Tuesday, June 9, 2009
So the past week I spent doing mopane mapping on the Oliphants River in the park. We stayed in Balule camp and worked with a pair of volunteers and an additional game guard. It was a beautiful area with high densities of game. On foot we saw giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, impala, buffalo, and a lion!!! The big story of the week was when I was walking with Godfrey and Mike in a new mapping site. We walked into a big herd of buffalo and just watched them for a bit. They were more scared of us than we were of them. Then Godfrey suddenly said "lion." I was confused until he pointed out the lin in the dense buch just ahead of us. The lion moved out of sight and we kept walking. Just a bit further we saw him again, about 15 meters away. He was a big male and he wasn't too happy at being disturbed. He lay down and watched us for a bout a minute and then got up, obviously agitated. He roared at us and then moved away. That was the scariest part of it because we were in a dense patch and couldn't see him any more. But Godfrey was great and it was a really cool encounter!
Giraffe at a waterpoint
All but the first picture come from a trip I took down to Skukuza from Phalaborwa. We drove through the park and had some great sitings. The lioness was great, she came right beside the car. We spent the weekend in Skukuza and I visited with several of my friends from the program.