I am making the most of the South African Lifestyle and hope with my blog to share some of the adventures my husband and I are having in our retirement. We live at the Southern Tip of Africa in the small coastal town of Struisbaai. Earl and I have a Gecko off-road caravan and we travel around South Africa frequently. We are bird and wild life enthusiasts so are often in game reserves.
Today we did quite a long morning drive. We started on the H1-4 then did the S89, S90 and S41, before returning to Satara via the S100. We saw a lovely variety of birds and animals. I am posting the highlights and letting the photos tell their own story today.
We arrived back at camp at 13:30. After doing camp chores and having a rest, Cathy and Alec went for a short drive at 16:00, but the Earl and I decided to stay in camp. They returned after an hour to say we hadn’t missed much except for some lovely hippo.
Apologies for being missing in action for the past two days. The internet at Satara is not that great at the best of times but for the past two days it has been down completely. I will try to catch up as quickly as possible.
Sunday 22 August 2021
Today’s weather was not very pleasant. It was overcast, windy and cold. All dressed up in jeans and jerseys we left camp at 07:50 with the Everest in the lead. We started our drive on the H1-4.
The first excitement of the day came in the form of two very large birds.
“Oh – look – a Secretary Bird! Two Secretary birds!” Then one took off and flew to the other side of the road. We could not see it but Cathy and Alec could.
Then just after that another member of the Big Six birds of Kruger National Park made an appearance.
The Big Six Birds to seek are Pel’s Fishing Owl, Kori Bustard, Ground Hornbill, Secretary Bird, Martial Eagle and Saddle-billed Stork. We have seen five of the six this trip and there is little chance of getting the elusive Pel’s!
At 08:25 we turned onto the Ntomeni Road. As we were looking in the trees for birds the Earl stopped when he saw one that looked familiar. “What’s that,” he asked. “It looks different to the lilac-breasted roller.” And it was indeed a cousin, but even in the dull light the Earl noticed something was not quite right.
We then followed the S40 toward Timbavati Picnic Site. Just before the turnoff we came to the bridge that crosses the river. A few cars were stationary on the bridge and on the other side. And for good reason. Lions had made a kill and were busy with buffalo for breakfast.
We managed to get a few photos and then went to the Timbavati where we planned to cook our own breakfast but the wind was gusty and it was very cold so we just had coffee and then returned to the lions before continuing.
We followed the S39 and stopped at Ratel Hide but there was not much going on there. However, we enjoyed watching a crake and Cathy managed to get a photo of a three-banded plover.
Back on the road we stopped from time to time to photograph those creatures who would oblige. Some helmet-shrikes flew into a tree and one kindly perched in a suitable position for just the right enough of time to snap his portrait.
Looking down from an omrit overlooking the river we saw a lovely riverside scene.
There were plenty of impies about.
At 11:15 we turned onto the H1-4 and continued to see more creatures
Back at camp we made scrambled eggs for brunch, had a rest and then went back for a drive on the S100. We saw herds of zebra, wildebeest and waterbuck but we dipped on the lions that are often found on this road.
I woke up at quarter to five this morning. It was dark and still and as I was unable to blog due to internet problems last night I quietly booted up my laptop desperately hoping that I would not wake the Earl He slept on. I was done by six and as I started getting up I heard the pitter patter of raindrops on the caravan roof. Uh oh how would this affect our day? It did not last long and I was able to get to the bathroom without getting wet.
Everybody was ready to leave for our game drive at quarter past seven. It was very overcast and drizzly and the temperature was 17 degrees C. We went in tandem with Cathy and Alec and drove to Tshokwane for breakfast then did Orpen Dam before travelling back on the H10, S 32,S35, S37 visited Sweni Hide and N’wanetzi Picnic site and then home via the H6 and H1-3
H1-3 7:15 to 9:15
With the weather being overcast and chilly with a spit and a spot of rain it was not surprising that most of the creatures kept a low profile. Those who did dain to appear were not easy to photograph in the poor light. However, with three of us taking photographs we managed to persuade some of them to pose.
