Skukuza 17-18th May

Skukuza 17-18th May

Friday, 17th May

I omitted last night to tell you that returning to camp we came across two cheetah near the gates but in such poor light that I couldn’t photograph them. Word has it in the campsite that the cheetah later arrived right at the gates.

I forgot also to mention earlier that where the Nwanetsi River runs next to the main H1-3 road, we enjoyed the unusual sight of a Long-crested Eagle perched next to the road. I have only ever seen one in Kruger many years ago near Malelane. I suspect that this is the same individual that we saw in March.

Unfortunately, a bus scares him off just I was about to catch him in flight.

Before I leave Satara here are two video clips from Renette. Firstly our lazy ‘teddy bear’ lion on Sweni.

Secondly, a little Scops Owlet that perched in the thorn tree branches above us one night.

Now, back to this morning. A thick mist envelops the camp as we do our final packing for our move to Skukuza. We leave the gates at 6.20am and keep to a steady 50kph as we head south. The mist is so thick that I must drive carefully on a wet road and at times use the wipers. It stays like that all that way to Skukuza and only finally breaks up at about 10am.

You will have gathered that we were particularly keen at Satara to see a leopard. We drove for hours on wellknown leopard roads – the S100, Sweni, Timbavati and others without success. So it is with a touch of irony that as we approach the busy 4-way intersection just outside the Skukuza gates, a large male leopard strolls unconcernedly amongst some cars before disappearing into the grass.

Leopards are…. anywhere, anytime.

White-crowned Shrike

We settle into a lovely, well shaded campsite. This evening we sit on the Sand River causeway for a while before completing the beautiful S83 Marula Loop. Lots of ellies and impala but no elusive cats.

Sand River

We end off the day in the Cattle Baron restaurant for supper mainly to make use of their wifi as Vodacom is on the blink. Again and again, I remark on the warmth and friendliness of the staff in Kruger. Tomorrow morning I will spend the early morning in the Lake Panic hide before meeting our next visitors, Chris and Renette Denny, as they fly in from Cape Town.

Saturday, 18th May

Despite some cloud about, I make a bee-line for Lake Panic. I am rewarded when at 7am the sky clears and I am treated to two hours of frantic entertainment. Herons, kingfishers, darters, fish-eagles and so much more are busily feeding themselves.

Pied Kingfisher
Malachite Kingfisher
African Jacana
Immature Green-backed Heron
Immature African Darter

I return to camp after some splendid entertainment and quickly download my photos so that we have time to meet the plane from Cape Town bringing Chris and Renette Denny for three days.