Good evening from Crocodile bridge!
Here is todays events!
Was up early today and at the camp gate at 5:45am, was about the 4th car in line. My route was planned to go north, but as I said yesterday everything seems to be seen in the opposite direction of my routes, so I tried to con the buggers and quickly went down south for about 7km, only seeing some waterbuck and baboons in great light, turned around and then set out to do my original route.
Headed up north along the main road, turning left onto S127 towards Timbavati, did a few km down the S39 and then turned around and went down the S40, then the S12 and finally back to camp along the main road. After passing Satara again and carrying on up north, there was plenty of impala, zebra and giraffe along the way. Just a few km past the S90 turn off was a blacked backed jackal trying to get hold of some bones/leg of some animal right next to road in absolute perfect light, got some really great pics of this. Carrying on further, I came across a lone elephant far in the distance. On the S127, saw only some warthogs and impala. The first few km of S39 was full of impala and big herds of giraffe. It was very quiet along the S40 and the S12, just some Egyptian geese at Girivana and some impala along the S12. The ever present waterbuck were at Nsemani. Still no cats!!!
Arrived back at camp, packed the car and headed for Crocodile bridge, taking the main road all the way down via Lower Sabie. Couple of daggaboys just south of Satara, then quite a nice herd of about 150 buffalo about 20km south of Satara. Stopped off the Nkumbe, a lovely view and also nice and green. A small herd of about 20 elephants just before the bridge over the causeway just outside Lower Sabie. Stopped at Lower Sabie for a well deserved hamburger! Then hit the road again, final destination Crocodile bridge. Oh realised this morning the car aircon packed up, so the heat really got to me in the later part of this long drive. Zebra, impala and wildebeest were in there hundreds along the main road. Gezantfombi dam is dry! Finally arrived at Crocodile bridge, booked in and set out to our bungalow, unpacked and hit the sack!
In the afternoon, I headed up north along the main road, turned right onto the S130, then right again onto the S137 (Duke loop), then right onto the S28 and back to camp. The main road was very quiet, what happened to all the impala and zebra I had seen earlier. Turning onto the S130, definitely expecting to see rhino along here, as I always have, but nothing! Turned right on S137, duke loop, went to Duke’s waterhole, had a fair amount of water in it, saw some kudu in the distance and an elephant. After turning back onto the S137 about 1km down the road was a big herd of buffalo, roughly 300 or so, nice sighting, all around the road side. Took a few photographs in low light and then headed off to the S28. Just after turning right onto the S28, there is a spruit, and along the banks of it, I see this thing looking at me!! ITS A LION! WOOOOHOOOO! Turned off the car and rolled closer, immediately moved into passenger seat and started clicking away, then I see a sub adult come out as well, then a very small cub probably about 2months old. Was I getting excited now, after 5 and half days, I finally see these guys that have avoided me. Eventually more strolled out from the bush, a total of 3 female lions, 2 sub adults and 1 tiny cub that I could see, don’t know how many were still hidden behind the bush. It’s amazing that these bushes are like 4m from the road, very dense, and the lions have probably been sitting there the whole without anyone knowing. Impala were making a noise in the background and the lions got all excited and stood up and walked in their direction before settling down again. I am pretty sure that they probably have found a meal by now! The light was getting really low now, and managed a few good pics of the lions, before I could blink the light had gone and thus getting late. I still had 20km to do and it was already 17:30. So I set off and left the lions to do their bit, and I was a very happy man. If only I got there a bit earlier and spent a bit more time with them and to have had the sun stay up longer but we can’t have it all. All in all I was with them for about 15min, not more than 10m from the car in the open, and to make it even better I had the sighting all to myself. Headed back to camp in rush to get there before the gate closes, just before camp saw a white rhino in the road but could not do anything as I was already late, arriving at camp at 18:07.
Some extra birds to name a few, Tawny eagle, Bateleur, Vultures, Longclaw, Pearl spotted owls and a few others.
Settled down to a nice braai again, and had a look at some pics , pretty chuffed with a good days work! Off to bed now, and let’s hope that I can continue this good fortune tomorrow.
Over and out!
Planning next KNP trip!