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Great animal variety at iSimangaliso Wetland Park,S. Africa

Our tour had touted snorkeling in the Indian Ocean here but that was all hype; the water was rough and the currents very strong which is just what I remembered from my previous visit in 2000

Our tour had touted snorkeling in the Indian Ocean here but that was all hype; the water was rough and the currents very strong which is just what I remembered from my previous visit in 2000

I think this hippo looks sad because he's too big for any of the lounge chairs; the hippos feed at night when it's cooler before returning to the river where they spend the day

I think this hippo looks sad because he's too big for any of the lounge chairs; the hippos feed at night when it's cooler before returning to the river where they spend the day

The monkey population at the beach seemed to be thriving with lots of little ones; they were very sneaky with one distracting you while another grabbed any food you had

The monkey population at the beach seemed to be thriving with lots of little ones; they were very sneaky with one distracting you while another grabbed any food you had

Banded mongoose; this species lives in colonies with a complex social structure; we saw dozens of them together foraging for food around a campground

Banded mongoose; this species lives in colonies with a complex social structure; we saw dozens of them together foraging for food around a campground

This vervet monkey seemed to be playing hide and seek with the baby; this species is highly clever and steals whatever they can get from humans

This vervet monkey seemed to be playing hide and seek with the baby; this species is highly clever and steals whatever they can get from humans

Timing is everything for dung beetles so you'll see them on only the freshest piles;  if the dung has been sitting long enough to dry out, the beetles can’t suck out the nutrition they need

Timing is everything for dung beetles so you'll see them on only the freshest piles; if the dung has been sitting long enough to dry out, the beetles can’t suck out the nutrition they need

iSimangaliso Wetland Park is in the NE corner of South Africa; because of the rich biodiversity, the park is justifiably famous for the unique ecosystems and natural beauty occurring in a relatively small area

iSimangaliso Wetland Park is in the NE corner of South Africa; because of the rich biodiversity, the park is justifiably famous for the unique ecosystems and natural beauty occurring in a relatively small area

Tawny eagles have a wingspan of 63-75 inches and can live 15  years; they are often spotted next to highways since roadkill is one of their primary sources of food

Tawny eagles have a wingspan of 63-75 inches and can live 15+ years; they are often spotted next to highways since roadkill is one of their primary sources of food

White rhino; iSimangaliso Wetland Park was previously known as Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

White rhino; iSimangaliso Wetland Park was previously known as Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Not your everyday warning sign!; the town of St. Lucia has a population of only 1100 but it's entirely focused on tourism and the closest town to iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Not your everyday warning sign!; the town of St. Lucia has a population of only 1100 but it's entirely focused on tourism and the closest town to iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Vervet monkeys are known for their many human-like habits with the species often used in biomedical research; they can live 12  years in the wild and 24  years in captivity

Vervet monkeys are known for their many human-like habits with the species often used in biomedical research; they can live 12+ years in the wild and 24+ years in captivity

The park is home to 1200  Nile crocodiles who shared the waters with 800  hippopotomi; the crocodile is the largest freshwater predator in Africa and can exceed 20 ft in length

The park is home to 1200+ Nile crocodiles who shared the waters with 800+ hippopotomi; the crocodile is the largest freshwater predator in Africa and can exceed 20 ft in length

Yes, I'm keeping my eye on you!; the word hippopotamus comes from the ancient Greek for river horse but their closest living relatives are whales and dolphins

Yes, I'm keeping my eye on you!; the word hippopotamus comes from the ancient Greek for river horse but their closest living relatives are whales and dolphins

It seemed odd to see a bushbuck in the sand along dunes at the beach but they are highly adaptable and have a simple diet of leaves and twigs; they are very good swimmers, easily crossing rivers 3  km wide

It seemed odd to see a bushbuck in the sand along dunes at the beach but they are highly adaptable and have a simple diet of leaves and twigs; they are very good swimmers, easily crossing rivers 3+ km wide

Warthogs have very short necks and can't reach the grass unless they are kneeling down like this; warthogs like to live in abandoned burrows that were dug out by other animals, such as aardvarks or porcupines

Warthogs have very short necks and can't reach the grass unless they are kneeling down like this; warthogs like to live in abandoned burrows that were dug out by other animals, such as aardvarks or porcupines

The road through the park looked recently paved and I wonder if the workers had guards watching out for dangers; lions were reintroduced to the park in 2013 after an absence of 44 yrs

The road through the park looked recently paved and I wonder if the workers had guards watching out for dangers; lions were reintroduced to the park in 2013 after an absence of 44 yrs

Red forest duiker; duiker is a word meaning diver in Dutch, which refers to their practice of diving into tangles of shrubbery to escape predators

Red forest duiker; duiker is a word meaning diver in Dutch, which refers to their practice of diving into tangles of shrubbery to escape predators

Samango monkeys are not common in South Africa, existing only in the coastal forests in the NE part of the country; their diet changes with time of the day with fruit in the morning and leaves in the afternoon

Samango monkeys are not common in South Africa, existing only in the coastal forests in the NE part of the country; their diet changes with time of the day with fruit in the morning and leaves in the afternoon

Dung beetles roll dung into round balls, which are used as a food source or breeding chambers; they can move dung balls weighing up to 50 times the animal’s own weight

Dung beetles roll dung into round balls, which are used as a food source or breeding chambers; they can move dung balls weighing up to 50 times the animal’s own weight

We felt this boat was encroaching on the hippos territory and were waiting to see if the hippos would let them know it; fortunately, the hippos tolerated the aggressive tourists and all survived unscathed

We felt this boat was encroaching on the hippos territory and were waiting to see if the hippos would let them know it; fortunately, the hippos tolerated the aggressive tourists and all survived unscathed

You can see where vervet monkeys get their nickname; these monkeys rarely leave the trees since their primary predators are caracals, servals, crocodiles, hyenas and pythons

You can see where vervet monkeys get their nickname; these monkeys rarely leave the trees since their primary predators are caracals, servals, crocodiles, hyenas and pythons

Posted by VagabondCowboy 04:17

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