18 May 2015
Today heralded the start of a new tour and after meeting up we headed down to the park entering Phabeni gate and making our way to Skukuza.
Despite the heat we racked a number of very nice sightings. One of these was at a watering hole where we found a lot of impala around the waters edge, a number of hippo including one who decided to have a much closer look, a huge crocodile sunbathing and then we were joined by two big bull elephants who came down to take a long drink. The beauty of a dam is you can spend ages just watching all the differing goings on and this is what we did as we spent forty minutes just sitting enjoying all the surroundings.
Our second highlight was a journey of about twenty giraffes. At the start they were hidden well by all the trees and as we waited for them to come into the open, we amused ourselves with a trio of zebra, mum and fluffy calf and maybe dad. We positioned ourselves in a nice shady spot and again sat patiently. Before long the three zebra crossed the road followed by about five of the giraffe. It seemed as if the giraffe were going to disappear but then all of a sudden they turned and started to walk straight up to the car giving us a great sighting.
During the rest of the afternoon we also saw cape buffalo, vervet monkey, kudu, warthog, dwarf mongoose, steenbok and hyena.
Just a few of the birds included cape glossy starlings, yellow-billed hornbills, white breasted cormorants, blacksmith lapwings, African fish eagle, egyptian geese, magpie shrikes and tawny eagle.
19 May 2015
We started out from camp nice and early on a rather chilly morning. Although the start of the drive was fairly quiet we soon started notching up some good sightings.
One of the best was at a dam where we counted about forty crocodiles, most of them out of the water on the banks sunbathing with a few still relaxing in the shallow waters. We had all range of sizes from tiny two footers too quite a few who measured around the fifteen foot mark. If the sight of these monsters wouldn't stop you dipping a toe in the water the pod of hippos baring their teeth to each other just might!!!
Our second sighting was a brief glimpse of a leopard, we only saw it for about twenty seconds or so before it disappeared but any sighting of this reclusive animal should be savored and enjoyed and this sighting was no different.
Other animals seen today were lots of elephants, cape buffalo, baboon, vervet monkey, impala, zebra, giraffe, kudu, waterbuck, warthog, common duiker, steenbok, bushbuck, nyala, wild dogs and lots of dwarf mongoose families.
Birds included the marabou storks, yellow-billed stork, African jacanas, grey heron, fork tailed drongos, grey go-away birds, southern ground hornbills and the African hoopoe.
This evening the guests went out on a sundowner drive with incredible success. On the drive they saw 2 lionesses, 3 leopards as well as elephant, buffalo, hippo, porcupine, civet, genet and of course scrub hare.
20 May 2015
Unfortunately the last day of this tour had arrived and so we went out in search of a last few memorable sightings.
Our first was a lovely herd of elephants which crossed the road, we saw two cross a couple of hundred meters in front and thought that was it but as we pulled up closer more started to appear. In total about twenty five elephants crossed over in front with lots of youngsters being shielded by the adults.
Our second highlight was rhino, we hadn't seen any yet on this tour and so we were pinning our hopes on this morning and finally we found them. The first sighting was two lying relaxing but we were then told about two more further down much closer to the road.
When we got there we found the pair close to each other about ten meters from the road. A couple of times it looked like they would come closer but then they would swing around and move away. After teasing us for ten minutes they finally moved right towards us moving onto the road, walking along the road and over on to the grass again. A perfect end to another great tour!!!
During the drive we also found kudu, waterbuck, giraffe, warthog, zebra, impala, bushbuck, hippo, vervets, crocodile and lots of baboons warming their bum as they sat on the tar roads.
Birds included lappet faced vultures, white backed vultures, African fish eagle, hamerkops and goliath heron.
Then it was time to say goodbye to Jan, Kathy, Cedric and Ron. It has been a great three days with you guys, lots of amazing sightings and great laughs. Travel safe guys and enjoy the gorillas.