Sunday, 29 November 2015

The Three Amigo's in Sabie Park & Kruger.

The Three Amigos in Africa!

The Sabie River from the picnic site.

Irrigating in the middle of the day!
Are they insane?
The Three Amigos arrived in South Africa on the evening of 9th November. We spent a pleasant evening at Sunrock Guesthouse in Kempton Park & then took the local flight to White River. We then met up with Nick & Joyce Dunn, friends of Maarten, who own a lodge in Ethiopia. I picked up my truck & after a little shopping, we were home at Sabie Park. We arrived in a drought, with all the vegetation being stunted & totally unlike anything I had seen in November before, in this portion of South Africa. It was much more akin to a wintry July, than the rain laden November.

 On the lookout!
Photo courtesy of Maarten
Maarten doing some work for me!
Evening meal with the boys!
Photo courtesy of Maarten
Bushbuck at the Picnic Site

White Rhinos coming down to drink.
Part of the Lion pride.
African Fish Eagle
Pied Kingfisher

The next day was a little fraught, with the people arriving to install my new kitchen. The afternoon was spent BBQing  at the picnic site, where we spotted nine Lions across the river. It was a pleasant afternoon.

Taken with my cheap little camera!

On the 13th Maarten, Joyce & Nick went into the park early. Rob & I stayed home & then ventured into Hazyview for a few errands. We entered the park at Phabeni Gate & came across an adult male Leopard, who kept out of photographic range for a few minutes. As we drove along the S3 opposite the house we sported five female Lions & six cubs on the dirt track. I didn't have my big camera & lens, so only took a few shots with my instamatic.

White Rhino at night.
Scrub Hare

Giant Eagle Owl

We then did a night drive from Paul Kruger Gate.

Rob watching a Waterbuck

Wahlberg's Eagle
Normal phase.

Pale phase.
Me, Nick, Joyce, Rob & Maarten 
on the Olifants Bridge.
A fantastic river!

On the 14th, we struck out north from Skukuza & dove to Oliphant’s Camp. It was a long drive, but had a few interesting sightings despite the oppressive heat.

Saddle-billed Stork

African Fish Eagle
As we dove north, the scenery slowly changed into a more arid one. We had some good sightings, before arriving at Oliphant’s Camp in late afternoon. By this time the weather was dull windy & looking like rain! But nothing much happened! So the drought continued! We had a nice meal & planned our activities for the next morning.

The weather was cold  windy. 
It looked like rain but never did!
The boys on the Tropic of Capricorn.
The Tropic of Capricorn Loop
Ground Hornbill

Marico Sunbird
White-bellied Sunbird
Dark capped Bulbul
Elephants in the Timbavati River

Nick & Joyce crossing the Olifants River
 near Balule.

Black-backed Jackal
Crowned Lapwing
Chestnut-backed Finch-lark
Desert Cisticola
Maarten getting the camp set up.
Joyce & Nick's camp.
Photo courtesy of Joyce Crane
Please, everyone lean the same way!
Photo courtesy of Maarten.
On 16th we drove to Tzenze Rustic Camp where we spent the night. We had a nice game drive around the Tropic of Capricorn Loop seeing two male Lion out in the open.
Mopani Camp.
White faced Whistling Duck

Greater Painted Snipe
Crested Barbet
Paradise Flycatcher

Red winged Starling
Green backed Camaroptera

Red headed Weaver making its nest.

Bush Squirrel
Giant Plated Lizard.
Rainbow Skink
African Wild Dog.
Always a pleasure to see.

Picking up sticks & cleaning their teeth!

Magic moments.

Nick & Joyce then had to leave to continue to Natal. Rob, Maarten & myself spent one more night & then left through the Phalaborwa Gate. The highlight was seeing seven Wild Dogs by the roadside.

Squacco Heron
Adult Little Bittern.

Superb bird!

African Jacana

Golden Weaver

We drove for around 70 kilometres & had breakfast by the river. It turned out to be an excellent move as we had some great birds there.

It is summer now!

As we drove west over the mountains it started to hale! The weather was unbelievable!
We then had a long drive to Sandton where we spent the night before continuing south on 19th.

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