The wind on Thursday evening brought in a massive storm overnight and it bucketed down with rain (along with thunder and lightning). At stages I wondered whether the roof would stay on and when the water would start leaking through. Fortunately neither happened but when we got up in the morning the effects of the rainfall were evident. Michael of course said “Storm, what storm? Never heard anything”!
Our flight left just after 11am from Skukuza airport so we had to do the 90km drive from Satara to Skukuza. We left at around 6:30am. It was very overcast and for the first time it was actually cold (we were wearing long pants and jerseys). It rained very lightly for about the first 30 minutes of the drive. Very little game to be seen which we were surprised about because it was much cooler and expecting the predators to still be active. Unfortunately we saw no predators on way down to airport. We did add a few birds to the trip list and I added one more lifer (bringing the trip tally to two lifers and my total tally to 422). The trip list ended at 109 birds. Not terrible but could have been better. It seems many of the migrants had not quite returned yet. We are back in January and so I’m hoping we finally get to see all the migrants we haven’t yet seen.
The flight back was uneventful except before take off the pilot announced that he needed 8 passengers sitting in rows 1-4 to move to rows 11-18 to re-balance the weight on the plane. We were sitting in row 2 but we waited long enough to volunteer that sufficient other people moved and so we could stay put. Not sure why it mattered that much because the plane was only about 1/3rd full and we never used much of the runway to get the plane into the air either. Pilot being overly cautious I assume (which is generally a good thing when flying).
It was good, relaxing 5 days … just a pity it wasn’t longer and that the whole family weren’t there with us.
Until January (which will be longer!)
P & M