And we all are - camp set up under a lovely shady tree, on the fence at LETABA!!! And, it is cooler today. Only 34 degrees. Yesterday temps again soared to 44 plus!
Rain fell in the Satara area last night, not only cooling the veld but also leaving lovely pools of water for the (is it an African bull frog?) frogs to sing heartedly from.
If it is animal sightings you are after, Satara area is the place to be right now. We expected to see more birds, but as far as the big five and antelope go, we could not have wished for better sightings. And judging by the talk around the swimming pool where everyone gathered in the heat of the day, all visitors were not disappointed. Leopard sightings, lion sightings, cheetah sightings ... and a lady I am so
of, saw a baby impala being born on the S100.
Yesterday we decided to go against the traffic flow (not that the park is busy now) and went down the S90 and then turned onto the S41. At Gudzani East waterhole we were blessed with a wonderful cheetah sighting. The four cheetah had been there for a good while already, and they were active and most entertaining. Observing them for a couple of hours, Hawk and I learnt about cheetah behaviour.
We sort of knew cheetah would not go for wildebeest ... as a herd came by to go to the waterhole the cheetah gazed on at them, dreaming of great wildebeest feasts. As the herd passed by, they stopped and grouped and turned towards the cats, staring them down. After the herd had moved off the chief wildebeest remained, snorting and lecturing the cheetah and warning them that they would come off second best if they tried to nab any of his herd.
Then a lone impala ram came by (the cheetah were grouped under a shady tree at this point) ... we watched with breaths held as the cheetah eyed the ram and went into the crouch position, and suddenly two cheetah gave chase after the ram, but it was the ram's lucky day; he got away.
I said to Hawk; they will take warthog I am sure ... and not long after, a very confident wartie came tripping by, tail up and headed directly towards the cheetah. Camera's poised for the great scoop, Hawk and I held our breaths once more.
Ha ha ha - the joke was on us ... and the four cheetah. Mr Warthog also proceeded to stare down the cheetah, speaking to them in hogneese, which we could not understand, but it was clear he felt superior. He did irritate one cheetah who made a half hearted attempt to chase off the hog. But that round went to the warthog.
Hawk has this on video, so will post clips when we are home.
To add to a really special morning, we saw the Superpride of the S100. They were resting under a tree by the time we got to them. We were able to appreciate the size of the cubs, and the lionesses. We had been told earlier by an American visitor that he had seen them walking down the S100, go down to the water to drink and then go lie in the shade. He told us he counted 18 lion in total. 12 cubs and then the adults. Seeing this pride move must truly be an awesome sighting.
Clouds are now coming up, perhaps more rain tonight.
As I sit here and type this, I can hear a 'spookvoel' calling. A 'chicken' (Natal francolin), two squirrel and many other birds are going about their business right here. Impala rams are chasing each other a few metres into the veld.
The camp is quiet - despite it being weekend.
Hope you are all having as great a weekend as we are!