Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Last, But Never Least

I received a couple questions regarding the objects that our guides were
carrying in the first photo of yesterday's post.
And in reading that question, I realized that I had forgotten to show you something
fantastic from our trip.
The Baobab tree!

The Baobab, or Tree of Life... is one of the most important trees in the areas in which
it grows, as it provides food, shelter and water for the animals in that area.
A single tree can be hundreds, even thousands of years old.
As you drive through Africa, here and there you see a baobab dotting the landscape.

The objects carried by our guide are the fruit of this tree...
called monkey bread.

Within each velvety pod, can be found small kernels of chalky fruit....
that taste like chalky grapefruit-vanilla-pear... obviously a little hard to describe.
They are chock-full of vitamin C, and when boiled, make a delightful fruity drink.

Another amazing tree was the Sausage Tree.
Aptly named...

The fruit of this tree is huge and heavy... 
the heaviest recorded was about 50 pounds.

Imagine one of those dropping on your head!
Both the blossoms and the fruit of this tree are an important food source for the animals.

Something else that is so prevalent on the landscape of Africa
are the termite mounds.

Mound from small termites look like this...

And large termites make mounds like this, around the trunk of trees...
(see background of photo)

Another fascinating find was this elephant skull that had its outer later eroded away.

As you can see, beneath the outer layer of bone lies this honeycomb area
of boney chambers.

Because the elephant's skull is so large, it would be too heavy to carry around...
so it is made up of more air than bone, thus reducing the weight.

I have compiled several videos from our trip.
These will give you an idea of some of the sounds of Africa,
 as well as a couple of harrowing incidents.

Our first close encounter with two bull elephants...
(exciting and informative... watch to the end)
(you may want to enlarge the video to it's full size (lower right corner) to
full enjoy it!... and turn your sound up!)

My heart was pounding during this encounter!
It was a little scary... but oh, so exciting as well.
Our guide (one of the owners of the camp) was an incredibly knowledgeable young man.
He felt that this particular encounter may have been the first time that these two elephants
had had contact with humans.
Also... those dark marks on the elephant's face are from secretions of his temporal gland.
These secretions help elephants to identify each other.

A close encounter within our last safari camp...

After two flat tires the previous day,
we broke down on a long drive from bush camp back to our original camp...
No worries, we were eventually rescued.
(you may want to turn the volume up for these videos...I am speaking in a rather hushed tone)

Stuck in the middle of the river....

The guys were able to collect some driftwood,
jack up the left side of the vehicle, stick wood beneath the tire,
and eventually back out of the mire.
(Did I mention that as we were driving into that particular stretch of dry river,
I had mentally noted that there was no way I would have attempted to go where they were going?)

And last...
you've seen our hippos... this next video lets you hear them as well.
This is one of the sounds we fell asleep to each night.

It's been so much fun sharing these experiences with you.
As we traveled in Africa, I thought of all that I wanted to share with you.
I took photos and notes so that I could stay organized.
Sharing with you has helped me re-live these amazing experiences
and all that they meant to me.
I am hoping that I conveyed all of that to you so that you could also be touched
by this incredible land.


Anonymous said...

What an amazing vacation. Thank you for sharing it with us. Marcia

Louise Stopford said...

Absolutely amazing Bev. Loved the videos - thank you so much for taking us on this marvellous adventure with you. It's been so very interesting and informative and completely AMAZING.

Karen Ann said...

WOW... thank you so much for your generous share of this incredible trip - such beautiful country- amazing landscapes, natural wonders - truly a trip of a lifetime.

colleen said...

Thanks for sharing this amazing vacation. Watching and reading your recap of it makes me almost feel as if I went there myself.

Kathy said...

I have enjoyed this so much, Bev. Thank you for thinking of us along the way and for sharing your amazing experiences! It makes my heart feel so full that we get to live in such an incredibly beautiful and varied world!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

What an awesome trip you had! Thanks for sharing it with us!

daisy gurl said...

What an unbelievable opportunity! That first video had my heart jumping into my throat! So glad y'all are safely back home.

Thank you for taking us on safari with you.

Jenny said...

Love Love Love the videos! Thanks for sharing your adventure with us. That elephant was beautiful. I'm pretty sure i would have cried or pee'd or both. LOL!

Sally said...

The pictures and videos have been fantastic! Certainly makes me want to go there, too! I will admit, I'm looking forward to seeing the farm animals again! I've missed them and your posts!

Missy George said...

Wow! That's about all I can say. Thanks so much for Sharing the videos.... Gorgeous elephants, huge hippos.. How long they hold their breath of do they breath through their ears? LOL.. Wonderful travelogue.. I had forgotten that about an elephant skull. Make sense. That termite mound is huge.. How long does it take them to make that? The fruit is pretty amazing too. Is that the real tree of life?

Marisa said...

I would to go to Africa one day. Lovely blog.

StrictlyMystic said...

I've loved seeing your posts of your incredible experiences! Thank you for your kindness in sharing. Just one mentioned the types of food you ate - do you have any photos of the meals? I'm curious about how they prepare food for guests in such a remote place.

LKnable said...

Thank you so much for sharing your incredible journey with us. I especially liked the video of the elephant letting you know he was boss. I would have been wetting my pants too. So glad you had such a great opportunity to see wild animals up close. I always look forward to your newsy, down home blogs.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful videos! Thanks for sharing. Especially loved the one of the hippos.

diane in northern wis said...

Thanks so much Bev. Your stories and pictures and videos have been outstanding. Thank you for sharing your wonderful adventures with all of us. You were truly blessed to make that trip and we are truly blessed to see and hear all about it. Awesome.

Lynne said...

So interesting . . .
The vegetation . . .
Sausage tree etc.
Videos are exceptional. .
That elephant was CLOSE.
I almost peed too!


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