Skukuza 16-17th October

Skukuza 16-17th October

Wednesday, 16th

Again, under heavily overcast skies, we set off down the H4-1 river road. Immediately, we come across lions lying at the side of the road.

The air is crisp and still and we are enthralled by the beauty of it all. Crawling at 10kph we drift into all of the little loops and lookout places from where we look down into this exquisite scene of reeds, water and sandbanks all set amongst giant leadwoods, jackalberry, sycamore figs and others. This is truly a paradise.

And all along the way we have constant sightings of impala, kudu, giraffe, waterbuck, bushbuck, nyala and ellies,.


The birds too are in full song as bushshrikes, robins and tchagara, turacos, trumpeter hornbills and others join in. A light drizzle falls for a short while but quickly lifts.

We drift downstream, stopping on the H12 high-level bridge where we pause amongst an ever entertaining troop of baboons.

“I so regret having another”

What a magnificent morning we spend with the traffic light and unobtrusive. Besides the regular lion sighting there is nothing out of the ordinary but how we enjoy ourselves.

Eventually we end off at Lower Sabie enjoying brunch on the restaurant deck with delighted tourists enjoying the hippos and ellies below.

At 11am we begin the +40 Km back to Skukuza but barely are we underway before we stop to view a leopard tucked away in a dense bushy tree some way off the road.

With the sun now breaking through and our concentration wavering, we hurry up the road towards Skukuza. The traffic is now at its busiest as late risers become active. Which serves as a lesson. This magnificent road is best enjoyed as early as possible when the light is at its best and there are few cars about.

It is cool in camp today but the long term weather forecast is that it is warming with next Monday forecast being a scorching 42 degrees C.

This evening we go out along the H1-2, the main road to the north. We keep to the tar and after crossing the Sand River bridge keep on to where the road runs next to the riverbed.


After coffee we begin the return but a couple of cars let it be known that there are leopards in the riverbed. Through the reeds and grass I can vaguely make out two heads but Renette sees three – no doubt a mother with cubs. Excited tourists in a tour bakkie call out “one, two, three, four” so apparently there were three cubs. As I am turning one cub springs out of the foliage trying to catch a low flying bird.

Rather late, we hurry back to camp after a really great day – full of interest and enjoyment.

Thursday, 17th

Today is partly cloudy as we head down to Nkukhu Picnic Site. Again, the morning is so attractive and quiet from a traffic point of view.

Crested Barbet

Down at the high-level H12 bridge we find the pair of resident Harrier-Hawks (Gymnogenes).

This road is again so full of interest. At the picnic site, we see a Black-maned lion striding through the reeds. A Nyala ram rockets out of the foliage ahead of him.

A few Km’s below Skukuza we come across lions in the road.

Back at camp, it is cool and we now have to deal with the sale of our Simbithi home. This takes most of the day and we don’t go out again. We have found the adjustment from farm life to living within a complex very taxing and have decided to relocate. Now starts the process of finding a new home.