Have you ever wanted to know what the Kruger National Park in South Africa looks like through the very mediocre eyes of a standard family sedan’s Dash Camera Video?
Yes? Well then that’s great, because you’re in luck 😉
My latest little travel excerpt on Africa is a short series of Dash Cam Diaries videos that I edited during a 3 night stay at Mopani Camp in the northern part of the Kruger National Park.
The 72hrs we spent as a family in the Kruger Park was dogged by 32hrs of solid rainfall. Unfortunately, continuous rain doesn’t bode well for good game viewing.
Animals tend to hunker down in the dense bush for protection against the elements. Birds seldom take flight, as they too tend to find cover in dense foliage from the drenching rain. For some reason, a lot of tortoises can be seen crossing the wet roads during and just after the rain.
Another problem I had recording animal activity is that I lost my sim card half way through the trip. Hence I only managed to take 7 short videos. The highlight of the trip was seeing a cheetah chase down a zebra foal (video 3).
Adult zebra are too large for cheetah to kill, as cheetah are slender animals and do not have very strong shoulders to bring down big prey. They can take a zebra foal though. One thing a cheetah needs in order to successfully hunt, chase and kill its prey, is speed. Without going at full speed and without its prey running away from it, the cheetah will more than likely be unsuccessful, as was the case in my 3rd video.
The zebra herd were watching the cheetah sitting on a mound seemingly minding its own business. I honestly thought the zebra were safe (even though they had a foal in the small herd), considering everyone could see everyone and they all looked chilled with each other, and the fact that zebra are too big for cheetah (which I, 3 seconds before the chase started, had told my daughter as much). Anyway, as it turns out the cheetah was just waiting for the zebra to be distracted, and that happened as soon as another car pulled up from our opposite direction.
The zebra turned towards the approaching vehicle with their rumps facing the cheetah. This signalled the opportunity for the cheetah to start its chase. I must point out that this was a very big male cheetah, hence it fancying its chances against a large zebra foal. The cheetah didn’t need to stalk its prey but rather, it hit full sprint within just a few meter’s from where he was lying.
In the grainy-zoomed-in-video you can see the zebra started running very late and this is the reason why the cheetah was unsuccessful. Instead of being able to “ankle-tap” it’s prey at high speed causing the animal to lose its balance and tumble along the ground, thereby allowing the cheetah time to regroup and pounce on his prey’s throat to start the suffocation process, the cheetah had to tray and push its prey over.
As mentioned before cheetahs do not have strong upper body strength like lions, leopards and hyenas. They can’t easily pull down large prey, so they have to hit them at full speed. Because the zebra was late in gathering momentum the cheetah basically bounced off the zebra foal and went tumbling away to the side, thereby allowing the zebra to live another day.
If you are really concerned about the quality of my dash cam footage and irritated that it is not of National Geographic standard, please just remember that its only a dashcam. I do take other photos and videos with my phone and Nikon camera, but for the purpose of this exercise, I am only doing dash cam.
The reason I didn’t have time to film the cheetah hunt, is because it all happened so fast and I really do like to see wildlife mostly through my own eye lenses. I realised that maybe just maybe my dash cam had picked it up. So when I checked on my computer – low and behold there was the hunt. Distant, and difficult to see clearly, but still visible.
This is what made me decide to do a dash cam series. I preferably would’ve liked to have filmed the entire trip from door to door so you can see the areas we drive through to get there as well as the general scenery of all the Kruger Park and its camps. But like I said I lost my SD Card and before that a lot of footage had overwritten itself.
I wanted to add that in relation to this blog, I am always a camper. My family love camping and that is how we normally enjoy the great outdoors. This trip however was spent in a chalet, due to the fact that we were generously gifted a free 3 night stay for 4 people from a friend of mine.
I have decided that I should do more with my dash cam diaries. In addition to filming the countryside of different destinations, wildlife and the like, I want to do videos of my travels in more forms as well, like time lapse campsite videos and filming gadget reviews etc.
Please letme know if these diaries would be of interest to you?
Thanks for reading and watching my first Dash Cam Diaries Series