Satara to Lower Sabie (via Skukuza)
January 31, 2018

The kids were heading home today and so we drove with them down to Skukuza before heading to Lower Sabie where Helen and I will spend our last 2 nights. It was really good having the kids with us for the 3 days even though the game viewing while they were here was not as good as we would have liked. Unfortunately this morning was no exception to that. We left around 6:15am and drove down to Tsokwane and had breakfast there. Nothing major on that part of the journey and nor from Tsokwane to Skukuza though I reckon we saw more impala today than we saw in the other 3 days combined while they were here.

After saying goodbye to them, Helen and I went back to Skukuza for a drink (it was already 37 degrees at this point at around 10:30am – in fact it was 34 degrees at 9:10am!). We then headed down to Lower Sabie on the famous Sabie river road (which is meant to be the most productive road for seeing game in the KNP). As it turned out, besides seeing a massive amount of elephant in the river (about every 500 meters there was another herd), we didn’t see anything much else. Just before Lower Sabie is the Sunset Dam and we pulled in there quickly. We added a few birds to our trip list which is now at 160. The one notable achievement in this regard is that we have seen all the different species of vultures that you can see in the KNP.

As we arrived before check in time (2pm), they said the hut wasn’t ready yet and that we needed to come back at 1:30pm. We decided to go have lunch at the Mugg & Bean (yes there is one at Lower Sabie) while we waited. The storm clouds were gathering and as we paid it started to rain harder. When we got the key it was raining heavily and just the dash to the car resulted in us being soaking wet. Unpacking the car in the rainfall was a near impossibility and so we just went into the hut and watched and listened to the impressive thunderstorm.  At one point the lightning and thunder was almost simultaneous. For us Capetonians where water is very scarce and thunderstorms don’t happen often – it was an impressive storm. You can see how flash floods happen when it rains like that.

It never really stopped raining until about 30 minutes ago. The rain did abate sufficiently for us to get our things in from the car at least. We didn’t go out this afternoon as there would have been no point given the torrential downpour. No braai tonight either – fortunately we had leftovers from last  night to eat.

Until tomorrow

P & H

PS: Thanks for the concern for Helen following yesterday’s blog post … she is fine now

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