Skukuza 19th

Skukuza 19th

Such are the laidback ways of the Skukuza faithful, that when I arrive at the gate at 5.45am, I am first in line. At Satara I would have had ten cars ahead of me. I set off at a brisk pace heading for Salitje S30. Before I reach the Sabie river road, I see what I take to be a scrub-hare in the headlights on the left side of the road. Giving it a wide berth, I suddenly realise that it is in fact a baby leopard cub which is hissing and spitting at me. By the time I have stopped and reversed, the cub and presumably its mother, has disappeared into the long grass.

I can think of nothing more beautiful than creeping along Salije at sunrise with the sunrays shafting the golden grass and riverine trees. And this in complete solitude with no cars to be seen for the next two hours. A lioness crosses the road ahead of me.

The Sabie River
I suppose that it helps to see exciting things but such is the spectacle today that I would have been quite happy to see nothing. But there is always something of interest along this wonderful road.
An African Hawk-Eagle launches itself into the cool air.
Southern Black Flycatcher

I really try hard to find David’s Orange Breasted Waxbills but again come up short. Which of course makes the thrill of bird photography that much more rewarding when one finally succeeds. “The thrill of the hunt”.

Immature Bateleur

Back on the high-level bridge I find a female Giant Kingfisher.

A young Tawny Eagle

It is pre-frontal warm today with the temperature rising into the mid thirties. A good day for washing and tidying up after the our camp numbers have fallen from 12 to 2. We do miss them so much.
This afternoon, out at 5pm for a short trip across the Sand River and then back again to camp. Absolutely outstanding.