May 16 – Lower Sabie to Satara

I didn’t set my alarm last night, since there wasn’t a rush to get up and I could leave anytime for Satara. The only times I have used the alarm was for extra early get-ups for morning drives or walks. My neighbour had an alarm set for 5:00 am, so that got me up and going anyway. I was all packed up and at the gate just before they opened it to let us out into the world.

I took one picture of the beginning of sunrise while crossing the bridge at Lower Sabie and then a couple more as it progressed. It was a beautiful morning.

I had the usual Helmeted Guinea Fowl blockade again. One day I’ll have to sit down with these guys and find out what the problem is. 🙂

First picture was a Lilac-breasted Roller. Next was the tree where the Leopard had his kill 5 years ago. I recognize the tree because of the little loop about the middle of the close-up photo, where I got a nice pic of his head.

Actually – I was very sure it was the same tree, but looking at the picture of the Leopard from back in 2012, I realize it wasn’t.  It is still a nice tree though and here is the picture from 5 years ago.

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Then I found one of the little Black-shouldered Kites. He was hovering and obviously hunting, so I zoomed in to snap a couple of pictures. Then he dove down and disappeared into the grass. I waited and he came back up about a minute later with something little – maybe a mouse. I was too busy watching to try to get a picture.

A very handsome Kudu was next, followed by a Vervet Monkey whose picture didn’t turn out. Not many critters around for a while, so I took some scenic pics until I found a Giraffe at the top of a mountain. I was taking his picture into the sun, but they turned out ok. Those were followed by a couple more scenic pictures.

I took more view pictures from the top of the mountain.  Back on a lower lever, Zebras and Wildebeests where grazing peacefully and didn’t mind some photos.

I think the next bird is a Brown Snake Eagle, but could easily be wrong. Then I found Baboons behaving naturally in the wild.

I stopped for breakfast at Tshokwane and took some pictures of the place and of the Vervet Monkey and birds looking for scraps.The 2 doves look very much the same except for the colour, so I’ll need help with ID on them.  I think they are both African Mourning Doves as they seem to be the only doves with the red eye ring.  Two people from the facebook group Birds of the Kruger National Park confirmed that they are both Mourning Doves.  Thanks Colin and Dewald!

There were Waterbucks, Impala and Egyptian Geese at a water hole beside the road.

Later, there were Ostriches and Zebras hanging out together.

A couple of Kudus and then a pair of Terrapins showed themselves just outside Satara.

The official greeter at Satara!

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Taking a drive up the S100, I found a Yellow-billed Hornbill and more Baboons (including an adorable baby) behaving normally in the wild.

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Some Impalas and Zebras posed for me followed by 3 Giraffes and another Hornbill.

 

I noticed several strange looking bugs on the road. At first I thought they were huge spiders, but finally got on beside me on the road so I could see it better. It is a large beetle. I don’t know if it is a Dung Beetle or something else.  It was walking away from me, so we just have a shot from the rear.  My friend Janine Scorer has ID’d them as Corn Crickets.   Thanks Janine!

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A small herd of Elephants came onto the road just in front of me, so of course, I took some pictures. They made a road block as they then walked along for several feet, but then went off into the bush to let me continue on my way.

More Wildebeests and then a family of birds – as Mom tried to get them all to cross with her. One kept hanging back and I wanted until they were all safely across.

I got back to Satara and checked into my room. I was greeted by the tiny lizard (maybe about 2 inches long, but I have no idea what it is. A family of warthogs went by at the fence. I got myself a room with a view and a kitchen and wc with shower. I don’t have to use the ablution or community kitchen for the next 3 days. I could get used to this luxury. 🙂

As I sat down to download pictures, a Dove landed on my table and a Yellow-billed Hornbill came to say hello too as did a Vervet Monkey who scampered around my bungalow.

Today was my daughter’s birthday, but it seems she still has not received the birthday card I mailed at Pretoriuskop when I first arrived.

If you have just joined me, please click here to start at the beginning.

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