May 17 – Satara

I woke up around 5 am as usual this morning and got myself something to eat & drink before heading for the gate. I didn’t want to be at the beginning of the lineup, since everyone will pass me anyway – so I waited until the gate was open before leaving. There was still a huge lineup to get out, but at least they were moving.

I planned on heading for the H6 and going to N’wanetski lookout before heading to the S41 and over to S100. I didn’t see any of the Big 5, and I still need a Rhino and Leopard to finish my 3rd set – but I did see critters and birds and scenery – so no big problem.

First up was a Wildebeest in the mist, actually first was the start of the sunrise taken from my porch – then the Wildie and then the sun as it rose in the sky. Next was a flock of birds doing the road block thing. I haven’t seen many Helmeted Guinea Fowls around here, so the smaller guys have to take over, I guess. There there were more Wildebeest and some Impala and another family of Swainson’s Spurfowl.

An African Grey Hornbill  and a Vulture both posed nicely in a tree for me this morning. I found a Black-shouldered Kite who had caught something and was eating it at the top of a tree. I also found a brown Hawk type bird flying by and got his picture too. Next up was a Lilac-breasted Roller.

That got me to a Giraffe road block. There were 2 adults and a young one. Since I was facing the sun, I only managed 1 picture of one on the road, but after they crossed, I got more of them.

When I got to N’wanetski, a male Nyala with 2 females and a young one were just leaving the parking lot. After getting their pictures, I walked up to the lookout point and took some pictures of the view.  It is a beautiful spot.

I didn’t see much on the S41 except for a Grey (Lourie) Go-away Bird and then turned onto the S100.

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Next roadblock was a small group of Impalas – a mature male, a young male, a female and her baby, who looked too big to be nursing, but did anyway. Then another Giraffe stopped to pose for me, followed by a Baboon.

Then, a pair of African Grey Hornbills were perched high on a tree, followed by some sparrow-like birds (not sure what they are) and a little black and white bird that I think I should know what it is – but the picture isn’t great.  I also took a picture of a nice flowering bush.

That was it for the drive. Back at my bungalow, I got some laundry done (after a few problems) and then chased a butterfly around trying to get its picture.

I might as well tell you about the laundry problems – LOL. First, I asked in the shop what it costs for laundry. She told me 2x2R and 2x new 5R, so I got change from her and drove over, since it was in the camping area. The machines were being used – or 1 was and the other wasn’t working, but electrician had been called. Someone was waiting for the electrician and already had her laundry in the machine. So, he came and fixed it and she got her laundry going. The other one finished and a lady came to get it, so I loaded mine up. Then I realized that it took 3x2R and I only had 2 of them. I asked the lady at the gate if she had change for a 5R, but she said I could drive back to the shop and get some. So, I left my laundry and soap in the machine and headed over, got my change and came back. A lady was just walking out and asked if that was my laundry. I said yes and she told me she had just started it. I tried to give her the money and she said NO, she was just showing South African hospitality. I thanked her and we chatted for a bit – very nice lady.

I walked over to Debonaires and got myself a pizza. I am sitting here enjoying it and listening to the Impala rams in their rutting mode. They just cut the grass here today and everything looks great. Some Vervet Monkeys wandered by, but kept going when they saw me sitting here. No pizza for monkeys! I decided that sitting here and relaxing was better than heading out on a drive tonight.

A couple of Elephants came by the view at the fence here. I managed some shots of them. 🙂 First night was Warthogs, 2nd night Elephants. I wonder what the 3rd night visitors will be?

So, my first and only critter from the Big 5 was seen from camp – right in front of my bungalow.  🙂

While watching the Elephants, I chatted with a man from a couple of bungalows over and later he came to show me some of his pictures.  He has taken some amazing wildlife action photos!!!  He lives nearby and goes to a few of the national parks here on a regular basis.  I should have asked him if I could take some pictures of his pictures.  LOL

I spent the rest of the evening just relaxing and listening to the sounds around me.

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