Lower Sabie 28-29th February

Lower Sabie 28-29th February

Friday, 28th

This is the last day that the Crowther’s will be spending with us. So on a cool, misty morning with an air drift from the south, we cross the bridge heading up the H10 and bound for Tshokwane. Immediately, an alert Gordon spots a lioness some 60m off the road.

She is a little battered and after while limps away. Whilst we are watching her, a great molten blob of a sun oozes itself over the horizon.

The sun brightens and in the golden, misty light we are treated to some beautiful scenes.

The birdlife on these grass plains is just prolific.

Purple Roller (My Library)

Muntshe this morning is shrouded in mist.

We push on northward stopping continually to see little items of interest. A Black-bellied Bustard giving his distinctive call.

Southern Red Bishop
Klipspringer (My Library)

On the rocky slopes of Nkumba Hill, we see two Klipspringers.

We stop at the spectacular Nkumba Lookout point and gaze enthralled across the vast plains beneath us.

Six white rhinos graze contentedly through the glasslands. We eventually leave and descend the hill towards Tshokwane. Here we come across two Secretarybirds foraging through the grass.

At Tshokwane we enjoy a pleasant breakfast but I am disappointed that their famous pies are not available. Meanwhile the wind has turned to the south and thick clouds soon fill the sky. Driving back along the H10 we enjoy the sight of Muntshe from afar with showers of rain sweeping its flanks. Not far from Mlondozi, a parked car tells us that we have just missed a leopard that spent fifteen minutes in the road.

Back in camp, Gordon mentions that that morning when leaving their room, a neighbour was using strong language to repel a jackal that has also made the restcamp its home. We ourselves came face to face with a couple of large baboons outside our caravan door. The baboons have the run of the camp as evidenced by the following photo taken by Gordon,

Late afternoon in dark and cool conditions we travel along the attractive Nwatimhiri S21 road before doubling back. We are so keen for the Crowther’s to see a leopard but they are being stubbornly uncooperative. They are being seen by everyone except us.

We end the day with a lovely meal at the Mugg & Bean restaurant. The week has gone by all too quickly and tomorrow morning the Crowther’s leave for Jo’burg. Gordon and Judy have been tremendous companions in the Park, so enthusiastic and so appreciative of the small things that Kruger has to offer. We are going to miss them.

Saturday, 29th

We first bid our fond farewells to the Crowther’s before setting off over the river, along the S128 bound for Salitje S30. The weather is cloudy and cold and we do not see anything worthy of me raising my camera. But it is always enjoyable just to experience the ambience of Kruger.

On cool, cloudy days such as this, passable photographic light lasts all day. So at 2pm I set off eastward towards Mlondozi Dam along the S29. I eventually turn off and take the S122 track that runs behind Muntshe mountain. Despite the strong south wind, birds are plentiful.

Carmine Bee-eater
Barn Swallow (wondering if his Schengen visa will be ready next month)
Male Steenbok

I am actually most keen to find the Black Coucal which has been seen in this area but no luck. However, I thoroughly enjoy myself and eventually arrive back in camp at 5.30pm where I pick up Renette and we go out again for an hour before the gates close. We go down the H4-2 and immediately come across a well gorged Martial Eagle perched nearby.-

Approaching camp at 6.25pm we come across our same Verreaux’s Eagle Owl making ready for his night’s hunt.

Tomorrow promises to be a more settled day weatherwise and we intend travelling our Nwatimhiri S21 road.