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Kruger Self Drive. September/October 2019


Dave Williams

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Dave Williams

I was up early but we weren't in a hurry to leave. Time for some birding around our Bush Tent at Lower Sabie Camp.

Sat on our balcony with a cup of coffee the ideal way to add a few birds to my list!

The handsome Spectacled Weaver

Spectacled Weaver

The highly camouflaged and rather as it's name suggests, Sombre Greenbul

Sombre Greenbul

A singing Southern Boubou was a lovely sight

Black-backed Puffback

and even if you have seen and photographed them before you might get a better image.

Tawny-flanked Prinia

Tawny-flanked Prinia and Rattling Cisticola both flitting around the scrub

Rattling Cisticola

No need to become complacent no matter how many you have seen, always room for improvement.Dark-capped Bulbul

and some birds like to improve their appearance before posing for the camera!

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill

I'd calculated it was about 130kms to Talamati Bushveld camp, possibly the biggest distance between any two camps we were going to move between. We had our food to consider but Claire was freezing bottles of water to put in our cool bags so hopefully all would be well. It better had be , we couldn't re-stock without a certain amount of inconvenience, at least, so we thought anyway. No shop at Talamati if we ran out.

Anyway, despite the risk we decided to take the extra long route to take in Satara area before heading to our next base.We could have stuck to the tar road but no, we went gravel after coming off the H1-3. Our guide book suggested the S37 was a road worth travelling. Not for us it wasn't. Over 30 kms of bone rattling corrugated road surface with next to nothing seen. Mind you it was pretty damn hot out there on the dry dusty plain. Even birds that were close to the car were difficult to photograph because of the heat haze.

Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark

It was somewhat of a relief when we came across the Sweni Hide at the top end of this road. We decided to investigate and timed our entry to perfection as herd after herd of Elephants were coming down to the water hole.

Elephants Sweni Hide

It's fascinating watching the interaction between these magnificent creatures.

Lined up

always amusing to see how excited the youngest ones are as they near water.

Mum and baby

Watching the odd one struggling to climb a bank

getting out

or simply having a dustbath ( imaging having that up for nostrils!)

dust bath

kept us amused and at the hide longer than we'd envisaged but why leave if you don't have to!

Anyway, as the elephants finally all left we moved on too.Up the S41 and on to the famous S100.

The S100 gravel road is probably the biggest reason that people like to stop at Satara Rest Camp.

I'd read good reports about the surrounding area, some poor reports about the camp and consequently decided not to stop there. Well, we couldn't fit every camp in anyway, well not unless you are prepared to move on constantly, but I was keen to see what held everyones attention.

Well in our case it was nothing. A few Impala and that was it. We came across a minor road jam, apparently there were some Lions (the road's speciality) asleep under a tree but that was reported from a vehicle much taller than ours and they couldn't see them either so we thought forget that. They might be there for hours without seeing anything. We moved on paying a brief visit to Satara Camp to get some cold drinks.

Then it was onwards again, slightly south on the H1-3 then another highly recommended route, the S126.

Nope, nothing there either!

In the heat of the day your chances of seeing things are much reduced. Our journey had been fairly uneventful except where there was water and that proved to be the same when we hit the S36 and the Mondzweni waterhole. We weren't too far from Talamati now so we had time to sit for a short while before carrying on. There were definite possibilities here, worth a return visit from the camp.

Anyway, with our food in mind we moved on and checked in at Talamati.

What a difference, just a small office and a pleasant greeting by the member of staff on duty. There was a sightings book as well as a board, it listed the various things seen on the guided drives. There were a couple of things I'd like to see and a night drive is the best option. Unfortunately the were full for the three nights we were booked in. Must admit though when I saw the party of noisy families getting on the OSV at departure time I was pleased I wasn't one of them.

No. I wasn't disappointed. There was a hide and I'd spend some time in that instead.

First we moved in to our chalet and I have to say, I was impressed. A bedroom, bathroom

Talamati Bush Camp

excellent kitchen that even had an gas oven as well as the electrical microwave, kettle, toaster.

