|Klipspringer, near the Olifants River|
Spring's hot, scorching days arriving a month early, combined with the gusty winds of August made the first week or two a little more unpredictable than usual.
Lion and leopard active on a mid-day game drive; thick fog early one morning; a couple of hours spent south of Skukuza, with absolutely ZERO other vehicles, on leopard, wild dog, rhino and hyena sightings....... and the list goes on.
Each safari produced totally different experiences - this is nothing especially out of the ordinary for Kruger safaris perhaps, but maybe I just appreciated it more since it's been six long months since I was last here.
On some of the best sightings I couldn't get the camera up as I needed to concentrate on positioning the vehicle in the best possible place.....
But despite that, this posting is going to be chock full of photos, so I hope you have the patience to scroll through them right to the end. (some I've already posted on Facebook, but there's also a lot more!)
As always, with late winter/spring, the focus, in this driest part of the dry season is the waterholes and rivers.
There were about 10 lion scattered around this waterhole, and although they weren't in "hunt mode"this lioness wasn't going to pass up a tasty warthog snack, if they had got close enough (the hogs look a lot closer than they actually were).
The "prey"animals are totally aware of this of course and are particularly wary and nervous when coming down to drink.
We couldn't see any predators around at this small waterhole, but that didn't stop the zebra scattering in panic a couple of times in between quick sips...
|Croc at Lake Panic|
We spent a lot of time along the Sabie River and weren't disappointed by the lion, leopard, hippo, buffalo and assorted antelope sightings.....
|Kudu in the tamboti|
|Buffalo crossing the Sabie River|
The smaller, more colourful birds were also close to water.
|Elephant at Mohlabetsi Lodge|
But when we ventured away from the rivers and larger waterholes we also had some great experiences........
|Elephant, backdropped by the spring colours of the mopani veld|
Including this very special encounter with two cheetah, early one morning, north of Satara.
As mentioned earlier in this posting we had an amazing morning drive south of Skukuza. The main target for the drive was to find rhino, which we did, but also leopard, wild dog and hyaena (and lot's more) - all on roads empty of other vehicles.
This hyena mother and cub were very alert, and heard the rhino well before we saw them. Needless to say the rhino could obviously scent the hyena and were also very alert as they crossed through the open area.
We had strong gusty winds for much of the month but the weather's defining feature were the hot, parched days.
Whether the mornings started with thick fog, or gloriously clear blue skies, by 11 am every visible animal was huddled under the limited shade......
But, that's spring in Kruger.
Extremes of everything!