Before I begin… another installment of the Kruger adventure let me say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. We don’t need a national holiday to be thankful. We should practice Thanksgiving on a daily basis! Thankful that we have life first and then all the things that make life worth living- family, (both real and acquired), friends, and the ability to change or adapt! With those things anything can be accomplished.
"Bill" the Hornbill
Our 4th day in the park was pretty low key. We are still at Satara, where we stayed for 4 nights and quite frankly, ready to move on. Our hut faced an open space, where there were lots of birds and squirrels. I broke the rules accidentally, (I knew we couldn’t feed the animals), but I didn’t think feeding the birds was wrong… so I have some great pictures of ‘Bill’ the Hornbill. He even ate out of my hand. He has such a cartoon face. I think I see a quilt in there somewhere. I also had a Spurfowl and a dove eating from my hand. It’s obvious I am not the only one to have broken the rule. So we packed our stuff and headed for our next camp, about 60 km (37 miles) and approximately a 2 ½ drive…. Sight/game seeing along the way. So what did we see… on the drive? Well the temperatures were high and the sky was overcast, so there wasn’t too much activity. But this is Africa, and there are lots of animals to see.
We had heard of a lion sighting, so before heading north from Satara along a river, we dropped south along a paved road to see the lions. These lions were practically on the road. We watched them for a bit, but the only activity was a lioness moving from a sunny spot to one at the back in the shade.
When we turned north we drove from moderate dry vegetation to a somewhat sparser and lower growing vegetation, although it was bushier so it was dense. Once again we drove slowly and I saw some flowers and on closer inspection… they were teaming with butterflies and bees. There were 2 species of butterfly on this floret. An almost white one, it had a lime or aqua cast to it… and there were quite a few on the plants. Then there was a much smaller more colorful one.
The day was warm enough that the elephants were having a great time playing in the water. At 2 different locations we saw fun. The first is an elephant cooling down by spraying water over himself. He would slip his trunk over the side of the tank, and then spray himself down. Once in a while he would take a drink. He had a partner
on the other side of the tank doing the same thing. The other was a group of elephants at a shallow water pan; several of them put their trunks in the water and exhaled making the water bubble up. Sort of like kids in the tub playing motorboat.
As we were watching the elephants another butterfly went flying past and as luck had it landed within in my sights… I don’t know the species, yet.
As we passed a large tree we spotted a Wahlbergs Eagle having lunch. Its lunch was nearly gone, but I did manage to snap a great photo or two. I wouldn’t put my finger too close to the beak. It’s sharp.
Our accommodations for the next couple of nights was at a Camp called Olifonts. It sits high on a cliff overlooking the Olifonts River. It has just been refurbished and has a marvelous deck for dining outdoors where you can watch the wild life. Our Hut had a view of the river, and from our patio we watched the Giraffes move along the tree line and hippos come out for feeding.
I’ll try and wrap up the trip to Kruger in one or two more posts… and then maybe a post of the odd photo, that I liked but didn’t have a way to insert into the blog.