The first birds to make an appearance were white-crested helmetshrikes. These birds tend to fly in an cohesive group from tree to tree. You see them quite clearly but then they disappear into the foliage. One of them politely posed for me in a dead tree.
Elephants are more willing than birds to have their portraits taken. Several showed up this morning and they were all very polite and did not mess with us once. Perhaps the misty cool, misty weather put th
The weather today was cool and overcast starting at 13 degrees C and going up to 24 degrees C. The Earl and I left at seven o’clock. Cathy and Alec left a little later and did a different route.
We haven’t seen many warthogs this trip but today on the H6 they appaeared to greet us.
Next we came across a gorgeous giraffe walking in the veld and noticed a fork-tailed drongo close at his heels. When he stopped to look at us the drogo waited patiently in a tree. The clever bird knew that Gandolf Giraffe would disturb more grasshoppers for him to catch soon.
There was not much besides some hippo and a fish eagle at Nesamani Dam
On the S 40 we found more creatures
There were also quite a few male kudu travelling together
The S100 was unusually quiet but we found lots of waterbuck and some birds most of whom refused to pose.
After our morning drive we returned to camp and compared notes with Alec and Cathy over a lovely breakfast cooked by the Earl. They had been on the S 40 too but went a little further than we did and found Wild Dog!
Other morning highlights
In the afternoon we also left at different times and did slightly different routes but met up on the S100.
Our final sighting on the S100 was a lion. He caused a huge traffic jam but refused to greet the tourists. We weaved our way through as soon as we could. Cathy got the best photograph.
As I dropped off to sleep last night I heard the gruntings and snortings of hippo grazing in the grasslands next to the fence of campsite six where our Gecko caravans were parked. It was a lovely lullaby to doze off too. But a few hours later the incredibly loud shrieking laughter of a spotted hyaena jerked me from my slumbers. And they say the city is noisy! Well, these sounds are preferable to the shrill of police sirens, the angry hooting of cars, and the bee baa bee baa of ambulances racing to some horrible accident scene. I checked the time to find there were still a few hours to sunrise and I soon dropped off again. It was just before six when the sound of the neighbour’s car alarm awoke me. Oh dear, even in the bush civilization creeps in.
The Earl awoke too and was eager to get packed up and on the road to our next destination. “Hurry, hurry,” he said. “We must get to Satara. The “Early” bird gets the best spot!” By Ten to Seven we were packed up and ready to go. “Go work your magic,” said Alec. “Get us a good caravan site! You can do it!” Oh, the pressure, Alec, the pressure!
“We’re not stopping for anything!” said the Earl as we drove down the H1-5, and for several kilometers, there was not a thing to be spotted among the Mopani trees. We were slightly delayed when we saw some cars up ahead looking into the mess of Mopani. We came alongside one of the cars and asked, “What have you seen?”
“Wild Dog,” came the reply and pointed but we couldn’t see anything. Other cars were reversing to where they probably were but of course, that was not an option with the caravan in tow so we carried on.
It was an hour before we hit our first roadblock. “You’re going to have to stop,” I teased. “Guineafowl crossing the road” What funny creatures they are. Although they’re perfectly capable of flying they prefer to walk and we have seen huge flocks of them strutting about the park.
When the H1-5 changed to the H1-4 the mopane trees started to thin out and the vegetation changed to grass and scattered trees. No more mopane trees limiting our view to 25 cm into the bush!
Baboons entertained us on the Olifants bridge. We weaved our way through them and the traffic and did not stop to look for waterbirds or any other creatures that might be about. We just snapped the baboons and continued our race to Satara. After all, the pressure was on. Get to Satara – find a camp spot. I’d checked the website the night before to see how booked up it was – no vacancies in the campsite at all!