Talamati Bush Camp

There was a good indoor lounge area as well as a covered outdoor one.

Talamati Bush Camp

The nearest neighbours were some distance away. You couldn't fault anything. Yes, I'd made the right choice here!

I was off to the hide as soon as possiblend that I had e to say was a little disappointing in as much as the water level was vey low, and where there was water it was out of sight. There was a decent procession of visitors though, all the usual suspects but not for me anyway, the local Leopard.

I had to make do with this cute Bushbuck!

Bushbuck

Eventually I was driven out by the noise of some of my fellow guests. I must admit, I'm one of those who actually likes a bit of chat in the hide, provided everyone knows when to shut up if something that is likely to be skittish approaches. However, some people talk VERY loud, and if the conversation is inane best leave!

I returned to our chalet. It was beer time, time to light the Braii!

One of the things I'd asked at reception was if there was any wildlife in camp. The answer was "No".

Maybe they think you are asking about dangerous beasts and they want to reassure you all is well.

Anyway, not long after I had put some sausage on the grill we suddenly had a surprise visitor!

Surprise visitory

I'd never seen one before and was absolut delighted.

Genet

It was soon apparent that these cats offer no threat whatsoever, their behaviour just like a domestic cat it seemed.

Genet

I resisted the use of flash but on occasion did point my torch in the Genet's direction.

You are requested not to feed any of the birds and animals, in fact you can be prosecuted for doing so.

Hard though it was, I resisted the urge to share my dinner but felt quite guilty that the cat sat and watched us eating whilst sat in a nearby tree.

genet

A group of people were heading past the front of our chalet and towards the hide. I went out and approached the straggler at the end and asked "would you like to see something a bit special?". She came with me but was unimpressed even though she asked me what it was. No, she was off to the hide, the Leopard was due at 8.00 o'clock apparently. Suit yourself Madam I thought, I prefer this one!

TBC

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We didn't stay long enough to draw too many conclusions about Berg-en-Dal but I'd certainly consider another visit. We got up reasonably early and were greeted to a rather dull overcast day...not what

For the second and last full day before moving on to Lower Sabie we took the road...to Lower Sabie!! Maybe there is a flaw in the planning starting to show already here, it will be more obvious a

We'd booked in to Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp for three nights. It's right next to the gate and it's a small camp with only 46 camping sites and accommodation units. Lots of folk don't seem to like the

Peter Connan

Lovely genet sighting!

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Amylovescritters

Some people just don’t get “special” I guess. Beautiful little genet. I love them. Great TR!

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Zim Girl

What a lovely sighting of a Genet.

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Kitsafari

What a sweet genet, posing so well for you. seems it was rather expectant - so perhaps other visitors weren't as disciplined as you were on feeding it. 

 

I'm very much enjoying the report - you had quite a few great sightings, including a wild dog! 

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Dave Williams
1 hour ago, Kitsafari said:

What a sweet genet, posing so well for you. seems it was rather expectant - so perhaps other visitors weren't as disciplined as you were on feeding it. 

 

I'm very much enjoying the report - you had quite a few great sightings, including a wild dog! 

 

It was strange it homed in on our chalet I have to say. We weren't the only Braii but that said, maybe ours was the only one were everything was cooked to perfection!;)

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Dave Williams

It was somewhat of a relief to be at Talamati Bushveld Camp.We'd left the most southern part of KNP behind having packed in a lot of driving in an attempt to see as much as possible in that game dense area. We still had plenty of time left to pick off the specialties, the rarer creatures, yes the one's most people want to see. Leopard, I'd seen a few spots in a distant tree, Cheetah..no sighting at all and I was warned to not expect to see one either and from Claire's point of view she hadn't had a decent Lion sighting either. Yes, we wanted to see these animals but I was equally keen to see some of the smaller beasts. The various Mongoose species, another Civet in plain view, Honey Badger...definitely Honey Badger , it was top of my list now. Would be nice of course to see Pangolin and Aardvark but the chances were very, very slim even if I did sign up for a night drive.

