Monday, July 01, 2019,
Another stunning winters morning to start the week and month. Game wise a very quiet drive, the usual impala about, more here and less there, a couple of giraffe near Q’s corner, a family of 7 hogs on buff plains two, but the spot of the morning a pair of verreaux”s eagle owls with their chick (partly hidden by a branch)along the single pylons, close to the new picnic table on molope drive, pics not great, seen soon after we arrived at around 6,45, very low light.
Monday 9, Another beautiful winters morning, icy cold to start but soon warms up, I have a friend, Thinus, with me this morning, never been to Olifants, so we do a pretty comprehensive drive, turning off onto members way, we haven’t gone far when we bump into a small herd of elephant, we stop off at the top of the airstrip to listen out for anything the bush can tell us before heading down hippo way and then onto pels, except for a couple of troops of baboons, nothing else about, we continue right round the grootdraai, just the odd impala and a lone giraffe, all quiet at edube , have a brief chat with Stuart, before continuing down to the office. We take the palm loop all the way to warthog, just a few impala about, then along the bottom of the airstrip and we follow the palm and cross at mikes link, more impala here and a brief glimpse of a hawk eagle. Under the bridge and onto molope drive but we haven’t gone far when our progress is stopped by one of those red/white tapes so we back track and continue along hyena and looking across we can see a number vehicles parked on molope dr. the sad news that a leopard suffering from intestinal tuberculosis had to be put down, we cross at the link onto molope dr. once more and continue on towards sable, our first pass just a few impala.
We decide to stop off at Q’s corner for our breakfast, spot a lone giraffe crossing the palm. We continue onto mashatu and rhino, again just the odd impala about, we take klaserie link and north along the cutline taking the fungwe dr down to big dam and as it’s getting warmer we are seeing more impala, most winding their way down to the dam to drink, interesting spot here, a harrier hawk at the waters edge, we go back up big dam link onto the klaserie, cutline and left again onto tamboti link we find plenty more impala here as well, we join bateleur drive and onto double where there are masses of impala about, and so as it warms, impala everywhere, down to hide, a couple of giraffe, we take kudu loop for sand, impala and another 3 giraffe, we check out nkhonkoni, impala of course, before continuing round buff plains one two and three then taking snake alley and passing sable once more, 4 giraffe, impala and herd of 12 elephant all at the dam, great way to end the morning drive.
Friday 12, As viewing has been mostly on the very quiet side on Olifants we decide to pop into the park for the morning. Entering at Orpen we stay on the main road till the turn off to the Girivana waterhole, where we stay till 12 noon and then head back home, On the way in we see 22 lions, first up a pride of 12 who all cross the road ahead of us, not far from Orpen, 2 lioness, full as ticks lying in the timbavati river, a pride of 8, who are feeding on a fresh kill, but some way from the road and then once having parked at the waterhole a pride of 6, lion, lioness and 4 cubs, all tucked away down a dry water course close by, who move off after a short while, allowing masses of general game to come into drink, plus a herd of elephant and some single bulls with a small herd of buffalo to complete an outstanding morning of viewing. On the way home the 2 lioness are still there in the timbavati river, now joined by a large male. Good morning!
Wednesday 17, The weather at the moment is absolutely super, a slight nip in the morning and then for the rest of the day comfortably warm. We are into Olifants this am with my daughter Shirleen and cousin David, not a great deal to report, the usual herds
of impala about, baboon and monkey troops along pels and 4 giraffe, all quiet at idube, the sable rhino area we find just a few impala, dotted about , we unfortunately miss the wild dog, who were at the link road between big and double but have moved off by the time we get there. We meet Maurice and Elsabie (47) for a delicious and fun champs breakfast at 2 Trees, eventually heading home around 12 or so.
Tuesday 23. Off into the park with Shirleen, we decide to enter at Phalaborwa head down to letaba, good sightings of elephant on the way, then south for satara, on the olifants bridge we look down on plenty of impala, waterbuck, kudu and elephant, further south we start picking up the plains game, masses of wildebeest and zebra and a lone leopard. Pit stop at Satara then onto girivana waterhole, where we enjoy our lunch watching, elephant, wildebeest, zebra, impala, warthogs and kudu coming into drink. Back onto the tar once more, and where the road runs along close to the timbavati river, we find elephant, zebra, impala and finally at the water hole right in front of Orpen camp, a huge herd of buffalo, super day!
Monday 29, The beautiful winter weather continues, we take the cutline with venice, right along the single pylons and right along to sable dam, just the odd impala about, we continue over to rhino, along the road opposite the pan, here we find 9 wildebeest, who move off towards the venice cutline then back past rhino, all quiet here this morning, the same along mashatu and the quiet drive continues as we pass Q’s corner and along molope, at the new picnic table we hear the verreaux’s eagle owls calling to each other and after a bit of searching find one of the parent birds and the chick. So all the way along molope and onto the top of the airstrip. At warthog, a herd of impala and the same at serengeti, along neil’s link we find a lone giraffe, over to hide but all quiet there as well and it’s only when we get down to double and take bateleur drive for big dam that we start to see impala in numbers, plenty about plus a few kudu and a family of 5 hogs and another giraffe. We stop off at big for our breakfast before heading upto natural pan, then south along the 4 pylons, past rhino once more and sable, and onto the railway line road, home.
Wednesday 31, The last day off the month and from now on I will only be publishing my blog once a month, (unless there’s something exceptional to report on), and will include sightings from ORGR, KNP & HWE.
That’s the lot, You all take care now, Roars & Trumpets, Neil & Morag. 🐘🐘🐘