Breaking Free from Lockdown. A Gecko Road Trip Day 14 Shingwedzi to Tzendze

Before we left camp this morning we had a light cereal breakfast and coffee as we planned to meet some friends of Cathy and Alec at Mopani’s Fish Eagle Terrace for lunch.

The day started well when Alec called me to the camp kitchen – not to help with the washing up but to see something special.

It’s been a hard night – I’m not opening my eyes for anybody said this sleepy Wood Owl

No day is complete without an elephant roadblock but other creatures are not innocent and will also do their best to show the tourists who rules the game reserve.

Don’t hurry, children – The tourists love waiting while we saunter across at our own pace (Look who’s coming on the right)
Hi everybody, nice to see you again.

The tropic of Capricorn runs through the Kruger National Park which is why the weather is so awesome at this time of the year.   We stopped to take a photo.

Buffalo were the cause of the next roadblock and quite a number of them were in the bush too.  Some were being groomed by the ever-busy ox-peckers.

Come on guys, you’re going the wrong way
Really, Billy, you must take better care of your hair.
Bertie here is rich enough to hire a whole team of groomers.

Of course, I can never resist stopping to admire my favourite creature, the graceful model of the veld, the lofty legged, long-necked giraffe.

We took the Shongololo loop which was quiet but we stopped at various drinking holes and one or two hides on the way.

Female Knob-billed Duck
Terrapins sunning themselves near Shipandani Hide
Hippo near Shipandani Hide

There was another roadblock when we turned back onto the H1-6

The Wild Ones crossing over

Warthogs have been conspicuous by their absence but today they made an appearance.

The grass is rather crunchy at this time of year
Getting close to his food

At Fish Eagle Terrace not a single table was available inside the restaurant, on the deck nor in the outer reception area.   There was a coffee table with comfortable chairs where you could sit down and plug in your computer but that too was occupied.  However, after a few minutes, it became available.  We sat there to wait for Cathy and Alec and the friends they were to meet.   We tried to download emails and do banking and blogging but the internet was pathetic.   When Alec and Cathy arrived we gave up.  A waitron brought out another table into the reception area and then when a deck table for six became available he quickly ushered us to it.   While we waited for Christie and Keith to arrive we enjoyed the view and the activity in Pioneer Dam.

Come and join us – it’s lovely once you’re in
The happy hippos can attest to that

After lunch was over we stayed to try our luck with the internet. After a struggle, we finally managed to complete all the online chores we needed to do and headed back to camp to start cooking a curry for dinner.  The Earl was in charge and he used our Smart Space pot on our Gecko gas cooker.  No electricity for the Snappy Chef, I’m afraid. 

While we were waiting for dinner to cook the kids from the camp next to ours ran past very excitedly calling that they’d seen an owl. They showed the Earl the tree and then he called me. “See if you can find it,” he challenged. And even though the little bird camouflages very well, I did. The Earl got the best photo though.

Tzendze’s famous Barred Owlet

So the day started and ended with the most awesome owl sightings. Tzendze is the best!

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