Friday, December 14, 2007

Kalahari
What do marine biologists do for vacation? They go to the desert! I just spent a fantastic week in the Kalahari Desert at Kgalagadi Transboundary National Park, which is in the northwest corner of South Africa and includes portions of Botswana and Namibia (hence the name). A group of 8 of us drove up from Cape Town (15 hours) and stayed at three different parts of the park... at each site we stayed in nice bungalows complete with BBQ grills, a pool and in 2 cases a blind overlooking a waterhole. We saw fantastic wildlife every day, so I'll mostly let the pictures speak for themselves:
We saw lots of Oryx (Gemsbok) and not surprisingly this was originally named Gemsbok Park.

Lioness resting in the shade right by the road.Springbuck. These were everywhere in large herds. They do gorgeous leaps when they run.

Wildebeast herd too shy to come all the way in to the waterhole.
Giraffes were re-introduced to the park a few years ago, so we are lucky to have seen about 20 of them. They were definitely one of my favorite animals there. So graceful!

Pale Chanting Goshawk. We sw lots of these birds and they often feed cooperatively with honey badgers. We saw 2 honey badgers at night with a cobra they had killed, but I wasn't able to get a photo. Spotted Hyena eating a Red Hartebeast carcass; there were actually 4 hyenas at this kill.
We saw lots of Black-backed Jackals throughout the park. They reminded me of coyotes and were really neat animals.Kori Bustard, a very large and very cool bird.
Kalahari Tortoise, which is pretty rare.
A group of ostriches at a water hole. The ones laying down are having a giant bird bath.
An Oryx carcass in the road. We saw lots of carcasses, some from kills, some (mostly Eland) that had died as the result of dehydration during the dry season.
Yellow Mongoose
Sunset over the water hole at Nossob.
Our very fun group at breakfast! Gill, Sal, Hilde, Tim, Ken, Marco and Christina. Definitely the trip of a lifetime.

1 comment:

T said...

Ooooh, can I pul-leeeaze have a yellow mongoose to hug?! Sooo cute! LOVE all the amazing animal shots. Wow, you even got to see a lioness. I'm soooo coming over there as soon as my bank account will allow. Great blog!