Thursday, December 23

Kruger meanders - a Southern Ground Hornbill

Day 4 cont.. (click here to return to Day 4 part 2)

With the rains come the insects, and after the insects come the birds.........

This Southern Ground Hornbill is out hunting........

"What's that moving?"

"Ahhh, a nice tasty grasshopper!"

Click here to continue on to Day 5

Saturday, December 18

Kruger meanders - dung beetles!

Day 4 cont.. (click here to return to Day 4 part 1)

Summer is here and so are the dung beetles!

aaaah, a nice big pile of fresh elephant dung!
dung wars!
The winner builds his dung ball

and lets go find that nice hole I dug.....
Oh no!! A hijacker!
Let's see how you like a bit of speed....

and that's sorted YOU out!

Click here for the last lot of photos on Day 4

Friday, December 17

Kruger meanders - south to Skukuza

Day 4  (click here to return to Day 3)   

After a blustery, stormy night the sky started clearing as the sun rose. By noon the temperature was up to 40 degrees C, 20 higher than yesterday. The animals just disappeared.........
I had slept in a little late (having been kept awake most of the night by my shaking tent ), and after taking an hour to pack up camp, I was on the road a little later than usual, which is probably why I didn't see too much in the way of the big mammals. But as you can see from my next 2 postings there were other things happening!

I got to Skuks before lunch, and set up camp in the incredibly hot and sticky middle of the day and then collapsed in the shade under the trees and read my book for the rest of the afternoon.

I was just plain tired of driving, especially after the previous 3 days..........

Greater Kudu

the tail-enders of a large herd of buffalo

these flowering acacias were just alive with insects...

click here for more photos from Day 4

Tuesday, December 14

Kruger meanders - the eastern plains

The "chinese lantern" flowers of the Sickle Bush
Day 3 cont.. (click here to go back to the first part of Day 3)  

After breakfast at Olifants Camp I headed south again - along the eastern side of the central plains.

Lonely roads, miles of nothing, but with a few great sightings....


A few more of the beautiful flowers that appear during the summer.

Marsh Lily "Crinum"

Four different types of vulture on this small carcase (a steenbok I thought). The very large Lappet-faced vulture is using it's wings aggressively to get a space in amongst the White-backed vultures. The vulture with the bluish head and pale eye on the left is a Cape Vulture - normally found in the mountains & this was my first sighting of one in Kruger. The smaller vulture with thin beak in the foreground is the Hooded Vulture, not getting much of a look in with all the larger birds around!

 A Kori Bustard keeping the zebra and wildebeest company.
The open savannah around Satara is a good place to look for these birds - the heaviest bird that can fly!

Purple Roller
Blue Wildebeest

The Leopard Tortoise like most of our reptiles disappears from view for the winter, and within hours of the first rain falling they suddenly are everywhere. This was quite a little fella - they can grow up to about 20kg, not that I have ever seen one that big!

A cool oasis marks the end of the open plains

African Rock Python
This was an exciting find! Only about 2 meters long, but so close to the road. I obviously interrupted it's planned crossing and once 2 more vehicles stopped to look, it whipped around and disappeared into the bushes. We don't see snakes very often and this was only the third python I have seen in 3 years in Kruger. Isn't it beautiful?

Violet-backed Starling
This little bird is in his breeding plumage. 
I don't see them often and they are usually difficult to photograph. 
This one was very obliging.

Sunset at Satara Camp

And a very welcome sight at the end of a very very long day..........

Click here to continue to Day 4

Saturday, December 11

Kruger meanders - near the Olifants River

Day 3  (click here to return to Day 2)
going down to the Olifants River

 After a night spent listening to my tent flapping, shaking in the wind, I groggily got out of bed, stumbled with coffee in hand into my car, and headed northwards for the day........

Red Bushwillow

So many beautiful flowers to photograph, but the wind made it very difficult.......

Purple-pod Cluster Leaf

a caring mother with baby

The first stretch of road heading north was very quiet on this grey windy morning, but once I got down into the Olifants River valley after breakfast, the sightings perked up a lot.

an exhausted mating lion taking a break

Little Bee-eater
Short-thorn pomegranate

Then this troop of baboons delighted on the low level bridge.........

some of us just want a nap......

others explore the islands,

and the youngsters play.....

In my next posting I will continue with the day....... (click here)

Wednesday, December 8

Kruger meanders - around Satara

Day 2  (click here to return to Day 1)

King of the Jungle
My first full day in Kruger dawns cool, cloudy and very windy.
After checking and tightening all flaps and guy ropes on my tent and gazebo I set off for a morning's drive east of Satara.

Safety in numbers on a cool, blustery day

First impala lambs of the season

A "tower" of giraffe

Red Crested Korhaan

Wood Sandpiper

A fairly quiet morning drive after all the initial action on the S100 - probably the weather.....

A not so long siesta in camp, a bit uncomfortable as my camping set up doesn't provide any shelter from the blustery wind, so I set off earlier than planned for my afternoon drive south and west of Satara.

Buffalo near a stand of Leadwoods

Plains zebra - she looks very pregnant!
a curious Tree Squirrel
Cheetah marking territory

This cheetah has obviously eaten recently!

and a 1/2 hour later, leopard on it's warthog kill!

Wow! What an end to my first full day......

Click here to continue to Day 3