Day 4, 30 Jan'14, continuing ...last leg from Letaba to Mopani via Sable dam and H14.....
As I exited Letaba camp, some large birds were circling the sky and when reaching the four-way junction, one of these birds came down and I managed to get a photo to see what it was - Marabou.
The H9 was extremely quiet, but managed to spot some more ellies in a distance.
Further down the road, while relaxing in cruise control mode resulting from the quietness, I suddenly had to slam on brakes. ...
too quick across the road it went....a near 2 meter long beige coloured snake, perhaps a Black mamba or Olive grass snake. This is one of the creatures I love to spot when in Kruger, but one is enough per trip.
Now awaken and adrenalin levels up, alertly I set off to Sable dam following some BBM's sightings that some lions were spotted on a zebra kill few days ago and they still spotted in the area. Close to where one can start seeing the different koppies, another Wahlberg eagle near the road.
Arriving at Sable dam, the dam was the fullest I have ever seen it.
Driving the back loops to get a different view of the dam, some buffalos were lying in the water enjoying and cooling off. On the dam side, some more buffalos entering the dam for a quick dip.
No sign of the lions on the zebra kill yet, so I took a drive towards Phalaborwa gate and then spotted some cars parked next to the road. Something was down in the dry river bed and at first I did not know what it was when one car moved off allowing me to get a better view...and then I saw it...a female lion relaxing. I did not see the others nor any signs of a dead zebra i.e. vultures, hyenas etc.
After I had spent a few minutes at the lion sighting, I turned around and took the H14 tar road to Mopani. Along the road, some more koppies located on this road which provided an opportunity to spot a beautiful Klipspringer overlooking the fields from a large rock.
At the H14 - S131 intersection, I was hoping to spot some hyenas as we have done in the past, but no sign of them this time round. However, I saw a car next to the road which I approached slowly as the ladies in the car was looking at something in the tree. They were just arriving in the park and booking in at Shimuwini Bushveld camp for a birding weekend.
Along the tar road, I encountered another
, this time a green snake which appeared to be a Boomslang, moving very fast across the road and again, too late to get a photo of this scary creature.
A few km's before the S133 intersection, a beautiful scenic view of the Shivulani river could be enjoyed with some hippos in the pool far below.
Crossing the Letaba river, seems the annual Blacksmith lapwing meeting was taking place with a large number of them congregating on the sand bank.
The Letaba river was full and flowing strongly.
On the other side of the river, a Goliath heron was slowly walking from pool to pool in search for something to eat.
Along the road I saw more cars with 'bird watching' signs on them. Tempted to took the S136 Boulders camp road (which is only for Boulders residents) to Mopani via Shipandani hide road, I decided to rather obey the rules by keeping to the tar road to Mopani. Reaching the turn-off to Shipandani hide, the road was closed with cable and no entry sign. I was very
surprised as I was booked to stay there that night and really looking forward to this experience.
What happened next, to be shared in the next episode - did I managed to sleep in the Shipandani hide that night or not...