We were up at 5am again today as we had a long drive ahead from Satara to Shungwedzi. It is about 170 km and while that doesn’t seem long in total distance you need to factor into account that you don’t drive more than 40 km/h and you have to allow for stops for all the animal sightings. The expected journey time is 7 hours. We had decided on a coffee stop at Olifants and then a brunch at Mopani.
The game straight out of Satara was incredible. It reminded me again why Satara is such a good camp. Within 30 minutes of exiting the camp we added 3 new animals for the trip – black backed jackal, warthog and spotted hyena. The jackal was eating berries from a tree – first time I have ever seen it do that – and seemed utterly unphased that we were so close to it. Not much further down the road we found 2 hyena on the road. They were pretty inquisitive and we saw the one trying to bite the tyre of the car in front of us. That made me particularly cautious when it came toward our car as well!
The further we drove away from Satara, the hot it got and sparser the game became. We know from past experience that from just south of Olifants until you get to Letaba the mopani scrub is not conducive to seeing much game. After a quick stop at Olifants for coffee at around 8am we were on the road again heading for Mopani and we arrived there just before 11am for our brunch and then on the road again to Shingwedzi where we are staying for the next 4 nights. It is one of our favourite camps.
About 15 kms outside of Shingwedzi the game life starts to improve again. We added Tssebee to our list. They are quite uncommon in the KNP and so very rarely seen. It is probably harder to see these than a lion actually in the Kruger. We arrived at the camp at about 1:15pm. It was 35 degrees C and it felt like it! Our only challenge of the day was when we got to our hut and found a legavaan standing guard at the door. It didn’t seem to want to move until we eventually used one of chairs to direct it off the patio and away from the hut. It fortunately didn’t decide to return (or at least not yet!).
We decided to just relax in the camp for the balance of the day. The only thing we did was go to the shop to buy some wood for our braai tonight (pork ribs tonight). The only challenge we have now is that it is 9:13pm and the power tripped. That makes for a very hot room without aircon! I’m hoping it comes on again soon.
P & H