Sunday, September 30

More about spring in Kruger.....

I'm sorry to belabour the point, but here is a third posting on SPRING!

After the early rains the bush is absolutely spectacular. In the last week most of the winter bare trees have burst forth with fresh bright green leaf, the burnt grasslands are an intensely vivid green and the flowering trees are flowering like I have never witnessed them before!

Sadly they are not always easy to capture, especially on the breezy days we have been having recently, so the following pictures don't really capture the glory of the bush at the moment, but I've tried..........




Scattered across the open landscapes and in thick stands on some sodic areas are the Short-thorn Pomegranate.


This giraffe was certainly enjoying the delicate yellow flowers




Many marula trees are crowned with a pinkish fuzz. Close-up these tiny delicate flowers are exquisite






The Tree Wisteria (aka "Van Wyks Hout") is ablaze everywhere there is a little underground water....



Many Weeping Boer-bean Trees are intensely red and green. I just couldn't find an opportunity to really capture the splendour.











Also standing in wetter ground are the tall, slender, gracefully twisted Apple-leaf trees. Their delicate lilac blossom is only really visible close up, and carpeting the bare ground beneath their canopies....









The fibrous, dark stems of Baboons Tail is noticeable on stony ground in many places in South Africa, but this flowering "stand" on a rocky outcrop in the mountains was outstandingly beautiful.















PS I am dashing this off during a short 1 day break between safaris. I promise I will be a bit more "on-line" next weekend:)


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.