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Finding #Strength at Gatorland Orlando: An #ExpediaFindYours Photo Essay

 Finding #Strength at Gatorland Orlando: An #ExpediaFindYours Photo Essay

If you’re from Orlando, you know Gatorland. For over 60 years this roadside attraction has entertained millions of visitors with over 1,400 gators and 300 crocodiles. It’s one of the few “Old Florida” attractions remaining since the theme parks moved into town forty years ago.

I’ve been meaning to visit this historic place since I’ve moved to Orlando. And on my month-long search for travel #Strength with the #ExpediaFindYours Twitter Photo Competition (details on how you can win a $250 coupon from Expedia are at the bottom of this post), this was the perfect opportunity.

Eating Food With No Utensils at Medieval Times Orlando’s Newest Show

 Eating Food With No Utensils at Medieval Times Orlandos Newest Show

When we were little, it was cool to eat with our hands. Our parents would lovingly take photos of mushed peas smeared all over our faces and carrots on our fingertips. Then at some point, such behavior is deemed socially unacceptable. Not for this guy… doing something child-like is one of my 9 1/2 ways to ignite adventure in your life. And last week at Medieval Times Orlando, I was actually encouraged to eat with my hands!* I also found it fitting that one of my readers, Ali, suggested Medieval Times as a way to celebrate turning 30. So let’s get going…

Animals from the Mabula Private Game Lodge in South Africa

 Animals from the Mabula Private Game Lodge in South Africa

Today’s post includes photos from the Mabula Private Game Lodge. Just over 2 hours from Johannesburg, Mabula offers the convenience of a short drive from the city, but the immersion in an expansive animal reserve that includes the Big Five!

 Animals from the Mabula Private Game Lodge in South Africa

A lone giraffe at dusk. They are tall creatures for sure!

 Animals from the Mabula Private Game Lodge in South Africa

The thickness of the elephant’s skin helps protect it from the plentiful thorn bushes in the reserve.

 Animals from the Mabula Private Game Lodge in South Africa

Sure the big animals often get all the attention, but South Africa has some pretty awesome birds too – including this hornbill.

#FriFotos – Balls

 #FriFotos   Balls

#FriFotos is a weekly photo event where photographers post their photos, all related to a specific theme on Friday. It’s a fun way to share your photos. You can find everyone’s photos by searching for #FriFotos on twitter. Each Friday I’ll be participating in the event and this week’s theme is “Balls”.

So I thought I would find a few photos from the Animal Kingdom such as this weaver bird’s house in South Africa.

 #FriFotos   Balls

Or Impala dung outside my cabin in the bush.

 #FriFotos   Balls

Or a dung beetle rolling a ball of… dung!

Encountering the Scorpion Queen at the Sriracha Tiger Zoo

 Encountering the Scorpion Queen at the Sriracha Tiger Zoo

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. That person, known as the Scorpion Queen, is covered in Scorpions. I discovered her at the Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Thailand. One of the featured attractions, the Scorpion Queen just stands there all day long with scorpions on her body. I have no idea how they don’t sting her.

 Encountering the Scorpion Queen at the Sriracha Tiger Zoo

For a few bucks, you can pay to stand next to her and have your picture taken. I declined, in part because I was being cheap and was tired of paying for photo opportunities over and over again in Thailand (a common occurrence), but also because I don’t trust bugs. They can’t be trained and a scorpion sting would hurt, badly.

The Big Animals Always Get Attention; But What About the Little Ones?

 The Big Animals Always Get Attention; But What About the Little Ones?

While strolling to my car in California last week I nearly stepped on this little snail. At first, I kept on walking. But then I turned around and got closer to the little creature.

I stopped for a moment, got down on my hands and knees and watched it cross the sidewalk. I was struck by it’s size, determination, pace and beauty in it’s design. It didn’t matter that I had to get to the airport. I was mesmerized by this little snail.

The Coolest Thing About South Africa Is This…

 The Coolest Thing About South Africa Is This...

As a frequent traveler, I’m often asked what is my favorite country in the world. The answer is an easy one: South Africa. I’ve written more about South Africa than any other topic on this site.

What makes South Africa so special? Why do I love it so much? The photo above is all I need to say.

This is a photograph of an elephant in the Kruger National Park I took while I was driving through. It was that big, and that close to my car. No fences, no trenches, no chains, no barriers. Nothing.

A Cute Photo of a South African Rock Dassie

 A Cute Photo of a South African Rock Dassie

I was recently reviewing some old photos and came across this snapshot of a South African Rock Dassie at Augrabies Falls National Park. I think it is by far, the cutest animal photo I have ever taken. What do you think? If you’d like to see more, click here to view my Facebook Fan Page Photo Album with more of these cute little buggers!

What’s the cutest animal photo you’ve ever taken on your travels? Share by commenting.

I’ll see you out there…!