Completely lost track of time as we were temporary in a 'different world', going to bed anytime from 20h00 and up by 04h00 – but that is Kruger! Well, in reality it is 20 Dec’12, Thursday and day no 8 of our 16-day stay. Time is going too quick now. It is another beautiful day with the sun sticking its neck out from over the open plains as we were heading north in the direction of the Ngotso dams.
On the left side of the road a hyena was jogging zig-zag over the plains with a black-backed jackal following him. As the light was still very poor and these predators a bit far for usage of the flash, it came out blurry. Driving on the H1-4, one could see quite far over the open plains and then we approached the section with lush large trees and we know, where there are trees, one can expect a surprise…and that is exactly what we got – beautiful pose, close to the road up high without any cars, no matter how high, could spoil your view. This was our 2nd leopard sighting of our trip and a magnificent one as well. In a distance, one could hear the baboons putting up some noise to alert others of the leopard’s presence.
After spending a bit of time observing the leopard (there is something about just to be in their presence causing one not to leave and stay there forever), and with cars from Olifants and Letaba also now arriving, we got going again. The Ngotso dams were quiet with here and there a few dugga boyz, zebra, wildebeest and impalas. It was time to turn west onto the S39 and with sun behind us, we managed to get this young one running for cover with sun backlighting the hair.
Close to the baboons, a few wildebeest and impies were grazing…
Driving next to the Timbavati river, stopped at another favourite spot of mine – Ratelpan hide. It was very quiet and the only thing alive was the Southern red bishop.
While scanning the bush on the other side and down the riverbed, I could not help thinking back to May’09 when we got our first sighting of a pair of Saddle-billed stork. But is was in Dec’11, that we had an excellent experience with a massive herd of buffalo moving past, with Yellow-billed stork and heron flying by, hence wish to share some moments with you.
So, with stomachs started making some lion-like noises, we stopped at the Timbavati picnic spot for some breakfast where we made use of the rented gas braai again. Tummies filled, body breaks taken and so we were ready for the second stretch along the Timbavati river hoping to see Brown-headed parrots. But….we got something else instead, an ‘airport of some sort’, as I call it. This was really interesting to observe, and deserving of the next posting to be dedicated just to this. Kruger’s own airport for….??? in the next attraction.
2012 Dec Kruger: from south-to-north-and-backviewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=69478&start=525Next trips
21-29 Jun'13 Wildernis & Tsitsikamma
14-29 Dec'13 Kruger