2/21/2008

Daan Viljoen Game Reserve

Jodie and I took a little break to drive 20km out of Windhoek to the Daan Viljoen Game Reserve. We saw an incredible amount of wild life in only an hour in the park. Here's the entrance gate.

We parked at the lodge in the park and decided to do a 3-km trail because that's all we had time for. We immediately walked into a troop of Chacma baboons. They look quite a bit different than the ones at Cape Point, larger and darker and... not tame. They did not hear us coming and the troup had quite a few young ones, spread around all over the hill picking something to eat off the ground - maybe grubs of some kind? A female gave the alarm when she saw us and a big male immediately moved between our path and the females. He gave us some warning barks and swaggered toward us on his knuckles like a gorilla. We just slowly kept on the path and once our intention was clear, the troup ignored us.

Only literally two minutes after we passed the baboon, we almost walked into this beautiful kudu doe. She was standing dead still behind a tree and we almost didn't see her. You can see she is quite a substantial animal, bigger than a deer and smaller than a caribou. Whatever that means.

No sooner did Jodie say "One rarely sees only one kudu" than we saw the males catching up behind her. They are much bigger and the curve of their horns tells you how old they are. They make 360° at about 2 years of age and 720° by about 6 years.


Across the valley we spotted some oryx (gemsbok) on a hill and on the way out I was able to get a photo:

The best treat on the way out of the park was this wildebeest right on the road. Look at his mane blowing in the wind. No really, click the picture. Experience the beest.

3 comments:

Trifarina said...

You were just walking around on foot with scary ass monkeys?!!? Did they give you firearms at the main gate? Holy crap!

Fault Rocks said...

why, you are correct, they are monkeys. As they lack tails, I had erroneously believed them to be apes.

Ishmael said...

Yikes, I agree: walking around with wild critters like that... any lions or tigers or water buffalo oh my around there?

Have you seen a Cape Buffalo in the wild yet? Those things are big.