June 5 – Skukuza

Today started off with Hyaenas at a den, and I was up close and personal to the family. There were another couple of vehicles there too and the Hyaenas were going around each one (just to be fair, I’m sure). They were almost too close for some of the pictures, but I’ve saved the best to post here.

I hadn’t left them for long when 3 Giraffes appeared on the road. I watched as they all slowly cross and were comfortable on the other side before moving on.

Rhinos!! Rhinos!! I finally found the Rhinos to finish my 3rd Big 5 and then I found more to start the 4th Big 5. I was unable to find any of the other 4, but I still have 3 more days before I have to leave. I don’t expect the Elephants to cause any problem, but the rest of them just might.

Some Impalas

and some Zebras allowed a few pictures.

I got a couple of pictures at Transport Dam, but no real action going on there today. Some Hippos (mostly under water), an Egyptian Goose and Blacksmith Lapwing, another Blacksmith Lapwing that landed by my car just asking for a photo, and one just showing part of the dam.

I took a different little sand road and found a pair of adorable Little Bee-eaters. Such pretty little birds and after a bit of movement, they held still for a few pictures.

I should have taken a picture of both these spots on the road – but if something is on the road, you just go around it – whatever it is. A lot of the stuff is caused by Elephants – either their dung, or branches they rip off and drop, or trees that they knock down onto a road. The picture I didn’t take was likely Elephant caused and a tree was blocking 1/2 of a paved road. The picture I took was on a sand road and it is just branches that probably just fell there on their own (but I don’t know for sure). I think they probably clean up some of the ones from main roads, but I don’t think they do with sand roads, unless maybe the tree blocks the whole road off. If the tree is still down on the main road tomorrow, I might remember to take a picture of it too.

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A Laughing Dove was posed beautifully on a large rock, so I had to take a picture.

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I took a couple of pictures of rock formations that were near where the dove was. Just out of nowhere, these huge rocks are piled up into mountains of rocks.

In a little waterhole, there was a Hippo with a lot of Terrapins piled on top of him. At first, I wondered if it was a rock or a Hippo, but he raised his head up when I didn’t have the camera ready for a picture – so at least I knew. In one of the pictures, you can see the ripples where his head just went down again.

Then, some more Impalas crossing the sand road. At each end of the road, this sign is posted. It sounds kind of interesting, but I have absolutely no idea how they get the information they need for this.

I mentioned how confusing these huge signs are, so I stopped to take a picture. There seems to be no order to how or why each one is posted. They are not alphabetical and they are not shortest distance to longest (or the other way) and they are not grouped in the directions or by what they are (camps, gates, picnic areas, etc) . So, I do have to pull over and stop at each one to find what I am looking for.  Most of the people who are here are regulars and they don’t even have to look at the signs – but for newbies like me, it would be nice if they had these huge signs a little easier to figure out.

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Then pictures of Vervet Monkeys and then Impalas,

followed by a young male Kudu – with just spikes for his horns.

Tomorrow, I head for Berg en Dal – my last camp and my last 3 days.

Click here to start at the beginning of my vacation.

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