August 19th Home to Jozini Dam
Chantal and I decided to pull the kids out of school for Friday the 20th and leave after lunch on Thursday the 19th for a halfway stop over at Nkonkoni camp at Jozini Dam.
We still worked half day, so we had the usual panic to pack the car and get to the camp before dark. Supernova, Melly, Punkaloo, Hubbly, Luckycharm and Tortoise were going to meet us at Paul Kruger gate late the next evening.
Nkonkoni is always an awesome stop over for us and gets that bush feel started, but my damn cell phone kept ringing with work issues all the way there, so that first beer went down before I even unpacked the car.
The safari tents have a toilet and boma attached, but no fences, so it’s a great experience for the first night out of the city.
The family settled in and even the Cow’s zebra/tiger dress stopped upsetting me.
We did a short 1km drive down to the dam and found warthog, ostrich and nyala. The dam triggered the fishing response in me, so it was time to go and start the braai before I made a rod out of the bush and sat there all night. (Next year the fishing rod is going to sneak into the luggage).
I started the braai with an audience watching on the left and the top right of the photo.
Suddenly a warthog arrived, looked at us and snuck around the back of the tent, then more and more started arriving. The next thing Chantal came out the tent and said “We have a warthog family living under the geyser”
Maybe it was the beers that were starting to have an effect, but I thought that it would be a good idea to sneak up on them and take a photo, but the situation ended up with me running one direction and the warthogs the other, much to the delight of the kids. Chantal decided that it would be a safer option to photograph them through the bathroom window, and now, more awake, I agreed.
Out of the blue, a giant south westerly started blowing and the tent straps starting squeaking like crazy, which turned my cheesy face into a pelican one. After 20 minutes on top of a chair and nearly landing in the dustbin, I decided to give up, but 2 minutes later I had a brain wave and decided “what do you do if something squeaks, you oil it”, so I snuck off to the food box and stole the olive oil and started to grease all the straps, which worked, although it made a massive mess, but at least the tranquility returned, that’s until we went to bed and the squeaking returned, which resulted in a sleepless night even after 6 beers and cotton wool stuffed ears.August 20th Jozini Dam to Skukuza
After 4 hours of Swazi chaos and the technically challenged we entered Crocodile Bridge just before 11am.
It was time to get the cameras out, check the sighting board, take a deep breath and realize that we were here, because next week we will wish that we were still there, so every minute needs to be appreciated, which is something that I never did in the past and only regretted it a week after I returned home.
The first sighting, besides the usual MacDonald’s clan (impala), was giraffe, which is not unusual for the Crocodile Bridge area.
The drive up the H4-2 was quiet until we reached the top end of the Gomondwane loop, which has a small unnamed dam on it just off the H4-2, so we took a small detour to the dam and found our first elephant for the trip and 2 rhino that took off into the bush before I had time to take a photo.
Just before Lower Sabie we found the first male kudu for the trip.
Then the bird hour started and the H10 Bridge over the Sabie produced the unusual kingfisher clan, who seem to live there, because we have seen them every time we cross the bridge, but the Cow insists on photographing them each time. A Heron of some sort (may be a Goliath Heron) was also cruising the area.
We did a u-turn and headed for Sunset dam, which produced the normal crocodile clan, hippos and birds, including the old undertaker lookalike.To be continued...