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.
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.
And who can resist a baby anything?
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?
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.
Yes, I just totally posted a picture of poop on my blog. Here's another one:
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!
There were also lots of wildebeasts and other types of antelope, and even a very rare hippo-out-of-water sighting.
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.