Day 4 - 3rd October
We woke up to a very wet balcony. It had stopped raining but stayed cloudy and cool all day. Now at this point in my report I get a little confused. The map I was using to navigate and thus write my "field notes" says the road we took to Talamati is the S140. However the map I'm using as an aide memoire while writing this report says its the S145. No matter, you get the idea. And we only saw an unidentified raptor, 3 kudu males and 5 southern ground hornbills anyway.
We then headed north on the S36, looking for some hot water at Muzandzeni picnic spot so we could have some warming coffee. We didn't get any as this was the sight that greeted us at the adjacent water hole
You should just be able to make out 5 lionesses. We spent about half an hour with them until they moved into the longer grass behind the waterhole.
We then decided that we needed some food to go with the coffee we hadn't had and headed along the S126 Sweni Road (2 white backed vultures and a bateleur) and up the H1-3 (elephant and buffalo) to Satara and hot chocolate and toasties (we finally figured out how to order from the deli. At least we thought we had. More on this later).
After this sustenance we headed, with some trepidation on my part, for the S100. On the first morning of our first trip in 2003 we had a fantastic half hour, on our own, with a pride of lions on this road but we'd never travelled it again. So we do we love it or hate it? Make your own conclusions.
First up was a hamerkop, then a woolly-necked stork, a male kudu and a male bushbuck.
Near the Nsasane waterhole we came across a herd of spooked zebra so we stopped for a while to see if anything appeared but nothing was happening. And then just before the junction with the S41, 2 lions. 1 male and 1 female. That was the 6th separate lion sighting of the trip and made 21 in total. These 2 were quite a way from the road and although I did get a picture it's not worth posting here.
We turned down the S41 and came across a black crake, a couple of trees full of vultures, one being a lappet-faced. We couldn't see what was happening though. From the N'wanetsi picnic spot we spotted 2 bushbuck, 1 male, 1 female.
A herd of elephants on the S41 on the way back, close to where the vultures were gathering.
On the S100 return journey I got the woolly-necked stork on my side of the car and managed to get a couple of photos. I would appreciate confirmation that it is a wns though.
The only other sighting on the way back was a very skittish grey duiker.
After a burger break at Satara (my SO recommends the veggie option) we headed off back towards Tamboti. We took a little loop of the S40/S12. At the Girivana waterhole we came across this little one being taught how to drink by her (his?) mother.
Mum wouldn't let her suckle so she was forced to try to drink. She was really doubtful but mum was showing her how to splay her legs and eventually she got it. It was really beautiful to watch.
On the H7 was a large herd of elephants really close to the road. Some cars were getting quite close and one idiot managed to rev their engine right by a mother. He was very lucky they didn't charge at him as they had very young with them. We decided to give them some space.
Back at the camp there were 5 kudu females by the fence at the back of the tent. While I was writing my notes up I could hear baboons and caught sight of something crossing the river bed. SO went out later and spotted a hyena right by the fence. The wind really picked up again and we retired to bed early again.