Skukuza 24th October

Skukuza 24th October

We are wakened early by Skukuza’s trademark – a chorus of White-browed Robin-chats (Heuglin Robins). They are the most melodious songsters and provide such a lovely start to the day.

With the cold front passing by, today dawns partly cloudy as we drift down the Sabie road in golden early morning light. After the smattering of rain, the birds are in full voice this morning.

The Violet-backed Starling has arrived
Green-winged Pytillia (Melba Finch)
Common Scimitarbill

So great is our enjoyment, that we travel slowly, turning into every loop and lay-bye all the way to Lower Sabie. The entire road is lined with game and every now and then a knot of cars indicates lion in the riverbed. At one spot near Nkuhlu at one time we have buffalo, baboons, impala, waterbuck, bushbuck between us and the water.

View across the Sabie River from Nkuhlu Picnic Site

We have kept exclusively to the Sabie and Sand river roads throughout the ten days that we have been at Skukuza and have been richly rewarded. Although we have seen few spectacular sighting, there has rarely been a dull moment.

We stop at Sunset Dam where a breeze from the south is ruffling the water.

Pied Kingfisher

In Lower Sabie we have a much improved breakfast on the deck. I really regret to report a clear deterioration in the maintenance of Kruger with litter in the bush near Reception and broken toilets and appliances everywhere. Oh dear. However, leaving Lower Sabie we head downstream for a while and are heartened to find a traffic policeman ticketing some tourists who had foolishly left their car at a lion sighting.

Well done Officer

Coming back from Lower Sabie we come across some vultures feeding on an impala carcass close to the road.

Lappet-faced Vulture

Negotiating many lion car pileups, we finally reach the H12 high-level bridge and investigate another car cluster at the far end of the bridge. As we reach there, a herd of eleven Sable antelope come rocketing from the reeds up onto the riverbank where they pause looking backwards. Cars around us tell us that there were lions close to where the sable had been. I really hope that they did not succeed in catching one of these rare and beautiful antelope.

This afternoon we again wander down the Sabie. In a gully Renette spies a Bateleur feeding on, what looks to be, the remains of a Steenbok

At the 4-way crossing just outside Skukuza, a pack of Wild-dogs are running about in the road.

And now faithful followers, I am afraid we are going to have a week’s intermission. Tomorrow we travel to Johannesburg from where we fly to Durban to be with son, Warren, and newly married wife, Naomi, before they leave for overseas. We have also sold our home in Simbithi, Ballito and must tend to a number of matters whilst there. If all goes according to plan, the next daily report from Kruger should go out on 3rd November. Thank you for being with us.