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Viewing the World from a Two-Wheeled Perspective

Sperm whale stranded on Namibia coast

Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in Africa, Namibia | Comments Off on Sperm whale stranded on Namibia coast

As you know, I work for Biosphere Expeditions. Right now I am in Namibia, just off a week’s holiday in  between groups 6 and 7. In the spring I lead the Azores expeditions where we study whaled, dolphins, and loggerhead turtles (http://www.biosphere-expeditions.org/azores) So when I heard about a sperm whale stranding close to where I was on the Atlantic coast, of course I had to go and see for myself. How sad to see one of these magnificent animals beached (and dead) on land where they do not belong. Local authorities do not know what happened to the young whale, and speculation I’ve heard ranges from post-calving issues to a run in with an outboard motor, which our Azores scientist Lisa Steiner tells me would leave large, deep gashes on the animal. Lisa and I have been skyping all...

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Large things that fall out of the sky

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in Africa, Namibia | 2 comments

I’ve been on “vacation” touring Namibia this past week, (yes, in between my Cape Town Trip and this post I actually did work a month) and one of the places I stopped along the way was the Hoba Meteor Site. Imagine seeing this huge rock land on your property…of course then you’d also have to imagine yourself about 80,000 years ago, because that’s when they say it fell to earth.  The Hoba Meteorite is the largest known meteorite (as a single piece) and the most massive naturally occurring piece of iron known at the Earth’s surface. It’s been uncovered, but since it weights over 120,000 pounds, it lies in its original location.     Well, maybe a little less now that some of it’s been sawed off: Here’s a nice abstract photo with some surface detail: Please follow and...

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Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary (South Africa)

Posted by on Oct 31, 2013 in Namibia | Comments Off on Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary (South Africa)

Everything’s Gone to the Monkeys! Also along the Garden Route I stopped into the Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary (across the parking lot from the bird sanctuary, which will be my next post!) I paid for the tour and got to walk through the habitat with a guide (and 20 other darned tourists!) It was a neat experience because the monkeys are wild, but habituated to humans, so the tolerate people walking by and just kind-of do their own thing. You really have to look for them however! Because (a) they are everywhere and (b) they are really well disguised! But I did the work for you and now all you have to do is look at my beautiful (well, okay amateur) pictures.                           This pic is for Carolyn!...

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Addo Elphant Park

Posted by on Oct 27, 2013 in Africa, South Africa | 1 comment

So far my experience with elephants has only been on Okambara (Namibia), where there is a small herd of 9 elephants. Generally on Okambara we monitor the elephants from no less than 150 meters (unless they come closer to us). And there is at least on badly behaved elephant (a juvenile testing his testosterone, er, boundaries). So it was really a delight to get up close and personal to the elephants at Knysna (mentioned in my last blog post). Two days later I went to Addo National Elephant Park, where they have vast herds of free roaming elephants. The park was established in 1920, so these elephants (unlike those at Okambara who are young enough to remember being darted, transported, and collared) are used to vehicles as just another part of the “natural” landscape. When I first pulled up...

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Knysna Elephant Park (South Africa)

Posted by on Oct 25, 2013 in Africa, South Africa | Comments Off on Knysna Elephant Park (South Africa)

So far my experience with elephants has only been on Okambara (Namibia), where there is a small herd of 9 elephants. Generally on Okambara we monitor them from no less than 150 meters (unless they come closer to us). And there is at least on badly behaved elephant (a juvenile testing his testosterone, er, boundaries). So we are always observing from very far away and usually through binoculars, with one eye on our escape route! It was really a delight to get up close and personal with the elephants at Knysna Elephant Park. (pronounced nighs-na) At Knysna they have a really nice facility with a small herd of rescued elephants. They train them to line up behind a railing when the people come to visit them and this prevents folks from getting hurt. Here is a link to their...

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Weird things seen along the way

Posted by on Oct 16, 2013 in Namibia | 1 comment

Here are some strange (and FUNNY!) things I saw along the way…   A store:   A sign at Jukani Wildlife Center:   I never saw one! (I saw plenty of dung but never a beetle!)   Wait ’til I tell you about not getting out of the vehicle when I had to vomit (but that’s for another post):   Ok, not weird but I took a picture because I thought it might be:     I usually don;t post anything snarky, but this was posted over the desk of the sweetest black South African lady I’d ever met…I guess you’d need to be there to get the whole context…     This one literally had me laughing out loud…enlarge the photo if you cannot read the billboard… Please follow and like...

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