Yesterday was another very restful day in that we again only went out in the morning and late afternoon. The game viewing unfortunately wasn’t great with very little of note seen on either drive. We didn’t even add much to our bird trip list which finished on 109. That is probably a reflection of the game viewing over the 7 days as well. Yesterday morning was again overcast which made it 5 out of 6 mornings that we have woken up to overcast conditions. There is no doubt that it confuses the birds who all seem to sleep in when it happens. We did see two hyena again and most likely the same two that chased the leopard up the tree the previous day.
While the game drives weren’t great, the conversation and laughter during the drives was good. It was a good, relaxed family time together. We finished with one final last braai. This morning we left from Pretoriouskop to go back to Skukuza to take the flight back to Cape Town. We allowed a reasonable amount of time for the drive and also for spotting any game (including detours off to two waterholes on route). The game viewing was again sparse – so bad that we only actually saw our first animal at the waterhole after about 12 kms. That is very unusual for the Kruger Park.
Fortunately the drive did improve slightly in that about half-way to Skukuza we finally saw three white rhino and then about another 5kms down the road we saw a lion as well. So that completed the Big Five for everyone. The biggest issue was that the lion sighting was way too crowded with cars. Unfortunately there are a lot of tour operators doing drives in the south of the park and when they see something they radio all their vehicles and the next thing you have 20 cars around the sighting. Very annoying and some of the drivers get very aggressive if you try to pull past them. I had one guy trying to continually cut me off from seeing the lion and another being very aggressive behind us as well. It was so annoying that we only stayed for a minute or two and packed it in. It reminded us that while there is less game in the north, at least you don’t get these tour operators up there. We were pleased that the leopard sighting we had wasn’t like that at all with just a few cars only.
We arrived at the airport and checked in and had about an hour before the flight left. The incoming flight was delayed by about 20 minutes and we eventually boarded when we were meant to depart and then we sat on the plane for almost another hour while they refueled. They usually don’t refuel in Skukuza but they obviously had some issue in Johannesburg (the plane came from JHB) and so had to refuel in Skukuza (and it took long). The good news is that we made it safely home to a cool and raining Cape Town (quite a shock from the 31 degrees C in Skukuza).
Until June/July …
P, H, S, M & C