Sunday, 16 September 2007
At 8:00 everybody was packed and ready. Last stuff for the cooler bag on the road bought. The kids are on their way to Pretoriuskop with grandpa and grandma.
The 3 vehicles: Colt (with Jacov’s parents), Land Cruiser (with Hawk and DB), and our Isuzu got the necessary fuel and the tyre pressures adjusted. The 4th vehicle arrived, a Pajero with Chris, Sharon and their son, Greg. No sign of the 5th vehicle and we didn’t know if there is going to be one. Just before 9:00 a white Nissan arrived at the petrol station, our guide, Jerry Magale.
After all the indemnity forms were signed and handed in we heard there is a 5th vehicle, but he has a problem and is in Nelspruit. They will join us as soon as possible.
Unfortunately the radios the park issue all the vehicles with, wasn’t working. Thus we had no communication between Jerry and the rest of the convoy. At least 3 of us were in contact with our own radios, but it was a pity the 4th vehicle and Jerry couldn’t communicate with us on the road.
At about 9:20 we left the camp in convoy. Just outside the Croc Bridge gate we turned right.
We saw a monitor lizard, some ellies and general game. We stop at the power line poles with harness on. Here Jerry told us it is a way to protect the poles against the rhinos using it as a scratching pole. This was already the 3rd one, the other 2 broke.
We learned about some of the plants in the area and stop next to the Crocodile River where we saw a huge crocodile and a large herd of hippo. There were a giant kingfisher and some elephants, waterbuck and impala to be seen.
We continued to the lookout point of the border post and Rezano Garcia.
From here we continued to the Sabie gorge where we had some lunch. After lunch we went to Lower Sabie in case there is something anyone still needs to get at the shop, because we won’t go to a camp the following day, and to hopefully meet up with the 5th vehicle.
There were unfortunately still no sign of Duke. We saw a nice flock of yellow billed stork and some ellies in the Sabie River next to the H4-2 close to Lower-Sabie. Jerry stopped and climbed out. We waited until he got to us and talked about the birds, we asked if we could get out, seeing we are on a tourist route, and got a yes. Wow, what a feeling. We are very strict on climbing out of the vehicle, how else if you want to teach your kids to respect nature, rules and the KNP?
We spent some time at LS. The 5th vehicle is stuck in Nelspruit and they will meet us the following day.
From LS we continued to our camp for the night. Just over the bridge turning right on the S29 we saw lion sleeping in the afternoon sun.
We were greeted by some giraffe at the camp site for the first day. Pitching the tents was quite a challenge. The wind was blowing and you needed at least 3 to 4 people per tent to hold it down till all the pegs were in the ground. After all houses were standing we made a fire to braai. Even the wind couldn’t stop us from conversation around the fire. All went to bed by 21:00. The wind never stopped blowing that evening. Our first night in the open bush…..