Sunday, 19th May
Yesterday afternoon after we duly collect Chris and Renette Denny from the airport and after they have settled into their chalet, we go to enjoy coffee atop the domed koppie that is Granokop – some 15Km west of Skukuza.
What an introduction to the lowveld bush coming as they do from the wintery Cape.
This morning we get down to business as we head down the H4-1 Sabie river road to the highlevel bridge. Here we enjoy the view of a typical May sunrise over the river.
A pair of Giant Kingfishers are catching the morning sun perched on the bridge railings.
After our mandatory coffee, we proceed down the Salietjie S30 road which is a picture in the morning light. There follows a steady stream of interesting sights.
Both Chris and Renette Denny are new to Kruger so we push on to Lower Sabie where we breakfast on the restaurant deck overlooking the river.
Thereafter, we pause at Sunset Dam before heading for Skukuza as the day heats up. A sight worthy of mention is of a Martial Eagle on the ground tearing apart a freshly dispatched Guineafowl. Unfortunately, this is behind a screen of bush ruling out any photos. Nearby the remainder of the Guineafowl flock are noisily making known their distress.
This afternoon we go down to Renoster Koppies and then around to and up the Stevenson-Hamilton koppie. Nothing unusual shows itself other than this lovely Steenbok caught in the late afternoon light.
We enjoy dinner on the deck with the full moon rising through the sycamore fig and reflecting in the waters of the river below. A most agreeable end to the day.
Monday, 20th May
We leave the gates at 6am and are headed towards for the Biyamithi weir and Afsaal. We stop at the Renoster water trough along the S114 road and watch the sunrise over our coffee cups.
We then creep southward, following the S114 but oh dear. The corrugations in the road are terrible and we see absolutely nothing all the way to the weir. This is not the introduction to Kruger that I had hoped for the Denny’s.
The weir itself is always so picturesque in the morning light and we pause awhile watching the water birds and a lone hippo puffing in the water.
Just beyond the weir, we come across a family of hyena which are resident in a drain under the road.
We push on to popular Afsaal on the main H3 road and join the crowds at breakfast. Then it is back to Skukuza without further incident.
This afternoon we go out over the beautiful Sabie and Sand Rivers (H1-2) and slowly work the Marula Loop. But other than a few ellies, impala and kudu there is not much activity. Back on the main tarred road, we turn back towards Skukuza. A couple of cars tell us that a leopard has just crossed over the road but it is quickly lost to view in the long grass.
This evening our meal on the restaurant deck is interrupted as there is a rush to the railings and in the torchlight a porcupine scuttles along next to the fence below.