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11 Perfect Days - Day 2

Ingwe's picture
11 Perfect Days - Day 2

Crocodile Bridge - Lower Sabie

I'm awake by 4am!  I tiptoe outside to put the kettle on and listen to the birds while I wait for it to boil.  The spurfowl is already calling,  along with a pearl spotted owlet, and the squeaky sound of the bats.  They sound rather like a bicycle pump when you are pumping air into the tyres.

Nothing is happening in the kettle department so I get my torch and head off to find the communal water heaters that are around the camp.  By the time I get back hubby is there wondering "where have you been?" and... the kettle is boiling.  He shows me the main switch on the stove Wink You have to flip that first before switching on the ring

We leave the camp as soon as the gate is open at 6am.  It's not quite light yet and there is a nip in the air.  I can't resist rolling down the window though - it smells wonderful out there!

The first thing I spot is a blob in a tree that I think could be a vervet.  It's not!  It's a giant eagle owl.  Wow!  Many of my best sightings I don't have a picture of - too dark, too slow, camera on the floor.  But all those sightings are firmly in my memory forever.  When the eagle owl turned his head and looked at me and blinked, it was almost a feeling of relief.  One doesn't realize how much stress one is under when living our daily lives.  Not necessarily bad stress, but stress nontheless.  For me, at this moment, I knew. I had arrived at my peaceful place and life was good.

We ran into a couple of Swainson's spurfowls starting their day

We enjoyed all the birds along the way, a tree full of grey go away birds having a meeting, magpie shrikes, lilac breasted rollers, white crested helmet-shrikes, burchell's coucal and many others.

Going around a corner I came to a hiccuping, juddering halt in the middle of the road.  Ellies!

Hubby told me I should move along a bit because of this guy....

But, what about this guy?

I had stalled the car because I had forgotton there was a clutch,  so I decided to sit tight.  Yikes.

None of the ellies were upset at all (I think,) but my heart was about to leave my chest as this ellie who had become the size of a small building, walked beside the car..

I remembered two things from Africam!

1 "Ellilujah" - Gerda

2 "And if it is an old big tusker like this.... you feel so lucky - he spent a moment of his life looking at you" - Fani

He wasn't old, nor was he a big tusker.  But I felt so lucky!  ... and scared

He crossed over and had a lovely time trying to reach a juicy part of this tree...

After that we decided we needed a pit stop.  Too much tea Eye-wink

We continued on to Lower Sabie to quickly pop into camp and run in to the loo, and out again.  We had to go to Skukuza in order to cash some travellers cheques at the bank and be back at Lower Sabie by 4pm.

This little bushbuck gave us a surprise ...

Next up, baboons.  They didn't look at us once as we stopped right next to them and took a pic.

Ground Hornbill

.... and a sleepy little Klipspringer

After arriving at Skukuza and cashing our cheques we went to have lunch at the cafeteria.  Under the lapa, with the bats!

All the tables and chairs have been moved to the edge of the roof Wink

After lunch we quickly went to Lake Panic (well, as quickly as life goes in the bush...) It is the most beautiful place I have ever been, I can't imagine why it is called Lake "Panic"

On the way we were remembering that last year we saw a hyaena, and as is our habit we looked at the spot.  And saw a hyaena!  A baby!  I only got one decent pic.  He had a drink, rolled in and ate some dung, and realized he was out there all by himself and disappeared into the long grass.

We didn't have long to spend at Lake Panic this time, but we knew we would be back later in the week.

African Jacana, Water thick knee, African darter, Black crake

Off back to Lower Sabie and a quick cup of tea outside our hut.  Tea tasted delicious sitting on that bench!

After tea we went to get on the truck to go on the sunset drive.  It was a lovely drive.  We saw giraffe, white rhino, zebras, jackals, and as it began to get dark, vultures - whitebacked and hooded, sillhouetted in a tree.

Last year on the same night drive we saw cheetah, leopard, and a very scary croc on the road so I didn't expect it to top that.  But, we had a wonderful sighting of a civet.  He was on a mission and didn't stay for long, but he was stunning.

So, we're tired and cold now and heading back to camp for supper and bed and the night is not yet over...

Finally.  As Philip our driver told us - "A Lie  on"

Yippee!

He was marking, and he roared until I thought my socks would fall off

 

What a special ending to a wonderful day.  Back at camp for supper, a glass of wine on the stoep and bed.

Another perfect day.

 

 

v

sabine's picture

Oh I just loved day 2!  I'm

Oh I just loved day 2!  I'm having such a great trip reading all about it Smiling

I love the picture of the vultures!  and the bats!!!!! way cool. FANTASTIC!

tomatotamata's picture

Hello Ingwe what wonderful

Hello Ingwe what wonderful memories to tell, you had good closes up of the real wildlife, good piccys and commentaries thanks for sharing them. Doris

rattiecat's picture

Oh Christy,  thank you so

Oh Christy,  thank you so much..  What a wonderful way to share you trip.   I can't wait for the next day :D

and more photos..... :)

Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way. John Muir

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/aviation/WebCam/Packwood.htm

 

 

RogerH's picture

OMG!!  And now we have 11

OMG!!  And now we have 11 1/2 long agonizing months to wait.  Thank you Christy!

Member of the All Critters, Large And Small (Except Olive Toads) Fan Club. Seen so far, ellie, rhino, buffalo, zeb, wildee, baboons, warthogs, giraffe, impala, lion, kudu, hyena, jackal, monkey, mongoose, leopard, hippo, lots of birds.

krukab's picture

 thanksvery beautifull 

 thanks

very beautifull  story and photo's

i had a tear in eye when i read you

didnt take camera while waiting for tea to boil

and miss the eagle owl  lol

breath taking photo's  well done

thanks for sharing

barry

                            A F R I C A M    B O O K 

http://www.africam.com/wildlife/africam_book_3

 

 

Iceage's picture

Lovely to read!  thank

Lovely to read!  thank you.

Very nice picture's. I love the bats Smiling

 

Fani's picture

How nice story ....it looks

How nice story ....it looks like a dream to me ...

great you had such a day ..

To see so many birds ...it is wonderful itself ..add the ellie and lion ...

I try to put myself in your seat ...very difficult ...I can't imagine what I will do if I saw a real elephant looking at me ROFL

Tourneyman1's picture

thank you so much for

thank you so much for sharing your trip with us.  I love your story telling and pictures.  I am looking forward to the next installment of your trip.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.... especially when the cams go down.

donnabac's picture

Your gift to us. My favorite

Your gift to us. My favorite is the ellie sharing a moment of his life, or maybe the napping Klipspringer. The lion is beautiful. The hornbill is special. Every one of these captures is personal.  Thank you.

Donna

Penny2's picture

Oh Christy, it brings it all

Oh Christy, it brings it all back and now I want to be back in the bush!  I love your ele stretching up to the tree. I also like the bats at Skukuza - memories of us having lunch there with youSmile.   I love the view over the river at Lower Sabie.  I hope you are working on day three now as I'm ready for it!! 

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