After a nice cup of coffee and a few cookies we were ready for the rest of the day’s fun. First sighting was this grey mass that we gave a wide birth to cross the road.
Then we came across this dignified ground hornbill at the next viewpoint to Orpen.
It really seems if only the birds wanted to show themselves today, because the next sighting was this White-backed vulture that scanned the area for something to get his beak into.
We hit the open savanna near Orpen gate and only two sweeties could be opened with the showing of this little steenbok
and some warties for VVV and Pumbaa.
We had a quick stop at Orpen gate to have a body break and something to drink. On our way we found this Pyrgomorphid Grasshopper
Followed by some kind of snake?? Crossing the road
At this point we neared the area where the river and road run close and parallel to each other, with some big trees on both sides of the road. It was time for brunch and I drove close to the shoulder of the road on the river side to park in the shade of one of the big trees. While I was busy parking, Hilda pulled out another charm from the lucky packet. This time it was one of our (what the@$&#*, 3 second leopard sightings), with a leopard in the riverbed, busy crossing the last few meters of sand before it disappeared into the undergrowth. We did not even have time to pick up the camera for a photo as evidence. We sat under the tree to have our brunch and hope that Mr spottie will re-appear, but to no avail.
The following was a Steppe Eagle I presume (Any help for ID?)
The drive became very quiet, mainly due to a midday temperature of 37 degrees Celsius in the shade
We did find this perfect specimen of a young kudu bull
Then Mr Giraffe with a red–beak oxpecker on its back appeared on the side of the road.
Proof that it was really hot is the fact that although it looks like the oxpecker did sing a song, it was actually struggling to keep cool in the heat with its beak wide open.
Mr Longlegs was also not very impressed by the weather and/or the oxpecker.
Hilda pulled out another charm and this time around it was somebody with a little white car with a tiny yellow ribbon that was on its way towards us. It was none other than Wildlife4ever-Roy on his way to Maroela. We had quite a nice chat and Hilda gave Roy a brand new yellow ribbon for the rest of the trip. This was forumite No 2 for this trip.
At Nsemani Dam we found these hippo’s lying like rocks in the water
And at the opposite side of the dam, two giraffe that were busy filling their water tanks for a long journey.
Did you guys know that the way in which we as people act and react, also happens on Animal Planet??
We encountered a few funny animal behavioral incidents during this trip that was quite entertaining that Hilda and I wanted to share.
The first incident was when we stopped on the Nwanetsi Bridge; we found this interesting interplay between ellies in the riverbed and our interpretation thereof:
The two “engineers” (a big guy and his small assistant) decided that a dam should be built at a spot that they choose.
Then the digging started in all earnest by the contractors
And finally the “Head engineer” arrived for the final inspection and touchup of the dam wall; and
off he went with big strides to inform the community the dam is finished
The second incident of the day occurred at Sonop waterhole where these two hooded vultures earned their charm from the lucky packet. Both wanted a drink as a result of the extraordinary heat that prevailed and the following funny actions had us laughing out loud.
The one guy lost his footing as a result of the windy conditions and ended up head first into the water
He then regained his posture, needless to say completely drenched
And the embarrassment by what happened can be seen below where he try to hide his face
We also met some warties at the waterhole
And then found this little gem on the H6
We only saw some ellies on the S41 side of the Nwanetsi River
We then turned onto the S100 for our final stint of the day. We just don’t have any luck on the S100 with reference to any big game.
Apart from the normal game we photographed some warties and waterbuck.
As per normal I had to clear the lucky packet by means of sightings in camp. I did find the following characters to close off day 3
Black collard barbet
Burchell’s starling caught bathing
And finally a Grey go-away-bird
The wind picked up quite a bit at late afternoon and when the guys started their fires I could see some are going to eat their meat a shade or to rarer than used to. I learned my lesson through the years and am using a weber’s rotisserie ring that fits perfectly onto the braai skottel and keep the heat centered within.
We had a nice dinner of mash, mixed veg and fillet, before we went to bed happy with the day’s sightings and wondering what day 4’s lucky packet will have in store for us.