Safari: Day 2

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Firstly I’d like to apologize to those of you who actually read this for taking so long to get around to these posts. I’ve been exhausted, at Bonnaroo, and exhausted again. (I will save Bonnaroo for another day, and it’ll be easy because my camera died so I only have two pictures from the whole trip.) Now that my jet lag is finally over and I’m not passing out at 9:30 every night, I’m confident I’ll be able to churn the rest of my South Africa posts out, which is good, because I have a lot of ideas.
Anyway.

I like to think that shit got real during my second day on safari.
Need some proof? This is the first picture I took on the drive that day. This looks like it came straight out of The Lion King.

I felt the most incredible sense of wonder on the first morning I woke up to go on safari (I only went during the afternoon on my first day because we had to drive from Durban to Phinda). I was bundled up and looked like a ninja, and had amazingly woken up right before 5:00 A.M without feeling very tired. I don’t think this could ever be possible in or west of the time zone I reside in. Having jet lag was very good for me in the sense of waking up early.
Doesn’t this lens just make the most incredible difference?

After we set out and I got “Circle of Life” stuck in my head, our game driver took the group out to find some lions. Lions don’t really do much during after morning except sleep. That is, until it gets dark and the pride goes out to hunt. During the day prides chill out together and get into arguments sometimes (I have argument pictures, and I was convinced I was going to die).

After that, the lions started going to sleep, so we drove off and ran into a zeal of zebras (cool group name). Apparently zebras fart constantly… probably from all the grass. But I was told that when a zebra gets scared or is being chased by something, it farts and runs at the same time. Also they make zebra jerky. Those are my fun facts about zebras for you.

Our stop by the zebras was pretty short because the word on the street was that a cheetah and her cubs were eating an impala that she just caught.
Cheetahs are actually pretty low on the food chain because they’re small. Sure, they can run really quickly, but that takes a huge amount of energy and cheetahs can only run at high speeds for short distances. Cheetahs are different from other big cats (well, lions and leopards for certain) in that they refuse to scavenge. They kill everything they eat themselves.
Glory and cuteness spam coming up, guys.

LOOK HOW ADORABLE THEY ARE. I MEAN REALLY.

After sitting in the jeep and ogling over the cheetahs for about 45 minutes, there was a radio transmission saying one black rhino and one white rhino were nearby. This is the white rhino. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I did triple-check.

After that, we went back to where we were staying. The better things happen during the morning and around sunset, so that’s when the drives are. Plus it gets hot.
Anyway, here are some big lion cubs being adorable. I have to work on this photo book for my dad now, so I’ll be back once I get that finished.

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Safari: Day 1

Gallery

My first day on safari was all about learning. Since I had never done anything like this before (I don’t know whether I should let the “safari” ride at Disney World count), I was obviously thrust into a realm of new experiences. I learned a little bit (not nearly as much as I did in the following days, trust me) about taking photos of animals, a lot about wind chill and how cold it gets outside after the sun starts going down (I guess this was more of a reiteration, but I really learned to appreciate the sun during my time in South Africa), how rapidly and drastically light can change, and about the practice of sundown, which is basically stopping the car for drinks (and a snack, which is much more important for me) and enjoying the sunset. Sundown is also an awesome opportunity to pee outside, and peeing outside is really fun. And I obviously learned about the animals I saw and what they liked, which led to what the game driver called “happy days.”

The most important things I learned on day one were that I should always bring my entire camera with me and it was really great that I didn’t sell my telephoto lens, because I finally had the perfect opportunity to use it. (Or at least what I felt was the perfect opportunity. In the past I’d only used it to spy on people, which probably wasn’t the best use for it even though I enjoyed it.) My photos from my next four days on safari are much better because I actually brought the telephoto lens with me. Hopefully these will still suffice for a post or impress somebody.

Scenery/making sure my camera settings were right

The gang

A nyala. I like to say “hey y’all” to them.

A cheetah and her big babies

Sundown

I took way more pictures over the next four days, so those posts will be much better. Especially since I used my telephoto lens. I promise.

By the way, does anybody know an easier way to upload photos on here? The mass uploader won’t work for me for some reason. The browser uploader is okay, but yeah, I’m uploading a lot of photos and I really don’t want to spend hours doing it. Would updating my safari browser make any differences? I feel like the way I’m going about uploading photos on here is a little archaic. Any advice would help me greatly – I’m a bit of a luddite, and computers really stump me, which is fantastic since I’m a journalism major.
Stay tuned for my later posts, because those pictures are so much better.