Day 1: 22 December 2007
Malelane Gate to Satara Camp
Yesterday morning i depatured at 12:30 in Vereeniging and arived at Malelane Gate at around 05:25. The roads were very busy and on two occasions were we hold up by accidents. The first one we were hold up by nearly 40 minutes.
The gate opend for me at 05:55 to let me through, and i was 'HOME' again at last!
Just before the S114 turnoff i stopped, turned off the car's engine and just sit there listening to the veld 'talking' to me. It felt so great to be back again and i have missed it so much.
I was on my way to Satara but decided at that moment to turn off onto the S114 to Skukuza.
Animal life weren't plenty at first, my first sighting was the Swainson's Spurfowl, no impala's at that stage. It was only about an hour later after i have entered the park that i saw the first impala's,and then Dwarf mongoose. I just love to sit and watch them,and i have possibly spend almost 30 minutes with them.
It was all quiet at the Biyamiti Weir,i turned off onto the S23 to link up to the S114 again.
My tiredness as well as the lack in animal activity made this road a bit.....let us just say there were nothing to be seen..... untill i almost reached the S113 turnoff. A big herd of ellies
were blocking the road, with lots of babies. It became very clear to me that they are not going to let me pass. Later on it were confirmed by a mother that took a charged at me. I had to retrieve and eventually i decided to turn around.
Back at the S114 i proceeded towards Skukuza. And then it happend....
I was still crousing so oh ever lazy, when i turned the corner and just a few meters infront of me a cheetah
crossed the road! I thought i was dreaming. I closed my eyes and when i opened it again....yes it was still there. It reached the otherside of the road and stopped. At this stage i could however get my video recorder ready and started 'shooting'! ( ok, i'll let you know at the end why i didn't took pictures
Then it turned around and walk back where it came from. When i reached the spot i could'nt find it again. But the precious few moments were awesome and oh so soon over.
I continued. At Renosterkoppies Dam there wer 4 white rhino's laying in the water near the edge.
First time i saw rhino's there and first time them in water. Just about 500 meters further there were a mini road block of car's. Due to a mating pair of Lions. They were a few meters from the road.
Then followed zebra's and more impala's. I've made a quick stop at Skukuza, first to used the bathrooms, but most importantly to get a 'cold one' for the road. The veld is so lush and green i could'nt believe it. And every few meters there's a puddle of water in the veld. At Sabie river i saw Hippo's and at Sand river a Pied Kingfisher and a Giant kingfisher as well
as a Hamerkop.
Made a quick stop at Tshokwane again -you know for what- and proceeded. No sightings to mention except for the impala's, bluewildebeest and zebra'towards Satara. The Mazithi and Kumana waterholes is full of water.
I reached Satara at 13:30 and were awarded bungalow G178. And i had a siesta
I took the road out of camp toward Olifants turning off onto the S90 and returning the same way. Lots of general
game like giraffe, impala's, ostriches, waterbucks, blue wildebeest and one nice ellie. Also could id for the first time a Wahlberg's Eagle. There were two of them.
Returned to camp and had a lovely early braai and slept like a baby.
More to come later on day two, thats today