Day 1. Sunday. 7th Nov.
After much planning, plotting and high hopes, the great day finally arrived, well before dawn for those who had set the alarm clock too early by an hour.
So it was with great excitement that we waited for Penny, Bob the builder, Ranger Son and son of Jay's arrival and when they did, their huge Caravelle was packed to the very roof and every other available spot as well.
What was not in that vehicle was not worth talking about.
We had a very smooth and easy drive up through Swaziland, arriving at Croc Bridge around 1pm.
Driving across the now thankfully opened low level bridge into camp is always such a thrill, eyes peeled to see the first animal.
We checked in, but so disappointed to see the sightings board there in such disarray with not a single pin left and only a book available which is not being utilised much.
Our allotted bungalows were #8 & 9 which were very nicely placed right at the fence overlooking the river,and a safarie tent for the boys.
It was extremely hot and after unpacking all our cold items we relaxed on our verandah watching some old Buffs grazing in the river.
Also vervets gambolling in the trees, trying to look appealing enough to earn a few titbits.
2 bushbuck wandering past the fence and lovely variety of birds flitting in the trees.
We decided to go for a drive and it was our choice of route.
Left camp, drove up the H4-2
Saw W/Hogs, Impalas with young everywhere, Giraffe, W Rhino, Ellies at the H5 turnoff and some Whitebacked Vultures.
Unfortunately nothing more than the usual plus a B. Coucal and this lovely tree which I think is called Acacia Garraddii, or something along those lines.
Quick pit stop at L.S. then on the road again.
More Ellies and a lovely Fish Eagle posing so beautifully.
Water Buck and the usual plus some Helmetted G. Fowl, pretty Lilac Breasted Rollers, Brown headed Parrots, Swainsons Francolin and the ever present Ellies but all comfortably off the road much to Penny's relief.
Stopped off at the Nhlanganzwani Dam, which is 13 kms south-east of Lower Sabie. Something cool to drink and sit listening to the Hippos grunts and snorts and a variety of little water birds all scuttling around the water's edge.
Back on the H4-2
and a little detour up to the popular Gezantfombi Dam, which, according to my new book means "the place where the young women bathe"
No young women there this time unless you count the 2 Kudu cows,
also a Martial Eagle and some Hippos.
Last animals before camp are W/beeste, some Ostrich and Zebras.
Back at camp we settle down to a delicious supper of Chicken Kebabs, Jacket Potatoes and fresh salad, prepared by Bob, our excellent chef.
and washed down with a good few glasses of wine.
Off to bed fairly early, all very tired after our early start and dream of our trip up to Olifants Camps, starting early in the morning.