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A Visit to South Africa - May 2011 (Part 2)

Penny2's picture
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

Vine snake.)

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

Cape Buffaloes!

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.

Mavis's picture

Amazing pictures again

Amazing pictures again Penny!  I hope you realize that I live for the updates from everyone fortunate enough to go to South Africa.

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