Naledi camera is down due to lack of solar power. It will return when the batteries charge after sunrise

2011 Safari to Kruger and Nkorho. Blog Part 2 - The northern camps and birds in the Kruger Park

Stokie's picture
2011 Safari to Kruger and Nkorho. Blog Part 2 - The northern camps and birds in the Kruger Park

On a Sunset Drive from Letaba we saw many wonderful birds including this African Fish Eagle:

African Fish Eagle

After Letaba we drove North to Shingwedzi Camp.  As ever we got up at 5.30am to be out of the camp gates at 6am.  This time of day often gives the best views of game and the light is fantastic for photography.

One of our best views was of Scrub Hares.  We have seen these many times on night drives frozen in the truck headlights and then scampering off into the bush.  These hares were enjoying their last grass of the night in the cool morning air:

Scrub Hare 1

Scrub Hare 2

At Kanniedood Bird Hide we saw this wonderful Saddle-billed Stork resting on his knees - see how his legs are in front of him:

Saddle-billed Stork

Just north of Mopani Camp we crossed over the Tropic of Capricorn celebrated by a line across the road.

On a trip out of Shingwedzi Camp on the S52 we saw two fantastic White-Fronted Bee-Eaters:

White-Fronted Bee-Eater

I'd like to claim great skill for the next picture but it was just luck that I pressed the shutter as the Bee-Eater took off:

Take off!!

It was interesting to see so many Communal Spider nests and webs.  About 1000 spiders live together in these nests strung up on the bushes:

Communal Spiders

At Babalala Picnic site we saw this Black Shouldered Kite:

Black Shouldered Kite

The northern most camp that we stayed at was Punda Maria.  A very small camp in a delightful setting.  By now it was very hot and we enjoyed the swimming pool very much.  In the evening I went out for a drive around the north of the camp.  It was very hilly here with many Baobab trees to be seen on the hillsides.  In one case I counted over 20 in one area - quite exceptional:

Baobab Tree

Also in this area I saw Nyala Antelope.  The bulls are dark brown whereas the cows are a much lighter brown looking like Kudu females:

Nyala Bull

Driving south to Mopani Camp we ere very pleased to see a Kori Bustard.  This large bird was a first for us.

Kori Bustard

Mopani is a beautiful camp - very peaceful and restful.  It was here that we began to see more of our favourite bird - the Lilac Breasted Roller:

LBR 1

LBR 2

LBR3

Just outside the Mopani Camp we saw this bush which had broken into these brilliant yellow flowers (and it was still the dry season):

Yellow Flower

Interestingly none of the rangers at Mopani, nor indeed the the rangers at Nkorho, were able to identify what it was.

On a sunset trip from Mopani Camp we were fortunate to see a Puff Adder crossing the road in the headlights:

Puff Adder

Moving onto Olifants we enjoyed this camp perched high above the Olifants River - what a wonderful view.

This Brownhooded Kingfisher was on the fence at Olifants:

Brown-hooded Kingfisher

The Timbavati Picnic site on the way from Olifants Camp to Satara is a beautiful site with tame Bushbuck wandering between the picnic tables.  It also had many birds in the site.

Blue Waxbills grabbing a drink:

Blue Waxbills

a cheeky Brilliant Starling on the back of a chair:

Brilliant Starling

and many Hornbills trying to steal our food:

Hornbill

A Scops Owl trying to sleep in a tree in the middle of the picnic site:

Scops Owl 1

and another one in Satara Camp:

Scops Owl 2

Outside of Olifants Camp on the smaller bridge over Olifants River we saw a Common Sandpiper:

Common Sandpiper

and a Grey Lourie ("Go Away Bird") on top of a tree:

Grey Lourie

We always enjoy seeing the birds which are active in the middle of the day when everything else goes to sleep.

Thanks for looking.  There will be more in Part 3.

Charles

Mavis's picture

Beautiful Bird pictures

Beautiful Bird pictures Charles - thank you.

Stokie's picture

There were two Scops Owls in

There were two Scops Owls in the tree in the middle of Timbavati picnic site.  I think they are quite territorial so they are probably the same ones.

Charles

donnabac's picture

I am enjoying your pictures

I am enjoying your pictures and adventures. Please share more Smiling

Donna

Penny2's picture

Thank you for posting this,

Thank you for posting this, Charles. I am enjoying reading it. I also saw scops owls at Timbavati picnic site earlier in the year - wonder if they were the same ones?

Gerda's picture

Thanks for posting this blog

Thanks for posting this blog and sharing your trip with us.
I love it.

Stokie's picture

It may well be a Mopane

It may well be a Mopane Pomegranate.  I was just amazed that none of the rangers knew what it was.  There so many of the flowering bushes around Mopani and they must drive past them every day.  These rangers are generally so good.  Thanks for looking.  I'l  write Part 4 later - I think a tour of the Lodge + sunsets, etc.  Beautiful pictures of the leopards to come later.

Ingwe's picture

Lovely, lovely!Thanks

Lovely, lovely!

Thanks Charles.  I only have seen the scrub hares at night too.

We always used to have a bet with the kids what would be the first bird, first animals we saw - my son always chose the blue waxbill as his first bird Smiling

I wonder if your yellow bush is a Mopane Pomegranate?  It looks similar in my book.

 

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