Thanks for the replies everyone
@MM - always a pleasure to see you Day One - 27 December, Part one
It all started on a chilly morning in JHB at around 4am, where my mother and sister and I rose from our excited half-sleep to leave for a two week stay at Letaba. My family packs so much junk. They assigned me as ‘packing supervisor’ and somehow I managed to fit it all into our little car. We had our morning beverages, packed our last goodies and hit the road. Because it is summer, it wasn’t long before it began to get light. Due to complications with my mother’s licence, I had to drive the whole way (woohoo!). Somehow, the glare didn’t tire me out all at once.
On the way there my mind wandered onto subjects of birding (which I have not done for a year, simply unacceptable) to whether or not I would get bored with staying at a single camp for two whole weeks when I am used to camp hopping every few days. I was trying to formulate a plan, maybe to visit another camp for a night… alas, nothing came to me.
We stopped at Milly’s to fill our bellies and then somehow didn’t stop again until we bought some mangoes in Hazyview and then Phalaborwa Gate was in front of us. For those who don’t travel that way often, beware the R530, the potholes are a menace. Due to this problem, the trucks shamelessly drive in the opposite lane over a solid line, apparently unconcerned about the threat of oncoming traffic. I was on the edge of my seat.
And Bushbuck Ridge is a nightmare at this time of the year, with all the cows and children and taxis, oh my goodness the taxis!!
It rained along some of the journey and was cloudy for the rest, so naturally the gate was all wet and chilly. As my mother dealt with the check in, I began to bird.
The birdies were not out and about just yet (bad weather) but I found some Blue Waxbills and a Southern Masked-Weaver so long. I was determined to fire it up with the birds on the first day, and I must admit that the H9 was excellent for birding, despite the weather. We saw many eagles that we couldn’t ID due to the bad lighting or distance, but we did positively ID a Black-Chested Snake-Eagle and White-Headed Vulture with an immature.
Our first animals upon our entrance were, as usual, impala. It was so lovely to see the babies out and about in full force, curiously but timidly watching is with those huge ears listening.
Saw a big ol’ ellie too, which of course is a pleasure when going up to this area - it just wouldn’t be complete without them.
_________________Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014
Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3Exploring Letaba