Breaking Free from Lockdown. Day31

Wednesday 25 August 2021

At 815 this morning it was overcast and the temperature was 20 degrees C. We decided to have a cereal breakfast before we left for our game drive. We packed a flask and snacks to have when we got to the rustic picnic site, Muzandzeni. Our morning drive was not very interesting with long stretches of seeing nothing but grass, bush and trees. The roads we travelled were the H1-3, H7 and S45 until we reached the picnic site. Our return trip took us along the S126 and the H1-3 south. We decided to visit Nkaya dam which had been so enjoyable yesterday, before returning to camp at 13:00. Even the slowest days produce something so I am posting the highlights below.

Knob-billed duck on Nsemani Dam (H7)
On to S126 a few Ground Hornbill were foraging in the long grass
Muzandzeni Picnic Site
Brubru in a tree at the picnic site
Just after leaving the picnic site
Little Bee-eater
Nothing much at Nkaya Dam but Cathy got a lovely Green Pigeon finding something in the mud

Travelling back on the H1-3 the Earl and I fell behind Alec and Cathy when the Earl stopped to photograph a tree. “This is a very special tree,” he said. “Look what a perfect shape it is and what beautiful yellow blossoms it has.” He took a photograph.

The Special Tree

“I’ll take a close-up of the leaves and blossoms,” I said. “Perhaps we can find it in my tree book.” To be honest, I am never sure if my tree identifications are correct. I find trees a bit confusing so if anybody reading this knows the name of this tree, please let me know in the comments, WhatsApp or FaceBook.-

We have seen lots of these trees in the park

As I clicked the Earl called out, “Hey – there’s an owl in the tree!”

And there as quiet as a mouse sat a Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl! – I’ve been looking for him since we entered the park!
Oh there you are – I’ve been waiting for you.

When we returned to camp we had a rest and then packed up in preparation for tomorrow’s departure to Pretoriuskop and then went for a short drive on H1-4 at 16:15. We had heard that a pride of nine lions had been seen 12 km from camp. We didn’t think that we would see anything but when we arrived at the scene there were quite a few cars parked, so clearly the lions were still in residence. Cathy and Alec decided not to stay to look at inactive lions but the Earl and I had found a reasonable spot with a view. We waited a while to see if anything happened. At first we saw nothing. Then while scanning in the distance I spotted one who obligingly raised her head.

Peek a boo – I see you

After a while more bagan to stir and the Earl got some lovely shots.

Hey – do you see the fans over there?
I bet they want us to come over to sign autographs
Not a chance – I’m staying here with you
Hi Leo – You awake now too? Yes, What’s going on?
Ha ha – it’s time for them to go back to camp – we’re not going to get up till much later!

So the cats did not get up and walk toward us and it was our turn to do supper. We had to get back to camp. On the way there we saw very little but on the way back everybody was out to play including a huge herd of buffalo. Be careful, buffs, you might be on the lion’s menu tonight!

It was a great way to end our day.

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