A last minute decision to spend three nights camping in the MZNP followed by two days at Commando Drift (East Cape Parks Board) proved to be a wise decision. The condition of the MZNP was great and the thorn trees were all flowering which added beauty to the landscape. BUT we did not quite expect to endure such heat and experience such scary thunderstorms!DAY 1 (17 December 2011)
We arrived at the park met about 12h00 and were met by a very friendly gentleman at the main gate. He informed us that Cheetah had been spotted near the gate early in the day but unfortunately we never saw them. Check in at reception was also very efficient before we set off to the camping site. We were new to camping, having recently set ourselves up with a Landrover, off-road trailer and Oztent. We soon got used to all the inquisitive looks and some beady stares from the "hardened" campers whilst driving around the camp site looking for a suitable spot. The was not much choice because the camp site was quite full but nevertheless we found a spot looking out into the veld and right at the end of the row which was great.
We soon got going setting up camp because we were keen to go out for an afternoon drive to the Rooiplaat Loop. Setting up camp at midday when the mercury is touching 44 degrees is most certainly not for the feint-hearted - especially when you are only doing it for the second time! Once comfortable we took a slow drive up to Rooiplaat seeing large numbers of mountain zebra and wildebeest.
The evening cooled off and we enjoyed an ice cold beer before lighting the fire.DAY 2 (18 December 2011)
SO and I were up early and decided to tackle the Juriesdam 4x4 route. The scenery was beautiful but game viewing rather quiet. This spike-heeled lark posed elegantly for its photo be be taken
This bloukop koggelmander and a ant-eating chat were enjoying the early morning sunshine
We headed back to camp for a quick breakfast before heading out via Ubejane loop, Rooiplaat before driving the beautiful Kranskop Loop. We saw our first close-up of the mountain zebras as well as a jackal buzzrd perched on a windmill
The scenery on the Kranskop loop is really stunning and it is a drive that should be done slowly to really take in the beauty. We we treated to a great sighting on this loop - a reedbuck with her fawn. The little one could not have been more than a few days old
We stopped off at the picnic site in Weltevreden kloof. This is really stunning and there is a natural pool in which you can swim - if you don't mind not being able to see the bottom!
By now it was sweltering hot and the weather was beginning to look ominous! We headed back to camp for a swim and some shade. The tent was like a sauna!