25 November 2017 – An Awesome Day
After yesterday’s heat we woke to rain this morning – very welcome as The Park is dry and they need their rains. It was also quite cold but nothing dampens ones spirits when in The Park. A Bad Day in Kruger is still better than a Good Day at home.
By 6:35 we were exploring the H7. As usual we stopped for every interesting bird. We saw common waxbill flitting about and while we were enjoying them we heard the familiar clicks and then kyip, kyip kyip – the call of the Red-Crested Korhaan. Then we saw him strutting across the road. He then flew up and tumbled down free-fall style. What an awesome bird. We expected he was showing off for a female but she was clearly not interested as she remained hidden.
Next to pop up unexpectedly was this chap.
We saw the usual suspects too, elephant, zebra, kudu etc before turning onto the S39. This drive was good too and we found a tawny eagle and some vultures. As we trundled along we saw two cars alongside of each other up ahead. “Either they’re friends having a chat about their next route or the one is telling the other what he has seen. I bet it’s a leopard,” said I.
As we approached, the one pulled away and parked in front. The other indicated that we should take his place. ” If you look carefully – you will see a leopard,” he told us. We looked but couldn’t see anything so went ahead a little way and watched some birds. The second car left but the first remained. He must still have it we thought so we reversed to take another look. Oh Wow. There he was – quite a big male but still well hidden under the tree.
Reluctantly we left the scene to let the next car have a chance and soon reached Timbavati Picnic site where we hired a skottel and cooked breakfast. It was raining a bit but we were quite dry under the thatch shelters.
Our return trip produced more hyena and lovely birds but it was raining so photography was a bit difficult. Back at camp we had a rest. At 3:30 I went to see if Pat and Tony were awake – they weren’t so I told The Earl that we should skip an afternoon drive. But when they woke at 4 they were still keen to go out and so at 4:30 we hit the S100. I had a strange feeling that something exciting would turn up and Pat voiced the same thought.
Sure enough we got a lovely surprise. We found the occupants of two vehicles staring into the distance. We could just see the flick of a tail and a twitch of an ear. Another car approached and asked what there was. We told her not much and then one of the lionesses got up and moved! We then all go lovely views of her and the other one until they disappeared in the undergrowth again. We thought we might find them on our return route but they were nowhere around.
It was certainly worth going for that short drive to find our lions!
You would think camp cooking would be problematic when the weather is cold and wet. But we were lucky. The rain held off and we were quite content to sit under our canopy and enjoy a fabulous meal cooked once again by our Bush Master Chef. It was a most delicious chicken and vegetable dish cooked on the Snappy Chef. (Induction Stove)
The resident hyenas patrolled past the fence quite frequently. One actually stopped and stared at us as if to say – Please share your meal with me! But of course we said – No way – go and hunt your own food!
It rained in the night and we expected a wet pack up the next morning!