This part will cover 6 days, 3 in Punda and 3 in Letaba.
Both are lovely camps. Punda being the best of the 2 if you want to feel alone.
Roads travelled from both camps are good, only the one part of the tar road near pafuri picnic is bad since the 2000 floods. Surely this should have been fixed by now, or are we expecting another flood.
Up in Punda we were not fortunate to see any cats, but ele's and antelope aplenty.
The last morning in Punda leaving for Letaba, as we sat at the gate about 05h35 we heard a male lion. I got out of the car as it was close by. I walked closer to the gate and stared into the bush on the left. I heard the francolins making alarm so the lion was very close by. The nerves started getting the better of me so I turned around to go back to the car, and there just behind my car in the middle of the road( remember this is inside the camp) I saw............................
the lady coming to open the gate
. We heard the lion to the right side this time, and as we left camp, we turned right on the loop. We heard more alarm calls and one more roar, but could not spot the beast.
Anyway, down to Letaba we stopped at Babalala where I took these pics of the birds. Please help me id them, as I know nothing about birds. (pics will be at end of post).
At Letaba we also arrived after 12h00, and once again took a stroll through the camp. Lovely place. Some more birds shot (camera off course) and time for afternoon drive. We drove to Engelhardt dam and the look out at the end of the road. On the way back we stopped at Mantambena hide.
4 Buffs were lying on the banks with a croc not 3 metres from them. No action between them though. The buffs got up and started grazing amongst the reeds etc. As I was looking through the binocs a shadow caught my eye. I looked carefully, and saw none other than the spotted one cominhg for a drink. As it came into the open, it saw the croc and went back into the reeds. The buffs saw it, and I could not believe that they were scared, as the started running and did not stop untill far far away (no not the place in the Shrek movie).
The next thing we saw was impala's scattering everywhere and a sound of one being caught by the leopard. That sound goes straight through you. This was however among the reeds and we could not see anything. Even the pic of the leopard is not that clear as I only have a 300mm lens. I seriuosly need a converter or a bigger lens.
The next day we travelled all along the gravel roads to Masorini. What a nice spot, and very informative on the little tour that we took there. Coming from Vaal I know all about steel works, but it was interesting to see how they did it back in the days.
Back to camp, about 7km from camp we came across 4 male lions that caught a baby buff that morning. Spend some time and then back to camp. Afternoon trip we decided not to go back to the lions but to go to the other side of Engelhardt dam. Here we came across 2 more male lions that also caught something. The vultures were also feeding. Are there any female lions up north?
All in all the top part of Kruger was nice, not nearly as busy as the south. We are used to the south, and were at the gate every morning around 05h30 just to see others only pitching up at around 05h55. In the south you need to be at the gate 04h00 or after opening time to avoid all the traffic.
As we did not see so much animals up north than what we are used to, we started the whole birding thing. Only one problem besides my 300mm lens not being enough for birding, they do not sit still very long, so you basically take about 500 photos of a bird and afterwards pick the best ones.
Here follows some pics. ( The car we used, birds, and 4 out of the big 5). Hope I get this right.