Saturday, 9th June DAY 23

Today we very sadly bid farewell to Bergendal as we begin our journey back to Satara. Our trip here has been outstanding and I wonder why we have never camped here before. We will certainly rectify that in the future. Tonight we are booked into Skukuza for one night because Satara is so full. But before we leave Bergendal, we are going to spend the early morning back at the Matjulu water trough which has already given us such pleasure.

Green-winged Pytillia (Melba Finch)


Cape Turtle Dove


Yellow-fronted Canary

This we do and thoroughly enjoy our four hours of continual activity.

You will know of our great love for leopards – probably the most beautiful animal in the world. Full of mystique, stealth and power. For some reason, every one that I see becomes etched in my memory and I have kept a record of every one that I have ever seen in Kruger over the past 60 years. I could take you to the exact spot where each of these were seen. The count is now 196 although I may have forgotten certain fleeting glimpses that now escape me. We have already seen nine (incl. cubs) on this trip and I wonder if we can top the 200 mark.

We break camp and leave Bergendal at 11am bidding a fond farewell to a dear, retired couple from Florida (JHB) who were neighbours in camp. We proceed to Malelane town where we stock up with groceries and get some Vodacom SIM cards to help us through our MTN problems. I write this at Skukuza and note at the biggest camp in Kruger MTN’s signal is weak to non-existent. Vodacom is perfect. I do know that in certain areas MTN is better than Vodacom (Grantleigh) and visa-versa but never did I suspect that over Kruger generally would MTN would be so bad. Disgraceful for the country’s premier tourist destination with over 1 million visitors per annum. We haven’t even unhitched the caravan here and tomorrow we will make an early start and head for Satara for six days where we hope to get a reasonable campsite.