R i c k   &   L y n n e   B r i c e

 NE South Africa Kapama River Lodge Photo Journal (Day 2)
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DAY 1DAY 3

Second day
morning safari
It all began with a wakeup call at 5 AM. We had a light breakfast with coffee, tea, or juice. Ranger Frikkie was there before us. Our first scheduled morning safari began with a briefing by Ranger Frikkie. Ranger Frikkie and Tracker Roger took us in search of the rare and endangered spotted grasshopper that feeds on red grass, also rare and endangered. We were instructed to keep all parts in the Land Cruiser, don't stand up. It is chilly in early spring so we dress in layers to keep warm. In this arid climate it cools off quickly at night and warms up quickly in the morning. As soon as the sun comes up the layers come off. We watched the sun come up a short distance from the lodge.

Hornbill
In the early morning light we were able to get a fair shot of this hornbill in a tangle of branches and thorns.

Nyalas
These two males were putting on a display to impress or dismay their rivals. I imagine the dialog was something like this, "My ruff is bigger than your ruff." "No, my ruff is bigger than your ruff. Let's agree to disagree." It was difficult to tell who won.

Always Attentive
Ranger Frikkie always listened attentively to our questions. Sometimes the response was not what we expected, but most likely witty and educational. My sister-in-law missed some of those responses while contemplating Frikkie's long eyelashes.

Zebra
While crossing a sector looking for the the rare and endangered spotted grasshopper that feeds on red grass, we came up on some Zebra munching through the grass that was there.

Warthog
While crossing a sector looking for the the rare and endangered spotted grasshopper that feeds on red grass, we came upon and almost missed a most formidable denizen hiding in his burrow. Ranger Frikkie backed up and I was able to get this shot.

Cape Buffalo
Ranger Frikkie and Tracker Roger put us on to the trail of the Cape Buffalo herd. After looping around the sector, we found the herd. Here I got a good shot of a large bull watching over the herd crossing the road. This animal is very strong, solid muscle weighing 500-900 kg (1 - 2+ tons). An angry or threatened Cape Buffalo is very dangerous.

Giraffe
Well, Hello there! I'm not sure I would want to be able to stick my tongue up my nose.

Zebra
We saw a number of Zebra along this route, but this fellow had found a low hanging branch for a good old fashioned back scratch.

Elephant Dung
Ranger Frikkie gave us a lesson on the life cycle of the dung beetle and the digestive system of the Elephant. It was humerous and very informative.

Cape Buffalo
We came upon the Cape Buffalo herd again. This female took a dim view of our proximity and snorted at us loudly.

Buckthorn
The buckthorn tree has small curved hooks on it that will rip you if you get snarled in it. We passed this big one on the way back to the lodge.

Squirrel
I saw this rascal on the dining tables on more than one occasion.

Kapama Lodge
This nice little patio off the main dining room has a large variety of wild life including the squirrel who kept slipping into the dining room to sample the local fare.

Second day
evening safari
Our safari began with a briefing on what we might expect to see this evening. Ranger Frikkie and Tracker Roger took us in search of the rare and endangered spotted grasshopper that feeds on red grass, also rare and endangered. We were instructed to keep all parts in the LandCruiser, don't stand up, and don't shoot flash unless Ranger Frikkie gives the all clear.

Reading signs
Off on the afternoon safari with Tracker Roger reading the signs. Roger is really remarkable at this. Ranger Frikkie and Roger talk mostly in Tsonga. I picked up a few words. Booga engallah. We were looking for Lions, but found signs of a Leopard. I did not catch the word for Leopard.

Signs
The signs told Roger that the Leopard was sitting in the road until we came along.

More Signs
Ranger Frikkie put his palm print next to the Lioness print. Tracker Roger said it was the mother and four daughters passed this way maybe an hour ago.

Tawny Eagle
This Tawny Eagle was kind enough to pose for us in the fading light.

Rhinos
The Rhinos decided to investigate our safari vehicles and came very close. After a snort or two they decided they did not like the smell and moved away to graze.

Rhinos
Mother and son, still together, but soon they will separate when he matures. She will drive him away so she can find a new suitor.

Mountains at Sunset
African sunsets are a spectacle of color much beyond what the camera can capture.

Tracking the Lion
Tracker Roger is holding the spotlight on a Lioness we are following. Lynne took this shot.

Lioness
Tracker Roger got the spotlight on this Lioness. Lynne took this shot. The Lioness was not watching us, but communicating with her mom and sisters. There were rogue male Cape Buffalo all around us. For much of this confrontation, we were not allowed to take pictures. One of the Lioness with a stiff leg from an encounter with a Warthog was trapped in the middle of the Cape Buffalo. The Lioness was suprisingly lying down between the Cape Buffalo. Another Cape Buffalo, startled by the Lioness sister, charged in her direction not knowing she was there. When the charging Cape Buffalo saw her he changed direction directly toward our Land Cruiser. Ranger Frikkie threw up his arms and shouted startling the Cape Buffalo in another direction.

Lioness
Lynne and the Lioness were both suprised in this picture. The Lioness was right beside the Land Cruiser. Apparently her mother told her to behave and don't bother the tourist. The gimp Lioness rejoined her sister in the road. It was a very tense time.

Lioness
The Lioness reunited and went bounding down the road away from the Cape Buffalo.

Dinner table
Ranger Frikkie's table at the end of the day. A good time was had by all.

DAY 1DAY 3

Copyright © 2010 Rick Brice. All rights reserved.