Day 3 - 18 August, 2010
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Day – 18 August, 2010
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
here’s what was waiting for us.
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
leaving the hippos we proceeded on down Crocodile River Rd. and found these two
lovely little Lesser Striped Swallows sitting on a bridge
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.
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.
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.
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.
Black Bellied Bustard was strolling alongside the road and didn’t seem to mind
having his picture taken.
down the road we saw this majestic male Kudu, seemingly surveying his kingdom.
the next picture, it would appear that the female Impala in the foreground must
be the only one in the herd that has bugs!
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!
another example of a large animal who wants to cross the road having the right
solitary Zebra standing by the side of the road.
Makes you wonder sometimes – who’s watching who?
came across this Cape Bufalo 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.
big male Rhino had traffic stopped in both directions as he took his time
crossing the road.
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.
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.
the perfect endings……………………..
DAY’S SIGHTINGS: ANIMALS
Blue Headed Agama
Black Backed Jackal
DAY’S SIGHTINGS: BIRDS
Yellow Billed Hornbill
Lappet Faced Vulture
Helmeted Guinea Fowl
Lesser Striped Swallow
Green Backed Heron
Black Bellied Bustard Red Billed Oxpecker
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