Wednesday 30 August 2023

New friends and other animals!

From marsh deer to zorro gris, Mburukuya national park has a humungous range of wildlife. The guides told us it hasn’t rained in the park for 4 years and not to expect to see many animals. Well, I don’t know where they live but this was paradise! Within a few minutes into our stay in the park, a zorro gris padded into our campsite curious to check out the park’s new visitors.

Next day, as the sun rose, a spark of new excitement ignited in me and Dan and, after leaping onto trail, we spotted two deer munching lazily on grass. Later on in the day, after setting out for our daily walk, Dan spotted a marsh deer having an afternoon's rest. It was amazing seeing the deer with two roughly 60-70cm long antlers…

That’s not all either! When we reached the viewpoint, we saw some capybara! For those of you who don’t know, a capybara is a dog-sized rodent usually found in or around water as their preferred diet is water hyacinth. There were so many in that place that it was almost like a capybara traffic jam! As we were walking back from the viewpoint, my sister and dad heard a loud scuffling noise in the thorny undergrowth. Dan cautiously lifted a patch of grass where we had heard the noise coming from and then, with a mighty jump and a flash, an armadillo run into the low thorny bushes. I then read that the armadillo has three different defences: 1) running into thorny undergrowth, 2) using its muscular front to burrow to safety and 3) curling up into a ball with bony armour-plating covering its head, back and sides from danger. It was really cool to see and truly unexpected.    

And did I tell you about the monkeys we saw when we were out on a walk with an Argentinian family we met at the park? We were walking along one of the woodland park trails when the nine-year old son (Eliseo) said: ‘Mono, mono’! In case you didn’t know, mono means monkey in Spanish. And he was right! Clambering up in the trees were five or six monkeys. One of the most amazing things about this sighting was that there was a black alpha male, the head of the family group, thundering out his loud call right above our heads. Did you know that if you stand underneath a tree a monkey is in, they might throw their poo on you? Luckily, although we were in range, they didn’t attack. Bums away…😊!

The Argentinian family we met from the nearby town turned out to be very nice and incredibly kind to us. First, we played a match of badminton together with Eliseo and his oldest sister, Bruna, (who was 11), and then they invited us to join their barbecue which turned out to be quite a feast. On the second day, they did a 3 hour long drive to reach our campsite again and to cook an amazing chicken risotto over the campfire that was wolfed down and enjoyed by everyone. 

As the meal ended, Ismene and the oldest sister laid down in the hammock and, to our surprise, were curled up and fast asleep. 

One of the other funny moments of the evening was when me and Eliseo left the girls in the tree long after dark with no lights, and then as soon as we were out of sight, doubled back and pretended to be pumas hunting them down! We got them pretty good time and time again😊 Their dad who did all the cooking, used to be a gaucho (sort of a South American cowboy), and was known by everybody in his town as chuleta or little rib.

Even though the time we spent with them was very short, we felt we made good friends and was sad to see them leave for the last time.


  1. As a sister myself, I think you and Eliseo were a bit mean to the girls! I rather regret that the monkeys did not chuck poo at you. You seem to have a lot of feasts. Do many people speak English, or are you getting good at Spanish? Well done for keeping up the blogging - I really love hearing from you about the exciting sights and adventures. Thank you. Sending love to you all. Sal

  2. Estamos muy contentos de poder compartir un momento agradable con nuestros amigos de Inglaterra, los vamos a extrañar mucho. En nuestro corazón quedarán guardado todo lo vivido, esas conversaciones,juegos y risas 😊 hasta la próxima visita Si Dios quiere ❤️

  3. Saludos ( Rodrigo, Romina, Bruna y Eliseo)❤️

  4. It sounds like you're having a wonderful time, Oresti! I showed Avra and Mikey your blog, they particularly liked its name:):)