Monday, May 20, 2013


During my stay in Johannesburg, the lovely and most hospitable Naaktgeborens, (aka: Calvary Chapel Johannesburg’s pastors extr’aordinaire) invited me on one of their family outings.

We went to the zoo.

The Naaktgeboren clan at the zoo.
Now as for zoos, I can take them or leave them. But a chance to spend the day with the Naaktgeborens... well that’s a whole other matter. When they invited me to join their impromptu day at the zoo, I was eager to go.

Not for the critters... but the fellowship.

We didn’t go to the zoo in Johannesburg (which I assumed was our destination), instead we went to the neighboring city of Pretoria which is about a 45 minutes drive from CCJ.

Pretoria is South Africa’s capital city and boasts of many sights... only one of which is their zoo.

We got there by late morning and immediately started rambling about the place. Monkeys, anteaters, and white-handed gibbons were some of my favorites.

Hungry Hungry Hippos!
I was also pleased to finally get a close-up look at the hippopotamus and gorillas. However, when the leopard got a close-up look at us... I confess I was considerably less pleased. There was something deeply disturbing in that steady stare as the leopard expertly hid behind the foliage and watched us pass.

She was inches away and barely visible. Yikes!

After lunch we decided to take the telepherique up to the top the the park. And from our high and wobbly perches, we could see lions and tigers... and bears! Oh My!

No... seriously. We saw several female lions; both white and regular bengal tigers; and two bears sleeping with their feet in the air.

What fun!

When I stop to think about it, however, I occurs to me that these three animals represent The Large and Ferocious of three distant continents. The lions are mostly seen in Africa. The tigers are only seen in Asia. And well... those brown bears are decidedly North American, for sure!

I wonder if that's what makes that song in the Wizard of Oz so funny?    Hummm.

But I digress. Back to the zoo!

Fun fact: male seahorses gestate their young.
Of all the places we visited that day, I must say I liked the bird sanctuary the best. The chirps and songs that livened up the soaring canopy at dusk was majestic.
       -- God’s original symphony.

And of all the animals we saw that day, the crocodile definitely won the Funniest Face award. With those close-set eyes and wicked grin, he looked too stupid to do anything but lie there and soak up the sun.

I’d hate to see that grin in the wild, though. It’d be decidedly less funny then! All in all. I’m glad I went.

Thanks Naaktgeborens for inviting me!