Drive 1:

First of the safari drives in Hwange was a magnificent, once-in-a-lifetime experience. We got across lots of game, including ellies, giraffes, a bunch of black-backed jackals, a couple of stunning birds… A variety of wildlife.

The most incredible moments, the absolute highlights of animal behaviour I have seen so far, were those with elephants. We were following a herd of them, about 20 animals in total, the biggest herd I have ever seen. They were crossing the road, on which our driver and guide stopped his vehicle, and there were calves present. They could not figure out what we were, and suddenly, without any communication between themselves that we could notice they became fully organised. There were a couple of huge, tusked animals facin us, keeping the babies behind them, to let them pass unharmed and shield them from any possible danger. Incredible spectacle, including waving their heads and trunks at us, mock charging… We were stunned with their well-thought, seemingly rehearsed a thousand times reaction. No photo will reproduce the moment, this diminishing of human beings faced with power with so much empathy, protectiveness and beauty.

Later on, we saw them passing the railway line, and again the young one was the centre of everyone’s attention, with all the animals focusing on the youngest in the group.

We also witnessed a jackal concert, which was triggered by our driver playing them his mp3. Very wonderful bush music, to be honest, and I am sincere in that.

We’ve also seen some of my personal favourites, giraffes. I can never get tired of these! And that tree on the picture was marvellous.

 

Further in Hwange, day 2:

In the morning we were taken on a drive, which mainly consisted of some bird-viewing. As I am terrible in recognising birds, I will fix a nice post on birds alone, but for the time being, just a couple of photos, first of a very beautiful sunrise, than some birds. We have also seen some dwarf mongoose hunting around a hollow tree trunk.

After breakfast, we have been on a very nice drive, on which we were still shooting some birds (meaning photographs of course!) and met a whole herd of elephants at a muddy waterhole. We have also seen an elephant with enormous ivory, as everyone called it, really huge tusks. Additionally, I have been sunburnt as well. Not a very pleasant thing, to be honest, especially I was wearing a t-shirt.

We came for tea and a siesta and after that went out with another driver towards main camp way. We have found a bachelor herd of kudu, and a small group of zebra, two of which were interacting establishing dominance, which was very fascinating to see.

We went back for dinner and during pudding we have seen our pride of lions at the other side of the waterhole. Our guides asked us if we wanted to go and we were like ‘that’s a very stupid question!’ so we jumped onto the vehicles and we started looking for the pride. On the chase we had stuck one of the wheels in a huge hole and we jumped out to push it, which was very stupid indeed with lions roaming around, but we were later rewarded and we saw briefly the male and soon after one of the lionesses, not very good looking to be honest, slightly too thin and something was definitely wrong with her jaw. Anyway, it was a very good trip indeed, and quite unexpected!

After that, that is lion chase and missing our pudding, I spent quite some time on the terrace listening to a pair of lions mating very loudly and frequently, as the lions like to do it. Plus a couple of incredibly loud cicadas, that nearly made me deaf.

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