Today was our rest day after 4 straight days of coaching and we set off for South Africa (via our drivers’ house to retrieve his passport!) for some Safari. We went to Madikwe Game Reserve which is 10km off the beaten track after the border.
Keeno Cal (the statistician in the team) noted some key facts and figures from the drive and was often heard repeating them ‘David Attenborough Style’ throughout the day. The animals we encountered were:
Stat: Impala never go more than 5km from water, which can be a hazard as predators lurk around waterholes.
Stat: Kudu have big ears to help them hear out for predators. This is especially useful in bushy areas where visibility is poor.
Stat: The dominant male Zebra has a harem of females, and can kidnap female Zebras that wander off from ‘rival’ harems.
Stat: The Waterbuck can submerge itself underwater to hide itself – it has a back that is streamlined similar to a duck.
STEINBOCK (or Ibex)
Stat: The Steinbock has white hairs under its stomach to distract predators. When it bolts off and hides, the predator will be looking for white hair but the Steinbock will not be showing any white hair when it is camoflagued.
Stat: An Elephant sleeps standing up, and gently flaps its ears while sleeping.
WILD DOGS (also known as Painted Dogs)
Stat: As opposed to domesticated canines, Wild Dogs are one of the most dangerous predators in Africa, with 9 out of 10 hunting attacks successful. There are only around 5000 left in existence.
Stat: The crocodile has the strongest jaw power of any predator in Africa.
Stat: The Ostrich is the quickest and biggest bird on the planet.
Stat: The Waterhog has a hardened nose to help it forage for food.
Stat: The Giraffe’s tongue is a metre long and purple coloured to avoid sunburn as it spends 50% of its day with its tongue out.
Stat: A Cheetah can run 108kmh for 10 seconds.
#notsoinvincible Gaffe of the Day goes to Ian for simultaneously losing battery power in his kindle, camera and phone, shortly before we saw the Cheetahs.