Skukuza 7th November

Skukuza 7th November

The weather forecast becomes more and more ominous as we enter a prolonged heatwave with temperatures reaching 40℃ the next week or so. In these conditions one must really make use of the first three hours after sunrise before one retires back to camp.

Today we are first down the H4-1 river road at 4.30am, coffee on the highlevel bridge and then a gentle amble along the beautiful Salitje S30 road. I suppose that we see nothing very spectacular but the beauty of this road just makes the experience so enjoyable.

The little rocky outcrop along Salitje where we have had good leopard sightings

The cuckoos usually arrive in October and although the Red-chested (Piet-my-vrou) Cuckoo is calling incessantly, the Diederiks and Klass’s are strangely quiet. But I do photograph the soundless African Cuckoo which I am pleased with as they are quite difficult to get close to.

African Cuckoo

Despite being at busy Skukuza it takes us three hours before we see our first car so we have the road to ourselves. We do come across two lionesses at the side of the road, one with its head in a bush munching on some bloody morsel.

Our favourite place is the lookout point over the confluence of the Mwatindlopfu and Sabie rivers where there is always much activity.

Female Nyala
A most stately Nyala Ram
Sparring Waterbuck

Back on the high-level bridge a grouping of cars points to a lion sighting in the reeds below.

We are back in camp by 9am and already the temperature is 32℃. Thank goodness for the air con. At 3.30pm we go for a swim in a crowded pool and the temperature is 41 degrees.

We venture out at 5pm with the temperature still 40℃, have coffee on the Sand River bridge and then come back along the loops next to the Sabie River.

Brown-hooded Kingfisher
Scrub Hare

Tomorrow promises to be a repeat, out early and back by 9am before the heat becomes excessive.