Lower Sabie Rest Camp
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park
Today we were back to our usual 5:30 a.m. departure. Soon after leaving Satara, we had a heavy rain. We were just on the cusp of the rainy season and this was the first significant rain we had experienced. But it didn't last long.
A little ways down the road, there were a couple of Spotted Hyenas drinking water from the puddles on the pavement.
We watched the hyenas for a while. One looked like it was nursing, so we followed them to see if we might catch a glimpse of her cubs. We didn't see cubs, but we spent quite a bit of time studying their behavior in the early morning hours.
Moving on, we saw a lion in the road. As we slowly approached, we counted nine in the pride. And for once, we had them all to ourselves.
We learned a couple of things. First, seeing hyenas and lions in close proximity is not unusual as the hyenas often feed on lion leftovers. Second, lions don't like the wet grass and mud, so after a rain is a good time to find them on the roads.
It's rather comical to watch these huge cats shake water and mud off their paws just like a common house cat. In fact, they have a lot of mannerisms similar to their domestic cousins.
This group was quite relaxed and some were just a few feet from our windows. Needless to say, I took lots of photos.
I took several portraits of the males, and we could see different personalities and experiences in their faces.
This young male looked particularly regal to me.
As other vehicles arrived, the lions slowly got up and moved on. We did the same.
Next we had giraffes near the road.
After renting a skottel and cooking our breakfast at the N'wanetsi Picnic Site, we made our way back toward Satara. It was a little rainy and cooler, so picture taking was a little tough, but we saw several species and got a couple of photos.
We came upon a buffalo carcass with a couple of vultures on it. And nearby was this beautiful Tawny Eagle.
And later we saw this Dwarf Mongoose.
After a few hours back in camp, we went back out in the afternoon. That game drive was all about elephants.
This herd was spread out and active. We watched them for quite some time.
And we really enjoyed getting a close-up view of this happy little calf with its mother. Adorable.
Eventually, we continued on. We got a nice look at this Reedbuck, before heading back to camp.
It was another great day in Kruger National Park.