Today marks a momentous day for us. We have spent close on 7 months in Kruger during 2019 and tomorrow we leave for Jo’burg, a day or two early, but only because of commitments back home in Ballito and because rain is forecast for the next few days.
So, to mark our last day in Kruger we decide to repeat that great drive we had yesterday down to Biyamithi Weir along the S114. And what a good choice it proves to be but for different reasons. There are only three cars in the queue at 4.30am and once we get onto the S114 gravel road, we don’t see another car for the next two hours. Really Skukuza is a very good option in summer when tourists only struggle out of bed at 8am.
We stop at Renoster water trough for coffee and admire yet another sunrise.
Nearby a Pin-tailed Whydah is typically harassing his mate.
We continue down the S114 bathed in beautiful morning sunshine arriving at Biyamithi weir at 6am. Again, we travel all the surrounding roads hoping for a leopard before taking up our position next to the weir.
Yesterday it was leopards whilst today it is the Biyamithi pond itself which is absolutely seething with activity.
But without a doubt the star of this morning’s show was a pair of Saddle-billed Storks that were busy feeding right next to us. What a sight they are in this rich morning light.
We spend a full two hours enjoying this marvellous spectacle until the good photographic light disappears and we return to camp.
With rain forecast from 6pm this evening, we begin our packing at midday as the sky clouds over. Later, we do a final trip out across the Sand River, the Maroela loop, along the H12 to the high level Sabie bridge and then back to camp at 5pm.
My goodness but we have a kaleidoscope of memories from our 2019 Kruger visit. It has just been magnificent and we just cannot tire of it. These last two days have been just as thrilling as when we first entered the Park on January 20th.
Thank you for sharing with us this wonderful year and we look forward to returning again in the new year when you will receive notification that I am back in action.
Shaun Jenkinson Dec 8, 2019 at 8:48 am
Thanks for the great read Fred. I love reading your blogs before I go out on game drive in the mornings myself.
Just to let you know that the green backed heron has actually changed its name and is now called the Striated heron as it falls part of the Striata genus or family of birds.
On a more negative note, Kruger apparently lost 27 rhino to poaching across the park in 24 hours a couple of days ago. Not good news at all for them.
Thanks again for the great read. Hopefully we will see you soon.
Take care and kind regards
Richard Grant Dec 9, 2019 at 10:03 pm
Thanks for the comments Shaun. No I didn’t know the Green-backed Heron had changed its name. I will take note. Tragic about the rhinos. I cannot see a way out for them given the level of corruption within the Park staff themselves. The resignation of Glenn Phillips and the suspension of Don English tell me that the fight for the rhinos is something that will be lost.So very sad.
Ann Gibson Dec 9, 2019 at 11:34 am
Thank you for the wonderful descriptions and marvelous photos of our national natural heritage treasure- the Kruger. Look forward to more please.
Richard Grant Dec 9, 2019 at 10:05 pm
Hang in there Ann, there will be more in the new year. Thanks for your valued support.
Jane Gom Dec 16, 2019 at 12:43 pm
So sorry “our” trip to the Kruger is at its end! Many thanks for the most interesting blog and stunning photos.
Richard Grant Dec 17, 2019 at 10:41 am
More to come Jane. As addicts we will be back again shortly. Thank you for your support.
Helena Feb 6, 2020 at 2:33 pm
I’m way behind with your blog, thus my late query. What on earth is the animal eye close up? It looks too gentle to be a crocodile.
Richard Grant Feb 6, 2020 at 8:56 pm
Welcome back Helena. It was a hippo.