Part 1 of my report
Wow, I can't believe four weeks is up and I find myself back in Australia again after spending a wonderful time with the family and a great 9 days by Kruger.
After a long trip up through Swaziland from Durban we finally arrived at our timeshare. Our first sighting was a hippo in the Crocodile River along with Egyptian geese. That was all we could see before the sunset into the Kruger, a sight that always takes my breath away.
Everyone slept really well except myself so I was up early in the morning and sat in the hide staring into Kruger while the sun shed light on the park again. While dreaming of the animals in Kruger I spotted a cutthroat finch, scarlet-chested sunbird and a village indigobird. Finally we were off and I entered true paradise. The park was not as green as I had expected and although there is lots of grass, most of it has fallen flat so it helped with finding animals.
We drove up the H4-2 to Lower Sabie and found elephant, vultures, hippo, impala, yellow billed hornbills etc. The elephants we saw were standing so still it took us several minutes to decide if the elephants were in fact elephants, and not rocks. Our "breakfast" was more like brunch so I decided to have a pie, chips and gravy. Klystron had curry and the others joined me with pies. Unfortunately the pies were cold and so was the curry so we reported it to the restaurant and were very happy with the way they reacted. She rushed off into the kitchen to inform the cook so hopefully we saved some other poor souls from eating cold pie and gravy.
We then sat and had ice cream while watching the comings and goings at my favourite place on earth, Sunset Dam. I just love that dam, there is always something to see and today was no different with plenty crocodiles, hippo, and various water birds. We then made our way up the H10 and then coming down the S29. These roads were extremely quiet and all we could find were kudu, hornbills and starlings. Just when we were giving up hope two Kori Bustards were spotted a little way off the road.
We all want to meet Duke so decided to try and find him, unsuccessfully but we did find about 200 buffalo with some very small babies crossing the S28. After watching them we moved 50m down the road and found two rhino which also crossed the road behind us. Other then impala, warthog etc we left the park feeling happy and totally relaxed.
A good braai with amarula was in order when we returned to the chalet. We decided to stay at camp on Sunday so I did some bird watching. It was great just to relax and I was amazed how time flew past. While eating lunch at the restaurant we watched some waterbuck wonder down from
the bush and have a drink in the Crocodile River. The fish eagle called every now and again to ensure a very special time was had. We then went for a night drive, which left from Crocodile Bridge. Although we did not see any cats we did see a Pearl Spotted Owl, Bushbabies, Elephant, Giraffe, several Large-Spotted Genets, and an African Civet. We were amazed to see how many Spotted Thick Knees we saw on the road and they did not move very quickly. We must have seen at least twenty on them on the road throughout our drive.
Monday saw the first of four trips to the airport start. Martial, Tawny and myself set off through Kruger with the plan of going out the Phabeni or Numbi Gate. Klystron and Elsa stayed in camp, as space in the car was limited considering we were picking up my sister and her son. The trip up the H4-2 did not disappoint us and although we did not see any “big” animals we found plenty things to keep us entertained. A stop at the Sunset Dam found a very small hippo with its mum. We also found a beautiful Purple Crested Lourie and then we came across an elephant happy eating a tree on the side of the road. All appeared normal and we enjoyed his company when suddenly we became annoyed with our presence. About fifty meters up the road more elephant appeared with a baby, which explained his attitude change. We gave them plenty space and although he flashed his trunk at us a few times, we managed to stay out of trouble. Once they were over the road we proceeded only to find more elephant and several charged. We got passed them quickly (although not quick enough for Tawny who was very nervous) but was amazed to see they still wanted to charge us. The reason for their bad manners walked over the road with several youngsters walking on either side of this new addition to the elephant family. We warned a few people we passed that they had a few aggressive elephants to face before getting to Lower Sabie