Thank you all for your comments, it is most appreciated. Martie certainly looked stunning in her civilian garb and Megan was the perfect bride. May they live happily ever after.
On towards Satara.... while Martie and click click are enjoying the luxuries of Cape Town
Just inside the gate we stop briefly, a quick SMS message to Martie to wish them well on the most important day of Megan’s life.
Windows roll down and Kruger invades our bakkie with the smell of early morning dew mingled with the strong smell of buffalo, apparently close, but out of sight in the dense shrubs. Their droppings on the tar road bears witness to there earlier crossing towards the river. We continue slowly to drink in the atmosphere and accustom our eyes to the new surroundings.
At the B&D turnoff, we search the veld intensively, from tree top to dense bush for any sign of the local leopard. The veld reveals nothing and we soon reach the bridge over Matjulu spruit. We always park on the bridge as we have had many an interesting sighting in the riverbed, including Nyala, lion, leopard and huge herds of buffalo. The only entertainment this morning is a troop of baboons, noisily waking up in the tree next to the bridge. The little wooden cross reminds us of the dangers of getting out of your vehicle in unprotected areas. This is the spot where, a few years ago, a tour guide was killed by a leopard.
While parked on the bridge, we were told that the male lions of B&D were seen on the S110, at the junction with the S120. Seeing that it was only 5km, we decided that the detour would be worth our while. We drove along the Matjulu spruit where we found a lot of general game in the riverbed. We reached the junction but still no lions. We decided to drive over the next hill before we make a u-turn as the lions obviously moved on. Just over the hill, a car was parked next to the road. After carefully examining the tall grasses, we found the lions lying low about 20 meters from the road. All one could see was parts of their manes, swaying in unison with the grass seeds, in the gentle breeze. They were going nowhere while we were going to Satara, so we left them behind.
We drove over Steilberg and found more lion near the end of the S120. They were far off, behind some sparse trees, feeding on a giraffe carcass. It’s not even 8:30 and we have smelled one and seen one of the big five.
We haven’t had any photo opportunities yet and I can’t wait to experiment with my new toy. Just before we left I bought a Canon EOS 450D with a 15-55 and a 75-300mm zoom lens.
We turned left on the H3 and our excitement grew as we moved deeper into paradise, away from the hectic commercial life we endure every day. Impala and zebra dominate the scenery with the occasional giraffe and warthog. Steenbokkies peek through thickets or scamper away over burnt veld when we approach.
We have our usual pit stop at Afsaal before we head north. At Kwaggaspan, two lonely zebra cautiously approach the waterhole to quench their thirst. We park at the side of the road, and wait for them to reach the water. After much nervous shaking of their heads, sniffing the breeze with flared nostrils, they build up enough courage to have a long cool drink…..