat, and I with the Elephants
We do yoga on a boat...no big deal!
"A" is for Africa...
D.T. with us and the hippos in the back ground
After the boat safari we got into "Tan Jan" driven by Johnson, our safari guide, and continued on about our safari through the Chobe National Park.
We were able to see basically the ENTIRE cast of The Lion King…minus the main character, a lion. However, the plethora of elephants and surprise guest of a leopard made up for the missing lions. We saw cape buffalo's, sables, hippos, crocodiles, impalas, jackals, elephants, giraffes, wart hogs, Meier cats, guinea hens, and more random birds. Here are a few pictures that do not do the safari justice neither can any words…it is beyond AMAZING being up close to these animals.
Initially I wanted to be a hippo at the beginning of the safari but as the day progressed this is all I saw them do (lay around). Catherine thought I would be more of an impala or sable, something that involved more movement and I agree... because even though hippo's may be intimidating they do not live very exciting lives.
The elephants were EVERYWHERE and each time I saw one I got more and more excited. They are gorgeous creatures. That is the Matriarch in the front leading the other female elephants with a few babies mixed in.
This guy was literally this close to our jeep. I captured it on video as he approached, it was amazing. He tried to jump in with the female herd but the Matriarch chased him away. Apparently, he did not get the girls only memo.
Baby giraffe struggling to use its legs! (Picture courtesy of Rachel Pugh) :) Wart Hogs...we definitely called the Hogs when we saw these guys! woooooooo PIG sooie!
THE star of the day! Our guide Johnson informed us that leopards are rare to see. We followed him for a while and witnessed a stand off between him and two jackals. For some reason the leopard walked away from the jackals (which are little dog/fox looking animals). We expected to see a the leopard attack, but he went on about his business.
*More pictures will be posted later, but due to a limited amount of internet time at the hotel I can't post them all. Stay tuned :)