Sunday, 29-8-2010 Satara
When we went outside this morning we noticed that all the dustbins in the A-circle had been knocked over. We were a bit surprised as we hadn’t seen or heard the offender(s).
First I thought it must have been baboons (by former years experience), but then I doubted it because I have never seen baboons in Satara camp and I couldn’t imagine that they would have done this during the night. After I put our dustbin upright, we left for another Kruger adventure.
As we liked our stay at the Sweni hide the day before so much, we had planned to pay it a visit again.
When leaving Satara a lot of cars were in front of us. We were lucky, as almost all of them went into the s100. The H1-3 started with 2 hyena’s crossing the road very fast and then they disappeared in the high grasses. We took the H6 and halfway we came by a hyena den. There were a few of them but only the little one was active and curious.
Before it definitely went back to the others it once looked back.
Somewhat further we found 3 white-rhino’s round a tree.
When we arrived at the Swen hide it was much quiet than the day before. We saw a black-crowned night heron, jacanas, black crakes, a grey heron, hippos, Egyptian geese, a bushbuck, a sharpe’s grysbok and a lot of green crocodiles.
The black crakes made an incredible noise, for such a small bird. They were very active.
Some Egyptian geese flew by. It’s always a challenge taking pictures of flying birds.
The black-crowned night heron sat on the rock in the middle of the water. It motionless stared into the water. After a few minutes, just at the moment I wasn’t looking, it caught a fish.
It had some difficulty swallowing the fish, which was considering the size of the fish not quite surprisingly. The grey heron, which was on the other side of the water had noticed that the night heron had caught something delicious and flew immediately to the rock. The night heron then flew away, still having the fish in its beak, and hided at the waterside under grass and branches. That was a save spot. The heron tried but couldn’t get closer. After several attempts the night heron finally swallowed it and the heron lost its interest in its little nephew.
The bushbuck felt at home at the Sweni hide. It kept very calm during our presence.
This Sharpe’s grysbok appeared at the other side of the water. It walked very cautiously to the water but just didn’t dare to drink. Probably the presence of the crocodiles made it feeling uncomfortable.
After 1,5 hour we left the hide and drove to the Sweni road (s126).
Burchell’s coucal at the H6
At the Sweni waterhole we saw several cars being parked. There were baboons, a giraffe trying to drink and some impala’s further down. We couldn’t imagine that all these people had stopped for watching this scene. And we were right. After asking, it appeared that some had seen a male lion crossing the road in the direction of the river. They expected to see him again maybe he was stalking the giraffe. We waited until the giraffe had finished its drink and we left.
We had a short break at Muzandzeni and watched 2 scopsowls. This was the first time we had seen them there. We couldn’t have missed them now, because they were calling from time to time.
We returned to Satara via the s36 and the H7 with a stopover at Nsemani dam.
At the other side of the water a small herd of elephants was having a mud bath. We were so focussed on the elephants that we almost overlooked a hippo mum (named Mary in Aat’s Kruger story’s) with her newborn child.
The baby was so cute and so tiny. One can hardly imagine that this little one will become just as big or even bigger as its mum.
After having taken a lot of pictures we left for Satara for having lunch.
At Satara Mark was told that a lioness with cubs was seen on the H1-4 about 17 km from Satara. We knew there was a slight chance to find them, but as we didn’t know yet which way we would take, we decided to give it a try. We drove up to Ngotso dam and no sign of the lions. But we did have some great big bird sightings.
It started with Kori bustards, in total 6 (2 pair and 2 single).
We saw 2 secretary birds, unfortunately they were too far for a picture and a family ground hornbill.
The most special sighting of the big birds was this ostrich. We saw him walking in the field in the direction of the road. We stopped the car and watched him approaching.
He crossed the road. That was not without any risk, because not every car was willing to stop and wait for this bird to cross. But he kept very calm.
And then when he had crossed, he suddenly spread his feathers and ran off. It almost looked as if he had a nervous breakdown. It was very funny watching him.
At Ngotso dam it was very dry. We turned and we drove to Timbavati. The area around the s127 was dry and there were not many animals. We did see a vulture on the ground having its wings spread. But we couldn’t see if there was more.
After a short break at Timbavati we took the s39. This road turned out to be the impala road. We saw lots of them.
This one didn’t look that healthy.
Besides the impala’s we also saw this Bateleur pair on the s39.
Elephants close to the road at Nsemani dam
Pearl-spotted owl, also at Nsemani dam.
When we drove off, after watching the owl, we heard a sound from under our car when driving. We asked a couple in a car close by if they could see something under our car. The man told us that besides a dead lion he didn’t see anything.
We thanked him and we drove off hoping that the car wouldn’t break down before we had reached Satara. After 1 km the man in the car passed us and waved us on to stop. He then told us that we had a branch under our car. Again we thanked him and we, relieved, continued our way.
At Satara we removed the branch, which was not easy, because it was quite stucked.
We had dinner at out bungalow and we enjoyed the evening outside.
When we were just in bed we herd people making noise and a few minutes after I heard our dustbin being knocked over. I quickly got my torch and had a look. It was not a baboon and neither a vervet monkey, it was a honey badger. I quickly got my camera, but unfortunately the photo was blurred. When the honey badger had inspected our dustbin, he went off to our neighbours. The dustbin mystery had been solved. Sightings:
buffalo, wildebeest, giraffe, hyena, white-rhino, zebra, impala, hippo, bushbuck, kudu, sharpe’s grysbok, ostrich, waterbuck, baboon, warthog, elephant, vervet monkey, steenbok.Route:
H1-3, H6, Sweni hide, H6, H1-3, s126, s36, H7, Satara, H1-4 (Ngotso), s127, s39, H7 Satara.