For kids that love to learn
For kids that love to learn
Hi kids. Here is another adventure story for kids that love to learn. I learned a lot in my travels and now I would like to share those experiences with you. That’s me in the picture above and below is one of my stories.
On Safari with Jungle Gene
After Jungle Gene visited friends Joni and Anthony in Cape Town, then went bungy jumping and bridge swinging (see previous South
Africa story) we flew to Johannesburg, caught the City Bug Mini-bus to drive to Nespruit. From there, Craig, our guide with Nkomazi Safaris (www.nkomazisafaris.co.za), took us to stay at Grand Kruger Lodge (www.grandkrugerlodge.co.za/).
our comfortable bungalow
our spacious porch
We're pretty sure we didn't read about the snakes in the tour guide, but it may have been in the extra fine print.
This guy above is a wart-hog, the preferred food of leopards. They like to live under the bungalow porches be- cause they know leopards are afraid of man - well, not all leopards. Craig told us two weeks before we got there a leopard killed a wart-hog under a porch and made a horrific sound.
Our guides were very knowledgeable and had keen eyesight. We saw herds of animals as well as individuals in the grasses. We also saw other animals, in- cluding crocodiles, but we didn't get photos of all animals.
Above is the King of the beasts - the lion. We also saw a female lion that looked wounded. Perhaps she was gored by a cape buffalo when she tried to kill it. At the left is a mon- key and her baby. We saw many monkeys with their babies clinging to them.
Above is an African elephant which can be distinguished from an Indian elephant by its large ears - shaped like the African continent, and rounded back.
On the right, are giraffes. That dark colored giraffe is a male, the other a female.
In addition to the day Kruger Park trips, we scheduled a sunset drive. We saw great herds of animals then. Below, we see one of the many herds of animals sometimes mixed with other herds - in this case zebras and bucks.
We saw so many animals it was hard to keep track of the names of all of them. Perhaps you can name them.
Did you know that there are five living species of rhino? The two African spe- cies are the White Rhinoceros and the Black Rhinoceros. The main difference between black and white rhinos is not their color - it’s the shape of their mouths. White rhinos have broad flat lips for grazing on grass and black rhinos have long pointed lips for browsing on bushes. The name White Rhinoceros was actually a cor- ruption of the word wijd (wide in Afrikaans) because of their square lips. These bad boys can weigh as much as 8,000 pounds and can live up to 35 years in the wild. Though rhinos are dangerous, the hippo is the most dangerous African animal.
The hippo is extremely aggressive, un- predictable and unafraid of humans, upsetting boats sometimes without provocation and chomping the occu- pants with its huge canine teeth and sharp incisors. Most human deaths oc- cur when the victim gets between the hippo and deep water or between a mother and her calf. The hippo spends much of the day in the water but doesn’t eat until its on land in the eve- ning. The name hippopotamus literally means "river horse" from the Greek (hippos=horse and potamus=river).
Zebras are black or dark animals with white stripes and their bellies have a large white blotch. The stripes act as a camouflage mechanism. The vertical striping helps the zebra hide in grass. At first that seems silly considering that grass is neither white nor black, but it is supposed to be effective against the zebra's main predator, the lion, which is color blind. A zebra standing still in tall grass may not be noticed at all by a lion. Additionally, since zebras are herd animals, the stripes may help to con- fuse predators - a number of zebras standing or moving close together may appear as one large animal, making it more difficult for the lion to pick out any single zebra to attack.
That yellowish bird is a weaver. When- ever someone would leave a lunch table, these birds would swoop in to clean up the left-overs.
Do you know what bio fuels are? Our guide taught us about bio fuels. The price of sugarcane has gone up since it was identified as a source for bio fuels. As a result, much of it is grown around Kruger Park. Unfortunately, sugarcane fields attract many rodents, which in turn, attract many poisonous snakes, which in turn take a toll on human life. The fields also require huge amounts of water, which is pumped from rivers, which lowers water tables, which concentrates crocodile populations, which eat more people.
We were told, beforehand, that December is NOT the best time to come on safari as the temperatures can be very hot and all the new green foliage may hide the animals. To make a long story short, we had hundreds of wildlife photos, as wildlife were easy to see. We also had perfect weather.
On the left is Stanley who worked at Kruger Lodge. Stanley is Zulu. One day we were talking and I told Stanley I have traveled in 40 countries. He said, "We should call you Sizwe (pronounced seas-way). It means one who visits many nations.
1. What is the difference between a White and a Black Rhino? (Hint - it isn’t the color)
2. Are zebras dark with white stripes or white with dark stripes?
3. Are male giraffes darker or lighter than female giraffes?
4. Why was it hot in December at Kruger Park? December is always cool here in the USA.
5. Which is the most dangerous African animal?
6. What time of day are animals most likely to be seen eat- ing?
7. Can you find Kruger National Park on this map of South Africa?