Thanks Kallis, Elsa Carol and Hilda.......part of my faithful band of followers...your lovely comments make it all worth while. Day 44 (Dec 14th)
Today was going to be a long day, because we were driving up to Pafuri, and then back to Shing, as I couldn't get us another night at Punda.
We were parked outside the shop/reception area, when I could see a familiar figure walking towards us..............it was PetraJ, in her brand new Honorary Ranger uniform!! She did look smart, and she was just off to the camp manager, to see what duties she was required to do that day!!
We had a quick chat, and then it was off up the road to Pafuri!!
We had not gone far, when we saw a very strange sight!!!
Just off the road, under a small tree was a dead domestic dog, which a Tawny was attempting to rip into!!!
How had it got there? How had it died? It was such a pathetic sight...........poor little thing!! It actually looked as though it was asleep, but of course it was not.
We travelled on towards the north, and my excitement was mounting,
I love this area, and as we progressed, we watched more and more Baobab trees appear, and the whole terrain was changing around us.
We passed Baobab Hill, and now I felt I was nearly home..........if only we could build a little cottage here, how happy we would be!!
We saw Impala, Ostrich, Steenbok, Zebra, Buffs, Nyala, Baboons, Warthog, and Kudu.
As we neared Pafuri, I wondered whether Frank would be there, because when we had met Carolv at Olifants, she had said he was on leave, and due back on the 14th. Well today was the 14th, but did she mean he was back at work on the 14th, or back on the 14th to start work on the 15th? I hadn't thought to ask!!!
When we got there, we were surprised to find four medi clinic vehicles and lots of people...............but sadly no Frank!!
We soon discovered that it was a local hospital's Christmas party, so after a quick sandwich, we decided to leave them to it, and drove on to Crook's Corner.
Daughter and SIL were fascinated to read the history of the place, and were also amazed to see the "mighty Limpopo" that we had seen many times on the TV in flood, was a dry river bed, all except a few small pools of water near the fence.
There were however a few small crocs lurking about, so that was at least something to see!!
As it was to be a long drive back to Shing, we didn't stay there too long, and set off back past the beautiful fever trees in the "enchanted forest", down to the main road, and along to Nyala drive, which yielded no sightings sadly.
I had hoped to do some birding while up here, but Daughter and SIL, haven't quite caught the bug yet, so we concentrated on the larger creatures.
I was hoping to track down a Crested Guineafowl, and Green and Orange Winged Pytilias, but it was not to be, so maybe Dungy and I will have to have another minibreak early next year before we leave Phala, and then we can have a birding session! Any old excuse for another visit!!!
On the way back to Shing, we saw Waterbuck, Ellies, a Secretarybird, Giraffe, Openbill, and several Maribous.
That evening we braaied succulent sirloin steaks, wors, and with it we had chakalaka, corn on the cob, fried onions and baked potatoes.........lekker!!!
That night we heard loins roaring the other side of the fence (at least we hoped that they were on the other side!!) and before it got dark, a Crested Barbet and two Glossy Starlings came to fight over the crisp crumbs that we had inadvertantly dropped.
That is the closest that I've been to a CB, and I was so thrilled to watch it at close quarters!!
Then it was Amarula time, and a reflection on our four nights in paradise, as sadly tomorrow we would be making our way back to Phala!!
To be continued.............