13 January 2016
Off we went this morning at first light and unfortunately a drizzle of rain. But luckily during the day it cleared up.
Overall we had a great day in the park with lots of amazing sightings! Our first highlight was seeing a herd of elephants really close to the road. We had seen an elephant yesterday, which, as it was our first, was pretty exciting. Then this morning we came across a herd of elephants half hidden in the bush and two of them were playing around and pushing and shoving each other which was a fun sight. But the best was our sighting after breakfast of a herd of elephants snoozing under a tree about 5 meters from the road. The older females were properly snoozing with their eyes closed, but the young ones had enough of naptime. Some were already moving around, picking bits and pieces of bushes, trying to kick over a small tree and throwing sand over themselves. There also was a baby no older than 6 months, half hidden under mum, which of course got a lot of attention!
Our second highlight was coming across two lions. We were there just at the right time as shortly after our arrival at the scene they got up and walked to the water. Having their fill to drink they crossed the river at a small point and came slowly walking in our direction. Surprisingly suddenly two buffalos sprinted out of the reed beds! We hadn't seen seen them there as they were well hidden but obviously they felt uncomfortable with the lions coming that close! The lions looked at the buffalos running away, but they decided to go in a different direction along the riverbed.
That was our cue to move along too and await them along the way in an open area.
This gave us excellent opportunity for some great photos and it was thoroughly enjoyed as the two lions came rather close.
Other interesting sightings: steenbok, leopard tortoise, waterbucks, impalas, zebras, warthogs, giraffes, two separate leopards, herd of buffalos, sable antelopes, hippos (including one outside the water), baboons, white rhinos, kudus, vervet monkeys, blue wildebeests, hyenas, bushbucks, nyalas and a giant plated lizard.
Birds included many marabou storks, white-backed vultures, pale morph tawny eagle, bateleur, yellow-billed hornbill, grey hornbill, african fish eagle, european rollers, lilac breasted rollers, african cuckoo, red-billed oxpecker, blacksmith lapwing, cape glossy starling, goliath heron, pied kingfisher, wahlbergs eagle and forktailed drongos.