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