Day 1: 18 October 2014
It was decided to leave home at gate opening time (05:30) because Punda Maria camp is only 9km from the gate. This was quite a strange feeling because we normally have breakfast at Malelane by 08:00 and enter the park by 09:30.
We arrived at Punda Maria gate at 11:50 and we could start enjoying the bush after the friendly personnel at the gate did the admin bit
We decided to drive along the H13-1 till the H1-8 and then north and back with the S60 to Punda Maria camp. It was still very dry up North but we don’t care. We are in “heaven” and enjoy the silence except for the cicadas keeping everyone awake with their unique sounds.
Our first sighting of this trip was a kudu bull and his mate enjoying the greenery next to the road, followed by a very sleepy ellie.
It was striking how many baobab trees there are up north. I had to stop many a time during this trip for Hilda to take a picture of these stunning trees. Here is the first one we came across.
Our next sighting was a couple of Natal Spurfowls looking for food.
Kruger will not be Kruger without impala. Here is a picture of a proud ram next to the road.
It was wonderful to be the only vehicle on the road. When we reached the H1-8, we came across a herd of buffs resting in the shade.
We also came across a Red-crested Korhaan who played hide and seek with us by lying down behind a tuft of grass and thought we don’t see him anymore
We had to stop and wait for this wartie family to cross the road.
It was just wonderful to be back in the bush and took in everything around us. The next residents to greet us were these ostriches about 200 meters from the road.
We turned onto the S60 gravel road and found it to be like the N1 in peak traffic with all the vehicles that made a dash for the Pafuri Border post. Along the way we found this ellie enjoying the shade, pondering where to go next.
We were also greeted by this little Grysbok.
We were surprised by all the nyalas we came across up North. Here are two nyala ewes that crossed the road in front of us.
Just before we enter the camp gate we came across this beautiful little bushbuck.
We booked in at reception at 14:30 and were allocated tent number 2. We were quite impressed by the accommodation and the view from the veranda. With the unpacking done, we unwind with a cold one and just enjoyed the view when this Yellow-bellied Greenbul (a new lifer for us) welcomed us to our home for the next two nights.
It was great to have the braai at veranda level, to enjoy the scenery whilst we had our braai. It was a long day and went to bed with the thought that we will wake up in the place we love so much.