Breaking Free from Lockdown. Day 33 Waterholes

It was 18 degrees C when we left camp this morning and it remained a pleasantly warm day reaching a high of 26. We left Pretoriuskop at 07:45 and shortly thereafter three little pigs crossed the road in front of us.

Warthogs wandering off at a rapid pace

We then took the S7 and S10 which wound through the typical rocky outcrops of the Pretoriuskop area.

We saw a technician’s van parked on the road and clearly he had to climb to the top of this sheer rock to mend the mast.

This is typical klipspringer territory and we were not disappointed.

There were quite a few nimbly hopping about on the rocks

This area is not the best for seeing animals but we did have a few interesting sightings.

Some of us do like it here you know
A green pigeon getting a good view of the surrounds

The S3 was a little more productive.

Good morning
Raafie was there too
We heard the brown-headed parrots before we found them in the folliage
Blending in well

Next we took the S4 which was uncomfortable to drive due to it being quite corrugated. On the S1 we found Giraffe and Ground Hornbill

Getting himself into a twist
Alway marching
in family groups searching for food

Our destination was the Lake Panic hide near Skukuza and we spent a while there before going to Skukuza for lunch. The lake was fuller than I have ever seen it.

Juvenile Darter
I love you my darling
There is a lot to shout about
Water Thick-knees
A crake playing about on a stump in the middle of the lake
Sometimes a break from the water to graze is a good idea. Might as well enjoy the groomers at the same time
Waterbuck showed up too
There were a few pied kingfishers too
And even the crested francolin found it a fun place to be
Watch out for this sneaky reptile
On the way out of the hide we saw this nyala through the fence

After lunch at Skukuza’s Cattle Baron we made our way back to camp stopping at first Transport Dam, and then Shithave Dam. It was difficult to find a place to park at both of them so once we’d taken a few photographs we did not linger.

Saddle-billed Stork
Juvenile Saddle-billed Stork
Male Waterbuck
A legawaan crept up to the storks
Zebra came down to drink
Wildebeest had a confrontation

The park is busier than we have ever seen it. It is not school holiday time and it’s an off season month which is usually a good time to come if you don’t want crowds at your favourite spots. We think the reason for the sudden influx into the park is because Gauteng private schools did not close at the usual time but did lessons online right through Lockdown. When the president announced that the borders were open and things could return to normal they were given their delayed holidays in the month of August.

When we got back to camp we did a bit of shopping at the Park Shop and did the usual camp chores. Dinner was chicken casserole and it was early to bed!

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