But as we had to leave tomorrow for Satara we wanted to say good-bye to the area here a bit and decided to drive a bit along the S1 until it was time again to turn around.
The first sighting that we had was the passing of an impatient woman hooting at us because we were driving for her liking far too slooooooow. Only around the next corner it was us smiling back at her calmly because she right away drove into a speed trap and had been stopped by the police.
As already supposed it was a quiet evening drive and even it was a Friday evening it was also carwise extreme quiet but we simply had to stop for another green backed heron which came along
and it turned out to be a relative to the one we saw close to Biyamiti as same turned also out to be a comedian.
Back in camp Timon already lit the braai and decided to do some running in camp until the glow might be ready whilst I enjoyed my magical half an hour on the verandah until it was too dark to spot something and I so much hoped that the family of banded mongoose might return as I wanted to hear their cute squeaking once again but here I had no luck but I noticed a never seen bird. Originally I thought it was a falcon which was attacking permanently the sprinkler on the grass and so I positioned myself with the heavy lens on the bench and tried to take some pictures but due to the bad light under the shady trees and due to the heaviness of the lens I struggled too much and most of the pictures came out blurred but on one it was easily recognized as a juvenile African goshawk.
It was already pitch dark until our braai was ready and whilst Timon was enjoying a huge T-bone steak I put my half pizza from yesterday on the braai not thinking that same might still taste that good as yesterday but I was wrong same tasted fantastic from the braai and so we sat still a long time outside and enjoyed the evening.Saturday, 16th February, 2013 – Skukuza – Satara
We awoke with the feeling that not only our stay in Skukuza but also our holiday was already half way over and so we packed up hastily not too miss that much and not be at the gate too late. As the route to Satara is not that long we decided to once again give the S65 another try but as already experienced the previous days it was a quiet morning for us on that road.
Although before we even could turn into that road we had stop as also a couple of other cars too because two elephants bulls were not sure whether they should be happy about the presence of each other and as they stood on both sides of the road we and also not the other cars dare to pass.
After quite a while the sun meanwhile came up the one decided to join the other and both finally walked away together into the bush.
As already said the whole remaining drive was dead quiet and we even did not see a bird and after a short break at Skukuza we were on our way North but simply had been held up in another road block as on the crossing which leads to the causeway a troop of baboons had taken over nearly the whole road and were about to criss-cross same.
It was very difficult to capture especially the little ones as they were running speedyly around trying to find someone to fool around with.
Although it was only 07.30 o’clock in the morning it was already in the sun extreme hot and compared to the previous days the day might turn into a typical South African summer day with temperatures up to 38 degrees and so we already thought that due to the heat we might not see that much today but we were totally wrong.
First stop was once again on the causeway and as meanwhile all the rushers might have been on their way already we once again stopped at the bulges and simply enjoyed the morning atmosphere. A curious crocodile swam closer and an African pied wagtail said “hi” as well.
A hippo emerged from the water soundlessly and with the morning sun coming from the back
and together with the water / air mixture whilst the hippo breathed out it was a very special atmosphere.
The hamerkop couple was still a bit sleepy whilst we arrived
but a bit later one of them got up and did some stretching and grooming and it looked as if we did find them somewhere on a beach.
White and black feathered fluff balls could also be spotted one of them was a victim of the wind because it’s feathered looked a bit tousled.
Today we in all spotted three of them 2 males and one female
and one of them just caught one of the tiniest fish we ever saw. The water level was still high and lot of debris in form of stuck up branches and roots could be spotted and attracted a lot of birds which landed on them simply to rest or to be on the lookout for some breakfast.
But as we still had a long way to go we finally left with heavy hearts this stunning place.
Due to the road closures of the Southern part of the S36 and later on also the S33 and 34 completely there was indeed not much choice and we simply could only drive the H1-2. Although it was a Saturday traffic wise it was again quiet so we could stop for birds at our heart’s contents where we wanted and how long we wanted without causing in seconds a traffic jam and first stop was made for a large group of European bee eaters
landing on a bush and later flying away in flocks as the red-billed queleas always do.
These colourful cute fluff balls always steel our heart within seconds when they do come across. [i][b]to be continued......