Ruth, with our friend Andrei at the Orheiul Vechi Historical Complex at Trebujeni, Moldova. Photo taken December 2, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Hiking with the Oryx!

We went for a 7 km (4.5 mile) hike yesterday morning. We were a little late leaving and it gets hot fairly early in the day. We could have turned around early, but we decided we could do the whole route.

Besides, when you're hiking with the oryx, the wildebeest, the ostriches, and the springbok it's pretty interesting!

At first, the scenery was nothing special.

Kevin, hiking in the Kalahari Desert.

But eventually, we saw some animals. Although these are hiking trails, we honestly don't think they get used as such very often. Most of the time they are safari type vehicles on these trails and we think the animals are a little more used to the vehicles than they are when people are hiking.

A herd of oryx. All looking at us. They're thinking "do I run, or do I stay?"

Some springbok. They really are a dime a dozen in this part of Africa. Very common to see springbok, and if you're out touring you'll see them pretty much every day.

These zebras were a little concerned, we think because they had a little one with them. One of them was snorting quite a lot but they stayed put as we passed by.

This herd of wildebeest didn't seem bothered by us at all.

But these ostriches ran as soon as they spotted us!

This is an aardvark's home. You won't see them during daylight hours though.

It took us about two hours to do the hike. We were pretty warm and we should have jumped in the pool. I don't really know why we didn't! Instead, we just relaxed in the shade. By the time we had done some reading and some internet, it was time for a late lunch and then after that we went on the 4:30pm game drive. This game drive goes on part of the same property that we walked on earlier in the day, but of course you go a lot further in a vehicle and so the odds of seeing more animals is greater.

Our guide Jason, explaining about the termites home and how they live.

A red hartebeest with her young one.

Our guide brought us to a spot where there was an abandoned ostrich nest. Apparently a lot of reasons could cause the nest to be abandoned, most often because of a predator in the area, but it can also be because of fighting between females. When one is more dominant, she will cause another to abandon her nest and the more dominant one will try to take it over. But then she will leave after her own eggs are hatched and not protect the other eggs. 

Ostrich egg shells are very strong. You can stand on them and they won't break!

Not every day you get to hold an ostrich egg!

Jason, setting up the sundowner bar.

So that we could watch the sun go down!


30 comments:

  1. never heard of a hartebeest before, cross between springbok and wildebeast??
    nice sunset

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    1. Nope it is not a cross between the two. A hartebeest is a grassland antelope normally found in Africa.

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  2. Happy hour watching the sunset, sounds wonderful. Great pictures again.

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  3. Wow - what a great sunset. and I loved the sundowner bar. And all the animals I have never heard of. Very interesting. Didn't know ostriches lived in Africa, nor that their eggs were so hard!

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    1. We loved the sundowner bar too!

      We had heard of some of the animals before coming to Africa but once you are here you soon learn all about them and more. Love looking at all the different birds and animals.

      Ostriches originated in Africa, so all the ostriches you see, all started their ancestery here in Africa.

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  4. You are the only people that I personally know who have hiked in the Kalahari Desert. What a perfect way to watch the sunset.

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  5. Love those zebras. But I'm glad they decided you weren't a threat.

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    1. The zebras are no more dangerous than a horse, unless you make them very angry.

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  6. Beautiful sunset. I too didn't know ostrich eggs were so tough!

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    1. The shell is about 3/16" (2mm) thick, so they are pretty strong.

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  7. Wow what a hike! It all sounds and looks so wonderful! And I thought ostriches were Australian. I'm sure getting quite an education here. Thanks.

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    1. Nope they are not Australian, all ostriches originated from Africa including those in Australia.

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  8. Careful you don't trip over a termite nest, Oh I guess not since they are so HUGE! Oh my!!!

    Nice photos of all the other animals, great to see "nature" in it's finest!

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    1. Yes, the termite nests are huge. They are very interesting, depending on the area and the soil they are different colors and different sizes.

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  9. Namibia has been a wonderful adventure and now I want to get there more than ever. Not sure I'll see much of it this trip so will just have to return again. Walking among, or at least near, the wildlife must be a moving experience. I've always been in a rig on safari. And now onto South Africa, a country that has captured my heart and I feel you'll love it as well. Maybe out paths will cross in February. Happy New Year!

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    1. Nothing wrong with returning again. There is lots to see here and it is better not to rush the trip. We really loved hiking in amongst the wildlife, especially knowing there weren't any real "dangerous" animals to worry about.

      Please feel free to contact us if it looks like our paths will cross, we would love to meet up with you.

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    2. I'll be following your journey so will let you know if it looks like our paths will cross.

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    3. Thanks Gaeyln, here's hoping.

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  10. Does anyone ever comment on your Tilley hats? I see that one of your fellow travelers is wearing a floppy thing that isn't nearly as stylish.

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    1. No, I don't think we have yet. We are loving the hats though and you are right that other one is nearly as nice.

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  11. A perfect ending to a perfect day. You've had quite a few perfect days and plenty more lie ahead. This is one very cool safari that you've brought us along on! :c)

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    1. It was a perfect end to a great day. We really enjoyed the safari even though we had seen all these animals before, except for the eland which we unfortunately didn't see until after sunset on our way back to the lodge and by that time it wasn't good lighting to get a photo of them. They are the largest of all the antelope.

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