(Hi all - wonky connection here, so will reply to posts here when home, by am reading them all, and thank you ALL for them.)
Olifants - Wednesday, 13:48
An early start was the order of the day yesterday - quick coffee, walking shoes on, and off to meet Jaques and Riana for our morning walk.
What a wondrous experience, with a few minutes of adrenalin pumping through our bodies when we came face to face with a bull ellie. Both Hawk and I left that experience so much more knowledgeable about ellies. (I also know that I can obey teh guide's commands as they leave their lips
Being out of camp half an hour before the gates open and enjoying the sunrise over the Letaba, and then the bushveld on foot as the day warmed, left both of us filled with deep gratitude for the experience.
A visit to Letaba always has to include lunch on the veranda savouring one of my favourite views in Kruger. After which we took a drive to another favourite place of mine in Kruger – along the S62 – where in the greenness of one of the tributaries of the river, waterbuck, impala, buffalo and baboon enjoyed the coolness.
I am so thankful that I was able to experience a late afternoon drive along the Letaba river yesterday where everything was just perfect – the day was hot and still with a deep blue sky. The river; smooth, a mirror of the life around it. The game so peaceful as they grazed.
There was no need to wish or want for ‘more’ – no stresses, no arguments or egos, just harmony.
Not only was the sky twinkling with a trillion stars last night, so were the reeds in the river bed – with nearly as many fireflies.
Early coffee this morning was savoured watching the day awaken over the river bed. It was very overcast. We packed up and left for Olifants.
The area around Letaba is quietly awaiting the summer rains. Winter has left it very dry and bland in foliage. Even the birds I expected in the camp were missing – spring still needs to arrive at Letaba.
Being blessed with a great sighting in Kruger is just that, a blessing. As glmsmit said to me, a few seconds makes all the difference and it is really a case of being at the right place at the right time.
We pulled up to the view point on the road from Letaba just outside Olifants and there were about six folk intently looking out across the river through their binocs. I remarked something special must be happening for everyone’s attention to be so focused – yes, a lady replied, there is a lioness crouching and stalking those impala.
I raised my little video cam just as she made a very 'relaxed' attempt to take down an impala. Impala scattered and the lioness ended up without lunch instead opting for a long drink in the river – all this in the most beautiful light. Ellies crossed the river a little way down, a huge croc swam by and a klipspinger stood motionless, watching from his vantage point above the river.
A different view of Kruger awaited us when we parked on the Balule bridge a couple of hours ago. We had clear sight of the fish in the pools in the river, the dragon flies, the waders, a rock monitor and vultures circling above.
Thanks to a really efficient reservations clerk here – I am typing this from our hut’s stoep, which has a lovely view out over the river and into hot dry Kruger.