We took the S108 and as the sun was already on its way to lose its power against the shade so it got even more comfortable on the one hand for us who spent nearly the whole day meanwhile in the car and on the second hand for the animals which started to get more and more active and so we soon were caught again in a huge herd of impalas out of which a lot if not even most were still taking a rest on the ground, but a couple where again feeding and the young rams were testing their fighting skills.
So it was a lot of fuss and running around us that we nearly overlooked the family of ground hornbills in a nearby tree
which started to behave after a little while very strange as two of them started to pick excitedly on a knothole
This took quite a while and from time to time we even could realize a movement in the tree as the dead rotten branch started to perforate more and more and finally revealed a more than irritated monitor which has been disturbed in its afternoon nap.
The monitor escaped and the ground hornbills triumphantly started to fly on the ground to chase it even further away for once and all.
A brown snake eagle and a very photogenic woodland kingfisher could not been passed without pulling out the lens.
Once again we also could admire two very impressive rhinos on their own island in the sand
On one side we were more than extreme happy to spot such an amount of rhinos during this holiday but on the other hand we always got very sad when such peaceful sleeping beauties came across.
The zebras, wildebeest, giraffes and elephants always animals which are active also in the midday heat even got more active the closer the evening came.
Lots of white spots let us stop on the Gesanftombi dam and also lots of cars finally could be traced to enjoy the last hours of the weekend inside the park. We never saw before such an amount of cattle egrets flocked together
and some of them even abused the many hippos as their private island.
After half an hour watching we decided that it was now also time for us to find our private island for the rest of the day and after a small struggle in finding the new reception at Crocodile Bridge it was now time for me to triumph as I was rewarded with the key to No. 10 as requested before. We let the afternoon and the evening fade on our verandah and decided against a short afternoon drive.
To my great surprise I realized later whilst taking a short stroll through the camp that already nearly half of the bungalows had meanwhile been refurbished in that way that part of the kitchen, the bathroom and all floor tiles had been renewed and also the sleeping room itself got a new face lift in the same way as the perimeter bungalows at Satara got two years ago. No. 10 was not yet reburbished but we enjoyed our stay in the “old” one tremendously although the toilet was leaking and we had the obligatory roommate in form of a bat sharing the room with us.Monday, 13. February, 2012 – Crocodile Bridge
Today we could not get out of the feathers as fast enough – not because of our permanently cheeping roommate – no it was because one of our favourite roads and areas in the entire park finally could be driven again and believe me if one have told us before what we would see that day I would not have believed anything.......
Very early it proofed once more that sometimes the early bird will not catch the worm, as it was extreme quiet and still a bit overcast but fantastic to admire this beautiful sunrise.
Here I also should repeat Timon because his interpretation about the quiet early mornings is that we would not have been at all the other “spots” later the day if we would not have left camp as one of first cars........
Lots of zebras as well as wildebeests could be found on nearly the entire stretch of the S28 and the following pictures once more show how hard it was to at least spot these not so small animals.
This scenic shot showing a couple of zebra backs as well and is also giving a good impression about the prevailing weather that day.
Then the next never seen bird, in this case no. 2 for this year, a white-winged widowbird, irritated us nearly the whole drive on the S28. There were many birds of this beautiful feathered friend around and it was impossible to capture at least a single one of them. As soon as one of them landed on a bush and Timon had ready his camera same already flew down on the ground and vanished in the thick grass. This procedure carried on nearly a hundred times during the whole drive and this was our only yield today.
Today was for sure not our day for that bird but I already can promise you that we finally managed to capture same the next day.
One of the animals which could not be overlooked in the high grass were elephants and moreover not when same declared his right the way in walking as only elephants can walk on the road.
During our couple of visits in that area we are quite sure that one of the hobbies of this specific chap is to block the road when people in cars do occur and to demonstrate which one is the king of that road. I am more than quite sure that we already met this gentle giant a lot of times at nearly the same part of the road and after he had his fun with the tourist he always walked into the thick vegetation where he finally could meet some other friends under a marula tree too.
Although Nhlanganzwani as dam is no longer existing it is always a lovely drive to this former dam and simply to enjoy the view and silence.
Birds which are often to be found on that road are the masses of magpie shrikes and today was for sure no exception
For birding this road is always a challenge as normally there are always a lot of different species to be found for example a very impressive Brown Snake Eagle, however, same was a bit too far away but the many Arrow-Marked Babblers in a close by bush were an easy target for Timon’s lens.
Already on the S137 a family of dwarf mongoose, for us always a sighting that is bringing big smiles onto our faces, kept us entertained quite a while
and only after running quickly into the high and safe grass on the roadside to re-appear one after the other curiously out of the grass after we switched the engine off.to be continued with one of the best drives and days ever......