Saturday, October 3, 2009

"You have not because you asked not"

One of my life verses now! Of course, I had prayed about our trip - for God's favor on travel and all we would see - that He would show us his most amazing creations. The first camp we saw lion paw prints but no lions. The second camp was more of a "nature camp" so no lions. Chamu, our trip leader, had told us of all the poaching in Africa - rhinos are practically extinct. Male lions are being killed (the lion population is low because when a male is killed, the new male who takes over has to kill all the cubs to insure the female's loyalty to him. Females produce 4-6 cubs every two years, so if would take a long time to recover) Anyway, everyone was talking about lions, especially us, so one day in the second camp, Chamu asked me "If you don't see any lions, will it still be a great trip?" I said "No. It will be a good trip but not a great trip." We had already seen several animals who are endangered and seldom seen, specifically wild dogs that are extremely rare to see but I told Chamu that, right or wrong, Americans equate Africa with lions and if I went home and said I had not seen lions, everyone would be shocked. Well, obviously later we saw lions and a good many of them.

However, the point of all this is that after two camps without lions, I began really praying that God would show us His lions. I then added leopards (which are also very rare to see as they travel alone and are hard to spot). THEN, praying "you have not because you ask not", I asked to see a Rhino!!

In our last camp, we started the morning drive out spotting a female lion under a tree. She walked into the bush and the guide said there was a male there too but all we could see were ears and a tail now and then. You have to have your eyes closed on safari if you don't want to see elephants and cape buffalo - they are everywhere!!! Leopards and Rhinos complete the Big Five (leopard, rhino, lion, buffalo and elephant) Some travelers see all five, some don't. So, on our afternoon game drive, our guide gets a transmission that a leopard has been spotted in a tree but he is very far away (several kilometers) so we are told to "hold on tight" (realize we are in an open land rover on rough, sandy roads). Off we fly - sometimes at 40K on roads meant for 10-20K. We found the leopard sitting on a large branch, out in the open, just posing for us. He was beautiful!!!

After about 20 minutes, he climbed down. We then drove off for our "Sundowner" where we "say goodbye" to the sun. On the way, another transmission came in saying a rhino was in our camp!!! So we u-turned and sped off again over the same tracks racing back to camp. By the time we got there it was dark. The guides followed the rhino's tracks and using night spotlights found the rhino. Using the lights and binoculars everyone was able to see the rhino!! No pictures of course :-(

When we got back to camp for dinner, it hit us that we had seen the Big Five - all in one day!!!! Our guide said that had happened to him only three times in eight years!!!

We indeed serve a Mighty God!!!


See the next post for a description of these "action shots"

Here she comes

She coming my way?



Here she comes again.

Uh oh! Elephants. Think I'll just go over here.

Back to the bush


Getting out of Dodge

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Here We are Again

Well, who would think that a town as big as Victoria Falls would have interent problems for three days? But then again, we are in Africa. Apparently the town also had electrical outages. At least the hotel had generators. Since my last post we have had three days of great experiences. Will post about one of them in another post but on one day we discovered a female with a male lying nearby. They were in the mating season and apparently mate every 15 minutes for several days. Seriously! Anyway as we sat there the female got up and went and "flirted"" with the male. Finally the male got up and mated with her. We were right there - probably 30 feet away. Obviously got great pictures. But of course, I forgot I had video on my camera. *Sigh* Anyway the funniest thing was their reactions after the 20 second mating. Pictures will follow.17 minutes later they were starting again but elephants came along and chased (yes, chased) the male lion off. Amazing!!! Well, the next post will have to wait because apparently we are boarding our plane very early. Not sure what's up with that. It's 8:25 and the flight is to leave at 9:20 so they are loading us. Guess I should say we are in Johannesburg headed for London and then on to DFW tomorrow.