Gecko Goes to Kruger – A Bad Hair Day at Lower Sabie

9 December 2019

We have been in Kruger for close on a month now and have experienced all the pleasures and trials of caravanning.  Thank Goodness we gave up rooftop tenting some time ago.  Now that we’re ‘glamping’ we can deal with all the hassles that may befall us as far as heat, wind and rain are concerned. This trip we have had it all!

It rained during the night and it was still raining when we woke up this morning.  We decided not to go out at an impolite hour so lay in until 06:30.     By then it had calmed down to a drizzle and we got up and walked to the ablutions for a shower.  Yesterday, at reception,  we put in a complaint about no hot water.  This morning I am pleased to report that the problem was resolved.

We then went to the restaurant for breakfast.  It was still raining but we enjoyed watching the hippos frolicking in the river.

IMG_7635 Hippos 2019-12-09 7-55-06 AMIMG_7637 Hippos 2019-12-09 7-55-28 AM

At 08:00 we set off for our wet morning drive.  The temperature was 19 degrees C and did not drop any lower.   We took the tar road to Crocodile Bridge and back as most of the dirt roads were closed.   Before taking the Croc Bridge road we popped in at Sunset Dam

IMG_7647 Crocodiles at Sunset Dam 2019-12-09 8-14-01 AM

A pile of crocodiles

IMG_7653 Hippos Sunset Dam 2019-12-09 8-15-56 AM

Playful hippos

IMG_7673 Wood Sanpiper Sunset Dam 2019-12-09 8-23-36 AM

Wood Sandpiper, I think.

IMG_7688

A Ruff, I think

IMG_7663

Black-winged Stilt

IMG_7683

Collection of birds – Stilts, Jacana and Egyptian Goose

Taking photographs on a rainy day is challenging.  If you take the photograph through a closed window there will be raindrops in your picture.  Open the window and your lens gets wet and so do you!   It was a matter of taking the shot and immediately drying off the camera, the inside of the car and yourself!  Well – we chose to come to Kruger in the rainy season so we have to suffer the consequences!

Today we took a few bird photos.  Most of them were having a bad hair day.

P1190306 Bad Hair Day Fish Eagle 2019-12-09 12-22-32 PM

African Fish Eagle

P1190287 Juvenile Bateleur bad hair day 2019-12-09 9-55-19 AM

Immature Bateleur

IMG_7734 Bateluer Bad Hair Day 2019-12-09 9-37-58 AM

Finally an adult Bateur posed for me

P1190269 Bateleur 2019-12-09 9-50-16 AM

The Earl got a shot after she’d smoothed down her feathers.

IMG_7706 Swainson's Spurfowl Bad Hair Day 2019-12-09 9-01-55 AM

A Swainson’s Spurfowl trying to deal with the weather

IMG_7708 Purple Roller Bad Hair Day 2019-12-09 9-06-49 AM

The Purple Roller always looks rougher than his cousin the Lilac-breasted but it’s worse on a rainy day.

A few other birds were looking particularly lovely in spite of the weather.

IMG_7698 Cattle Egret breeding plumage 2019-12-09 8-55-34 AM

The Cattle Egret is always a pretty bird but is particularly so when dressed up for courting.

IMG_7721 Green Pigeons 2019-12-09 9-17-45 AM

A treeful of Green Pigeons

IMG_7713 Green Pigeon 2019-12-09 9-15-44 AM

This one might need to comb his moustache

We saw very few mammals.  Elephants were conspicuous by their absence as were the buffalo.  Only impala, zebra, wildebeest and giraffe showed themselves.

P1190290 Giraffe 2019-12-09 10-25-17 AM

Giraffe – always elegant no matter what the weather

IMG_7746 Impala Babies 2019-12-09 9-46-24 AM

The cutest Impala lambs

IMG_7748 Mom and Impala Babies 2019-12-09 9-46-32 AM

Mom keeps a close eye on them

At Crocodile Bridge Camp we had a coffee and then went back to Lower Sabie.  After a rest, we went out at 16:00.  We saw the usual suspects but it was raining hard and we didn’t take any photographs.

The rain had almost stopped when we returned so we took down the canopy and packed the groundsheet away.   Packing up camp in the rain is not the most pleasant experience so it’s best to do it when conditions are bearable.

Once we were done with packing up we went to the restaurant for dinner.  Lower Sabie has a Mug and Bean which is not my favourite franchise in any part of the country.  There were a few of them in the park but all were closed down because of bad service.  This morning’s breakfast was good and dinner was okay.  I had the rump steak, asked for rare but it came medium and was not very tasty. I had to add salt.  The vegetables and salad made up for it and one can’t complain about the price.   The Earl had ribs which he said were a little dry.

Loads shedding is a problem all over the country and one would think that Mug and Bean would be prepared.  Luckily our food arrived before the power went off.   Why, we wondered, did M&B not have candles on the tables?  Why did they not have an emergency generator?   Foreign guests were dumbfounded to find they would have to wait for up to an hour before they could put in their orders for food.  Not good enough, Bug and Mean!

Tomorrow, we will be going to Crocodile Bridge for two nights and then our sojourn in the park will be over!

12 thoughts on “Gecko Goes to Kruger – A Bad Hair Day at Lower Sabie

  1. Mary Craig

    Oh dear u having the same problems as us. No lights, no water (you have lots) roads being rushed to finish before shutdown on the 12th.One day u are on one side the next the other. Gggrrr annoying. Enough is now enough. Shops banks all shut. No coffee anywhere… Horrible…

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  2. Don Reid

    I have enjoyed reading about the varied weather and experiences you have had – one never tires of Kruger no matter what the circumstances! I would agree with you on those two ID’s that you question-marked – definitely Wood Sandpiper (prominent eyebrow, white-spotted upperparts) and Ruff (orange legs, scalloped upperparts, shortish bill)

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