Set out about 7am today - later than usual. Decided to take the S60/61 loop and then work south again and take the S58.
Big mistake!!!!! The S60 is obviously a rat run short-cut for
traffic between Punda and Pafuri. I was overtaken by a grader
going flat-out, a tanker, 3 KP lorries, and 2 cars - all going too
fast and churning up dust. The amount of dust on the foliage
at the side of the road showed this was all too common. so sad..... I kept going and just accepted I would see little if anything until I turned off to the S61. I enjoyed the scenery though and the baobabs
On the S61 it was better, and I saw some zebs and impalas. Disappointingly some of the mapped loops were closed - or just not there anymore????? But Klopperfontein dam almost at the junction with the tar road was lovely. As I arrived an elephant was just leaving... I sat for a while, but nothing else came.
I went a bit further north on the tar road as far as Mazanje - only to find that was decommissioned and the wndmill just a sorry pylon. Perhaps there should be some system of putting coloured discs on signs to decomissioned dams and waterholes? It would reduce the traffic (and disappointment) to areas marked for rehabilitation......
Coming south again I met a mixed group of ostriches, zebs, and European bee-eaters at Mandadzidzi.
And then at Elandskull a roan hiding deep in shadow under a bush.....
There were several eles about too - one hiding behind one of the water tanks, and it was only when I saw his trunk and tusks appear over the edge that I realised he was there!
There seem to be no armoured crickets at Punda so I thought I was now safe from dive-bombing amur falcons, hornbills, and rollers as I drove - but they were all over the tar road again. This European roller seemed to be having difficulty with its large meal
I took the S58 and went up to Dzundzwini - which I found a bit disappointing, but suspect the view is better with less foliage about. On the way up I met a male Sharpe's grysbok who stayed on the road long enough to get a photo of him
Drove past a breeding herd of elephants shortly after that. They were in quite thick mopane bush so it was difficult to keep watch on the teenagers so I did not hang about.
After a rest in the heat of the day, I went to see what the Thulamila road had to offer - more eles, a lone buffalo at the waterhole, and another Sharpe's grysbok.
Before going back to camp I did the Mahonie loop - in the opposite direction to yesterday. The red flowers all round are still striking.
Found more buffalo, zebs, another Sharpe's grysbok and a breedingherd of elephants climbing out of the river valley with one tiny calf doing its best to keep up with the rest. They were shiny with mud so had obviously been having a good time!
Tomorrow will be an early start as I am meeting Pooky and co at Pafuri picnic site breakfast time......