Saturday, May 17, 2008

From Mala Mala

Mala Mala lives up to its reputation of having the best game viewing in South Africa. This morning we saw 2 lion prides with cubs ranging from 2 - 11 months old and also the huge Roller Coaster male, who runs both prides, the Styx and the Eyrefield. Last afternoon, right before sunset we encountered about 300 Cape Buffalo going down to the Sand River to drink. It was an amazing scene that needs to be seen in person to appreciate it. We encountered Leopards too, but cheetah are best seen at Phinda. There we saw a mother with two tiny cubs.
Lukimbi is located in the southern part of Kruger NP. We flew from Phinda to there. The lodge is situated on the Crocodile River on a large concession with excellent game viewing, but nothing can compare to Sabi Sands with all the relaxed animals there.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Travelling in Namibia

I have now been travelling in Namibia for a week and I can report how beautiful this country is. It's a geologist's dream for sure. The wilderness is being preserved here and it's not very populated due to the dry /harsh conditions for survival. The Himba people still do live in their ancient tradition and a visit to a village is unforgettable. The landscapes and scenery cannot be described. You will see ancient lakebeds called (salt)pans, magnificient sand dunes with colors from white to deep reds and many different shapes and hights. Except for Mali, this is the only place to see the desert elephants. They are smaller that the African ellies, with longer legs and trunks as they have to travel long distances to find water and reach high for something to eat. There are only about 300 left, but in Namibia they are well protected now. I was fortunate to see them 3 times and with two very tiny babies still fitting under their mommies' tummies. Also the springbok, black-faced impala and the gemsbok aka oryx. The waterholes aEtosha National Park are very busy and full of life.

The way to do this type of safari is to take a flying safari so you can see the contrasts from the air. You will see the pans, the mountains laying flat down from geological uplifts and the shifting sand dunes of course. They got 200 mililiters of rain this season compared to a normal 80, so the green contrasts are stunning. What an amazing experience! I wish I could publish pictures here right now, but I'm at an internet cafe, so it's not possible.

I'm on my way shortly to Phinda and Kruger National Park after the Indaba conference in Durban. I hope to have access soon again to post more.