Satara 14th June

Satara 14th June

Tuesday, 14th

Our plans have changed a little for two reasons. Firstly, my recently repaired photographic computer has packed up again necessitating another trip to Nelspruit and secondly, son David and family are joining us at Skukuza on Thursday. What with the forthcoming public holiday, it would be better to move to Skukuza a day earlier which will be tomorrow, Wednesday. I am therefore sending out a smaller blog just for today so as to wrap up our Satara visit.

This morning we head again for the lovely Sweni S126 road in typical bushveld winter weather. Although we do not see anything extraordinary, there is plenty to keep us busy.

Keeping out the morning chill. Another group of White-crowned Shrikes
It is quite a common sight to see a Hyena come strolling along the road towards one.

This really is the most beautiful of roads – one of our Satara favourites. After our usual snack at Welverdiend waterhole, we turn and head for camp. The temperature rises rapidly to 29℃ and it is breezy from the north – ahead of the cold front that has brought heavy rains to the Cape. These mild winter days in camp are so pleasant.

Giraffe drinking in the Nwanetsi River

Probably our favourite late afternoon spot is Girivana Dam some 14km west of Satara. It is quieter than the popular, nearby Nsemani Dam. Today we make a choice to go to Girivana. Along the way we pass a Lilac-breasted Roller.

Arriving at Girivana at about 4pm, we find it deserted – both of humans and animals.

We really enjoy our time basking in the late afternoon sun, reading and drinking our coffee. A slopping sound from the water right next to me interrupts us and I am amazed to see a solitary wild-dog ‘wallowing’ in the mud.

We are so engrossed by watching the dog’s antics that we have to have it brought to our attention by a kindly motorist that there is a male leopard with a dead impala up a tree some 150m downstream of the dam wall.

The classic pose of a Kruger leopard

One never tires of these magnificent animals and spending a few minutes with one despells all memories of the barren hours that we have experienced lately. We spend a good half hour with him before having to hurry back to camp. Along the way a beautiful full moon rises over the Satara grasslands.

And what a place to be as the moon rises over the camp and lions are roaring so loudly close by tonight. There cannot be many places that offer the peace and tranquility as does wonderful Kruger. “Far from the madding crowd”.