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Duke University Trip to South Africa April- May 2018
You are on Best Photos page one      see more  on        Best Photos page two
At the bottom of the page you will see links to other photos taken on our wonderful trip.


Here are some of the better Photos I took on the Trip. I am happy to share these with fellow travelers on the trip. I would appreciate it if you would give me credit for taking the photos. Here is how I have organized the photos:
Out of all the photos there are few that are pretty good, and I am posting them on this page.  I will then link to a second and third page where I will focus on different animals. As an example I will have a page of just elephants, one for Birds etc. I photographed.  (See bottom of page for the links)

All of these photos are LARGE, and will take a while to load. Since they are large, you should look at them on a desktop computer for full details.
Lion Impressive
When we saw this male Lion we were really impressed.

lion male impressive_0044


Elephant drinking water
I like the way the sun shines through the water the elephant is drinking.

 elephant drinking_0280

Monitor Lizard
When we first saw this we thought it was a crocodile crawling through the grass to get eggs from the nest of the many birds near the water.  As we watched, we realized it was a large lizard.  The Monitor lizard can get to be about 8 feet long, and this one was at least 7 feet long.  The lizard has very sharp teeth and can create a very nasty bite.  Although there is no venom, there are harmful organizes that infect the wound.  The Monitor Lizard is close kin to the Komodo Dragon which is deadly and can grow to 10 feet long..  The way the Komodo Dragon kills its victims is that the saliva causes its victim to bleed and the Komodo Dragon follows it’s pray until the animal victim gets so weak that the Komodo Dragon can move in tor the kill.  The dragon was first seen by western scientist in 1912

Here are couple of interesting facts about the Komodo Dragon that probably apply to the Monitor Lizard.  They both have long forked tongue  that they use as a sensing organ.  In the Komodo Dragons case when one sniffs the air with their tongue they then bring it back into their mouth and touch it to the roof of their mouth.  When the forked tongue then touches the roof of their mouth, if it is the right fork then it means that their pray is coming from the right side.

Apparently, the Nile Monitor Lizard is seen fairly commonly in South Africa where we were in Victoria.  Some of its habits that are interesting is that its chief predator is Martial eagle that can carry off the young Monitor that weigh up to 8 pounds.  In the springtime, the monitor breaks into a live termite mound to lay approximately 60 eggs.  The termites repair the damage and the Monitor eggs thrive inside the humid, heated mound.  Monitors are always around water and swim, climb trees, and often make themselves a nuisance.  Monitors make dangerous pets but can be trained although there general attitude is nasty.  Monitors have escaped in Florida and are becoming a serious invasive pest.

We thought this Nile Monitor Lizard below was going after bird eggs.



As he (or she)  got close to the water his forked tongue was sniffing the air.

Lizard tongue_0265


Birds on Rocks outside Cape Town.  In the upper left are a group of seals.

cape birds on rocks 2_0016

Jan, The birds were on these rocks, and the first photo I took (below) I could not make out anything.  With my camera, and it’s telephoto lens, I was able to achieve better focus, and yes those are seals on the distant rocks.

Birds on the rocks with normal settings.

cape birds on rocks -1_0015


baboon sitting cooley35

Yellow Billed Hornbill

Yellow Billed Hornbill_0198

Jan’s Lion ... She thought it was coming right after her to have for dinner.  This photo was taken by Lydia with Jack’s Samsung cell phone.

lion jans -2-_011110


This is of Loveness who was in charge of the gift shop at Thorny Bush.  The lion was a painting or photo on the wall behind her.  I sent her an email of the photo.

Lion and girl (Loveness) in gift shop_0221 (2)


Hippo # 1    I was very pleased with these shots, mostly because of the details.  If you care to zoom in on each photo there is surprising detail. 

hippo 2_0192


Hippo #2  Note water droplets.

Hippo 1_0189

Hippo # 3 Wide Open      He could use a better dentist.

Hippo 3_wide open_0193


This entire page is probably too long and takes too long to load.  I will create another page for (best) photos.  I also will consider reducing the size so thephotos  can load faster.

Links to Elephants Page,   Baboon Page,  Bird PageGiraffe Page, Lion and Leopard Page,  Rovas Rail Page, and Miscellaneous Photos Page

Back to Duke Trip to South Africa,
Back to the start
Best Photos Page Number One
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