For the past two years I have had a standing arrangement with my brother-in-law and a friend that we would do a day visit every second Thursday of the month until a couple of months ago when he started a new job.
He decided to take a days leave to do one of our trips on Tuesday 7/11/06.
Arrived at Malelane gate at 5:15 and had our first cup of coffee. This time there were 3 people on duty and got us going in no time.
We have a specific route planned for every trip we do, H3, S110, S120 (Steilberg for the first beer
), H3 to Afsaal. We saw our first baby Impala on S110.
On the S120 we saw our first White Rhino in the distance and this Hyena back on the H3 close to Renosterpan and a Redbilled Hornbill posed for a photo.
From Afsaal we took the H3, S113, S23, S26 and S102 to Mpondo dam. On the H3 this magnificent Waterbuck was more interested in something on the other side of the road.
At Muhlambamadvube dam we found a herd of Blue Wildebeest and Impala, just as we where leaving a herd of about 30 Ellies came to drink water. Without SO not in the car I could take some photos.
Not much to report on route to Mpondo dam except for a lot of general game and our bird count stood at 23. From there we took the H5 and H4-2 to Lower Sabie. On the H5 we found a young Kudu bull that was hit and killed by a vehicle.
There was no vehicle at the scene but sufficient proof in tracks. As soon as we had cell phone reception I phoned Croc. Bridge, they knew about the incident and had a vehicle on route to move it. On the H4-2 at the Sabie river we found a young replacement for Duke on the opposite bank. Not a good photo but will give a good idea of his tusks size.
At Sunset dam the Hippos could not decide if they wanted to be in or out of the water and this Grey Heron was trying its luck close to shore.
Lower Sabie, the time 10:30 and that meant it was time for first Captain of the day, a single for the designated driver (me)
. From LS we took the H10, S29, S30, and H4-1 to Skukuza. On the H10 we saw a Martial Eagle sitting on a bush and took off with its kill, Steenbuck before we could take any photos
and found this guy demolishing a bush at the intersection to Mlondozi dam. On the S29 and S30 we saw lots of general game including two White Rhino sleeping, Whitefronted Bee-eaters and Ground Hornbills.
On the high water bridge we saw these Vultures having a bath in the Sabie river and this Warthog was having his beauty sleep.
A quick pit stop at Skukuza for more Ice, etc.
and then on to Lake Panic. We spent about two hours at Lake Panic with lots of people coming and going. We added 13 more birds to our list including this Water Dikkop with chicks, Dad Dikkop chasing anything that might threaten the babies. They really do blend into the surroundings and these White Face ducks trying to snooze.
We had our first sighting of Nyala at Lake Panic as well.
We then took the H1-1, H3, S121 (Timfenheni loop) and H3 to Malelane gate. We found more Impala babies on the H3 close to Jock Lodge, further down the road close to Mlambane river and this Redcrested Korhaan on a ant hill.
At the H3 and S110 intersection we found this baby White Rhino and mom. By now the light was fading very fast and these last shots were taken at iso 800.
We had our last Sun downer on Malelane bridge before returning to Nelspruit.
Another tough day in Africa had to come to an end.