Monday, December 21, 2015

On Safari With Karen 18-19 December 2015

18 December 2015

Yesterday we were joined by three more guests and they went on a Sundowner safari while we were on afternoon drive. Apart from elephants close to the car they saw two male lions close by as well as a lovely sunset. 

This morning we had a great game drive as we fulfilled the guests' wishes of seeing lions and rhinos. We came across a lovely lion sighting with two lionesses snoozing close to the road and one even got up and walked up to our car. We have also seen multiple white rhino sightings which were a good opportunity for pictures. 

But our highlight was seeing the dung beetles. We had multiple sightings of these funny creatures. First we encountered a male with a massive ball of dung pushing it around with a female on top. However, he was going up hill and it wasn't going too well. The grass was stubborn and he kept losing control and rolling back down. After quite some encouraging from us though, he finally made it up the hill and out of sight. 

Another sighting was really up close as it flew into our windshield and then toppled into the car. Being dazzed we had a good look and nursed it back to being healthy enough to be put down on the ground on the side of the road. A little while longer and it was flying again! Albeit it might still have a headache...

Our second highlight was seeing 4 cheetahs. We stumbled upon them unexpectedly while mum was leading her three older cubs. They were first walking to a shady spot where they were lounging around. But restless they didn't lay down long and mum lead her cubs down a drainage line. There she must have told them to stay put while she went off hunting as she went off by herself. The cubs at first were complying with mother's wishes and were snoozing under a tree. But soon the energy got the better of them and the started playing. First on the spot and up the tree but then they started chasing each other. Further and further away they went from the spot where mum left them. But it was fun for us to watch!

Other interesting sightings: blue wildebeests, lots of elephants, warthogs, zebras, speke's hinged tortoise, impalas, a giraffe, kudus, steenboks, buffalos, waterbucks, a stick insect crossing the road, hippos and crocodiles. Birds included white storks, lots of tawny eagles, black chested snake eagles, white backed vulture, white faced ducks, grey heron, white breasted cormorants and a black bellied bustard.

19 December 2015

If you are unable to sleep while staying in the Kruger NP, there is lots of sounds around you. Coming from a city some might sounds eerie, but I have been told all are strange. Last night there were the calls of hyenas, a leopard, alarm calling zebras as well as impalas snorting (maybe for the leopard, who knows!), a spotted eagle owl, a southern white-faced owl and plenty of different frogs and toads like the bubbling kassina and red toad. 

This morning we set of on a game drive which started off rather quiet. But even when animals don't want to show themselves, there is always impalas. And around this time of the year, impalas are fun and cute to watch as there are lots of lambs around! 

Our highlight was seeing two giraffes. We had seen giraffes the previous days, but on both occasions it was just a floating head between the trees. This time, although one was lying down, we managed to see the giraffe in full view. We could admire the height as well as the coat patterns. She was just as curious to see us as she came for a closer look. 


Other interesting sightings: elephants up close, kudus, a herd of buffalos as well as some lone bulls, common reedbuck, common grey duikers, waterbucks and a slender mongoose (although that was at the airport when dropping off the guests).

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