Kruger 2019 Summary

Kruger 2019 Summary

20th January – 7th June 2019

This trip has been the realisation of a dream and right at the outset I would like to record my gratitude to Renette for making it possible. I do not think that there are many wives who would give up their homes and willing adopt a caravan life for 5 months in the bush.

Of course, the past five months have been a kaleidoscope of so many memories as the days flashed by. It all began at Satara on the 21st January where we first settled in for a fortnight. We remember the patchiness of the rain whereby Nwaswitsonto was lush whereas north and west of Satara was drought stricken.

Summer rains around Nwaswitsonto

In early February, we then moved to Punda Maria which was even drier but we had such a lovely campsite right next to where the ellies came to drink.

The old-time Punda huts

Here the rains finally started and although Punda only received little, reports came through that the rest of the Park had had heavy rain.

The magnificent Luvuvhu Valley and the Pafuri area.

The Nyala Trail
Confluence of the trickling Limpopo and Luvuvhu Rivers – Crook’s Corner
Burnt-necked Eremomela

On 11th February, we moved from Punda down to Shingwedzi, without doubt one of my favourite camps in Kruger.

Shingwezi River
Entrance road to Shingwedzi Camp

Memories of those summer storms, the rain, the warmth and the beautiful Shingwedzi swimming pool.

At last – a Grey Headed Kingfisher
My rarest bird ever – a Golden Pipit

18th February we moved to Letaba where, on the S131, we found that beautiful and productive pan of water.

Comb Duck
The Letaba River from the Camp
The beautiful Letaba Campsite

We remember so many lovely people that we met, none more so than Bob and Katrin who we shared lunch with at Letaba.

On 25th February we moved back to our beloved Satara, now rain soaked and wet but with the streams still not flowing.

The grasslands of Satara taken from the camp gates
A Harlequin Quail – with its “twit-twit” call, such a summer feature of the wet grasslands
The lush Nwaswitsonto S125 summer road

On 6th March Renette flew to Cape Town from Skukuza to prepare for Gareth’s wedding. I followed to Cape Town on the 14th March after moving to Lower Sabie from Satara. Steven, Renette’s brother, looked after the caravan whilst we were away. We returned to Lower Sabie on 25th March.

Steven and I saw this fine fellow on the Nwatimhiri S21 Road.
Birding with Steven on the H4-1 road – Orange-breasted Bushshrike

On 29th March we moved to busy Skukuza. Lake Panic saves the day.

Our lovely rolling Rhino near Biyamithi. One of the trip’s highlights
Python on Sabie River road loop

Whilst at Skukuza we hear the sad news of the passing of Auntie Toppies in Jo’burg.

We move to beautiful Pretoriuskop camp on 8th April. So lovely but so lifeless – no birds, no animals.

Manungu Koppie above Pretoriuskop
Shabeni Koppie

On 12th April Renette flies to Jo’burg to be with family. I moved to scenic Bergendal on 15th April.

The hills of Bergendal

Warren brings Renette back on 17th April. David, Steph and the children arrive for the Easter weekend on 19th April. That afternoon – bingo!!

The fantastic water hole at Matjulu – Bergendal

On the 22nd April we move to Lower Sabie together with our grandson, Callum, who spends the week with us.

Sunset Dam – never a dull moment

From there we drive to Jo’burg on 26th April for Auntie Toppie’s memorial. I drive back to Lower Sabie on the 28th whilst Renette stays on with Cheryl and Basil Jones for a week.

The road to Salietjie S30
More Sunset Dam highlights

I collect Renette on 3rd May and we head to Satara for 14 days. The weather has turned into winter mode and the clouds are disappearing.

Nwanetsi River

I return home to Ballito 5th – 8th May to tend to various matters. Meanwhile Roley and Verona visit us for a delightful week and finally leave on 15th May – catless.

On 17th May we move back to Skukuza in preparation for the visit from Chris and Renette Denny on the 18th.

On the 24th May we move to Bergendal and on the 28th, Werner and Noleen from the Freestate join us.

The S110 Bergendal road
Just outside the camp gates
The Birds of Bergendal

Together with Werner and Noleen, we all head for Satara on 31st May.

An unseasonal raincloud on the S100
Our ‘two toned’ Tawny
Satara’s plentiful Kori Bustards
Lunch with Werner and Noleen

On 6th June Werner and Noleen leave for home and we decide to follow suit and move to Lower Sabie.

Sunset over Lower Sabie

Our joyous time in Kruger comes to an end as we travel south through Swaziland on to Ballito in KZN. We loved it.