Thank you all for your encouraging comments. I owe you all my best effort as I have surely enjoyed your reports through the year.
@Pumbaa, yes the bat is still there. We nicknamed all the animals, this bat was Tannie. We aren't very clever as it was a tan bat. The other bat from Skukuza we named Battie, you get the picture.
September 2. We left Talamati with regret after watching the baboons descend from their night perches and meander off to do whatever baboons do during the day. We had leftover blesbok and potatoes for breakfast then headed out. We came upon this bateleur in the beautiful morning light.Bigger pic
We had a good opportunity to realize that there were such things as bushpigs. We have been confusing them with warthogs all along.Bigger pic
And I finally had my first good shot of a male kudu.Bigger pic
Further down the road, we were lucky to see a second group of sable. One of them had a collar.Bigger pic
We stopped at the Rabelais Museum just so we could get out of the car, but it was an interesting stop. Then on to Orpen to gas up and get some supplies. Just outside the gate we came upon this pearl-spotted owlet, still awake.Bigger pic
We made our way to Bobbiejaankrans get out spot and we found our first geocache there. It was under a Wait a Bit tree and I found out why it is called that. It seemed to want my forehead to wait a bit, and I left a little DNA at the site. But what a nice view. Even though we drive with the windows open, it is special to get out and really waken the senses, letting the breeze and warmth isolate you then allow you to disappear into it all. Another thing about today, we've seen just about all we're going to see as far as a tally goes, maybe some more types of animals if we're lucky, but we are content with what we have seen. There's no longer this frenzy about sightings, we've slowed down. We are taking our time to sit and watch the behaviour and relax a bit. This is great. We turn down the S39 towards Timbavati and come upon a troop of baboons feeding from the fruits of some type of tree. There are baboons in the tree and occasionally the wind or a baboon shakes the fruit down to the ground and the baboons on the ground grunt happily and chatter. There are also a family of striped mongoose feeding but they are hard to photo.Bigger picBigger pic
We watch the baboons for a while since we find a pleasant shady spot and have some cheese and crackers. Moving on, we climb a hill to have the bush open before us. I want to imprint this so I will always remember.Bigger pic
This day turns out to be good for birds. This martial eagle watched us closely.Bigger pic
The Timbavati road runs close to the Timbavati river and we searched hard for leopards. The route is beautiful. We came upon this scene that will be another reminder to my senses, such a simple sight in Kruger, but makes me melancholy and lonesome for it now.Bigger pic
It wasn't long before we came to the Timbavati picnic spot. It was very busy, but we had sandwiches so didn't need a skottel. Good thing, we were intimidated by the skottels. We sneaked peeks at how otherw were cooking. Very well equipped they were. We weren't so well equipped, but soon we would try. For today, ham sandwiches and research-proven Windhoeks. The starlings had to settle for bucket water.Bigger pic
There was another geocache at Timbavati, which we were able to nab, even with the mugglers all over. And, very familiar to many of you, there was a pair of bushbucks begging for handouts. What we like was that they groomed each other with such care. A little bit of lick for you, a nibble back for you, very nice.Bigger pic
We took a turn out just past the entry to Roodwal Camp and came upon a large red rock koppie along the riverbed. Jan scanned with her binocs and was triumphant with a sighting of a klipspringer pair. The female was a bit lower in the shade, and the male stood facing us. It was hot and they were taking it easy.Bigger pic
Continuing along the Timbavati river, we come upon a Brown Snake Eagle.Bigger pic
A Kori bustardBigger pic
And an African Hawk Eagle.Bigger pic
And then, ultimately, we came to the Oliphants River. We got out. I lost my breath. When I drew the next breath in, I finally was wholly, totally, in Kruger. I can't describe the beauty of the panorama before us, but I can only try. Out in the distance were elephants grazing, there were hippos in the pools. Buffalo were nosing around the banks. I could see giraffes on the shore and impalas by the hundreds. Moving closer in, we could count the crocodiles and right below us, a huge catfish maneuvered under the bridge. And the birds...eagles and kingfishers and ducks and herons. And the sounds, hippos, swallows chirruping, fish eagle crying, the reeds swishing, the water singing. The breeze was strong and the sun was bright. The air was dry and warm. People walked about, but everyone was hushed. There was too much, no one looked in the same direction because there was so much to see everyone had their own special view. When I come back, this is where I'll come back to.Bigger picBigger pic
Reluctantly we leave, but we will return here again and again over the next days. We make our way towards camp and can see it high on the cliff. And then we are there. We have #18, a 2 bedroom awesome bungalow. It is supposed to be perimeter, and it is, but it is also river view and what a view. We overlook Eden. When I looked out over the river from the bridge, I never expected anything could be better. But the view from #18 is incomparable. I can see paradise. Bigger pic
We head to bed early after an easy dinner with some wine. The sounds from the river below accompany a chardonnay tonight, but we end the day early as we are booked for a morning walk and have to be up at 0430.