Kruger Report 18/03/06 – 21/03/06
Crocodile Bridge – 1night
Satara – 2night
Left Friday 17th at 8pm, after 4.5 hrs eventually arrived in Nelspruit due to heavy rain, fog and and a terrible accident that hold us up.
Checked into hotel for the night.
Left hotel early, arrived at Maelane gate at 5:30, checked into Park, quite a queue at the gate! Drove up north, exploring the surrounding roads. Plenty of impala and general game. At renosterkpan there were 2 wildebeest males having a territorial fight, going full out at each other, horns clashing, made some loud bangs. The one male had blood on his neck, at one stage wanted to get out and stop the fight because I felt so sorry for them but that’s nature I guess. Lasted about 10min, hopefully got some great action shots.
Stopped off at Skukuza for a quick bite to eat, river was high, S65 has been closed off.
Headed down to Croc Bridge, plenty of giraffe and zebra round Croc Bridge area, saw some buffalo and ellies along the Sabie river and rhino later by Croc Bridge.
Afternoon drive saw some more rhino and a lone ellie including some warthogs.
Went out at 5:30 did S25 nice big rhino next to the road. About 500m on 4 lions lying in the road, as we approach 1 leaves and walks away. The other 3 stay for about 10min, giving us the opportunity to film and take some nice photos. Came across a nice kudu bull later and then on H5 saw some things in the road ahead, stop check with the binocs and see that its wild dog, 1 car already there. It was a pack of about 7 – 11 dogs. Were running in the road for quite some time, we sat with them for 15min before they decided to go off the road. Got some nice pics. Have not seen wild dog since 2002, so that was definately the highlight of the trip for me. Returned to camp, packed and set off for Satara. Heading up the H10, see some ellies in the far distance. Stopped off at Nkumbe, lovely view as always. Nothing to be seen there. All waterholes up to Satara are full of water as well as rivers/streams. Ellie couple of kms south of Satara walking down the road, quite a few cars backed up. I think he was looking for some fun. One guy tried to pass and went from hero to zero in a matter of seconds and had to reverse. Arrived at Satara booked in and had a afternoon zzzz. Headed out towards Timbavati, very quiet grass was extremely high in some places, Nsemani full of water. Saw a couple of zebra and giraffe along the way.
Left as gates opened and did the S39 Leeubron road, I tend to love that road cause of the scenery even if you don’t see anything on it. Timbavati river is flowing. Did not see much on this road at all, headed up towards Olifants, plenty of giraffe and zebra. Lone hyaena sitting in waterhole. Had a bite to eat at Olifants and headed down to Satara. Saw some warthogs and plenty impala and zebra.
Afternoon drive did the S126, very quiet except for the odd wildebeest and impala.
Went on late night drive, were not even on the list of people but had my receipt and all so climbed on board and off we went. Was so happy when he did not turn down the S100. Saw a giant eagle owl, some ellies and a genet.
Next morning, raining the whole night and still raining, packed up and did the S100 in rain. Saw absolutely nothing, oh wait I think we saw some waterbuck. Then traveled down south via sweni bird hide, have not done this road for many years, once again a very nice road but no animals, saw some zebra , impala and giraffe, lots of francolins on this road. Headed down towards Skukuza apparently missed a lion sighting by a couple of minutes but that’s usual to me nowadays. Still drizzling, everything was quiet, I think all that were in the park decided to stay in as did the animals, made our way out to Phabeni gate. Exited the park, drove all the way home, Tired!
All in all way was great to get back to the park, Wild dog was great sighting. Got a total of 76 birds excluding all the lbj’s. Was nice seeing all the rivers and dams full.
I think Skukuza staff were scared of another flood as a photo in Kruger park times shows the river quiet high.. Park was busy, some places grass is very tall.
Pics to follow shortly!
Planning next KNP trip!