Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wednesday, July 2nd, Hippo Hollow, South Africa

The two of us are listening to Tommy Emanuel through a small speaker attached to Pat’s IPod touch.  Pat’s writing in her journal, and I’m trying to come up with something as good to write here.

So just how do you spot African wildlife while crossing miles of thick head-high brush and trees at a healthy pace?  

First, you hire a top-notch driver/guide.  Quinten has the worst view, as he’s three feet lower than us in the cab, and has to keep half his focus on the road and the other safari vehicles around us.  
But he’s been at this along time, and amazes us when he finds Hippos 200 meters away in a clearing.  Or eagles in a tree across a lake. He says there are techniques.  Watching for straight lines (not usually in nature), looking for odd shapes and contrasting colors, trying to achieve a deep depth of field so things both far and close are seen. 

Knowing where things usually are helps alot.  Birds are in trees (except guinea fowl and others that walk around), and are sillouetted against the sky.  Felines hide in the tall grass, and you only see their heads and ears.  And in the heat of the day, they’re in the shade under bushes and trees.  Everything loves the river, and the green food growing along its banks. 

So with six sets of eyes, not too many other tourists around, and cameras and binoculars at the ready, we achieved another great day in the Park.  Toward the end of the day, we started getting a little blasé about elephants, giraffes, and monkeys.  Just give me a lion, leopard, or cheetah, please!

To see the rest of the photos we took today, click on Wednesday, July 2nd, Hippo Hollow, South Africa.  And to learn more about our adventure tomorrow in Swaziland, check out the Google Engine Map of our trip.

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