Hi everyone! Time to continue …..
Day 5 started with the usual anticipation - still cloudy, but nothing could dampen our enthusiasm. Another day in paradise! Our stay was nearing it’s end and we wanted to savour every moment. Early out and still not sure which route to take – SO left the decision to me as I did most of the driving. After the fabulous leopard sighting of the previous day, I jokingly replied “If it’s there, I’ll find it!”
Turned out to be wrong – and I mean mega wrong!
Not wanting to follow all the cars that turned off onto the S28 (never liked convoys), I decided to go the H4-2 way. Mistake! Found out later that a pride of 8 lions were lying right next to the road. We’ve only had the one lion sighting (with wildebeest kill) so far and needless to say, I felt like kicking where I couldn’t reach – uhm … so to speak! Some-one else was quite prepared to do the honours, but her ladyship declined the offer!
Anyway, I didn’t know it then so cruising at a comfortable 25 km an hour, the search was on! Didn’t take pics of everything we saw, but stopped every now and then.
First time we got the opportunity to see the back of a griaffe's head - looks like a "skull cap"
Looks like a youngster
Turned left onto the Mativuhlungu dirt road (S82) – another mistake! The road was badly corrugated and the 10 km stretch felt like a never ending punishment.
Back on the H4-2 again, we stopped at Sunset to enjoy breakfast. Not much going on, even the birds were scarce. Another stop at LS to “stretch our legs”. We popped in at reception to have a look at the shameful poaching photos on display. The pure ruthlessness of man is sickening! Leopards, elephant, wild dog, lion, nothing escapes and many are killed or maimed as a result of the snares and traps that are set. Sad and worrying!
The H1O to Tshokwane is one of our favourites. Lovely scenery with the prospect of good sightings makes the drive exiting. On the day however, it was fairly quiet. A lone baboon and then 3 ellies not close enough to take pics. Apart from zebra and giraffe, we found a bushbuck grazing close to the road.
sad to see litter in the Park
It was only when we got past the Nkumbe lookout that we spotted a few cars pulled to the side of the road. A hyena den with 4 adults and as with our previous den sighting, young ones not willing to pose for the camera. We didn’t stay too long as more cars arrived and the road couldn’t accommodate the traffic. (Forumites do it right!!!)
At Tshokwane picnic spot
SC making notes of the morning drive
picnic spot and shop at Tshokwane
On our way back we found the hyenas still in the same spot with cars blocking the road. Eventually got the chance to move on and in the rocky area close to Nkumbe , three Klipspringers– first time we saw a pair with their youngster!
Turned left on the S122 (Muntshe loop circling round the back of the mountain).
Good choice this time! A herd of buffalo scattered over a large area. We could hear their bellows as they lazily plodded along and a strong bovine odour hung in the air.
We estimated the herd to be close to 400 strong!
11.45 am. Ahead, a troop of baboons held the promise of entertainment as we could see there was some kind of serious interaction going on. Lots of photo's, but I picked these for ...
My interpretation of baboon consternation ...
Carefree breakfast hunt
until one youngster made time to pull off a stunt
oh, what a disgrace .. get your smelly side out of my face
no need to attack ...
I won't take anything back!!
Now, where was I? Oh yes, breakfast ....
Thoroughly enjoyed their antics!
Eventually back on the H10, heading back to Croc bridge
Again lots of the more frequently seen on the S28 - the leopard seen the previous day, was gone - the rest of what remained of the kill, thrown out of the tree for the scavengers to enjoy.
We arrived back in camp at 2.30 pm - and it was then that I learned the horrible truth of what we missed that morning ...
sigh ... definitely needed that kick then!!