June 3 – Orpen to Skukuza

I was on the road shortly after 6:00 am as usual. What was not usual was my first sighting. Just a few minutes from camp 3 male Lions walked across the road and lay down right beside it. One was so close to the road that I was afraid his tail was on it and made sure I pulled out before moving forward. The lighting was poor, but they were not moving, so the pictures turned out not too bad.  William from the Facebook page Lions of Kruger National Park said   “Awesome. Avoca males. The Avoca males were originally a coalition of 5 young male lions but the two oldest males are in Sabi Sands (Mala Mala) now. The 3 Avoca males in your photos above spend most of their time in Shindzela and near Orpen Gate. The Avoca males come from the Avoca pride and they were fathered by the old Avoca males. The Avoca males were born in 2013.”

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Due to the lighting, I didn’t stop for the Wildebeests, who were next, but I did stop for the Ostrich.

Next were Elephants

and then a Giraffe.

Next were 2 more Ostrich.

Then a mini traffic jam due to at least one Lion quite a distance from the road. There may have been more, but I could see one and got a picture before continuing on my way.

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Next was another Giraffe and this one decided to cross the road.

An Elephant was calmly eating next to the road and did not mind a few pictures.
I am not sure what the next little bird is, but at the same waterhole, there were some rutting Impalas to watch.

At the next waterhole were a couple of Grey Herons. Finally one of them moved to a better spot for lighting.

I stopped at Tshokwane for a bush breakfast and this Starling sure wanted me to share with him. Of course, I did not though.

A herd of Elephants crossed the road in front of me just a short distance from Tskokwane. Every time I thought they were finished I’d see another one approach.

I took some pictures of some of the rock formations along the road.

A little Steenbok crossed the road in front of me and I had to hurry to get a picture at a distance, since I knew he would disappear quickly. Luckily he stopped since I was still a long way away. Not a great picture, but these little guys don’t hang around for good shots.  I also found an Impala checking out his foot.

I made it to Skukuza! And look – more Impala! I also took more pictures around Skukuza including the Little Heros’ Acre to honour working dogs in Kruger. Another statue has a couple of Kudu fighting.

Then some Vervet Monkeys,views and Skinks with blue tails from the path along the fence by the restaurant.

These birds were having fun, ripping the bark off the tree and throwing it down to the ground. I believe they are the same Green (Redbilled) Wood Hoopoe that I saw at Bobbejaankrans lookout a few days ago.  Well – maybe not the same ones, but the same species.  🙂

Then it was time to get my key and check out the bungalow (complete with pictures – of course). I assume someone will be along soon to pick up the laundry unless I am supposed to look after that. I was a little worried when I saw the empty fridge cage, thinking my fridge was off for repair or something like that, but was happy to see that it was just moved inside.

A pair of Hadedi Ibis landed beside my bungalow so I added their pictures to today’s file also. 🙂

I wandered back to Reception to see if they had a map of the surrounding area – specifically to see where Lake Panic, the Golf Course and the Airport are. She told me I would have to buy one at the shop. So, I went to the shop and they do not sell anything other than the parks maps which do not go into any more detail than the book I already have and it shows everything basically in one lump with no roads between them. So, I guess I’ll just have to park in front of the signs at all the intersections and read them thoroughly. There is just so much in this little area that a map specific to here would be nice to have.

Then I stopped at the Cattle Baron take-away, where I noticed they have free WiFi and I logged into it. Unfortunately the connection is so slow that I could not really do anything. I did get into my GMail, where I have over 700 unread messages, and I quickly read as many of the titles and who they were from as I could before it just stopped working. There was nothing important in the 300 that I scanned, so hopefully everything can wait until I return home next week. One of the girls there said the one in the full Cattle Baron Restaurant is faster, but I don’t know how much faster. Maybe I will have breakfast there tomorrow and see. I would have tried to upload a picture to FaceBook also, but I couldn’t even get FaceBook to load.

Click here to start at the beginning of my vacation.

Click here for the next post.

2 thoughts on “June 3 – Orpen to Skukuza

  1. Thanks Mary. It was an amazing vacation and I am getting to live it all over again by writing and showing everyone my pictures – but you are right it is coming to an end soon.

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