Guests enjoyed tea and coffee and we left the camp at around05h30. We had not gone far before finding our first lions at the entrance to the Shitihave dam. They had been seen earlier walking up the road and had now gone to lie down in the grass next to the road. The sighting was not too good as a large number of the llions were very obscured from view while in the long grass. We moved off from the sighting and went down the boulders road finding seven rhino busy eating along the road. We contiued on and went down the H3 in the direction of Kwagga Pan looking for a large herd of buffalo's that had been there the day brfore. When passing the S112, I suddenly found nine wild dogs standing in the road in front of the vehicle. After a while, they decided to lie down in the shade of the vehicle and have a rest as there stomachs looked full as if they had eaten the night before and were not interested in leaving the area. We stayed at the sighting for about an hour, with clients getting some really good photos and also while i helped the other open safari vehicles in the park get down to the sighting before any of the wild dogs decided to leave and push off into the bush. After finishing at the wild dog sighting we took a drive down to Kwagga Pan to see the buffalos that were slowly starting to move away after having had their drink of water.
After watching this sighting, we made our way for the main camp of Skukuza for breakfast. After a hearty breakfast at the Selati Restaurant, we made our way down Ellof street on the river side to see what we could find. We managed to have good sightings of crocodile and hippos as well as sightings of little bee-eater birds found near to the road. We also manged to find an African Fish Eagle standing on the branch of a deaf tree. We decided to start making our way back in the direction of the camp, as guests were tired from the early morning start and wanted to res before leaving on another drive later in the afternoon. The afternoon safari saw us leaving camp and finding more rhinos as well as general game on the afternoon drive. Guests returned to camp saying that they had really enjoyed the day and were looking forward to having a good meal and a rest before leaving the camp the following morning destined for Skukuza, which would be our home for the next two nights.
The next morning after tea and coffee, we took our leave of Pretoriuskop and made our way down the Napi road, turning down the boulders road before coming upon our first sighting of rhinos lying next to the road. We stayed a while at this sighting as they were so close that you could hear then breathing and also sneezing while lying in the early morning sun alongside the road. We moved on and came across our first elephant sighting, something that had been scarce up until now, possibly due to the large area that had been burning for the last two days. We continued on down Napi having a rather quite drive by just getting quite a large number of Zebra, Wildebeest, Impala and Kudu.
After breakfast, we took a drive up to Jones Dam closer to the centrl section of the park, only to find it rather quite as there has been little rain in this area. We slowly made our way over the high water bridge and back to the camp of Skukuza. After checking in, clients went for some coffee and a good rest before leaving on the afternoon drive. Late afternoon, we left camp and made our way in the direction of the Doispane road after hearing on the radio that there had been two leopard seen in the area. It was wanting to start to rain, but we did not worry as the leopard was quite important as this been the only cat species that the guests had not seen in Africa on may previous visits. We went looking for them, but were unsuccessful in finding big cats, as they had already moved off from where they were seen. We made our way back to camp for another good meal and some rest.
The next morning, being the final full day on safari, we left at 05h30 and made our way towards the picnic spot of Tshokwane, were we would have some breakfast. On route we came across some rhino, Giraffe, Impala, Kudu, Warthogs and Zebra. We also came across a corpse of a young lion cub, that had died during the night from what i could see was a serious bought of Bovine Tuberculosis that our lion prides suffer with and contract by eating contaminated bufflo meat. We felt very sorry for the little one and went onto breakfast very subdued. After having had breakfast and also relaying what we had found to the ranger in the area we continued onto the H10. We made our way up to the N'kumbe Lookout area, and after enjoying the view, we made our way down the H10 towards Lower Sabie. Just outside lower Sabie, i received a message on the radio of two leopards lying in trees near to one another near the camp of Skukuza. Knowing how desperate the guests were to see one, we made our way in that direction, arriving about one hour later. We made our way to the two sightings locations, only to find that they had both got out of the trees and moved off. While i was on the second location, one of the other guides by the name of Markus told me of a leopard he had just found near to the transport dam. This leopard was in the same area as the one i found a week earlier with its impala kill in the tree. After discussing this with the guests, I took the watergat road which is a shortcut to the Napi road and only about three km's from the leopard in the tree. After some quite fast driving, we came upon the sighting of this large male leopard lying sleeping in the tree. After looking at him for a while, i could tell that it was the same tom cat that i had found in the tree with his kill about a week before, only this time he was on the opposite side of the road. The guests were extremely happy with this find and were at the same time quite blown away by this cats beauty. After being there for quite a while and a number of photos were taken, we made our way back to camp in order for the guests to take a rest, before leaving on their night drive that was leaving at 17h00.
Guests went out on their night drive and found lions lying next to the road, hyenas, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, snake, chameleon, buffalos and elephant. Upon returning from their night drive, they enjoyed dinner and then it was off to bed for a good rest.
The final morning saw the clients sleeping in for a while, before enjoying a cup of tea and coffee and then going out on the open safari vehicle for our final game drive. Good general game was viewed on the game drive as well as rhino and elephant. Guests then were taken to the camp of Pretoriuskop, were they enjoyed breakfast after which we left the park, changed our vehicle in Nelspruit and made our way back to Johannesburg.
Feedback from the clients was that they had a wonderful time, and will be returning with their children and their families next year. They have a number of grand children that they would like to treat and take on a safari in Africa. We look forward to welcoming them back next year upon their return.