KDs Big 7
I think its only fair to dedicate one post to the animals of Africa. The Big 5 are what people typically come to see in Africa. The Big 5 is a term coined by the big game hunters and it refers to the most dangerous to hunt animals. The traditional Big 5 are the Buffalo, Lion, Leopard, Rhino and Elephant. When I heard that was the logic behind the Big 5, I came up with my own Big 5 that grew to my Big 7.
PS-the goats aren’t on the Big 7-but they are cute and also everywhere.
African Elephants are much different than the Sri Lankan Elephants. They are larger, have huge tusks and really big ears. They are poached for their tusks which is a tragedy. They can also be a nuisance to the farmers and any tour groups that might be in the area when they want to raid the camp.
I was very excited to see zebras in the wild. They mostly don’t do much but stand around and eat grass. I cant believe no one has been able to tame one for riding! According to the guide they are extremely stubborn and very mean. They will bite and kick when you’re not looking. I am sure we had a horse like that once-we didnt ride her either. Interesting fact-Lions don’t see in colour-they only see in black and white. And so the zebras when standing together in a dazzle(group of zebras) they blend in with the trees and grass so the lions have a harder time sorting out an individual to serve up for dinner. Very smart.
I have loved giraffes since the first time I saw one in the Calgary Zoo when I was probably 4 years old. Luckily we were able to see one on the first day here and then pretty much every game drive after. There are many types of giraffes and I have no idea how to tell the difference. Also, I don’t know why they were never tamed to be riden either. They are sorta like a more colourful camel and probably don’t spit. But then again their legs look a big spindly-so that’s probably the answer.
Hippos crack me up. They look like the biggest, fattest, laziest animals ever. One of our campsites was right next to a river so we were able to see hippos from our tent. In the middle of the night, they were in our campsite munching on the grass around the tent. This is one of the reasons we had to stay in our tent at night and definitely not drink too much before bed. They like to sit around all day long in the cool water and then in the night eat. It should be noted that they are very loud creatures and I have a great soundtrack of their noise. Which is nice when you’re awake and not as nice when you’re trying to sleep. Fun fact: Where there are hippos there are crocodiles. Hippos poo into the water. The fish like to eat this poo. The crocs like to eat the fish. And round and round we go.
Rhinos are way bigger than I thought. And they are smart in that they hang out around boulders and look exactly like a boulder. We went on a walking safari to find the rhinos which seemed super dangerous. Our guide was so passionate about the rhinos that I nicknamed him Rhino Dundee. Unfortunately rhinos are a very endangered species and Rhino Dundee thinks they will be extinct in 2 years because of poaching. The rhino horn is more valuable than gold or diamonds and therefore people are killing the rhino to get its horn. In the national parks, the rangers cut off the rhino horn to attempt to make the rhino worthless to poachers. But the horns grow back and any amount of horn puts the animal at risk for poachers. Its a very sad situation.
I cant tell you anything about lions because even tho Africa is apparently full of lions, I didn’t see a single one. I guess this means I have to come back sometime.
I only had 6 items on my list and then found out there were penguins in Africa. They seem like they are probably the smarter cousins of the ones that live in Antarctica for obvious reasons. I could have spent all day watching those cute little buggers heading out to swim and coming back-waddling their cute little butts on shore.
Monkeys and Baboons
These little buggers are everywhere and they are are so smart. They stole the snacks out of the truck. And they took a sandwich out of the hand of someone while he was eating it. One time they also took the sugar bowl off the table while we were drinking coffee. We watched the monkey eat the entire bowl of sugar then drop the bowl on the ground. Can you imagine his sugar crash? They were fun to watch play and climb trees. It was impossible to be really mad at them at any time and you could really just sit and watch them for hours. It almost made you want to steal one of the babies and raise it to be your own cute little pet. JUST KIDDING
Reptiles and Insects
There were very poisonous snakes at some campsites and almost every bathroom had very large unidentified spiders hanging out. I learned to just avoid them and maybe once or twice attempted to wash one down the drain.
We saw a lot of lizards and iguanas and they were our friends because they eat mosquitos and they don’t bite people. win win.
Ive arrived in Peru now. I have excellent wifi, coffee and time for a couple days so Im hoping to finish my Africa posts in the next couple days.