Fanta - thank you for a very entertaining TR. I would have needed new pants with that ele telling you to "move it or lose it". Very descriptive. Look forward to your next episode.
LoL at that Steamtrainfan
, it was only the one time I wasn't totally relaxed around ellies.
Here is today episode.... Tuesday 24th
(I sat & wrote this part at Shingwedzi by the fire)
Once again getting up at “Mossie poep” (the crack of dawn)
we took the Mahonie Loop (S99) loop. 6 km in we found a huge herd of Buffs that was still snoozing. At 8km I saw something look odd and screamed “Lion!” We saw two male with their breakfast in form of an unlucky zebra. All a mere 20 m from the road but wait…brother no 3 emerge from behind the bush and joined them
. While listening to those powerful jaws breaking bones we notice a funny “ear” on the one lion, he was collared as well. Once again we were the only car and found the game drive on the way telling him about the sighting.
Back at camp we packed and said good bye to the striped donkey camp. At the T-junction a car was parked on the side of the road. On the termite hill was a beautiful cheetah. I really couldn’t believe our luck with the nibby wind and overcastted sky. He was pretty chilled out and soon there was 7 cars looking at him. We decided we got a few kilometers to cover so we left him and his spots.
At Shisha Wes Water Hole we stopped for some vultures in the trees and something caught my eye. A full mane lion have a morning drink after a big meal in the little creek. Starting to think we are lucky the best was yet to come…
Just before Babalala picnic spot we saw big bucks cross the road ahead of us. Thinking its Kudu’s we were proven very wrong! A herd of Roan was moving off into the Mopani! Trying to get a better view for a photo they moved quietly and disappeared. They guy behind us also stopped on our backsides so we couldn’t reverse as we wanted to. At the picnic spot (they are re-grassing the roof) we caught up with our Punda friend. They saw the Roan and two Sable bulls. Deciding we taking the S26 road it was very peaceful. Not much game besides the normal browsers and grazers but we did see two Vet’s/Rangers in the bush.
Lots of vultures in the trees due to the weather and one Dugga boy just before our first breeding herd of ellies. At the Shingwedzi Bridge nothing but spoor and wind and it was now midday. On the camp road we saw Saddlebill Storks with Blacksmith Plovers. This is where the inconvinace of the new book in times were a pain, you are so tired and just want to sleep between twelve and two but no they refuse to let you book in.
We were told to take another slow drive, we decided on the Kanniedood bird hide. Impalas & Waterbuck on the way with some hippo’s, crocs and bush buck at the hide. Not much bird life as the weather was really cold.
Back at camp we booked in but we were told to wait if the cleaning staff was not finished. We stayed at the same hut two years ago (right next to the ablutions). The camp was fully booked and the wind closed up the sky again.
After my cat nap we took the R52 road nothing but Impala, Nyala and Zebra. On the riverbed we saw a pride of 7 lions. A troop of baboons were giving the warning calls when they saw them (see the YouTube vid I posted earlier). The one female looked the baboon but just lay back down again as if it was a snooze button. The SO was pressing time and we left them. We saw them again from the other side and also caught up with our giraffe draught. Another breeding herd of ellies deep in the bush and we were back on the H1-6 tar road. After 3 ellie bulls we saw 3 cars parked at the Shipirivnin water hole. People indicated next to the concrete dame and sure enough another pride of lion. This brought the total to 16 lions. (I now sell lion sighting pills per pill at R 150 each)
Just before turn off the night drive stopped the car in front of us. We hoped leopard but ai something almost as rare. In a Leadwood tree sat a little owl. First guess was Scops owl but it didn’t have any ears and with the fast fading light it was difficult. The tourist next to us said “Something smaller” so with the farlooker and turn of its head it was confirmed. My second guess, Pearl Spotted Owlet.
On the camp road 3 ellie bulls, the same Saddlebill storks and some baboons making way to the trees for the night.
The camp looks amazing with all the pink Impala lilies and while braaiing the marinated pork chops Batman mistook me for a tree. Not screaming
at all just a bit tensed I asked the SO what it was, I had huge moths and swallows flying against me but this thing was crawling on me. He looked at it said “Bat” and tapped it off my shoulder; sure enough Batman took flight again. A rat running up and down the tree eyeing some pork but the SO ate every last bite. The wind was now blowing a cold front at our door and it was time for bed.