Friday, July 3, 2009

Day 26, Zambia, Africa

We have landed in Zambia…..and our canoeing safari along the mighty 3 450 km long Zambezi River, the fourth-longest river in Africa, awaits….

oooh, what a relaxing way to explore the wildlife and stunning landscapes as this area of the Zambezi is flanked on either side by National Parks full of wildlife.

What is that sound??? Aaah, its the ubiquitous cry of the Fish Eagle......

Oh, look another of the Big 5! A Rhinoceros!
Marti wants to know the difference between a black and white rhino ...
Well, there is no colour difference between the two rhinos. The Dutch people named the white rhino the "Weid mond rhino", meaning “Wide-mouth rhino”. The English thought they were saying "white", so it was all just a misinterpretation of the name!!

Black Rhino (Hooked-lip Rhino)

•Smaller than the white rhino. A large bull weighs around 1000 kg.
•They have a rather small hooked shaped mouth for feeding on trees an d shrubs.
•The black rhinos' natural head posture is face upward, so there is no need for it to lift its' head when feeding off trees.
•Black rhino are often found in thick vegetation which is possibly the reason why the female will often run in front of her calf to clear a pathway.
•The black rhino is short tempered and extremely aggressive compared to the white rhino.
•They are very solitary and seldom join up with other individuals.

White Rhino (Broad-mouthed Rhino)

•Larger than black rhino. Large bulls reaching weights of 2500 kg.
•They have a very broad flat mouth which aids in feeding off large quantities of grass.
•A white rhinos' natural head posture faces downward so its' mouth is always close to the ground while grazing.
•They have a very distinct hump above the shoulders as well as a very prominent fold of skin at the lower parts of the shoulders.
•Being a very social animals it is not uncommon to see 10 o r 15 white rhinos moving together and sometime more.
•White rhino are normally found in very open areas such as plains.
•The calf normally runs in front of its mother, with the mother using her horn to direct the calf by tapping it on the rear.

Even though the white rhino is less aggressive, there are still more incidents of them attacking people as they have a higher population and thus regular encounters with people, so we are glad that we are able to view then from the comfort of our canoes.

Possible reasons why the Black Rhino faces extinction:

They are killed for their horns by hunters. Why ? Because the horn contains keratin that is used in medicines.

They also have very poor eye sight, and get alarmed quite easily thus bumping into trees and colliding with rocks - which results in their deaths :-(( .

Nopi, is that a Crawshay's zebra?? I couldn’t see it clearly….Was it a Burchell's zebra …. the zebra ran away so quickly!!
The Crawshay completely lacks the brown shadow-stripe that Burchell's zebra have between their black stripes.

The river guides are taking us down remote channels ….Oh, Sita, you are so fortunate....there is a herd of elephants.....

This canoeing idea is great ….we are simply floating down the river at our leisure since the current is strong enough to take us easily down the river with little effort.

We are hoping to see a variety of animals as wildlife congregate around the precious water source...the Cheetah is waiting for his lunch to arrive....

Numerous antelope species and baboons are also sighted…

Yippee, we see another of the Big 5 animals....the Buffalo

Two lionneses against the backrop of the African, what a wonderful day it has been...

Hmm, I wonder how the guys coped with their trek up Mt Kilimanjaro today. I am told that the path that they took is the most gruelling.......

1 comment:

Marti_k said...

Great safari trip, thanks Sandy :)