Posts Tagged ‘Giraffe’

Baby elephant attempting to give mama some water

Baby Elephant attempting to give Mama a drink from the riverbed. The water level is high so the elephants don’t have to dig too deep to get fresh water.

A little over six weeks ago, we drove out of Umlani Bush Camp and made our way back to Johannesburg. We had a plane heading for London to catch the next day. Not going to lie, both my daughter and I had a tear in our eye as we left the magical Timbavati Private Reserve. This safari was everything I dreamed it would be but I was also sad/angry that a lot of the animals are at risk from poachers. Thankfully, there are those willing to fight against them but it seems like a losing battle sometimes. As with drugs, the demand for animal parts needs to be stopped but oh, what a complicated weave that is.

There were so many wonderful memories from our nine days there and below is a recap in photos. My heart is happy when I look at them…

Bird Colorful

The lilac-breasted roller in South Africa.

Monkey with blue balls

Vervet Monkey, males are known for their bright blue scrotum and vivid red penis. They have a complicated vocal communication system. For example, one screech will indicate a predatory bird and all the vervets will scan the sky. Likewise, a snake call will have all looking at the ground. 

Steenbok running

The Steenbok is a small, brown antelope. Females don’t have horns. They zig-zag as they run when avoiding a predator.

Giraffes three

Always a thrill to see Giraffes ~ they are such interesting creatures. Where there are giraffes, there are usually zebras. And like the zebra stripes, the brown and white pattern on the giraffe is unique to each individual. These are males because their stumps are bald. The females are tufts.

Sunset in The Timbavati

Sunset in South Africa

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As we drove through the gates into the Private Reserve, I had to pinch myself ~ it was the start of a safari trip I’d been planning for several months, and had been dreaming about for years!

Our driver asked what animal we were most interested in seeing during our nine day visit and my daughter immediately said “Giraffe.”  No sooner had she said giraffe, we came around the corner and there was one munching on some leaves.  It was a fabulous way to begin our wildlife adventures.

Giraffe over the trees

We arrived at Umlani Bushcamp and were greeted by Michael Laubscher from Wildeye .

Umlani Patti, Logan and Michael at lunch

He would be our photographic guide for the entire time we were at our Africa lodge. Unfortunately, I broke my wrist two weeks prior to going on safari, but both my husband and daughter jumped in with both feet (or should I say “with both hands”) and learned as much as they could about photography from Michael. We didn’t keep track of who took which photos so all photos will be considered “Team Beachbums.”

I’m so glad we chose to go with a Wildeye private- guided safari. I knew personalities would be important and was relieved to find that Michael’s easy-going but professional style was perfect for us. Michael was a safari guide for many years before becoming a photographic guide and his ability to anticipate what an animal would do next was invaluable to getting the perfect photo.

The Bush Camp provided a private guide/driver (Shadrack) and tracker (Cabinet) for the duration of our stay. They were both incredible and I’m still amazed how they were able to see small creatures, sometimes at night, while riding in a vehicle and the animal blending in with their surroundings. Truly amazing.

It was so nice to have a private vehicle so we could spend as much time as we wanted at a sighting rather than being in a vehicle with others who preferred to chase the next Big 5 animal sighting.

The camp we stayed at blends in with the environment and was made from natural materials in a traditional African style. There is no electricity in the thatched rooms but there are solar lights which are placed on the nightstands. All accommodations have en-suite facilities including their open-air bush showers. There is also complimentary bottled water. The outdoor bathroom took a little getting use to but it was nice to shower under the warmth of the sun.

The very first animal we saw on safari was a Jackal. Beautiful but quick…


…and then we saw our first of seven Leopard sightings. More on that next time.

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