The final part
Checking in at Kruger Gate and evidence of an Ellie the night before right there in the parking lot.!!!
2 Tree squirrels
S65 again, we are persistent if nothing else!!!
Zebra herd with the cutest and most inquisitive foal with most of its face covered in black, he stood by our car and I had the longest conversation with him!! Altho it was pretty one sided unlike the story in Oumie's report!!!!
Helmeted Guineafowl. Young ellie with a broken tusk already.
Huge herds of Impala with very young ones and a few still heavily pregnant.
Came across an ellie at the N'waswitshaka water hole. At first he seemed to be leaning against the reservoir taking power naps and then he plopped his trunk over the edge and slurped in a huge amount of water most of which he spilled on the ground. He was totally relaxed and we enjoyed his company.
Further another European Roller.
H1-1 P/Kop Rd.
A lovely tranquil spot to spend a bit of time. Firstly some Carmine Bee eaters, Hornbills, Red Billed Weavers nesting in huge colony type nests. A few Hippo in the water.
Across the water lots of Water buck, Impala
Then we spotted a very nervous female Waterbuck behind us with her young calf, trying to bring it across the car park, we sat dead still hardly breathing and as she was about to step into the area another car pulled in and she fled. Unfortunately she seemed to lose her nerve and we never saw her again.
Back on the road another Chameleon crossing, stopped to make sure he got to the other side safely.
Roads covered in Ellie evidence then 2 big ones spotted, and the smaller of the two had the biggest tusks.
S11 Napi Loop. Zebra and Imps.
Suddenly around a corner towards us appears a car with the woman passenger sitting on the window ledge with her whole upper body out the car and this at most probably nearly 40kph
We unfortunately didn't have time to get a pic but only to yell at them and gesticulate as they
Shitlave Dam: Water buck with youngsters
Back to H1-1
2 European Bee Eaters in tree, most excited as this is a first sighting for us.
Lunch at P/Kop, checked the sightings board, nothing really reported, sigh.
Beautiful white flowering tree in camp ground.
Back to H1-1 Ellie walking down centre of road for approx 2 km, nice little road block, and plenty of patience needed.
Mestel Dam. Imps, Kudu and a few water birds
2x 3 banded Plovers in stream.
Then a great sighting, 1st time a Dark Chanting Goshawk and 500 metres further on another one.
European Rollers hunting, swooping down catching insects right in front of car.
Further on a newly destroyed tree by an ellie nearly blocking the road.
S1 Ellies crossing road, we are a bit wary of getting caught up in a road block again.
Zebra herd trying to cross road to get to Dam, OSV determined to sit it out at entrance and block them!! wonder why?
S4. Really only our ever present Impala
In early again, wow, just as well we are getting to bed early!!
Suicidal Black Kite swooping down right in front of the car, catching insects off the road.
Helmetted Guinea Fowl, Impala and another Brown Snake Eagle sitting in the tree.
Then a spotted Hyena, looking beautifully clean and lying dozing in the morning sun, must have been a busy night.
A Fish Eagle, we certainly haven't seen many of them during this trip so enjoy his company.
Then a troop of baboons romping, rolling and tumbling up the road and what.... we rub our eyes, one of the smaller ones is playing with and sucking a green baby's dummy(pacifier) Had to be one of the funniest moments so far. It gets passed from one to the other and seems to be causing minor squabbles in the troop. The question is how did they get it? was it found on the road or taken from a child!!! Took a few pics and then some video footage as well.
On bridge, more baboons and European Bee Eaters, what stunning birds.
Drove to the end of the H12 and back to try and find the lions reported on the sightings board but no luck unfortunately.
Back down the H4-1
Warthogs having a wonderful meal on some berries etc that a troop of baboons had knocked down from a tree. Free lunch so to speak or breakfast in this case!!
Stopped in at Nkhulu Picnic Site, to sample some of the famous pancakes, just as good as before.
Very quiet there at that time, 8.30am. Lovely and peaceful, not even the monkeys to contend with. Only evidence of them are 2 catapaults lying on the walls!!!
Herd of Ellies crossing the road with youngsters, obviously returning from their morning bathe in the river.
Then another Leopard Tortoise, plenty of them around.
Turn off onto the S21 N'Watimhiri Road.
Huge 2metres plus Black Mamba lying sunning itself across the road. Very glad I was in the car!!
Small dam a little way down the road, completely covered in bright green algae and 1 hippo in it who has taken on a decidedly green tinge. We remember reading in one of the Kruger Times that this is not very good for the health of the Hippo and other animals that drink the water and can cause severe liver problems. Do hope that this is not the same algae, will follow it up tho.
A lot of different birds are nearby and a couple of tree squirrels.
A bit further on another large green snake that was lying in the road does an abrupt U-turn and slithers rapidly into the grass. We didn't get a good enough look at this one to even guess at identification.
A bit further on the road is being graded, so we continue on with difficulty, dodging huge mounds of sand and rocks and not seeing anything else due to the human activity.
Much further on a breeding herd of Ellies with some very young ones.
Sat a while at the Renosterkoppies Dam and had something to drink but only a family of Warthogs coming down for their drink as well.
Huge herd of impala. Baboons playing on rocks, 1 adult very tired and needs a nap in the tree!!
Take the H3 and H1-1 to get back to the S65 for one last shot at seeing the W Dogs or Cheetah.
but no luck this time either, even tho we had seen some reports the day before of WD.
and all we see are scattered herds of impala. Well, nobody can say we didn't try!!
On the way out for a break we see Buffalo in the river from the bridge.
Back in at 4pm, take a drive to the nursery, which is closed by the time we get there but have a look at the new boardwalk still under construction. It looks wonderful and something I have definitely earmarked to do next time.
Back to Lake Panic.
A Green backed Heron, sitting in the middle is trying to swallow a fish nearly the same size of itself and eventually after half an hour achieves it. But we don't see him again, hope he didn't explode!!!
Suddenly a snake swims effortlessly and fast across the water over the lily pads and up into the reeds
A pair of Pied Wagtails are nesting in holes in the dead tree stump right in front of the hide.
All 4 Jacana chicks are still alive and happily foraging from one pad to the other, cheeping away all the time. The parents don't seem to be very protective at this stage and are more or less leaving them to their own devices.
2 Ellies just in from the gate. Our ever faithful impalas everywhere.
Find 2 lizards locked in combat, the one with a good grip on the others throat, we stop next to them and try and persuade them to go do their fighting off the road where they would still have a chance of at least one of them making it alive.
Plenty of Baboons and one sitting right in the top of the tree as the lookout.
A Giant Kingfisher sitting on the wire above the N'waswitshaka River Bridge.
Nyalas, Females and one Male.
Tree squirrels all over.
As are the Woodland Kingfishers
An ellie spraying himself, the wet mud is flying high into the air, how he doesn't get it into his eyes, we will never know.
Just North of Afsaal a huge breeding herd of Ellies, with the tiniest baby I think we have seen, it would have fitted easily underneath the mothers stomach. We estimate the herd to be at least 30 to 40 but unfortunately not good photographic opportunities.
A quick stop in at Afsaal, no Scops owl, they think the female might be nesting somewhere else currently.
Zebra, Wildebeest Giraffe and Impala on the plains south of the picnic site.
Some more Giraffe at the Mpambane Bridge.
And our last Leopard Tortoise
We would have liked to go up to Berg en Dal but time had caught up with us and it was time to leave so we reluctantly exited at Malelane Gate with the usual heavy hearts.
Bye Kruger, we will be back again.