As you probably know, the National Parks are different to the private reserves, the conservancies, in as much as a) You can't drive off road and b) you have to be in camp when it's dark. The answer is to sign up for a night drive, even a sunset drive. The latter is possibly the best option because each tour lasts 3 hours and the sunset one gives you half light, half dark. On the other hand the nocturnal species are only just coming to life. The night drive on the other hand goes out at 4.30am so they should be in full swing. Trouble is at 4.30 a.m. I am not! Consequently after the initial enquiry I never bothered asking again, not at this camp or any other.

Anyway for the first day at Talamati I declared we'd minimise driving. I was up early and explored the gardens which are quite substantial to see if I could add some new birds to my list.

Yellow-breasted Apalis 2

The Yellow-breasted Apalis was one of the few new species I saw there.

There was a decent sized flock of Black-collared Barbets flitting from tree to tree

Black-collared barbet

A slightly better view and photo opportunity of an Orange-breasted Bush Shrike 

Orange-breasted Bush Shrike

and not a lot else really. I ended up amusing myself with the Natal Spurfowl looking for crumbs around the Braii.

Natal Spurfowl

We realised we hadn't really catered for breakfast/lunch but that wasn't a problem we'd eat out! So with that in mind today's tour would be the shortish drive to Orpen Camp , another small camp next to one of the entry gates in to KNP.

I should have done my research. There is no restaurant, not even a snack bar ( as there is at Crocodile Bridge) just a shop, and a small one at that. There is though a coffee "stall" and a few tables to sit and drink at. Problems solved. Coffee and some Coconut cookies purchased in the shop.

I have to say the coffee was superb. It's rare to get a coffee that tastes as good as the aroma but this one did. Fabulous.

The minute the cookies are out so are the birds.

The Yellow-billed Hornbill dominated.

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill

The Red-billed one sat further back in the bush next to our table!

Southern Red-billed Hornbill

The camp site is restricted to residents so I had a short wander around the small area of garden at the gate and at least got one new bird for my effort.

White-throated Robin-chat

We decided to do a circuit back to camp rather than return on the route we'd taken, a route that had given us nothing in terms of sightings.

We drove along the main tar road stopping to watch some Elephants who were drinking out of the holes they dug in the dry river bed. Clever beasts those Elephants and their trunk comes in handy in these situations!

Digging for water

Further on we saw a bit of Vulture activity as two or three swooped down on an unseen target in the longer grass. I was more interested in getting a shot of the Bateleur in the foreground and it just goes to show what happens when you get tunnel vision. I didn't manage to focus on the Bateleur before it flew but the real opportunity was totally missed. The big Vulture in the background is something of a rarity in the park. I did get to get a shot of one later but nowhere near at this close distance!

7M3A4078

Back on the gravel S36 we stopped at a water tank when we saw a Black-backed Jackal, they are not that common.

black-backed Jackal

but left when it did.

Onwards until we arrived back at the Mondzweni waterhole which by now was a veritable feast of animal life.

BH2I3859

All a bit distant but sometimes the bigger picture is more impressive.

Mondzweni waterhole S36

There was much to watch and admire.

Mondzweni waterhole S36

The only reason to leave was the car was getting too hot! Unlike the Elephants we couldn't take a dip!7M3A4142

It's definitely one of the better spots near to Talamati, one you should spend time at if in the area. I think lots of people who stay at Satara miss out on here too.

Anyway, back in camp I had some downtime reviewing my images of the past days, occasionally taking the odd snap of the creatures that came to visit our patio.

Smith's Bush Squirrel

You could virtually guarantee if you sat at the dining table it was a signal for the Hornbill to investigate.

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill

Not quite so confiding the Land Monitor hid in a tree trunk 

Land Monitor Lizard

before deciding it was safe to scurry off further down the camp.

Land Monitor Lizard

Sadly we didn't have a return visit by the Genet, perhaps because the steaks I cooked didn't smell as appealing as sausage, or maybe it was just that I hadn't given in to those beautiful eyes and fed it the night before.

Still, no guilty conscience that night anyway.

