Afsaal to Orpen
While Karin, Stef and Maxi headed east to Pretoriuskop, Dad and I headed north on the H3 to our final camp – Orpen
On the way I made Dad stop to get a photo of a rhino midden
I think they are a fascinating means of rhino communication. The dominant male rhino in the area does his ablutions there, and then walks through it to get the scent on his feet. Then wherever he walks, other rhinos know that it is his territory. Sub-ordinate males must do their ablutions a certain distance away from the main midden, to show the dominant male that they are in his area, but they respect that he is the boss. Animals may not be able to “talk” as humans do, but boy they have some very clever means of getting their message across
We had a pitstop at Skukuza and then not far out of camp I saw a large raptor in a tree
Could it possibly be one of the birds I most wanted to see in Kruger??
Yes, it was a martial eagle!!
We were admiring this majestic bird when out of the blue came a fork-tailed drongo, dive-bombing the martial
The martial just sat there and seemed quite nonplussed about the drongo’s noisy antics
As we drove past I was able to get a photo of the martial from a different angle
After that we got onto the H4-1 where we saw some buffalo
That made 4
of the Big 5. Could I possibly be so lucky as to have a Big 5 day!!!??
All we needed now was a lion
Then up ahead there was a Kruger jam.
As we inched forward a man in another car told us that a lion just went behind that bush over there.
Well, Dad and I looked and strained, but we couldn’t see the lion
We were just about to drive off when a fellow in a car coming the other way motioned for us to stop.
He told us there were 5 lions asleep in the grass right next to the Kruger Tablets. Oh boy, lions!!!
We looked on the map to find where the Tablets were
They were a bit out of our way and we still had a long drive ahead to Orpen.
But we were on the cusp of a Big 5 day, so we took the chance and off we went
When we arrived there was only one other car there
We waited behind them and after some time they moved forward so we could get in to have a look.
And yes, there they were. Mostly obscured by the long grass, but lions nonetheless – hooray!!!
We sat and watched the sleeping lions for a few moments before noticing that by now many other cars were arriving to have a look
I didn't want to leave. I hadn't had enough time with these majestic beasts.
Just as we were about to drive away a lioness sat up allowing me a blurry shot on the move
After 11 days in Kruger I had seen the Big 5 in one day!!!
Of course Dad was a Big 5 veteran now after his amazing morning at Lower Sabie, although he was still pretty excited
And me?? I was floating on clouds of happiness, excitement and overall a huge sense of appreciation at being so lucky and privileged to have such a magical experience in the best national park in the world!!