Day #12 6th September Shingwedzi - Mopani
Another day to change camps. Lorraine & I decided to do an early drive on our own.
We were out the gate as soon as it opened. We made the decision to do some of the S56. On the way, we had 4 lions departing the Lamont waterhole, after having their thirsts quenched. They vanished out of site very quickly. link
Yesterday prior to and during the televised rugby game, I was talking to one of the many Boks supporters. On the S56 we found a car stopped in the middle of the road, and its occupants looking into a tree with bino’s. We moved up beside them to find out what they were watching. It turned to be the bok’s supporter. We asked what had they found, and his instant reply was. “There is a dead wallaby in the nest”.
It was a Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl sitting in its nest. link
We had some excellent sightings on this drive.
Roads travelled – H1-7, S56 & S57.
Sightings in order – Buffalo, Button Quail, Impala, 4 x Lions, Kudu, Elephants, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Nyala(7 + calf in total), Slender mongoose, Yellow-billed Hornbill, Red-billed hornbill, Grey lowrie, Giraffe, Vervets, Sharpes grysbok, 2 x Large breeding herd Elephants, Brown-headed parrot, African Green pigeon, Bateleur & Zebra’s. link link link link
We returned to camp to refresh & pack the van for our drive to Mopani.
Left Shingwedzi at 09.30.
We had an impressive tusker at Nkokodzi waterhole, drinking from the tank.
300mtr south of Eendrag waterhole, we had the highlight of the trip from Shingwedzi to Mopani.
We were driving along the H1-6, when Katie yelled “stop reverse, there is something in the trees”. I reversed back, and there standing in the shade of some bushes, was a magnificent Sable.
We spent some time with it, and it made itself available for some fantastic photo opportunities. link link
Sightings in order – Impala, Bateleur(quite a number during the drive), Elephants, Giraffe, 2 x Hyena at den, Large tusker, LBR, Herd of buffalo, 4 x Ground hornbills, 4 x warthog, SABLE, Duiker’s, 2 x Saddle-billed stork(saw very few throughout entire trip) & Zebra’s. link link link link link
We booked into Mopani & went to unload the van.
When we got to #53, it was a mess.
The previous occupants have no respect for the staff or the next occupants.
It was quite obvious they had a long drinking (I wonder if they were the cause of #12) session.
The whole place was strewn with empty bottles, plates of part eaten food, dirty cooking pots (some with food still in it), untouched food & broken glasses. Why is there not a bond (that is refundable) paid on top of reservations, to punish this total lack of respect?
We headed to get something to eat, and check out the view of the dam, until the place was cleaned.
We have always liked to eat at Mopani. One reads on the forum, the positives & negatives of people’s visits. Sadly we noticed some negatives. There was a new trainee, who was trying to rectify a customer’s order. It was only a minor thing, but as the customer had an audience, he decided to play the situation up. He started yelling at the trainee, who in turn fell to pieces. The supervisor came and tried to sort the problem out. They were only having drinks. The supervisor asked them if they were eating, and they said no. After some time, the “loud mouth” asked when someone would take their food order. The reply was that they had said they did not want to order food. They left just after this. Either dissatisfied or from some of my comments about them, which were loud enough for them to hear. It was also noticed that staff were writing orders on serviettes. When I asked the lady who served us why, she said they had nothing else to write on.
Sightings from the deck – Hammerkop, White heron, Crocodiles, Elephants & Hippo’s.
When we got back to our bungalow it was ready. We spent quite a bit of time, watching Dad & Mum Francolin, with their 4 little children. Watching them drink from the water that was coming from the air conditioner was great. link link link
We decided to go for a drive to Tihongonyeni waterhole. We left at 15.30, and had to get back in time to search for a yellow ribbon. The Capricorn Loop was shocking. It was the roughest road that we travelled on during the whole trip. Half way to the waterhole on the S143, we nearly turned around, but decided to continue & glue the “plastic” van back together. It was a worthwhile decision. So much so, that we decided to return tomorrow. Large numbers of Zebra’s, Wildebeest plus others.
We returned to Mopani & went in search of a yellow ribbon. We were just about to give up, when we spotted a ribbon. We stopped & got out, to be greeted with “prings” & we replied “Aboon”. We arranged to meet at the Restaurant, and we had an excellent evening. Thank you Aboon & Eric, for your friendship & hospitality.
Roads travelled – H1-6, S144, S143 & S50.
Sightings in order – Elephants, Zebra’s, Buffaloes, Elephants(including a nice tusker at Bowerskop waterhole), Steenbok, 6 x Kori Bustard(all in 100mtr stretch), Herds of Zebra’s, Herds of Wildebeest, 21 x Tsessebe(in total for drive), Kudu’s, Herd of 50+ Elephants & White egrets. link link