Lions vs Giraffe

Young male lions feeding on a fresh kill; a giraffe. Kruger National Park, the largest game reserve in South Africa. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Young male lions feeding on a fresh kill; a giraffe. Kruger National Park, South Africa. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

It was our last day in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, and early in the morning we were heading through the park towards the Paul Kruger Gate in a large tourist bus when all traffic suddenly came to a full stop.

Looking out of the window I could clearly see the reason why; a small group of three young male lions had very recently brought down an adult giraffe, and were feeding on the carcass just a few meters from the roadside. A red track of blood could be followed to the other side of the road, were the actual kill had taken place.

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Penguins on the Beach

Boulders Beach near Cape Town in South Africa has a colony of African Penguins which settled there in 1982. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Penguins on Boulders Beach. It is a popular tourist stop because of a colony of African Penguins which settled there in 1982. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Until I visited South Africa a couple of years ago I’ve never seen a penguin in the wild.  And I certainly didn’t expect to meet some on the African continent. But there they were, happily bouncing around on a beach not far from Cape Town. Boulders Beach is a sheltered bay located on the Cape Peninsula near Simonstown. Also known as Boulders Bay, it is a part of the Table Mountain National Park.

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From Iceland to the Moon

Iceland. The area close to Askja was used during training for the Apollo program. The main objective in Askja was to study geology. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Iceland. The area close to Askja was used during training for the Apollo program. The main objective in Askja was to study geology. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

The phrase “The area was used during training for the Apollo program to prepare astronauts for the lunar missions” is commonly used when trying to attract tourists to the Askja area on Iceland and similar desolated locations. You can see it all flashing before your eyes; heroic astronauts jumping around in bulky space suits, trying not to fall over in the moonlike landscape.

Well, it is a common misconception that the Apollo astronauts traveled to wastelands on earth to get used to the bleak hell of the barren moon. As someone said: “for that they could have stayed in Houston”. I’ve never been to Houston, so I cannot say…

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