DAY SIX – 21 October
It is now dry season there and the place is golden and the grasses nibbled down to nubs allowing winds to pick up funnels of dust devils. The plain seems baron with very dispersed animals…lots of animals, but many were at quite a distance. There was a number of vehicles creating traffic jams. The king of Oman was here, his caravan of about 10 vehicles speeding past, kicking up clouds of dust. He sat atop his own private Toyota, which is normally not allowed in the parks. His family and protective entourage following like train cars trailing behind.
The scenery is quite unique here, even when the animals are more spread out. There are still loads of animals all around. You could stop nearly anywhere and be able to watch life play out from a distance with a mix of warthogs, Thompson’s Gazelles, Hartebeest, wildebeest, zebra, Cape buffalo, other gazelle, black backed Jackal and hyenas mix with a plethora of both ground and air dwelling birds.
Another scene included a lovely water pond with hippos, some with tiny babies, egrets, ibis, Jesus birds, ox-peckers, an otter (so cute!), herons, pelicans and such. We spent time driving through the forest area looking for the black rhino (FACT: there are about 45 in the park) and at the very end of our day, we spotted a black rhino with her baby. We stopped so we could talk with her a little. Everyone got the same information that she preferred to be away from the roads with her baby.
Gennifer asked me to find out from her how many babies she had. When I connected with her, she said she had 3 babies. Well Gennifer’s smile was incredulous because that’s exactly what she got. The validation is so important in the field of animal communication; because how else do you know that you are talking to the right animal? So everyone had a right to feel so good about themselves being able to connect with each of the animals we did to get such validating information. The Rhino mom also shared that it’s as though she has an invisible umbilical cord leashed to her baby and it will be that way for a very long time….she was so very sensitive and ancient was the word that kept coming up about her species. So she was a very protective mom to say the least.
The trees were an artistic attraction in themselves offering a lovely grounded feel to the area.
From all the animals we had seen, I mentioned to the group that the wildebeest are the least welcoming of the mammals here and by mid-afternoon Sandy could see why. The vehicle numbers soared to a constant motorcade buzzing by full of paparazzi and such. I hope we might have been at least somewhat an exception because we took time to stop and tune in and listen to the animals.
Everyone heads to the same place for lunch and upon arrival, we joined probably 50 other vehicles pulled up along the lush pond where hippos like to frolic and wile away the day. We found much humor in the circumstance, especially when the fancy 5-star vehicle pulled up next to us hosting a Swedish couple. The driver unloaded the wooden chairs, table dress in linen, silver, glass and a chilled bottle of white wine. We giggled and such as we picked away at our box lunches eaten in the comfort of our vehicle. Picnicking by the lake outside the vehicles isn’t allowed mainly due to the fact that the black kites swoop in en-masse to harass anyone with food spread out in front of them. We got a good example by one group, who quickly moved back into their own vehicle.
That kinda summed up our day’s drive… Always good and with lots of memories…