Lower Sabie Rest Camp
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park
This morning it was really dark when we left at 5:30 a.m. Not far out of the gate, lightning crashed and a pouring rain started. After only about 12 miles to the south (20km), we abandoned the morning drive we had planned and headed back toward camp.
Along the way, we got a glimpse of a Honey Badger, a new species for us.
Getting closer to Satara, we came up on a very large bull elephant walking right down the middle of the road. We were first in line behind him keeping a safe distance.
Then a park worker in a small white pick-up truck went around us. Jumbo turned on him spreading his ears and shaking his head letting the driver know he wasn't allowing passage. The worker threw the truck into reverse. Eventually, he tried again with the same result. After about a ten-minute stand-off, the truck finally got around.
The elephant continued toward the line of cars coming in the other direction. One by one, all but two vehicles turned around and left. The last two just kept backing up until Jumbo decided he'd had enough fun and veered off.
The rain had almost stopped by the time we got back to camp, but we decided we'd wait until the afternoon to go out again.
The others took naps and relaxed while I walked around. On the patio at the restaurant, someone found a baby Genet.
No one seemed to know where it came from or if it had been abandoned. The staff got some water and notified a park ranger.
After that, I went into the office and signed Linda & I up for a guided night drive this evening.
After a lazy morning, it dried out and we were all ready for an afternoon drive. We left Satara and drove west.
We found a pride of lions with a couple of small cubs. The bonus was we weren't having to deal with other vehicles in a typical "cat jam".
The sun came out and there were a few animals at this small water source.
Late in the afternoon, we saw a line of cars and knew we should be looking for a big cat. Up in a tree, we could see the fresh remains an Impala, so there was likely a leopard in the area.
We waited for quite some time, and then Tony decided we should move on. We went a bit farther west seeing a few more animals, and then we turned around to make sure we got back to camp in time. When we approached the area where the "cat jam" had been, there were only a couple of cars left and the Impala was gone out of the tree. We missed the leopard coming back for its kill.
One young couple said it was still nearby. We scanned the brush and grass, and eventually found the leopard chewing on its dinner. It was very well hidden, so we really could only see the color and a few of the cat's spots (called "rosettes").
We made it back to camp where Linda & I prepared to go on our night drive.
The highlight of the night drive was another pride of lions. In fact, it looked like it might have been the same pride we saw earlier in the day. The two cubs that were nursing appeared to be the same size.
The only other photos we could get were of this Verreaux's Eagle Owl.
But we saw several jackals and smaller cats as well as various antelope, giraffes, hippos, and hyenas. See the list at the bottom of the page.
We were out over three hours, and the night drive was well worth the price we paid.
Well, that wraps up another day at Kruger. Today was a day of a lot of sightings, but not as many photos. As time has gone on, we've concentrated more on watching the animals and taken fewer pictures of what we've seen in abundance unless there is a clear view or something really compelling.