It’s cold, heavily overcast and blowing a gale, so do we brave the cold and maybe wet in a
open Landy for Olifants or do we stay warm and snug in the Subaru and head for Kruger, right first time, the Park. We arrive at the gate around 5,45 and we are third in line but by the time the gate opens there must be 15 to 20 cars behind us, of course the long weekend. About half way to the, book in, we come on a pack of hyena’s lying on and alongside the road and after a couple of pics, we move on, leaving a traffic jam, which helps matters cause by the time everyone sorts themselves out we’ve cleared border control and are well on our way on the H7, we take a right onto the S106, Rabelias loop,
finding just the odd impala herd along here plus 5 giraffe all feeding off the same bush. All quiet along the timbavati river this am. We take the S36, find a couple of kudu bulls and a lone buff bull at Rockvale waterhole, we stop off at Muzandzeni for our breakfast, one of the staff kindly shows us where the Scops owl has moved to, he’s normally in the large marula but this morning we’re shown he’s in a smaller tree off to the side, these little guys are so well camouflaged and really difficult to spot. We continue down the S126, Sweni Road, just a few impala and a troop of baboon at the Welverdiend waterhole, and just before the sweni waterhole we find more impala and a couple of herds of wildebeest. As mentioned the weather not great, clearing then clouding over, but all the time a strong wind so we decide to headback up the H1-3 , find some elephant in Shisweni/ N’wanetzi bridge crossing, go left onto the H7 once more and finally stop off at
the Nsemani dam, where we stay till around 1,30 and then head for Orpen. Again the pic’s tell the whole story. Three different elephant herds come into drink.
Now tomorrow, Friday, I have to have my Subaru in for it’s yearly service in Nelspruit by 7,30, so instead of risking life and limb taking the R40 through Acornhoek, Bushbuck Ridge etc we decide to travel down through the park and stay the night with very good friends Ken & Lyn Maggs in Skukuza. In at Orpen and we take the H7 for Satara.
I am going to divide our drive down to Skukuza into 4 parts, Orpen Gate to Satara, Satara down the H1-3 to Tshokwane, then left down the H10 to Lower Sabie and finally along the H4-1 to Skukuza. So the Orpen Satara leg, a couple of hyena to start , plenty of impala, zebra, wildebeest , a couple of herds of kudu and a number of giraffe. As we
approach Nsemani dam, a pride of lion, we count 12, close to the road, they have a kill but hard to see in the thick bush, one of the lionesses crosses the road and walks down to
the dam, we get a good look at her and she’s certainly the worse for wear. We also find elephant and general game . Closer to Satara more wildebeest, giraffe, zebra and waterbuck. The next section to Tshokwana is pretty quiet, general game of course and in particular we spot lots of giraffe in groups and alone, a small herd of elephant at Kumana dam, plus waterbuck and more giraffe.
Immediately after Tshokwana we take the H4-1 for Lower Sabie, passing the Nkumbe view sight a small herd of elephant, one cow with a tiny baby, always amazing that these huge animals go into such rocky and steep areas. The plains before the sabie river are fairly quiet, just impala, giraffe and wildebeest. At the bridge, plenty of crocs and hippos. Our last leg along the sabie river on the H4-1, first up at Sunset dam, just masses of hippo and crocs, all lying up around the dam, further along, the first of 8 herds of elephant, either crossing the road or in the river bed, plenty of impala, kudu, waterbuck, and giraffe and another pride of lions, lying up on the sand in the shade of the tall reeds.
While enjoying the garden at Ken and Lyn’s home, they are right on the sabie river, so elephant, and general game all about and also a Purple Crested Lourie, who lands on a branch above us, fortunately I had my camera so got the shot, I was hoping it would fly off so I could catch the red colours of the wings, but it was far more interested in the berries.
The last leg, H 11, then S1, Skukuza to Phabeni , want to be in Nelspruit by 8 so away early, once on the Doispane Road, we enjoy plenty of good viewing , masses of impala, wildebeest, zebra, a couple of herds of elephant, but the top spot, a hyena family, using a culvert under the road, which they do quite alot in the Park. The mum seems to be looking after 2 different ages, enjoy the pics.
Monday 30, That’s the lot for this month, You all take care now, R&T, N&M 🐘🐘🐘