Sunday, 21st April
I am afraid that beautiful Bergendal suffers the same fate as Crocodile Bridge. Being close to a major Park entrance gate and the Bergendal camp itself, the limited road network quickly becomes choked with traffic – something that I really do not enjoy. With the Easter weekend adding to the congestion, this is something that I must plan for better in the future. This why I so enjoy the months November, December and January when gate opening time is at 4.30am, too early for the rank and file.
This morning we are out of the gates at 6am and down the main S110 to the H3, back over the the Matjulu Bridge and then turn right along the gravel S114. We have only gone a kilometer when, in a dip, Renette brilliantly picks out a leopard and cub lying silhouetted on a rock some 60m off the road. But the cars start piling up and the leopard takes fright and moves off. We then have our coffee hoping that it will return but every car wishes to know why we have stopped and I scarcely have time for the coffee.
A little deflated, we turn around, cross back over the H3 and head along the gravel S110 Matjulu loop road. This is much quieter with little traffic but also , I am afraid, little to enthuse about. Which makes it all sound rather boring. However, there are always, giraffe, kudu, zebra, impala and the odd buffalo to stop and enjoy.
Coming up the valley though is a glorious sight in the morning sunlight. Heartening are the number of quite content rhino that we see in the area.
This afternoon we go out early and travel up the H3 mainroad before turning onto the Mlambane river road S118. A large herd of buffalo are in the streambed. We really crawl along the length of both the S118 and S119 but even with sharp-shooter David on board, we draw a blank. Which isn’t altogether surprising given the volume of traffic that has travelled this road during the day.
One of the attractions of Bergendal is the amount of natural bush scattered about the camp. Our campsite is right up against some bush and whilst seated at about 8pm, a Spotted Genet Cat arrives and drinks out of my bird water dish.
Monday, 22nd April
The weekend has flown by but before Dave and Steph pack for home, we are going to travel the Timfeneni Loop S121 and then come back over the Steilberg back to camp. The traffic along the S114 really is ridiculous and we enjoy the quieter S121 but which again yields very little. As does the rest of the trip back to camp although a group of cars near Bergendal report that two lions have just crossed the road.
Dave and Steph quickly pack and by 10am they are on their way to Jo’burg leaving behind one little piece of luggage – young Callum (4) is delightfully going to spend five days with us.
We ourselves pack up as today we move to Lower Sabie. At 11am we leave Bergendal, pass out of Kruger through the Malelane Gate, travel along the M4 to Komatipoort, do a little grocery shopping and then re-enter Kruger at Crocodile Bridge. We reach Lower Sabie at 1.30pm and quickly set up camp on a really dark, cool overcast afternoon.
Not too much to report I’m afraid but that is sometimes how it is in Kruger.