Day 5, Part 2
After spending some time with the Hippos we drove to the Pioneer Hide. The water level of the Pioneer Dam was right up to the Hide with not much space between the Hide and the water. We sat a while without seeing much, but then a young Water Monitor Lizard climbed on to the rock right in front of us. We were thrilled watching the Monitor until a huge Croc came swinging towards the Hide and send the Monitor looking for cover.
The Monitor lazing in the sun,
then the big Croc arrived
the Monitor spotted the Croc and ducted for cover!
Water Monitors love basking in the sun like the one in front of the hide did. Juvenile Monitors are vividly marked, although the body coloration of adult Water Monitors may become duller with age, their markings are usually more vivid than those of Rock Monitors. Water Monitors are capable diggers and will raid nests, such as terrapin nests. Water Monitors are generalist carnivores and will eat a wide variety of prey. Unfortunately the Water Monitor and Rock Monitor’s skin and fat are used in the muti trade and populations in unprotected areas have rapidly declined over the past decades.
Then it was time to head back to camp and back at the low water bridge it was full of action again! A huge Water Monitor Lizard, the Green-backed heron, Blacksmith Lapwings, Black Crakes and more huge Crocs!
Arriving back at the low water bridge we were stopped by this huge Water Monitor!
The Blacksmith Lapwings were still there looking for water insects that wash over the causeway.
The Green-Backed Heron was joined by a Black Crake and then another Green-Backed chased them away.
And just at the edge of the causeway this huge Croc was waiting for something to come to near to the edge....
After spending almost another hour at the causeway we left to go back to Tsendze and spotted a few Dagga Boys in a Mopani clearing.
Just before we turned off to Tsendze we stopped at Mooiplaas Picnic spot and were just in time to see an Ellie crossing the river in the distance (strange, our only Ellie for the day..). In the middle of the river on a sand bank were a Water Thick-knee couple and a small Croc.
Back at Tsendze we laid back in our chairs thinking: "another tuff day in Africa"!End of day 5
(next we do the Songololo Loop)