Wednesday, August 19, 2015

On Safari With Karen From 17 August 2015

17 August 2015

Once upon a time there was this family from Brasil and they joined us for a safari.

Upon arrival in the Kruger NP we were immediately greeted by the impalas as well as a common grey duiker. Their first game drive though, was the sunset safari. It was a lovely sunset for starters and the amarula tasted very well! They could also add elephants and zebras to their checklist of animals.

18 August 2015

Today we went out for a day full of game drives. Our first highlight was a visit to Transport Dam. Here we spotted many different animals and as the guests say they could have stayed there for hours. First we watched about 100 impalas (many many!!) coming for a drink. They were a bit skittish at first but soon all came down for a drink. There was however a crocodile watching nearby, but none came too close. Zebras were drinking on the other side of the dam. There were also waterbuck hanging around as well as a large water monitor sunning himself on top of the rock and hippos lazing around in the water. An African fish eagle was sitting in a tree, blacksmith lapwings were there, as well as cape glossy starlings, yellow-billed hornbills and a malachite kingfisher. And if that wasn't enough, in another corner a small group of wildebeest was hanging out and two of them started to duel. One was a lot stronger though, and pushing the other back to the dam. He escaped by turning around and get cashed the other way. 

Our second highlight was an elephant sighting. This big old bull was having a quiet meal by himself, but the best branches were high above him. He was doing a good stretch to get to the best bits and broke off branches and then munched on them as if they were starters. After he moved on to an acacia tree for mains. These trees have thick spiky thorns and this bull once again started breaking off branches by bending them over his tusks. But then instead of putting it straight in his mouth he used his feet to rub off some of the thorns. A dessert was made up by the roots of a nearby bush where once again he used his feet to dig them up before pulling with his trunk and putting it in his mouth. He looked so content and wasn't bothered by our presence at all!

Other interesting sightings: buffalos crossing the road, warthogs, kudus, giraffes, white rhinos, a glimpse of a lioness, vervet monkeys, impalas, reedbucks, common grey duikers, steenboks, a tree squirrel, nyala bulls and a hyena. 

Birds we saw today included a grey-headed bushshrike (twice! And that for a bird that is often heard but not seen), magpie shrikes, pied crows, chinspot batisses, yellow-billed, red-billed and grey hornbills, green woodhoopoes, a kori bustard (not often seen in this area), natal francolin, white-backed vultures, marabou storks, african hoopoe, bateleur, african fish eagle, blacksmith lapwings, egyptian geese, pied kingfisher, hamerkop, cape glossy starling, malachite kingfisher and the always beautiful lilac breasted roller. 

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