Sunday, 17th June DAY 31

Each rest camp in Kruger has its own feel to it and Crocodile Bridge is no different. Despite the deluge of cars that pour through the entrance gate each day, this part of the Park is fertile with prolific game concentrations. As Mary once said, going to Kruger is like going to the opera, it may be the same venue but there is a different performance each day. One never tires of it.

This morning we are early out the gate and make our way past the harassed cheetah and her cubs to the Vurhami Bridge under which lie a series of pools.

A little way downstream two Saddlebills are busy fishing whilst a Fish Eagle keeps watch from a nearby tree.

A Saddlebill catches a fish whereupon the Fish eagle dive bombs her trying to relieve her of her catch but she is up to it and quickly swallows the fish.We were told yesterday that there is a Martial Eagle nest on the Hippo Pool road (S27) with a chick in it which is regularly being fed by its mother. So we travel there and find the adult up a tree near the road whilst the nest is a good 100m distant. Hoping that she will fly to the nest, we wait a good two hours but no luck. However, we can see that there is indeed a chick showing its head now and then above the rim of the nest.

Now today is a very special day. It is Renette’s birthday – so in order to celebrate we head for the romantic venue of Mugg & Bean  at the Lower Sabie restcamp. From a game reserve point of view I certainly hit the jackpot by having Renette as my wife. She becomes more and more enthusiastic about Kruger and our lifestyle in the caravan each day. Which suits me perfectly as I am in heaven here. There is constant stimulation, we have every comfort that we need in an environment that is pure peace. The unexpected is always around the next corner and we both love it.

Of course Lower Sabie means Sunset Dam, that never ceasing hive of activity. The light is not too bad considering that it is late morning and we enjoy a couple of hours watching.

African Spoonbill

An advantage of winter is that the hippos and crocs spend the whole day sunning themselves. Thereafter off to Mugg & Bean for a very passable meal and then quickly back down the road (H4-2) to Croc Bridge.

I leave Renette at camp and go to find my Martial. I do find the mother at the nest (S27) shredding some prey and then feeding the chick.

Unfortunately, the light is wrong so I cannot get very good photos and the distance is too great. Interesting nonetheless.

Back to camp where I pick up Renette and off we go to the Vurhami Bridge which unfortunately in shadow. A nearby Fish Eagle is busy eyeing the pool right next to the bridge and I just cannot prepare myself in time for his dive.

He comes in some 20m from the bridge and grabs a fish before lifting off and flying downstream. It really was a thrilling sight but the poor light and awkward angle made things difficult for me.

Three white rhino catch the last rays of the sun as they quite peacefully graze close to the main road.