Picnic sites and bird hides
We love finding a picnic site so that you can get out of the car and be ‘in the bush’ – well, as close as you can get to it without breaking the rules. Mokala
has two such places. Kammeeldoring
- Not another person in sight. We have the bush all to ourselves – apart from the animals. The picnic tables have been well spaced out; you are never on top of the next group while enjoying a drink or snack, looking at and listening to everything going on around you.
Tucked away on the Kammeeldoring loop this picnic site also has very clean loos.
And if you obey the rules you can get out of your bus..
but please always look behind you !
Not far away is a small waterhole which was very busy with animals crossing just metres from you.
We discovered the Stofdam
bird hide, also in Mokala. A reasonable large hide, with a loo
, is set up close to the water. Such a fantastic place to see all creatures, great and small, come down to drink. It’s a bird lover’s paradise.
Posted as Egyptian Goose but subsequently ID'd as African Shelduck and ducklings
Even a violet-eared Waxbill
There are mousebirds here as well as others we couldn’t ID at the time
This bird is …….?
And to show Stofdam’s not just all birds there was this handsome gemsbok on the opposite bank.
Swallows and swifts were scooping over the water for a drink every few minutes
(sorry toooo swift to keep in the frame).
There was something happening all the time. We can totally understand why people suggest you take your flask and munchies and sit for hours – and we did
When we are in the Talamati area in the Kruger
we love to pop into the Muzandzeni
picnic spot on the S36. The chance for a cool drink from the fridge or cup of tea from the kettle.
On this occasion some elephants were grazing close by while another two were testing their strength at the nearby waterhole. Even a bull twice their size couldn’t stop them!
Later in our trip we went back to one of our favourites - the Pafuri
picnic place, right at the top of KNP, is another place we love. This time though evidence of the damage done by the 2013 floods was everywhere as we approached the site.
The force of water had really rearranged the vegetation, opening up new vistas. Well done to everyone who has been involved in getting the site reopen. A lot of clearing up had to be done and bridges and road made good. The site was back to normal with Frank's kettle always on the go.
You see something from small
Frank was as cheerful as ever, always ready with his knowledge of the birds and always willing to help ID anything. Like these wood sandpiper and plover..
He pointed out this croc which we hadn’t seen as we were birding…
And we glimpsed a Nyala on the opposite bank
As we left we noticed a very strong herbal aroma in the area.
Wonder what plant it was?
On our way to Letaba from Shingwedzi, we dropped in at Mooiplaas
Always a lovely place to sit overlooking the Tsendze river.
We saw this green backed heron going about its business.
And some LBJs for someone else to id (we all like a ID challenge)
After wondering around several of the roads around Afsaal
, we were ready for a loo stop and to quench our thirst. We were pleased to see that Afsaal was cleaner and tidier than our previous visit in 2011 although more commercial than it was in 1986 when we first came to the Kruger.
We just had to call in at Tshokwane
on our way to Satara to see how it had recovered from the floods earlier this year. We were amazed at how high the river came – you could see where the vegetation had been dumped. As we were hungry we opted for bacon butties but while my SO was waiting in the rather long queue he saw some freshly baked pies being brought out. As they looked so good he bought pies instead. They were venison and simply delicious.Talamati’s bird hide will be covered later…..