Sunday, January 19, 2014

Safari at Ruaha National Park

We spent two days at the Ruaha National Park, which is famous for its elephant population. We saw elephants, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, red-helmeted guinea fowl, lions, baboons, cheetahs, ostriches, zebras, and more!
We spent two days at the Ruaha National Park, which is famous for its elephant population.

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We stayed at the Mwagusi camp in the lap of luxury. It was a stark contrast to the time we spent in our villages.

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We were guided by experts in the plants and animals of the park.

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We saw elephants, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, red-helmeted guinea fowl, lions, baboons, cheetahs, ostriches, zebras, and more!

This is the red-helmeted guinea fowl, the best bird ever. It is similar to the chicken and is eaten by villagers in some areas. They run in front of the vehicle and don't think to go off to the side. They look very flat head-on.

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These are two of the seven cheetahs that we spotted (puns, man) during our stay. The guides were so excited to see these rare animals that they raced through the wilderness to not lose their trail. It was amazing how the guides were able to see the cheetahs from such a far distance.

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We learned that hippos projectile poop. It was smelly. They spend the day in this soiled water keeping their translucent skin safe from the sun. At night they walk over to their water source and eat and drink.

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This is the female greater kudu. The male has huge horns.

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These are impala, a type of gazelle. They live in three different groups: all female, single males, and a female heard with one male. The males fight each other to get be able to herd with the females. They do silly jumps.

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The jackal looks surprisingly cute. We saw him looking for scraps after the lions had their fill of a giraffe carcass. Vultures were in the mix too.

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We waited for an hour watching a group of five lions stalk this herd of ostriches. They slowly creeping in and got closer. Every once in a while a lion would give up their position, walking right by the ostriches to have them look in a certain direction, so other lions could sneak closer. In the end, the ostriches ran off unscathed.

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The kingfisher shown here is one of many beautiful birds we saw and heard at the safari.

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