Seven months around the world.... August 2004 - March 2005 travel blog

Chebaaka - Laurie Marker's "daughter"

Cheetahs sure are beautiful animals

Steve and I hanging out with Chebaaca

This leopard cub was brought in a few days earlier - caught...

Then Steve and I headed back to Etosha for more of what...

Seeing as how Steve and I are both "predator guys," we were...

"Just lazing around, waiting for it to get cooler before we go...

"I know the Park officials tell you not to get out of...

And there were other animals too. This is an oryx - I...

And Mrs. Ele - having just gotten a mud bath - so...

And ya got your zebras and springboks too.

And let's not forget the "hog" (the mascot for my prep school...

And there were birds too - this is the lilac-breasted roller (how'd...

And ostriches, which are yet one more example of how Africa is...

And the colorful stocks - my apologies to the twitchers out there,...

But, hey, back to the predators; where were we - oh yes,...

On our second day, we came across this pride with 17 lions...

There were older males and females - and one of the moms...

And the young cubs were still nursing - how many cubs are...

The answer is two!

Future killer - and ruler of the Park (oh, how I wish...

As the sun began to set, the cub on the left got...

Notice these cubs are a bit bigger than the previous ones. There...

We figured these cubs were a few months old, and the ones...

Meanwhile, back to that notion of curiousity. This one began moving closer...

It ended up getting pretty close, as this was taken using almost...

Then there was the water hole experience, where zebras, giraffes and oryx...

So many patterns and shapes in nature, it's dizzying!!!

Apparently, each one comes with it's own, unique pattern of lines.

From stripes to spots, short necks to long necks, at the watering...

Ain't they just one of the strangest things out there!?!

These two neck danced for 10+ minutes - not sure what for...

The last sighting of our second full day was - yes -...

And the little ones were as cute as ever. Just makes ya...

Symmetry in motion - or this case hanging out on the road.

All too soon, our time was up. So we headed into the...


After ending our safari, and bidding Richard ado, Steve and I rented a car and headed back north to Etosha National PArk in northern Namibia. On the way, we spent two nights at the Cheetah Conservation Fund site outside of Otjiwarango. CCF is run by a woman named Laurie Marker, whom I have come to know through work (she spoke at PCA's 2003 annual conference).

CCF is the lead cheetah organization in Namibia, and as best I can tell in the world too. In addition to working on conservation issues very similar to that of PCA (indeed predator issues are largely the same throughout the world), they also take in cheetahs that have been caught and/or injured by farmers trying to protect their livestock. So, CCF has a 40,000 hectare conservancy, which includes a place where a dozen or so (the actual number evades me) cheetahs from the wild now call home. One of those cheetahs is one that Laurie has raised, and within five minutes of arriving at the headquarters we were off to see Chebaaka in the field. The hope was that she (the cheetah, not Laurie) would take a run for some exercise, but she ended up taking the day off. None-the-less, hanging out in the presense of this beautiful animal was something that was quite special for me and Steve.

The second night there, we slept in a wildlife "blind" overlooking a very large open area (where the conservancy's previous owner had plowed the land to raise corn), and in the morning awoke to a strange noise. Steve correctly identified it as jackals in destress, and when we looked out of the blind, there were two (and then three) jackals hassling a wild cheetah no more than 150 yards from us. Great way to start the day, and a precursor to the great critter viewing we would have in Etosha. Later that day we headed to Etosha, and the pictures here tell the rest of the story.



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