S: Namibia, Africa 2012
BC: DEPARTED | AFRICA | 9 JUL 2012
1: Namibia | Namibia | ARRIVED 28 June 2012 | Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. | Windhoek | Frankfurt | Anchorage
2: After a lifetime of dreaming.......we finally make it to Africa! We bid and won on a safari for one hunter plus an observer to Namibia at the SCI convention. Patti took the bid at $700. (It did not include airfare, but did include 5 days and $1000.00 in trophy fees.) We made the air travel arrangements ourselves.
3: I bought my cuckoo clock at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. | We get to meet Jim Shockey's daughter at the airport in Windhoek, Namibia
4: Nikko's Place | was our first safari location. He owns 42,000 acres which butt up against the Kalahari desert. Animals come from all over in the dry season to drink at Nikko's watering holes. This makes it an ideal hunting spot, especially for Hartmanns Zebra which is why we went there.
8: Three foot high grass makes for good cover as the hunters look for game on the hillside.
10: Acacia Erioloba | is also commonly known as the Camel Thorn. It is a thorn acacia native to the drier parts of South Africa. Its preference for deep and sandy soils makes the western areas of Zimbabwe and Namibia ideal. The tree can grow up to 55 feet high. Giraffes commonly graze on the hard to reach leaves. Their tongues and lips are engineered to cope with the vicious thorns. Plus, the long necks of the giraffes put them in the best position to make use of the leaves at the top of the tree. The seed pods resemble camel foot prints. The pods are rich in nutrients and are favored by a large number of herbivores including cattle and goats. The wood is dark reddish brown in color and extremely dense and strong. it is slow growing, very hardy to drought, and fairly frost resistant. The wood is a great fuel for fires. We had morning fires with breakfast in the fireplace in the main house. We had evening fires in the outdoor fireplace as well as the fire pit. It was very cozy and warm. According to legend, lightning will strike the Camel Thorn tree more readily than other trees.
11: Most of the trees we saw in Namibia seemed to have the word "thorn" in their name. For example :"Camel thorn", "Monkey thorn", and "Black thorn". When you look at the foliage, there is little wonder why they are named as such. Prickly and sharp, these thorns deserve some respect. I did happen to get my hair tangled in the thorns while walking through the bush, among other things.
12: Namibia | Nikko's Place | 29 June 2012
13: The Mountain Zebra is the most uniquely patterned zebra.The black and white stripes are pure where the plains zebra has shadow stripes. The herring bone pattern down its back is what distinguishes it as the Hartmanns Zebra.
14: African Sunsets
17: Bennie's Place | WE GET UP at 4:00am and say goodbye to Nikko, Ranell, Magnus, and Alerne'. Along the way we see porcupine and kudu. We drive four hours to Windhoek and continue on to Grootfontein. Bennie's place is an additional 30 minutes drive. We are on the road until 2:00pm. After a reprise, we go out hunting again. Bennie owns approximately 35,000 acres of plains land. He has various fences and gates which divide his property. I am amazed at the different types of sand and fill up 4 different bottles to take home. He has white sand, tan sand, and red sand. some of the sand looks almost like pepper. We are very tired at the end of the day and gladly collapse into bed.
18: Bennie's Place | NAMIBIA | Hi Bacon!
19: GIRAFFES are the world's tallest mammals, thanks to their towering legs and long necks. A giraffe's legs alone are taller than many humans—about 6 feet (1.8 meters). These long legs allow giraffes to run as fast as 35 miles (56 kilometers) an hour over short distances and cruise comfortably at 10 miles (16 kilometers) an hour over longer distances. | Hullo Kit-Kat!
21: Our trip has been amazing!! We loved the experience at Nikko's place and have found the terrain at Bennie's to be so different. The flat plains aren't as easy to trek across as you might think. Thorn bushes and trees truly make it the "bush". Ardvaark holes range from a few inches to few feet in depth. The wind was very still and the animals were spooked at each little sound. Plus the moon was ripening and they were more apt to be out at night and sleeping during the day. We still had 8 more days to go.
