Day 4…Thursday…25 February
This morning we woke up at 5 again and left camp exactly 5:30 when the gates opened. Roan was very tired and wanted to continue his sleep on the back seat. It was a misty morning. The clouds were hanging low over the mountains and there was a mystical atmosphere in the air.
We had a quick stop at Sunset dam, but all was quiet there. We saw this huge buffalo and I wondered how he must feel so all alone. Pretty scary I think. We had a hard time choosing which road to take. We wanted to go to Tshokwane, and could go backwards (H10), or via skukuza. We decided to take the 'mountain road' (H10) as my son called it. First thing we saw was this big elephant. He was walking so slowly, I think he also had a hard time waking up this morning.
We took the Mlondozi road (S29) and just before Roan fell asleep again, we saw 3 hyena's disappearing into the tall grasses. He was excited about this sighting, somehow hyena’s fascinate him.
On the way to Mlondozi picnic site, I only saw a few giraffes, impala’s, elephant, a wire-tailed swallow and a secretary bird. It was so quiet I fought to stay awake myself.
We arrived at Mlondozi and were all alone. It is such a beautiful picnic spot. I left Roan sleeping in the car, and sat there all alone on a bench, looking at this magnificent landscape, listening to the birds and I felt so close to nature. It’s these moments I will never forget. You find peace within yourself. Really amazing.
After an half hour or so, people were started coming in for breakfast. We left and took the H10 towards Tshokwane. I think we passed about 3 cars that whole way. I can’t remember the last time I experienced it so quiet down south. On that road we saw a rhino, a very cute and not shy slender mongoose, leopard tortoise, kudu’s, 2 playful klipspringers, an European roller, and an European bee-eater .
Roan slept for almost 3 hours. He was so tired, not used to the heat and standing up so early. We stretched our legs at Orpen dam. This is also one of my favourite stops to make. We saw this beautiful black-shouldered kite there. It’s really a beautiful bird.
We met some Dutch people there and we had a nice chat with them. They left LS the same time as we this morning and saw wild dogs on the LS - Skukuza road
They were in the road…killing a impala.
Oh well, maybe next time.
After a quick stop at Tshokwane, we took the H1-2 road to skukuza and then the Lower Sabie road back to camp. We didn’t see much, except for impala’s, another woodland kingfisher and this ellie trying to play with these cars.
At Nkulu we were very excited. We were about to try our very first “famous buffalo pie”
We heard that this was the best pie in kruger, and after tasting it, ‘I HAVE TO AGREE'
Our tummies were full and we continued back to lower Sabie. We were over heated and wanted to go for a swim. On our way we saw some dung beetles.
They were working so hard and I used the opportunity to tell Roan all I know about dung beetles. Next week he have a to make a speech in class about something, and he decided to talk about kruger and few animals who lives in it. He wants to mention the dung beetles as well.
He found them interesting and funny.
But as we stood there, looking at them, and taking pictures, a car came chasing by and killed this little beetle.
Roan was very upset and so was I. With tears in his eyes he said we should leave quickly before another car comes along who want's to pass us and maybe kill more dung beetles.
We arrived at camp and went looking for Martie. She invited us for tea this afternoon, but when we got there she had to step in for someone else and go to a meeting. So we decided to go on another sunset drive with her that evening. We rested a bit, went for a swim and had a quiet afternoon. The temperatures reached over 36 degrees and the clouds were hanging very low. We saw some lightning and a few raindrops fell, but nothing more than that.
We were first at the game drive vehicle and sat in front this time. There was a lot of Dutch people on the drive this time.
We passed the sunset dam and saw some hippo’s, yellow-billed storks and marabou storks. Martie took a private road that is called the rhino road (I think?) and indeed, we saw lots and lots of white rhinos. We also saw zebra’s, giraffes, warthogs, buffalo, vultures and impala’s.
Just before it got dark, we saw a family of black-backet jackal. Unfortunately my camera didn’t want to focus that well, but here is one pic. anyway.
When It got dark, Martie saw a tree frog and chameleon in the trees. Amazing how well she can spot these little creatures in the dark. She also shown us a few hares, a fish eagle, nightjars and once again we got a quick glimpse of a genet.
The big predators were not showing themselves to us, but the atmosphere was amazing. In the middle of the bush, Martie stopped the truck, turned off the lights and asked us to be quiet for a few minutes.
WOW WOW WOW.
How amazing is that.
Pitch dark, dead quiet in the truck and only the night sounds around us. In the distance we could hear a hyena and I got goose bumps. I’m so glad I’m not a impala.
It’s too scary at night.
We caught up with that hyena just before we arrived at camp. He was certainly on a mission. We returned to camp and Martie came by our hut one last time before we left. We had a lovely evening and sat on the veranda till passed 22:00. She had some amazing stories to tell about her live in Kruger, and I admire her cheerful spirit. I hope to see her again on our next trip to Kruger in October.
To be continued...