TBC 

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Three-in-a-row ... obviously you have had problems to chose on which eye to put the focus point:D. I would go with the white head in the back.

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Kitsafari

Loved that Mondswenzi waterhole scene - always so good to see a mingling of different creatures 

 

arggh edited to correct such wrong bad grammar

Edited by Kitsafari
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Dave Williams

It was back on the road again today!

An ambitious plan to try and get both Leopard and Cheetah...well you can live in hope! The S145 and S125 looked good prospects for the Leopard.The S36 for the Cheetah.

Breakfast at Toshkwane too! 

A nice plan but it needed an early start and Claire was up for it.

We hadn't left Talamati very long before we came across a parked OSV. It must have come from one of the three private lodges in the nearby concession. 

What were they looking at?

Lion

Ah! A lion!

Not the best of views but it was closer than any others we'd seen. I could hear the radio on the OSV, he was calling in his mates and before long two more rolled up, both packed with what sounded like American tourists.

I guess one of the advantages of an OSV is that they get to hear where things are happening. There are phone apps too but the trouble is there's no phone signal in much of the park which to be honest is a good thing in my opinion! News gets around fast enough as it is.

The downside of being on an OSV is that you could well find yourself sitting on the wrong side for a particular sighting although because the rows of seats are progressively higher those at the back can see over those in the rows in front.  I'm assuming the driver tries to park in such a manner that everyone looks straight at the subject and the result is the vehicle parks across the road making getting past more difficult.

I was blocked in, more so when the first OSV left.

As I was within speaking distance with the driver of the vehicle blocking me I as was able to ask him, politely of course , if he could let me out. He did so without acknowledgement.

20m down the road I spotted there was a better view. If the Lion raised it's head we could actually see his face!

Lion

He did briefly before appearing to go back to sleep. I'd got a better picture though.

I reversed back and informed the driver of the OSV that had moved that there was a good picture opportunity if he moved. Once again, no acknowledgement but the kind of look that tells you you don't know what you are talking about. Suit himself I thought and left.

To be honest that was the only incidence of that sort of behaviour I experienced from an OSV. Most were very thoughtful and considerate of others.

Our route continued, along the S125 then down the tar H1-3. Nothing of note to add to our sightings unfortunately. Tshkwane Picnic Site here we come.

We got to the left turn to the Orpen Loop road and it was still pretty early. Should we take a look?

We'd seen nothing the last time but our neighbours at Lower Sabie had had a pair of Lions walking alongside their vehicle for an age. We'd try again!

We'd only gone a few hundred metres when I spotted three heads raised in the long grass.

Hyena on a kill

Hyena and bloodied ones too! They were on a kill but we couldn't see it.

Hyena on a kill

They were quite distant and largely hidden so we moved off again. Half way around the loop an OSV was coming the opposite direction. I flagged him down and told him about the Hyenas. Both he and all the passengers were delighted about the news, they had obviously had a poor trip so far. They were all appreciative and in return tipped me off that they'd seen nothing on the rest of the loop.

That was the only tip I received from an OSV but I did flag a few down during the course of our trips to pass on my news!!

It hadn't been the best of mornings but a Lion and a Hyena is actually pretty good.

I think one of the misconceptions of a self drive in KNP is that you will be falling over sightings. It much depends where you are and what time of day...and no doubt year too!

Anyway, we were now more concerned about breakfast and my much anticipated treat!!

Remember I'd eyed up someone else's meal on our first visit.

Oh yes, I was having one of those.

Yum!

Scrambled egg, bacon and cheese in a toasted roll. I added some Tabasco sauce to gee it up a tad too!

Absolutely delicious and a snip at 38 rand. Substantial enough to keep anyone going all day. In my opinion this is the best breakfast stop in the whole of KNP, if you are ever passing give it a try. You might even get some decent sightings there too.

Banded Mongoose

Now well fed we decided to head on towards Skukuza on the tar road... yes there was another football result I was dying to know!

We diverted off the tar for a short loop and we were rewarded in buckets!

A new bird for the trip, a Golden-breasted Bunting

Golden-breasted Bunting

and some cracking views of a flock of White-crested Helmetshrike.

