Thursday, September 13

A Spring parade of animals....

You can tell I've been in the bush a lot over the last 3 months - not many postings.

I must admit that the urge to share my safari experiences online is somewhat muted when I have been sharing them "in the flesh" with my guests, on average 3 weeks out of every 4 weeks over an extended period.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is the best job in the world.
Many of my friends don't think it's a job at all.

I will admit however, that for me to enjoy safari guiding to it's fullest, I need to break away from it every now and again. Balance is what that's called:)

So I am yearning for the sea, mountains, solitude, somewhere totally different........

Until then I have two great months of safaris coming up, including a 10 day jaunt to the game reserves of Kwa Zulu Natal with old friends and guests, Dave and Jean. Can't wait!!

My last posting celebrated the arrival of spring in the bush, but warned of the long, hot wait until the first rains arrive. Well, last week they arrived, a good 6 weeks early. We had wonderful drenching rain in most parts of Kruger.

Game viewing was a definite challenge, but despite the conditions we still managed to find the Big 5, many large and fascinating birds, and saw a leopard on each game drive - awesome!!

Here are some photos and experiences from the last few weeks.......



We found a small pack of the critically endangered African Wild Dog "denning" near Pretoriuskop. We visited them a few times over two days and were rewarded with distant sightings of the pups and, one evening, 3 of the adults came down past us on their way to hunt......




















At another den early one morning. This time the Spotted Hyena........

















Between the end of winter and the arrival of the first rains, the Sabie River road is almost always rewarding......

Lion, elephant, buffalo, monkeys and baboons, and even a rare sighting of a black rhino one evening.......

The traffic jams caused can be quite hectic!


Further down the river we witnessed a massive crocodile lunging for a young zebra. It escaped and the croc subsided back under the surface. Dozens of zebra carried on drinking as if nothing had happened.....




The Wild Pear Dombeya was in full bloom along the mountains and I took these photos just in time. The heavy rain the next day washed all the flowers brown!






















 


Despite cold winds, lowering cloud and drizzle, we had a great day for birds on the grassy plains around Satara.
Pictured here are a Martial Eagle, male Ostrich and Yellow-billed Oxpecker.

We also saw Verreaux Eagle-Owl, Kori Bustard, Ground Horn-bills, Lappet-faced Vulture, Tawny and Wahlberg Eagles and many more...








And a final shot for this extra long posting - the Impala antelope. This is our most common antelope in the bushveld but it's not that easy to photograph strangely enough!


PS. Thank you to all who have taken the time to comment on my last few postings. I haven't had time to reply yet but your comments are always appreciated.

5 comments:

OneStonedCrow said...

Stunning shots Sue - I think your friends are right, there is no work in Heaven ...

... but you're right too, you need a break sometimes to regain your balance, something different ...

... like the Richtersveld, or the Namib desert ...

nice to see a post from you again

Coral Wild said...

Thanks Graham for your comment.

yes, southern Namibia is definitely on the wish list, but I will settle for a little diving on our East Coast to balance things out in the short term!

I enjoyed your posts of Etosha as well:)

Danice said...

Awesome photos! I especially love the zebras photo. You are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Coral .. my thoughts turn south at this time of year - and I want to wing my way down ... perhaps next year.

Love the reminders of life in the bush - great photo selection - and then early rains .. I hope you get a good dose of them.

Cheers Hilary

Lonicera said...

That martial eagle made me laugh out loud, he looks just like a bad tempered rockstar who's just got out of bed and hasn't had his first fag and black coffee yet.
Your flower with the differential focus is a competition winner - and I love the elephants and the lion ambling along the road in no hurry, knowing from experience that humans in cars pose no threat. Lovely.
Caroline