Finally, some baboons appeared on a rock ledge over our heads and Kay spotted an African Hawk Eagle out in the open on a bare tree branch probably trying to warm himself up for breakfast hunting. Then even higher on a peak, Liberty pointed out a Rock Hyrax which could only be seen with binoculars or long lenses. This furry little creature is the closest relative to an elephant! Guides love to tell tourists this strange but true factoid. Since the morning ride had been somewhat anti-climactic, Liberty decided it was time to drive back to the lodge. On the way home, we saw a giraffe and the aunt lioness in close proximity to one another near the waterhole. The giraffe was clearly aware that the lioness was nearby but kept edging cautiously toward the water. Then the lioness arose and began moving in that direction as well. We could hear the mother lioness calling to her sister and her call dissuaded the aunt from drinking and she glided away in the bush in the direction of the soft roar (isn’t that an oxymoron?). The giraffe also disappeared but I don’t think those two ever had any contact. Nor did we see the reunion of the aunt and her family.
Our last safari ride in Hobatere was made memorable by the secretary birds we were able to observe as they sought to bed down for the night. It was a male and female pair and these are rather large birds. The tree they chose for their evening roost was clearly too flimsy for their weight and size. They would cling precariously rocking back and forth on a slender branch until they realized that this was not going to work. Then they would hop to another equally inadequate branch which also swayed unacceptably in the breezes. At last, after much hopping around, they settled in the crotch of the tree and seem to be ready for the night whereupon we left them to their slumbers.
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