Gecko #81 Goes to Kruger – Last day in Letaba

24 November 2019

It did not storm last night.  We woke to partly cloudy weather and a temperature of about 24 degrees C.  Because of the road closures, we decided to drive to Olifants Camp this morning.  We left at 6:40 and planned to take the S46 that would follow the river to Olifants but guess what – it was closed. Honestly!   We are sure that this is not necessary.  All the interesting routes in this area are closed!   Surely the roads have dried out by now.  We believe they have just not bothered to check or not bothered to take down the ‘closed’ signs.

So we took the H-5 and were not too disappointed.

IMG_4739 Buffalo 2019-11-24 7-14-15 AM

Small herd of buffalo

IMG_4740 Buffalo 2019-11-24 7-14-21 AM

Curious buffalo

IMG_4742 Zebra 2019-11-24 7-21-40 AM

Zebras are always special

IMG_4751 Crested Francolin 2019-11-24 8-19-43 AM

Crested francolin

When we got to Olifants at around 8:30 Earl went to reception and asked about the road closures.  They told him we could go down the one we wanted to, but to be careful.  So we did the loop and it was awesome.  There was very little road damage and no reason why it should have been closed. We only saw two other cars while we were on this route.

These are the highlights.

IMG_4758 Brown-hooded Kingfisher 2019-11-24 8-24-58 AM

Brown-hooded Kingfisher

IMG_4765 Nyala 2019-11-24 8-35-30 AM

Female and young nyala

IMG_4767 Nyala baby 2019-11-24 8-35-35 AM

What are you looking at?

IMG_4777 Nyala 2019-11-24 8-36-43 AM

Male Nyala

On a causeway, we saw these guys swimming furiously towards us.

IMG_4790 Terrapins in the water 2019-11-24 8-45-03 AM.JPG

IMG_4779 Terrapin 2019-11-24 8-43-31 AM

Howdy Earthlings

IMG_4788 Terrapin Take me to your leader 2019-11-24 8-44-50 AM

Take me to your leader

He looked hungry but we don’t feed aliens.

IMG_4785 Terrapin after prey close up 2019-11-24 8-44-25 AM

So he found his own tasty snack

Next, we found a treeful of birds

IMG_4802 A treeful of Violet-backed starlings 2019-11-24 8-50-42 AM

Violet-backed Starlings male and females

IMG_4805 Male and Female Violet-backed Starlings 2019-11-24 8-50-54 AM

Male top, female bottom

IMG_4809 Male Violet-backed Starling 2019-11-24 8-51-05 AM

He is a handsome chap

IMG_4817 Lappet-faced Vulture 2019-11-24 9-07-15 AM

A Lappet-faced Vulture posed for his portrait

IMG_4822 Giraffe 2019-11-24 9-09-53 AM.JPG

And finally a giraffe before breakfast


We returned to Olifants for breakfast and on our return to Letaba we found the S92 open.  The first excitement were the ellies.

IMG_4833 Elephant Mom and Baby 2019-11-24 10-57-32 AM

Approaching us on the road

IMG_4838 Elephant and Car 2019-11-24 10-58-52 AM

Here seh comes

IMG_4840 Elephant uh oh 2019-11-24 10-59-15 AM

It’s quite nerve-wracking when a giant approaches you on a narrow road.

IMG_4848 Fish Eagle 2019-11-24 11-10-46 AM

A fish eagle is less threatening

IMG_4876 Two Spoonbills 2019-11-24 11-34-28 AM

And watching spoonbills calms the soul

Watching a buffalo having a spa treatment is really amusing.


Welcome to my parlour


Oh Mr Buff, your ears!

IMG_4893 Oxpecker and Buffalo 2019-11-24 12-19-04 PM

This won’t hurt

IMG_4902 Oxpecker and Buffalo 2019-11-24 12-19-47 PM

Now doesn’t that feel better

IMG_4909 oxpecker and buffalo 2019-11-24 12-20-17 PM

Now for those wounds!

And finally a giraffe

P1180803 Giraffe head by Earl 2019-11-24 9-21-03 AM

And a Red-crested KorhaanP1180809 Red-crested Korhaan by Earl 2019-11-24 9-27-40 AM


It was really hot by the time we returned at midday, so we had a rest and then went for a swim.

We had an early supper and then took down the canopy and folded away the groundsheet in preparation for tomorrow’s departure.

8 thoughts on “Gecko #81 Goes to Kruger – Last day in Letaba

  1. de Wets Wild

    Wonderful to see the nyalas are still hanging around Olifants – I am hoping to see them when we drive that way from Satara soon.

    The problem with keeping the gravel roads open when they’re wet is that they can quickly become a quagmire with every passing vehicle, especially on the approach and exit at the stream crossings, causing unnecessary damage to the surface that’s both costly and time consuming to fix – just a day or so drying out in the sun is all they need to be usable again to all the visitors.

    Liked by 1 person


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