May 14 – Lower Sabie

First thing this morning I drove to Sunset Dam, where the sightings were African Spoonbill, Hippos, the moon, a pair of Pied Kingfishers, who landed on the bush right beside my car, an Egyptian Goose family, the start of the sunrise,and an African Fish Eagle, just as I was leaving.  It is still not light enough in the early morning to get great pictures though.

I then headed over the bridge and saw a Hyaena crossing the road just ahead of me, followed by the first of many Helmeted Guinea Fowls on the road. A Yellow-billed Hornbill was next. A couple of male Impalas then greeted me followed by a Lilac-breasted Roller, who looked like he was not quite prepared for the day.

Then the first of many Mongoose raced across the road (and I actually got a couple of pictures), followed by the first Helmeted Guineafowl road blockade of the day. It took awhile to get past this one as they just moved along in front instead of moving off to one side or the other.  A Laughing Dove did not seem very impressed with me taking his picture this morning.

A couple of Burchell’s Coucals tried hiding in the branches from me, but my next bird – a Swainsons Spurfowl was certainly up and ready for the day.

As I have been driving along every day, I have seen so much evidence of Elephants on the road, but have really seen very few of them. I show you the evidence, which is very fresh. That was a very small piece of evidence by the way.  I decided to spare you.  😉

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I learned something about the evidence on the right side of the road on this trip – hopefully someone who knows will let me know if it is true or not, since it was supplied by another traveler and not a ranger.  What I learned is that the evidence on the right was dropped by a female Elephant.  Females do not stop, but keep walking.  Males on the other hand stop and drop it all into one large pile.  [true or false]

A Cape Turtle Dove was next, followed by an unknown bird, who only allowed 1 picture of the back of his head before flying away and a Purple Roller.

Then – suddenly there were Elephants! Three of them calmly eating near the road. 🙂  They must have heard about me collecting evidence.

Next were 2 little Black-shoulder Kites.  They are adorable little guys!

Then we have 2 Cape-turtle Doves (one has an unknown friend beside him in one picture) and another Swainson’s Spurfowl.

They were followed by a beautiful Bateleur, who posed for 1 picture only.

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A Vulture tree was next as I turned to head back towards Lower Sabie.

I got a nice view of the camp from the bridge on the way over it as well as some high (and fast) flying Swallows, and a Hadeda Ibis.

There were also Egyptian Geese, Hippos and a Grey Heron.

I was back at Sunset Dam a little later and saw another, but different Kingfisher, and I believe it is an African Pygmy Kingfisher – such a pretty little bird.


There were also the usual group of Hippos and Crocodiles there too, plus a Grey Heron and an Egyptian Goose that was hanging out with the Wattled Starlings.

An African Openbill Stork posed for a few pictures before flying off – escorted by the Wattled Starlings.

Once back at my hut, a White-browed Robin-Chat made a quick appearance. Later, I took another short drive and found some Giraffes who didn’t mind a few pictures and then headed back to Sunset Dam. On the way, I saw a couple of Baboons in one of the trees near the tents. Hope they didn’t cause any problems.

At the dam, the Egyptian Goose family came closer for better pictures and an African Wattled Lapwing walked by as did an African Pied Wagtail. The Crocodiles were still stretched out on the beach, looking like they had no intention of getting wet today. Just as I was leaving a Hamerkop flew down fairly close to one of the snoozing crocs.

I headed over to Mugg & Bean for breakfast (at suppertime) and watched and took pictures of the critters off the deck – Hippos, Egyptian Geese, lazy Crocodile and then a couple of Giraffe crossed the river. I hadn’t seen any action at the bird bath there until I was leaving. I don’t think the water had been on, but suddenly it was and the birds were gathering.

While relaxing at my table outside my hut, I noticed this little Striped Skink on the tree nearby and he was nice enough to let me take some pictures of him.  Then a Starling posed high in a tree to catch the sun.

I then took one last short drive out and found a herd of Impalas, more Giraffes and then to Sunset Dam to see the Crocodiles starting to wake up and the Hippos starting to squabble and an African Fish Eagle fly by with something, and a Giraffe walk by there. The last shot is from back at Mugg & Bean viewing area.

Tomorrow I am booked for a sunrise drive. It is a beautiful night, so I am hoping for a great morning.

Click here to go to the start of my vacation.

7 thoughts on “May 14 – Lower Sabie

  1. It’s official. You have the most incredible life of all time and I’m so insanely jealous (but in the very best way!!). Spectacular! Love love love all of it!! Even the evidence info. 😉

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