It often looks like polished art on the front but behind the scenes can be a tangled, knotted, unsightly mess.

Take the wildscape of Africa. We have stunning photos of majestic beasts, graceful birds, gorgeous sunsets, exotic plants. We see less of the “unpleasant side” of the circle of life, the back of the tapestry, the underground that makes the rest possible like the all-critical scavengers, burrowing critters, worms, beetles, and bacteria that decompose and clean up detritus. Mother Nature can appear harsh at times but she’s a well-oiled machine when in balance.

DId you know that …

👉🏼 dried game meat is called Biltong in Africa and a favorite snack among locals?

Biltong – wildebeest? impala? So many choices!

👉🏼 hippos only go in water to stay out of the sun and prevent sunburn? And that they have a friendly, symbiotic relationship with crocs: fish feed on hippo feces, crocs eat fish, everyone co-exists peacefully.

Huge black and yellow Nile croc

👉🏼 giraffes can grow to six meters tall, their heart is two meters (six feet) off the ground, is about two feet long, and weighs more than 20 pounds? That heart works pretty hard to get blood way up to the brain! As a result, a giraffe’s pulse and blood pressure are double that of humans.

👉🏼 water buffalo are considered one of the most dangerous animals in the world (right up there with hippos!) and their horns weigh about 50 pounds? While on a game drive in the Prideland Reserve, we watched some lone males generally having a bad day and I was glad to have some vegetation between us.

👉🏼 you can identify the gender of an elephant by the shape of their forehead? Male foreheads are round and females have a bump like the corner of a triangle. Female tusks point inward and the gals begin to get indents at their temples at age 35, making it easy to narrow their general age.

Huge male with nice round forehead
Female with point of forehead and indented temples. She’s a mature gal

👉🏼 unlike lions who breed and birth year round, a herd of impalas all give birth within a two week period to help ensure greater survival of their young?Of course some are still lost to predators, including

👉🏼 raptors which can carry animals up to 55 pounds!

Impalas everywhere!

I found these tidbits fascinating as we drove through the game reserves with guides sharing their vast knowledge of animal behavior. Individuals must train for a few months to a year to qualify as a certified guide. There is a lot at stake taking tourists into the bush with unpredictable wildlife so they must learn animal behavior, habitats, and habits thoroughly. Fortunately we had only good experiences!

The company I used was Intrepid and they vet each of the providers and experiences before allowing them as part of our tour. They delivered an excellent service that I highly recommend if you’re looking for a safari (they do many other types of travel globally too but this was my first experience with them).

That’s all for Trivia Night this time! Stay tuned for some fun new stories and hints about my next adventures coming soon!



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