Standing Elephant at Mana Pools…

I came across this bull at about ten in the morning so none of that glorious light! He was very polite and let me take photos although I kept my distance (I have a very healthy respect for Elephants!)

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He is tagged with a collar (you can see the square thing sticking above his head.) and has learned how to stand on his hind legs to get at browse higher up than trunk-height.

He even allowed me to take a video! I was brave enough to get out and cower behind the car to take this video

I love the way he gets himself in perfect position before he stands. I guess its because he cant afford to waste any energy when food is scarce – and worse, fall! Imagine all that weight landing badly!

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At the long pool at Mana Pools…

I decided to spend the day at the Long Pools – just watching the world coming and going.

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Sitting there, I saw a bushbuck walk along the sand to get water:

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Later, I went walking around this pool. Standing near a bank, a bush-buck just walked straight towards me – it was a magical experience – to be so close to a wild animal as beautiful as this one:

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She looked right at me, and then just carried on walking, directly towards me!

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The greatest thing at Mana Pools, for me, is that one can walk in the park. You have to get a permit and I also paid for a guide! That is not obligatory!

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I’m not sure I breathed much while I took those! I was having to pull the zoom into the camera with each step she took

 

 

Dawn at Mana Pools…

I woke up very early in the morning (after sharing my camp site with a herd of buffalo!) to this view:

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The sounds begin very early – the birds, the early morning hippo grunts. I even heard a ground hornbill, but that was very early in the morning, maybe 3.00am?

 

Mana Pools..

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I’m told that hippo yawn as a sign of aggression – well, I’m not sure why he felt threatened, but I kept my distance!

 

 

There are a lot of hippo in the Zambezi – I always marvel at people who paddle the river in canoes or kayaks – I have a healthy respect for hippo!

Mana Pools

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I’d paid for a night at this camping spot, so I took a drive down there to check it out – I didn’t want any surprises!

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There wasn’t much going on – everyone seemed to be asleep!

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This is taken at the mouth of one of the many streams that flow into the Zambezi River. In that opposite bank is a carmine bee-eater colony. They fly over, delighting with their awesome colours, and athletic manoeuvres. I don’t have a pic, I’m afraid, they moved too fast for me and my zoom wasn’t big enough to capture them as they come out of their nests.

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I spent a lazy day here, just driving short distances from the camp site.

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…watching as the light slowly faded and the heat dissipated somewhat.

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I wanted to get myself all set up before dark.