Lower Sabie 3-4th March

Lower Sabie 3-4th March

Tuesday, 3rd

Bob, our camping neighbour, kindly rigged up his “trail cam” and after some scuffling in the night we were curious to know what the camera picked up. The following video clips reveal all.

So Lower Sabie’s non-existent electric perimeter fence is allowing through all manner of animal life. There is a good possibility that someone asleep in his tent will be attacked – as happened at Crocodile Bridge not so long ago.

On a dark, overcast morning we return to Mlondozi, amongst other things, hoping to find our leopard of last evening. All is quiet so we move along the S29 past Mlondozi and then take the track S122 that runs behind Muntshe mountain.

Amur Falcon in the dark pre-sunrise light
Lilac-breasted Roller (My Library)

These rich grasslands are absolutely humming with birdlife and we spend a good four hours being so entertained. The weather stays still with thick high cloud.

Yellow-throated Longclaw
Sabota Lark
Black-shoulered Kite (My Library)
Immature Barn Swallow
Wattled Lapwing

At 11am we join the H10 and head back to Lower Sabie pausing to watch a Martial Eagle and some Red-breasted Swallows.

Martial Eagle
Red-breasted Swallow

Late afternoon and the sky has cleared allowing for some lovely evening moments at Sunset Dam.

Wednesday, 4th

This being my birthday, I have choice of road and elect to go up to Skukuza via Salitje S30. We are returning some books to a fellow camper who loaned us some literature on Okavango.

Again we drift up the S128 and then onto Salitje. I fear that my readers must find my descriptions a little repetitious but it is difficult not to. What with the magnificent sunrise and then the scene along Salitje with its great trees and grasslands all lit up in the golden rays, it is very difficult not to be moved.

Burchell’s Coucal

That we don’t see that much is by the way. Just to experience this great bushveld scene is reward enough. Renette and I are so grateful to have been given the privilege of enjoying these moments.

Over the Sabie River we go and up the H4-1 towards Skukuza. Bizarrely at one point we come across a sizeable crocodile, far from the river, lying snoozing at the side of the road. Speeding cars and trucks do not seem to disturb him and eventually we just let him be.

At Skukuza we return the books to the campers and then move to the deck of the restaurant overlooking the river. Here we enjoy a wonderful breakfast in glorious cool lowveld weather. It must be said that we have now been six weeks in Kruger this year and despite this being mid-summer we have hardly experienced heat. The days have generally been cool and still, worthy of the month of April.

Quickly back down the H4-1 and the change between November and now is striking. With Kruger then in the grip of a drought, then one could expect to see five or six lion sightings in the riverbed as they awaited their thirsty prey. Now we have not seen a single lion down below.

This afternoon in again magnificent weather, we go quickly down to the bottom entrance of the S130 Gomondwana road and creep back up.

S130 Gomondwana Road

We soon come across a Long-crested Eagle which is not common in the Park.

Long-crested Eagle

We end up at the pond near the top junction with the H4-2.

White-faced Ducks

Here White-faced Ducks are active as well as swallows that are busy skimming over the water. A couple of Pied Kingfishers are also fishing which, against the setting sun, produces such an attractive effect. We must return here.

Pied Kingfisher with frog

Rather late, we race back to camp arriving at exactly 6pm..

At lunchtime today I uploaded the video of the night prowling hyena onto the Sanparks Facebook page and by 6pm there had been 12,000 hits. Many people expressed their consternation that this hyena is loose in the camp. It is quite sobering especially when one remembers what happened to that boy at Croc Bridge camp not so long ago.