I’m a little rusty, but I’ll get back in the swing of things….;p
After collecting Springbok and a few groceries I headed north to Misty Mountains to say hello to William and Adri. The mist and on again-off again rain captured the essence of the beautiful northern aspect of SA. After a quick stop over it was straight on to Kruger National Park for the following week. Of course I managed to chase a few birds around too!
The rain and mist followed my trail to Punda Maria Gate and subsided as I entered the park. Armed with coffee, yes I brought my own coffee this time with a hand-mill and all. Instant just isn’t the same.
A lot has changed since I departed SA, the dry season ended and the wet season was upon us. And with that the barren dry, brown surroundings have now turned to lush green bush and tall grasses and field flowers. Wonderful to behold but boy oh boy does it make it hard to see anything. Animals may be laying right next to the road but in that tall grass you’re lucky if you spot an ear. Along with the tall grasses have come massive herds of ungulates that survived the drought and of course all the migrant birds. And the bloody mosquitos and flies too!
Then there is the weather. Gone are the dry heat days and cool nights. Replaced by blazing hot days with equally high humidity. Eye-balls sweating, sweat sweating days and nights. Relief comes intermittently with quick rains which also bring abundant release of the bugs.
I started up north in Kruger National Park and slowly bumble my way down south. With a quick jaunt out for a few days, currently, before heading back to Skukuza in a couple of days.
The elephants, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest abound. I’ve missed the sounds of the birds and insects during the day and the night call of Hyena and Lions in the distance. To be awake daily by the dawn chorus, no complaints here, just bliss, mosquitos and all!
And the night drives were also fruitful.
As I work my way south the topography changes, as one would expect in a park as big as Belgium. The eastern aspect of SA, the western tidbit of Mozambique and a small portion of southern Zimbabwe form the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park.
I’ve made it as far as Satara before heading out to the Timbavati area. Olifants was nestled on a hilltop overlooking the Olifants river. Very picturesque. Satara is more plains-like with fields of long grasses and herbivores around every corner. Lions plentiful, leopards still elusive spotted little buggers that they are.
And wild dogs, well, as always awesome. A pack of 25 along the roadside heading west was perfect. I believe they are known as the Orpen pack. Hard to believe there are only about 3000 of these amazing animals left. Feel very privileged to spend time with them.
Here’s to leopards, cheetah and more of the stuff that makes this park great!