Friday, March 18, 2016

Where Have I Been? SAS Update: Kruger

Hello all, it's been awhile.  Talking about it isn't always my style (Zayn reference), but today it is.  I've been on the study abroad program called Semester at Sea since the fifth of January, and I will continue to be sometime into May.  Access to the Internet is very limited, but I do have a little bit of wifi to spare here in Kruger National Park in South Africa, so I thought that I might share with you guys some of the things that I've gotten to do and see in the last week or two!
A wild Burchell's zebra (Equus burchelli antiquorum) in Kruger National Park!
To get from India to South Africa, we crossed the Indian Ocean, during which time we saw lots of marine life!  Below is a picture of one of the two sea turtles that I spotted during this portion of the voyage.
About halfway through the passage, we stopped for a day at the island nation of Mauritius, a small volcanic island that was once home to the flightless pigeon, the dodo.  It was a beautiful day, I had a Field Lab with my Marine Biology class, so we went and explored one of the mangrove areas on the coast of the island, and then went snorkeling at one of the coral reefs!
One of Mauritius's beautiful beaches.  You can see mangrove trees in the right of the photograph.
Mauritius was a very beautiful and green island, reminded me a lot of Hawaii, which to be honest is the only other random island I've been to in the middle of the ocean, so I guess that makes sense.   
Dolphins are not too uncommon, especially once we get towards the shores of whatever our next port is.  I actually saw a lot of marine life the closer we got to Cape Town, whose waters are very productive.  Saw several large pods of dolphins, a few seals, and two sharks, as well as a large number of birds (but alas, no penguins, at least not yet).  
A leaping seal.
A species of hammerhead shark, right next to the ship!
Below is a picture of my friend, Michael Collett (Big Mike) on one of the mountains surrounding Cape Town.  For much of our first day in South Africa (three days ago), we went and explored Cape Town, and I also got to poop into the natural history museum to check out their paleontology section!
Myself next to a mounted skeleton of the spinosaurid Suchomimus, attacking a juvenile Jobaria, a type of long-necked sauropod.
On my second through fourth days in South Africa (the fourth actually being today), we flew to Kruger National Park to do a safari!  I haven't downloaded my pictures from the second, full day yet (we saw a lot of cool animals yet), so these are just from our two or so hour safari on the first night!
A small herd of zebra and impala (Apyceros melampus).
A sassy impala. 
I forget what this animal is called, but I think our guide said it was called a giraffe.
A water monitor!
I've still got a lot ahead of me too, a few more days in South Africa, a few days in Ghana and Morocco, and a few weeks in the United Kingdom and Ireland, not to mention the transit days between those ports!  Probably won't be able to blog again until I get back home, so you'll just have to satisfy yourself with these fourteen pictures for the next two months or so.

2 comments:

  1. Superb work , I have visited your site for the first time. Thank you very much for having such a informative blog. Dolphins are not too uncommon, especially once we get closer to the beaches of some thing our next port is. I'm working at Outdoor Advertising Services in Jaipur I really saw a variety of marine lifestyles the nearer we were given to Cape city, whose waters are very productive. noticed several huge pods of dolphins, a few seals, and two sharks, in addition to a large variety of birds (but regrettably, no penguins, at least not yet.

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