23 August 2017 - Today we started a new Safari with Cecilia and Martin from Uruguay. After a quick lunch and checking in at our Hotel, we left for a late afternoon Game Drive. We stopped off at a large waterhole where we found 17 Hippo, including a few small calves, lying on the bank sunbathing. We also found our first Giraffe of the Safari, which is always a highlight and in this case it was quite a large extended family group of 9 animals, including an a dult male, adult females and youngsters of various ages; slowly moving along and stopping off to browse here and there. We had a bit of luck quite late in the day, driving along one of the major rivers. I saw a quick movement of something that had just crossed the road and when we got there it turned out to be a female Leopard with a cub of about 5 months old ! As soon as they realized we'd spotted them, they both lay down flat on the ground, but there was no cover for them, so we had a great view of them in the clearing. The cub was very nervous and jumped up to run a few meters in, trying to get into a thicket, while the mother lay still for a while and as she relaxed, getting used to our presence, she got up and slowly started walking away from us with the cub rejoining her and they walked off, eventually out of sight. A great sighting and very nice way to start the Safari!
24 August 2017 - We entered the Park early for a full day drive amid quite cold conditions, but luckily it warmed up steadily after sunrise. Initially, we saw plenty of general game and were spoilt for Giraffe sightings, as they were out in their numbers! We saw a Spotted Hyena at a den, lying in the den entrance with just her head out in the sunshine and also caught a quick glimpse of a Leopard in a riverbed, just as it disappeared into the reeds. We were also lucky enough to find 4 Lioness lying in the sun in a different riverbed, basking, but with their heads up, looking around and although a distant sighting, they were out in the open and we could see them quite well. As the day wore on and got much warmer, we had some very good Elephant sightings along the river, with one particularly large breeding herd drinking and dust-bathing. One very large female seemed to have her hands full trying to keep the herd together when moving away from the water, needing to cross the road and negotiate the gathering vehicles. Adding to her distress, was the fact that the herd had many youngsters in their midst and she was moving back and forth with mounting agitation, trying to keep an eye on all her herd members! Shortly before exiting the park we encountered a large bull Elephant in full musth, walking down the road towards us. He was in no mood to change course and we had to make space, until, eventually, hunger took over and he stepped off the road to browse, giving us enough space to make it past and to make sure we end the day with a bit of excitement!
23 August 2017 - Our first morning started with a bang with two Spotted Hyenas running in the road, faces covered in blood all excited and investigating the vehicles. A big Crocodile was laying sunbaking on the side of the river escaping the cold. We had a Mother Hippo with a very tiny calf leaving the water and heading out to go eat on some reeds too. My guests were all about spotting the animals themselves which helped a lot and we got to see a Buffalo walking in a drainage line next to the road and a few giraffes in the distance which I missed. Everyone joining in the fun makes things enjoyable. Later as the sun was setting we had 3 ground hornbills pecking the ground for food and also a big herd of Elephants that came to a big water Traft where they put their trunks over the side wall and sucking in water and poring it into their mouths. The youngsters weren’t to please to not be able to reached but kept on trying.
24 August 2017 - We had more luck with the predators and had a Lioness walking in the riverbed for a few kilometers on a mission. We stuck with her for about 30min just watching her explore. After breakfast the wind picked up and we had some Giraffes all antsy running away from a silly warthog that startled them. While stopping for lunch we heard there was a cheetah in the area with youngsters. We found her on a small dirt road eating on a freshly killed steenbok with her 3 youngsters. Bloody faces and all. A big herd of buffalos was also pushing and shoving one another moving the herd towards water for a drink in the heat.
25 August 2017 - Our last morning together we finally found one White Rhino eating in-between a strip of Qaurie bushes. And a few busy Zebras grooming and cleaning one another in the morning sun keeping a clear visual on anything dangerous coming from their blind spots. After a great trip we said our goodbyes all the Auzies heading into different adventures throughout SA.
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