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3rd Day - 18 August, 2010

RogerH's picture
3rd Day - 18 August, 2010

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3rd Day – 18 August, 2010

 

Early morning of the 3rd day found us at a hippo pool on the Crocodile River, not far from the camp.  There we were met by a Ranger who informed us that his job was to escort us down to the pool and to keep us from harm.  His tool of choice for this task was a .458 Winchester Magnum which is purported  to be able to stop anything on the African continent.  This meeting prompted Jen to make a remark which stayed with us throughout the trip – “Stay close to the man with the gun.”  Here are Jen and Chris and the ranger, making their way down to the hippo pool.

And here’s what was waiting for us.

After a quick look, Jen and Chris retreated back up towards the car, while I bravely proceeded to the water’s edge to take these two pictures.  (Yeah, right – me and the man with the gun and my 300mm telephoto lens!)

After leaving the hippos we proceeded on down Crocodile River Rd. and found these two lovely little Lesser Striped Swallows sitting on a bridge

We got out and stretched our legs (There are just a few designated areas where you are allowed to get out of your vehicle.) at Gardenia Hide, overlooking the Mlambane River.  There, on a tree we found this Blue Headed Agama lizard.

Jen’s not big on what she calls “creepy, crawly things”, but even she had to admit that he was a handsome fellow.  On the far bank of the river was a sleepy old crocodile and his turtle friends.

A bit further down the road we encountered our first Cape Buffalo, a couple of old “Dugga Boys”.  The one on the left who has lost his horns looks a lot like an old fellow known as “The Colonel” who we used to see around Sabi Sands.

This is just an example of the landscape we were driving through, most of the time.  You can sometimes go for an hour or more without seeing another vehicle on these remote dirt roads.

This Black Bellied Bustard was strolling alongside the road and didn’t seem to mind having his picture taken.

On down the road we saw this majestic male Kudu, seemingly surveying his kingdom.

In the next picture, it would appear that the female Impala in the foreground must be the only one in the herd that has bugs!

Late in the afternoon, a lady stopped us and told us where to go to find this monitor lizard, who was sunning himself on the side of a tree.  By the looks of his belly, he had recently eaten!

Here’s another example of a large animal who wants to cross the road having the right of way!

A solitary Zebra standing by the side of the road.  Makes you wonder sometimes – who’s watching who?

We came across this Cape Buffalo carcass, close to the road, being watched over by a solitary Hooded Vulture.  Because so many animals in the park are killed by motor vehicles, it’s anybody’s guess if this one was brought down by predators or a Toyota.

This big male Rhino had traffic stopped in both directions as he took his time crossing the road.

It was getting late and we had to turn around and head back towards camp.  When we got back to the Buffalo carcass, this Black Backed Jackal was on the scene.  We have video of him darting in, grabbing the Buffer’s tail and running away with it like a trophy.  By the time I got this picture he had dropped it.

And so we came to the end of another day in the bush.  Nothing quite as dramatic as the pack of Wild Dogs we encountered yesterday, yet every bit as enjoyable.

And the perfect endings……………………..

THE DAY’S SIGHTINGS:  ANIMALS

              Hippos                                                           Kudu

              Impala                                                           Rhino

              Common Skink                                             Blue Headed Agama

              Crocodile                                                       Turtles

              Cape Buffalo                                                 Elephant

              Wildebeest                                                   Giraffe

              Monitor Lizard                                             Zebra

              Black Backed Jackal

 

THE DAY’S SIGHTINGS: BIRDS

              Yellow Billed Hornbill                                 Lappet Faced Vulture

              Hooded Vulture                                           Helmeted Guinea Fowl

              Lesser Striped Swallow                               Green Backed Heron

              Black Bellied Bustard                                  Red Billed Oxpecker

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Dawning's picture

I was a little late reading

I was a little late reading this blog, but I am certainly glad I peeked in to see what Days 1, 2 and 3 were all about.

I love your photos, Roger.  They show the primitive beauty of wildlife, a sense of lonely solititude and lurking danger.  You are a very good photographer.  Thanks for sharing.

 

Dawn 

Save America's beautiful wild horses.

Ingwe's picture

I LOVE day 3 Roger, I am

I LOVE day 3 Roger, I am enjoying this so very much!  Lol, I was thinking the same thing about the coffee, Penny!

You are doing a fantastic job. 

Laughing

 

BicBic's picture

The rhino is VERY

The rhino is VERY impressive. Not something I would want to "cross paths" with. Shocked

Penny2's picture

I'm looking forward to and

I'm looking forward to and enjoying each of your daily reports, Roger - you have certainly been lucky so far with your sightings!!  Before your next trip I will have to find the name of the strong "bush" coffee - maybe that will be more to your liking!!

Gerda's picture

another lovely day Roger

another lovely day Roger !

love those rhino traffic jams Smiling

 

Mavis's picture

I'm really enjoying reading

I'm really enjoying reading your blogs and seeing your pictures Roger.  Thanks so much for giving us a peek at your vacation!  I'm hardly jealous at all.

donnabac's picture

Another great day in the

Another great day in the bush. Loved the bustard. Did you have to pinch yourself occasionally? Smiling

Donna

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