Lower Sabie 8-9-10th November

Lower Sabie 8-9-10th November

Friday, 8th

Last night, load-shedding was due to take place from 10pm – 5am this morning but fortunately did not eventuate. But a few flickers at 10pm was enough to throw the Vodacom system so that the internet was only weakly available. Which has delayed the posting of the blog.

After yesterday’s snorter, we are happy to go out under leaden skies with a cool south wind blowing. By way of a change, we head north along the H10 towards Mlondozi.

The game for the first 5Km’s or so is quite heavy with buffalo, ellies, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, warthog and others . But as we proceed away from the river so the game and birds thin out and the dry veld becomes quite desolate.

Only the warthogs seem resilient enough to still be around which is a little surprising as it is the warthogs that take a real beating during the bad droughts.

Towards the end of the Muntshe mountain, we cut across west along the S129 and then southward on the S128. We come across two white rhinos near the Mafourteen waterpoint. Halfway back to the Sabie river, our progress is halted by a herd of buffalo several hundred in number that cross the road in almost single file after their drink. Today I notice some oxpeckers and am pleased to see that they are yellow-bills which were almost wiped out of Kruger during the indiscriminate dipping of cattle on neighbouring farms. These Yellow-billed Oxpeckers are now happily becoming quite common again.

Back at camp, Dave, Steph, Callum and Sophie arrive from Jo’burg at midday – thankfully in cool weather. Later that afternoon we drive up the H4-1 river road. Approaching the “Lullaby” Lubyelubye rocks David notes a hippo on the far bank with gaping mouth routing a pride of lions. Unfortunately, I only photograph him returning to the water.

This is the most outstanding road with constant action. The most impressive sight was another herd of buffaloes stampeding across the road.

Saturday, 9th

Poor Renette is laid low during the night with a tummy bug that is to affect myself and David too. Another cool, overcast morning sees us slowly going up the river road towards Skukuza. We take the Nwatimhiri Loop S79 gravel road and come across a rather distant leopard up a tree with an impala kill. He later obligingly stands up for us.

A little further on a pride of lions are snoozing close to the road but in amongst the bushes.

Baboons of course always provide entertainment particularly for the children.

At midday Callum and I go for a drive and come across yet another herd of buffalo crossing the river.

In the late afternoon we visit the bridge over the Sabie and here always find something of interest.

Pied Kingfisher

Sunday, 10th

With Renette still out of action, we take off early up the H10 road towards Mlondozi. There is interest all along the route. A rare Black-Chested Snake-eagle is perched on a nearby tree.

The Mlondozi Dam of course is bone dry although the borehole fed water trough still contains water. From this most beautiful lookout point David spies a Ratel scuttling about below. A pair of White-throated Robin-chats perch on a nearby bush.

Returning back down the H10, we come across four Southern Ground Hornbills meandering through the veld.

At the bridge, hippos and crocs seem to get on quite well together.

David and Renette stay in camp this evening as Steph. myself and the children dawdle up the river road. In beautiful light, ellies, buffalo, hippos and rhino are all busy in the reeds.

We learn about the awful accident up near Mopane where a speeding Taxi collided with a giraffe which then fell onto a tourist vehicle seriously injuring a Swiss national.

How often this year have I complained of the lack of control over these ‘visitor’ speedsters who are a law unto themselves. Genuine tourists just do not speed recklessly.