Ok time to continue with my TR. 21 December 2011, the first official day of our holiday, but our 3rd day away from home.
(Slow and steady wins the race.)
We got out of bed at 04h30, made coffee and packed the leftover braaivleis. We gathered all our belongings and headed for the gate. There were no ques and by 05h37 we were in the park.
Before we left I did extensive research and according to my gathered information campers are allowed to check in at 09h00 in the morning. This means that we had a good three and a half hours of early morning game viewing before checking in and the arduous task of pitching the tent.
First animal we saw was a couple of beautiful kudu's.
When threatened, the kudu will often run away rather than fight. Wounded bulls have been known to charge the attacker, hitting the attacker with their sturdy horn base rather than stabbing it. Wounded females can keep running for many miles without stopping to rest for more than a minute. They are great kickers and are capable of breaking a wild dog's or jackal's neck or back. They are good jumpers and can clear a 5-foot fence from a standing start.
A mutualistic relationship has evolved between Dwarf Mongooses and hornbills, in which hornbills seek out mongooses in order for the two species to forage together and warn each other of nearby birds of prey and other predators.
These cute carnivores are often found around old termite mounds, their favourite place to sleep. We saw a lot of them in the Berg and Dal area especially in the campsite where they scurried around tents and trailers looking for discarded food.
Rhino's was on the menu again! This time they were completely relaxed and we parked the car and had some coffee with the family unit.
The big male was clearly the head of his family, but he did try and play a little hide and seek with us.
First he tried hiding behind a bush...
Then he decided a nearby tree was a better option...
He finally decided to give up the fight and had a lie down with his family...
After a while all three got really restless and started standing up and walking around! We could not figure out what alarmed them. SO was convinced that they could smell the coffee, or maybe they wanted a bite from our 'braaibroodjies'. Finally we saw the reason for their restlessness.
A group of hikers on their morning walk was standing only a couple of meters away. They were all really quiet and since Rino's have really bad eyesight they settled down again after a couple of tense minutes I am sure.
(would loved to have been in that group!)
As we drove away from the Rhino's a car coming from the front flagged us down. It was a young lady and possibly her mother. They warned us that there was some really cheeky elephants next to the road up ahead and one of them had already mock charged a couple of cars.
When we arrived we could see a commotion in the road ahead. We stopped to take a bum-shot of some less-cheeky elephants and then sneaked onto a side road away from the action. (I had no intention of challenging a big male elephant in a bad mood!)