Pity was that we could not leave the car and push the grass behind as then we would have had the perfect view – So close but then so far away!
Nevertheless we were so happy to once again find some cats although taking pictures through the high grass was indeed complicated.
A lot of cars and even a couple of JJ’s joined us and stayed a bit but as it was indeed hard to identify at least an ear and so they did not stay that long.
One of the lionesses had a strange posture and looked the whole time we could spot her a bit weird.
All in all we stayed with them two hours but as there was no sign that they were about to leave their cosy place we decided to return first back to camp for a short break as also Nature was now calling heavily.
Whilst waiting for each other Timon spotted a stick insect in the planting close to the reception area and I asked him “how could you spot same?”, he then answered that “an employee just had left the “Men” with same on a piece of paper.....otherwise I would also not have noticed same” – I am always fascinated how funny creatures do have their place on Earth to keep same in balance.
On our short way back to the car we even found this moth on the ground – Same was still alive but simply needed obviously only a short break.
As it was still far too early to stay for the rest of the morning in camp we decided to drive around the “magical square” which is my nick name for the drive around the H 4-1/H12/H1-2 and back to camp and if still a bit time left to pay another small visit at Lake Panic but it went out totally different as planned.......
Right in the beginning we spotted a huge spiderweb close to the road and admired an eight-legged beauty with her harem.
Whilst coming closer to the high water bridge we already spotted from far an enormous traffic jam directly on the bridge and we enqueued patiently at it’s end still a bit puzzled at what all the people in the cars were looking at as the only thing we saw was a gigantic crocodile with a stick in its yaw. Well, originally it was a stick but on top it just had caught a water monitor!
I cannot remember on our meanwhile numerous visits to South Africa having ever seen a kill where the caught animal was still alive and I also was not that sad about it as I definitely could not imagine how I would fell seeing a creature fighting for its life although knowing that same is Nature.
We arrived at the time where the crocodile only had caught the monitor a couple of minutes before and was about to move farer away now from the bridge with its prey although via binoculars and without any disturbing bushes or grass the whole spectacle was for everybody in their cars best visible although some comedians stayed under the impression that this was also a “get out of the car bridge”......gladly the people in the cars close by told them to return immediately back to their car which they finally did.
In the beginning we only saw the head of the monitor but now the crocodile whilst still moving further away allowed some views onto the body of the monitor and same must have been also an enormous specimen – Indeed not a way I wanted to see one of my favourite animals (I am fascinated by all kind of reptiles especially by monitors) but consequently also more than impressed by crocodiles.
I think it was simply the revenge for stealing earlier in life a lot of crocodile eggs and then the monitor was at the wrong time at the wrong place whilst the crocodile was the lucky one that day.
Needless to say that the monitor had no chance whilst the crocodile did not release a single millimetre the tight grip of its jaw.
This fascinating spectacle lasted nearly half an hour until the monitor finally lost its death struggle which for me indeed was cruel to watch.
Whilst the crocodile was still busy in finally feeding on the monitor we left with mixed emotions between sadness and fascination.
Originally we wanted to drive back via the Marula loop but as guessed already same was also closed due to the recent floods but gladly the causeway had been repaired after the last year’s floods and so we decided to stay there and wait what might come across whilst standing there but before we made ourselves comfortable on same we had to stop for two nyala females which are at least a rare sighting for us that South in the park.
At that time of the day gladly for us it was not much traffic so we simply parked in one of these bulges on the bridge over the Sand river so that at least the people who are about to hurry to Skukuza can pass easily. Finally we found the pied kingfisher who is always roaming around Lake Panic but today we had luck and even got to see two of them – both females.
One of the two ladies just caught a fish but somehow was not that hungry and so she hold the fish permanently in her bill
the other one was still on the look out for some fish but also that attempt looked a bit unenthusiasticto be continued.......