Soon after going through the gate I was greeted by a mix of zebras, wildebeest and warthogs. It is always amazing how they can be there in such numbers one day and not the next!
I decided to head straight up the tar road this time. When I got to the Vurhami bridge I found this group:
I looked like they had just woken up, but junior was not quite up yet!
Not too far up the road was a lone elephant. But just 1km before the electric wires crossing the road I had a real treat::shock:
I sat for ages watching this playful young leopard in a big leadwood tree. It was chasing birds! I saw it chase a group of hornbills - which came back several times teasing it, a european roller, and drongos. It was magical..... Once or twice it disappeared into the foliage, but soon reappeared again as it could not stay still. At one stage it was right in the top branches of the tree. Eventually it settled on the end of the branch in the picture again, and after it had been in one spot for about 5 minutes I decided it was time to move on!
I enjoyed the break at Lower Sabie - very quiet this morning, and then headed on to Skukuza. Not too far down the road a lone buffalo crossed in front of me. He was on a mission, but I did get a photo:
And then a few minutes later a honey badger ran across the road. I tried hard to get a photo, but the grass was long and all I could see at the side of the road was grass stalks moving!
Just a couple of km south of Nkuhlu a cow elephant with a yound calf crossed the road - a car ahead of me (beyond the elephants) turned across the road to watch, and I knew other ellies would be near by so was horrified to find a safari vehicle hurtling up behind me! I indicated to slow down - and he managed to stop just in front of me. And just in time to avoid going straight into a bull elephant which emerged from the bush. I got a photo of the cow and calf:
The safari vehicle decided it was staying - so I slowly pulled past - and had a cheeky youngster charge me! It was only about the size of my car, and had very cute shiny white little tusks and a huge attitude! He did not trumpet - just a sort of spluttering squeal. It was very amusing, and not at all frightening. I got the impression he was tired of charging at birds and small animals and wanted to try a trick he had seen his older mates doing!
By then it was getting hot, and although I took a long loop via Pretoriuskop and down the Voortrekker road to Malelane there was not much else to be seen. A few giraffe, zebs on the Voortrekker road, the first kudu calf of the season (for me anyway), and a couple more lone ellies. Never found a lion to make up the Big 5....
But the magical time with the young leopard made the whole day completely worthwhile! One of my best ever Kruger moments!