Robin's Adventures

Expedition to Africa
Safari Adventures

Game Drive Video

Animal Observations

It was fun to just sit and watch the animals as they interacted with each other and with their environment. Somehow, observing the animals never got old.

The zebra that we saw were in small groups instead of big herds, but they are very social animals and their interactions are fun to see.

We enjoyed the slow graceful movements of the giraffe and the lumbering deliberate motions of the elephants. We saw only a few wildebeest while at Stanley's Camp and then no others for the rest of our stay in Africa. Most had already migrated to other areas.

More Animals

Baboons are great at teamwork. Often one will go up into a tree and throw down fruit to the others. If a predator approached, a warning call would be made and the whole group would move out together. Often the impala would hang out near the baboons because the baboons could see predators from a greater distance due to their vantage point in the trees. When the warning cry sounded, the impala would also begin to move out.

The lions were very active near the camp during our second night and we could hear them roaring throughout most of the evening. On our game drive the next morning we spotted two males who were very active.

We saw large herds of Cape Buffalo enjoying the grassy plains and warthogs were also scurrying about. It is somewhat comical to see the warthogs get down on their front knees when they eat and hold their tail straight up in the air when they run.

Prowling Lions

Elegant Elephants

A unique opportunity to see some elephants up close proved to be a fascinating experience. We met two biologists who have lived with three different elephants for more than twenty years. The elephants are not domesticated pets, but rather were animals that were rescued in the wild and have bonded with these biologists. The elephants are still free to leave at any time and apparently they do so periodically.

The biologists provided a wealth of information about the biology and behavior of these amazing animals and gave us a wonderful opportunity to interact with them.

Elephant Anatomy

The trunk is an elephant's most important appendage. Biologists estimate that the trunk has about 100,000 muscles and tendons. The finger-like projections at the tip of the trunk allow the elephant the dexterity to pick up a single leaf or a small berry. They have a great sense of smell and can even smell water sources up to 12 miles away. When they drink, they pick up about 3 1/2 gallons of water with their trunk and then they pour it into their mouth.

There are lots of folds and wrinkles in the skin that help the elephant trap moisture so they can keep cool. The large ears, which have extensive blood vessel networks, are also used as a cooling mechanism for the elephant.

Elephants have 26 teeth, including their tusks. Each molar is about the size of a brick and new molars replace worn down ones six times during the life of an elephant.

Elephant Interactions

During the course of the morning, as the elephants became more comfortable hanging out with us, we had various opportunities to interact with them. We could feel the thick skin on their body and compare it to the thinner smooth skin behind their ears. We could touch their feet and feel their rough well used tusks.

The elephants also were curious and wanted to touch us with their trunks. Before we said our good byes, we each got a very moist elephant kiss.

More Elephant Interactions

We spent the whole morning with the elephants and when they stopped for a lunch break, so did we. A table was set up under the trees and a wonderful buffet was laid out. Then, of course, the elephants kindly posed for photos.

Elephant Encounter Video

Beautiful Birds

There are over 400 species of birds in the Okavango Delta. Most are very different than the birds we normally see at home so they proved to be quite interesting to us. We managed to get pictures of the Lilac Breasted Roller, the Greater Blue-Eared Starling, the Blacksmith Plover, the Yellow-Beaked Hornbill, the Brown-Hooded Kingfisher, and the Coppery Tailed Coucal.