“What now?” the Earl was in a panic. “Seven cars stopping for zebra?” Only one was crossing the road so the Earl started to pass the line of stationary cars.
“I’m sure they’ve spotted something else,” I said. And a second later – “Stop! Leopard!” I saw a beautiful leopard lying in the grass. The Earl edged forward so I could look back through a gap. The leopard had already stood up and was walking off into the bush. “Too late,” I cried. “He’s gone!” But I saw him – and he was wonderful.
From then on we saw more and more game. The open plains revealed the creatures of the Kruger National Park in large numbers. What a change it was from the north. We saw elephants, buffalo, impala, zebra and wildebeest, and of course, the elegant giraffe. “We’re not stopping for photos,” said The Earl. “Time is running out. We have to get that special site!” But he did indulge me for just a few. Alec and Cathy were a little way behind us and took photos too.
We arrived at Satara at five minutes past nine and found the campground was pretty full. At first, it looked like no perimeter spots were available so we drove around looking for good shade, near the ablution block, close to the camp kitchen and not on top of other campers. Then right in the left-hand corner of the park, we found a vacant perimeter site!
“It’s too small,” I said. “Two caravans can’t fit here!’
“Of course they can,” the Earl replied. “With movers anything is possible.” We got out of the car and examined the site. Yes, it would do. I had shade. It was not far from the ablutions and both caravans could certainly fit comfortably. Our right-hand neighbour welcomed us with, “Isn’t this a lovely spot.” “Yes,” I replied. “Has it just been vacated?” “No, they left a few hours ago. But look, you’re just in time. Here comes another caravan seeking a spot. Lucky indeed! The other caravan had to settle for a site without shade on the other side of our left-hand neighbour.
We were just starting to set up when Cathy and Alec arrived. “Wow,” said Alec. “You’ve worked your magic again. This is a fabulous site!” Phew – we did it!
Once we’d set up and settled in we went to the restaurant for breakfast. By midday, the temperature was well in the thirties. Cathy and Alec decided to do a short late-afternoon drive on the Orpen Road while the Earl and I left a little earlier and did a longer route that included a visit to Sweni Hide and the S100.
On the H1-3 we crossed a bridge and spotted some ellies enjoying a drink in the river.
We then took the H6 and stopped when I spotted two kori bustards. One of them posed quite nicely.
Then just ahead a car was stopped and when we came up to them they pointed to a baby hyaena resting under a shady bush. There was no sign of Mom or any other of the clan.
Next, we took the S37 and stopped at Sweni Hide. This is one of my favourite hides in the park as it is very pretty and usually produces something interesting to see. Today I was not disappointed.
At four o’clock we made our way to the S100 for the final leg home.
Our last bird of the day was very special.
Earl got a lovely shot of the sunset as we neared home.
Cathy and Alec also had some lovely sightings on their drive. I am particularly jealous of Cathy’s amazing Pearl-spotted Owlet
Cathy and Alec arrived back a few minutes before we did and Cath took a lovely sunset photo
Supper tonight was a delicious spaghetti bolognese cooked by Cathy. After a very hot day the wind got up slightly and it may rain tonight. While we enjoyed our meal in the cool of the evening a stealthy hyaena patrolled past the fence.
What a great week we have had at Letaba Rest Camp. We were reasonably happy with the facilities. There are two ablution blocks. The bigger one was closer to our site. It has two showers, two baths , three toilets and four wash basins. The other has two showers, two toilets and two wash basins. The bigger ablution was closer to us but when we found all the showers occupied we used the other one which seemed to be less busy. The smaller one did not have mixer taps in the shower so getting the water to the correct temperature was a little trickier. Both ablutions were kept neat and tidy by staff. However, this year private schools who worked online through Lockdown were given their holidays in August and we found that children were left unsupervised to shower and some did not clean up after themselves. We blame the campers for the mess and not the staff. Some days you would find an untidy bathroom but on others it was pristine.
