Punda Maria to Letaba
February 6, 2020

Today was a fairly long drive of 170 km. We decided to leave at 5:30am as that really is the best time to be out game viewing given the heat. It was already 26 degrees when we left at 5:30am and it eventually rose to 46 degrees at 12:40 today – it was an absolute scorcher!

While yesterday was a good birding day and yet I only managed to add one lifer in Punda Maria region, the good news is that I actually did get two lifers yesterday as we also saw a Brown Necked Parrot (used to be called Grey Headed Parrot – who knows why they changed the name). Even better news was that this morning within an hour of leaving Punda Maria I had added another lifer – Greater Spotted Cuckoo – to the list. What makes it all the more pleasing is that it was not even something I was expecting to see.

By the time we stopped for coffee (which was just after 7am), the temperature was already in the 30 degrees C range and we can already see that the animals were choosing the shade of the trees. While we saw a reasonable amount of game over the balance of the drive, we never saw any predators and we were not surprised given the heat.

We stopped at a waterhole to have some breakfast (in the car) and stopped at Mopani camp to stretch our legs and buy an ice cream (at least for me) and arrived at Letaba at 12:30pm. Check in is only 2pm but usually we are able to get in earlier. They said they were still cleaning the place and we should come back at 1:30pm to get the key so we went to have some lunch at the restaurant that overlooks the Letaba river. Well H didn’t have any lunch unless you consider a Lime Milkshake lunch!

We were pleased to get into our hut and turn the aircon on and stay inside the balance of the afternoon. I need to do some work and speak to some people in the office (it is bonus & salary time) and H was reading and catching up on social media.

It was still well into the 30s C at 7pm tonight and so we skipped a braai and just had some leftovers and some pasta instead. It was a good choice as our neighbour was braaiing with a wet towel around his neck. You seriously don’t know how hot it is. It has been threatening to thunderstorm but so far no rain – hoping it does rain overnight to cool things off a touch – the heat is really oppressive at the moment and doesn’t make for good game viewing.

Until tomorrow …

P & H

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