Punda 5th Feb

Punda 5th Feb

Tuesday, 5th February

The weather forecast has it spot on and at midnight the rain begins beating on the caravan and the wind is tearing at the awning. We arise at 6am with a light rain falling and everything soaked. I had a brain seizure and forgot to put out my rain gauge. I estimate though that Punda only had probably 15mm or so.

The morning is spent in camp as the weather is still unpleasant. Word comes in that Kruger generally had good rain last night. Jenky down at Sabi-Sabi near Skukuza had 75mm. We meet a couple who spent last night at the Bateleur Camp west of Shingwidzi and they were marooned for hours by the flood waters in the Shingwidzi River. Another group say that there was heavy rain down at Pafuri this morning. And then word is from Zims that the drought has broken there – and it’s flooding in Queensland so El Nino must finally be on the wane. I am delighted and very much hope that those dry places around Satara have been soaked.

This afternoon I go anticlockwise on the 25Km Mahonie Loop (S99) that is a circular road nortwest of Punda camp. It is a very attractive road with the odd baobab and not much mopane.

Mahonie Loop (S99)

The second half of this road coming back west of Punda is particularly beautiful with many giant trees. In one I find a rather sulky African Hawk-eagle.

African Hawk-eagle

I next spy a Pygmy Kingfisher in dense shade which I photograph with a flash which isn’t the best. I find flash on Kingfishers alters the true colours of the bird.

Pygmy Kingfisher

Back in camp a cold south wind is blowing but despite the rain, ellies are coming regularly to drink at the pool next to our camp.

With the Luvuvhu River 50Km’s distant, we must chose our weather carefully so whether we go there or not depends on the wind and cloud cover. I look forward to it.