Lower Sabie 8-9th March

Lower Sabie 8-9th March

Sunday. 8th

You may remember that we enjoyed time at that pond 20 odd km’s along the Ntwatimhiri S21 road a few days ago. Bright and sunny, we wish to take advantage of the conditions to be there early. We are first up the H4-1 river road and then onto the S21 just as the sun rises.

What and outstandingly beautiful road this is. It is not choked with long grass as are so many others and there is ample visibility into the veld. With the great trees, it is a real example of a true bushveld scene. We move steadily along the road pausing only to photograph a hyena plodding along towards us.

We reach the pond at 6.45am with plenty of ‘good’ light left. Amazingly absolutely nothing stirs, not even a goose or a crake. Which makes one wonder. How does a Comb Duck with a brood of flightless ducklings safely transfer through the veld?

After some breakfast, we disappointedly retrace our steps. Certainly the wrong option today. Arriving back at the Lullaby (Lubyelubye) Rocks near Lower Sabie we find that a troop of baboons have taken possession.

Laid back sentry
The Thinker
The Enforcer

Really this Lullaby Rocks is scenically so beautiful.

We stop for a while at Sunset dam which is never short of interest.

Sunset Dam

At 3.30pm we exit camp and head down the H4-2 Croc Bridge road to the bottom end of the S130 Gomondwana road. After coffee we creep back up the road seeing little bits of interest all the way. At the little pond near the tarred H4-2, we stop to again watch the ducks, the Pied Kingfisher and the swallows diving in for their drink of water.

Pied Kingfisher with frog.
Barn Swallows

The 6pm camp gate closing time really is absurd with the sun still high in the sky. Arriving back a little early, we settle at Sunset Dam where I photograph a really unusual cloud pattern at sunset.

Sunset Dam

Monday, 9th

Today is our last day of our present seven week stay in Kruger. We are keen to get back to Leeupan which is just bursting with activity. It is quite a distance so we position ourselves at the gates extra early to ensure an unimpeded run up the H10 towards Tshokwane. There is an unwritten rule in Kruger that those at the gate first are given the lead so that they can enjoy the probability of seeing sightings in the road.

We quickly cross the bridge and I settle into my speed-limit. But I did not reckon on a bakkie that overtakes us at speed on the very first corner. And to make matters worse, it is our neighbours in the campsite. Our friendly feelings towards them take a turn for the worse as we see their taillights disappearing into the distance.

Our spirits though are rekindled by the magnificent misty sunrise.

Muntshe Mountain

Where the road comes close to the foot of Muntshe, we come across our speeding neighbours stopped and yes……. a leopard was at the side of the road. We briefly see it in the long grass some way off the road. Continuing towards the Nkumbe Lookout, we find the road blocked by a herd of ellies.

We wish to get to Leeupan early so as to enjoy the good morning light so we do not stop at Nkumbe. But I do pause to take some photos from the vehicle. Kruger early mornings are so spiritually uplifting.

Hills east of Tshokwane
Nkumbe Lookout

We eventually arrive at Leeupan at 6.45am and what a spectacle is in store for us.

What follows are some of the photos that I took this morning and you will gather that I was kept extremely busy’

White-faced Ducks
Comb (Knob-billed) Duck
Female Painted Snipe
Yellow-crowned Bishop

Besides these we saw a Harrier diving into the vegetation, Ground Hornbills, Wooly-necked Storks and Lapwings

At 10am we drag ourselves away from Leeupan and call at the excellent Tshokwane where at last I get my pie.

Coming back down the H10 we pause on the Nkumbe Heights and look south across the plains towards Muntshe – which has featured so prominently over the past sixteen days.

Today, I fear, is the last day of our present seven week visit before we travel back to Jo’burg tomorrow. The time has flown by and we are so sad that it has come to an end. Remember though that we have sold our home at Simbithi, Ballito and that we are at present of no fixed abode. We have been so happy here in Kruger that we are in no hurry to relocate elsewhere. Time will tell.

Some of you may be curious as to how we can be so content living in Kruger. It is a question that I myself ask myself often. There are a number of reasons.

  1. One is living side by side with people who share a common love of nature. They are honest, down to earth and friendly folk who would not (usually) dream of any anti-social behaviour. Despite leaving our possessions in the open, we have never experienced any incident of theft.
  2. The staff are happy and appreciative to be in Kruger. There is very seldom any ‘attitude’ from them.
  3. Kruger must have one of the finest climates imaginable.
  4. The lifestyle is so pure here without the constant and oppressive negativity that one is bombarded with in the real world.
  5. My camera and blog constantly stimulate and give me that challenge of finding something new every day. I must confess that without my camera, I may find some level of boredom setting in. I do have an active mind that needs stimulation.
  6. “Something to look forward to”. Each evening I cannot wait for what the new day may bring.
  7. Kruger provides limitless potential as to what one can see. It represents the full African bush experience for Renette and myself whilst enjoying our comforts. We are past living in tents and roughing it.

So, dear bloggers, thank you for being with us these past seven weeks and we look forward to returning soon.