We are at the tail of a long queue at 6am at the Skukuza gate. As is the norm in June, it is clear and sunny. With the campsites full it is essential that we get to Satara as soon as possible so as to secure a vacated campsite before the Jo’burgers arrive through Orpen gate. On the way up Renette spots two black maned lions across the water at Kumana Dam (H1-3). And I might add that I am blessed to have as a wife someone who allows me so freely to indulge in my passion.
And our tactics pay off. Just after 8am we arrive at Satara and find a brilliant site right on the fence with shade and plenty of space. We could not do better. Our neighbours here are Martin and Cathy Hiemstra from Richards Bay who were great friends of Peter and Myf Terry-Lloyd. This caravanning is a piece of cake and within 20 minutes we are completely set up – AND THE VODACOM INTERNET IS WORKING PERFECTLY.
We enjoy a glorious lunch under the trees on a perfect day and look forward to six more days at our favourite camp. The light is soft and all the colours are pastel – pale blues, greens, browns, yellows and greys all merging into each other. Goodness but how I revel in this lifestyle.
Oh dear, they have started burning the veld already – in June. North of the Sweni and east of the main road (H1-3) is partly blackened and we are going to have to plan our trips carefully. I have little regard for egg-head scientists who swing from one fad to another. I personally think that this burning mania of theirs is responsible for the destruction of so many of the stately trees that used to cover the eastern grasslands of Kruger.
This afternoon we trundle northward up the tar (H1-4) and then turn and creep home. This is sunset drive and one seldom fails to enjoy this spectacle at the end of the day. We are so happy to be back at Satara.
This evening there is a commotion at the fence and shining our torch towards the sound reveals three hyena tackling a ratel. The ratel puts in a tactical retreat and we think that it managed to escape.