Tuesday, 23 September 2014

September Days in Kruger.

In early September, I spent four nights at Malelane Camp in the far south of KNP. It is a pleasant spot on the banks of the Crocodile River. It gives easy access to areas which are difficult to get to (because of distance) from my house.

There are a couple of wide rivers (usually dry).

 Open savannas.
Dwarf scrub.
A big surprise, was this leusistic Waterbuck.
 Elephants are common in this area.

Where the rivers have water,
 there is plenty of life.
Burchell's Zebra drinking.
Open-billed Stork.
 Long-tailed Cormorant.
A little altercation, with two Water Dikkops!
 Grey Heron.
Woolly-necked Stork.
 White-faced Whistling Duck.
 Male Steenbok.

 Dwarf Mongoose.

The camp itself is good for small mammals & holds a few bird species.

 Crested Francolin
Brown-headed Parrot.
Black Flycatcher.
 Burchell's Starling.
Common Puffback Shrike.
White-crowned Shrike.
Blue Waxbill

This area is full of White Rhino. On one memorable afternoon, I came across 16 Rhino in two & half hours! Some kind of record?

One morning I came across three female Spotted Hyaena, each suckling two cubs each! Amazing!

 This youngster first played 
with a piece of old bone.
 Then he moved on to a stick!

Very inquisitive!

The very next morning, in a different location, I came across five adult Spotted Hyaena running down the road. I saw them coming from about 1 km away, so I parked the car & waited for them to come to me. It worked!

 They just kept on coming!

All with full bellies, they had fed in the night.

That same morning I came across three male Cheetahs on the main road near Afsaal. They gave extended viewing & I took quite a few photos!

 This one was calling to the other two
 across the road.

 It then moved across to join them, but the three were
 never quite close enough, to get in the same shot!

After about twenty minutes they moved off into the woodland. But, what a performance!
However, the day wasn't quite finished yet! I came across an injured female Leopard, who was limping badly in the rear left foot/leg. She put on a superlative performance for me & I was the only person there! It really doesn't get much better than this!

 Young female Leopard.
Notice, she still has some pink on her nose,
 so not over five years old.
 She was scenting a male Leopard that had
 obviously passed by recently.

 Then I run into a Rhino roadblock!
 I edged closer & managed to move them out of the way.
I got very close!

A couple of days later I stumbled into another couple of Cheetahs. However, it was dusk & the light was really poor.
Cheetah at dusk.

This is also the habitat for Red-crested Korhaan & I got some really close views. 

 Red-crested Korhaan.

Steenboks mating.

A few days later, I drove north, through the park & crossed the Olifants river. The views from here are quite superb.
 Oilfants River.

A fire coming over from Mozambique. 
Little did I know that I was to see this fire again in two days
 at much closer quarters!
My second home in Africa!
 Martial Eagle.
 Kori Bustard
Swainson's Francolin.
 Timbavati River is one of my favorite places,
 in the central part of the park.

 Young male Lion.
Crossing the dry river bed.
 White-backed Vulture
Hooded Vulture
 Elephants are often in the river bed.
Kudu are quite common here.

One of the largest herds of Cape Buffalo 
I have ever seen. Over 1,000!

Blue Wildebeest.


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