Day 9 – Thursday 17 October 2013
When we woke this morning it was overcast which means that we might get some decent sightings of the cat family today. It is also moving day today. We are off to Croc Bridge for our last two nights in the Park. Notwithstanding packing, we were ready and at the gate to leave at opening time. It was decided that we will go south to Dukes water hole and then back down the H4-1 to Skukuza and back to Croc Bridge via the tar roads.
Our first sighting of the day was this White-fronted Bee-eater, another lifer for us.
The next resident to greet us was this young hyena on its own mission.
Then we came across this wartie family enjoying their breakfast.
Further along the road we met up with a skittish little Black-backed Jackal.
This awesome specimen was one of the Big 5 that we adore.
Our second birdie of the day was this young Martial Eagle. The cloudy weather did not help the photographing bit so early in the morning at all.
Then we were greeted by another of the Big 5.
Our next sighting was this lonely impala with one of its horns missing as a result of a dispute that he probably lost.
When we reached the LS entrance a herd of ellies was busy passing the entrance and lucky for our two legged visitors did not decide to get some food and drinks at the restaurant
At Sunset Dam we met up with this Wood Sandpiper - another lifer as well.
We were also greeted by this beautiful Egyptian Goose.
We saw a white car standing at the side of the road and when we got closer, I saw a yellow ribbon on the mirror. It was M@rie from Germany who looked at something in the river bed. We met a few days earlier at Satara. What a wonderful person she is. My naughty side kicked in and I parked next to her to obscure her view. I know she could not see our yellow scarf and waited for a response. We got the look and she told us that she was there first and that we should move to the other side of her vehicle. When I mentioned who we were, her stern facial expression turned into a huge smile and we chatted away.
This is what we saw at that sighting. Another of the Big 5 for the day.
During our chat with M@rie, she mentioned that she saw leopard earlier the morning at the LS Bridge with a kill that her cub was busy feasting on. Although it was some time ago we decided to go to the bridge to see if we could find the leopard.
When we reached the bridge all the vehicles on the bridge confirmed that she was still around. We found her down in the river bed on the outflow side of the river, whilst the cub was somewhere on the left side of the bridge with the kill on the ground. We could not see the cub, but here are a few photos of her.
At first she was lying against the bank of the river.
Then she stood up, walking up the bank, looking around.
As she walked towards the brush we crossed the bridge to see if we could catch her crossing the road, but with so many cars around we never did.
Here she was on her way into the brush.
With number 4 of the Big 5 for the day and only two hours gone since gate opening we were really excited at what the rest of the day might deliver.To be continued…..