19 November 2019
It was still raining when we awoke this morning. Oh dear, it promised to be a wet pack up. But we were lucky as there was just a spit and a spot and no wind so we managed to get everything done very quickly.
It is over 90km from Skukuza to Satara and as usual with the caravan, we stuck to the tar road. We were off by 07:15
It was good to see a fair number of the usual gang – impala, baboons, zebra – enjoying the cooler weather. We have been seeing the Grey Go-away-bird quite often but he has never posed very well for me. Today I got two together!
Elephants were among the regulars.
On the H1-2 just a few kilometres from Tshokwane we came across three hyaenas. Two walked quickly past us.
We stopped at Tshokawne for breakfast. Next time I will remember to bring my own cutlery. Plastic knives and forks just don’t do it for me!
After breakfast, we went to see if there was anything happening in the river bed. There was!
I asked the staff what predator had killed it but they did not know. The carcass was there when they arrived at work this morning.
There was soon a crowd of tourists standing next to us trying to get a look so we moved away and carried on toward Satara.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spotted one of my favourite birds, far from water.
Soon we came upon a traffic jam. “It has to be a lion or leopard,” I told the Earl. Cars and tourist jeeps were parked badly across the road and there was only a very narrow passage through them. The Earl gingerly piloted the rig through and stopped for a quick look. It was a leopard eating a baby hyaena!
We quickly snapped our photos and continued in order not to add to the chaos!
We arrived at Satara at 11:00. It was still overcast but no rain. We found a site right on the perimeter with a view across the veld.
Last night’s storm had kept us awake so after setting up we had a rest until just after 15:00 then set off for a short drive. The clouds had cleared and the temperature was 37 degrees C. I don’t think we have ever seen this part of the park so dry. Rain is desperately needed.
In spite of the dry conditions, there was quite a bit of game to see.
From the bridge, we looked down onto the river bank and were quite shocked at how low the water level was.
We got back to camp at 17:45 and it was still very hot. As in most camps, there is also a lot of avian activity at Satara. We were delighted to find these visitors were not at all shy.
There are a few Wire-tailed Swallows, Woodlands Kingfisher and Mourning Doves about too, but I haven’t snapped them yet.
I cooked chicken in the Remoska Pot for dinner and we were in bed by 20:00. However, in the middle of the night, we were woken by crashing thunder, crackling lightning and pelting rain! The Earl got up to check the canopy but it was too late! The weight of the collected water caused the tent poles to bend. We would deal with that problem in the light of day! There was not much sleep for us from then on!
20 November 2019
It was still raining when we got up at 06:00 this morning. The Earl donned his bathing costume and I just risked getting my pyjamas wet. We sorted out the broken poles and rolled up the canopy and only managed to get slightly damp.
I then went off to shower while The Earl called Gecko in Haenitzburg. At 07:30 he set off to get replacement poles. This should take most of the day. As I write I am alone at Satara, blogging and getting some caravan chores done! It is still overcast and raining from time to time. We are not complaining. The park desperately needs rain!