@ Restio, it was quite an odd sight, did Benji say how it had happened
15th Oct Biyamiti
We set the alarm early enough to be at the camp gate by 05:30. We were second in line to some impatient Saffies who got ever more agitated every minute that ticked past 05:30 when no attendant came to open that gate. After sounding their horn a couple of times and walking up an down the track that leads to the staff quarters, they read the sign on the camp gate which advised that the gate should be opened and closed by guests within the standard gate opening hours!
We headed west out of Biyamiti, planning to breakfast at either Afsaal, Pertorioskop or Berg-En-Dal. Our first major sighting of the day was five white rhino in the Crocodile River bed; it was great to see so many rhino together in a group. When we first visited the park together, some 18 years ago, this number of rhino would probably have represented a significant proportion of the entire park’s population; now we can see them together as a “herd”.
We stopped at Afsaal and debated whether to breakfast there or move on to Berg-En-Dal and decided on the latter, based on the fact that it was still early, and as we were heading north the following day, it would be our last opportunity to visit B-E-D. As it turned, out, this was an inspired decision as we had a great leopard sighting a few km outside the camp. Our initial reaction to seeing a scrum of cars was that it must be a lion sighting but we were thrilled to see a leopard lying in a tree only 50m or so from the road. It was the best prolonged leopard sighting that we had ever had; good light for photography and the cat quite active in the tree. It eventually jumped out of the tree and crossed the road right in front of us. We then headed on to B-E-D for a late breakfast and returned to Biyamiti in time to meet up with Freda and SO.
We spent an enjoyable afternoon with F&M sitting outside our chalet, chatting and watching ellies walking past the camp in the dry river bed. Just as they were planning to depart, a family group with two very young calves appeared and we all rushed down to the fence for a great sighting and another really special photographic opportunity.
As the herd disappeared into the distance, we said our goodbyes to F&M and prepared ourselves for a sunset drive. The sightings on the drive were limited but did include a civet and pearl spotted owl so definitely a worthwhile trip. Also, we recognised our guide, Benjy as being the same guy who took us out to our bush braiii from Orpen with Kroc and SO on our last park visit two years previously.