It was overcast for the most of the day and the temperature never got much above 27 degrees. It was actually relatively cool at times especially when driving with the window open. We did head north for our morning drive. Unfortunately, due to the heavy recent rains up north, some of the dirt roads are still closed. That included the river drive that H and I love to take when up in this area. It consists of 3 loops actually and fortunately the middle one of the three was open so we could do that. The road follows the river and the you generally see a lot of game and birds. Overcast conditions aren’t great for birding though but it does tend to favour seeing game.
We saw an Eland (pretty rare in the Kruger and harder to see than most of the predators) while still on the tar road. On the dirt road, as we rounded one bend there was a hyena in the road with something in its mouth. It immediately ran off and while we were trying to find it a leopard crossed the road and then we fortunately had another brief glimpse of it in the bush as well. We never saw either of them again but we went back to the spot the hyena emerged from and you could smell a carcass (though we couldn’t see it). It was probably a kill by the leopard. We also saw two honey badgers running down the road as well during the trip. Our favourite road did not disappoint again.
I had some meetings late morning and early afternoon and the rest spent the day resting before we headed out on the evening drive at 3:30pm. It was again a pleasant drive but no new game and no predators. We did have another altercation with a male elephant (very old, with one very long tusk and the other broken off half way) which required us to reverse for about 500 meters before it gave up and let us go past. Given past experiences with elephants, I am particularly cautious now though it does feel like we had more run ins with elephants this trip than previous ones.
It was our last dinner (braai) with M & O as they would head back the next day. Another enjoyable evening and into bed relatively early (fresh air, sun and early mornings!).
Until later …
P, H, S (he braai’d and washed up), M (he got the fire going), O, K & B