ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been really hectic here at work, only now got some time to do this very long report.
My mother and grandfather went to KNP from 9 Sep till 21 Sep 2005. Spending 5 nights at Skukuza and 7 nights at Satara, doing the caravan thing.
HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just some of their highlights: Civet cat, early morning close to Skukuza 49 rhino in total, mixed black & white Serval, on the S3 by the S7 turn-off near P/kop 18 lions, 2 males were collared 3km from Satara 2 cheetah
6 sable on four different occasions
2 huge herd of buffalo, about 500+ and 300+
quite a lot hyenas
lots of raptors nesting with little ones
lots of ground hornbills and some saddle-billed stork one reedbuck ewe
This does not include anything they might have seen the 3 days I joined them.
I got my father and sister to join me and we entered through Croc Bridge to go and visit the rest of the family on Sat 17 Sep. Saw some waterbuck even before entering feeding in the river. Spend about half an hour just looking at birds in the Croc Bridge parking while getting camera ready. Took the H4-2 to Lower Sabie. 15km from C/Bridge we find 2 mating lions. Rest of the way lots of impies, zebra, giraffe, kudu, wildebeest and birds.
From Lower Sabie we take the H10 to Tshokwane. Lots of zebra, wildebeest, some elephants, 2 white rhino, kudu, lots of waterbuck, 3 klipspringers. Male and female reedbuck and not very far from them what looked like a mountain reedbuck ewe. She lay in the shade looking at us and when I picked up the camera to take a photo she got up and ran away. Sure it was one though. 1 male lion about 400 meters from the Nkumbe lookout point. Nothing else too exciting the rest of the way to Satara. Join up with grandpa at Satara.
Quick afternoon drive down the H6 towards NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢wanetsi and returning via the S100. Nothing too exciting, just 2 lions waiting for dinner to arrive at Sishangani wh. Green-backed Heron and small croc at the little drift where I saw first leopard on June trip. Finger-licking good spare-ribs for dinner.
Leave early next morning to Makhadzi picnic site via H1-4, H1-5 through Letaba. Ja, I know itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a very long drive but none of my family members have ever seen the new picnic site, so I wanted to share it with them. Drive started uneventful, that was until we reached Ngotso dam. A male lion having a look out over the dam. Meet some people down the road warning us of some hyenas and lion up ahead. 5kmÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s down the road and there they are 5 adult hyenas and 2 little pups. Just around the bend, maybe 400m further lions, 1 male and 2 female, not too far from the road. 2km further Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Leopard
Lies down next to the road and gives me some time for a couple of pics. 4km on and a big lion male right next to the road. Very exciting 7km!
Quick pit stop at Letaba. Elephant right at the gate, man at the gate keeping him out
See my first ever Red-headed Weaver and Kurrichane Thrush. Squirrels having a big mating session at the aloes by the restaurant.
Drive on to Makhadzi. Have a lovely breakfast. The guys there still remember me from June, had a chat then about the resident elephant bull. He hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t bothered them again, yet. On the road again back to Satara. First stop, Malopenyana wh where we find 2 ellies, 3 zebra and 2 Tsessebe drinking! From Letaba we take the S46, S93 on to Olifants. Just the usual ellies, impies and some Giraffe. Have a quick ice-cream at Olifants lookout. Red-winged Starling, Black Stork, Fish-eagle and Grey-headed Sparrow seen from here. From Olifants we take the S92 and then S90 down to Satara. All the usual grazers on this road. Special reports, KoriÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Bustard and Ostriches. Ostriches were very funny. We firstly saw about 20 males standing in one long row. About 1km further we find 17 females all bunched together. Very strange. Back at camp at about 15h30.
Now for the big surprise
It was my momÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 50th birthday the week before and my parents 30th Anniversary 4 days before, so I organized a bush-braai with Frikkie and Arlien from Satara Restaurant. It was just us 5 family members on a sunset drive down the S100
(WTM) to NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢wanetsi where we would have dinner and then drive back on the H6. Other than the excellent food, which there an abundance of, there were 4 other fantastic things to remember. Firstly on the S41 we found a Genet. My dad was quite pleased, his first ever sighting. A little bit further on my dad sees a lioness. Upon further inspection we can see about 8 of them crawling in the long grass. They are on the hunt
We sit and watch them for about 15 minutes but then something goes wrong and they give it up
Lovely dinner at NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢wanetsi. Had the best fish starter I think IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve ever tasted, and yes, in the middle of Kruger. Food fit for a king. On the way back down the H6 we first spot an African Wildcat
havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seen one in years. Within the next km, a Porcupine
another long lost sighting. Other worthwhile sightings: white Rhino, ellies, 4 Ground Hornbill, Buffalo, Bushbuck and African Eagle Owl. Magnificent night.
Monday report to follow a little bit later. Just have to see to some work first
Pics will follow next week I think.