Lower Sabie Rest Camp
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park
Today, rather than our usual 5:30 a.m. start, we had breakfast at the bungalows in Olifants Camp. While breakfast was being prepared, I, of course, took more pictures of hippos in the Olifants River below.
This morning, a mother and baby were sparring. I don't know if they were playing or she was training the young calf, but at times she had its whole head in her mouth.
After our delicious breakfast, we headed out for a drive up to the Letaba Rest Camp. It would be as far north as we would go in the park.
Not long into today's game drive, Linda spotted our first Leopard. None of the rest of us got a good look, and we certainly didn't get any photos, but that completed our search for the "Big Five". Not bad - we got it in our first four days in the park.
Next, we had a herd of Impala that was pretty close to the road. Nice.
The others ordered tea and coffee on the veranda at Letaba while I went in search of photo ops.
I found a few new birds to add to our list. From left to right below is a Hurricane Thrush, an African Grey Hornbill, a Golden-tailed Woodpecker, and a Arrow-marked Babbler.
And I got more photos of birds we've seen such as the African Hoopoe and the Lilac-breasted Roller.
Before getting back on the road, we went to the Letaba Elephant Hall, which is a museum dedicated to elephant evolution, biology, behavior, ecology and research. Also, on display is the ivory of what they call "eight of Kruger's greatest tuskers".
When everyone was ready to go, we headed west toward the Nhlanganini Dam.
Along the way, we saw a Waterbuck with its long horns and white-circled rump.
And we were lucky to sight a Kori Bustard, one of the top dozen heaviest birds in the world that can fly. It has some very pretty markings and we wish we would have gotten a better look, but we'll take it.
Later, this Cape Buffalo was caked in mud to keep cool and repel bugs.
Looking up in the trees we spotted a Brown Snake Eagle.
When we arrived at the dam, there were numerous hippos as well as a couple of crocodiles - one small and one very large.
In the trees was an African Fish Eagle. We had seen one of these every day, but the photos haven't been very good. This one isn't great, but it's the best one so far.
After hanging around at the dam for a while, we returned to Letaba and had some lunch. Then we worked our way back to Olifants Camp.
Along the way, we encountered a herd of elephants that wanted to cross the road. This youngster waited patiently for the matriarch (the oldest, largest female) of the herd to arrive with her calf. Generally, the matriarch makes road crossing decisions.
Next, we got some really good looks at Cape Buffalo.
And then I finally got the shot of this beautiful bird - the Lilac-breasted Roller - that I wanted.
We never get tired of seeing that very colorful specimen in what is often drab surroundings.
Next, this Steenbok was out in the open ready for a photo.
When we got back to the Olifants River Bridge, there was a troop of Chacma Baboons.
Well, that was another pretty good day of wildlife viewing. Back at camp, Linda & I took a walk and got some photos from the restaurant and common areas.
We saw a few birds and then returned to the bungalows where .... you guessed it .... I took more hippo photos.
While watching the hippos and admiring the views of the river, dinner was prepared and we enjoyed each others' company through dinner and into the night.
Oh, before I forget I have to do the "Big Five Report". Today we got three of the five - leopard, buffalo, and elephant, and with the leopard we completed our "Trip Big Five". Now, we need to get a "One-day Big Five" including photos of a leopard.
We had a lovely sunset and then called it a night.
We are loving our time here in Kruger National Park, and are looking forward to every single day we have left.