Satara 5-6th February

Satara 5-6th February

Wednesday, 5th

Today is going to be different. Son, Warren, has returned from Europe so Renette is going to fly from Skukuza today to join him in Jo’burg together with other son David and family. I am indeed fortunate to have a wife who allows me to indulge my passion of the bush so I happily acknowledge that she has earned her right to periodically join family and friends.

We begin the morning by going down our S126 Sweni Road at sunrise. We do so in complete solitude without another car in sight. Oh the purity of the bushveld, to linger amongst the herds of wildebeest, zebra and impala as they begin their day in such beauty and tranquility. It is another world.

At the Sweni Water Trough

We are keen to find a leopard and cub that have been seen on a rocky outcrop some 8kms along the road. But although we quietly circle the rocks, nothing stirs. I do get some compensation in the form of a beautiful little Cinnamon-breasted (Rock) Bunting that perches on a nearby rock.

We creep back to the main H1-3 road and turn right heading south.

We stop off at Nkaya Pan and Kamana Dam but little is about. At the Mazithi Dam, two elephants are really enjoying themselves bathing in the deep waters for a good 20 minutes.

We next stop at Tshokwane to stretch legs before continuing southward. The Sanparks helicopter lands nearby.

Leeupan has a lot of water in it but is choked with grass so that little open water is visible.

A Hooded Vulture feeding on the road verge.

Near the Sand river we find two large male lions next to the road but with their fast growing audience, we quickly move on. Over the next 3km’s we pass at least ten tourist bakkies speeding towards their share of the action.

We do some odds and ends at busy Skukuza and note that the hotel has opened after strangely standing unused for a full year.

We then join our friends, the Rothmann’s, for lunch on the restaurant deck before leaving for the nearby airport where I leave Renette to board her plane. Thereafter I return quickly northwards to Satara, pausing to follow a lioness plodding along the road near Leeupan.

I reach Satara at 4pm and do some running repairs to finish off the day. From Friday onward, rain is forecast and the troubled sky gives every indication of it.

Thursday, 6th

Today is going to be short and sharp. This is a real pre-frontal hot one with plus 40 degrees forecast. So I repeat yesterday’s route along the S126 Sweni. Again, I fail to see anything out of the ordinary but pleasant nonetheless.

Today I press on all the way to the Mzandzeni Picnic spot before heading north along the S36. This last part of the Sweni road and the S36 are so overgrown with long grass that one can see very little off the road. I next join the H7 Orpen road back to Satara. The heat then really sets in with a vengeance.

The forecast is now for heavy rain in the morning so I spend a while this afternoon preparing the caravan and awnings for this. I do venture out for an hour along the S100 Nwanetsi road at 5.30pm with the sky really looking ominous.

A Little Bee-eater lunging at passing insects.