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We had the wonderful opportunity this weekend to visit one of the Big 5 (forgive the pun) of tourist attractions in South Africa! Since I was a small girl my parents took us to the Kruger National Park and now we do this with the boys! Enjoy the animals with us!

The elephant is my favourite wild animal in the park. They are huge, but move so quietly that you can't hear a thing.

We were so fortunate to spot this breeding herd. Look at the baby... his mother is very protective and they will act rather aggresive when they have small babies. They must have been thirsty, because it seemed as if they were in a hurry to cross the road and get to the river.

One of the most dangerous animals in Africa - the Buffalo. We came across a very, very large herd.

I promise it is there! A leopard. One of the most amazing things in the animal kingdom is their ability to melt into their environment.

Another very dangerous animal. The hippo's skin produces a kind of "wax" to protect its skin from the harsh sun.

I took so many photo's, especially of elephants, but decided to post this one as well, to show how big they are in relation to the vehicle.

One of my most special memories will always be the times we had a picnic in the Kruger Park. Breakfast is a big affair with bacon, eggs, bread, fruit and coffee! This is the Timbavati picnic spot and when we stopped there people warned us that they spotted a lioness and her cubs about 100m from the spot. There are no fences, so we were a bit more alert!

The tallest animal... the giraffe has a looong neck, but also a very long blueish tongue to reach the delicate new green leafs in the tree tops. Often they eat leafs from trees with big thorns!

Now these two had a quarrel over a marula or another fruit. Look at that body language!

King of the animals! These lions caught a buffalo the previous night. The males eat and when they finished and had enough the females and cubs move in. Look at those yellow eyes!

They are nicknamed "pajama donkeys." They have stripes to confuse their predators in a chase while hunting.

Had to look twice? Excellent camouflage! Its a small owl called the Scops owl. This was taken in a tree in the Satara Camp where we stayed.

Crocodile!

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Comment by Pam/NY on May 27, 2011 at 7:34pm
Lanie, thank you for taking us on your trip!
Comment by Billie Blakeney on May 27, 2011 at 6:25pm
I get a lot of travel brochures featuring various exotic places; one of them being Africa and several specific areas. It's on my radar to someday go there and enjoy the continent and all its pleasures. Thanks for giving us a personal tour. It's gonna be a 'go' for me someday. :-)
Comment by Terry F on October 21, 2010 at 3:58pm
Wonderful pictures,Lani. Thank you so much for sharing them!
Comment by Lanie Crewe on October 20, 2010 at 9:53pm
Gaile, I am glad you enjoyed the blog. I am also glad for the wonderful work Katie does in Uganda. Uganda is very far away though...we also have an orphanage here and our church works there, but most of the children still have parents. Due to various reasons the parents can't take care of the children. It's very sad, because often it is because the parents don't want their own children. Linda, what a wonderful experience it must have been for you! The African elephant is a lot bigger than the Asian elephant. The tigers always amazes me too! We've been to an elephant sanctuary a few years ago and we were able to touch them and feed them. It is a very humbling experience!
Comment by Linda Hughes on October 20, 2010 at 7:09pm
Fantastic!!!
Comment by Linda Bodkin, ON on October 20, 2010 at 3:21pm
I don't suppose I'll get to Africa now, but I did have a chance to ride an elephant in Thailand! I also had an "elephant massage my back (it just placed its foot on my back VERY gently!). We also visited the Sanctuary where the monks train the tigers, and a friend was OVER THE MOON to sit with one (they were pretty dopey since it was in the middle of the day!)
Comment by Gaile Jenkins Northern BC on October 20, 2010 at 11:58am
Wonderful pictures and narrative, Thanks. What an interesting country - I would love to see it. I will have to go look at a map and see if you are anywhere close to where a young girl from here has been funding and working at an orphanage. Katie guarantees and gives statements to show that all monies donated go to the children or to make improvements to their well being, she has been so dedicated and done such a wonderful job, Katie loves the people and the country.
(Hope Africa is an orphanage located in Kabale, Uganda. There are 50 children ranging in age from 3-19 years. Sponsoring a child gives them, a place to live, 3 meals a day, clothes, education and access to health care.)
HOPE AFRICA on face book and http://kstreeper.blog.ca/
Comment by Dorothy I. Dishman on October 20, 2010 at 11:49am
thanks for sharing your wonderful photos.
Comment by Lanie Crewe on October 20, 2010 at 7:45am
Thank you for your kind comments. Please note that some of the credit must be given to my hubby as he took some of the photo's! BJ, a marula is a small fruit. It grows on a medium sized tree and has a strong, distinctive flavour and succulent flesh. It grows in the warmer parts of our country and elephants, baboons etc love to eat it. It is also locally used to make an alcoholic drink. We've seen a video once about baboons who ate fermented marulas and they became drunk! Yes Pam, elephants are gentle giants but can be very dangerous as well. They are extremely intelligent and have a very strong hierarchy.
Comment by Carol Ann Hinton on October 20, 2010 at 7:40am
What great photos! The close-up of the owl is wonderful. Personally, I like my animals SMALL. The Sacramento Zoo is known for is small cat breeding program (ocelots, etc.).

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