- thanks for comments - no i have not read the "The elephant whisperer" but i will go and look for it.Elsa
- thanks and you are correct the issues with the van did not get us off to a good start but somehow when you enter the park these kind of things take a back seat.Shi, Pumbaa, Gunner, Flutterby, Micetta
- thanks for reading and nice comments.fenwickh
- thanks and i hope you have a great trip in 8 weeks.Wild about cats
- thanks and ye quite a bit more to come just takes time going through the photo's and writing.25th July Sunday – Day 1 (Continued)
We reached Skukuza at 1.25pm and went to see if we could check in as it had been a long day. The person who dealt with us was so rude that it took all our patience not to lose the plot. We got the key and went to the chalet to unpack and just chill hoping all the niggling problems would now be behind us.
We had a very light lunch after unpacking and headed out for our afternoon drive at 4pm. We encountered our first traffic jam on Elloff Street with a pride of lions. Let’s just say they were about 5 metres from the road and there were cars in all directions and people just generally behaving stupidly. Me and SO took one quick look at this and just drove by. It was very quiet from a sightings point of view and we arrived back in camp at 5.20pm. Vervet Monkey
Members of this species are not monogamous, as the males mate with several females at a time and have no part in the rearing of young. When a female becomes pregnant she will remain this way for about 160 days and will usually give birth to one baby. Most births take place during the most plentiful time of the year, which is during the rainy season in the region. The young will be fed by their mother until they are six months old and then they will be weaned. These monkeys are mature in about four to five years and they will live 10-12 years in the wild and up to 25 years when in captivity.Ground Hornbill
It is a large bird, at 90 to 129 cm long and a weight of 2.2 to 6.2 kg, with the male considerably larger than the female. It is characterized by black coloration and vivid red patches of bare skin on the face and throat (yellow in juvenile birds). The beak is black and straight and presents a casque, more developed in males. Lion (not on Elloff Street)
Litters consist of two or three cubs that weigh about 3 pounds each. Some mothers carefully nurture the young; others may neglect or abandon them, especially when food is scarce. Usually two or more females in a pride give birth about the same time, and the cubs are raised together. A lioness will permit cubs other than her own to suckle, sometimes enabling a neglected infant to survive. Capable hunters by 2 years of age, lions become fully grown between 5 and 6 years and normally live about 13 years. Most lions drink water daily if available, but can go four or five days without it. Lions in arid areas seem to obtain needed moisture from the stomach contents of their prey. When males take over a pride, they usually kill the cubs. The females come into estrus and the new males sire other cubs.Elephant
The elephant, Loxodonta Africana, have a straight back, enormous ears, and two trunk 'fingers'. They are named for the peculiar shaped ridges of their molar teeth; the ridges of an African elephant's teeth are coarser and fewer than those of the Asian elephant. The African elephant has only four toes on the front feet and three on the back. Interestingly, it has one more vertebra in the lumbar section of the spine.Guess the bird?
I want to donate something to a conservation cause after the trip and want suggestions on what cause to support - ALL SUGGESTIONS WELCOME.
Here goes the rules - i will include things i want identified. Each one starts at R250 and each wrong guess i will deduct R5. Also clues can be requested at R10 each. The photo above is the first in the sequence. I will keep a running total and update as the trip report progresses.
We decided to braai tonight with ribs, baked potato and onion. SO could not drink tonight as it was her last day of her course of antibiotics so it was up to me to keep the side up. The red wine was nice and we finished the braai at 8.20pm.
It was not cold just pleasant and reflecting on the day we realised how much the bush had changed since our last visit 2 months ago. The water levels have dropped drastically and the lush green vegetation is now looking exactly like it should at the time of year.
The park seems very busy but did not spot any yellow ribbons today. Sitting after dinner myself and SO could not decide which roads to drive in the morning so decided that we would decide which ever road the majority of the traffic takes we will go in the opposite direction – in other words if the majority turn right we will go left.
Roads (Morning Drive)
H3, S114, S23, S113, H1-1
Driving distance of 93km at an average speed of 26kph
Roads (Afternoon Drive)
H4-1, H12, S83, H1-2
Driving distance 35km at an average speed of 26kph
Baboon, Banded Mongoose, Buffalo, Crocodile, Elephant, Giraffe, Impala, Klipspringer, Kudu, Lions (2 prides), Squirrel, Terrapin, Vervet Monkey, Warthog, Zebra
African Pied Wagtail, Black Eyed bulbul, Blacksmith Plover, Brown Snake Eagle, Burchells Courcal, Crowned Plover, Dove, Egyptian Geese, Forked Tailed Dronga, Grey Heron, Grey Lourie, Ground Hornbill, Hammerkop, Helmeted Guineafowl, Lilac Breasted Roller, Little Egret, Long Tailed Shrike, Marabou Stork, Pied Kingfisher, Reed Cormorant, Starling, Swainsons Francolin, Three Banded Plover, Yellow Billed Hornbill