Thursday, 3 July 2014

Kruger days - central section

On 30th June we drove north towards Satara Camp. We had struck lucky, in that we had obtained two nights accommodation at Satara. It is the South African School Holidays & everything was booked solid. It must have been a late cancellation.

Ceggy & Rowan at Orpen Tablets.
As you drive further north, the terrain gets a little
 bit more open.

 But first we had to drive out of the game rich southern section where our house is. This proved more difficult than imagined as I quick pit stop at Elephant Waterhole proved fruitful for Lion. With a pair being on show, sat in the shade.

 A nice old, male Lion.
 The female was equally grizzled.
But they looked very content together.

 He is on the move!
Using the car as cover, to look over
 a herd of Cape Buffalo!
We arrived at Satara Camp, booked in & found there was no bed for me! Ceggy & Rowan had to sleep head to toe in a single bed. In the afternoon we went out down the S100 to Nwanesti & back via the tar road. It was a lovely afternoon, but nothing special seen.

 The view looking east from Nwanesti.
Ceggy & Rowan.
Dawn, getting a little lighter.
The next morning we awoke before dawn & were off down the S90 dirt road. It was a lovely African morning & game sightings were good. Rowan spotted a Serval, which dashed across the road, into long grass before a photo could be taken. It was great to see this small elusive cat & a fantastic spot by Rowan!
Black-backed Jackal

Burchell's Zebra.

 Slender Mongoose.

We enjoyed great views of Black-backed Jackals & lots of the more ordinary plains game.
 The entrance to Olifants Camp.
The truly spectacular Olifants River.
Yep! It is them again!
Looking the other way down the river.
After a long drive, we arrived at Olifants Camp for brunch, overlooking the river. And what a view it is! It is a great place & it has a real sense of being in Africa about it.
He just wasn't bothered by us at all!
Yes! That is where we saw it!
The afternoon was spent driving down the very scenic Timbavati River Road. It proved to be an inspired choice, with an old male Leopard being spotted lounging in the shade next to the river. We all enjoyed this encounter which lasted for over twenty minutes. It di however make us a little late for the rest of the game drive & I had to drive a little faster than I would have liked, to get back to camp in time before closure!
The Sweni River.
Hippos are common along the river.
Open billed Storks are quite common
 along the Sweni River.
The long, lonely back roads in Kruger.
This part of the park is mainly savanna.
Female Waterbuck.
Spotted Dikkop.
Crowned Lapwing.
Southern Ground Hornbill
The bird of the African savanna:
 Lilac-breasted Roller.
Burchell's Starling.
Greater Blue-eared Starling.
Sabota Larks are common on the plains.
He was riding a horse at night, for goodness sake!
I presume the tree was a trifle larger,
 in those days!
On 2nd July we again drove around the S100 circuit but saw very little. We drove south along long & dusty Tinalandia Road. It is quite a time consuming, but interesting route & we saw the plaque, which marked the spot of the famous Lion attack on Harry Wolhunter.
 The end of another day in Africa!
We arrived home around 4.30pm & spent a lazy evening on the veranda.

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