Crocodile Bridge Day 2
January 28, 2022

Our usual morning drive started just after 5:30am. We headed north (could only go north or west given where we are) on a dirt road up to a dam and a bird hide. The terrain is very open and teeming with wildlife. At times you can see impala, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and numerous birds without having to turn your head even. In addition to the game, the BBJs (big brown jobs aka birds of prey) were numerous. On almost every tree there was a raptor to be seen. It got exhausting just checking we hadn’t seen them before and eventually we just gave up. It was a really interesting drive even though the road was VERY muddy and slippery in places. On the road to the waterhole we encountered a hyena. They always seem to be sniffy the air and looking at your quizzically.

The bird hide was a very nice hide but unfortunately not productive at all. It faces east so you are looking straight into the rising sun. And the pond it looks out over was covered in algae and so there didn’t seem to be any bird life at all. It was a pity because it is a really nicely constructed bird hide.

We then headed west on another dirt road and again the game was quite substantial. We also saw numerous cars and quickly discovered it was a leopard and her cub. The mom was lying under a tree and we could get a clear sighting of her. We never saw the cub. The problem with those sorts of sightings is that H and I get irritated with the game trucks and other cars all trying to vie for the best position to see the leopard. We decided not to stay and let another car have our spot and we headed back to camp.

By this point in the morning (just after 9am) the temperature was already 28 degrees and we could tell it would be a scorcher today. The mercury hit 34 degrees later in the day and even when we were eating dinner tonight it was still 30 degrees C. The UV index was 12 – I thought the scale only went to 10 but it seems that 11+ was created for ‘extreme’ conditions. The weather app we use showed 34 C, feels like 43 C – and they were right it did feel like 43!

We spent the rest of the morning in the camp. I went to throw out some rubbish at lunchtime and guess what I encounter in the bin area again but ‘Mr Green Snake that I have no time for’. Having witnessed the ranger remove it with his non specialised tools, I found the same implement leaning up against a tree and tried the same process. This time the snake decided to take itself off toward the fence and I encouraged it along. It did leave at pace which made me realise how quick snakes can be and scares me even more now! I am hoping it is not back again tomorrow at lunchtime … seems to like the bin spot… might be because it is cooler in there.

We did go out for a late afternoon drive but it was still very hot and so predators are unlikely to be active. Throughout the day (including at the camp) we added some more birds and the list is now up to 155. It was important to pass 150 because M&O were here earlier in January and they got to 150 (#notatallcompetitive).

It was a 3 out of 5 Big Five day though as we did see buffalo, elephant and leopard. Braai for dinner which caused me to no doubt lose weight because of the additional heat!

Until tomorrow … P & H

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