Lower Sabie Rest Camp
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park
Jackie and Tony like to spend their last couple of nights in Kruger at the Pretoriouskip Camp because it is the closest to the airport and the accommodations are nice. They say there isn't the concentration of wildlife that exists around the other camps, so they don't spend a lot of time here.
We had breakfast in the restaurant and eventually went out on a game drive. Jackie wasn't feeling well, so we didn't want to go too far. The morning drive was more of a scenic drive around Shabeni Mountain than a game drive.
We didn't see much in the way of wildlife and were soon back in camp. Linda & I walked around the camp where I took photos of the Pretoriouskop pool and some of the bird life.
We found two notable birds to add to our list. The Green Wood Hoopoe (below left) and the Purple-crested Turaco (below right).
But the highlight of our time between drives was watching a Dung Beetle build a ball of dung. That's right, we were fascinated watching it start from the beginning and going all the way to the point of it rolling it off with its hind legs.
Ah, but there was more to this drama. As soon as our hero finished his ball, another Dung Beetle flew in and there was an epic beetle battle. Sadly, the new bully beetle stole the dung ball and rolled it away having done none of the work.
If there was ever a moment we actually felt sorry for an insect, that was it.
In the afternoon, we headed out for our last game drive around 4:00. On the way out there was a "rhino jam" as two large rhinos prevented passage.
We stayed well back as the biggest rhino looked menacingly at any vehicles that tried to pass. We definitely didn't want to get our rental van impaled on our last day.
Eventually, we got around and headed away from camp. However, we saw more closer to camp than we did on most of the drive.
A herd of elephants blocked the road on our return and the youngest in the group were trumpeting and false-charging the nearest cars.
Getting closer to camp, there were four cars parked on the side of the road. As we approached, we could see there was a leopard on a rock not too far off the road. We just couldn't get in position to get photos, which was more disappointing when we got glimpses of two little leopard cubs.
Of all the photos I didn't get, that is probably the one that I regret not having the most.
But it was still a fantastic sighting, and the leopard cubs gave us the "Small Five" - elephant calf, rhino calf, buffalo calf, lion cub, & leopard cub - for the trip. That was quite a wildlife sighting accomplishment, and we were all pretty giddy to finish it on our last day.
Just outside of camp, we got a pretty good look at this Spotted Eagle Owl.
This is the same species of owl that Linda had on her head back at the raptor refuge in Cape Town three weeks ago.
Back at camp, we began to pack. We took an evening break for Happy Hour and dinner as we tried to use up all the food we had left.
It was hard to believe we had to leave tomorrow. As we said at breakfast this morning, we could have stayed another month.
But that was the end of our time and we had a flight to catch. One thing we know for sure is that we will be back in Africa somewhere watching and photographing wildlife in the future. Our time in Kruger National Park was absolutely amazing.