I fell a little behind in documenting the safari from October. We spent a couple of days in Johannesburg and a day in Pretoria. The different branches of government in South Africa are located in separate cities, so Pretoria is the administrative (executive branch) capital, Cape Town is the legislative capital, Bloemfontein is the judicial capital, and Johannesburg is the largest city. It was interesting to spend a day in Johannesburg and get one perspective on the country followed by a day in Pretoria to get a very different perspective.
You can watch the video slideshow version or browse through way too many photos or just go about your life without doing either.
Long drive from MalaMala (near Kruger National Park) to Johannesburg, via the loosely-defined Panorama Route (God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck, Graskop, etc.)
Ok, I finally narrowed down the best clips of our 4 days at MalaMala. Here’s the video –
It reminded me of the sheer variety of creatures we saw. Our rooms had checklists in them for keeping track of animal sightings. I didn’t want to bug the guide for the name of every bird and tree, but here’s what I marked:
Our guide caught the reflection of this bushbaby’s eyes as it jumped from tree to tree looking for bugs. I caught a couple of minutes of it when it finally stayed relatively still in one tree. This is zoomed in as far as the camera would go, which is why you’ll hear us asking questions about what it looked like — we couldn’t see it very well.
I had hoped we would at least catch a glimpse of a leopard during our time at MalaMala. As it turned out, we saw at least one per day and a couple were within arm’s reach of the Land Rover. We watched one pounce at a rabbit but miss. (Another group bragged at lunch that they saw him catch it right after we left.) Beautiful animals!
My favorite photo was one my dad captured at sunset –
Vultures brought me a lot of enjoyment during the safari. They gathered in sinister-looking trees just like you’d expect and their heads bobbed up and down exactly like the Beatles-type vultures in Disney’s The Jungle Book.
We first saw them trying to get in on the remains of a Cape buffalo taken down by lions. The lions were so full they could barely walk, but they still chased the birds away a few times before giving in. The second group was waiting for a larger group of lions to finish with a zebra. The vultures fought over lion scat and gathered in a nearby tree for their turn with the meal.
Here are a few clips set to “That’s What Friends are For” from The Jungle Book.