White-crested Helmetshrike  Prionops plumatus

For once they stayed put long enough for a couple of shots.

White-crested Helmetshrike  Prionops plumatus

back on the tar and further down the road towards Skukuza we spotted the Vulture I'd missed until I later looked at a photograph I'd taken.

White-headed Vulture

7M3A4355

Things were getting better by the minute!

We investigated a waterhole turn off which I seem to remember was unmarked.

A car was already on the scene. A Bateleur on its kill.

7M3A4315_1

It's an impressive bird, one of the most striking raptors you will ever get to see.

BH2I3978

The victim, a Scrub Hare. That's one race it won't win.

On to the waterhole to find it totally dry but wait.... a couple of birds are seeking out insects in the dried up mud.

Senegal Plover   Stephanibyx lugubris

Senegal plover, one of the best birds I'd see on the whole trip. Something of a rarity in KNP it seems. More of a rarity in Senegal perhaps. In all my many trips to The Gambia I'd never seen one before.

Senegal Plover   Stephanibyx lugubris

It was turning in to quite a day.

A cold drink and a quick wifi link and we were out of Skukuza leaving the madding crowds behind once more.

A couple of minutes up the road and it was hit the brake time again.

African Hoopoe, too close to the edge of the road making me park in the middle of the tar road. I'd have to be quick.

African Hoopoe Upupa africana

The next car along spooked it but I'd got a shot, another addition for my list too.

Next up was the S83 loop. My mind was elsewhere when suddenly there at the side of the road..a Leopard. I instinctively hit the brakes and skidded to a halt in just a few metres. The Leopard was a mere 5m away. It snarled at us and slunk behind a bush. I reversed back a bit and the Leopard emerged to cross the road. Unfortunately there was no way I'd get a shot through the windscreen so I leant out of the window just in time to see it about to enter the woodland.

Leopard crossing

Damn, damn, damn.

Leopard crossing

If only I'd been more alert I might have seen it earlier. I certainly wasn't going fast so at least I had stopped before I was past it but I felt I had blown what would be the best sighting we'd get.

That grass obscuring it's face and then just shots of it vanishing in to the bush.

Leopard crossing

I admit it took a little shine off my day!!

Anyway, next up we had the S36, well known for Cheetah sightings. Well known but not by us.

Never mind we had some compensation and enough to cheer me up.

Vervet Monkey

No, not the Vervet Monkey.

Zebra

Nor the Zebra.

Waterbuck

Not even the beautiful Waterbuck.

Waterbuck

No , what really delighted me was to get some cracking views of the Red-crested Kohraan.

Red-crested Korhaan   Lophotis ruficrista

It was having a grooming session and didn't do the usual and walk away.

Red-crested Korhaan   Lophotis ruficrista

If you look carefully you can actually see the red crest on that one!

Red-crested Korhaan   Lophotis ruficrista

That was a bit special for me.as it's normally only seen in courtship routines.

The day wasn't over yet though.

We were running slightly late, nothing to worry about so still time to stop for some green Wood Hoopoe.

Green Wood Hoopoe Phoeniculus purpureus

and had to stop for a Giraffe block

Giraffe block

Such an elegant creature aren't they?

We'd seen just about everything today, four of the big five again and in fact our last stop was to watch an Elephant destroy yet another tree.

Destructive Elephant

What a magical day it had been even with the disappointment of my Leopard encounter. I might not have got the shot but to see and even hear the Leopard snarl at us was a memory I'll have implanted for ever.

We were on the move again tomorrow. Talamati Bushveld Camp had been pretty good to us and was definitely the best accommodation we'd had so far.

One last Braii then.

and guess who came to dinner to say goodbye!

Genet

No doubt hoping for a more generous host next time.

Genet

It's not easy resisting the temptation to offer them food I have to admit.

TBC

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Great sightings Dave and beautiful photos 

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mtanenbaum

Your bird photos especially are incredible! Thanks for sharing.

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That leopard encounter was incredible, you are a lucky man, Dave! And you prefer Ganet to Leopard anyway ;).

