Today we left camp at six o’clock. It was overcast and started at a cool 23 degrees C. There was no wind and it did not rain. The day’s high was 28 degrees C.
We started on the H11. As we crossed the bridge over the Sabie River we had our first sighting of the day – eight hyaena scampering in the river bed. There were five adults and three still outgrowing their black, baby fur.
The birds, at this time of the morning, are very active. The Earl called out that he could hear parrots. We stopped and scanned and this is what we found.
Another special bird to make an appearance was the European Bee-eater
The elegant giraffe were also silently munching their breakfast
There were also plenty of elephants about today.
Just before Kruger Gate we turned left onto the S3 and found a warthog fraternising with a herd of impala.
We then followed the S1 and found kudu and zebra
We were also amused to see two sleepy hyaenas taking their nap in full view of the tourists
We arrived at Nyamundwa Dam at eight o’clock and were delighted to find this scene.
There were waterbuck, blue wildebeest, at least forty zebra, hippo and a few interesting birds. The zebra entertained us with their antics and the waterbuck were also in a frisky mood chasing each other across the veld.
As we continued we came across a black-bellied bustard. What an entertaining bird. He was quite happy to demonstrate his call which sounds like a frog’s croak followed by a pop similar to a cork releasing from a champagne bottle.
It is a very pretty drive to Pretoriouskop and soon the kop came into view.
Because of the dense trees and bush it is not easy to spot animals in this area. However, the birdlife is interesting.
We took a break at Pretoriouskop’s Wimpy which has lovely seating outdoors and in.
We then started our return trip on the H1-1 where a buffalo popped out from the trees to greet us.
Soon after this we turned down a dirt road to a waterhole where we found some giraffe and more buffalo
We then did a detour from S11 to see the Nahpe Boulder
We made another detour to Transport Dam but there was not much to be seen there beside zebra, waterbuck, a yellow-billed stork and some starlings.
We continued our journey and spotted more of the usual suspects, giraffe, zebra, kudu, impala etc. De Laporte Waterhole is about 5 km from Skukuza and we turned in there for a look and see. There was absolutely nothing or rather that is what The Earl said but I insisted on scanning with my binoculars and found two crested francolin, a three-banded plover, greater striped swallows and a pin-tailed whydah. They were too far for photos but fun to watch. The Earl was about to start the car and move but I insisted he wait ten minutes. Only three minutes later these giants came silently onto the scene.
They frolicked drank and showered and then turned around and left as silently as they had arrived. The Earl was about to start the car when I noticed more visitors approaching at a rapid rate.
We arrived back at camp at half past one and then went back to the De Laporte at half past four. It was quiet for a while but then European Bee-eaters came swooping down to drink in mid-flight, settle in a dead tree and then swoop down again. It was most entertaining to watch. A few male elephants visited in turn and just before we left it looked like some giraffe might come down but they decided to browse instead.
And so ended a most pleasant day.