Skukuza 3rd December

Skukuza 3rd December

Our visitors, Marion, Cheryl and Colleen leave after their eight day visit and return to Jo’burg today. Now, it is unthinkable that anyone staying at Skukuza fails to visit Granokop at sunrise and Lake Panic. So before they go they are bundled into the Quantum at 4.30am and taken the 10Kms along the H1-1 road and then up onto the granite dome of Granokop. At 4.55am the sun slips over the horizon and we are treated to this wondrous spectacle whilst sipping coffee with rusks.

Twenty minutes later we retrace our steps and travel out along the H11 road to Lake Panic. Surprisingly the water level has dropped since we were here a month ago. But it is still in top form with its usual early morning frenzy of activity.

A distant African Fish Eagle swoops down and catches a fish.
A Green-backed Heron shows its amazing agility whilst fishing from a branch.
A Squacco Heron joins in. (Library)
Unusually, a Woodland Kingfisher is repeatedly diving into the water, bathing. (Library)

After an hour and a half our visitors must return to camp to pack for their trip. We bid them a fond farewell as they leave and they have been stars. Always enthusiastic and appreciating the little things that Kruger has to offer. We so enjoyed having them and they were great company.

Today is another pre-frontal scorcher and Renette and I spend most of the day in the caravan venturing out mid-afternoon for a swim. At 4.30pm we take off down the H4-1 Sabie river road and travel quickly to Nkuhlu Picnic site where we turn and creep back.

Readers of the blog may remember the following photo that I took in early November of two Goliath Chicks on a nest.

Obscured through heavy foliage I find the nest again and it is still occupied. But one of the chicks would appear to have disappeared. I find it difficult to believe that the chick in the nest on 5th November is the same as this hulking bird together with the adult. Surely not – in only one month?

As we are watching the nest a typical KZN coast southerly ‘buster’ hits us and amid clouds of dust and flying debris, we are blown along our way back to camp. And that seems to mark the end of the hot weather for a while although no heavy rain is forecast for the next eight days.