Are you feeling HOT HOT HOT?

Trip Start Jan 05, 2009
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Trip End Mar 12, 2009


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Flag of South Africa  , Kruger National Park,
Friday, January 9, 2009

oh man is it hot in South Africa! You would think it was summer or something! Seriously people, when I left the 40F weather in SFO, I was begging for 80F when I got to SA. Let's just say that the temp has far exceeded my desires and I am officially melting. The averages have been from 36-42C which is over 100F if my calculations are correct. After trying to survive in this heat, I can say that I finally truly understand why all the game sits in the shade during the heat of the day - they aren't stupid!

The pool is my new best friend.

With all this in mind, we have had very early starts to the day, rising at either 4:30 or 5am. this has been no problem since I stupidly booked a place with a fan and not AC. Learn from my mistakes and never do this when you think temps will be anywhere near 90F. Please listen to me now...

The trip into Kruger was really great, not everything that I had expected which was a lot, but I really enjoyed it. I forgot how large the park is so when we had spans of 1 or 1.5 hours with no sightings, I was a little bummed but it completely made sense. What we did see were plenty of elephants, giraffe, impala (aka "the McDonald's of the bush" since everyone eats them), lions, waterbuck (aka the "toilet seat"), warthogs, etc. we also managed to catch a glimpse of a leopard fully immersed in a tree. how anyone saw it, i really don't know but they are beautiful no matter how much you see of them.

The best sighting of the day for lion actually occured outside the park just off the highway. I nearly jumped out of the jeep when I saw this fully grown male walking the perimeter of the game reserve. What were the chances??? we turned around and pulled over and Lamby, our guide opened the doors so we could climb the embankment and see him up close and personal. Was that really happening? Was I going to be on the next episode of Untamed & Uncut? How could I say no?

As I climbed the embankment, he was doing that amazing guttural growl that carries for miles and he was looking right at me. He was NOT however licking his chops. We all got within 15 feet of him and he was just hanging out, watching us all and occasionally yawning. His mane was really dark at the edges and he had huge paws (and teeth!). Wow, this was a super score for game viewing. Left aligned photo tag:
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Where I stayed
Thornhill Lodge

Comments

kcrenshaw
kcrenshaw on

Huge male sighted!
All excited at the sighting of a huge male! Sounds like you're having a great vacation already ;-)

jchrist123
jchrist123 on

Re: Huge male sighted!
Glad you are there and sounds like alread having a great time. Now you know how my summers are. Sorry! Have fun! Look forward to more info.

michcrab
michcrab on

SOUTH AFRICA AND ALL!
Wow, that Male Lion sighting sounds great! It's so incredible to be that close to them. Yep, didn't I warn you it would be hot as heck there...Feb is worse I'm afriad :( But you'll be in Cape Town so...should be better. Certainly sounds an adventurous start to your trip! I look forward to the next entry :) Say 'hi' to mamma Africa from me!

wilsonrj
wilsonrj on

Impala's as McDonald's
Impala's are also called McDonald's because if you look at their rump the two black marks on either side form a golden arch.

fifoota
fifoota on

Hey Tera!!
When they are yawning, isn't that a sign they feel threatened and it is time to back away slowly!! Sounds like you are having fun - wish I was there with you.

fifoota
fifoota on

HOT, HOT, HOT
Sounds like when I was in Southern Egypt. It was so hot it made you feel unwell at times! Glad your last post said the rain has cooled things off.

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