After a lovely first night at Croc Bridge camp, we headed out the next morning at 5:30. Just outside the gate, we saw a big pack of hyenas (Is it a pack???). The light was not good, and didn't get the best
, but here you can see two of them:
We counted 7 in one spot!
As already mentioned - we decided to take the S28 again this morning. Apparently it is a great road for spotting cheetah. And well, we've never been lucky enough to see cheetah in KNP! So off we went - to go spot our early morning cheetahs...
Well, the S28 did not impress us... again. No cheetah, but also, not much else...
Did take a pic of this Crested Francolin (Bospatrys)
We turned left on the S137, and decided to head to Duke's Waterhole. On the road to the waterhole we saw a herd of elephant. One of the elephants had interesting tusks. I'm pretty sure it was a cow - and her tusks were quite big and pointed in opposite directions. Does anybody know if she is a known elephant in this area - or maybe an upcoming tusker?
Duke's Waterhole was dry, and did not have any sightings. Back on the S137, we got a close up with 2 rhino's with at least 3 red-billed ox-peckers on each. It made for some good
We then turned back and headed towards Lower Sabie. Our next big sighting was just before Lower Sabie. Unfortunately I did not get any pic's - everything happened so fast! It was an amazing sighting!
I'll try my best to put it in words...
As we approached Lower Sabie, we saw a car pile-up on the bridge just South of the camp over the Sabie river. So we decided to cross the bridge and go and see what they were seeing before going to LS. As we approached the other side of the bridge we saw a troop of baboons on the bank, some Impala grazing and a waterbuck in the river. It was a lovely, peaceful setting. We rolled down the window and asked one of the viewers what they were seeing. Apparently there was a leopard (!) lying in a patch of grass inbetween all these animals!
We saw the patch of grass, but no sign of the leopard. In fact the baboons were playing right next to the patch of grass - and apparently, they also did not see the leopard.
Then it all happened. One of the baboons in the area spotted the leopard and the warning call rang through the air. The other baboons joined in and they all ran to the bottom of the river bank, calling all the way and looking intently at the patch of grass. Two of the biggest males in the troop came over to the calling group and looked in the direction of the grass. They did not hesitate for a moment but walked right up to the patch where the leopard was lying. The one got up on his hindfeet and lifted himself to see if there was something lying in the patch of grass. He spotted the leopard
... Then he gave a big cry and the two big baboons went on to ATTACK the leopard!
In a fraction of a second, the leopard jumped out of the grass and ran off into the distance - the baboons chasing it all the way! I never thought I would see baboons taking on a leopard - but there it was - all playing off in front of my eyes in the space of just a few seconds....WOW! We were just there in the right place in the right time!
And one of the reasons we just arrived at the right time - was because I asked SO to first stop on the bridge (on our way to the leopard sighting) and took a moment to photograph this lovely Giant Kingfisher (Reusevisvanger)
On our way back to Lower Sabie - saw this Hooded Vulture (Monnikaasvoel)
To be continued...