Lower Sabie Rest Camp
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park
This morning we had breakfast in camp and then left Satara on a long drive west to the Orpen Camp.
Right outside the gate, there was a herd of Zebras.
And not far from there, we saw a distant Leopard up in a tree. With binoculars, we could see that it had an Impala up there as well.
Even at such a long distance, we were thrilled to see a Leopard. Here is a fuzzy zoom where you can see the Impala legs dangling.
Moving on, we saw Giraffes and a pair of Ostriches.
The male Ostrich has the black and white plumage while the female is brown.
At the Nsemani Dam, there were several hippos.
That's also a great area to see lions and elephants, and we did, in fact, see a lion.
At the Orpen Camp, we took a break and got some snacks. We also saw a brightly colored Marico Sunbird.
On the return trip, we had a couple of elephant herd road crossings. We all enjoy watching the dynamics of the herd and seeing the babies.
We turned off the tar road and went a different way back using the Timbavati Road.
Cape Buffalo were first on our gravel road route.
That gave us four of the "Big Five" for the day. We just needed a rhino to complete a single-day "Big Five".
Then we got our second look at a Kori Bustard, and it was a much better sighting than the first one a few days ago.
Kori Bustards are a ground dwelling bird, but they can fly. In fact, the male, at around 40 pounds (18 - 20 kg) is considered the heaviest bird in the world that can fly.
Later, closer to Satara Camp, we saw a couple of White Rhinos completing our "Big Five" for the day. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a decent photo of them.
With that wildlife sighting goal complete, the ladies decided to expand the "Big Five" to a "Big Ten". They added Cheetah, Hippo, Giraffe, Zebra, & Kudu, to give us a new goal for the rest of the day.
Back at camp we saw a Black-collared Barbet.
After taking some time to rest and go through photos, we headed out on a short, late afternoon game drive.
While out we saw a Kudu and then, surprisingly, we came across a pair of Cheetahs.
Cheetahs and a Leopard in the same day - the odds of that are pretty high, so we were thankful to have seem them and all the other animals today. We got the "Big Five" and our "Big Ten".
We saw so many species and a huge number of birds. I resisted the urge to try to take a picture of everything, but we still kept a journal. You can see a list of all the species not shown above at the end of this post.
As we approached the Satara Camp, the sun was shining through a hole in the clouds.
It wasn't dark yet, so Linda and I walked around the camp perimeter fence. There was a lot of grilling going on in the camping area, and a hyena was hoping for a handout.
This one was pretty passive, but most nights there was a hyena patrolling the fence. It was quite peculiar to watch wild animals pacing a fence trying to get in the cage rather than out.
The sun was setting and we had this view through the fence near our bungalows.
To end this fabulous day, Tony grilled and Linda was the bartender as is the case most nights. We had another lovely evening recounting the day and enjoying each other's company over dinner as the glow of animal eyes pierced the darkness on the other side of the tall fence.
As with every night, we're looking forward to seeing what tomorrow holds here in Kruger National Park.