Tuesday, 21st August DAY 4

We are second in the queue at 5.45am having decided that Mary needs a little earlier rousing. Again, we go down the tar and have coffee on the Matjulu main bridge just as the sun is rising. Today we are doing the Matjulu loop and armed with water containers we are going to recharge the puddle at the water point and see what birds are about.

So, we go quickly along the loop with the golden sun rays lighting the mountains and the magnificent Bergendal scenery stretching away across the valley. My goodness but this is a beautiful part of Kruger.

Renette refills our puddle and we sit back to watch proceedings. The White-fronted Bee-eaters are massed on the trees warming up in the sun and then on cue, they rise high into the sky and disappear for their day’s hunt.

The birds have found our water source in a big way and the puddle is mobbed by buntings, queleas, finches, widowbirds, barbets, sunbirds, starlings, waxbills and others.

A large 200+ strong herd of impala arrives at 9am to drink from the water trough and we move onto the road above to get a better view. Zebras and a rhino join them.

However, once watered the impala stroll off past my precious puddle and stop off for another drink. By the time we get back there the water is almost finished but Renette adds our last water from its container.

At 10am we return to camp. Driving into the gates we spy a Black-headed Oriole on some aloes and then further on a Cardinal Woodpecker and a Green Woodhoopoe are busy in the bush next to the road.

Black-headed Oriole

Bergendal must be the best birding camp in the Park.

Cardinal Woodpecker

It is quite warm today and the girls decide to stay in this afternoon and stroll around the camp. I take off to the water trough again but I see nothing other than the usual – except

Six immaculate Hooded Vultures that come down to drink in the dusk.

Back at camp after supper, a genet cat comes and sits close to us and is not fazed at all when we play our strong torch light over him. Unfortunately, I was slow off the mark so no photo.