The camp kitchens like most in the park have hydroboils, sinks, hotplates and a microwave oven. Once again neatness and cleanliness depended on who was there before you. As I’ve mentioned before, come prepared with your own kitchen cleaning equipment.
The laundry, I am pleased to report, had two working washing machines and two working tumble dryers. When using the park laundries be sure to have a supply of R2 and R5 coins as the newer machines work with the new R5 coins and the older with R2 coins. At Punda Maria a wash and dry costs R16,00 At Shingwedzi and Letaba it is R 20. I believe that at most of the camps the cost is R20 for a wash and dry, but at Berg en Dal it would be R40.
Letaba is a shady, restful camp. We heard Scops, Pearl Spotted and Barred Owls calling at night. As we had a perimeter site we could see the animals on the other side of the fence and were pleased to have elephants, impala and waterbuck visit. A hyaena patrolled past the fence every evening. We will certainly be sad to leave Letaba tomorrow morning.
Today’s Game Drive
It was rather chilly when we left camp this morning at 8 o’clock but it soon warmed up and the maximum temperature today was over 30 degrees C. We went out for a couple of hours and returned at 11 o’clock and then the Earl cooked us omelettes for brunch. The rest of the day we spent doing chores and relaxing. The Earl cooked a lamb curry for dinner and then we packed up the canopies and got the caravans ready for an early departure tomorrow.
The Earl wanted to follow the H1-6 and S62 today as he thought they would be good for bird watching. We did not have great sightings but I will share what we did see.
Early on in our drive we saw a strange but familiar looking bird in a tree. Some white-crested helmet shrikes flew into the same tree causing the mystery bird to change his position and give us more clues as to who he was.
Some Kudu caused a roadblock as they crossed over to browse on the other side.
On the bridge we got out to look at the view.
We spent some time at the Matambeni Hide. We did not see many birds.
Tomorrow we will make an early departure and hope to find a good caravan site at Satara. Hopefully, we won’t have too many roadblocks as we make our way there. Good night and thanks for reading.
Good morning. So you’re back for another virtual game drive? Welcome aboard. It’s a beautiful day today. No need for a fleece. No need for a jacket. The maximum promises to be in the late 20s.
The Everest is in the lead and we’re taking the H1-5. My, but it’s quiet. Do you see anything at all? Do hear the birds? Niks Nada Nothing. Let’s pull over here where we can see the river. Oh look down there
Let’s take another omrit to see what we can find. Scan with your binoculars. What a tranquil scene. In the distance a grey heron fishing for his breakfast. And right here look what we’ve got.
The riverside is busy this morning. There are lots of hippos, crocodiles, waterbuck, herons and Egyptian geese.
Where are Cathy and Alec – they haven’t caught up to us. Perhaps they took a different road. We’ll catch up with them later.
Look up there in that tree. Why is the Lilac-breasted roller acting so strangely? Train you binoculars on him.
Oh my – there are two. Get a room birds!
It’s now 10:45 and we’re turning onto the S91 – the Balule Road. There is a bit of activity here too.
At 11:15 we turn onto the S90 Oh – Stop. Let’s have a look at this reptile.
Do you see how the yellow mongooses gives him a wide berth? They run away so quickly I can’t get a photo.
Stop again! A lovely kingfisher. We often see him perched quietly on a branch like this. Sometimes his call alerts us to his presence. Ki pi pi pi = Pity for me. Today he is silent.
We’re coming to a low bridge now and there ahead of us are Cathy and Alec. Yes they came a different way.
Let’s see what these male waterbuck are up to.
Hey – look what’s coming toward us!
Now we’re on the S89. There’s a car stopped on the other side of the road. The driver is pointing out of his window. Look left – omiword – a lion! Can you see him? He is very hidden behind a mesh of branches and grass.
Sorry about that folks. Let’s see if we can find some other creatures to cheer you up. Oh look – the entertainers have arrived.
