Welcome aboard everybody. Fasten your seatbelts and let’s get started on today’s game drive. Have you got a fleece? If you really feel the cold I suggest you put on a warm jacket too. It’s 8:30 and 13 degrees C. The sky is cloudy but at least the wind has dropped. The weatherman tells us that it’s not going to warm up very much and it might even rain. Uh oh – I think I feel a spit and a spot already!
Right so off we go. See that Ford Ranger up ahead? We’re following Alec and Cathy to the S94. Sorry for the corrugations it’s going to be a bit of a rough ride. Not much to see here so let’s turn onto the S46 – Yes – this is a much smoother ride. Oh look – there in the tree a pretty little canary! No not they type you would keep in a cage. This one is wild and free.
Now let’s take this omrit to get a better view of the river. It’s called the Letaba which means River of Sand. But when there are good rains it flows quite strongly. Now it’s the dry season and there are still some lovely ponds which attract game and birds. Look there in that tree. What do you see? – Yes a kingfisher! This one typically perches near water and he will fly down fast to catch grasshoppers, millipedes, beetles, caterpillars as well as tadpoles, geckos and chameleons.
Oh look over there – a whole flotilla of Egyptian Geese. They’re having fun finding aquatic plants which they love to eat.
Now we’re on the S93 and the Ford Ranger has stopped up ahead. What have they seen? Oh, they’ve moved on. But we have a road block!
Buffalo are usually found in herds but sometimes older males go off on their own or in small groups so they can graze near water on softer grass which is more suitable to their teeth which are wearing out. They love to wallow in mud too as this protects them from the sun and parasites, their hair being a lot thinner than their younger kin.
Drive on and let’s see what else we can find. Hang on, Alec is calling on the walkie talkie, What’s that bird just landing in the tree?
Creatures aren’t the only things to spot – look at that wonderful old tree. I’m sure it could tell us a story or two.
And now Alec has slowed again and has clearly seen something – Yes – What’s that darting through the trees? Something small. It’s stopped and turned to look at us! What do you mean you can’t see – look where I’m pointing – yes – there!
Steenbok can be very shy and will dart off if taken by surprise. They’re usually seen alone or in pairs if its the mating season.
Look at the time, 10:30 already. Are you all hungry? It’s time for breakfast. Let’s pop in at Olifant’s Rest Camp. We’ll park under the Marula tree.
Look at the beautiful Impala Lilies. They bloom from July to September. The plant on which they grow resembles the baobab tree and can grow up to two metres. For most of the year it does not have leaves or flowers. These plants contain a watery latex that is toxic to domestic animals but does not affect the wild animals that eat it. However, the Bushmen of Namibia used to use the latex to poison the tips of their arrows and when an antelope was hit he would die after running a hundred paces.
What would you like for breakfast? My choice would be the “Lion Run’ – Eggs, bacon, fried onion and tomato as well as a cheese griller served with a slice of toast and jam of your choice. But there are many other choices on the menu. Just take your pick and have a lovely hot cup of Americano to warm you up.
Breakfast over – let’s take a look at the wonderful view over the Olifant’s River.
Okay everybody comfort break is over. Let’s get back on board the Everest and off we go again. We’ll take the Lookout Loop and then return on the H8
Oh look – my favourite creatures there on the left.
Now we’re right next to the river. There is not much going on but the hippo are out of the water looking for some warmth on the bank of the river. Not much of that today, I’m afraid.
And now a donkey in striped pyjamas!
And now what do we have? A bachelor herd of impala
We’re at the lookout and you may alight from the vehicle. But please be aware and stay within the demarcated area.
So now we’re on the last stretch back to Letaba. Earl, why are you stopping? I nearly went through the windscreen. Oh – a korhaan! How could I miss it!
And now it’s almost half past two. The game drive is over but if you’d like to visit the Goldfields Educational Centre, please follow me. You will find it very interesting. The exhibits show the development of the elephant and all its stages of life. There is information about how elephants have been part of man’s history since the beginning of time. And if you want to know all about the big tuskers both past and present, this is the place to find out all about them.
The grounds of Letaba are excellent for birding so if you’ve had enough of the museum come along with me.
My word there are a lot of green woodhoopoes about in the trees and on the ground.
Letaba is also famous for its visiting bushbuck who roam around the campsite as if it’s there just for them. I think they quite cleverly come here to avoid the predators in the park.
Well that’s it for now. Thanks for travelling along with us. Right now I hear a hyaena right next to the fence – hopefully on the right side as it sounds like its right beside my caravan!
If you enjoyed today’s adventure, do join in again tomorrow.