May 13 – Crocodile Bridge to Lower Sabie

Last night I saw my first Bushbucks as they came into camp. It was already getting dark and they must have made it in just before the gate closed.  I only got a picture of 1 of them as they settled down to sleep.


This morning it was time to pack up and move to Lower Sabie so I was up and ready to go shortly after the gate opened. It had rained a bit overnight and was still quite cloudy this morning with little bits of drizzle as I drove along. I was met outside the gate by the usual Impalas and Wildebeest (lying down under the same tree), and some Zebras, but did not take any pictures due to the lighting.

There was a little road I wanted to go down where I could sit and have my coffee. It is the same road I stopped once before when I was there, and I attracted a lot of attention as people saw me stopped there and came in to find out what I was watching. I found out that the road doesn’t go far and stops at a little dam, so I thought that would keep me out of sight so I would not have to apologize to everyone who came in after me.

It turned out to be a wonderful place to park with a very nice view. A Grey Heron was hopping from Hippo to Hippo to see what each one might turn something up for him for his breakfast. He didn’t catch anything while I was there, but he was entertaining. Actually, I didn’t even realize he was standing on a Hippo at first. It looked like he was just in shallow water.


A very handsome Kudu walked just below where I was parked and Egyptian Geese were making a bit of a rukous (as only they can), but they also drew my attention to some White-faced Ducks sitting quietly on shore.


I stayed there as the sun tried to show itself from behind the clouds and then headed out, only to find a handsome Waterbuck around the first turn. Plenty of Impalas were there and I convinced one young male with tiny spikes to pose for me. 🙂 I saw a smaller guy with smaller spikes, but couldn’t convince him to pose.


I then got back onto the H4-2 just long enough to cross the bridge that looked back to where I had been parked, and then I turned onto the S28 towards Lower Sabie. Some Helmeted Guinea Fowl had a road block up for a few minutes, so I sat and watched them. I couldn’t find out what they were protesting though and after awhile they moved on and I also moved on.


A Burchell’s Coucal perched on top of a tree for a fairly good picture this morning, followed by a couple of Grey Go Away Birds. A pair of Laughing Doves did some strutting in front of my car so I then had to stop and watch them for awhile.


The one long tail black & white bird is a Magpie Shrike but I am not sure what the 2nd one is.  I also saw a Vulture tree  I am not sure about the little Francolin or Spurfowl. He or she may be a young one without full plumage yet. I took a couple of cloud pictures, with the sun still trying to come out without success.


Some people in vehicles higher than mine said there was a Cheetah back in the bush, but I could not see it. Next were Zebras and a Wildebeest, followed by a Swainsons Spurfowl and a Yellow-billed Hornbill.


Next was a handful of  Crested Francolins.  Then another Vulture, a couple of Red-billed Hornbills and a Francolin or Spurfowl standing high on a dead branch.  He wouldn’t turn around for me to see his face, but I often found these birds high on a branch in the early mornings.

I enjoyed the Giraffe show soon after as these guys shuffled and moved around for different views for me.  🙂

Blacksmith Lapwing and Wattled Starlings, who quickly left the tree and formed a roadblock.

More Giraffes and Zebras and some Warthogs as we neared Lower Sabie.

I drove over to Sunset Dam to sit awhile after a quick stop at Lower Sabie to get out and stretch the legs. There I found more of the huge flocks of Wattled Starlings.  I didn’t get any more pictures of them this time though.   A couple of Crocodiles lazed on the sand in the water at the Dam. Many of the pictures I took there didn’t turn out well, since it was drizzling more, but I did get a Three-banded Plover picture that turned out ok.

I decided to go back to Lower Sabie and have lunch – after that it would be almost time to check in and get my hut. Lunch and the service at Mug & Bean were both good again, but it was still too early to check in. She did take my information and get things ready for me to pick up my key at 1:30.

I got Hut #36 and found it after a couple of rounds around – LOL. These circles confuse me and that isn’t hard to do. It is a nice little hut. There are 4 together to form a circle, so some of the walls and roof is shared. This is very different from the hut I had last time. That was was kind of a motel looking building – straight with about 6 rooms in it. If I remember correctly, it was bigger than this one, but had quite a bit of wasted space. It has a fridge and a sink, and the ablution is right across the road with the kitchen only about 3 steps further away.

Just as the gate was closing, I took a little walk back to reception and the restaurant to see if I could manage that without getting lost. I have been doing this at each camp this time in the hopes that I can figure out how to get where I am going, and it seems to help if I have walked it. While there I took some more pictures of a couple of Crocodiles, a Hippo, and what I think is a White-browed Robin-Chat. This camera takes fairly decent pictures when there is very little light, as long as there is no movement (either myself moving the camera or the critter moving).

I didn’t find my Cape Buffalo to finished off my 2nd Big 5 yet – but we will see about tomorrow.

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