28 October 2009

Hyena Sunrise...(Kruger NP, South Africa): October 7, 2009

Just after the sun came up we were in the van and patrolling around the Skukuza area of Kruger NP, with one thing in mind, find some big game. No sooner had we left the camp when we were met with the sight of a couple of cars stopped at odd angles on the road, like something had caused them to stop suddenly. A quick glance on the side of the road and all became clear: a family “mob” of Spotted Hyenas were playing and wrestling with each other on the roadside just yards away from the thrilled people in their cars. We just had to get involved. We slowly edged our way up to the pack, wound down the windows and let rip with the cameras. The hyenas were completely untroubled by the admiring groups of us staring at them, with some of the younger animals even showing equal fascination towards us, at one time sidling up nonchalantly to the vehicles and sniffing their tires! What a way to start our full day in Kruger. You’d think it would all be downhill from there, although there was plenty more to come. Before breakfast we also packed in an encounter with a pair of beastly White Rhinos too, (their flat-bottomed upper lips identifying them from the pointed lipped Black Rhinos that also patrol this park).

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