Back in the Lowveld, we settled down to enjoying the lovely weather and listening to predictions on rain and threatening drought. Depending on who you listen to, the water table is still high and a drought would probably be expected in mid-2016.
Nevertheless, we spent a week in Kruger, and there seems to be plenty of water around, even though the north is dry dry dry!
LetabaWe had a two bedroomed cottage overlooking the river, and really this is a very comfortable and well equipped accommodation (bearing in mind that nothing in Kruger is luxurious). On the way in, we saw herd after herd of buffalo - I have never seen so many sightings of buffalo and in such quantities over the thirty or more years we have spent visiting Kruger regularly.
In camp I found that a crested barbet was nesting in a stump just a few metres from where I was sitting.
|Once the barbet had gone off to find food for its young, I went over and listened carefully at the hole in the stump. The babies were clearly audible.|
And the other babies! Baby impala, some just a day or so old, everywhere. We even witnessed an impala birth - quite fascinating.
|Within the first ten minutes, amniotic fluid shaken from nostrils and ears, the baby was trying to stand up.|
Punda Maria & PafuriAs we got further north, the landscape became more and more dry and barren - in some areas you would liken it to a desolate blasted World War 2 somewhere on the Somme. But still there was water in isolated spots.
|These lion were fat and stuffed from a recent kill, so had no inclination to chase after delectable giraffe! This was right next to a small dam that had lots of water.|
|This little guy was in a huge hurry to get down there and join in the fun. He was quite small, and was hilarious as he kept slipping and falling down, both on the slope and in the mud.|
|This is a portion of the large herd.|
|Our funny baby and other young elephant enjoying the mud with an adult.|
We saw a lot of ostrich too.
|I did this sketch from a photo of Wendy Alberts, which she took in Kruger. I love the small flock of babies.|
|Tsessebe cow and calf crossing the road|
BateleurStaying in this bush veld camp was a first for us. We had a three bedroomed cottage, but here the cottage consists of three bedrooms and two bathrooms and a comfortable stoep on which is your kitchenette and dining table and chairs. It has air conditioning, which is great, and much needed in November! It also has limited channel dstv which we did not bother with. The camp has a very nice hide overlooking a waterhole and I spent a lot of time there bird watching, which was spectacular. I found a family of banded mongoose very entertaining.
After two days here, we drove to Satara, and on the way had a lovely sighting of a young leopard.
|Shyly emerging from behind a milestone.|
|A steenbok spotted in the bush, he was ready to stalk and hunt his prey.|
|Zebra baby drinking|
After a night at Satara our week in Kruger was over - too quickly.
On the last day there was a sudden cold front...temperatures dropped from around 37 degrees C to around 23 degrees C and I was glad that I had brought a jacket.