What an amazing day we had!
I didn’t get much sleep last night and was awake by about 2am. I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I got up and formatted the pictures for the last few day’s blogs to get them ready to post. We had planed on getting up at 5:00 am anyway to head into Kruger Park for the day. The park opens at 6:00 am and we planned on getting there at opening.
After passing through the entry requirements, we were on our way. By the way, it really helped going through the entry requirements with Penny and Jurek, so I understand what will happen when I go through on my own on Saturday.
We found so many critters today it was unbelievable! We had the big 5 – Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo. The leopard was the holdout for a long time and we weren’t sure we would see one at all – but Penny suggested that we take a road that ran off the main road and all at once Jurek said – there is something on that tree. Penny and I both looked and saw a leopard sprawled out on a huge branch on this huge tree by the river. There was no one else anywhere around and we had just seen 3 vehicles pass by without seeing her. She was in a difficult position to get a picture because we were in the sun and she was in the shade, but we managed to get some 1/2 decent pictures. The ones we took of the lions were not good either. The kitties here just don’t cooperate and pose the way they should.
Penny had packed up lots of food so we could stop to have a bush braii for brunch while in the park. We stopped at a picnic site about 1/2 way up a hill, which had a great view of a dam, with lots of critters in and around it. We had eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon and bread all on the bbq at once and what a delicious meal that was. The meal was enhanced by the scenery and the company. It was a very relaxing break.
This will take awhile, but I will list the slightings here. I’m glad I brought a notebook with me to write them down or I wouldn’t remember 1/2 of them.
Besides the big 5, we saw Warthog, Impala, Hyaena, Nyala, Zebra, Dwarf Mongoose, Wildebeest, Southern Ground Hornbill, Giraffe, Blue Waxbill, Kudu, Slender Mongoose, African Fish Eagle, Hadeda Ibis, Magpie Shrike, Reed Cormorant, Cattle Egret, White Stork, Maribou Stork, Grey Heron, Bushbuck, Hamerkop, Green Heron, Helmeted Guineafowl, Crested Guineafowl, Hippo, Crocs (some very large ones and what looked like a mating pair), Vervet Monkeys, Baboons, Black Crake, Goliath Heron, Grey Heron, African Jacana, Waterbuck, Warthog, Mocking Cliff-chat, Tawny Eagle, Yellow-billed Stork and Scrub Hare. Whew – I think I got them all.
I think Penny and Jurek should go into the tour hosting business. They know so much about Kruger and could find their way around it while blindfolded, I’m sure.
We ate at another wonderful restaurant today (Tides Seafood Restaurant), where I had prawns, calimari and Kingklip. Another absolutely delicious meal. Tomorrow, I pick up my car and I will find out if I will have a standard or automatic. I originally booked for a standard, but decided afterwards that an automatic would be better, since driving on the wrong side of the road was enough to deal with and having the shift on the wrong side of the car would complicate things. So – I changed my booking (I thought). I guess I ended up booking the same car though. The guy at Avis will try to make the change for me in the morning, but he wasn’t sure if we could do it or not. If I end up with a standard – I will adapt and it might actually help me to remember to stay on the wrong side of the road.
Here are the pictures in no particular order – we covered a large area today.
I almost got all of him in the picture – LOL
Click here to start at the beginning of the trip instead of reading backwards. 🙂