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Towlersonsafari

love the helmetshrike and waterbuck in particular @Dave Williams

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Peter Connan

Wow! I have never heard a leopard snarl!

I have never seen a Senegal Lapwing either.

 

Once again, really great photos. It's fun riding along with this trip!

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Zubbie15

Lots of nice sightings, I’m most jealous of the nice bateleur. I’ve only ever seen them soaring high above! 
 

 

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Dave Williams

It was now October the 2nd and as of yesterday the camp gates open at 5.30 am, half an hour earlier than in September. Quite a few folk are raring to go at that time, indeed I was too on a couple of days but today was certainly an exception. We had to pack up as we were moving on to Olifants Rest Camp for the next two nights, consequently we didn't get going until 7.30am

And lucky we didn't either! I'd been talking to some other residents earlier, one lot left much earlier than the other. As we drove just a few hundred metres up the road we spotted the second lot parked and just beyond them ..Cheetah!

Wow! Cheetah is a special sighting indeed and this one was sat in the long grass very close to the edge of the road.

First sight!

It couldn't have chosen a better spot as the road divided in to two lanes , the middle being a length of rough ground and bush. Without driving past or obscuring the view of the first vehicle I was able to drive the wrong side of this dual carriage way keeping my distance but still very close.

Cheetah

There was a fair wind blowing and the grass was obscuring it's face but with time allowing I got some better shots.

Cheetah

The Cheetah was sat there for quite some time and it soon became apparent why. A small group of Kudu entered in to the grassland area and that was what the Cheetah was waiting for.

It was watching intently as they slowly moved towards the waiting cat but it wasn't a direct approach so the Cheetah made a move to a different position to launch an attack when the moment was right.

I had a dilemma now. Which camera body and lens to use. I decided on the 1DX and the 100-400mm as the frame rate on the 1DX is much, much faster than the 5D4. I was hoping that the chase would come in our direction but it wasn't to be.

The Kudu ran away from our position.

Cheetah chase

The Cheetah targeted the smallest in the group but what happened we shall never know as the Kudu leapt a bush, the Cheetah followed.

Cheetah chase

and that's the last we saw of them!

It had been a breathtaking and fascinating experience. Talking to the people in the other car, they'd first spotted the Cheetah sitting on top of the road marker for our camp. It had then jumped down and walked the road, marking it's territory as it went until had stopped where we found them. They had been there for some time watching and had apparently got some good images too. Needless to say we were all "over the moon" at having witnessed a chase. Just then the occupants of the other vehicle returned and no doubt they would be sick as the proverbial parrot when they were told the news. Just shows, your luck can change in minutes.

It was our lucky day though and that's what mattered! To be honest, if we saw one excellent sight a day, that's all we asked for.

We headed back up the S36 and stopped at the waterhole to watch a huge herd of Buffalo drinking and bathing.

Buffalo at the waterhole

Then it was a right turn down the highly rated ( by Van den Berg anyway) S126. Once again we drew a blank on predators but just before you get to the tar road there's a waterhole.

African Hawk Eagle Impala

Not a new bird for the trip but a better sighting than the first one.

African Hawk Eagle

It was time for breakfast, well lunch really. We headed to Satara were Claire had a toastie which she said was OK, I had a Hot Dog. In a word, don't bother. It was disgusting!

Not to worry, we'd be eating dinner in the restaurant tonight so I would enjoy dinner even more if I was really hungry!

On the road again we decided to take the S100 , again famed and a favourite of many due to it's predator sightings.  Our first drive along there had been fruitless but today it paid us back!

Lion family

A Lion family!

Lion Cubs

They were fairly close to the road but on the other side of the river.

They weren't the only Lions we saw either, further on we came across two young males but the views were poor and we didn't stop for more than a few seconds. 

It was brakes on when I saw a Hyena running straight towards us.

Spotted Hyena

It was breathless and seemed agitated too.

Spotted Hyena

It didn't stop until the danger was gone!

Spotted Hyena

I think our car had stopped the chase, and the Hyena used us to get away.

