|photo credit: Eleanor|
Wow! From the minimal tidbits I gathered during the parent trip it sounds like the group was BUSY! From watching the morning sunrise while game driving to weeding Africat pens to soda sundowners before dinner, the parents and girls fit as much as possible into their time together. While at the Africats center the group weeded over a hectare of bush area to protect the rehabilitating animals from the sharp acacia thorns. They went on a walking safari and encountered a group of cheetahs enjoying their fresh kudo kill and walked on to see leopards lounging in the sun. On another outing they stumbled upon a pack of wild dogs!
A few fast facts about wild dogs:
African wild dogs are the size of medium domestic dogs. Their Latin name, Lycaon pictus, means "painted wolf-like animal." Their coats are mottled in shades of brown, black and beige. They have large, rounded ears and dark brown circles around their eyes. The dogs differ from wolves and other dogs in that they have four toes instead of five.
The average African wild dog weighs between 37 and 80 pounds and measures 24 to 30 inches high.
Between 2,000 and 5,000 of these dogs remain in the wild, mostly in game preserves or national parks.
The group moved to Etosha National Park on Sunday to experience an African safari. Etosha campgrounds are fenced in during the night to keep the people in and the animals out. But through the high chain link fences you can hear hyenas cackle and the occasional lion roar. For evening entertainment people head outside to the arena style seating around big watering holes. These lighted areas draw animals in to quench their thirst throughout the day. It is an amazing sight to watch giraffes gracefully wonder up to the pond, look around, and then take alternating shifts to drink and to stand watch for predators. Giraffes are quite vulnerable while drinking water as they have to splay out their legs or drop to their knees to lower their long necks down to the water. While the giraffes are drinking, kudu might also wander in. These animals might saunter back into the dark savannah as elephants, rhinos or lions wander down. It is an amazing sight to watch!
Keep checking back to the blog in the next few days as people share photos and stories. I encourage everyone who visited to share a short story and help those of us who stayed at home envision the adventure TTS22 is on. Here are a few photos from Rebecca via Susie: