Morning Drive Continued
I was a little stressed as it was getting late and put everyone under pressure to hurry up in the public loo at Satara, which caused a few pelican faces, but in a few minutes we were back on the road.
2 km before the S126 turn off, where cell signal disappears, my phone rang and it was Satara reception and they stated that The Cow’s purse had been found by the cleaning staff. It took me a few seconds to realize what was going on and then the gasket went again, which resulted in a rapid u-turn, much to Supernova’s confusion, and we were on our way back to Satara.
The purse contained more than R1000 in cash, bank cards and our ID documents, so we were a little concerned, but due to the great work by the Satara staff, all was returned. We tried to find the cleaning lady who had handed it in at reception, but she was somewhere in the camping section by the time we collected the purse and reception for some reason wouldn’t release her name.
All I can say is “Hats off to Satara cleaning staff”
I mailed Satara management when we got home and they assured me that the correct person would receive credit for this honest act.
Finally we were on our way to Skukuza
Just outside Satara at the little bridge where a leopard had been a few days before, we spotted a car stopped on the bridge in the distance and as we got closer to the bridge we could see that the driver was waving and pointing at something.
It looked like he was pointing under the bridge, but on the other side of the road, so I immediately assumed that there was a leopard under the bridge and accelerated towards that angle, but now the pointing and waving became frantic and the passenger joined in, so confused I stopped.
Now they were pointing at the front of my car, so more confused I shouted out the window “What’s up”. The driver shouted back “Reverse and look on the road in front of your car”.
I was shocked to see that my leopard had turned into a leguaan, but this one was on Bushpiggy’s wish list, so she was stoked.
Next up were some buffalo
When we arrived at Marheya waterhole there were a few cars parked on the side of the road and a closer look produced lions sleeping in the bush next to the waterhole. Supernova was lucky enough to capture the male as he sat up for a quick look around.
The next 15km of the H1-3 were relatively quiet, so at the S33 turnoff we decided to go and check out Vutomi dam as we heard rumours at Satara that there had been 3 large male lions hanging around the dam.
Our first sighting was this elephant that had just had a mud bath, but he didn’t like our company so we moved off.
The road to the dam was fairly quiet, but there were no other cars, so we could relax and enjoy the peace of the bush. The dam had a few of the usual suspects hanging around, but no elusive male lions, so we decided to do a u-turn and head back to Tshokwane for a loo and smoke break.
Halfway back down the S33 we found a giraffe on the side of the road, so we stopped to watch him for awhile. Suddenly something caught my eye walking down the middle of the road a long way off, so I asked the SO “What’s that in the road”. We were quiet for a few seconds and then she shouted “Leopard” The leopard spotted us at about the same time and ducked off into the bush.
We accelerated up to where the leopard had been, slowed and carefully studied the bush. Suddenly, maybe because I also got a fright, it was my turn to shout “Leopard”. A little female was lying in a bush right next to us.
She wasn’t much bigger than leopard cubs that we have seen over the years and the SO must have also thought this, because she told the rats to keep an eye open out the other windows just in case there was a mother around.
She was extremely nervous and as I moved my car to get a better angle she took off deeper into the bush, which caused screams of horror from the rats, but about a minute later she slowly came back out.
She stood very still and just stared at us for about 2 minutes and it almost looked as if she wanted to either eat one of the rats or play with them.
Just before the S33 rejoins the H1-3 we spotted this owl. I think that it’s a Verreaux’s Eagle Owl.
Our plan was to buy chow at Tshokwane, but by the time we arrived the queues were 20 people deep in the shop, so much to the rat’s horror we postponed chow time until we reached Skukuza, but Supernova and I had to bribe the rats with chips, biltong and sweets before they accepted the delay for food.
The H1-2 produced a few of the usual suspects, but it was nearing midday, so we didn’t expect to find any action, but as we arrived at Mantimahle Dam we found the crowd and lions.
They were in thick bush and again there were just too many people, so after a quick pic we moved on.
The low water bridge just before the H1-4 produced a junior croc.
It was about 1pm when we finally arrived at Skukuza and thought that we would try our luck at an early book in, but came short, so headed off to Selati restaurant to watch the end of the royal wedding and grab a hamburger. Surprisingly Selati was quiet, that’s until the rats arrived. To be continued