Glad you are enjoying the ride, hope you have some of that biltong over for the next part!Katja
We saw lots of spiders nests, especially at this time of year but this one had the most occupants we had seen before.
Think I must try and find out what the final test results were on the Ellie carcass.Pumbaa
We just love that Olifants view as well. Tawny was most impressed and I think we have a real convert to the North now.Aat
Thanks Aat, I do appreciate your kind comments. Sable
I also never realised there was a Scops at Timbavati either but I guess they can be almost everywhere, the job is finding them in the trees?
We were lucky and had it pointed out to us by some other folk there.
Today I am going to put on our final 2 days worth on as our sightings were really far and few in between considering how far we travelled and how hard we were looking!
Leaving Orpen Camp
reasonably early, where we stayed in a family cottage, nice and spacious with a great view of the water hole and cam but certainly in need of a little TLC in places.
They obviously still have a problem with Honey Badgers, as the fridge had been placed in the one bedroom in front of the dressing table area, rendering it unusable, no problem for us as we were there for only the 1 night.
Fortunately it was a quiet running fridge as well.
Today we were on route to Berg & Dal
for the night and we decided to take the S140 & 145
past Talamati, another camp we were supposed to have stayed at this trip!
Passing the Rabelais Hut
we stopped and I was just relating a bit of Kruger history to Tawny & Martial when we thought why don't we go in and have a look around, something I have never done before.
For those we maybe don't know the history of it,
It was the original entrance gate to the central region on to the old Orpen road to the east of the N'wamatsatsa Drift.
Named after the original farm on which the gate was situated.
This gate was replaced in 1954 by the Orpen Gate, when, due to and with thanks to the Orpen donation of farms, the western boundary was moved further westward. The original hut was renovated and is used as an information centre.
Very informative it is, and pretty dusty which had me sneezing!
And times have certainly changed!
Klystron shot this little video clip of the inside, plus some Ground Hornbill and Squirrel along the road.
Carrying on, another little Squirrel
with a snack.Large
and the ever present Helmeted Guinea fowlLarge
A view of the Lugmag Dam
on the S36 not too much activity there but a pretty view.Large
We stopped off in Skukuza and for those who have not yet seen the new Conference Centre
where the cricket dinner was held.Large
Carrying on down the H3
we found this little cheeky who decided he did not want us to hang around, but we took his pic anyway! LargeLargeLarge
Just before B & D a couple of Marabou Storks
with a good vantage point!LargeLarge
Arriving at B & D
we went to the shop for a few odds and ends while Klystron checked us in.
I had done a request a couple of weeks prior, my first choice was taken and had been told we would be in #78 I think it was, but we were already in the car and on our way by the time I realised we had been issued with # 1. instead
Anyway I hoped it would be one with a bit of view, which is what I had asked for but unfortunately not to be and we looked into bushes.
By this time we were all rather tired and really didn't feel like traipsing all the way back to reception and fighting the issue so we settled into our #1 cottage instead.
If it had been for more than 1 night I definitely would have made the effort.
Another chalet that needs some TLC I'm afraid, the aircons were so noisy it impossible to sleep and was better to switch them off and open the windows, consequently we were woken with Lions roaring and quite close. so maybe a good thing.
We had decided to do a final drive of down the S110 and along the S25 on our way out but decided it might be best if we try and find the source of the roaring so took the Majulu Loop and a little way along the S110
hit pay dirt but it seemed as if every single person in the camp had the same idea and a traffic jam of note ensued,
well I guess not as bad as it can get in high season but it was the weekend.
We crept forward in a sort of queue and unfortunately 2 large vehicles with camping equipment on top had decided to totally hog the sighting, parking diagonally next to each other in the road largely blocking off the single male Lion who was lying the grass a little way into the bush.
We could get a brief glimpse as we passed, stopped, took a few not wonderful pics and moved on but he did give us a good session of roaring but unfortunately it was when we did not have him in sight so just stuck the camera out of the window and recorded that. LargeLargeLargeLarge
The red part is the cars parked diagonally that we had to try and shoot over, any small sedans would not have been so lucky.
We then decided we would move on before we got the car dented as people were starting to get annoyed and tempers were flaring as the women drivers in the 2 cars occupying prime spot refused to move an inch to give anyone else a look in.
So sad when there is this selfish attitude.
Carrying on down the S110 a breeding herd crossed the road in front of us and we saw they had a tiny little baby among them.LargeLarge
By this time it was getting quite late, so we decided to abandon our plans of the S25 due to the long drive back home ahead of us and to appease me did the S121 & 114
as a last ditch effort to find something else but dead quiet all the way.
Then suddenly the Malelane gate loomed in front and my heart sank as it usually does but a part of me is left behind and I will be going back in a little over 7 weeks to reunite with it again.
So a strange trip by all accounts, lots of driving with not too much reward, no Caracal kittens this time!!
but hey the Wild dogs were on the list and those we did find and I think whatever one sees and does is a bonus and we have to remember how lucky we are to be able to visit this paradise, long may it live.
Thanks to all who have taken the ride with us, to Martial and Tawny for the photo taking, to Klystron for the video footage and for getting the pics ready for posting and Martial and Klystron for driving us around.