31st October 2014
Our first full day in Kruger
We awoke early to get to the gate for opening time and made our way towards sunset dam as before I left the safari tent at LS, I checked the WhatsApp sightings group and it was reported that there were a few young male lions sleeping on the tar road.
Whilst I understand that many of us do not like the sightings social networks and the problems that they may cause, I was using this group for the sole purpose of seeing if there was any significant sightings near to a campsite at a time when I was at a particular campsite. So if I checked the whatsapp group when in LS and it told me there were Wild Dogs in Croc Bridge, I would not go racing down the tar road to find them. As these lions were right next to LS, we were in luck so I suppose I reaped the benefits of using this app on this occasion without rushing all over Kruger which I am against.Sighting of the day
Lions! As my GF has never seen Lions in Kruger before, this was one tick that we needed
She was pleased, and so was I.
So, Black Rhino done, Lions done. Only Wild Dogs left now I suppose!? Joke
After spending time at Sunset Dam with those young male lions, we made our way down the Ntam'awhiri Road where we seen no less than;
This lilac breasted roller
One of the main reasons for us taking our trip to Kruger was that I wanted to scatter a small portion of my late dad's ashes that were kept after he sadly died in July last year. He was the one who introduced me to this amazing country as he was working in the mines of Phalaborwa and Middelburg, and more importantly he introduced me to Kruger for which I have had the "bug" for over 10 years now
I thought a great get out place to scatter the small amount of his ashes would be at the Stevenson-Hamilton memorial. I really enjoyed this moment and was so pleased to give my dad his own little view of Africa
After spending some time here taking the moment in, we decided to make our way up to Lake Panic as I have never visited it before. I left my girlfriend sleep in the car at Lake Panic, and i made my way to the hide with camera and binocs. At Lake Panic I saw;
Yellow Weaver birds (sorry I don't know the official name)
So after quite a long day out on the road, it was time to make our way back towards Lower Sabie. On the road between Skukuza and Lower Sabie we had the following sightings;
There were 4 in this small group, 2 big females and a young male and female. This is the best photo I took. A lioness stretching after being rudely awoken by the Joburg style traffic jam on the road
Other notable sightings on the way back to LS were;
Brown Snake Eagle
After spending time relaxing at LS, we decided to make our way to Duke waterhole.
Here there was a pride of apparently 27 lions about 80 metres away from the road at the waterhole. I took quite a few pics, but they were quite far away. Here is the best one
We spent as much time at Duke with these Lions before having to make our way back to camp before closing time without having to rush.
On the way back we had the following notable sightings;
Leopard sleeping in a tree about 3km from LS (too far away from road for pics
It was a perfect end to an emotional day with scattering some of my Dad's ashes, but he must have given us some luck today as were lucky to tick the Big 5 all in one day
I will try to post my next instalment as soon as I can