Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day safari at Pilanesberg

At 6:15am (no worries, jet lag had me up at 2:30 :) ), we were picked up by a local Zulu man (one of the larger ethnic groups in South Africa) and headed 2.5 hours outside of Johannesburg to Pilanesberg national game reserve ( The drive provided for some time to catch up on sleep thankfully. We got to the park around 9am and our guide drove us through. He gave us some historical information of SA and helped spot animals for us. Basically it was a park with roads all through it. It was 55,000 hectares (roughly 136,000 acres) and had animals from all over Africa. 

We saw lots of impala and springbok (small deer/antelope looking things) and some larger ones, water buck and kudu. There were lots of zebras and one family that walked across the road around our car. We stopped to see a "Pumbaa" (aka warthog) alongside the road, which apparently makes for pretty tasty bacon, and next thing we knew a mom and her baby rhino crossed right in front of us. We saw like four rhino sightings which I thought was quite spectacular. 

We saw some crocodiles basking in the sun along with some hippos, though they were pretty far away. We saw one lion sleeping in the sun under a tree too, but she/he was so far away all you really saw was a light colored mark in the grass. Lots of elephant poop, but no elephants for some reason. I have been promised to see lots in Kenya tough. What else....giraffes, ostriches, wildebeest, turtles and I think that covers the big stuff. 

Here are some pics of the day:
We were told the zebras aren't pregnant, they have gas. Apparently really bad gas to set off predators. I'm a bit gullible on tours, so not sure about the truth meter on this one :). They do kick really hard, which is consistent with what I've been told before (I think on the Disney safari ride). 

I think this baby rhino sighting was my favorite :). 

The croc at the edge of the water. 

A lone giraffe. They make no sound but have a very long tongue. 

Hippos soaking up the rays on the other side of the water. 

P.S. Thanks to my Aunt Mary I found an SD card attachment for my iPad so I can share these pics real time. Great investment for anyone with an iPad!

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