Before I start today’s blog let me tell you about yesterday’s afternoon drive.
Tuesday 17 November 2020 – Afternoon Drive
We leave Satara at 2 o’clock with the intention of returning at 4. Our destination is Sweni Hide which has twice provided us with entertaining sightings in the past week. We spot very few creatures on the H1-3 and H6. It’s as if the animals have packed up and left the country.
It is ten past three when we arrive at Sweni and having seen next to nothing on the drive we hope it’s because they’re all frolicking at the pool! No such luck. There is nothing besides two Egyptian Geese and a blacksmith lapwing. There is no sign of a crocodile, no stirring of a hippo.
My rule is wait five minutes before you leave a waterhole. We wait.
At ten to four we do not want to leave as even though the visitors are few, the scene is peaceful and we enjoy spending time observing one creature at a time. So our nothing turns out to produce over 10 different species – baboon, Egyptian goose, marsh sandpiper, three-banded plover, hippo, crocodile, nyala, impala green-backed heron, brown-hooded kingfisher and hadeda.
We have to drag ourselves away in order to get back to camp to prepare for Jim and Maureen who we have invited for supper.
On the way back we find that the creatures have returned. We see zebra, giraffe, warthogs, waterbuck and wildebeest that had not been there earlier!
Wednesday 18 November 2020
The Lockdown restrictions laid down by the King of the Beasts have been lifted. It seems that he was misinformed by his advisors and Covid does not affect the creatures of The Kruger National Park. The social distancing and limitation on large gatherings of over ten, it seems, were totally unnecessary and to make up for it the animals gather today not only in large numbers of their own species but they also intermingle with others not of their clan.
At first we are unaware of the liberation and are surprised to see a large herd of zebra and wildebeest making their way to N’wanetsi Dam on the Orpen Road. We go to the dam to wait for their arrival and find three buffalo in the water – not exactly a large herd but wait – a little later this changes!
We see a fish eagle overseeing proceedings and snap his portrait
The zebra and wildebeest decide to drink at a distant part of the dam so we move on. Two kilometers later we find a cat.
We go on a little further, see a hyaena attempt to catch an impala and then disappear so we turn back to the dam. What a difference!
After marvelling at this scene we go back to Satara briefly as I have forgotten my spare camera battery.
As we make our way to Gudzandani Dam View Point we continue to see an abundance of wildlife.
The last time we followed the S100 there was little to see. Today everybody is out to play. Somebody tells us that there are 10 lions at the waterhole we are approaching but they are gone when we get there. We don’t mind but it’s amazing that they too are in abundance today.
Today is our last day at Camp Satara. Tomorrow we will be making our way to Letaba.