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"For The Love of Africa"

AFRICAN SAFARIS - Trips Of A Lifetime

   
     
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Ravenous Thirst

Country: South Africa 
Location: KwaZulu-Natal
Reserve: Phinda Game Reserve
Camp: Phinda Vlei Lodge

This is a picture of a giraffe drinking water, the most dangerous time in the giraffe's life. Utterly defenseless, they most often come to water in groups so several can 'stand guard' while each gulps their water in turn. Fortunately, Giraffes only need to drink once every several days as they get most of their water from the plants they eat; however, where water is readily available, giraffe will often drink daily with splayed forelegs and/or bent knees to enable their long neck to reach down to the water. And when it drinks it takes a long drink, swallowing up to 10 gallons of water.

The giraffe has special valves in their arteries. These valves prevent blood from rushing to the head when the giraffe bends low to drink. A giraffe's heart is also long, with a male's heart being up to two feet. It takes a powerful heart to move blood up the long neck into the brain.

Ravenous Thirst

This picture was taken at Phinda Private Game Reserve. Cradled between the arms of the Lebombo Mountains to the west, and the azure sweep of the Indian Ocean to the east, the 60,000 acre Phinda Private Game Reserve is situated in Maputaland, one of Africa's most ecologically diverse regions, with an extraordinary range of ecosystems and wildlife. In 1991, Phinda undertook the biggest game relocation in a private reserve in the world at the time, restoring what has now grown to a total of 60,000 acres of degraded farmland to pristine wilderness.

Phinda lies adjacent to the 'Greater St-Lucia Wetland Park' - a UNESCO World Heritage Site by virtue of its diversity and scenic wonder - and incorporates no fewer than seven distinct eco-systems that can be explored. The reserve is dominated by open broad-leaved woodlands, acacia-bushveld, and palmveld-grass savannah, with a very high carrying capacity for Africa's large mammals.  Mountains, wetlands, freshwater lakes, and the Indian Ocean coastline all bring their own distinct habitats and diverse species of animals, birds, and plant-life. Phinda has possibly the best cheetah viewing anywhere.

     
     
     
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