As we drove through the Numbi gate at 05h40, I found my self thinking “What’s the line up for today”. One good thing is holidays are over and everything is back to “normal” in the park. This can be seen by the amount of cars on the road. No queue this morning, it couldn’t have taken me more than 10min to get our gate pass and prep the Open Safari Vehicle. After a client briefing of the do’s and don’ts we were on our way.
Weather was awesome, we had 100% cloud base in our African sky and temperatures must have been approximately 15deg.
Time and time again our first animal sighting is the common Impala antelope, however not today.
Approximately 700m from the Shebeni Link junction, walking towards us was a Majestic black manned male Lion. As he approached us, we turned off the Open Vehicle engine and enjoyed the sighting. He approached the vehicle with eyes fixed on us as though to say Good morning.
Obviously he was a “male on a mission” as our presence didn’t bother him in anyway. He got to our vehicle; sniffed at the grill and walked to the side of the road where he politely sent marked the small Silver cluster leaf tree. My guests were overjoyed as this was literally the first animal sighting for the day.
We moved off and decided to drive down Napi road as we planned to have breakfast at Skakuza rest camp. I turned onto Napi boulders gravel road and traveled approximately 1.6Kms were we came across a female White rhino and her calf lying sleeping approximately 6m off the road. Pictures were taken and we left them while you could still hear her snoring. Just goes to show how irrelevant we are out in the bush. Onto Skakuza for breakfast. While on my way, Jaun (college) gave me a call and informed me of a cheetah sighting near the Transport dam entrance, no luck though.
After breakfast we headed in the direction of Tshokwane. While crossing over the low level bridge I stopped for a
Nile croc approximately 4 meters in length, just drifting in the water to the right of us. As I was about to move off, I glanced across to the left of the bridge and saw laying on top of a rock my favorite cat…. Leopard. A beautiful Tom cat. Words can’t describe the satisfaction you get when seen your favorite cat. Till next time my best friend…..
We cut across to the high level bridge which would take us back over the Sabie river onto Nkuklu. At this stage the cloud base was disappearing rapidly. On crossing over the high level bridge we found a herd of Cape buffalo lying in the water. No wonder people mistakenly call them “Water buffalo”.
Once we turned onto
Eloff street heading in a Easterly direction, a herd of African elephant crossed over the road, providing us with brilliant side views of the largest land mammal. There must have been 30 or so crossing over, making their way down to the river, for a much needed drink. As the last female disappeared into the bush, I heard a voice on my vehicle say “ That’s the BIG 5 in less than 5 hours”.
With my clients extremely satisfied and the fact that they could wear the “Big 5” T-shirt we decided to spend the rest of our day observing the general game and bird life the park has to offer. By the time we got back to Numbi gate to leave the park, we had long lists of animal / bird sightings.
All credit given to the animals as they were in the right place at the right time.
Thanks once again my friends, till we meet again…….
Goodnight, GodBless and Goodbye
Senior Guide Nhongo Safaris