Sunday, August 21, 2011

Murchison Falls

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all
Member of the so-called "Big Five" (with the elephant, rhino, lion and leopard. )
Dangerous, kill more people in Africa than any other animal.
 Both male and female buffaloes have heavy, ridged horns.
The horns are formidable weapons used against predators and for jostling for space within the herd; males use the horns in fights for dominance.    

Sight and hearing are both rather poor, but scent is well developed.
A calf in danger will bellow mournfully, bringing herd members running at a gallop to defend it.                                       

Males congregate in groups, 4 to 7 years of age and males 12 years and older.
The older bulls often prefer to be on their own. 
Usually calve only once every two years. Although 
the female and her offspring have an unusually intense and prolonged relationship.
Calves are suckled for as long as a year and during this time are completely dependent on their mothers.                                        .
 They have very few enemies on the savanna. They are grass eaters.

Giraffes have the same number of bones in their neck as humans do.
Baby giraffes are about 6 feet tall when they are born.
They are one of the few animals born with horns.
They only sleep for a few minutes at a time.
Their heart weighs approximately 24 pounds.
Giraffes are the tallest animals on earth.
You would have to run in order to keep up with a giraffe walking because every step a giraffe takes is 15 feet long.
A giraffe's neck can be 78 inches long.

The giraffes' biggest enemy is the lion.
Each time a giraffe picks up its neck it picks up 550 pounds!
A giraffe is one of the few animals that uses mostly its front legs when it runs.
Giraffe have 4 stomachs just like cows (their cud needs to travel all the way up their neck!)

Largest living land mammal.
Muscular trunk serves as a nose, hand, extra foot, signaling device and tool for gathering food, siphoning water, dusting, and digging.
Tusks differ in size, shape and angle and researchers can use them to identify individuals.
Distinguished by its high level of intelligence, interesting behavior, methods of communication and complex social structure.
Fascinated with the tusks and bones of dead elephants, fondling and examining them.
African Elephant's ears are the same shape as the continent of Africa.
Very social, frequently touching and caressing one another and entwining their trunks.
Elephants demonstrate concern for members of their families they take care of weak or injured members and appear to grieve over a dead companion.

Love water, the Greeks named them the "river horse." 
Spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in water to keep their massive bodies cool
Graceful in water, good swimmers, and can hold their breath underwater for five minutes. 
Secrete an oily red substance, which gave rise to the myth that they sweat blood - liquid is actually a skin moistener and sunblock
At sunset they leave the water and travel overland to graze.
May graze for 6 miles in a night, to consume some 80 pounds of grass.
They can match a humans speed for short distances.
Hippo calves weigh nearly 100 pounds at birth and can suckle on land or underwater
Each female has only one calf every two years.
Soon after birth, mother and young join schools that provide protection against crocodiles, lions, and hyenas.
Adults weigh 2 to 4 tons

Vegetation eaters but also eat meat when available.
Sleep, travel, feed and socialize as a group

Often socialize with humans
Adults groom each other while the children play


Only males have horns.
Mothers hide their young for the first 3-4 weeks returning frequently to suckle them.

The meat of older water bucks takes on an unpleasant odor from the waterproofing secretions of its sweat glands, prompting predators to choose other prey.


Ugandan type of antelope
Very forgetful - while running from a predator he may forget why he is running and stop.






This whole family was lying in this mud puddle we couldn't believe it when they all crawled out.



 Uganda's National Bird - Silver Crested Crane
 The boat ride got a little wet with a stiff breeze and a pretty big wake

A safari in Africa can be quite the experience even a spiritual experience as you view God's creations.  From the beautiful, graceful giraffes to those ugly little warthogs it is quite the sight.

Safari with the Hunsakers, what a way to end a great trip to Africa.

*   Most of these great pictures were taken by Dr.Hunsaker and he was kind enough to share them with us. 
** Names of animals may not be totally correct


Emma Barlow said...

I think the giraffe is my favorite! They would be good walking partners. :)

Angela said...

Way Cool pics! Poor antelope- if he stops running he'll get eaten. That is not smart.

Josh Kron said...

Hello Barlows in Uganda

My name is Joshua Kron and I am a journalist with the New York Times in Kampala.

I am trying to get in touch to discuss a project I am working on. My email is

Sorry for writing here -- didn't know how else to get in touch via the site.

Josh Kron

shobanaa said...

These pictures of the real Uganda safaris gorilla
touch my heart and make me remember why we are going back. It is very nice to see the pictures of the animals. Seeing the animals in uganda is very amazing.