Today is our last day at Punda and being clear and sunny we head again to the Klopperfontein water trough. As the sun rises some ellies arrive to drink out of the reservoir only some 20m from us.
Again, there is a steady stream of zebras coming in to drink.
After an hour or so we head back to camp just in time to see a large herd of buffalo arrive at the waterhole right next to our caravan. Buffalo herds are oh so impressive.
We spend the rest of the day making ready for our move early tomorrow.
After a very happy time spent at Punda we leave early for Shingwedzi, only some 75km distant. As we travel down the main H1-8 road southward, we become more and more alarmed by how dry the veld is. We had heard recently how the Shingwedzi River had recently flooded and assumed that the Restcamp too had received some rain.
Far from it. Shingwedzi is drought stricken with very little grass, bare earth and everything brown, brown. So disappointing as I had hoped that beautiful Shingwedzi would be the high point of the trip.
At 9am after setting up camp, I take off towards Kanniedood dam (or where it used to be). Now this is usually one of my favourite places with thick, lush vegetation accommodating many birds – including the Grey-headed Kingfisher. No such luck today. Because of the drought the vegetation is sparse and stunted with very little life.
Back in camp at midday a passing worker remarks on the “rainbow around the sun”. Peering heavenward we witness the curious sight of a halo circling the sun – caused by refraction through very high thin cloud..
Late afternoon I take off westward along the tar, cross the Shingwedzi River and then creep back on the S52 which runs along the north bank of the river. This is usually another favourite of mine but the dryness just spoils things. There are few birds or animals. I literally do not see a blade of grass and there is just bare earth everywhere. I am afraid that we are going to have to reevaluate as my photographic prospects here have taken a dive. Satara beckons.
Load shedding grips the camp this evening but glory be, the camp generator comes to the rescue. Unfortunately, Vodacom is not working and there is no internet so this blog must wait for tomorrow.