Gecko 81 Goes to Kruger – Satara

The Earl had a successful trip to and from Haenitzburg yesterday.   He now knows how to set up the canopy so that it won’t hold water in the next downpour!  (Thank you, Keith!)

Oh, and he saw a lion just as he was leaving Satara.  There were no other cars around. “Why didn’t you take a photograph?”  I asked when he told me.   Of course, he had forgotten to take his camera with him and didn’t think to use his cell phone!  But anyway, he saw it and it was good to know they’re in the area!  

21 November 2019

Our morning began with light drizzle and a temperature of 22 degrees centigrade.  The S100 is famous for good sightings so that is where we started at 07:00. The birdwatching was pretty good but we saw very few mammals.  Our Kruger 2019 list stands at 100 species now. Photography was difficult because of the poor light.

IMG_4334 Fish Eagle 2019-11-21 7-40-45 AM

Fish Eagle

IMG_4345 Rufous-naped Lark 2019-11-21 8-22-14 AM

Rufous-naped Lark

IMG_4362 Wattled Starlngs 2019-11-21 8-39-07 AM

Wattled Starlings

A pair of courting coucals amused us.

IMG_4392 Coucal with a gift 2019-11-21 9-16-29 AM

I wonder if she’d like this tasty morsel


IMG_4386 Courting Coucalls 2019-11-21 9-15-49 AM

She said, “no”  and turned her back on me

IMG_4388 Courting Coucals 2019-11-21 9-15-53 AM

I’m so upset – Well, if she doesn’t want it, I’ll eat it myself!

After the S100 we drove the S41 then the S37 and H6.  It was great to see big herds of zebra, wildebeest and waterbuck on these roads.

IMG_4398 Wildebeest for Erich 2019-11-21 9-36-28 AM.JPG

We stopped for a break at N’Wanetsi which does not have a restaurant but like all the picnic spots they do provide boiling water on tap so we had a cup of tea and a rusk after taking in the view.

IMG_4412 Spot the giraffe 2019-11-21 10-03-15 AM

Spot the giraffe!

We also visited the Sweeni Dam and saw yellow-billed storks, green-backed herons, blacksmith lapwings and crocodiles.


We watched this croc swim across the dam


I would not like to get too close to him!

Later, on the H6,  “What’s this walking toward us? ” asked the Earl.

It was a small four-legged creature and from the distance, I wasn’t sure but guessed it could be a warthog.  But it was not a hog, it was a dog!


He was a scruffy little jackal


And needed to scratch


Then he got up and almost smiled at us

A little further on we saw a traffic jam.  Now that could mean only one thing – a predator! Traffic jams are not our favourite way to find animals.  We prefer to be the only car or have just one or two others.  If we can, we try to get a glimpse of the creature and then move away as fast as possible.  But it just was not possible this time.  Jeep jockeys were blocking the way and other vehicles were jostling for position.

“Just go with the flow,” I told my frustrated hubby. “It doesn’t matter if we see it or not.   Just don’t try to push in or past.”  He wanted to get out of there as fast as possible.

And all the fuss was about a cheetah on the move and quite a distance away.  We got good views of him and then the cars started to follow him from the H6 to where he was to come out on the H1-3.   I got lots of photographs but none of them was really any good.


What a fuss you caused, Mr Cheetah

We got back to camp at midday and had leftover Texan steak and salad for lunch, as we had missed breakfast!  By then the skies had cleared and the temperature had risen.   We only went out again after 15:00 and returned at 18:15 which is just before gate closing time.


The different coloured lizards here are fascinating

IMG_4503 Male Steenbok 2019-11-21 3-48-04 PM


IMG_4508 Sabota Lark 2019-11-21 4-10-12 PM

Sabota Lark

IMG_4523 Red-backed Shrike 2019-11-21 4-16-05 PM

Male Red-backed Shrike 


P1180731 Female Red-backed Shrike by Earl 2019-11-21 4-23-55 PM

Female Red-backed Shrike by the Earl


IMG_4525 Giraffe This is Africa 2019-11-21 4-27-59 PM

Beautiful African Landscape

IMG_4532 Imapa Moms and Babies 2019-11-21 4-35-53 PM

Impala Moms and Tots

IMG_4535 Impala babies 2019-11-21 4-36-03 PM

So adorable

IMG_4539 Red-billed Oxpecker in a tree 2019-11-21 4-36-51 PM

A Red-billed Oxpecker in a tree 

IMG_4549 African Hawk Eagle 2019-11-21 4-57-40 PM

African Hawk-Eagle


IMG_4551 African Hawk Eagles 2019-11-21 4-57-49 PM

There were two of them


IMG_4552 Waterbuck females 2019-11-21 5-17-32 PM

Female Waterbuck

P1180725 Kori Bustard 2019-11-21 4-10-59 PM

Kori Bustard

P1180723 Blue-headed Lizard 2019-11-21 3-30-29 PM

Another beautiful lizard


P1180733 Black-winged Lapwing by Earl 2019-11-21 5-58-27 PM

Black-winged Lapwing




My darling husband is besotted over animals – any animals, both domestic and wild.  He believes they’re just as besotted over him and that they would never hurt him!   This evening while we were getting ready to prepare our evening meal, a hyaena walked right next to the fence that separates our caravan from the wild.  “Oh, how sweet, ” he said and called him with lip-smacking sounds one would use to summon a dog!”

Believe it or not, the creature responded and came right up to the fence to smell his hand!  Obviously, he was looking for a snack.  “No, Earl!  Don’t go too close!” I yelled in terror but still snapped the photograph.

IMG_4586 The Earl and The Hyaena 2019-11-21 6-25-13 PM

The Earl thought I was overreacting!

To end our day we enjoyed a delicious braai of lamb chops and boerewors served with sweet potatoes, gem squash and of course the compulsory Greek salad.





5 thoughts on “Gecko 81 Goes to Kruger – Satara

  1. Mary Craig

    Earl was very brave. I hate those things… sorry Earl. Find them quite scarey. U are used to seeing them, sadly I’ve only been to Kruger once.. Not crazy to get too close to the animals especially the Ellies. Glad the rain stopped. Enjoy.



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