African Safari: Game Count and Other Adventures (Pictures)

This is the last post wrapping up my month traveling around Malawi. I spent two weeks at In-Service Training in Lilongwe. I spent a fantastic weekend at Lake of Stars. This post will highlight what I did with the rest of my time.

Kuti Game Reserve

A group of us stayed at this lovely villa within the game reserve.

Found this windmill and had to take a picture.

Zebra spotted! Are they black with white stripes or white with black stripes? We were able to watch them graze for a long time as the sun went down. We were only five metres away!

Ostrich spotted! We all wanted to see one but didn’t — until we saw one at the main gate as we were leaving. An odd and fascinating creature.

Giraffe! A mother and her child. This was a fantastic find (and how they were found is a bit hilarious).

The sunsets at the Sun Deck were just breathtaking.

Bushman’s Baobabs

I had time to burn and didn’t want to travel on the day I was supposed to report to the game count at Liwonde National Park. A friend and I decided to stay at this safari resort nearby for the night. It was fantastic.

The resort has this observation deck to view the marsh and all the natural beauty surrounding it.

While on the observation deck, I was pining that I wanted to see elephants. As I had finished my rant a herd popped their heads above the elephant grass and we were on the trail! We stalked them for about an hour. I climbed a tree to get this photo. We both got charged by them! Exhilarating.

I thought these safari trucks were really grand and quintessentially ‘African’ for some reason.

Looking at wildlife — birds, kudu, water buffalo, monkeys, baboons, warthogs, impala, sables, hippos and elephants.

African sunsets never get old.

We finished the exciting day enjoying a couple cold beverages. I hadn’t played a guitar in three weeks so when I spotted this one laying about I couldn’t help but make the people dance.

Game Count at Liwonde National Park

A game count is when you individually count wildlife in a given area to help stakeholders determine population numbers.

We all piled into a truck to head out to the park.

This monkey ran into the truck. After 10 minutes of it smashing its head on the glass it finally figured out we had let the door open and ran out. It was a hysterical moment.

Monkeys were everywhere, ready to pounce on our food if we left it unattended.

We were put into groups to do transect walks and hides. For transect walks, we walked a straight line through the park with a GPS guiding us. Along the 10 kilometer route, we saw a remarkable amount of wildlife — but no elephants! — just a lot of dung. When we were finished and waiting for transport to take us back to camp, a herd of nearly 100 elephants ventured across the road in front of us! Too bad my camera settings weren’t correct — none of the pictures I took were any good! Regardless, it was so amazing.

The second day (after the transect walk) we did what is called a ‘hide’. Instead of walking a route, we stayed in one place and counted the animals we saw from our hide spot. Our hide was close to the marsh/river so we saw A LOT of animals as they were coming to feed early that morning. Here I am holding the hip bone of a hippo. Fantastic!

That’s all folks! Thanks for all the fish!

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