Satara 27-28th Feb

Satara 27-28th Feb

Wednesday, 27th February

This morning we head down the S100 Nwanetsi River road. The wind is again from the south and we are the only car headed that way. We stop to admire the sunrise at 5.50am and whilst having a cup of coffee another car passes by.

Not long after, we continue and within half a kilometer come across the same car that has just been following a leopard down the road and which has by now disappeared into the long grass. Oh dear, we certainly got that one wrong.

Without seeing much we come to the end of the road and turn towards Gudzani Dam where we are met with a most surprising sight. Having passed by all those dry streams on the way down from Letaba, we were not expecting this.

Gudzani Dam – full to the brim.

The great S100 road is not at its best with so much water standing in pools in the veld. The game has scattered and we don’t see much this morning. The sky clouds over at midday.

This evening we go north for 7Km’s and then cut across east along the S90 gravel road. Our destination is that lillied pool at the Mavumbye causeway which always, even during the worst drought, seems to retain some water.

Mavumbye Causeway
Sabota Lark

Back to camp after rather a quiet day.

Thursday, 28th February

In cloudy, cool weather we head south at 5.30am to the H6 tarred road to Nwanetsi. This is a true grassland road and today is abuzz with birdlife. There must be literally millions of Harlequin quails in these grasses as at no time is one without their lovely twit-twit call.

Harlequin Quail – 2017 Photo

We pass a juvenile Martial Eagle perched on a dry tree.

Juvenile Martial Eagle

As expected, the Sweni Causeway is so full of water that there are no mudbanks exposed for waders. It is neverthless a beautiful scene.

Sweni Causeway

We retrace our steps back up the H6 and stop to watch the busy White-winged Widowbirds that dart about from bush to bush.

White-winged Widowbird

Arriving back at camp, the sky is still overcast so I head back to the S90 towards Guzani East to photograph the grass birds.

Zitting Cisticola
Rufous-naped Lark

Approaching the Mavumbye Causeway where we had coffee yesterday evening, I find a herd of ellies milling about on the causeway. Something suddenly spooks them and they stampede off amid much trumpeting and squealing.

The afternoon becomes really hot and humid and it surprises me a little that they are not forecasting rain for some time to come.

This evening we shoot out west to Nsemane Dam on the Orpen Road but again all is quiet. Those of you who know Kruger (or who go fishing) will understand that one has these quiet spells which usually end with something spectacular happening. So one just keeps going waiting for the ‘big bite’.