Thursday, 10 March 2011

Zimbabwe & The 'Big 5'

Another African nation joined our readership yesterday as Zimbabwe checked in. A warm welcome to our new readers and hope that you will pass the 'link' on to your friends and family, Thank You!

There are fond memories of this fine country from 1997 when I embarked on a 4 countries (Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana & Zimbabwe) trek to view the Victoria Falls and try for the 'Big 5'. However, the people of these regions were the most memorable part of the trip followed by the Falls, but only 3 out of the 5 mammals were seen on that occasion. All of this inspired me to dig these photos out of the album on a day when rain has prevented any 'birding'.

The phrase 'Big Five' was coined by white hunters and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. The term is still used in most tourist and wildlife guides that discuss African wildlife safaris, with the collection consisting of Lion, African Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Leopard and Rhinoceros. The members of the big five were chosen for the difficulty in hunting them and the degree of danger involved, rather than their size.

Starting at Kilimanjaro, Tanzania I remember adding 25 species to my World List before even leaving the airport.

Just one aspect of Victoria Falls as the Zambezi River

continues its course through the gorge of the same name.

From this view of the river and gorge the bridge (top left) that forms the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia can be seen.

A closer view, where even watching the 'bungee jumping' into the gorge was frightening. At the time this was the highest jump in the world.

Crossing the bridge into Zambia was the gateway to the Livingstone national Park.

Doctor Livingstone I presume?

The final destination of the trip was Chobe National Park in Botswana

where we encountered this bull Elephant in full 'musk'. As it started to charge our vehicle stalled causing more that a moment of concern!

The first 3 of the Big 5 were seen on this trip including

African Lion,

African Elephant and

White Rhinoceros, all 3 photos were taken in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.

The final 2

Cape Buffalo and

Leopard (which had to be 'digi-scoped') were eventually recorded on later trips.

Bearing in mind I have only been away a few days, all hell seems to have broken out in Weymouth during my absence. Firstly, there has been an armed robbery at our local Post Office, then this link, sent to me by my dear friend Roy Henderson, highlights another felony in the town.

Also among quite a number of e-mails was this amazing picture from the Daily Express, sent by Andy Lindsay which may need a 'right click' to magnify it to make the text readable.

There were other friends who have sent photographs, but I will save them until tomorrow -
Watch This Space!