Lower Sabie Rest Camp
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park
This morning's drive was going to run along the Sabie River and then on to the Skukuza Camp area and then back.
We gathered for breakfast at the camp restaurant overlooking the river. Soon after that, we were on the road.
The first sighting of the day was a big one. It took binoculars and my "Bazooka" lens, but we saw a leopard on a tree limb in the distance.
That was a fantastic way to start the day. After that we saw a couple of distant lions and then made a stop at the Nkuhlu Picnic Site.
After that break, we continued on toward Skukuza. This handsome Impala was close to the road.
Next, we drove up on a large female elephant and her calf. The female ignored us, but the calf decided we were a threat so it came running out of the bush with its ears spread, eyes wide open, and trumpeting at us. Yep, we were charged by a over-zealous baby elephant.
His mother crossed the road in front of us, and he followed her. But he then trumpeted, and ran at us again with an attitude of "I got this, mom". She still ignored us and him as she continued deeper into the bush. It was one of our favorite funny moments of our time in Kruger.
As we were slowly driving along looking for animals, a Dung Beetle flew in the window and landed in Jackie's lap. There was yelling, Tony stopped the van, and there was a front seat search for the offending insect while the other four of us roared with laughter.
Tony eventually found and released the bug, but Linda wanted to see it. Too late. BUT, not far down the road, there was another Dung Beetle in the middle of the road doing its thing - rolling a ball of dung.
Jackie exclaimed "Big creepy crawlies aren't my thing", but Linda and I are fascinated by all kinds of animal behavior, even big beetles that roll dung into a ball.
Between the baby elephant charging us and the dung beetles, we could hardly catch our breath from laughing so hard.
But the mood changed when we got closer to Skukuza and came upon the biggest traffic jam we had seen. A couple of lions were tearing apart a Warthog not far from the road, and everyone was jockeying for position to get a view.
People got caught in the "cat jam" and couldn't go anywhere. The frustration and near road rage was exhibited in horn honking and yelling. In protest, the lion picked up the head of the Warthog and disappeared farther into the bush to finish its meal in peace.
When we made it to Skukuza, we had some lunch and took restroom breaks, but we didn't stay long.
On the way back, we saw this Martial Eagle grasping a live monitor lizard that was trying desperately to bite the eagle and escape.
The lizard continued to wriggle, and the eagle bent down and plucked its eyes out. By the time we left, it still hadn't put the poor reptile out of its misery.
Speaking of reptiles, our next sighting was this Puff Adder on the road.
We eventually got back to camp and rested for a little while. Later in the afternoon, we went out for another short drive.
On that drive, we encountered a couple of rhinos giving us sightings of all the "Big Five" today.
We also saw another lion.
Finally, we got a surprisingly good look at this young Lesser Striped Swallow.
And that wrapped up our only full day in the Lower Sabie area. Again, wish we could stay longer.
Tomorrow, we move the western side of the park and our last camp at Pretoriouskop. We're looking forward to a new area, but our trip is almost over, and we still aren't ready to leave.