Letaba 23rd Feb

Letaba 23rd Feb

We went out yesterday evening for an hour before sunset and after I had sent out yesterday’s blog.

We crept along the river road upstream from the camp taking all the little loop roads.

Dusky Lark

It was a balmy, golden evening.


We sat on the bridge for a minute or two admiring the magnificent sunset. My goodness but this has been a tremendous February with no heat at all.

Letaba River

This morning we make a beeline for our pan at 5.30am. We arrive there with watery sunlight and high cloud. Our Dwarf Bittern is already perched on his stump as we get there.

Dwarf Bittern

Across the water a large male Ellie is going about his ablutions and squirting water about. We then become engrossed in two Lesser Moorhens which are fairly rare and I manage a few good photos.

Lesser Moorhen

So busy are we that we it comes as a sudden shock when our large male ellie, heavily in musth, brushes through the mopane just ten meters from us. I must explain that the entry road to the pan is narrow with a tight turning circle at the water’s edge. I had manoeuvred the Quantum broadside on with the back of the vehicle against the mopane trees. Our ellie is directly in front and we can do nothing but freeze. After our experience at Punda I am in no mood for more battles with giant ellies. He is inquisitive and a little confused as he comes to within five meters of us towering over the vehicle. I beseech Renette not to make a sound as the slightest provocation could push him right over the edge. Meanwhile Renette has shown great composure by videoing the whole scene. Afterwards I had to edit 8 minutes of movie of this giant circling around us. Herewith Renette’s movie.

A little shaken after our ordeal, we return to camp at 8.30am,

High cloud is providing good light so I go out at 3.30pm along a loop road (S69) close to camp. Here I meet a most impressive tusker.

After travelling about 5 Km’s I come to where a flooding stream has washed away the road completely so I must turn back. I pick up Renette in camp and at 5pm we return to our pan along the S131 which is abuzz with activity. This evening it is my favourite ducks, the Knob-billed or Comb Ducks, that are performing in the lovely evening light.

Egyptian Goose landing

These seasonal pans that one gets after heavy rains are full of the most interesting sights and we are spellbound by it all.