May 30 – Talamati

I was off to a leisurely start this morning – so it was light enough for a picture of the first critter and that was a Waterbuck.

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Next was a family of Southern Ground Hornbills holding a road block. Unfortunately, I was the 2nd car in the lineup, so my pictures were taken through the windscreen, but it sure looks like they had a successful breeding season. I can count 7 in some of the pictures, but I don’t think I ever got them all in 1 picture.

 

Then a few Wildebeests stopped to pose for pictures.

 

I turned onto the S36 and came to a beautiful waterhole with Waterbucks and a couple of Impala.

 

Next were Kudus.

 

Then 2 little critters raced across the road and kind of posed for pictures. I think they are Steenboks.  Sure wish these little guys would pose without having all the tall grass and branches in front of them.

 

Then some Zebras and Wildebeests crossed the road. The Wildebeests did stop and pose once they crossed, but the Zebras kept going. I had to find another herd of Zebras to get photos of the stripped guys. They even invited a couple of Wildebeests to join them. 🙂

 

I reached the H7 and hadn’t gone far when I found a lot of cars stopped. Due to the number of Vultures in a tree, I figured out that Lions had made a kill and were still there, so I stopped at the end of the line. Right away, I could see the mane of one of the Lions – so, although it is not a great picture, it does show a Lion’s mane. There may have been more Lions, but too many cars were jockeying for position and I would rather just move on – so I did.

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I stopped at the usual outlook spot and this time there were Hippos – 1 with a couple of Oxpeckers.

 

Then, there were a couple of Elephants and one was right at the side of the road. There was a bit of a traffic jam stopped to see him.

 

Back on the S36 for the return trip, I found a tiny Tortoise crossing the road. I could see he would have quite a climb at the edge of the road where he was heading, so I stopped to make sure he had a safe trip. I don’t know what he is for sure, since he is darker than a Leopard Tortoise – maybe a Hinged Tortoise? At first he stopped moving when I stopped the car, but a few seconds later, he started up again. He was smart enough to know that the pile at the edge of the road was too high for him, so he turned and walked a couple of feet over and went up and over the bank there. 🙂

 

I managed to focus on the branch instead of the bird, but I believe this is a Purple Roller.  But – isn’t that branch beautifully focused.  I wonder what would happen if I tried to focus on a branch.

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I have seen so many more Mongooses this year than the last time I was here. They are constantly crossing the road and disappear before I can get their pictures. But finally some Dwarf Mongooses did stop today. They even posed for me.

 

Then a Lilac-breasted Roller was on the road in front of me with his meal. I was taking pictures through the windscreen again, so they aren’t the best.  Unfortunately, I saw someone coming up behind me very quickly, so I moved ahead to scare him away before he ended up in front of the fast moving vehicle. He few off safely with his catch before the car whizzed by me.

 

Some Impalas and Wildebeests were right near the road, so I stopped to say hi and get a couple of pictures.

 

Then I was back at that pretty waterhole for more pictures of Waterbuck.

 

Back at my cottage, I saw a Yellow-billed Hornbill pretending to be the chef at the Boma.

 

Then a few Striped Skinks – but only one that stopped to pose.

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Looking at the lookout over the waterhole, I found some Terrapins resting and then just a general picture of the view from the lookout.

 

Back on my patio, a Starling perched on a nearby tree, so I had to take his picture.

 

Then a Hadeda Ibis was wandering around in my yard – so I took his picture too.

 

A bunch of chicks that I think are Crested Francolin raced by.

 

Then, back at the hide, I watched a Starling go in and out of a hole in a tree – guess there are chicks inside.

 

Next was a Laughing Dove foraging for food in front of me.

 

Then an African Hoopoe landed and I zoomed in on him too.

 

I went back to the hide as it was getting dark and took a picture of the view with the lights on. I also got pictures of the Waterbucks as they arrived and the Impala that were already there.

 

I sat and watched as darkness took over and then headed back to my cottage – Nkorho.

Tomorrow I head over to Orpen. It won’t take long to get there, so I’ll have to explore a bit on the way.

Click here to start at the beginning of my amazing vacation.

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