June 1 – Orpen

It was pretty chilly this morning, but the 3 of us on the drive along with the guide were hopefully of some great sightings. Unfortunately, it was just the usual critters and not actually many of them. Elephant, Bushbaby, Zebras, Impalas, Wildebeests, Giraffe and then Warthogs as we were almost back at camp. The only pictures I took were the sunrise, one Zebra and a family of Warthogs.

I headed out on my own once we got back and turned the heat in the car way up, since I was still very chilled from the drive (even with the blanket wrapped around me). First picture a bone of some kind right on the road, and soon after I saw the very bloated stomach of one of the male Lions that had obviously had a good meal last night. The stomach was all I could see except that he waved his tail every once in awhile – but I was unable to catch the tail in a picture.

Next was a 2-headed Giraffe!

Then a Baboon troop was on and around the road near Satara. Unfortunately they were on the sunny side, so most pictures did not turn out well. But these 2 are ok.

Right after the Baboons were Kudu and Zebra – one Zebra had a short tail.

By then I was at Satara and ready for breakfast. While waiting for my food, the Emmett family from yesterday at the lookout walked in. They told me that they had gone to the hide at Talamati, but did not see my Leopard. 😀 They also told me that someone had been at the Bobbejaankrans lookout not long ago and got out of the car without looking around. Suddenly he saw a Lion there and quickly got back in the car. I forgot to tell them that I had been looking for their little Leopard at the location they had told me about though. Maybe I’ll see them there again tomorrow if I go for breakfast again.

Then – more Giraffes once I finished breakfast and was back on the road,

and more Zebras.

Next was a male Waterbuck, who posed nicely for me.

Then an Elephant family, but unfortunately on the wrong side of the road for great pictures.

A Lilac-breasted Roller knew the right side of the road to stop and pose for me – so I took a few pictures of him. 🙂

Then some Zebras were on the correct side of the road and they also kindly posed for me.

A family of Elephants decided to stop traffic and cross the road – with their entourage of birds flying beside and around them.

I pulled in to stop at Bobbejaankrans on the way back to Orpen and there were Elephants just on the opposite bank.

I stopped to get a couple of pictures of some male Impalas at the side of the road.

Then some Kudu and Zebra crossed the road to pose for pictures.

I was almost at the gate (you can see the gate in the pictures) when 2 Buffalo bulls crossed the road. They must have been at the waterhole. The first guy was limping quite badly.  😦

Back at the bungalow, I watched and took some pictures of an African Hoopoe.

Then, I walked over to the Aloe flowers and got more pictures of the Sunbirds. This time I got a Marico Sunbird, as well as the White-bellied Sunbird. Not 100% sure on either one though.

While sitting here enjoying an ice cream, I saw a very tiny Lizard on the wall around my patio. I don’t think it is any bigger than 1.5 inches including the tail. I have no idea what he is – seems to be kind of brown with a reddish tail. I can’t even get close enough to him to see him, but my trusty zoom managed some pictures. It took awhile to be able to focus on the little guy though. One of the pictures has him with an ant and another as he is on the joiners for the bricks on the of the wall. I would say the joiner is about 3/4 of an inch. Neither of those 2 pictures are great, but I kept them to show his size. He finally moved to a lighter coloured brick where there was also more light to see him and that is when I saw the colour on his tail and got some better pictures.

Nothing like going from the tiniest little critter to the biggest in just a few minutes. My neighbour came and asked if I wanted to see an Elephant close up and of course I said yes. 🙂 Just behind our bungalows at the opposite fence, was a big bull Elephant, calmly eating.  We were standing back a good distance from the fence since he was so close to it.

After I took a couple of pictures, a little truck – just had Avis on the door, was outside the fence, revving his engine and spinning his tires as he moved towards the Elephant.   😦  The Elephant moved out of his way and he raced by in his truck. I guess scaring the Elephant away was his mission and he did it, but the Elephant wasn’t bothering anyone, so it was very unnecessary in my opinion.

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

4 thoughts on “June 1 – Orpen

  1. My daughters and I sat here going through this gorgeous post this morning. You never cease to come through on your fabulous factor. Clearly you can say no way (because they are your pics) and we will absolutely respect that, but I told my daughter that I would ask you if you would mind if we printed out a couple of the pics. She went bonkers when she saw the mama and baby baboons, and she also adored the bird pics. Would you mind if she printed some out? It sounds like a goofy question, but you put so much work into these. I just feel like it would be disrespectful not to ask.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment. I have no problem with you printing out any of the pictures. They have all been re-sized quite small though so I don’t fill up my account at word press too quickly. Give it a try and if they don’t print well, I can send you a larger size. Some may also have been cropped too, witch may not help. Just let me know and I’ll see what I can do to help. 🙂

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