Travelling in the Time of Covid – Kruger National Park – Skukuza to Berg-en-Dal

Wednesday 2 December 2020

This morning I awoke pain-free! We were on the road by six o’clock. The weather was cool and overcast. We needed to get the caravan to Malelane for a service. The plan was to deliver the caravan and leave it at the workshop overnight. When the Earl booked this service he was not sure how long they would need the keep the caravan so we booked a bungalow at Berg-en-Dal for two nights.

Originally we planned to stop at Berg-en-Dal before going to Malelane so we could unpack what we needed from the caravan into the bungalow but then we realised that check in is only at two o’clock! So we stopped at Afsaal, did our rearranging and then drove to Malelane, found the workshop, went to Safeway Tyres to check when they would get the new tyre we’d ordered, had breakfast at Wimpy and then went back to the park. We took a slow drive and checked in at Berg-en-Dal at one o’clock. They were happy to let us in an hour early.

For the first hour of our journey to Afsaal very few creatures turned up to chat. Then suddenly I called out, “Rhino!”

First he showed me his ample rear end
I asked him nicely to turn around and he obliged.

A little later the Earl saw something running toward us.

He put his head down and laughed at us as the Earl clicked his camera
And then another rhinoceros

Nothing much more exciting happened until we returned from dropping the caravan off. Then we received a lovely surprise.

Nothing will disturb them
Not even a close-up from The Earl

Last year we chalked up 163 different bird species. This year we have beaten our record and have 166 species. I’m still looking for a Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl and have one more day to find him! But today we got a new one for this year’s list.

Southern White-crowned Shrike

There were lots of elephants today but we were fascinated to see a mom with two calves. The one was obviously older but still suckling.

Mom and Baby with the toddler on her right
One on each side suckling. The toddler already has tusks!

We had a total of four rhino sightings today but not all the photos are worth posting. It is encouraging to see these creatures as they are very sort after by poachers. There is a war going on to protect them.

I think the zebra use giraffe as lookouts. They have a marvelous view from up there and can see predators a mile off and will give the zebra fair warning when to run.

Our Berg-en-Dal bungalow is really cool. I still prefer my caravan but a break in comfortable accommodation that is well equipped doesn’t hurt. The only thing I couldn’t find when preparing dinner was a vegetable peeler. There is a microwave but no microwave dishes! This did not bother me as I used one of their pots to cook my chicken casserole on the stove.

Our cottage is on the perimeter
A lovely shady patio. The sliding doors are the entrance to the bungalow
The bedroom can accommodate three
A modern bathroom – shower only. Loo is seperate
Well Appointed Kitchen – serving hatch to the bedroom/living area

The kitchen has a two-plate built in hob, a microwave and fridge. It is fully equipped

View of kitchen through hatch

We were welcomed to our accommodation by some friendly creatures

Crested barbet not at all shy
All I want is a crumb or five!
Hi, Welcome to the ‘hood.

At two o’clock the Earl received a call from the workshop. The caravan was ready for collection! Safeway tyres had also received the ordered tyre so off he went to Malelane. We needn’t have booked accommodation after all! But never mind. We’ll stay here until the day after tomorrow when we are due to leave. In the meantime the caravan is safely parked and available for anything we might have forgotten to bring in.

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