We woke up yesterday to an absolutely stunning sunrise. There isn’t quite anything like a bushveld sunrise and sunset. Hard to explain, hard to capture on a photo – must be experienced yourself.
We headed out south from the camp and we saw a few cars further down one road (we weren’t planning on going that way) so we went down to see what that they were looking at. There was a flattened out patch where something had clearly be lying and some vultures were picking at the area too. Must have been a kill there at some point. We turned around and when we drove back up they were opening the dirt road to the east. Perfect timing and without the slight detour to see what the other cars were looking at we would have missed the opening of the road. Everything is about timing in the Kruger!
The road follows the river and there was plenty see of bird life as well as all the standard game. We also saw two different groups of hyenas. After our stop for morning coffee and rusks, we hit the T-junction (basically the eastern border of SA and KNP) and turned south. Not far down the road, we found another pride of lions lying on the road again. Third set of lions, third time they are lying on the road. These were very inactive and just sleeping so after a short while we moved on.
At the next T-junction we something for a distance and when we got there we saw it was a juvenile caracal. They are nocturnal and shy so they are very hard to see. I have only seen a handful previously in the KNP. This one wasn’t in a hurry to go anywhere and seemed inquisitive and so we were able to watch it for some time and I managed to get some great photos.
We got back to the camp much later than usual (closer to 10am) and by that stage, it was already over 30 degrees. We spent the balance of the day inside near the aircon. H did go for a 30 minute walk and came back looking like she had a swim (though she hadn’t!).
We went out later in the afternoon because of the heat and the longer morning drive. We were again able to take another dirt road (not all of them are open yet but enough to give us some choice). We went up to a bird hide to the north of the camp. We did add a few additional birds to the trip list and have now started to see some waterbirds finally as well. The special sighting on the evening drive was a raptor that had caught a European Roller and was eating in the middle of the road. H could even watch it pull the roller apart. Not the kill I wanted I was hoping to see but still pretty interesting.
We did a braai last night but I hardly got through it because it was SO hot that my shirt looked like a very wet towel. It was almost too hot to eat my famous braai’d chicken wings (which H said were the best I have ever done… high standard that).
Until later today (couldn’t post last night because cellphone signal was very poor also the reason for no photos) …
P & H