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On Safari With Kara
3 January 2018 – Today I picked up my 2 Scottish and 2 Argentine Biologists. We had an amazing first afternoon out in the bush. Our first cool sighting was a massive Crocodile lying next to the water fast asleep in the sun trying to avoid the icy water. Just thereafter we had a big herd of Elephants covered in mud leaving the dam after having a good bath. From small to big very proud and impressed with themselves, changing their focus on food again by shoving as much as they can at a time in their mouths. My guests were really excited about the birds and got to see a Black Bellied busturd standing next to the road calling to his mate. The sighting that ended up being Manuels favorite in the end. Before exiting the gate a hyena cub was lying next to the road gazing at all the vehicles passing not a worry in the world. We ended the day with a good Meal next to a fire by our camp under the beautiful night sky.
4 January 2018 – Today we got an early start after breakfast and made our way deep into the park to areas we have not covered yet and search for some more exiting things. The bush had become quite green after all the rain and was quite a sight. Just as we entered the gate there was a massive herd of elephants eating and chasing one another clearly ready for a new day and trumpeting at the vehicles passing. Then another huge herd of buffalos was resting nearby but not in the mood to get up at all. With their grumpy faces looking at us and chewing their cud one by one the were getting up and nudging one another to do the same thing. Later after our coffee stop we got the highlight of our day where we saw 5 male lions all lying under a different bush in the shade hiding from the sun with their tummy’s full and legs open on their backs. Fast asleep… Only once in a while they would swat a tail or an ear would twitch and they would role over. They were dead to the world. Not even the impalas passing by about 50m away could disturb their sleep.
5 January 2018 – Waking up with the birds and hippo and lion calls in the distant really makes it so much better to wake up to. There were buffalos everywhere. Around every comer a daggaboy would pop out and say hello. Two Warthogs popped out of the bush as well and came walking down the road and right past our car. Both with a oxpecker on their back very busy removing the nasty ticks. A few minutes later their tales were up and the disappeared into the thickets. Down the road there was a female Hyena with her cub resting between her legs sucking in the shade and 2 males busy sorting their problems out. Taking a bite or too at them until one gave up and walked away. We watched some dwarf mongoose playing in the camp while having coffee and went for a bit of a walk to spot a few more birds. And got to see Sunbirds, Barbets, Petronias, Swallows and Cuckoo’s.
On Safari With Gert
7 January 2018 – We entered the Park this afternoon with the start of a new Safari. We started off quite well in the very hot conditions, with 2 magnificent Kudu Bulls quite close to the road. Then a small Elephant herd, very well hidden in the thick bush after the recent good rains. Shortly after that we also found our first Giraffe for the Safari – always a crowd favorite – and all of this within 4 km of entering the Park. Further in, in a open area, we found a very large Elephant breeding herd feeding, with some enjoying mud baths in the rainwater pools. It was a beautiful sighting as more and more herd members came into the clearing, probably about 50 animals in total! One of the large females had a very small baby with her of about 4 months old and we watched it suckling and not leaving its mom’s side. The highlight of the afternoon was probably when we found a female White Rhino with an old calf about 20 meters off the road! At first they appeared quite nervous and stayed hidden in the thicket, but eventually came out into the open, providing us with an excellent view before moving off, certainly a great start to the Safari!
8 January 2018 – We set out for our drive early morning and it wasn’t long before it started warming up significantly. Even though we found a good variety of general game, including Elephant and Giraffe, the highlight was during breakfast – overlooking the river – as we watched a Hippo slowly getting out of the water onto the bank to graze. We quickly realized it was a mother Hippo as she was followed out by her calf, probably the smallest Hippo baby that I have ever seen and very cute, staying right behind and even sometimes underneath the mom! We went out again in the late afternoon and were lucky enough to find 3 Lioness and 4 cubs just as they awoke from their slumber and started moving along the riverbed, the 2 leading females appearing to be on the hunt, stopping often to sniff the breeze and stare out along the riverbed at some potential targets further along. We had great views of them and it is always special to find big cats on the move, especially with the cubs in their midst!
9 January 2018 – This morning in cold and drizzly conditions we were lucky enough to see a young Leopard peering out at us from the grass next to a thicket in which it’s mother was well hidden with a kill. It was not long before the youngster went back into hiding, but we got it and it was certainly a fitting end to a very successful Safari!
On Safari With Amanda
13 January 2018 – Today I collect 4 new guests at numbi gate for a 1 night safari. My guests are from America and just happy to be in the Kruger Park! As we set off the temperature was a pleasant 30° and there was a slight breeze. First animal to be seen was a lovely journey of Giraffes all crossing the road ahead of us. Zebras, kudus and impalas browsed and grazed together all keeping a watchful eye as they ate. Along the way 3 big bull elephants also enjoying their food so much they hardly took any notice of us as we sat and watched them for a while. Before checking in at skukuza we decided to see if there were any animals at the waterhole…yes there were…2 young male lions known as the renosterkoppies males were lying lazily under a bush chilling in the afternoon breeze. We must have sat for an hour and they didn’t move once…oblivious to our presence After checking in we decided to take a drive to lake panoc bird hide to see if there were any hippos, about 1km down the road we saw a couple of cars and then checking in the trees we spotted a leopard with an impala kill resting in the shade.. brilliant to see. Lots of nice birds today including tawny eagles, bataluer eagle s, yellow billed kites, european rollers and cape glossy starlings. A great day was had by all.
14 January 2018 – Today was our last drive and we headed to pretoriouskop area. Very quickly crossing the road we saw a honey badger and then he was gone! A lovely clan of hyenas lying in the road chewing on what looked like a tortoise shell…delicious! Very nice zebras and then baby impalas running and jumping across the road all following each other…so cute. A nice dark chanting goshawk was getting harassed by some drongos until he decided to leave and fly away. A very nice morning drive with some lovely bird and mammal sightings.