Tuesday 1 December 2020
It was not a good start to the day again this morning. Yes, the water was working but my back was not! Thank goodness there was no heavy packing to do.
By six o’clock we were on the road and I soon cheered up when the creatures started to greet us. On the H1-3 we were happy to see wildebeest, zebra and impala. The baboons were also quite amusing. And of course we stopped to snap a bird or two.
Just before Tshokwane picnic site, the Earl called out, ‘hyaena!”
His friends came to join him but he was not sharing. They had to find their own bones.
We stopped at the picnic site for coffee at about half past seven and although they were not officially open they made us each an Americano. Definitely the best coffee in the park at this place and the staff are friendly and helpful. The Earl went to the shop and found that they were selling buff pies and even though it was a bit early for such fare, we indulged! Well – my back was sore – I needed comfort food.
The H1- 2 gave us a big surprise. It was quarter past eight and the temperature was already 30 degrees C.
The trip to Skukuza did not take long and we arrived at half past nine and set up in a lovely shady spot. My back was no better so I decided to medicate. Myprodol is my drug of choice. I use it only when I am in real pain and it usually works quite quickly. I lay flat until around half past two when we went for our afternoon drive. I already felt loads better.
The temperature had soared to 40 degrees C. We thought a nice long drive to Lower-Sabie in our air-conditioned vehicle was the best way to deal with it. Being so hot the first hour did not produce much but then – two sleepy lionesses hiding in the shade of some thorn bushes.
By the time we arrived at Sunset Dam, just outside Lower Sabie Rest Camp, it had clouded over and a storm was threatening. We saw the usual crocodiles, hippos, weavers, jacanas, stilts. storks and water dikkops. Some impala also came down to drink.
We popped into Lower Sabie for a loo break and to buy some water and then made our way back. The rain came down quite hard and there was thunder and lightning which was a tad scary!
There were lots of vultures decorating the trees and marabou storks and tawny eagles were on the banks of the river too. None of the photographs are good enough to post here.
When we got to the place where we’d seen the lions there were three or four cars blocking the road. We saw one of the lionesses moving through the bush. She was not easy to photograph. We wanted to move on but the cars would not move. When we finally maneuvered into a space we saw that they were staring at a lioness in the middle of the road. Fine, but she was going nowhere so please move to the side so we can get through. That was not going to happen and when cars from the opposite direction arrived on the scene they too parked three abreast. The poor Earl was frantic. No way did he want to miss gate closing time!
Eventually, somebody started moving past stationery cars forcing them to move out of the way and that created a gap for escape.
We made it through the gate by six o’clock. My back by now was almost back to normal. We both went for a shower and then to the Cattle Baron for their famous Chateaubriand. We just can’t resist it every time we’re at Skukuza.