|Swahili for Hello.
Our wake up call at 5:30 to head out for early sightings. Beautiful sunrise. Sleep was interrupted by the animal sounds around us.
Our first sight just outside of camp was a giraffe.
Wilfred sped over the dirt "roads" to get us to the migration crossing. There were thousands of wildebeest and zebras lined up on shore waiting to cross. We watched as they crossed in a massive line, swimming and climbing on the rocks and jumping back into the river. Zebras also were crossing, but they are not the best swimmers. There was a zebra and a wildebeest in the water that had been taken down by a crocodile. The crocodile was huge and we saw him eating at the zebra. The animals stopped crossing due to the croc's presence.
Following our picnic breakfast we went to another area to watch a crossing. We were rooting the animals on to get across. We did see a wildebeest get caught between rocks and drowned as he couldn't get out. They also started crossing near some hippos and one started to go after it to get it away.
Saw lots of zebras today. Saw a herd of elephants with babies.
We saw 2 of the 3 types of jackals. We saw a male ostrich. We saw many different kinds of antelope.
Today we also got to see Lionesses on the rocks and somewhat hidden by the trees.
We returned mid afternoon for a rest and then Pete, Ali, Verne and I went out for a short time.
Yesterday, our group and a young couple from Atlanta were the only ones at camp. They had just spent 7 days climbing up Mt. Kilimanjaro and 2 days climbing down. It's a small world as he was a graduate of NC State and his parents live in Wilmington. She graduated from UNC. Tonight we are joined by a couple from New Zealand, a couple from Germany and a family with 2 teenage girls (who sound like Americans) from Germany.
We all tried something new... Green Banana Soup
Today we have seen 13 new animals from our list and 3 birds not on our list bringing our total to 35/86 and 7 others.
Black Backed Jackal
Side Stripes Jackal(rare)
Lilac Breasted Roller
Ruppell's Griffin Vulture
Go Away Bird
Black Belly Bustard
White Headed Vulture
ZEBRA: Stripes are brown on babies, turn black as they mature. Wilfred said they are black with white stripes. Stripes help to camouflage, regulate temperature, and identify them.
ELEPHANT: Form a family. Families form clans. Gestation is 22 months and birth weight can be 200 pounds. Tusks are actually an extension of their incisors that grow after they lose the milk teeth they are born with. Elephants can weigh up to 15,000 pounds. They eat over 3300 pounds of vegetation and drink 200 liters of water in a day.
GIRAFFE: Heart weighs 22 pounds. There is a special valve that closes off when it must bend its neck low to the ground so that the blood doesn't all rush to its head.
They have a long black tongue that helps them to reach the leaves between the thorns. The black color protects them from getting cancer as it is out of their mouths for long periods. When they walk they move both legs on the same side, when running it is like a horse. They look very awkward when they run. They have a very strong kick and kill a lion with one kick.
JACKAL: Mate for life. The side striped jackal eats ants. The other 2 kinds are scavengers, eating fruits of trees.
OSTRICH: Male has pink legs, neck and head and a black body, the female is all brown. The female incubates eggs during the day, the male during the night.