The weather has settled now and the glorious Lowveld days follow one after the other. A bright start sees us leave camp in chilly 9℃ clear conditions as we head east for the Sweni Bird hide near the Nwanetsi Picnic Site.
We enter the hide just as the early sun rises above the Lebombo hills to the east and what a picture is spread before us. But rather like at Lake Panic, there is just too much water with no sand or mud banks exposed for the birds to feed. So we regretfully leave quite soon and head northward along the S41 towards Gudzani.
The early morning views of the Nwanetsi River are so beautiful. There is water everywhere.
As we reach the intersection where the S100 and the S41 roads meet a young leopard crosses the road ahead of us and enters the grass on the verge. Arriving there, we find the leopard just a meter or so off the road in the grass. But it quickly slinks off and all we see is its waving tail.
In the past I have been critical of the upkeep of the roads in Kruger where corrugations often make for unpleasant travelling. I have been so impressed this trip by all the standard of the gravel roads from Bergendal right up to Satara so well done SanParks.
Again we are quickly out the gates at 6am are headed for Sweni S126. And at the reservoir only 1km from the main road, we come across such a lovely pride of lions. No mangy battle scarred wrecks here. From the half grown cubs to the lionesses and such a handsome black mane, this pride is strong and healthy. The sun is just about to rise and we spend a good half hour with these very impressive animals.
After a while cars arrive and the pride moves off down to the reservoir before disappearing into the Sweni riverbed beyond.
Leaving the lions, we continue along the S126 Sweni road and after a while come across a group of four hyena in the road.
At Welverdiend we breakfast and then retrace our steps back to the main road and camp.
How privileged we are in the month of mid-winter to enjoy these warm sunny days where with shirt off one can suntan and soak up a climate second to none. We are mightily blessed.
This afternoon we travel quickly north along the H1-4 before turning and crawling homeward. We just miss a cheetah crossing the road ahead of us.
And now folks I must tell you that poor Renette has not been well of late and we must interrupt our Kruger visit. Early Friday morning we will be going to Johannesburg for a while but hoping to return soon to resume our trip. This means that we will miss the Shingwedzi week which is disappointing but can’t be helped. Of course I will let you know of our progress as soon as we return to Kruger.