Thanks my faithful gang, for your continued support.Day 29 (Nov 28th)
Today was to be SIL's first ever day in Kruger. We couldn't wait to get to the park, and see it through the eyes of a novice once again!!!
However, they were so tired after their long journey the previous day, so we left them to sleep.
We had arranged to meet WendyA and Heksie at the gate, after their night at Sable, and it was lovely to meet Heksie after we had "chatted" many times on the forums.
We invited them back to the cottage for coffee, and when we returned the "babies were up, and showered.
We said goodbye to "The Brownie Babes" who were now on their way to Shing, and eventually the moment we had all been waiting for came, and after buying them a Wildcard, we were setting off through the gate!!!
The first thing we saw was...........a batchelor group of Impies. SIL of course was thrilled, and took photo after photo!!
This was closely followed by a nursery group with several cute little babies. Daughter and SIL were delighted to see them, and many photos later we were on our way.
Next was a beautiful Giraffe, who posed so nicely for photos, and then carried on with his thorny breakfast. They are my second favourite animal, with their lovley kind faces.
We had arranged to meet Tedredrum and party, who were on their way from Shing to Olifants, and were stopping in at Letaba for lunch, so we had decided to drive down the H9 and then take the Shilawuri Loop to Letaba.
Next on our list was a cute little Steenbok, which SIL mistakenly thought was a baby Impala. We soon explained that it was an adult but a different species to the Impalas.
We actually saw seven separate Steenbok sightings, which we found quite amazing!!
Just before The Shilawuri Loop, we saw a small herd of Zebra, with the cutest little baby. They were in the distance to start with, but as we sat parked, they came nearer and nearer before the passed by and were gone back into the bush.
SIL took loads of photos, and by this time was like an excited child!!
The Loop sadly didn't show us much, except more Steenies and an Ellie, way in the distance, but SIL revealed that they are his favourite animal, and though we tried to tell him that we will see plenty more Ellies, some closer then we might want, he naturally wanted the photgraph this one!!
We got to Letaba restaurant, to hear a Woody very near, and several people were trying to track him down for a photo (including by this time SIL) There was one man muttering and saying "I need this for the forums challenge"
I asked him was he on the SANparks forums, and he replied that he was.
It was Porridge with his new bride Jaxidean!!
We chatted with them while our lunch order arrived, and then soon after that Tedredrum and party arrived.
They knew Porridge and Jaxi because they had met them at Shing, so it was a very happy mini meet.
All too soon we had to leave, and so we decided to drive up to the high level bridge.
Along the way we saw two huge hippos in the Letaba River, and some Waterbuck.
SIL was very surprised to hear that he could get out of the car here (at his own risk) and as long as he stayed between the yellow lines, so out he got and took photo after photo of Blacksmith Lapwings, Egyptian Geese, Egrets and various unidentified waders!!
On our way back to the letaba Crossroads we saw a huge stork, but I'm battling to indentify him. He had an openbills beak, but not body, I will get him to send me the photo and I will post for ID.
I had my camera with me, but I was so excited for him, that I took very few photos that day!!
Then it was back to Phala, and we saw a huge herd of Buffs crossing the road near Nhlanganini, where we also saw a lovely Fish Eagle, and then a breeding herd of Ellies either side of the road near Erfplaas.
SIL obviously wanted to park as close as possible and take photos, but we explained that you don't mess with any Ellie, but especially a breeding herd. We stopped a safe distance away, and he was able to get some quite nice shots, but then one of them started to look too interested in us, so we drove past and kept on going.
We assured him that in the next five weeks we will see plenty of Ellies.......that is something the North is not short of.
Talking of Erfplaas, we had looked for Desi that morning, but he was nowhere to be seen, but I'm glad to say that when we went past on the way home, he was sitting just to the left of his crevice.
We also saw one of the Klippies, not on a rock, but on a tall termite mound!!
Many many photos later we were heading through the gate.
What I liked about our first visit with SIL was that he didn't once ask if he would see a big cat, but was so content with all the other things that he had seen.
That isn't to say he won't be thrilled if we do see any, but nice to know he isn't a bigfive chaser.
I haven't mentioned our daughter much, because unlike her husband, this was her fourth visit to paradise. She was nine on her first visit, and loved it from the start.
She just sat in the back of the car, enjoying every moment, and saying every so often "I can't believe that I'm back!!"
To be continued.......................