Tuesday, March 3, 2015

On Safari With Karen 2 March 2015

2 March 2015

Another day full of game spotting and apart from separate sightings a highlight was all the new animals we saw today! We had a great display of the variety in the Kruger NP: impala, waterbuck, kudu, crested barbet, a multitude of elephant sightings, three cheetahs lazing on an old termite mount, carmine bee-eaters, two herds of buffalos, yellow-billed kite, warthogs, golden orb spiders, klipspringer, bateleur, common grey duiker, lilac-breasted roller, zebras, hippos, marabou storks, crocodile, sadlebilled stork, baboons, leopard tortoises, wildebeest, plenty of white-backed vultures, and twice a leopard.

Our morning highlight was a family of vervet monkeys. We actually set watching this mega-large herd of impalas when an impala called the alarm. We rolled forward to see why and then a vervet monkey called the alarm, apparently for us. Most like the monkey had also startled the impalas hence their frenzy. But after calling the alarm twice, he settled back down and now that we had seen one monkey, we saw more and more. And there was a tiny baby in this group, but it already had an attitude! Playing with some monkeys twice its size, it wasn't scared. It was cunning enough to even push one out of the tree! Impalas forgotten, we sat watching those monkeys play for about 30min.

Our second highlight came in the afternoon when we followed a tip about a cheetah mother with two young cubs. Even though we were lucky and had already seen cheetah yesterday and this morning, watching cheetahs never gets old, so we went down to have a look. Coming close to the sighting we suddenly see this stream of cars coming towards us trying to leap over each other. So we stop and look for the cause in the bush. And there she was, right next to us, emerging from the bushes, followed by two tiny little balls of fur that were much smaller than the high thatching grass. We managed to get them in a bit of an open area to get some great pictures, before she (being wary of all the cars following her) crossed over and disappeared on the other side.

PS We checked the result of last night's lion vs buffalo stand-off. We didn't see any more lions hanging around, but there were still buffalos on top. We also did not see a carcass, so we assumed the lions had not succeeded in killing one of the buffalo, or didn't want to. And the buffalos had not killed a lion either...

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