Happiness is sharing (your muddy mound!)

Regular readers of my posts will be aware that I love watching African animals in their natural environments and can spend days being so occupied. The best place to see them in relatively close proximity is in the national parks of South Africa.

It was while we were travelling from Olifants to Mopani in Kruger National Park last year, that we came across a most bizarre sight. We had gone down a side road, looking for a river (which the map assured us was there!) – hoping to find a shady tree and a nice cooling water view to watch for wildlife coming to drink – it being a pretty hot day! Instead, disappointingly, all we found was a series of pools in a dried up river bed.

However, on closer inspection, things were not as devoid of life as it had first seemed. The largest visible pool was also nearest the bridge where we were parked. The water extended only about 10m or (~11 feet) in length and about half that in width. It was what was in that relatively small, shallow pool that was quite entertaining and then very startling!

Five turtles jostle for a place in the sun

Five turtles jostle for a place in the sun in the centre of the pool while another has no such worries!

Five turtles were precariously balanced on a small muddy mound in the pool centre! The one in the distance had a better idea and had an ‘island’ to itself. They all seemed perfectly sleepy and content – happily sunning themselves without a care in the world!

I was here first, get off you lot!

I was here first, get off you lot!

Interestingly, they were all facing the same direction – perhaps this was to protect their necks from sunburn? A few other turtles on the bank were also facing this way, so there must have been some reason – known only to the animals themselves.

So fascinated was I by this little scene, it took me a while to look around at the remainder of the pool.

Not very far away, was an enormous crocodile – also lying in the sun. Tail nice and cool in the water, body soaking up the heat. I could not believe how something that large would spend time in such a small body of water. One flick of its tail and the turtles would have all gone flying! Just goes to show, no matter how small the pool, it pays to be diligent!

Happiness is….. sharing a rather small pool and a place in the sun with the overcrowded neighbours!

A very big crocodile asleep in the sun

A very big crocodile asleep in the sun

This story was posted in reply to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy! If you wish to get a lot more ideas and perspectives on being Happy, check out Sara Rosso’s WordPress post!

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About Madoqua

I have been to lots of places, seen lots of things and had some great experiences. This blog has writings about these adventures; a place to share the many photos I have collected and to describe the lovely things I have seen. In recent years, I have discovered the delights of biking and have cycled in lots of places. You can read about these adventures on my other blog "Cycling through the middle ages".
This entry was posted in Africa, Kruger National Park, Travel, Weekly challenges, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Happiness is sharing (your muddy mound!)

  1. Great photos! I only get to see such animals on tv (well, occasionally a zoo), but am an avid lover of all things David Attenborough! :-)

  2. scrapydo says:

    What a wonderful experience! Thanks for sharing this. It shows there is a place in the sun for everybody.

  3. Sydney Fong says:

    hey! well say “Happiness is sharing (your muddy mound!)”, I had another phrase to share ” small cake sharing with big group”

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