South Africa Diaries: Day 7
We left the comfort of Letaba camp at about 6am and spent the whole day driving to our next camp for tonight. We had plenty of time though, so drove slowly and saw even more incredible creatures. I've been keeping a complete list of all species I've seen so far, which is getting ridiculously long now!
At around midday, we pulled over at the side of the road and got out of the minibuses to take some photos of a troop of vervet monkeys. However someone had made a big mistake and had left the window open in the minibus. One of the vervet monkeys jumped in and stole somebody’s chocolate, before running up into a tree to enjoy it in peace. It certainly wasn't going to share it with its mates. There were a lot of other wrappers around the base of the tree, so my theory is that these monkeys knew what they where doing and this wasn't the first time!
We also saw another saddle-billed stork today, a beautiful animal which, along with the southern ground hornbill and the martial eagle, is on one of the big six birds. We got to Oliphant’s camp at about 6:05, late again but they luckily still let us in.
Species Of The Day: Nile Crocodile
Nile crocodiles, Crocodylus niloticus, are the second largest extant reptile in the world, beaten only by the saltwater crocodile. They can reach lengths up to 5m and weigh around 410kg on average. They inhabit the majority of sub-Saharan Africa, even including Madagascar, and are one of three crocodilian species living in Africa. The other two are the slender-snouted crocodile, Mecistops cataphractus, and the dwarf crocodile, Osteolaemus tetraspis.
It has long been known that crocodiles show a response to water surface wave stimuli, but a study showed that Nile crocodiles were highly sensitive to capillary water surface waves in particular.