A story of an African Safari An adventure experienced by three little boys. PART ONE
It was November 2006…. <ul><li>The three boys were together in the back of the car. It was hot and sticky. They had been driving a long time. They were getting kind of cranky but Taz kept reminding the other two that they were about to see LOTS OF AFRICAN ANIMALS. </li></ul><ul><li>He knew, because Ouma had told him so. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Oupa suggested a contest: the first one to see an animal would be the winner. He explained that it was an old family tradition. </li></ul><ul><li>And then, Leon saw what looked like a stick on the side of the road…. </li></ul>
<ul><li>“SNAKE!!!” Leon shouted. </li></ul><ul><li>“Nonsense,” said Daniel. That’s just a silly old stick.” </li></ul>“ No,” said Taz, look, it’s moving…it IS a snake!”
Looking out different windows <ul><li>When Papa looked out the window on his side of the car, he could see this. </li></ul>When Mama looked out the window on HER side of the car, she could see this. There was a snake AND a stick.
Which snake do you think it is? Me! It is me! I’m a puff adder. The book says I’m ‘large, thick bodied, sluggish, broad head is covered in small scales. Tail very short. Body scales rough. Body yellowish to light brown with numerous dark chevrons… active at dusk, Up to 30 young born in late summer. May give deep warning hiss. Bites readily. Venom causes swelling and pain, occasionally death. Found throughout Africa.’
<ul><li>The snake in the picture was the first puffadder that Ouma had ever seen. She had to ask her brother, Guillaume, what kind of snake it was. Guillaume is a hiker and a mountaineer so he knows more about snakes than she does. He immediately knew the answer. </li></ul>
Does Leon win? Is a snake an animal? No! I’m a banana, not a snake. (How can I get them to come closer so I can SHOW THEM my FANGS?) A snake is a reptile. Reptiles are members of the animal kingdom. So yes, Leon won – the snake IS an animal.
<ul><li>The way to avoid puff adders is to look in the path in front of you when you walk and to make a small amount of noise – like tapping a stick against the rocks in the path. The puff adder then gets a fright and gets out of your way. </li></ul><ul><li>(Shouting is a BAD IDEA because then it frightens all the other animals away too.) </li></ul>
But what about the stick on the other side of the car? No, a stick is not an animal. A stick comes from a tree, so it is part of a plant. HOWEVER, a stick can be an insect. During their exploration of the camp the boys saw several stick insects. BUT THIS STICK? It is a very special thing. It is a message – a signal. There’s one animal in the African bush that likes breaking such leafy sticks off trees to carry around until they get bored, then they drop them. The boys soon found out what that animal is….
Compare two of the little boys to the elephant in SIZE Why is Taz holding his nose???
… .because he’s never ever smelled anything like an elephant before Elephant poo!
<ul><li>Elephants are MUCH bigger in real life than the ones one sees on TV. </li></ul><ul><li>Elephants in Kruger Park are very used to cars and buses and sometimes will allow us to get quite close to them – THEN you can see exactly how big they are. </li></ul>
You can tell how recently an elephant passed by, based on the elephant dung. <ul><li>Can you guess how? </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>Maybe you already know? </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t and would like to, ask your father. </li></ul>
They carried on driving….. <ul><li>Although it was very hot, Uncle Eric </li></ul><ul><li>(Dad, to you, Daniel!) insisted that they kept the windows open and the air conditioner off. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Only with the windows open will you hear the birds and the insects and smell the bushveld smells,” he said. </li></ul>
The boys decided to have a counting competition – each had to pick a species, and the one who counted the most members of that species on a day would be the winner. Guess who picked the impala to count?
Once there were so many buffaloes crossing the road that we just had to sit and wait. You don't argue with a herd of buffaloes!
Did we see lions? Not everyone sees lions. But Eric is usually lucky. So make sure you're close to Eric!
They searched between the trees in the distance …. <ul><li>They looked right beside the road; </li></ul><ul><li>Then Daniel looked UP….. </li></ul>
He had spotted an eagle: An African fish eagle
Then we approached a bridge. There was something sitting on the railing