Travelling during the time of Covid – Kruger National Park – Day 4 – Skukuza to Pretoriouskop and Back

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.

They were all over the place and very active but I managed to get three into one frame

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.

Brown-headed parrots decorating the dead trees
A close-up of two of them

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.

Red-collared widowbird
Lilac-breasted Roller
Crested Barbet

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

The ashes of Joseph France Ludorf who had a great deal to do with the early establishment of the park
are scattered here.

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.

These were the first
The rest of the troop weren’t far behind

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.

The three little pigs must have been waiting for the elephants to leave before they rushed down to quench their thirst
And then the oxpecker groomers arrived for work
Just checking to see if your nostrils need cleaning
Looking good, Mr Piggy
All done – could you please give us a lift home?

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.

Published by puppy1952

I am making the most of the South African Lifestyle and hope with my blog to share some of the adventures my husband and I are having in our retirement. We live at the Southern Tip of Africa in the small coastal town of Struisbaai. Earl and I have a Gecko off-road caravan and we travel around South Africa frequently. We are bird and wild life enthusiasts so are often in game reserves.

12 thoughts on “Travelling during the time of Covid – Kruger National Park – Day 4 – Skukuza to Pretoriouskop and Back

    1. We have been lucky, Bushboy. Birds are always awesome but I think we’re a bit early this year as some of the migrants have not yet arrived. We look forward to hearing the first Woodland’s kingfisher of the season.

      Liked by 1 person

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