Skukuza 4th November

Skukuza 4th November

Skukuza means Lake Panic for me, a man made lake some 4kms from Skukuza Restcamp. From the excellent hide one has ample opportunities for photographing the goings on at this wonderful place.

Leaving Renette in camp I arrive at Lake Panic at 5am. Entering the desolate hide, I am surprised to find that the water level is so low that the hide is surrounded by mud.

This means that one’s chances of photographing are rather limited as the fishing birds are rather at long range. I nevertheless settle down and the following photos tell the story.

A Waterbuck strolls along the water’s edge
Green Wood-hoopoe
Pied Kingfisher
A pair of Green-backed Herons
A Green-backed Heron being harrassed by swallows.

Somewhat disappointed I leave the hide at about 8am. A small group of people in the Lake Panic car park point out a Barred Owlet that is perched most conveniently on a branch.

Barred Owlet

Now these beautiful little owls are difficult to photograph so I am very thrilled to have finally got some good shots of one. It has made the whole morning’s effort worthwhile.

The sky remains overcast all day. We enjoy a lunch at the Cattle Baron deck overlooking the Sabie River. On arrival we are told by a most officious head waiter to first fit our Covid masks. We are then shown to our table some 5m distant whereupon we are told we can now remove the masks. These are WHO regulations says the waiter. Oh dear, I am getting too old for this.

This afternoon I go out along the H1-1 towards Pretoriuskop and stop at the De Laporte water trough some 10km from Skukuza. A young Tawny Eagle is parading himself affording me a good opportunity for some photos.

Red-billed Oxpeckers cover an Impala

At 5pm I return to camp, pick up Renette and we creep along the roads along the Sabie River. For the first time today, the setting sun breaks through making for a most beautiful end to the day.

The setting sun’s rays play on a sycamore fig