In this post I'll write a little about the most interesting/fun animal encounters I was part of. Turns out I already have quite a few meetings with black bears…
Black bear - Waterton, Canada
As I was hiking somewhere in the park to see a waterfall on my last day, suddenly, a short distance from me I see a black bear on the main trail ! Not in the trees or something, on the main trail. We stared at each other. I froze for a second, but was quick enough to… start taking photos! Want to read more?
Black bear - Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
I visited the Smoky mountains with 2 friends. We woke up early in order to try and see some bears. One friend was really into it and the other, well, quite the opposite.
We entered the park and my role was to try and spot them bears. A few minutes passed when I noticed something strange in the woods! We parked the car and got out and there he was, not a full grown male, a rather young cub.
My friend got a few good shots with his good camera and then the bear started to climb a tree… Which is, for itself, quite amazing! You wouldn’t expect such a big animal to be so agile.
Black bear - Yellowstone, Wyoming
The main recommendation for viewing wildlife is to wake up early. I woke up early and stood in the area where grizzlies rule the land but unfortunately didn’t see them.
A bit later I saw a group of cars that pulled over so I did so too. First of all I saw many photographers setting their tripods and all, and then I saw the cute bear. But further down the road there was another one, much closer to the road! Want to read more?
It's not all about bears
Hipo - Kruger, South Africa
As I mentioned here, Kruger is a huge national park in South Africa. I was very excited when we entered it. We took the road towards our night camp and then we noticed some cars on the side of the road. I don't know why, but what came to me instinctively was to get out of the car…
When you think of it, this is not a smart thing to do in a park where animals go freely. There are lions, cheetas, elephants, zebras, deer, giraffes, wielder-beasts, rhinos and hipos! There was a hipo in the woods but it turns out that this ‘cute’ looking animal is in the top charts of deadliest African wildlife. My friend shouted at me so I got right back in the car.
Marmots - Grand Teton, Wyoming
I left for a short hike to see “Jenny lake” in Grand Teton park. Somewhere in the woods a deer jumped in front of me, but we’re not here to ‘talk’ about him.
After passing the “Hidden falls” I saw the sign for the “boat deck”. The problem was that it was the beginning of the season so I didn’t even know if the boat service is already active.
Anyway, I decided to take a rest, laid there on the bench and enjoyed the warm sun. Suddenly one marmot came to the area and I’m taking photos… then another one joined and another, until the whole family was there! Very cute creatures
Almost made it
Moose – Waterton, Canada
It was early morning and I took a short hike to some lake and several steps later I identified some shape in the woods… it was a big moose! That’s one big animal! Even though it’s not a carnivore you don’t want to mess with it… It immediately reminded me of the one I saw a year before, in Yellowstone, which now I understood was very young.
Whale shark – missed
Off the coast of Mozambique, I went for a "whale shark safari". Unfortunately, that day, the sharks didn't really come close enough.
All I saw was a baby whale shark for… a millisecond
Puma – Bolivia
In Bolivia there's a sanctuary for wild animals where people can volunteer for a period of time to help take care of them. I stopped there on my way, didn't have the time to stay there for a while but wanted to see the place.
One of the volunteers came to show me around and 2 minutes later I found myself standing in the "middle of the jungle" with a rope tied to a PUMA cub!! And this guy just left… So this puma is cute and all, like a big cat, but it is a wild animal! After an hour or so someone came and let me go…