May 21: It’s Definitely Winter!

This morning I was on the road for 6am. Today also happened to be the coldest morning we’ve had here this year as yet. Rumour has it, it was -7 as the sun was rising. I think winter has finally arrived! I was driving an open vehicle for three hours. I think i’ve forgotten what it feels like to drive with windows or a roof. A safari vehicle is the very best way to see the Kalahari, no matter the weather.  My secret to staying warm was the hot water bottle I wore under my jacket. It really was cold. As a result, there weren’t many animals up and about.  And the ones who were, were all fluffy and puffy.

That’s what I love most about cold mornings in the bush- seeing everyone all fluffed up in an attempt to trap in their body heat and warm themselves. The gemsbok, usually so sleek and elegant all looked like they’d just had a bath and been forcefully towel dried.

And the birds look really, really funny.

Meerkats manage to look a little more dignified than that on cold mornings. They come out when the sun rises and stand up with their tummies towards it. The black skin below their fur on their underside, helps them to absorb heat in the mornings. That said, of all the odd things i’ve done in my life, I can honestly say that I’ve filled hot water bottles for meerkats. And those meerkats probably wouldn’t trade their hot water bottles to stand in the sun.

Today’s sightings

Gemsbok
Springbok
Wildebeest
Steenbok
Yellow Mongoose
White Stork
Tawny Eagle
Secretary Bird
Greater Kestrel

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