What have we next. Look here comes a red-crested korhaan. And who is in his way?
Now who is this giving us a hard stare!
Here we are on the bridge crossing over the Olifants River. We are allowed to get out between the yellow lines. Look through your binoculars way over there.
And straight below us. Do you see that reed. There’s a pretty bird sitting perfectly still. It’s not easy to see.
Please don’t lean over the railing. Look who’s waiting to eat you.
Look to the left with your binoculars
Come on now, we’re all hungry. Let’s go to Olifants Rest Camp for a drink and a snack. Alec and Cathy are going straight back to Letaba.
It is two o’clock. Those chicken wraps were lovely. Now we’re on the H8 and there is nothing much happening. Are you all feeling sleepy? My eyes refuse to stay open. Must keep looking for creatures – don’t fall asleep. ZZZZZZZZ
Oh no, sorry folks. I fell asleep and now I hear you calling – leopard! Look there he is but it’s not a leopard – it’s a cheetah. Oh no – he’s gone into the bush. I have missed the photo.
And on that disappointing note we end this game drive.
Alec and Cathy go out in the late afternoon. They want to watch the sunset from the bridge. Someone alerts them to a leopard so they go in search. They find him at the base of tree hidden by a mesh of dry grass.
So all the cats let us down today. But never mind, there is always next time. Join us again soon.
Both Gecko 82 and Gecko 109 find that they’re running short of supplies. The temporary Park Shop is not as well stocked as the previous lovely one would have been. They have no stocks of wine (horror!) and what alcohol they do sell is more expensive than elsewhere so the disgruntled campers decide to go to Phalaborwa to restock at Pick ‘n’ Pay.
After a leisurely cup of coffee, making notes and gathering themselves together they leave in tandem to make the one and half hour drive to the town. The radio crackles and Alec complains, “What’s going on here? We’ve been driving for 20 minutes and not a creature in sight.” They complete the journey after spotting an zebra or two, a lilac-breasted roller and a few white-crested Helmetshrikes who really didn’t want their portraits taken.
It doesn’t take too long to complete their chores but breakfast at the Spur is less than satisfactory. People who arrive after them are served first and it is forty five minutes before their order is brought – and that is only after they complain. So they are not in the best of moods and cannot wait to get back to the tranquility of The Kruger National Park!
Perhaps the creatures realise that these Gecko owners need some excitement. “Let’s make an appearance and give them a bit of an adrenaline rush,” the mischievous animals scheme together.
Alec stops when he sees what’s up ahead. “Road block,” he calls on the walkie-talkie.
The Earl comes up alongside his friend and they discuss what they should do. The Earl decides to sneak forward to see what happens.
Then another one emerges from the left.
The Earl is not afraid but his terrified wife screams and almost drops the camera as she videos the scene. Alec reverses at top speed to make room for the Everest’s escape. But Oom Olifant is just messing with them and doesn’t continue the charge. Eventually both ellies go off into the bush, probably laughing their heads off. Everyone breathes a big sigh of relief.
When the Earl stops to photograph a zebra, Alec overtakes and is once again in front.
Alec calls on the walkie-talkie – Fish eagle to the right.
The Ranger moves on while Helen takes some photos of the fish eagle.
The Ranger is already quite far ahead when the Earl stops again. He’s seen two warthogs in the bush. “Look there,” he says. “Behind that bush. Get the photo!”
“It’s no good,” I can’t. “Oh wait, reverse, no forward. Darn – they’ve gone!”
By this time the Ranger is out of range and doesn’t hear the call to come back for the next sighting.
The Earl is driving quickly to catch up to his friend. “Stop! Go back. Look!’ Helen calls excitedly
He then crosses the road behind the car and walks in the opposite direction.
The Earl reverses so Helen can photograph him.
So that lovely sighting gives them enough of an adrenaline rush to last for the rest of the day.
Their journey is almost over but just before reaching Letaba Rest Camp a noisy troop of close relatives appears.
