Saturday, 26 February 2011

A lot of life!

Today is my first live post! I'm in the Karoo National Park just outside of Beaufort West. It's a 450 odd kilometer drive from Cape Town. 8 lions from Addo were recently introduced into the park, and as I know the lions relatively well, I am here hoping to see my old friends...

The park is huge and dry. On all sides, one is surrounded by large mountains, topped off with rocky ridges. I call them sleeping dragons. To me they have always resembled a huge beast, with a spine along it's back, and I can only believe that they are dragons from an age long past, waiting until it's their time to fly again. I could be wrong though...

This is the first time I have visited the park in it's own right. Usually it is purely a comfortable stop over on the way back from another trip. As such, I am amazed at the bird life which is all around! When we left our chalet just before sunrise, we were accompanied with an almost deafening chorus of bird calls. All sorts of larks and weavers grace the area with their presence.

We were also fortunate enough to see an aardwolf returning from his evenings foraging. Being nocturnal, they are rare to see, and also very special. They feed mainly on insects, yet are actually a small relative of the hyena, which is quite clear where you view one. Seeing creatures such as the aardwolf, and hearing the morning chorus while watching the red sun rise over the horizon are just a few of the reasons to wake up early when in the parks. If you don't, you miss out on the best time of day. Just remember to pack the coffee! Another point to remember is that cats are often more active in the early mornings and late evenings, when it's not too hot. That said, the closest we got to our lions was a few tracks in a dusty river bed. At least we know they are around!

I also saw my first Verreauxs Eagle, soaring high above the rocky mountains. They are magnificent birds. The park is one of the areas where they breed and as such quite a few pairs are permanently resident here.

Golden Grass at last light

I'm off to the hide now, to watch the Red Bishops and Weaver Birds building their nests. I'll keep you updated! Please feel free to ask any questions!

1 comment:

  1. You are officially way too talented to be doing anything other than take wildlife photos for the rest of your life. Sorry.

    Seriously though, wow!

    Inspiring stuff.