Saturday, 23 August 2014

Barbara in Africa!

Barbara in Africa!
I arrived back in South Africa on 6th August, drove straight to my house to meet up with Jon & Sheila Mayo (who were staying with me for the next few weeks). On the 8th I picked Barbara up from the airport. This was the fifth continent we had met on within the last nine months! Surely some kind of unofficial record? She was tired, but excited to be here.
The very next morning we embarked upon our little trip together, a four night stay in Kruger, followed by Tzaneen & the Blyde River Canyon before returning home.

Barbara at Orpen Rocks viewpoint.

Barbara's first taste of KNP!
Photo courtesy of Barbara.

Barbara was understandably tired, so we had quite a late start, but it was a beautiful morning as we drove north through the Kruger National Park.

Photo courtesy of Barbara.

Our first bit of true excitement was the sighting of nine Lions (with cubs) feeding on a Giraffe in the river bed north of Tsokwane. Four Spotted Hyenas were close by.

On one of the vehicles in the car park.
Photo courtesy of Barbara.

Rondeval at Satara.
Photo courtesy of Barbara.

We arrived at Satara quite late & checked in & had a quiet evening in camp.

A typical African sunset!
Photo courtesy of Barbara.

Savanna along the S90.
 Male Elephant.
The wonderfully charismatic Giraffe.
 Blue Wildebeest.

 Red - billed Oxpecker feeding on an Impala.

 Ostrich with a young Blue Wildebeest.

 Kori Bustard.
 Red - crested Khoraan.
 Southern Ground Hornbill
Crowned Lapwing
Yellow - billed Hornbill
 Red-billed Hornbill.
Mourning Dove - common inside Satara Camp, 
but strangely absent outside of it.
Lilac breasted Roller.
 Long - tailed Shrike, 
a common bird of the savanna.
African (Richard's) Pipit.

Photo courtesy of Barbara.

The next morning saw us driving the S90 at dawn which passes through open savanna habitat. We managed more Lions, but the best sighting was of three Cheetahs, which we watched at our leisure, even though they were a long way away.

 The striking entrance to Olifants Camp.

 The wonderful Olifants River.

A late breakfast at Olifants Camp, followed by an afternoon drive down the Timbavati River Road (one of my favourites). This is a very scenic road, which some great river views.

Rocky outcrops are the habitat for Klipspringer.
 Male Klipspringer.
Female Klipspsringer.

Lions beside the Timbavati River.

Our tent at Tamboti.

We arrived at Tamboti Tented Camp quite late, it was nice to be back here again. There is a genuine feeling of wilderness here on the banks of the river.

 Timbavati River.
 Bobbejaankrans viewpoint. 

In the morning we left quite late but had good stops at  Bobbejaankrans scenic viewpoint & some nice game viewing.
 Common (Grey) Duiker
Immature male Nyala, found in the riverine 
thickets alongside the Timbavati River.
Smith's Bush Squirrel.
The next two days were spent driving various routes around Satara Camp. Game viewing was good, without being superb.
 Late afternoon views from the N'wanetsi viewpoint.
 Looking towards Mozambique.

The N'wanetsi River in late afternoon light.

Waterbuck are quite common, 
in this lightly wooded habitat.

 Female Waterbuck.


 Photo courtesy of Barbara.

Photo courtesy of Barbara.

Pearl-spotted Owl
Photo courtesy of Barbara.

 Red - breasted Swallow, singing.

Greater Blue - eared Starling.

Sunset near Satara Camp.

 Tzaneen, a mixture of agriculture, 
forestry & wilderness.
Photo courtesy of Barbara.

Photo courtesy of Barbara.

Before we knew it, we had to leave to drive to Tzaneen, where we stayed the night in a fine B&B. The next morning we drove to the Wolksburg area & enjoyed some fine scenery before heading south to stay in the resort on the escarpment near Blyde River Canyon.

Barbara at the Blyde River Canyon.

Our accommodation for the night.
Photo courtesy of Barbara.

Photo courtesy of Barbara.

Barbara hiking along one of the trails.

Photo courtesy of Barbara.

 Our chalet was in a great position & we did a couple of gentle walks around. Then we hit the road again heading south stopping off at the Three Rondevaals & Graskop.

 Driving south, towards Graskop.
Photo courtesy of Barbara.

Looking down into the lowveld
 from near Graskop.
Photo courtesy of Barbara.

 Skukuza Golf Course, the only one
 inside a national park!
Grey Heron.
 Egyptian Goose, a common species here.
Three - banded Plover.
Pied Kingfisher.

Olivers Lodge & Restaurant.
Photo courtesy of Barbara.

We arrived back home tired, but elated. The next two nights were at Sabie Park, one day into Kruger & our last night was at Olivers Lodge & Restaurant in White River. The very next day Barbara had to leave to fly back the States. It had been a short, but action packed trip.

Photo courtesy of Barbara.

You may well notice that there are only a few photographs for this post. My computer was stolen from my car on 28th August. I lost thousands of photographs including all the ones for this post before  I could post them. All of the photographs used here, were taken a couple of weeks later when I did part of the circuit I did with Barbara again, alone.

Nonillegitimati carborundum!

No comments:

Post a Comment