It is dull and overcast as we set out at 4.20am, this time for a destination that we have not visited for some years – Mpondo Dam (S114/H5).
At the Renosters drinking trough we find a male lion in the road but we press on down the Randfontein Road that follows the old Selati railway line.
There are snippets of interest all the while and I stop to photograph some Bronze-winged Coursers. A caracal then crosses ahead onto Renette’s side and stays staring at us. I quietly move on, turn and come back with camera at the ready but it has disappeared. That is only the third caracal that we have ever seen in Kruger as they are rare (apologies John).
Next are three slightly more relaxed rhinos in the road.
Mpondo Dam (S102) is big and is at present carrying a lot of water. But the weather is rather dismal so, after a breakfast we push on. An unmistakeable Eurasian Oriole then flies across the road and alights on a branch not far off the road. Before I can turn, it is off again and although we can still see him in the distance, no amount of calling will bring him back. A great pity as it is a most beautiful bird and one that I do not have on my photography list. Certainly a most interesting morning but no great photos.
There is big Zoological symposium on the go at Skukuza at the moment with 73 countries represented. Renette gets into conversation with a Russian lady (who is attending from St Petersburg) at the swimming pool who, with her very limited English, bemoans the fact that they can come to such a beautiful place and then be carried around in a big bus which only stops for exceptional sightings. She is very sad that she will probably never come back and do justice to Kruger.
This afternoon we take the S65, west of Skukuza. yr.no is forecasting rain tomorrow and we can believe it as a thick bank of cloud is pushing up from the south. Although we see little bits of interest there is nothing unusual to report on.