Oct 9, Day 6, to continue
We left the Ratelpan Birdhide and drove along the S39 to meet up with the H1-4. On this piece of road we did not see that much, but had one great sighting in my book.
On the way we stopped at the Piet Grobler Memorial plack.
Past the Roodewal waterhole we saw what I'm always looking for at any rocky landscape: Rockies (Klipspringers)! First we saw the female standing on the side of the klipkoppie (small mountain of rocks), it was awesome! She was standing there dead still like a statue, to beautiful and took her pics. Then just as we pulled off, Skillie saw the other Rocky, the lady had a man. I had to look a few times before I spotted him too, he blended in perfectly with the rocks. He was also not moving a hair, to beautiful and took his pics too. Normally when we see Rockies, they are on top of the klipkoppie on top of a big rock and not this close to the road. This was nothing more the 20 meters.
First we saw the female Rocky
and then the male Rocky.
I was a nice drive the S39, quiet and not much traffic. Though we did not see that much it was enjoyable. It was also getting drier and drier going north and it seemed like no rain has fallen in this area yet. Next to the Olifants river was the only vegetation and life. Just before I thought the ellies all stayed at Satara, we saw these 2 behind a beautiful old fig tree on the opposite side river bank.
This was one of those small loops that ends at the edge of the river bed and I liked the no entry sign almost buried in the sand.
We love stopping on bridges and get out of the vehicle between the yellow lines. In April we stopped here at the Olifants river bridges and the railings were all broken and twisted from the force of the January flood waters. That must have been a huge mass of water to come up this high over the bridge. The railings have since been repaired and the bridge looks great again.
This is the wide view from the bridge.
From the bridge we saw ellies off to the east in the distance..
We saw hippies having a midday tan off to the west.
There were a pair of Fish eagles having lunch on a rock in the middle of the river bed.
A Goliath heron was pruning himself.
Eventually we arrived at Olifants camp and it was hot, the thermometer in the hilux indicated 38 degrees. We went straight to the restaurant and had ice cold refreshments.
The Red-winged starlings were getting just as hot, some sitting with there beaks wide open.
They have very good manners, at least they wait until your done eating before they help them self.
After lunch we went down to the viewing point and this was the view.
This is the little bronze ellie watching over the guests.
The little guys seemed not to mind the heat at all, still foraging non stop.
We've never stayed at Olifants, but this is the view from the rondawels (bungalows) if you were sitting on the stoep.
Before leaving Olifants we had to refuel, but there were no diesel or petrol at the service station, luckily Skillie filled a few jerry cans before leaving Pretoria just in case the transport strikes would continue. As we left camp, the fuel tanker drove in at the gate.....
It was time to go back and we stopped at the N'wamanzi look out point. There were a few kudu on the opposite bank and waterbuck in the river.
Back crossing the Olifants river bridge again, the ellies were a lot closer.
The H1-4 tar was very boring to me and the people on the tar roads don't greet......Near the Nyamarhi waterhole we saw these guys and I was thrilled. Just at lunch I said I would love to photograph Ground Hornbills and here they were! Only 2 of them and right next to the road. The one was trying to eat a small tortoise and I could not tell if it was still alive, but never less, the hornbill could not crack the shell. He picked it up and threw it down a couple of times, then just walked away.
Now for the rest of the drive down the H1-4 I'm sure we passed lions, leopards, cheetahs and wild dogs all on the left, but I won't know for sure as I fell asleep........
Skillie turned of onto the S127 as he said the tar road was also making him sleepy. We did not see much, but we appreciated the body break at Timbavati again.
Down the S40 we did not see much either except for another great birdie! This Red-crested korhaan was walking away from the road and we just caught him in the last light of the day.
It was the end of another great day in the African bush we love, no cats and dogs, but AWESOME birds!