Thursday, 12-08-2010 Talamati
Before we left camp we first went to the hide in the hope that there were some animals around. But it was all very quiet on the Talamati field. So at 6:30 we stepped into the car and drove off.
It was a bit rainy with some sun, which results in:
Later on the sun disappeared and it got cloudy for the rest of the day.
Our first sighting, I thought, was a reedbuck. I enthusiastically took photos of this animal, until Mark told me that this was not really a reedbuck.
It is not?
After having a better look, I had to admit that he was right.
It was a young impala male. Ok, it was early in the morning and maybe I was still a bit sleepy.
Nevertheless, the impala deserves to have his photo in this TR.
Besides this impala in disguise we saw a lot more impala’s and a duiker on the s145.
When driving to Muzandzeni we saw a few cars parked at the side of the road. We had to ask what they were looking for, as we couldn’t find anything. We were told that there was a leopard, which was hiding. After some minutes the leopard showed up but unfortunately soon disappeared again. I was just in time for taking a picture.
We were in doubt whether we should stay and hoping the leopard would show up again or go further. A tough decision, but we choose to continue our way. After a short break at Mudzandzeni we took the sweni road. There we saw a great variety of animals, like: zebra’s, impala’s giraffes, steenbok, waterbuck, kudu and wildebeests.
On the H1-3, just a few 100 meters from the junction with the s126 I suddenly noticed something wonderful. Something what has been on my wish list for years, a cheetah overlooking the area.
I was so enthusiastic that I shouted STOP. But that was too early. Mark, still unaware of the sighting, didn’t understand at all why he, after he stopped the car, suddenly had to move on again. Go, go, quick was all I could say. When I saw that the cheetah was in no hurry, I relaxed and could show the cheetah to Mark.
The cheetah then jumped out of the tree and walked to the road. When he came closer, we noticed that there was another one. There were 2 cheetahs.
It was really fantastic watching these 2 and we were all by ourselves.
When the cheetahs had crossed the road only then the first car appeared.
The cheetahs walked about 50 meters from the road. We followed them as far as possible. When we finally lost them, we left.
At Satara we had a nice cup of hot chocolate and then we returned to Talamati.
Just on the H7 was a small traffic jam. A jeep jockey told us there was a leopard hiding in the grasses. He tried to show us, but how we tried, we just couldn’t find it. How frustrating that is. When more and more cars arrived we left the scene, unsatisfied.
At Nsemani dam an elephant was just visiting some lazy hippo’s and
an active one.
Close to the s36 we met 3 elephants. I think these 3 elephants will be big tuskers in a couple of years.
Elephant three was too far away for a decent photo.
Close to waterhole Rockvale were some cars parked. With still the unseen leopard in our mind, we now hoped for a nice visible sighting, but no way. Again we couldn’t find what they were looking for and again we had to ask for it.
It appeared that there was a cheetah lying in the grass. A cheetah,
we could hardly believe it. We never had so many cheetah sightings during one stay in Kruger. More than that, most of our visits were without a cheetah sighting.
The cheetah was not visible at that moment but once a while we could see his tail. He suddenly stood up, sat down and began to roll in the grass. It was just like we were watching our domestic cat.
The cheetah then noticed a few impala’s behind the bushes and kept an eye on them. The impalas were totally unaware of the cheetah’s presence. We expected the cheetah to take a run-up and go for the impala’s. But the cheetah kept calm and moved to the other side of the bushes. There the ritual, sitting, lying and rolling started over again.
After having another look at the impala’s, the cheetah vanished in the grass. We drove up and down to find him and then suddenly we saw him running towards the impala’s. Unfortunately though we couldn’t see if he or the impala’s were lucky, because the bushes were blocking our view.
We had planned to have lunch at Talamati. But as watching the cheetah took almost an hour, we couldn’t make it in time. Fortunately we still had some crackers left, which we had for lunch at Muzandzeni.
At Shimangwaneni dam we saw this hippo:
At Mondzeni we got into conversation with a man and woman. The showed us 3 rhino, which were lying down.
Back at Talamati we had our second part of lunch in the company of:
Natala francolins, Arrow-marked babblers, a Red-billed hornbill, squirrel and a Vervet monkey.
In the late afternoon we had a short drive on the s 140. We saw a small herd of elephants, buffalo’s, giraffes, a white rhino with calf and this beautiful kudu, which tried to hide behind some blades of grass.
When we arrived at Talamati, an elephant herd was just coming for a drink. We quickly parked the car near the hide and watched them enjoying the water. We had the feeling of déjà vu, as it almost looked like a copy of the herd we saw the day before at the waterhole. It was a beautiful end of the day.
impala, duiker, leopard, baboon, kudu, steenbok, waterbuck, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, cheetah, elephant, warthog, buffalo, white rhino, vervet monkey, hippo.Route:
s145, s36, s126, H1-3, Satara, H7, s36, s145, Talamati, s140, Talamati.