Friday, 16 November 2012

Hwange National Park

445am wake up call. Sigh

Well. Woke up to a depressing site. 
The elephant that we had pulled out yesterday was dead. 

Hyenas came during the night (Gavin and Jason heard them yipping all night) and ate the small elephant while he was still alive. It was pretty hard for everyone to take. Ya, it is natural seleciton, but when everyone worked so hard to get this guy out of the mud, we gave him a better change to live then just leaving him for dead in the mud. . . 
Not cool. Poor guy just gave up and decided death was the only option. Super bummer. 

And then, during breakfast.. We saw two more small elephants get trapped in the mud! 
Geezz! This watering hole is a death trap :( 

But at 6am we set out for over 6 hours around the Hwange National Park. 
Such huge differences in landscape everywhere we went. If you google "Hwange National Park" in Zimbabwe, it looks small(ish) but WOW, we drove for hours and barely covered 20km.

Zebras are SO gorgeous!

Julian moving these CRAZY sharp thorn branches out of the way. . .
Elephants eat these btw. . . yikes!

We saw giraffe, zebra, fresh water turtle, larger tortoise (that Jason saved form getting run over lol), lots of elephants, hippos, warthogs. . . Lol and I have TONNES of pictures to prove it. 

If you aren't careful about they way you hold them,
this tortoise is known to pee when its nervous LOL


We stopped and got out for a 2 hour walk in the wild. Now that is a crazy experience.
At ANY time we could come across a lion, elephant or some other animal.
But we are pretty thankful Julian has some STELLER experience and we felt pretty safe with him around!

Back at camp for lunch (which was amazing) we hung out for a couple hours and witnessed ANOTHER very small elephant get stuck in the mud. (the ones from the morning were pulled out by the camp staff)

So first, they had to shut off the water pump and get the whole herd of elephants to go elsewhere. 
The mother was very stressed and paced back and forth, so we had to go out and keep her away while they other guys worked ok getting the little one out 
We went out and chased her off while the other crew went in and hauled the little guys out.
And OMG it was so touching.

Big . . .

"the mother is coming! Get in the vehicle!"

Mama trying to catch up and get her baby!

The baby was motoring SO FAST that it took her a while to get him! SO TOUCHING!

The moment he was up, he staggered by the car and wanted to follow it!
The other car sped off and so did the little one! 
We came along side him to get his attention while mom charged her way toward us. 
Well haha, the little guy took off running while mom tried to catch up to him and get him by the tail. Lol to was SO CUTE!
Finally mom caught up and the little one was finally reunited!

From there, we went out again, this time much closer to camp. 
And right away we saw TONNES of giraffe, zebra and water buffalo. 
And elephant of course lol. 
The sunset was unreal

We stopped at a dry watering hole and had a beer while it got dark
Then traversing the terrain in the dark, we came across a Servo, Jackals, AND TWO LIONESSES!!!!!!
Omg omg omg. Poor Gavin was not cool with that. But we got closer and closer.
But the female lions cared not one bit for us. They stayed lying where they were. Lol
As we made out way back, we found some Bull Elephants had made a mess of the water pump! They tore down some of the poles and pipe. 
Bad bad!!

Dinner and drinks were amazing. 
We listened to the hyenas come in (probably to feed on the one baby elephant) and now I get to fall asleep to the soud of beetles falling ok my bed and hyenas feasting.  
Welcome to Africa hehehe

Our KICK ASS guide Julian

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