“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, and we had nothing before us”
In a way the words of Charles Dickens sums up our experience during our past visit to Kruger in March-April to two camps, Tsendze rustic camp in the north and Biyamiti Bush camp in the south. Our experiences during our 2 week stay differed a lot from hot days above 36°C in the north to a cool 26°C in the south. When we left we were still in a summer mood, but after returning home one can feel autumn is here and winter is slowly creeping up to us.
My trip report will reveal more of our experiences between the two camps and the animal sightings than a daily feedback of sightings.Northern Area around Tsendze:
This year we found that the best sightings were around the Mooiplaas area, Tropic of Capricorn loop, Nshawu river and Middelvlei. We did not drive on all the roads and missed out on the Mopani-Phalaborwa tar road, Shongololo loop and Stapelkop dam. The best hides for general sightings were Shipandani and Matambeni although a bit disappointing in terms of animals coming down to drink. The magic in the Kanniedood hide was somehow lost, maybe due to the high level of water present in the river.
We normally visit the park in winter and found that the animals were hiding away, specially the cat family. The weather was extremely hot the first week, which might have contributed to the cats hiding in the shade. The hot sun was not very pleasant for this Son godin and made me think that I must change my forum name to something cooler.
The camp experience was great and we enjoyed our quiet time at Tsendze for 10 days on campsite # 3. During the first week only 4- 6 sites were occupied resulting in seeing very few other people even at the bathrooms and cooking area. We actually felt very lonely and had the feeling of being the only people in the camp up to the weekend when more sites were occupied. Luckily Rodger and Elina came past just to see how we were doing and chatting about the day’s sightings.
The little creatures also left there mark on us and in a way made me thought about the merit of hotel development.
I will come back to that and will first start off with some pics before I bore you from reading anything more on my trip report.
Our first sighting was of an elephant near Sable dam and at the hide we were awarded with a visit by waterbuck. Their faces fascinate me making think of a Rudolph the reindeer.
Then there is the darling of the bush, the steenbok. We found this one on the first day entering the park.
Two tawny eagles were enjoying a swim or is it a bath at Ngwenyeni water hole.
On the tar road we had to break several time for European rollers catching insect on the road.
Other road users were tortoises crossing the road at their own pace. Every day we saw a couple of them along the roads, which required a lot of concentration from the driver and driving slowly not to kill them by accident.
Just before reaching Tsendze camp we came across a breeding elephant herd near the Confluence Lookout enjoying the water and reeds along the Tsendze river.
To be continued