5th December 2012
The sun was up, the temperature was 21 degrees and we managed to get on the road for 6 am. Sad to be leaving Olifants with its amazing views but we hoped we would be back again in the not too distant future. As we had a fair distance to travel today, we kept to the tar but stopped for a good look across the river bed on the Olifants bridge. No mammals around but plenty of birds – Egyptian Geese, Yellow-billed Stork, Greater Egrets, Green-backed Heron
and Fish Eagle.
A Red-crested Korhaan was loitering by the roadside making quite a noise
as we drove further south, then Wildebeest. A small snake which we could not identify, Zebra, a Giraffe (lying down so they must have felt fairly safe in the area)
and a small herd of Elephant.
At Ngotso Dam we drove down the small side road and stopped for our coffee break. It was fairly quiet but 2 bull Elephant came to keep us company.
Back on the road, we continued south. Soon we found a large group of Giraffe, Zebras, Steenbok, Kori Bustard (the first we had seen on this trip and one of the birds I always feel somewhat cheated if I have not seen one – he was well away from the road and the photo is pretty awful so may not appear),
2 Bull Elephant wandering along the road, Ostrich,
more Zebra and Wildebeest. As I think I may have already mention in this TR we seemed to find Ostrich everywhere and now came across a group of 14, followed by warthogs and slender Mongoose. As we pulled into Satara for a breakfast stop we really did feel this stretch of tar had not let us down. OK it may not have been a cat bonanza but a real wildlife treat in a fairly short space of time. A Grey Hornbill watched out to see if we would leave him any crumbs
and Wildebeest were drinking at the crib.
Heading south again, yet more Ostrich, Zebra, Rhino, 2 Saddle-billed Stork,
White-faced Duck, Egyptian Geese and Black Kite. Turning off at Leeupan we found a male Lion but not easy to get a great picture.
As we had made quite good time so far, we decided that we could definitely make a pit stop at Lake Panic. I have to say, this hide is like a magnet to us – from the time we first discovered its joys, it is almost impossible to pass the turn off to this Kruger gem. Today we found Grey heron,
Thick Billed Weaver,
African Darter, Hadeda Ibis,
Jacana, Woodland Kingfishers, Dragonflies
and Fish Eagle.
Time to get on the road again and we were delighted to find Klipspringer at the Koppies on the tar road to P/kop. A quick call in to Transport Dam was rewarded with a big herd of Elephant,
Waterbuck and Zebra. Kudu and more Ellies were on the road westwards and finally Egyptian Geese, Water Dikkop,
and Waterbuck at Shitlhave. All in all a wonderful selection of wildlife as we drove down to book into Pretoriouskop and found ourselves booked into one of the newly refurbished bungalows.