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Daniel's Trip to South Africa

Friday, June 12, 2009

Kruger National Park
Days 8-10

I have to start this blog post by saying that these three days could be the most phenomenal experience that I have ever had. Over the course of a few days have petted an elephant, lion, cheetah, and leopard; seen a giraffe, zebra, rhino, buffalo, wildebeest, baboon, monkey, warthog, jackle, waterbuck, antalope, impala, wild dog, and caracal.

After our five hour drive from Johannesburg, we finally arrived at the Tshkudu Bush Camp. After the initial welcome, we went on our first adventure through the bush. It was on this trip that we had our first opportunity it to touch an elephant. After our safari experience, we had dinner and a final brief. Our accommadations were extremely appropiaye for the scenary. We slept in thatch-roofed, above-ground, huts. This was a new experience because I have never slept in such a modest dwelling. The first night was pretty rough, but eventually I got used to it.

The second day, we took a morning walk with lions and returned to camp an had an awesome breakfast. We went back out into the bush and examined the "droppings" of the various animals that live in the bush. At one point our group participate in a contest to see who could spit a piece of giraffe "dropping" the furthest. Although I spat it pretty far, a student from Iowa, Sean, won the challenge and even rivaled the South African record. After lunch, we went back out into the bush and to the cheetah enclosure. It was so cool to be able to play with animals that could kill you. We concluded the day with a drumming circle and a radition of musical chairs. I almost won, but one if the Arkansas students beat me out in the last round.

The next day we went on another morning walk with lions. It was great. After breakfast, we had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We darted and transported a leopard from an enclosure to the wild. It was so cool; we had to make sure the animal was completely asleep before we could transport it. After this, we had lunch and a bit of free time. We went back out into the bush after our free time. While there, we performed a unexpected catfish rescue. Myself and four other students stepped into the deep dark African mud and took the fish to a pond with hippos. After the catfish, we web to see the male lions. We made it growl by reving the engine of our off road vechile. It was an awesome day.

My last day we begin with an awesome breakfast. After we eat breakfast, we pack up and load the coach. Kruger was a great way to start a day and a great way to end my African adventure.


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Essential Programs Details

Duration 12 days
When June 2nd - 13th, 2009
Focus Wildlife Research/Conservation
Political History