7 November 2020 – A Rest Day
We left Skukuza at quarter to six this morning. The temperature was already 23 degrees C and by midday it was 47 degrees C. Hot does not describe it.
We drove to the bridge that crosses the Sabie River, did the Maroela Loop and then returned to Skukuza for breakfast. After that we went to Lake Panic. In the afternoon we went to the wonderful AM Spa and had a couple’s massage. One hour later and all the past, present and future knots were thoroughly worked out, hopefully never to return!
Here are the highlights of our drive.
Lake Panic was not at all busy with people today and even though it was quiet at first, things improved and we had some interesting sightings.
8 November 2020 Skukuza to Kumana Dam and Back
Once again it was very hot today. We did not leave until quarter to seven when the temperature was already 27 degrees C. By 10:30 it had risen to 43 degrees C.
Our drive today produced more animals and birds than we expected. There wasn’t a dull moment. Our bird list is now up to 103!
A warthog and a rattling cisticola were also up and about but we didn’t bother them with our cameras.
The H4-1 turned out to be very busy today.
We stopped at Tshokwane for a picnic breakfast as they are still not offering full service yet. We did, however, order their wonderful coffee. I chatted to someone who told me they had seen lions under a tree next to a dam 20km further north. The Earl was not keen on doing the extra kilometers. They could easily be gone by the time we got there. But I thought there was a good chance they would be settling down there for the day so persuaded him to skip Orpen on our way back in favour of it. After all, up until now the H1-2 had produced good sightings. It might just continue on the H1-3. So he agreed and off we went.
Just a kilometer or two from Tshokwane there is a loop that takes you closer to the river. We spotted a camper van parked along it and decided to check what he’d seen. We took the path a little lower to the one he was on and looked down into the river where there were some elephants.
“He’s not looking at elephants,” I said. “There is nobody in the driver’s seat. They’re all in the van looking through the back window.”
We needed to drive past him or turn around to get back on the main road and were about to do the turn around when the driver came back to his seat and indicated for us to wait. Then when he drove level with us he told the Earl what they’d seen. The Earl did not catch what he said and assumed he’d spotted the wildebeest across the road. But from the excitement on the faces of the children in the vehicle, I thought there must be something else.
Then as we drove by we saw exactly what the dear man had been trying to communicate.
Well, even if we miss the lions further along at least we’d seen this one! The sightings continued to be interesting and we saw lots of zebra, giraffe, impala, warthogs, wildebeest, buffalo and of course elephants
We then came to a dam. No lions but interesting nevertheless.
This dam was 10 km from Tshokwane. “I think there’s another one further on,” I said So we continued and found Kumana Dam! We were indeed in luck. There were only a few cars parked on the side of the road overlooking the water. There were a variety of creatures to be seen.
We also popped off to see the southern most Baobab tree.
Our return trip was just as exciting.