Thought I wouldn’t make it before Friday, but they double booked some law school classes, and I got one evening off! So I found a gap to continue this mini TR….
Thanks for the comments, it was indeed nice to be back in Travel Tales as well! It’s always nice to read about another wildlife eden in our Jozi backyard, especially when you’re looking for a short cheap break…
So leave all the hassles that life brings with for a moment, and join me.
It’s early morning, and although I wanted to sleep till late the birds and morning cold didn’t agree. So I gave up, and stumbled out of my sleeping bag. It was FREEZING
Well almost, but still a cold 2 degrees! Being up in the cold, I didn’t want to wake my cousin, so I slipped into my car, and off I went. Just like earlier day, I sometimes like it to drive by myself. Talk to myself, free my simple thoughts. Sounds weird, but is really cool sometimes
I was too late to capture the stunning scene of the upcoming sun. Still managed to capture the sun just before it regained its strength of the previous day.
I stayed in the ‘non-dangerous’ section, and struggled to get awake. Slowly creeping past the bushes, a few impalas greeted me. They too must have thought ' **** it's cold'
Some more painted pajama horses didn’t want to come closer, however the sun still made it worth a picture, painting the grass in a wonderful soft golden colour.
It didn’t take long, before the first kudu’s appeared. They looked at me as if I was some hungry driven monster, very skittish but beautiful creatures.
I personally LOVE to watch warthogs. They seem boring creatures, but upon close inspection these animals are actually such comedians. Just look at them for a while. The PIGS of Marakele stand out when compared to their Kruger buddies. They have long grey beards, and even the hairs on their backs seem longer and more prominent.
I couldn’t resist the temptation, and slipped into the Big5 section, not necessarily expecting a special sighting, but just to know the chance is there. The hope is there. And as long as there is hope, there are subconscious expectatioins..
The early light gave a strange look to the wild surroundings. Now, it’s just the creator of the picture who has to do it’s job….Note the fresh ellie spoor on the dust road…. Danger was lurking.....
Never loose you eye for small detail, even in winter.
Warthogs were playing games with me that Sunday. They stayed perfectly camouflaged behind the long grass. Begging me to take a ‘spot the animal’ picture
On my way back to camp, an old ‘boggem’ (Male baboon) was balancing on a few braches, and resisting the danger of falling down he feasted on some bush fruits. Guess that was the ‘PicknDontPay’ shop right there. Somehow, I missed its entrance
Then, as by miracle I bumped into my first elephant of the day!! That while I was adviced my my older camping neighbours, that they have been looking for them Marakele elephants after 5 attempts the last 2 year…. Well I was lucky this time :thumbs-up:
Back at camp, I found my cousin baking in the sun…. I decided that I would take it easy this long weekend. So I fetched a bowl, Milo cereal and a 'BUSHBOOK' (Gameranger in your backpack, really worth a peek!!). There we parked for 2 hours, chowing some breakfast and lazing in the sun like to useless lions. Such refreshment for the soul. Hey, I sound old already I know, but really enjoyed the lazing.
While at it, we followed the incoming animals such as kudu, loads of warthogs and a few tsessebe.
Slowly, the sun became too hot, and we decided to go for a last drive. We drove up to the only bird hide in Marakele. It’s a simple construction, and it was really quiet, yet sooo peaceful.
We once again just enjoyed the scenery, made up by awesome hills and strange plants. I guess you have to be a nature lover to enjoy these things. Having no ‘animal hunger’ at all, we still had many sightings of common animals, such as kudus, impalas, warthogs, zebras, baboons etc. Not too many birds, but we did spot a few bee-eaters.
A young giraffe popped out of the dense bush, and crossed the road in front of us before meeting up with his family.
I really felt sorry for this little funny piggy who seemed to have been troubled a few hours ago. He struggled to walk, and his tjommies (friends :lol) had to turn around time after time, waiting for him. Poor piggy
Anywayz, time was ticking and we headed back to camp. We had a quick 100m sprint against some kudus. Why do females always try so hard to show they can beat us males
Somehow they won the race, and we a nice show like we always want
You either get it or you don’t…..
Back at camp, we were awaited by a reception of the ever visiting rhinos. Never late, never absent they seem to have more sense of time than most human. I also met Mellory and Hooligan from the forum, whilst buying some wood at the entrance gate… Was nice to meet you, and thanks for sharing some stories
Watching distant rhinos from our campsite
Once again, for me the fun has just started. There IS NO BETTER feeling than to get the fire going when the sun has just disappeared below the escarpment…. And so, we enjoyed the warmth of the fire, quietly listening to the jackals and the soft laughter of our ever happy neighbours. I was surprised when I even heard my favourite bird calling, the fiecy necked nightjar…. Ah… it couldn’t get much better for this short weekend. It’s definitely not Kruger, but it has something different. Then after looking at the stars, I told my cousin about an AARDVARK sighting by Lybol, one of the guides, just a few days before we came… We also heard rumours of a pangolin sighting. Surely then we haven’t seen the REAL treasures on Marakele…..
But we haven't left the park yet.......
Just after nine, the wind began to pick up a little and our resources of hot beverages were finished. Too lazy to make some more, I made a swift move into my sleeping bag. Then, the dreams caught up on me, and I got my much needed rest.
Another long night in wild Africa……