I woke up to the sound of Lions roaring this morning. I was up and ready to go by 6:00 a.m. to look for them. 🙂
The same as at Lower Sabi, we all headed out together to see if we could find them, but again, they stopped roaring before the gate opened. There are a lot more road choices at Shingwedzi along with 2 roads on the east exit and the main one with turnoffs. We were all checking with each other, but no one had found them by the time I decided to head south.
First critter today were Baboons – actually 2 troops of them on the road as I was leaving. They were slow to move so I moved slowly with them as they finally decided to move over. My first picture was of the sunrise and soon after that I found 5 Hyaenas lying by the side of the road. I thought at first that there were 4, with 1 young one suckling, another young one lying nearby and another adult near that one. They all had very full bellies. Later I realized that 2 were suckling on their mom.
Other sightings for the day include Impalas, Zebras, Fork-tailed Drongo, Magpie Shrike, Lilac-breasted Roller, Steenbok, Nyala, Kudu, Cape Buffalo, Korhaan, Wildebeest, Elephants, Giant Kingfisher, Waterbuck, Cormorants, Hippos, Hooded Vulture, Red-billed Quelea, White-fronted Bee-eater and a Tawny Eagle.
It is a pretty hot day today and I arrived at Oliphants too early to check in. I sat at the covered viewing area for awhile, enjoying the shade and the view. A couple from South Africa joined me and we talked until it was time for me to check in.
While talking to them I mentioned that the whole point of the trip was to come here to see the animals in the wild and then I said but . . as I paused, she said, “but it became more than that”. That was exactly what I had been about to say and what I have told others – but she already knew that. 🙂
I had said before that I wasn’t just here for the big 5 (Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion, Leopard – for those who don’t know). I also wanted to see the birds and the reptiles and I wanted to taste the foods and everything. I got just as excited on seeing my first Honey Badger and Black-backed Jackal as I do for seeing any of the big 5. Being up close to the Giant Kingfisher and watching him dive down and catch a fish was also exciting.
While eating supper tonight, I was entertained by a couple of tiny Stripped Skinks who scurried along the floors and up the tree beside me. Then on the way back to my bungalow, I found out that they have at least one resident Bushbuck. It was a young male that I saw and he posed for a picture for me. 🙂
There were a lot of burned areas throughout the park. Some had been controlled burns and some were caused by careless smokers. There is no way I could tell the difference. This will be nice and green once the rains start again.
He was perched on the edge of the bridge, watching the fish below. Then he dove down.
There is a nice drop to the next road, and only one row between my bungalow and the riverbed.
Click here to start at the beginning of the trip instead of reading backwards. 🙂