Sunday, October 25, 2015

October 9, 2015

We just got back from a five day safari trip.  A day going and a day coming were car travel. All along and on the road were many cows, goats, and donkeys.  Some people have a cow herder but the animals are mainly just loose and alone. There were many donkeys and cows pulling carts made out of old truck beds.  There were hundreds of kids walking along the roads by the schools.  They all wear uniforms.  Each school has their own colors of uniforms.

We went to Hwange National Park which is the third largest park in all of Africa.  This park has dug 62 boreholes (wells) so the animals come to those watering holes this time of year while their is no rain.  A guide took us around the park in a truck with seats in the back.  There is a canvas cover over head to block the sun somewhat. There were hippos, zebra, water buck, wort hogs, jackels, elephants, giraffes, elands, kudu, monkeys, baboons, ostrich, wildabeast, impalas, cape buffalo, crocodiles, lots of vulchers

At the Hwange Park Hotel we could sit in lounge chairs by the pool and watch the animals come to the watering hole nearby. Our friends got a picture of a baboon who came into the yard and was sitting on one of the lawn chairs.  The guinea hens were also so funny.  They ran in a big straight line, probably a hundred or so, to the watering hole.

The safari truck picked us up at the Zimbabwe, Botswana border.  We traveled on the highway to the nearest town, Kasane to pay our park fees.  In Botswana their money is called pulu and the exchange was about 100 to 1 US.  After we left town, we saw wild dogs (painted dogs) This safari is near the Chobe River which flows into the Zambezi which flows to Victoria Falls.  Right across the river is the country of Namibia.  There the water buck, cape buffalo and elephants were mainly on an island in the middle of the Chobe River. There are 65,000 elephants there.  We didn't see all of them, but several hundred.  They were mainly playing in the water since this is their hot dry season. The baboons and monkeys were playing in the trees.   The giraffes were munching on bushes right by the road, as were the kudu, impalas, and sabel.   We also saw every kind and color of bird you can imagine and some you can't.  After the ground safari they took us on a boat tour.  We also saw hippos and crocodiles all over the river bank.  We had one huge bull elephant come right up to the boat and stair at us for a few minutes and then turned and walked away.  We were stuck in the mud but didn't know it until she tried to move away from the shore. We were very grateful the elephant was friendly. We had a wonderful lunch on a floating hut in the river.  They had steak, chicken, sausage, scalloped potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrot salad, and dessert.  They took us back to the boarder.  It was easy to get out of Botswana but hard to get back into Zimbabwe.  They wanted a useless "dumb" form filled out which held the line up for everyone for a long time.

Victoria Falls was way different this time than when we saw it in March at high water time.  It is still very awesome and beautiful but a lot less water.  The rainbow was still magnificent at Rainbow Falls.  There were a lot less street vendors there this time and fewer tourists.
Huge male giraffe
 Zebras playing in the road

Elephants in the Chobe River

The Senior Missionary Gang on the Chobe River
Hermansens in the back, Diede in the middle, McMurdies in the front

Victoria Falls - Rainbow Falls

Wild Dogs - Called Painted Dogs

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