Today was bush walk day and I was up and ready to go nice and early. I managed a picture of the beautiful moon and tried for whatever planet was in view, but without my tripod, that was a failure.
There were 7 of us plus Oscar and Jaco (our guides). One couple from Australia, one couple from Britan and one couple from USA.
Since it was dark when we started out, we were looking for critters with the lights and continued to do so until it was light enough to walk. Shortly after leaving the gate, we saw a Civet (got a blurry pic), followed very soon after by an African Wild Cat (no pic). There were (of course) Wildebeests and Impalas all along the route, but we didn’t stop for them. We did stop for some photos of a Waterbuck (got a pic) resting in the bushes though. I am not sure how far we drove.
Once we turned onto the little road where we would be parking, we saw a little Black-backed Jackal, but he wouldn’t stop moving to pose for pictures. The light was still very low and any movement blurred the pictures. The Giraffe and Elephant along there were more cooperative. The Elephant was very close to our vehicle, but very calmly eating while we snapped pictures.
We parked and started off on our walk. It was only a few minutes before we came to our first Rhinos. I was amazed at how close we got to them. They knew we were there and were looking towards us but remained calm the whole time. Oscar had warned us that we only take pictures when he says so with these guys and if they looked agitated at all, we stopped on his orders. We stayed where we were until they calmly moved away.
I snapped a picture of a couple of birds flying by, but am not sure if they are Herons, Storks, Cranes or? The picture is more recognizable than many of my flying bird pics, so maybe someone will know. 🙂
We saw several Giraffes and Zebras while walking and both Oscar and Jaco provided much information about their habits.
We then stopped for a breakfast/snack break and chatted, with more Rhinos very close to us.
After the break, we headed back for home, but took a different route for some variety. We found more Rhinos and then
Hippos in one spot along the way
and later, a pair of Kori Bustards (although I only managed a picture of one of them).
We were gone almost 4 hours all together. I enjoyed the walk last time I was here, but this one was even better. The only problem was that it had been quite damp after a rain last night and my shoes and the bottom 6 inches of my jeans were brown & smelly. There are no laundry facilities at Crocodile Bridge, but I’ll be looking for one soon. Luckily I brought a 2nd pair of shoes and have more jeans in my suitcase too.
In camp were Vervet Monkeys, trees & flowers and a Vulture flying over head.
a Brown-hooded Kingfisher (I think). I included the out of focus picture to show the colours on his back.
In the afternoon, I took a short drive over to Hippo Pools again. Sightings on the way there and back Wildebeests, Vervet Monkey, Impalas,Blacksmith Lapwing,
Mongoose of some kind that raced across the road, Warthogs, Zebras, Vulture, Kudu (off in the distance and a Leopard – that pretended to be a Mongoose and raced across the road (so no picture – but I saw it).
So – on my 2nd Big 5, I just have the Cape Buffalo to go. He was the last one found on my 1st Big 5 too.
Back when I picked up my car, I remember (in my sleep devrived mind) that the 3,000 km that the Avis guy put on the form as included seemed a bit low and I wondered why I had agreed to that. I assumed that what he put down there was correct and since I was standing there with all my luggage and just wanted to get going, I signed everything, got the car and left. He also talked about having to replace the car with another because this one would be over 30,000 km by the time I handed it in otherwise, and it needed it’s 30,000 km service. He mentioned that the guy outside who would be checking the car before giving me the keys would check the odometer on it also. When he handed the key over to me and left without looking at it, I wrote it down on the agreement folder. It was at 26,438 km. So, if I kept my driving to the 3,000 (which is less than 100 km per day), I wouldn’t pass the 30,000 by the end of my rental. Then I noticed today that he has me returning the car on June 6th. Since I don’t fly out until June 9th, this didn’t add up, so I finally pulled my original agreement made online. My printed online agreement has me returning the car on June 9th, it shows I have 6,400 km included (which would put me over the 30,000 before I turn it back in). Then I noticed that the outgoing odometer reading is only on the form 5,251, which which is more than 20,000 km lower than it actually was. I tried phoning Avis today, but it looks like there is no cell phone coverage at Crocodile Bridge, so this will have to wait until tomorrow when I will be moving to Lower Sabie.
Click here to start at the beginning of my vacation.
Click here for the next post.