Okay .. so let's start with day 2 ..
Was up and ready and waiting 1st in the gate 20 mins before it opened .. (I contribute that to the eagerness and impatience of youth). So as the gate opened the cars were lined up .. and we set off .. The cars came by one by one by one untill after 1km when I was all alone
But this did not bother me as I knew they were all off to Skukuza and would take the H1-1 to get there .. NOT the road I'm taking today .. My journey was another path ..
Went to see if i could find some Wilddogs or Leopard (HORROR STORY .. I did not see one
) .. At the Shabeni Loop ..
After driving around seeing some Duiker and Impala
.. got onto the Albasini Road and had a nice sighting of a Mother and calf white rhino .. Could not take a photo coz they were directly in the sun .. But was treated to an awesome sunrise!
So I kept on driving .. and having not found any elephants yet I saw some very fresh dung and spoor along the road .. Which later was lost when the ellie seemed to have moved into the veld.
But was treated by another Rhino sighting of a big male grazing next to the road
Decided to have breakfast at Nyamundwa Dam (the perks of braaing too much meat the following evening) .. and see how far the fires went .. Got there and saw some fires still going .. But the storks were entertaining me while I had breakfast catching their own
The smoke got really thick at some place as you can see .. which gave it some "mystical yet eerie" feelings
The birds were a real treat to watch .. this oke was catching all the insects next to the road .. but had the funniest walk .. Difficult to explain .. but I really had a good chuckle ..
So I kept going on .. When all of a sudden I see cars galore .. hmmm .. I must be in the South coz this can only mean one thing .. Some predator .. And they did not dissappoint me .. Asked what they were looking at and the guy said 2x cheetahs .. WOW! .. Cheetah!!! Manouvered a bit and saw them in the ditch .. but could see these 2 were on a mission .. Checked they were going to leave and left myself .. Short while later they popped out next to my car and most of the cars now having left .. it was only me and 2 more cars .. as I said these guys were on a mission and I kept following them .. they moved off a bit deeper in the bush and that's when I saw the characteristic movement of a cat about to "pounce" ..
For the life of me I could not see what they were looking at but realised there was something .. the next moment one of them burst out in a speed I last saw exactly 3 years ago on the H1-1 .. this oke is going for it .. The next moment I see a small Duiker burst out of the taller grass and the race was on!
Had this been an Impala I would not have minded .. but this small one running for it's life I could not help but urge him on .. Fortunately it seems that this little one was feeling fresh and really gave them a hard time (the 2nd one had joined in now) .. After loosing them for a while I could only hope .. And it was with mixed emotions when I saw the 2 walking off .. Realising that the duiker got away .. but at the same time realising how much effort the 2 of them had to put in to try and get a meal .. Truly AWESOME! And what was even more satisfying was seeing the smiles on the faces of the other 2 cars ... (later I would find out that one of the cars were from oversea so they really had a treat) .. I knew there and then that these cars will keep on coming back to nature and kruger.
So having seen that very special moment I could not have asked for more and decided to take the S65 (the Wilddog road last year) .. And wow .. did I see a lot .... of Impala's
Which means you should find a lot of predators there as well .. So maybe take the road .. (@ the right place @ the right time)
So set off to see some Ellies .. and I reckoned the best place for that was along the Sabie River .. After seeing a snake dash into the grass I carried on straight .. Not to long along the H4-1 .. I came up to a lot of cars .. And seeing a helluva lot of Vultures in the tree .. I realised there must have been a kill .. Standing in a line we each waited to get to the front of the queue to see .. And found 3 lions feasting on a carcass probably not more then 10m away but well hidden in a bush .. Really really difficult to see .. After almost flipping my lid for a lady getting out to have a better look and telling her to get back in the car .. I decided to carry on and come back later (feeding lions tend to stay a long while)
.. 2km's down the road found 3 more lions .. on the opposite side of the river .. being a better view I stayed a bit .. but as the "traffic jam" got too much left again .. and a further km down I found my ellie .. still young but very calm he was enjoying some of the vegetation ..
Wanted to go to Nkuhlu but after 5km's decided I had to get on my way back to camp ..
Not far and I found this lovely kudu .. and being one of my favourite animals I had to take a photo which he posed for very nicely (kudu's tend to be difficult to photograph for me coz they don't let anything really bother them)
After watching him go off .. I drove back and saw the cars again .. But realising where the lions was sleeping .. I could not understand how they could all see behind the trees .. when I suddenly realised that they had moved across the river and found them right next to the road .. A photo opportunity I have not had for a long time on lions .. making sure I was not in anyones way I could happily snap away and video record them ..
Still young but you could see the power that these 2 guys and girl had .. not to be messed with .. but REALLY lazy now
After all this I was treated to seeing 1 of the local breeding herds of ellies I always seem to run into and for the first time hearing ellephant trumpet and go crazy .. all because 1 young ellie lost a battle against another ..
So that was it .. I had a SUPER FANTASTIC day .. and I could not ask for anything else ...
Went to camp .. and was again treated to another Reedbuck (young) sighting at Shitlhave Dam .. and later to a small duiker (young) lying under a bush right infront of our camp site
So what more could a guy ask for after such a great day? Well .. having a mini-meet with DB, Hawk, Restio & SO, KNP Spokesman & SO and Jacov & SO does not sound too bad .. and I had a great time with them all .. And to end the day .. we were treated to a sighting of 2 bush babies in the tree right accross from us ..
I went to sleep with memories of a day of big high's and big low's (you can look at the gallery of shame topic for the lows). And had a peacefull sleep in the windy evening.
As I mentioned .. I had to leave early Sunday .. So on my way out was treated to another sighting of a DB, Hawk and another white rhino .. and as if to echo me leaving the park .. My last sighting of the day was this ellie walking a long road as if to say .. Farewell my friend .. I will see you someday again.
.... Stay tuned for some more photo's later on