Out of the camp at 6h15 up to Red Rocks via the H1-6 and the S52 .
(Why is this called the R52 in the 2005 issued honeyguide KNP-Map
As usual first some baboons and Impala on the access road between the H1-6 and Shingwedzi. After 1 Km we found ourselves behind 2 moving roadblocks
And this continued almost all the way to the first S52 turnoff. We didn’t mind but to several others it did. They were probably on their way out of the park I guess, because they seemed to be in a great hurry
The bulls took a bush-trip just before the S52 so everybody could pass them easily. (I see we totally forgot to take some pictures of the boys
and that after following them for almost 2 Km……….)
After a very quiet start on the S52, with Impala, Doves, Starlings, Natal francolin, Red and Yellow billed hornbill, Lilac breasted and purple rollers, Swainson’s spurfowls and a lot of other birds, an oncoming car warned us about 3 Km before the other side of Red Rocks. The driver told us that there where some Lions on the right side of the road a couple of hundred metres further on. After we gave him our regards we drove on.
(We couldn’t miss the sighting because there where some other cars, but it is nice there are still a lot of people in the parks who will share their sightings with others.)
The sighting was great, despite the high grasses. 3 Lionesses with 3 cubs (about 7 months old/young) on a Buffalo kill; we don’t see that everyday in The Netherlands
We took a lot of photo’s but most of them are blurred by the high grasses.. (as I will show you later). Because it became busier we decided to leave the sighting and go further on the 52 towards Tsanga Lookout. We had some nice sightings of Vervet monkeys, a family group of Ellie’s ( far away but nevertheless nice) Baboons, a herd of Giraffe, a beautiful Crested barbet, a male Giraffe and a great Dwarf mongoose sighting on a rock under some bushes
80!! Metres from the Tsanga Lookout itself there where 2 Bulls on the left side of the road. They where very quietly grazing and browsing through the bush, luckily away from the Lookout because I needed a very quick “pit stop”
After this, and having enjoyed the views, we drove back towards Kanniedood(nie) Dam via Red Rocks, the H1-6 and Shingwedzi. We saw a lot of small animals and some Impala, a Giraffe with Oxpecker and some Ellie. Nothing "special" at Red Rocks and also the H1-6 was quiet except at the Joao Waterhole. There was some Ellie in the riverbed, on the other side of the river and also on the right side of the road was some Ellie movement.
On the S134 and towards and from the Mashagadzi Water Hole we saw a male Steenbok (man, they are so quick, these little antelope’s) and Zebra. Sadly no sighting of the Big Tusker……
On the S50, up and down, it was busy with sightings. Two different sightings of Nyala!! Off course there where lots off Hippo, Crocs and many different Herons, Ducks, 1 Bull Ellie and Impala’s and even a African openbill.
Back for lunch at 13h00 we stayed in the camp till the Sunset Drive.
On the Sunset Drive we took the following roads: H1-7, Lamont Loop, S56 Mphongolo Loop, First turnoff towards the H1-7 back to Shingwedzi, the small loop on the left side, The S134 and the Airstrip at Shingwedzi
Sightings where reasonable good, to start with a Ellie 5 metres outside Camp playing hide and seek
Just before the turnoff to the H1-7 a Pearl spotted owl; very nice indeed. Near Gorra Water Hole, on the H1-7, my SO spotted 3 Southern ground hornbills in the Mphongolo riverbed. The rest of the drive turned out in a “male”
drive. Several Ellie bulls, some dagga boys, Giraffe’s and Steenbok all male…… One off those nights
A very nice sighting was a Sharpe’s grysbok on our way back to Shingwedzi. To conclude the night drive the guide drove up and down along the Shingwedzi Airport
Runaway. Hundreds of Impala where gathered there, most of them laying down to ruminate.
To close the day we took our diner at the restaurant
Well it was not one of my braai’s
But it was OK. As always we ended the day with coffee and a good glass of “Amahoela”