Pafuri and the thief

The drive to Pafuri Picnic grounds from Punda

This link above is for a powerpoint.  I wanted to try and see if uploading a Microsoft powerpoint looked the same as making one in WordPress.  Clearly, it is not the same as this powerpoint is just a link and you can’t see the pictures unless you click on it.

After our exciting morning seeing so much on the Mahonie Loop and the big breakfast and our short hike on the Flycatcher Trail we decided to head out again in our car.  We planned to go north since all during the next week we would be traveling south.  Pafuri is the name of the border crossing into the country of Mozambique.  It is also the name of a picnic spot on the banks of the Luvuvhu River near the border.  The picnic area is known as a great spot to see birds where there is a couple who run the park owned site.  They are known to have extensive knowledge about the area and also about birds.  It is about 64 kilometers from Punda Maria camp.  We chose to go there.  There would be no place to get out of our car between Punda Maria and Pafuri, so you can probably guess what you better do before you get in the car!  Yep, go to the bathroom!

When we arrived we realized that this picnic area, unlike the camp, is not fenced in!  So, if any wild animals come by it is just you and the distance between you, your car, and the wild animal.  That was a bit frightening.  Plus when you read all the signs about how you can get out “at your own risk” it really plants some fear into your mind. I have no illusions that I could out run any wild animal!

The warning sign about getting out of your vehicle at the picnic spot

Since it was a Sunday, lots of people were at the picnic area.  Nyala, a type of antelope, wandered around along with lots of Velvet Faced Monkeys, and it seemed like most adult monkeys were carrying a baby monkey with them.  It is just the beginning of summer there so many animals are just now having their babies.

Velvet Faced Monkeys

Unfortunately we didn’t see many birds.  We did find out that the cute looking Velvet Faced Monkeys are good at stealing things!  Apparently many people have given them human food over the years which is not really very good for them.  Since it is easier to get free food from people than it is to hunt for food, many monkeys hang out at the picnic site hoping to get the chance to snatch something.  Right before Mr. Gibson and I sat down to have our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches the lady at the table next to us walked away from her table with her picnic already spread out and as fast as you could say “monkey thief” a monkey ran and jumped on the table.  He stole an entire bag of chips and then he climbed up a big tree where he sat looking down on us and chattered (probably bragging in monkey language)!

Monkey thief

On the ride back to Punda Maria we came across a group of 5 male African buffalo.  We stopped to look at them and they all lined up looking back at us.  It seemed like we were going to be charged by a group of linebackers!  We decided it was time to drive off.  We also saw a car sitting on the road with no rear tire.  Something must have happened and only the metal part of the wheel was left and a long groove in the road.  The car wasn’t there when we drove up to the picnic grounds so it must have happened while we were eating our lunch.  It made us think about what we might do if our car broke down or we had a flat tire since if you get out of your car to look at the tire you might get eaten by a lion, leopard or some other carnivore.  We hoped that the person had gotten a ride to go get help from someone else and that is why we did not see them.

We were just admiring these Cape Buffalo when they started to line up and stare back at us

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