Day 3 – The last is best
14-9-2008 Skukuza → Biyamiti
At 6:00 we left Skukuza and 5 minutes later we returned again, as we had find out that the key was still in my hands, instead of in the keybox. I think I was still a bit sleepy this morning.
We planned to go to Lower Sabie first, to have a coffee break and to do some shopping for our Biyamiti stay.
Up to the bridge we saw a lot of impala’s, some vervet monkeys in a tree enjoying the morning sun, a few steenboks and a duiker.
After the bridge we took the s30. It’s always nice to have a look on the several loops over there. We saw baboons, impala’s, 5 beautiful male kudu’s and a lot of vultures. The vultures came out of nowhere. First we saw nothing and then from all sides they flew over and landed some 20 meters from the road in the field. Although very nearby we didn’t have a good view at the spot. They were very busy with some leftovers. A few of them came closer to the road, which gave me the opportunity to take some nice pictures. And then one by one they flew away. The leftovers were probably not what they had expected.
A little bit further we stopped next to an old termite hill with dwarf mongooses on it. First they were hiding, but curious as they are, they soon appeared again. Then we saw on the other side of the road a hyena coming our way. It looked like he was in a bit of a hurry. He crossed the road without having a look at us and disappeared to the river. It was nice to see how the mongooses kept an eye on the hyena and lost interest in us.
Further on the s30 and s128 were giraffes, zebra’s impala’s, elephants and a ground hornbill.
On the Sabie bridge we noticed a giant kingfisher, who hovered above the water, plunge-dived and then emerged with a big fish. We parked the car next to the water where we had a good look on how this little giant was preparing his meal. We didn’t wait for him to swallow the fish, which would probably take, considering the size, quite a long time.
At Lower Sabie we first had a look at the sighting board, before having coffee. Next to it there were a lot of horrible pictures shown of the results of poaching, really terrible. I felt sorry for the poor animals, they must have suffered a lot. It is far from nice watching these pictures. But one should not close one’s eyes to this.
Before heading to Crocodile Bridge we went to the Sunset dam. There was not much activity, besides the hippo’s, a black-eyed bulbul, a drinking starling and 2 helmeted guineafowls.
On the H4-2 a few cars were parked. The people were looking in the direction of the river. We had a look too, but we saw nothing. We took our binocs, had a good look and again nothing. At that kind of moments we always feel a bit frustrated. First: we don’t know what and where to look for. Second: it’s far from nice, knowing (or thinking) that everyone is seeing it, except for us. One car left and stopped next to us. Probably they saw a lot of question marks in our eyes. They had seen a male lion walking on the other side of the river and then he lay down. For them it was also difficult to see him, as the lion wasn’t always visible. They told us where about to look for, wished us luck and then they left. But it was still not easy and too far away. We drove a little bit further, hoping to have a better view. Then suddenly I saw the head of a lion, or was it a rock? After I explained Mark where I saw this lion-rock, it was disappeared. It was definitely a lion, but again invisible. As we didn’t feel much for playing hide and seek, we left.
On the s28 we saw elephants, zebra’s, a lot of impala’s, wildebeests, an ostrich, 3 rhino’s and our first warthogs. Most of them were far from the road. At Crocodile Bridge we had lunch.
We didn’t see much on our way to Biyamiti., but we again noticed that the park is very, very dry. At 14:30 we arrived, checked in and got cottage 13. We asked for a morning walk, but unfortunately this was for both days not possible.
We were very disappointed. We like to do a morning walk in a bushveld camp because there is a good change that we will be the only participants, a sort of private walk. Besides that the best morning walks we had over the last years were twice at Biyamiti.
We were both a bit tired and decided to stay at the camp to relax. While Mark was reading a book, I took my camera and sat down in front of the cottage, waiting for some animals to show up.
First a few vervet monkeys showed up. One had a good look in the neighbour’s cottage.
And then the birds:
A funny Crested Barbet, first posing and then running off at the moment I took the picture (but not fast enough
At 17:00 we left camp for a short drive. It was still a bit quiet. But then we saw a car parked and
a leopard in a tree. That was great. He slept a bit and also kept an eye on the surroundings.
Shortly after three other cars and the nightdrive arrived. We could have watched this beautiful animal for hours, but there was not much time left. We “only” had 30 minutes and had to leave again. The nightdrive stayed. Sightings:
Impala, Baboon, Steenbok, Kudu, Duiker, Bushbuck, Vervet monkey, Hyena, Warthog, Zebra, Elephant, Giraffe, Buffalo, Wildebeest, White rhino, Lion, Leopard.Route:
H4-1, s30, s128, Lower Sabie, H4-2, s28, Crocodile Bridge, s25, s139, Biyamiti.