June 5 – Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park

(written Sat 6/7 6:45 p.m.)

We’ve had such long days that I’ve been falling into bed without even picking up a pen. I’m also the designated alarm clock for this team so I’m up first and so I’m POOPED by day’s end.

Thursday we were hoping to see some big cats — lions!! — so we went to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park (pronounced Shlu-shlu’-wee Im-foh-loh’-zee) for the day. Well, not the whole day: folks wanted to do some shopping first so we got a bit of a late start and that cut into our cat-tracking time. The location itself couldn’t be more beautiful — rolling hills and deep river valleys. We saw some really cool things: a baby puff adder, a troop of baboons, an entire crash of rhino (one with the biggest horn imaginable), blue wildebeest and a little bushbuck doe who surprised us all by making a sound exactly like the bark of a dog. Plus the usual assortment of elephants, giraffes, zebras, nyalas and impalas and, of course, warthogs (who are now, the general consensus decrees, cute — but I’d still like to see how they taste).


puff adder


white rhino




bushbuck doe

No cats, and it was just unbelievably cold driving back for more than an hour in the dark at high speeds in an open vehicle. Even hooded jackets and blankets didn’t make a dent in the cold.




very cold

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