Saturday, 1st June
This morning after a chilly night, we set off from the gates at 6am and in the semi-light head south along the main H1-3 towards Sweni S126.
But a few hundred meters beyond the H6 Nwanetsi turnoff the lead car’s headlights are picking up lionesses in the road that are walking towards us. In all four lionesses and then two black manes come strolling right past us along the road as they head for the nearby Nwanetsi River. Twenty minutes before sunrise means that the light is not good but I do manage a shot of a black mane after he leaves the road.
Again, it is remarkable the good condition of these majestic cats and I wonder if they are shaking off the Bovine TB that had affected so many of Kruger’s lions.
Sweni S126 with the light at our backs is its usual splendid self.
We breakfast again at the Muzandzeni Picnic spot at the end of the Sweni road. Here again we find our African Scops Owl snoozing in a shaft of sunlight.
Thereafter we head northward along the S36 road pausing at the Rockvale water trough to watch a large herd of zebra drinking.
How we are blessed to enjoy a winter climate as we do here in the Lowveld. We enjoy lunch in the warm sun.
This afternoon we travel out along the H7 Orpen road and hang around the Nsemane Dam for coffee. Intriguing were two Fish Eagle that in the distance swooped down with one grasping something in the water. It then alighted on a stump and tore feathers from its prey which really had us baffled. Too big for a Grebe, too small for a duck, we just could not work it out.
Today was filled with incident. Other than the early morning lions there was nothing spectacular but most interesting nonetheless.
Sunday, 2nd June
The Frenzel’s have happy memories of the S100 Nwanetsi River road and are keen to sample it again. So at 6am we begin a slow dawdle along this truly beautiful road. To the right are the huge riverine trees and to the left the famed grasslands of Satara.
Sunrises and sunsets feature prominently in my blog but it is difficult to ignore them.
One of my sons commented that he always knows when we have seen nothing as I begin the day’s report with scenic photos. Today I am afraid that he is right. Despite four pairs of eager eyes scanning the veld, we come up with nothing special. Towards the end of the road we come across a Fish Eagle characteristically throwing its head back as it calls.
Thereafter we call at Gudzani Dam, travel along the S41 to the Nwanetsi Picnic spot, on to the Sweni Causeway and then back to camp along the H6 tarred road. All is quiet both inside and outside the Quantum.
Undeterred, we again tackle the S100 this afternoon travelling some 15Km down the road before stopping for coffee. An almost bizarre weather feature then takes place. Large cumulus clouds are drifting up from the south despite there being very little wind. The sky is largely clear and blue but out of one of these fluffy clouds comes a squall of rain with a bright rainbow underneath where the evening sun catches the rain drops. It really makes for a most unusual sight especially this being June – the middle of the dry season.
Returning to camp, we all agree that the cloud and rainbow were the highlight of the day. Here’s hoping that tomorrow brings something really special for our guests.