Day 9, 16 March 2013
After again listening to the Lions roaring all night long in an Eastern direction from camp, we thought let us go and drive the only road that leads to the East, to Stapelkop Dam.
We were out the gate as Roger unlocked it and at the Mooiplaas Picnic spot turnoff the Swainson's Spurfowl just made sure we knew in what direction to go.
We turned off towards the Shipandani Hide to our favorite causeway, but not far from it a Jeep came chasing from the front. When we got the causeway there were no birds and no crocs. We were very disappointed and believed the Jeep must have chased everything away!
We drove on to the Pioneer Hide and on the way spotted a Mongoose family that just woke up and came out of their den to warm up in the early morning sun. These were our first Mongooses of the trip and of I was Super happy to see some Mongoosies!
At Pioneer Hide we had our coffee and rusks while watching the Hippo and Crocs on the other side of the dam. The Pioneer dam was quite full and made for some nice scenery.
A Jacana was walking on the water plants looking for some insects.
A pair of Egyptian Geese was doing synchronized flying and aimed straight for the camera.
After spending almost a hour at the hide all by ourselves, we took the road East towards Stapelkop Dam at the end of the S146. Not too far and we stopped by the Zebra brigade.
Down the road a beautiful European Roller, yes, I don’t have enough pics of the Rollers yet and still go click-click for every one.
The remainder of the long 16km road was very very quite. Nearing Stapelkop dam on the side of a koppie we saw this beautiful Boabab tree.
Then we saw a CAT, not the ones keeping us awake every night, but the mechanical type, where the road turns to the left.
Stapelkop Dam is quite big and was very full. A pair of Egyptian Geese disappeared behind the Mopanies next to the dam and a Fish Eagle flew over. We spend quite some time at the dam, but nothing came for a drink.
A few spoors in the mud were evidence that there is life out here.
We went to look for Joubert’s Grave on the other side of the dam, but could not find it. Just as we turned around a Sharp’s Grysbok bolted across the road in full view and I got a single photo as it disappeared into the Mopanies. The Grysbok made the long drive worth it, our second one ever!
Day 9, to continue...