Friday 6 November 2020
At two o’clock this morning the sound of thunder and heavy rain woke us from our slumbers. We lay wide-eyed and afraid that we would be struck by lightning. The chance of that happening, is of course, minimal but when you’re not used to thunder storms and it’s the middle of the night you tend to over-react! Fortunately it was over quickly and we dropped back to sleep and when we awoke to the sound of the birds’ dawn chorus all signs of rain were gone.
At 5 am it was 20 degrees C but it rose to 36 by 10:00 am. We left Skukuza at twenty to six and made our way first to Lower Sabie and then to Crocodile Bridge where we had a picnic breakfast.
On the H4-1 our cousins were only second to the impala to bid us Good Morning
Next up an unusual sight – well for us anyway. What on earth was this great bird doing at the top of the tree? He should have been at Lake Panic, fishing for breakfast.
When vultures are not surfing the thermals or dining on a lion’s kill they decorate the trees of the Kruger National Park.
The crafty leopard has a skill that is the envy of all the other predators. He can climb trees. How he manages this with heavy prey in his mouth is amazing.
So we didn’t see a leopard today but –
Just outside Lower Sabie rest camp is Sunset Dam. Usually it is teaming with activity but with the drought things are not quite so exciting at the moment. However, there is always something to see.
After the entertainment at the dam we popped in at Lower Sabie and had a coffee before making or way to Crocodile Bridge where we took out our picnic breakfast of muesli, banana and yogurt as well as a couple of boiled eggs and of course our coffee. We chatted to two other picnickers who told us they were rather fed up with the south. The Satara area, they assured us, was far more productive. But we don’t mind. Just being in Kruger is enough! Some of the routes have been quiet but something interesting always pops up eventually.
After we were fed and rested we continued and made our way to Mopondo Dam. We were hoping to find lions and wild dog but they were not cooperative at all. We asked some of the creatures we saw where they were but they didn’t have a satisfactory answer.
So we gave up wishing and concentrated on the little things that are always fun.
Crossing a causeway on the way to the dam some aliens came rushing out the water and offered to take us to their leader. In return they wanted some snacks but we told them not to be naughty and to go and find their own food.
When we got to Mopondo Dam there was absolutely nothing to be seen.
“All this lovely water and nothing here,” the Earl stated the obvious. He turned off the engine and we scanned with our binoculars.
And then we heard a truly African call and watched as a fish Eagle flew up, then swoop down and come up with a terrapin (I think) in his claws. Sorry – the photo is really poor.
And then after all this excitement something else dropped out of the sky
Don’t get me wrong, we love to see the Big Five, Lion, Leopard, Rhinoceros, Elephant and Buffalo. But what we enjoy even more are the birds and the other interesting activities of the lesser beings.
Today we were blown away when we watched some bathing beauties.
Oh, sorry – melba finch is the old name. Marigold now has a far more sophisticated title – Green-winged Pytilia. But I prefer Melba Finch – it sounds far more delicious.
When you come across a road block in a game reserve there are no stop/go attendants to let you through.
The clowns of the game reserve are always amusing.
Our day ended at De Laporte Dam where we found Humphrey Heffalump having a shower.
In the evening we went to Kruger Station for dinner. We were joined by our new friends, Har and Chris. What a stunning meal we had. It was the perfect ending to our day.