Sunday, April 26, 2009

Skukuza: round two

Magpie shrikes

Pied kingfisher!


Martial eagle

Brown snake eagle

Tawny eagle

Bush baby! He's been raiding our trash every night

Banded mongoose, also a trash raider...

Giant kingfisher

I haven't seen any more large carnivores around Skukuza, but the bird viewing has been exceptional. I saw four different large raptors on a game drive this morning. There is a hyena that hangs out around the fence every night and we have heard lions in the early morning. We're really busy with various projects at the moment, but things are going great!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mapungubwe wildlife


White-fronted bee eaters, my new favorite bird!

Hornbills and a Pearl owlet

It was so nice to see eles again after a month away from the savanna

Young kudu male

Little gecko that lived outside my hut

It's Zazu! Red-billed hornbill

What a beauty!

A pair of kudu

More dassies!

Blacksmith Plover

Giraffe drinking - they look so awkward!

White rhino and Blue wildebeest

Blue wildebeest

White rhino - only the 2nd one I've seen in the wild

Wildlife wasn't quite as concentrated as it was in Kruger, but we definitely saw some awesome stuff. I really got into the birds here because my 2nd independent project was a bird biodiversity survey. I spent 5 mornings out in the field looking and listening for as many birds as possible. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Mapungubwe had probably the most amazing scenery of any of the places we visited. It reminded me a bit of the southwest with it's huge red rock formations. The baobabs were amazing, some as large as 10 meters around and maybe over a thousand years old. Most of my evenings were spent at the sunset decks watching the sunset over the confluence of the Shashi and Limpopo rivers.

Sunset over the Limpopo

Sunset over the Limpopo

The Limpopo and the Shashi

Sunrise as the mist comes in

Baobab tree

Saturday, April 18, 2009

De Hoop

De Hoop was a wonderful place to stay because there were no real predators to worry about and we could wander as we pleased when not working. There were great hiking trails up into the hills and even a cave with bushmen paintings. There were tons of awesome antelope and these really cute rodents called dassies. I spent a couple days on the beach and it was quite different from home. First of all, it's late summer here and the water is freezing. It's also a very rocky coast with impressive cliffs dropping off into the water. We played in the tidal pools, where I got bitten by an octopus! Very cool. We also worked on a project with tortoises and I was the champion tortoise finder. I spent one morning following around a herd of bontebok and mingling with a troop of foraging baboons. After living in close quarters for so long, the freedom of De Hoop was wonderful and I had a great time there. I also learned to play croquet and had an awesome game of capture the flag. More to come on Mapungubwe soon

Cape Mountain Zebra

Baboon mother and baby


Bontebok adult and baby

Striped Grass Mouse, very cute!

Sunset from the hills


Grazing eland and bontebok

Eland bull