Alec and Cathy are already unpacking the shopping when Earl and Helen arrive. The afternoon is spent sorting out the caravans, doing laundry etc. At four o’clock Alec and Cathy go out for a short drive. They find a bateleur couple acting strangely in the river bed.
Today the temperature reaches a maximum of 24 degrees C. The evening is somewhat cooler but still warm enough to enjoy an outdoor braai. It is a lovely way to end the day.
It’s 08:15 and still a chilly 16 degrees C this morning. The skies are cloudy but it won’t be for long. Bring a fleece and throw it off later when the sun starts warming up. All aboard for a virtual game drive. We’re following our friends to see what we can find out there in the African bush!
Where are the animals hiding? Why aren’t the birds singing? It’s half past nine and we’ve seen nothing but trees, rocks and bush!
Oh no – what’s that trumpeting sound? Alec is calling on the Walkie Talkie, “Did you hear that? My heart nearly stopped. Look up ahead.”
The Earl takes the mike, “He’s very relaxed. Just drive on past.
Listen to Alec’s reply, “Cathy says to wait till he goes further into the bush!”
Don’t worry, we won’t put your lives in danger. It’s okay to go now, he’s moved deeper into the bush! Always remember give elephants a wide berth – don’t upset them, they’re bigger than you!
There is no point continuing on this road. We took it to Phalaborwa gate on Friday and it was dead. Let’s get back onto the tar road and then turn right after the bridge and do some river loops.
Listen do you hear that? It’s a fish eagle and there she is. You’ll need to look through your binoculars
Wow, the tar road is finding us more animals. Alec has stopped up ahead. He’s seen a buffalo.
Look at the starling keeping close to the buffalo’s feet Why do you think she’s doing that?
It’s always worth stopping on a bridge. Cathy’s found something already,
Watch those swallows flying – oh look one has landed on the railing.
These swallows are resident in the Limpopo province all year round. They are always near water.
Oh look right down there on the bank of the river? Do you see those beautiful buck? They’re usually seen in rocky areas and they are very agile rock climbers. Their Afrikaans name, Klipspringer, means rock jumper. They’re away from their rocks because they’re thirsty and heading down for a drink.
The hamerkop will stand at the water’s edge and snatch prey from the water or the land. He will also probe in the mud for aquatic creatures but then he will wash his prey before eating it.
Okay, it’s time to move on. Alec goes first. Uh oh, what’s he seen now. “Road block ahead!”
We’re letting all the elephants cross over but they’re heading down the road we want to take. And they’ve got babies. It’s wise to give them a wide berth as they’re very protective of their young. Let’s just go very carefully down that road and hope they’re not blocking it.
We’ll just sneak slowly past and cross through the water. Hold tight as we negotiate the rough road across the river. Yes, Earl, I know you think it’s fun, but it won’t be funny having an elephant push you from behind!
Look over there. Terrapins sunning themselves on the flat rocks.
Here you can see why it’s called Letaba – the river of sand
Look over there on the river bank – some kudu. But the male is hiding and won’t pose for a photograph.
I hope you have enjoyed the morning drive.
It’s now after three-o’clock. Bring a packed snack for this afternoon’s birding drive. We’re taking the main road and then half the Mingerhout drive and back. We will stop for birds and creatures so have you binoculars ready. Alec and Cathy are driving to the bird hide. We won’t be in tandem this afternoon.
Wow there is a whole bird party here.
Wasn’t that fun seeing so many birds. It’s a pity we couldn’t get good photos of them all. Now let’s look down on the river to see what we can find. I think I see a grey heron.
Earl, are we going back now? Wait – those stones are moving. They’re not stones – they’re birds! They camouflage very well.
Let’s head back and see what Cathy and Alec have seen at the bird hide. Take a look at Cathy’s photos of the hippo’s entertainment.
Thanks for riding along with us once again. See you all tomorrow.
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.