Monday, May 25, 2015

On Safari With Karen From 23 May 2015

23 May 2015

Before we reached the Kruger NP today we had already seen our first animal as baboons were roaming around on the highway. Before we checked in at Nkambeni Safari Camp we had also seen a large herd of impalas and we hadn't even properly been on game drive yet!

The sundowner safari had to go on without a sunset tonight as two elephants in the middle of the road prevented the guest from making it in time to a nice spot to watch it. But the elephants were forgiven as it was still a nice sighting!

Other animals seen on the sundowner: a lone bull buffalo, the wiggly ears of a white rhino, the eyes of a klipspringer and a scrub hare.

24 May 2015

We started as the sun came up, and we needed some warmth, as it definitely was a cold morning. When we saw our first herd of elephants we actually saw just one elephant at first. It was expertly demolishing a set of bushes as to munch on the inner bark. Then more and more elephants came out of the thickets and started feeding all around. A tree was demolished in the process too as two elephants wanted to eat its roots. Then slowly the herd started crossing the road, which gave us some excellent shots.

We had a bit of a tense moment when the last group of elephants of this herd wasn't crossing as easily as the others had done. There was this one elephant that had clearly taken offence by our presence and wanted us to know that! While she was showing us her big size and impresses us (which worked), another elephant was lying down in the middle of the road behind her! It was a strange situation, but it all ended well in the end with all elephants safely across and our heartbeats going back to a normal rate.

Our second highlight caught us totally by surprise and suddenly this leopard was walking down the road aiming for a head on collision with our vehicle! Unfazed by our presence it strolled down the road and just in front of us went to lie down in the shade of the tree. He was only 3 meters away and surely looked at us as if he couldn't care less!! All in awe we took some amazing pictures while the big cat was panting in the heat. After a while deciding it apparently wasn't the best spot to have a quiet lie down. So he got up, walked straight across the road in front of us and without a backward glance he disappeared slowly into the bush. Magnificent as he is, he blended in so well we quickly lost visual.

Other interesting sightings: a herd of buffalos still sleeping, a Speke's hinged tortoise crossing the road (and taking its time doing so), kudus, warthogs, vervet monkeys, zebras, hippos, a crocodile, giraffes, more elephants, a couple of white rhinos, a common grey duiker, a bushbuck, the tail end of a herd of buffalos crossing (different herd than the first one) and waterbucks.

Birds on this day included a black stork, bateleurs, wolly necked storks, a sadle-billed stork, blue waxbills, egyptian geese, blacksmith lapwings, yellow and red-billed hornbills, cape glossy starlings, just one lilac breasted roller, a whirl of vultures in the distance and fork-tailed drongos.

Our new guests that joined us today went on a Sundowner Safari tonight and they spotted: ... We'll tell you tomorrow!

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