Friday, 25th May DAY 8

Warren is again going to be at the airstrip at 10am but…. I now urgently need the internet. So we are heading for Orpen Gate where apparently there are good comms. So with an unfortunate time constraint we move at a pace westward in clear, sunny weather seeing nothing untoward.

After Bobbejaankrans we turn left and take the gravel road via Rabelais Dam. The dam burst in the floods of 2000 and they never repaired it in line with their policy of doing away with artificial water points. Warren tells us that there is a move afoot to break down the concrete wall of the Gudzani Dam. These extra water points are a major contributory factor in the proliferation of elephants in the park. I do hope that they are selective with this policy as it will be a huge pity to lose places like Lake Panic, Biyamithi, Mlondozi etc..

Speaking of Lake Panic (LP), one of the great joys of caravanning is meeting with like-minded campers. Our neighbours are from PE and are here for 6 months. They say that many Cape folk are now escaping the winter down there and spending months up in the safety of Kruger. Tom is a golfer and played a round down at Skukuza. Here he learnt of the mysterious lack of water in Lake Panic. The level of water in the golf dam below LP had fallen so much that it was decided to release water from L P into it. Unfortunately, whoever was in charge forgot to close the valve thus draining LP. Now LP is kept full by pumping out of the nearby Sabie but the pump has broken and in true African style, has now remained broken for three months. Thus the solving of ‘the mystery of the lack of water in LP’.

Female Stonechat

The coms at Orpen are the best anywhere in the Park so in no time I have done what I had to do which included sending off my recent diaries. After inspecting the Maroela Caravan camp at Orpen, we hurry to the Satara airstrip and enjoy a time chatting to Warren and Henry, one of the Singita guides.

Kori Bustard

This afternoon we travel on the tar northwards (H1-4) and enjoy the birdlife that we come across. So rather a disjointed day but tomorrow we finally get onto Sweni so perhaps things will look up.