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Category ArchiveMammals blog

Camelidspecial!

Wild camelids actually only occur in a few places in the world. If you think you can find them in the Middle-East or somewhere near the Sahara you’re wrong: those are all domesticated. Mongolia has the Wild Bactrian Camel, you’ll have to go to South-America to see the other two. Because I saw them a lot there, I wanted to give them some special attention.

Ungulates of Africa

Africa has many kinds of ungulates, ranging from the prehistoric like rhino’s to the tiny steenbok. That’s why I wanted to give them some special attention in a separate blog and give you an idea of the kinds of ungulates you could encounter in Africa, which I’ve indeed encountered during my trip through South-Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

Elephants: fascinating beasts!

Before I went to Africa, elephants didn’t do much for me. Of course it’s a colossal animal with a trunk and tusks and that all points in its favour, but I just wasn’t feeling so excited about them. The first elephant I ever saw was a worn out female that was spending the last years of her life in Okavango. Pretty cool of course, to see your first elephant, but still it didn’t really change my mind about elephants. Till I saw them together.

Okavango by mokoro

The Okavango Delta is the largest delta in the world that is not connected to a sea and I was fortunate enough to visit a small part of it. The most obvious way of transport in such a watery area is of course a boat, but large areas of the Okavango are very shallow: about half a meter deep. That’s why local inhabitants have used hollowed out tree trunks, mokoro’s, for ages to be able to move around quickly in this swamp. Nowadays it’s mainly a tourist business and the mokoro’s are made of plastic, it all works still the same though! Two people sit together in a mokoro and on the stern stands a guy that keeps the whole thing going. The plan was to spend the night with our group in the Okavango. We would go there by mokoro and on the next morning we would do a bushwalk. Late in the afternoon we sailed into the Okavango and that was already a very nice experience in itself.

Polar Bear Day

We’ve been on the ship Plancius for four days now. After we took off in Longyearbyen, we sailed north in the direction of the pack ice. On the first day I saw already a species that was a huge target for me, the largest animal on this earth: blue whale! The birds are also coming along nicely, photographing flyby puffins is a challenge but it gets easier. Today is the day that we should arrive at the pack ice and that means a big possibility that we will see the main target of the trip: polar bear!