Monday, 4th December DAY 20

A dark morning with cloud and a moderate southerly wind. At 4.30am up the Sabie road we go passing two separate white rhino in the road which is a little unusual. As we get to the Ntwatimhiri (S21) turnoff the cloud thins and the wind drops making for perfect conditions. As usual, the road is a picture but as happens so often, when things all look perfect the fish aren’t biting.

We go past the large granite koppie and a tour guide tells us that there are three male lions ahead. We find them in that flat open grassy area but they are doing what lions do best – sleeping. At last one pokes his head up but then flops again onto his side.

Swainson’s Spurfowl

We retrace our steps but other than a vulture feeding off a dead monkey in the road, there is not much going on. Perfect cool conditions with excellent photographic light but nothing doing.

Back in camp, we start putting our minds towards our homeward trip tomorrow.

Golden-backed Bee-eater

Hugh Chittenden has been sending me some photos and some literature. I must correct something that I put in an earlier diary where I said that Hugh is mainly a birder and a bit of a photographer. Hugh is brilliant at both. The photos that he has been sending me are magnificent. I certainly have a lot of catching up to do if I am going to get anywhere near his standards.

White-throated Robin Chat

This afternoon I go along the main road (H4-2) downstream and in the riverine bush, try to track down some bird specials. Hugh mentioned to me the Icterine Warbler and although I see it I cannot get a good photo. What I do get though is a good shot of my favourite robin – the White-throated Robin-chat.

Thereafter I pick up Renette, we do some final views of Sunset Dam, we note that the Bat Hawk is back in his tree and then we return to camp where we pack up ready for an early start for home in the morning.

Kruger is always great and we have had a splendid time. However, Hugh Chittenden said to me that November and February are his favourite months (because of the migratory birds) but this has been his leanest for the past ten years. No doubt this is because of the non arrival of the rains, particular in the central and northern parts of the Park.

As ever, we look forward to our return as soon as possible.