Mountain Zebra 5-6th September

Mountain Zebra 5-6th September

Saturday, 5th

The weather forecast tells me that rain can be expected today so I am out of the gate at 6.30am (7am official opening time). Again the sun is playing on the hilltops as I make my way along the dark valley northwards towards the maingate.

Very soon I come across a herd of stately Gemsbok.

Soon I reach the sunlit part of the road and sight a small herd of Hartebeest.

Next a young kudu next to the road. These animals are browner than those that I am used to in Kruger and KZN and their white body stripes are very indistinct.

The birds are also on the move and an Ant-eating Chat takes off from a nearby tree

I am again heading for the high grassy plateau that dominates M Z – doing the road anti-clockwise.. As I mount to steep ascent from the plains, I look back towards the camp.

The clouds are rapidly building up and I must make good use of the early sunlight.

Cape Longclaw

A troop of baboon are barking loudly but I fail to find what is bothering them. I then come across this beautiful sight .

A line of Eland disappearing over the skyline with some Mountain Zebra to the fore. A little further on I come to a small dam and find a pair of South African Shelducks doing their morning ablutions.

Male Shelduck
Female Shelduck

As I watch the clouds rapidly gather and before long thunder is rolling all around me. In the distance squalls of rain can be seen across the plains.

Of course the light and my photographic prospects deteriorate rapidly and subjects become drab and dull.

Female Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark
Karoo Long-billed Lark

A misty drizzle begins to fall and I retreat to camp where I am afraid that we spend the rest of the day. I have a large backlog of photograph sorting to do so I am kept happily busy.

Sunday, 6th

Light rains falls throughout the night and although probably only 12-15mm falls, this is a good start to spring and the dry grasslands. We spend the entire in camp venturing out for lunch again at the restaurant. Thereafter the rain ceases and although I venture out for a while, everything is sodden, drab and dull. Suddenly at 5pm the clouds open up and the mountains are bathed in evening sunshine. This promises well for an early start tomorrow morning when we plan to take the high mountain road to the southwest.