African Safari: Day 4

March 6. My cold is no better and I did not get a good nights sleep.  I’m cursing myself for not including cold medicine with my things.  As thorough as we were on the planning and packing – taking anti-malarials, spraying our clothes with permethrin to ward off mosquitoes, bringing “safari” colored clothing – I should have anticipated the possibility of catching a cold given the nature of air travel.  In any event, we’re on the road at 7:00 and the first wildlife we encounter is a pair of cheetah’s feasting on a wildebeest. You can tell from their distended stomachs that they’ve had their fill.

Not long into the drive, I’m feeling quite exhausted. It takes all my concentration just to stay awake, and even so, I’m dozing off as we’re bouncing and jouncing along some very bumpy roads.  Joann thinks I’m looking pretty pathetic. At one point, I’m watching wildlife using the telephoto lens, standing with the camera perched on the top of the truck and I catch myself dozing off . Heaven forbid I should fall asleep and drop the camera. One doesn’t simply open the door and step out of the car to pick something up you might drop. In any event the day progresses and I’m putting everything I have into photographing wildlife.

Later on our route we stopped for a herd of wildebeest with a number of young. This is a calving ground. Wildebeest cows like company while calving. Being in a herd provides protection from predators. The calves can typically stand and run just a few minutes after being born. Within two days they can keep pace with a running herd.

We also saw a pack of bat-eared foxes, with huge ears and a bandit’s mask. These animals feed largely on insects and their ears act like twin-dish antenna. They can hear dung beetles up to a foot underground.

Our track for the day covered 36 miles and we returned to camp in the early afternoon. You can view a track or our route here.

Author: treve

When I'm not creating architectural photos for clients (see my primary website at, I like to travel, hike, kayak and enjoy other artistic and cultural pursuits. I'm also concerned about environmental and social issues and issues of faith.

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