Tag archives for Crocodiles
The hippo and crocodile infested waters were just outside our front door at the Old Bridge Lodge. It was a little unnerving knowing they could just crawl into bed with us, but we decided to stay a few nights anyway. Although the water is full of all kinds of creepy creatures the riverfront is gorgeous.
On our first day in Maun we visited the local village and an empowerment program where woman and men from that and many other villages nearby sell their handicrafts.
We had the opportunity to learn how the beautiful Botswana baskets are made and let me tell you it was not easy. I spent three hours on mine and the inside was just a little bigger than a quarter. It made me realize the amount of time, energy and focus that goes into these baskets that they sell for little or no profit.
After spending a few days in civilization we realized we were ready for the wilderness again and a different kind of safari. This time we were going into the wild by way of boat along the Okavango Delta.
The wind blowing our hair, the water glistening and our first HIPPO!
There he was three feet from our boat and ready to tip us at any minute. Our guide Phaladi steps on the gas and rides right over this massive creature and into the next channel before we become his lunch.
Our next spotting was a baby crocodile lurking in the murky waters just inches away. He was so close I thought he would crawl into our boat but fortunately Phaladi assured us that would not happen. Phew!
Our next morning we took scary to a new level and walked out of our tent and into the animal filled savannah with nothing but Phaladi to protect us. My heart felt like it might just jump out of my chest. Within minutes we saw dozens of different antelope and my dad kept saying, “Where there are prey there are predators”, but to be honest I had no interest in seeing any predators especially lions. AHHHHH!
We finished our walk a few hours later in one piece without seeing any predators and got back into the canals of the Delta. The reeds in the water form a massive maze. Fortunately Phaladi grew up here and knew where to go because I would have been totally lost in about two seconds.
Everest was excited to go fishing and we were excited to have grilled fish for dinner so Phaladi took us to an island where we cast out our lines and put our feet in the sand (hoping they didn’t get bitten off by a croc). After an hour of trying we came to the conclusion that the crocs ate all the fish and didn’t leave any for us.
As the sun was setting we road back to camp and saw six more hippos, all just as frightening as the first especially because we had heard more stories about boats being tipped by hippos. We arrived back to camp and listened to the low moans of a lion off in the distance and enjoyed our fishless dinner under the stars.
Our final day in the peaceful Okavango Delta was spent speeding down the reed canals and keeping a lookout for hippos and their bubbles.
We had an amazing time and didn’t want our Okavango adventure to end but there are sooooo many more great things to come!
Zane: Today, The HOEC team returned to the Cayman Turtle farm. After a quick breakfast at the hotel, we boarded the buses and were off. After a short but scenic drive, we arrived at our destination. The entrance was bright and colorful. Before we entered, a few of us noticed a small green iguana in front of the door. After we had taken many pictures, the lizard darted away.
Inside the laboratory, we met up with Dr. Walter Mustin, Ph.D., one of the turtle researchers who works at the turtle farm. He gave us a presentation about the turtles, and showed us many interesting things, such as a small, five-day-old green sea turtle, and some leathery turtle eggs. He also explained a rather fascinating theory that he formulated to explain the health of the turtles when they hatched in relation to the amount of sand that was on top of them.
After this, we all moved back outside, where we witnessed a turtle feeding session in a large tank. We were ushered along by our tour guides, and eventually arrived at an aviary, which happened to be the largest open air aviary in the Caribbean. In small groups, we entered the structure through a system of doors that were designed to to keep the birds inside from escaping.
Scientist have found fossils of an ancient crocodile in Tanzania called Pakasuchus kapilimai. It lived about 105 million years ago, and it was smaller than most crocs–about the size of a house cat. It also had characteristics that are more like a mammal than like a reptile. Modern crocs have a mouth full of pointy teeth, but this new find had molar-like teeth in the back of its jaw. Its nose was also more like a dog’s nose than like a typical crocodile.
Learn more about the Pakasuchus kapilimai crocodile on National Geographic News.
Get the facts on Nile crocodiles in the Creature Feature.
Picture courtesy Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation
Hello to all of you who read our blog! Thank you so much for your comments and feedback. Thanks for all the comments on our amazing adventures.Your questions about our amazing adventure are welcomed… Here is more information on our trip.
We are going to keep adding to the blog and add new pictures too. We did have a fantastic time in Oz! Australia’s time difference from L.A. is about ten hours ahead-also, some of the kids were like me…they live on the eastern U.S., so add another 4 or 5 hours to that! And yes, the plane delays and layovers did make us VERY tired, but it also gave us time to get to know one another. The 13 hour flight was very long, but our flight attendants kept us supplied with food and meals, warm and comfy with pillows and blankets, and everybody had individual TV screens on the seat in front of them to keep entertained. We could watch TV shows, movies, or play games or listen to music. Thank goodness for that!
The videographers from Tourism Australia, Jeff and Chris, were very nice to all of us! Here is a photo of me with them.
It was fun to be in the movies and to watch them! When we went to Taroona Primary they let us into their library, so we all crowded around the few computers to watch the movies!
Throwing the boomerangs was very hard. It was sort of like throwing a baseball, except that you had to lean back, then hurl the boomerang forward, and we only got one try. My mom bought a boomerang while we were there, however, so I’m going to practice throwing it at my school’s football field (before summer ends). I am determined to throw it hard enough to make it come back to me! When the Aboriginal guides did it, it was amazing hearing the *WHOOSH* of the boomerang as it circled you, then dropped. They actually do come back! One even nailed one of the guys filming us for a video. He tried to catch it, but it whacked his equipment instead. It’s harder than it looks.
Hi, this is Veronica. This morning we got up and checked out of our hotel nice and early and headed for Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. We saw lots of different animals there, from crocs to cassowaries. We hopped in a boat, equipped with metal grid and glass windows for protection against the croc’s massive jaws. Every once in a while, Andrew, our guide, would hang a chicken head out the front of the boat and the crocs would jump and claw for it. Which made for great shots. The boat was a frenzy of camera clicks and kids running from one side of the boat to the other trying to get a killer shot. I think I got a couple good ones. After the (life-threatening) boat ride, we went on a walk around the park with a guide to see the rest of the animals. When we started our walk we were greeted by a little swamp wallaby…
Video courtesy Tourism Australia
Read the whole post »
Hi, I’m Benjamin. As soon as we all got up this morning, we boarded a bus to go to breakfast. We went to the Rainforest Habitat wildlife park, where we got to hold some pretty cool rain forest animals, like the carpet python, tree frog, parakeet, and crocodile. We learned a little bit about each of the animals too. For example we learned that the python could grow to be several feet long. The one I held was about four feet long.
Afterward we ate breakfast with the birds. The birds were flying around, swiping our food and drinking our juice, and sitting on our heads and shoulders. One even peed on my shoulder! It was all great–even the pee.