Good evening forumites,
Although I have read trip reports for about a year, I decided to tell you about 2 trips I had in a months' time in March! As always the Kruger produced wonderful sightings. Well rather late than never!
The first trip 9 to 11 March with my cousin Martie. The second trip was from 23 to 27 March and this time I was with 2 friends: Su-Mari and Elaine.
Day 1: Friday 9 March 2007
We left Pretoria by 2:00 the morning.
We could not miss one minute of Kruger! (Can you be a Kruger addict?)
We reached Phabeni Gate at 06:00. We took the S1 Doispane Road. General Game was in abundance. We then took Waterhole road (S65) and saw our first elephant at the waterhole on this road. I have been to Kruger every year since I was a baby and this is the first time since I was a child that I saw these huge herds of Impala (up to 400 in a herd) again. What a sight!
Kruger was very dry and hot! The temperature was every day 40° C General game were all around the waterholes.
We passed Afsaal and then Biamiti weir (S114) where we saw a Painted Snipe, then took the Byamiti Loop (S23). This was in the midday and very hot! We found 3 of the Big 5 at one spot. (We could see White Rhino, Ellies and Buff in the river bed.)
At Renosterkoppies dam was more Rhinos and then to Skukuza for something cold. Then to Lower Sabie where we would spent the night. The klipspringer we saw at the Lubyelubye bridge.
Sundowners at Sunset dam was just what the docter ordered too end our first day!
(On the sightings board I saw that somebody saw leopard at the Mativuhlungu river bridge on the H4-2. I have seen 3 times before leopard cubs at that same spot and so I decided to go and investigate the next morning).
Day 2: Saturday 10 March.
We made an early start and went to sit and wait, drink coffee, eat rusks, watch birds and enjoy the morning. As we arrive at the bridge, there were other cars that said to me that 2 leopard youngsters were seen there the day before. There was also a hippo in the water next to the rocks where the leopards were seen. Eventually all the other cars left (Patience is sometimes a virtue) and 5 minutes later the 2 youngsters came out and “played” (if you could call it that?) with the hippo. The Hippo watched them but did not move away. We watched them for about 15 minutes before the next car arrived and then the leopards went to hide away again.
We left and took the S28, quickly went to Duke waterhole where the Zebras was drinking water. It was already hot! On the way we saw a Pearlspotted Owl eating a mouse. (Sorry, too far no photo) The area around Mac’s waterhole burnt and wooly necked storks, and Black Headed Herons was all over. Further down we found 2 big herds of buff. We estimated that the last herd was about 600 buffalo strong. We also saw White Rhino, Ellies, Hyaena and all general game on this road. We went for something cold to Crocodile Bridge and then via H5 to Mpondo dam where we found elephants and buff. The elllies decided to bath for us and we watched them for about an hour and a half. We turned back to camp as we were booked on the sunset drive.
This is one of only a few camps where I can recommend sunset drives I have seen on most night drives a lot of interesting creatures.
The guides that are permanently at Lower Sabie are very good and very knowledgeable. We went down towards Croc Bridge. We saw all general game, buffalo, pearl spotted owl, white rhino, a lion female with 2 very small cubs, white tailed mongoose, small spotted genet, civet, hippo, ellies, and then a leopard male stalking Impalas. We waited there for about 20 min and then unfortunately had to return to camp. Well big 5 on a night drive and 3 leopards for the day sounds like a good deal!
Day 3: Sunday 11 March
The next morning we left camp as the gates open. We drove down the H4-2 towards Croc Bridge. The road was quite quiet until we reached the T-junction of the S130. Here we found 3 lionesses looking interested in something to eat, but the wind was wrong and eventually they moved on. We also saw white rhino close to Croc Bridge.
We took the S28 back to camp. On the way we saw buff, Secretary Bird, and lots of general game. Turned to Duke water hole (S137) and saw lots of game around it but nothing at the water. Then we saw this hyena. I think he had sunstroke! He was watching something in the water. We could not see anything. After about 15 min he just stood up and left. I still don’t know what he thought he did not even look at us! Just stared into the water. Just after we left we found Kori Bustard next to the road.
We took the H10 that afternoon and saw general game, common reedbuck, about 400 ellies, white rhino, a buffalo herd, European rollers and Eastern Redfooted Kestrels in 10 km next to the Mlondosi spruit.
Another day in paradise!
Day 4: Monday 12 March
Well we are packed and ready to leave. 05:20 we are in front of the gate (1st Car) It is still darkish as I leave the gate and turn right towards sunset dam, when I discover something as longas the tar road is lying in the road. Then it lifted itself up and started moving towards the dam. Yes, a HUGE crocodile! What a sighting!
We found elephant playing and taking a dust bath in the riverbed. 2 Impala males also gave us a show of play-fighting. At Skukuza we got something to drink and then went passed Renosterkoppies dam.
Here we found 5 wild dogs lying in the road. Their stomachs were full and so I knew they would lay there for the whole day. After watching them for about a hour we left.
As we arrived at Phabeni Gate there was a striped bellied sand snake in the tree that caught a lizard. (The light for photos was very bad).
And so I have to leave again one of my favourite places on our planet earth.
A link to my pictures of this trip is: Here