Part VIII (about november 17th and 18th.....the story continues)
November 17th 2010
We left Satara early and went left, direction Olifants. Just outside Satara we had out first sighting with Reedbuck. For us first time ever we saw Reedbuck. It was group of 6 with some young ones a male and some females.
Following some dirtroads we saw a steenbuck close to the road in a nice position , sitting and staring at us. This was a wonderful moment to capture him with my camera.
We went to the S36 (again) and we had a nice sighting with a Giraffe family , all laying down in the grass. Mother , dad and a very young one. So peaceful and quiet , lovely moment. Not understanding two other cars were just passing without even looking at these beautiful animals. Following the S36 we saw lots of common game like Impala’s , Zebra , Wildebeast etc, a nice Yellow-billed Kite in a tree nearby. Near the Lugmag dam we saw a male Waterbuck also laying down … it was a hot day so understandable the animals were lazy.
Further we saw many just born impala’s again , babyboom was getting on…. Another group of Giraffe and then a real big and beautiful Bateleur Eagle very close , about 25 meters away on a low branch and….he did not fly away but was curious too it looked like… he was really posing for me so he deserved a large format picture at my site…you can look straight into his eyes…
Near Jones-se dam we saw a big crocodile also lazy just outside the water.
After this sighting we decided to go to Skukuza for lunch. Not really my favorite place (crowdy like a small city….) but given the time this was the best option.
After lunch we decided to go to Lower Sabie and found a nice couple of grey louries near the road. Nice postion to capture them. Just before Sunset dam we saw a male bushbuck and enjoyed looking at him. Again wondering other cars just passed without taking time to have a look…. Something wrong with us to stop for these nice animals ? No… we enjoy all animals and watching a male bushbuck is great.
Stopping at Sunset dam… large group of Hippo’s was out of the water so a good moment to make some pics of the whole group ans funny to look at the youngsters playing around. Closeby I was also able to capture a Nimmersat (Yellow-billed Stork).
We did not go to Lower Sabie camp but passed it and just after the camp a young Hyena came out of the bush and decided to lay down to take a sunbath… how nice and thanks for posing for me…smile…
Turning left to the bridge crossing the Sabie river we saw at our right hand 2 white rhino’s near the river border. There is a small road getting a bit closer so I took the chance for making some nice pics of these rhino’s.
Funny thing was that these 2 rhino’s were walking side by side all the time like twins.
Next we took the S29 (good memories to this road so …..) and again we saw some white rhino’s. Nothing else along the S29….there you go with the reputation….hahaha….
Following the H10 towards Tshokwane we almost crashed with a large white rhino (looks like a rhino day isn’t it ?)… A bit shaky I stopped to relax… Really that was close… rhino came out of thick bush and really crossed the road just in front of me in what looked as a split second…. At the other side of the road he turned and was looking angry at me….thanks…Could not resists to make a picture of him.
Further down the H10 we saw ellies , large group of buffalo and a black backed jackal.
Between Tshokwane and Satara we met another white rhino and a big elephant bull. Me as tusker fanatic (some people say…) I recognized this one as very promising and lucky , always easy to recognize with the big round hole in his left ear.
Ending this very rich day with so many different species (about 28) without the birds with a close encounter of a Honey Badger in Satara camp, just 2 meters in front of my feet.November 18th
Another promising day with a very very very nice sighting…..
our last day in Satara so heading to our next destination …Crocodile Bridge.
Funny start of the day , talking to my wife about all our wonderful sightings so far. She told me she still was hoping for here beloved and favorite animals the Cheetah.
In a very good mood I promised her Cheetah’s today.
Since we have had very good experiences with the S33-S34 we decided to follow these roads again. Our first sighting here was with a lovely herd of elephants making a roadblock for us. 30 minutes near them is wonderful , looking at them, so quiet, enjoying water near the road, the young ones playing with each other , irritating mothers and aunts….
Then to the right the brilliant colours of a Woodlang Kingfisher….positioned very well for making some nice pictures with close-up’s.
The next interesting birds we saw was a Brown Snake Eagle, also waiting for being captured and a southern red-billed hornbill. Then after watching a big male Kudu we saw at some distance (over 250 meters) two male lions laying down.
After having a stop at Tshokwane we followed the H10 towards Lower Sabie. Along the road we saw some Vultures, Impala’s…yes with babies….
Flowers along the road so the first rains have had success….
At the left side I saw some little “things” moving….. I stopped and what we saw was wonderful…. A mother Ostrich with about 20 babies…. Related to other years we never have seen so many Ostriches as this time. Number is growing again ? looks like…
As we are used to along this road …. More white rhino’s and just before the turnoff to the S29 !! we saw a Zebra mother with baby , drinking with mother …so cute and nice to look at.
I realized I promised my wife to see Cheetah, so I said , we take the S29 for your Cheetah’s…..
Guess what happened……. Just near the road sign with Mutshe Loop we saw 2 Cheetah brothers just in front of us…behind us one other car , nobody else….what a sighting this was.
I think (looking at the pictures I made) we spent about 1 hour with them , just us and one other vehicle with 2 people enjoying this.
We drove slowly with them…they were all the time just near the road, some times crossing…sitting, caring each other, taking a lookout point on a little hill, jumping on the roadsign and jumped into a tree to have a better view before finally moved into the bush and disappeared….just at the moment some other cars arrived.
What a luck…..and looking at my wife’s face …she was smiling from ear to ear…. And very calm I told her……You see , I promised you this…. Lalalalalalala
The Cheetah’s were sometimes so close I could give them a hand and really , this was so beautiful I could make many many awsome pictures of them….. well you can experience this sighting a bit by looking at the pictures of this incredible sighting.
Another special day …does it ever end ? No….. not yet….
See you all at part IX …the story continues…..
Pictures all: http://www.studio-aat.com