A Visit to South Africa - May 2011 (Part 2)
After leaving Satara we drove south with our next destination
Ngwenya lodge where we have a timeshare. It is situated on the
southern bank of the Crocodile River which is the Kruger's
southern boundary. On the drive down we saw this baobab tree,
the most southerly in the Kruger Park.
This Grey Heron was using the hippo's back as a convenient perch.
When the hippo submerged the heron flew off to the bank of the
We saw a number of snakes on this trip, one of which was caught
by a Southern Ground hornbill - it was a large group of hornbills,
numbering 8 in all and they had one juvenile with them. I found it
interesting to see the adult give the snake to the youngster to eat.
Sorry, no pics of the hornbill eating the snake as I was in the
wrong position in the car to take one and it all happened quite
This snake was in the road north of Lower Sabie. I thought it
looked like a Vine snake although I wouldn't have expected to see
it on the road. Its tongue was flickering in and out and I could
see it was red - another indicator of which snake it was as the
vine snake's is red. (I have since had the pic confirmed as a
When we arrived at Ngwenya I saw a number of birds on our
verandah. I took this pic through a mesh door - the birds would
have flown if I had gone outside.
They are cut throat finches.
This is the view from our chalet - I love the early mornings there
as I sit outside with binoculars, bird book and a cup of coffee!
Some of the birds on on and around our verandah - a Laughing Dove
and a Dark-capped Bulbul
On one of our drives into the Kruger Park from Ngwenya, we were
very fortunate to see 18 different rhino in one day. We also saw
another snake - a boomslang - and watched through our binoculars
as it moved all round a tree, looking for lizards.
Another sighting which I found very special was of Duke, the old
big tusker who has now lost both his tusks. He is collared so the
rangers can keep track of him. It was incredible to see how his
tusks broke off - it looks like they have been neatly sheared off!
After a week at Ngwenya we again drove through the Park from
Crocodile Bridge to Orpen as our next four nights were to be
spent at Elephant Plains. It was a long drive and we didn't have
time to spot for animals so hubby drove at a constant speed of
45km per hour (max speed allowed on tar in the Kruger is 50kph).
Despite going quickly we saw rhinos, lions on the road (had to
stop for them!!), elephants, including breeding herds and also
We wanted to arrive at EP by lunchtime to give us a chance to
settle in before going out on the night time game drive.