22: Africa has 54 sovereign countries—the most on any continent—and is the second largest continent in terms of both land area and population. Africa is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, by the Red Sea to the northeast, and by the Indian Ocean to the southeast. Africa is a vast continent spanning over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 mi) north-south and 7,500 kilometers (4,800 mi) east-west (not including islands) and contains a wide array of peoples, skin colors, religions, and cultures. Africa contains the world's longest river—the 6,650 km-long (4,100+ mi) Nile River running from Burundi to Egypt—while the Congo River in the DRC is the second largest in terms of discharge as well as the deepest with a depth of over 230 m (750 ft) in some spots. | AFRICA
24: NAMIBIA is in Southern Africa, bordering South Africa, Botswana, Angola, Zambia and the Atlantic Ocean. Formerly a colony of Germany, Namibia was administered by South Africa under a League of Nations mandate after WWI, and annexed as a province of South Africa after WWII. The South-West African People's Organization (SWAPO) launched a guerrilla war for independence in 1966, but did not gain independence until 1990. Namibia boasts remarkable natural attractions such as the Namib desert, the Fish River Canyon Park, Etosha National Park and the Kalahari desert. Its people speak nine different languages, including some of the Khoisan languages which include the 'clicks' that present an enigma to most native English-speakers. Namibia produces some of the world's highest quality diamonds.
27: Southern Cross | At night the dark skies Grow a legion of blinking eyes. And the white moon on cue Welcomes the comforting chilly dew AFRICAN HARMATHAN
28: The blue wildebeest is sometimes called the brindled gnu. The blue wildebeest and black wildebeest or white-tailed gnu (C. gnou) are the two species of the genus Connochaetes, within the family Bovidae, which includes antelopes, cattle, goats, and other n-toed horned herbivores. | BLUE GNU
30: Blind Date
31: We saw warthogs from the blind, but none were big enough for a trophy. John did get his Kudu Bull though - and what a beautiful animal it is.
32: Bennie told us that the reason Kudu don't get their horns caught in the bush or tree branches is because they have a direct line of site through their horn to the tip. They always know where the tip of their horns are by simply looking through the loops. | Kudu
34: gemsbok | Gemsbok are light brownish-grey to tan in colour, with lighter patches toward the bottom rear of the rump. Their tails are long and black in colour. A blackish stripe extends from the chin down the lower edge of the neck, through the juncture of the shoulder and leg along the lower flank of each side to the blackish section of the rear leg. They have muscular necks and shoulders and their legs have white 'socks' with a black patch on the front of both the front legs and both genders have long straight horns. Comparably, the East African Oryx lacks a dark patch at the base of the tail, has less blackish on the legs (none on the hindlegs), and less blackish on the lower flanks. | Gemsbok are the largest species in the Oryx genus. They stand about 1.2 m (3.9 ft) at the shoulder. The body length can vary from 190 to 240 cm (75 to 94 in) and the tail measures 45 to 90 cm (18 to 35 in). Male Gemsbok can weigh between 220–300 kg (490–660 lb) while females weigh 100–210 kg (220–460lb).
37: Steenbok are petite antelope, with long legs and an upright stance. The coat is a light golden-brown color, although there is some variation among individuals with some being quite reddish and others more gray. The undersides are white. Steenbok have few distinctive markings: the large eyes are ringed by a fine circle of white hairs, and there is a slender black triangle which starts at the nose and tapers upwards. The ears are extremely large. The horns, found only in males, are straight, sharp, and very upright. They will grow 7-19 cm long.
39: J ACKAL
41: To Recap : John was successful in his hunt. He got (in order) a mountain zebra, Blue Gnu, Kudu, Gemsbok, Steenbok, and jackal. Patti was successful too. She got her cuckoo clock. She also saw a snake and did not get bitten by it.
45: The gods must be crazy Part 3...?
48: Farewell Africa... until next time....