Day 6 arrived, up early with quick check-in at Sunset dam and then back onto the S82 again, maybe our friends will be in the area. It is still relatively dark and about 500m down the road, we stopped behind a few cars. About 50+ meters in, we spotted them…lions, yes, other lions
. The visibility was poor due to the light, distance and bushes. Then we spotted another and another. How many were there? Then all of them got up and were moving back in the direction of LS camp, eventually counted 7 of them as they moved through the bushes and open areas. We reversed all the way back to the tar road. Then they disappeared. We drove slowly down the H4-2 tar road towards Sabie river, and suddenly they all appeared and ran across the road into the bushes next to LS camp towards the Sabie river. Now, there were lots of cars to negotiate with – just a wonder no accident between us all.
Whilst all the cars moved down the H4-2 tar road, we turned back down the S82 again. About 5km down, 2 cars were stationary. Guess what….more lions…some were in the bushes with 1/5 visability, but right in front of us on the gravel road, 2 young lions were relaxing, minding their own business. It was photoshoot time again…
We stayed there until they moved into the bush and then headed down to Duke’s waterhole, but first had to negotiate with a herd of elephant, and eventually arrived at Duke's waterhole where we saw small herd of buffalo and large herd of zebra coming down to drink.
This mother was giving the little one a lesson in grooming and these youngsters were experimenting with other techniques…
I love visiting hides, so we stopped at Ntandanyathi hide, but it was very busy with lots of cars around although relatively quiet sightings wise, so we headed back on S28 to LS. After a km or so, we hit a major roadblock – cars everywhere and a struggle to get through. The reason …. a couple of cheetahs with 4 cubs someone said, but they were far away and could only get a glimpse of this guy (could he be the Habanna of the wild team
It was our only cheetah sightings in 2 trips. But I was not disappointed as we had our share of brilliant encounters in May 2009 and Sep 2010….
May 2009: On the H5-gravel road direction Mpondodam we got this mom with 6 cubs approaching us and walked right past us with the cubs playing. We were alone on the road with sighting all to ourselves (Apologies if you have seen this before)
Sep 2010: We were driving to our bushwalk location on S29 Mlondozi road, when these two guys were relaxing right next to the road – this was before the gates opened.
That was our cheetah encounters from the past, but back to the ‘future’ – Dec’12. We managed to get through all the cars and just as we thought we had seen all the lions in the area, we got to another roadblock, this time a mating pair resting on the S28 close to the H4-2 T junction. This was sighting no 6 (15 lions in counting….with more to come).
The morning was a real ‘katterige affêre’. So, we headed back to camp for some refreshments and a sieta before we tackled the S36 in search for sable.... to be continued
2012 Dec Kruger: from south-to-north-and-backviewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=69478&start=525Next trips
21-29 Jun'13 Wildernis & Tsitsikamma
14-29 Dec'13 Kruger