Africa, part two, Pilanesberg Game Reserve

Posted by on January 5, 2012 in other things, photograph | 4 comments

image from www.flickr.com
On our way back to Johannesberg from Madikwe we stopped at another game reserve. It turns out that I don't get tired of looking at animals, especially when they are in their natural habitat. We didn't have high hopes for Pilanesberg, since we would be driving ourselves through the park (thanks Dad, for doing all that driving! On the left side of the road, no less!), and not riding in a Land Rover that could go all over the place and track down animals. We shouldn't have doubted, however. Pilanesberg was breathtakingly beautiful, and once we were a few kilometers down the first road, we started spotting all sorts of animals. 

image from www.flickr.com
The park itself is interesting because it's the site of an extinct volcano and the landscape is a series of concentric rings. So there were lots of hills and valleys and plains, and it was quite beautiful. There were lots and lots of giraffes, one of my favorite animals. As you can see, I couldn't stop photographing them. Did you know that giraffes don't typically travel in herds? They can see each other from such great distances, due to their height, that they don't need to stick close together.

Zebras posed the same problem, I just couldn't not take a picture when we saw a new herd. They're just so graphic with their black and white stripes. 

image from www.flickr.com
And who can resist a baby anything? 

image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com
There were some less attractive animals, of course, but they had their own charm. Did you know that warthogs have to kneel down to graze? 

image from www.flickr.com
I think they are so far down on the ugly scale that they've made it almost all the way back around to cute. 

And despite my earlier dung beetle trauma, when we saw this crossing the road we had to stop and watch. I won't tell you how many pictures I took of these little guys rolling their dung balls along.

image from www.flickr.com
Yes, I just totally posted a picture of poop on my blog. Here's another one: 

image from www.flickr.com
Based on Wikipedia, this was likely a mating pair, rolling their ball to softer ground where they will bury it and lay their eggs. 

I was also able to get some nice photos of my new favorite bird, the guinea fowl. Mr. Hey Lucy thinks we should get some to keep with the chickens. I am not yet sold on the idea, but they are awfully cute, don't you think? They have polka dots! And blue heads! 

image from www.flickr.com
There were also lots of wildebeasts and other types of antelope, and even a very rare hippo-out-of-water sighting.

image from www.flickr.com
Can you see it? It was quite far away, so I zoomed as close as I could. Don't worry, though, I did get to see some hippos up close, in their watering hole later at another park. You'll have to wait a few more days for those photos. 

Pilanesberg was definitely worth the day trip, we saw quite a lot in the few hours we were there. The whole set is on flicker, right here

4 Comments

  1. My boyfriend lived near Pilanesberg for a year and a half and he said it’s really beautiful. After hearing him (and now you) talk about it I am DYING to go. An African safari was never really on my bucket list before, but after knowing someone who has been there it doesn’t seem like such an impossible dream. I can’t wait to see more of your pictures!!

  2. Seriously, I had no idea how much I would love it there, and I haven't even talked about Cape Town and a few other places we went! I would move it right up to the top of your bucket list đŸ™‚ You won't be sorry!

  3. Just wanted to ask if you at least visited Cape Town as well. We indeed have a stunning country. I think most of the residents don’t realise what we have right on our door step. I live in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape where we can actually swim in the sea đŸ™‚ – water in Cape Town is way to cold! In EC we also have MANY game parks, in fact we have one less than 10min’s drive from our house! How lucky can you get. Glad you enjoyed SA. Be back soon.

  4. Oh yes! We spent 5 days in Cape Town, I might need to do two posts on that! The beaches were beautiful. I'd love to see the eastern coast sometime too. There just wasn't enough time for everything! I also found it interesting how similar it was to California, the same climate and a lot of the same kinds of plants, so I felt very at home đŸ™‚Â 

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