Lower Sabie 14-16th August

Lower Sabie 14-16th August

Monday, 14th August   Afternoon          With the temperature rising to 32C today, we head for Mlondozi Dam at 4pm. Approaching our destination we come across this handsome Black Shouldered Kite.

We enjoy our coffee at this lovely spot perched on a hillside at the south end of the Muntshe mountain. The view over the surrounding plains and the dam itself is so inspiring.

View from Mlondozi Picnic Spot looking eastward towards Mozambique

Thereafter, we drift back to camp along the S29 road that loops eastward. Along the way we come along some Green-Winged Pytillia (Melba Finch) feeding in the grass.

Male Green-winged Pytillia

We  arrive back at the bridge just as the sun sets behind the camp restaurant complex.

Tuesday, 15th       Today 2nd son David and family together with Warren (4th son) arrive from Johannesburg for five days. They will be staying in a chalet and sharing our campsite where they will erect a tent.

Early today and before their arrival, Renette and I again repeat our ‘behind Muntshe’ drive along the S122. So beautiful is again this drive with the rising sun partly behind us.


Along the road, clouds race up from the south and before long the sun disappears. There is always something of interest along the way.

Lilac-breasted Roller

Along the S29 loop back towards camp we encounter again some Green-winged Pytillia.

Female Green-winged Pytillia

On the bridge over the Sabie I find a Malachite Kingfisher

And at the end of the bridge, a Common Waxbill amongst some flowers. How the birdlife of Kruger adds to its pleasures.

At 2pm the family from Jo’burg arrives and quickly set up their new fancy tent next to our caravan. Later we take off for a short drive up the H4-1 to Nwatimhiri. Across the river a pride of lions are sleeping on the far bank. There is always something of interest al0ong  this road – ellies, nyala, impala, waterbuck, kudu, baboons etc to keep children Callum and Sophie busy.

Wednesday, 16th       I am relegated to the back seat whilst Warren drives and David takes up his chief spotting position in the front passenger seat. The lads choose their favourite road this morning, the S130 Salitje road that runs north of the Sabie river. Today is cool and cloudy but with little wind.

We see quite a bit of game along the road but where the road meets the river, a group of cars on the far river bank alert us to something being afoot. Soon a Black-Maned Lion comes wading across the river towards us………

….. and correctly anticipating where he will cross our road, we have a close up view of him in front of us.

Impressive as he is, he is suffering a problem with his back legs and is limping as he walks – spelling trouble for him. Another car tells us that the rest of the pride had already crossed before we arrived and our lion was following along behind.

Not far further along the road at the Mwatimdlophu stream, we come across more lions which are feeding on what we take to be a freshly killed Nyala ram. Again, the OSV bakkies come pouring in and we make well our escape whilst we can.

Now I must mention that son David has a well earned reputation in our family for being a ‘leopard spotting’ maestro – often coming up with impossibly difficult spots. Today he again excels. Back on the main H41-1 and about 1km from the high-level bridge, David spots a beautiful male leopard in a deep gully that runs under the road. We reverse for a better view whereupon the leopard takes off along the gully heading towards the river. Just a few fleeting seconds with him but very thrilling. Unfortunately, all on the wrong side for me so no photo.

Next a stop at Nkuhlu for a pie and cereal before heading for camp.  Along the way and off the Nwatimhiri bridge we spy a female Saddle-billed Stork feeding in a pool of water.

What a satisfying morning.

Lower Sabie camp site is not the best with most units being small with no privacy. We were fortunate to have found a site close to thick bush with the advantage that we have a lot of birds constantly around us. At lunch we see these.

Bearded Robin – unusual for Lower Sabie (from my library)
Southern Boubou (from my library)
Brown-headed Parrot (from my library)
White-browed Robin-Chat (from my library)