Whoops, time just flies when you aren't paying attention. It's been ages since I posted, and for that my humblest apologies!!! Without further ado, let's press on ...Day 6
After grabbing some wake-up juice and some Ouma's, we left the gate at 4.35 am which found us driving in near perfect darkness for the first 45 minutes. Headlights on, and hoping for the best, we turned onto the S100 to see what this infamous road would deliver to us today.
In the pre-dawn light which was very grey rendering my flash completely useless, we saw these lads loping along.
and a bit further on these who had somehow managed to get their false eyelashes on in the dark.
and a lone wildebeest a bit later who had fallen in love with this tree's scratching abilities. He spent ages enjoying himself immensely.
Cruising along a little later, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye which I initially thought was a grey Putco bus travelling at 60 km/h through the bush coming my way scaring me half to death. It turned out to be this "sea cow" moving really fast, and she thundered over the road ahead of us and then was gone into the bush. Obviously in a hurry to get back to the water, or to a sale somewhere.
Another blighter in a hurry was this one who just would NOT stop. Run, run, run, run, run. I'm quite impressed I managed to get even this poor pic.
Not even 100 metres further on, I got very excited as we saw this. (Before anyone gets cross with me, we had left the S100 quite some time before).
I couldn't figure out though, quite why this one and the others were extremely nervous, and kept on running backwards and forwards incessantly. Until we saw what was closer to us less than 5 metres off the road. A freshly poached rhino, with the deep hack and gash marks clearly visible and still bleeding :
A deep pall of depression settled over us coupled with blinding rage. How DARE they!!!
I managed to get some phone signal a short distance up the road, and after an extremely frustrating 10 minutes on the emergency number, I was understood enough so that they could give me the Satara ranger's number. I called her, and within 20 minutes, anti-poaching patrols with the dogs were on scene. The ranger later gave me feedback that this was indeed a poaching incident, and not a territorial fight. The bastards managed to get over the border before they could catch them though. Very dejected, we moved on and planned to head back to camp via the shortest route.
KNP, bless her heart, attempted to cheer us up with a couple of cute sightings, but we were finding it difficult to come to terms with the horror that we had witnessed, and I only got a few pics on our way back.
Back at camp, it was by unspoken agreement that that's where we would stay for the rest of the day. Did see this little guy from our patio though.
Over lunchtime we met up with Cheetah2111, Heksie, WendyA ,Tedredrum and his brother at the Satara restaurant which lifted our spirits a lot after having shared the story of the dreadful sighting with them. Again, my pic taking abilities deserted me for the mini-meet Day 7 will follow shortly with our trip to Pretorius Kop.
The simple rule to follow with all animals is one of respect.
Trip reportsNov/Dec 2012
21-22 Sept 2013 - Olifants with river view
23-24 Sept 2013 - Letaba perimeter
25-27 Sept 2013 - Tamboti
28-29 Sept 2013 - Mopani with lake view