Yes, from the chasing Zebras!

I was quite surprised to witness such a scene.Anyway, we moved on leaving the humiliated Hyena standing in the shade of a bush.

Next stop was back to the Sweni Hide where we'd been entertained so well by all the Elephants on our previous visit. 

No Elephant today but there was plenty going on.

Obstacle path

The Giraffe took an age deciding if it was safe to approach the water and nearer to the hide I was surprised how casual the Impala were.

Danger!

No wonder some end up as dinner, those Crocs can put in a turn of speed when they want to.

Nile Crocodile

One Antelope that dithered and dithered and eventually decided it was too dangerous was this little fellow.

Sharpe's Grysbok 1

It was only when I got home I realised what I'd been looking at. Not Steinbok but Sharpe's Grysbok, a rarity amongst the antelopes of KNP. I'd only taken two shots too!!

On our way once again, we still had a couple of decent sightings

Chacma Baboon

The Helmeted Guineafowl are common but this was the best shot I'd achieved to date.

Helmeted Guineafowl

We arrived at Olifants not too long before sunset. A Tawny Eagle was flying around the hill top the camp is perched on. Well that's what I thought it was.

Suddenly hundreds of bats suddenly emerged from a nearby building and the "eagle" went in to action.

What an idiot I'd been. This was a Bat Hawk and another rarity to boot.

Bat hawk

I grabbed my camera that luckily was nearby and fired off a couple of shots as it disappeared for good to eat it's supper. I could only hope it would reappear the next evening. what a fool I'd been , it had been flying around for at least 20 minutes and coming fairly close too. Another Damn,damn, damn moment!

Tonight though we'd be eating in the restaurant. Tindlovu are the caterers that run it, the same as at Berg-en-dal where we had eaten on the first night. I was starving so we ordered two starters too.

How can Halumi cheese fritters taste so different in the same chain! These were inedible they were so salty and so was the other concoction we'd ordered too. Never mind, the burgers looked good. 

Another huge disappointment I'm afraid.

They look good, they come with a skewer holding together the bun with several rounds of battered onions and a burger in place. The trouble is it was saturated with a gloop of mustard mayonnaise which left the whole thing a soggy mess.

Hugely disappointing and despite being hungry I still couldn't bring myself to eating most of it. 

From now on we'd be self catering I swore!

TBC

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13 minutes ago, Dave Williams said:

Another Damn,damn, damn moment!

Like listening to myself way too many times! The motto should be: Take photos now, plenty of photos, and delete them later.

There were too many non-edible dinners for someone that likes the braai and self-catering. 

 

Now to better parts of that day. Cheetah sightings are always enjoyable, and watching the hunt is awesome. The lion family cubs are adorable. And Grysbok, really fantastic sighting.

 

Edited by xelas
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Really nice trip report so far.. And already a lot of good sightings... Lion, wild dog, cheetah and leopard are pretty good. And a hunt from a cheetah, must have been so exciting.  Also the genet was amazing... I wonder why the lady didn´t like it :rolleyes: 

I also liked your itinerary, but you left out my favourit,  which is Satara. We always camp and if you can get a space at the fence it is amazing(in my opinion<_<). Also the road H6,H7, S100 and S41 is excellent . But again luckily we are not all alike.. 

Really looking forward to the next chapter ;) 

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refox3488

Great photos, the lion family posed so nicely for you!

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Kitsafari

Cheetah and a hunt - awesome sightings!

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wilddog

Thoroughly enjoying this. So many good sightings. 

 

It seems that you are doing the driving so there is little surprise if you cannot always get the best shot of fleeting animals like the leopard.  You saw it and got a shot or two. Wonderful. The growl... Sound memories stick with us I find. 

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Hi @Dave Williams - Loving your report mate.

Bringing back many great memories of my Kruger trips, especially the Biyamiti weir, I love the Sweni hide and the S100.

Your photo's are fantastic , especially your bird pics. Love the lion pride as well on the S100.

Cant wait to hear about your Shimuwini experience - I love that place.

Bring on the rest of the report.

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