Ok everyone, I think I have faffed and fiddled waaay to long and its time to get this report on the go.
Thanks to you all for your patience but things were just so hectic in the weeks post trip that I really would not have done justice to anything remotely resembling a TR.
The week leading to our departure was not without its moments as well, what with Jock having just arrived, throwing the family into feverish reunion activity.
but the day finally dawned and as per usual, not much sleeping gets done the night before, so its actually a relief when one can get up and start the last minute packing.
Arriving at Crocodile Bridge gate, seeing the river and bridge, albeit in a sad sight of dis-array, still gives us such a feeling of elation and high expectations of what lies ahead.
Check in quickly, rearrange the car, cameras at the ready, tie on the yellow ribbon and off we go en route to Kruger Gate and our time share which will be home for the next 7 nights.
The temp is reading 37C bright and clear so we are not really sure of what we will see today but anything is a bonus and before long we have ticked off Impala, Wildebeest, a bicycle riding Daniel, returning from his duty at Hippo Pools and who points out some Rhino for us, gives a big grin and a thumbs up.
Huge amounts of Elephant cooling off in the river, Zebra, Buffalo, Baboons, plus loads more of all the usual animals.
We notice that they have marked many of the trees close to the road with name tags, a very good idea and way of learning trees.
By the time we reached Kruger Gate the temp was sitting on 39C and we were quite glad to be out of the car after a long day.
Anyway after unpacking, a nice braai supper and a good nights sleep we are up bright and early for our first full day in the park.Friday 13th Feb.
As we crossed the bridge before the gate an African Harrier Hawk slowly flapped its way up river heralding the start of our day.
At the gate I was very happy to see that there seemed to be more care taken when checking in staff/taxis than in previous years.
but unfortunately despite several speed checks there is still a lot of speeding on the H11.
At the S1 junction
a Glossy Starling
is taking advantage of some road kill.LargeLargeLargeLarge
Crossing the Sabie Low Level Bridge we see Pied WagtailLarge
a Common GreenshankLargeLarge
(The quality is not great but as this is not a bird one sees too often I thought to include it)
all waiting to greet us.
Soon after the bridge Jock calls out "Leopard Cub"
We slowly creep backwards and see 2 little ears and a pair of eyes peering at us from over the top of a bank, then suddenly it breaks cover and we see its little back as it disappears further in.
"Come back" we silently hope.
We wait not daring to even breathe, but then more cars arrive and our hopes start to fade, the cars leave, we stay and creep backwards and forwards in the hope it might have moved a little but unfortunately it was not to be and despite going back several time during the week, it will have to remain our special fleeting glimpse.
Carrying on up the H1-2
a Bateleur Eagle
is also finding its breakfast on the road.Large
After a quick pit stop at Tshokwane
I almost stand on a dead snake, Jock yells snake and enjoys watching me leap in the air, nice one Jock!!!
We take the S34
a road I don't recall ever having been on before, not sure why, as its a nice road to travel, good surface and lots of potential.
See the usual animals plus this cute little Steenbok LargeLargeS36
Will we find some Sable?
We saw Giraffe, Baboons, Impala, Wildebeest, we looked and looked, but didn't find Sable.
Then at Lugmag Dam
we found some Elephants
enjoying themselves immensely!LargeLargeLargeLarge
It was a delightful scene and we stayed as long as we could in the growing heat.
It was getting hotter and hotter by the minute and by the time we arrived at our turning point Nhlanguleni
the temp was a scorching 40C!
Almost didn't need the skottel to cook our Boerie rolls!
On the way back down the temp actually rose to a high of 43C
Back at the dam this nice tusker was enjoying the shade. LargeLarge
and at Jones Dam LargeLarge
Heading back we drove the Moroela Loop
but nothing out of the ordinary there today.
We had to stop in at Skukuza
as Klystron had some computer work to complete and Jock and I sat on the bench sipping something cooling by the river and watched an Ellie in the reeds and the Baboons doing some acrobatics on the old bridge.
There were some nice Green Pigeons in the wild Fig Tree but difficult to get any decent pics.
Back at the lodge we relaxed, too hot to even go for a swim.
Big storm clouds building up so hopefully relief in sight.