KNP 2013 ~ 2 October
2 October 2013
Hipp Hipp(o) Hurray
We are on the road from Skukuza to Lower Sabie this morning. Gill will spend the night there and return home tomorrow and we are continuing on to Satara. Skukuza is the largest restcamp in the park and very busy, so we try to avoid staying here if we can. Despite that, we had a lovely evening and a good nights sleep. Gill had a furnished tent and we slept in a rondavel – a round hut with a thatched roof.
The river road, as usual, made for good viewing. Hippos and crocs in the river, ellies on the road and one particular hippo, who came out of the bushes like he’d been shot from a cannon, charged across the road in front of us, and disappeared. Gone.
We stopped at Sunset Dam and were enjoying the usual view of birds, hippos and crocs when the folks In the car beside us said “look!” Right behind us was a huge hippo. I think he came from the river across the road and was heading back into the dam. Well, yikes! There wasn’t really a lot of room to maneuver so we had to wait for the other cars to get out first and ended up getting a better view than we planned on.
Click HERE for video
There was also a rather sickly looking croc in the dam and looking closer, he was dead, for sure.
We had lunch at Lower Sabie. There is a beautiful view from the deck here but the food isn’t spectacular. I have heard this week that things will be changing on that front. Since I don’t come here for the food I don’t worry too much about it and am pretty happy for the most part about what I eat. After that it is time for us to say our goodbyes to Gill, until the next time, and head North.
It was a wonderful drive up to Tshokwane, which is about half way between Lower Sabie and Satara. We took the road over what we call “The Moors”, it is a bit mountainous and I was hoping to spot some reedbuck along the way. This area looked very lush and green, as though there had been some rain which is much different from how it looked last year. We didn’t have any luck with the reedbuck but we did spot a honey badger and got a terrible picture of him. It wasn’t his fault because he cooperated quite well; I just wasn’t on the ball and pressed all the wrong buttons.
After Tshokwane, which I’ll talk about more later on, we trundled on to Satara. We went in to look at Nkaya Pan, it is 1km down a dirt road and I’m so glad we did because there was a family of saddle billed storks. The chicks were all legs, beaks and lungs and lovely to watch.
So, my day is made. I have never seen a saddle billed stork chick before and I'm ready for my sundowner. Ah, but this is Satara, and magic happens here. Ahead were a couple of cars pulled up on a bridge and down in the bottom was a sight for tired eyes..
Over the right side a lioness with 3 cubs was resting in the sunshine by the water. There was another girlie further back. On the left was a lone male, sitting all impassive, like he was trying out for a job in Trafalgar Square.
oops! wrong one
The sun was beginning to set and the cubs and mums all got up and crossed underneath the bridge to join up with dad.