An excerpt from my TR for Jan 2008.
Monday, 31 Dec
We were lucky to get the campsite alongside safari tent no 8 at Croc Bridge. It is on the fence. After pitching and unpacking, there was enough time for a late loop. We took the S25, and saw 2 white rhinos at the hippo pool turn off. We continued clockwise and came back to the tar road after not much more than an ele or 2 and zebra, and saw cars stopped. Ho hum, more lions, I thought. I was pleasantly wrong as 9 wild dogs came into view, lying down at the roadside. WOOHOO! After staying with them for a few minutes, there was not much time to allocate to the 5 lions, and another male we saw later on. By now though lions were becoming a common sighting and losing their appeal, even for our first time visitors. During the night’s braai and relaxations, a hyena walked by our site 7 times. By 21h30 I went to bed giving my wife instructions to wake me at 23h50, as the others were going to waste valuable sleeping time around the fire until midnight. She did and in my soporific state, I managed to put on some shorts and emerge in time to have a glass of bubbly thrust into my hand, mumble some happy greeting, down the bubbly and get back into bed.
Tuesday, 1 Jan
Happy new year. When the alarm went at 4h10, my sleepy wife said ‘Go on your own’, so at 4h20 I was the only person at the gate. At 4h30 it opened, and to my amazement, mine was the only vehicle in sight. I could not believe my luck as I drove out, and saw a civet slink off the road into the bush. Nice start. Soon I saw lights zig zagging towards me. It was the morning ride, and the obstructions they were avoiding were 7 adult and sub-adult lions. I enjoyed them for a while until they got up and walked to the side of the road. Shortly afterwards, more shapes. It turned out to be 6 hyenas, the large one with a stick or bone in its mouth. This is quite good! Nothing for a few minutes, then this mating pair appeared, and there were cars stopped further on, which was odd. Lions are highly sought after for some reason, and these were mine alone. I then moved on to find that they were looking at another pair with 3 cubs and an ‘uncle’. Not too shabby for the time it takes to play half a soccer match hey. I consulted others at the sighting and they told me the rest of the road was quiet. So I took the Gondwana loop back towards CB, where all I saw were some eles, & zebs and then crossed onto the S25, where I saw 7 rhino at the hippo pool turnoff, and a red lipped snake scurried off as I approached. I looped back towards the tar road, but startled a big bull, who sent me on my way with a charge! Back at the tar road, I came across last night’s wild dogs that were just lying around. There were 11 now. As I approached CB, I pondered what to do. I had had one of my most successful early morning rides ever, and the rest were sleeping off seeing the new year in. Do I tell them? YOU BETCHA!
After the swelling had gone down and I could see again, we went on a morning drive to LS, where breakfast and the shop were the attractions. The doggies were gone, as were the lions and hyena. There is a big difference between a 4h30 drive and one at 8h00. It’s like going to the movies after the show. .........For me, this was one of the very best non-kill days I have ever had in the park, rivalling only my ‘purple patch’ day on my trip report of Dec 2006. The B5 were ticked, and doggy sightings twice. Another tough day in Africa survived.
2R, KTP, 18 - 22 Mar 2013.
Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.
- Oscar Wilde