Delays on the way back to camp
Shingwedzi Travel Blog› entry 4 of 7 › view all entries
I head back
from the far north of Kruger leaving behind the border area of
is becoming late in the day it is getting close to the drinking time of many on
the animals. Hence many animals are heading for one of the rivers to get a bit
of water to drink before the night. The road I am on is pretty close to the
river so the animals will have to cross the road.
elephants crossing are a big female elephant and a young elephant. After they
cross the road a couple of more female elephants set out to cross the road. For
some strange reason they just stand in the middle of the road - not doing
anything - this is real unusual elephant behavior usually the only thing that
would make them stop in the middle of the road is if they have just found some
tasty tree or a some even more tasty grass. But these two females are not
eating at all - just hanging out in the middle of the road.
But just a bit down the road I get stopped again - a huge herd of buffalos are crossing the road. It might be the biggest herd I have ever seen. The herd just seems to be going on for ever with buffalo after buffalo coming along to cross the road to go the water. The buffalos are only crossing the road two and two so with hundreds of buffalos it takes for ever before they will finish crossing the road. After having watched the buffalos crossing for several minutes I figure I need to go further down the road. Fortunately the buffalos seem to be willing to let a car through the herd so I can get on.
I get back
to the back gate of the camp and the storks I saw when I left in the morning
are still hanging around the little waterhole in the river next to the camp. I
drive through the camp to see what is going on at the other side of the camp.
Before dinner I figure I should take a quick look at what kind of animals might be hanging out in front of the restaurant. The only one I can see is a small antelope. But there is another animal making some noise. It doesn’t sound like an antelope judging from the level of the noise - but I cannot see any animal. After a while a big thing appears - and it is not an antelope it is bull elephant. It seems like the elephant has decided the people staying in the camp should have a better view from the camp - hence it would try if it could remove one of the trees blocking the view from the camp. It is doing a great effort but in the end the tree survived the attempts by the elephant to kill it.
The morning starts late like it always does in a park like Kruger. I sleep in until about 5.45 and then jump out of bed to be ready for the highlight of the day. The traditional waiting for the opening of the camp gates. The gate is closed during the night and you’ll have to stay in the campsite of Kruger but at 6 in the morning the gates will be open. So when 6 is approaching a long line of cars is waiting for somebody to open the gate so you can drive out on a morning game drive to observe the animals in the morning.
I get out the gate to go to Kanniedood Dam area which is pretty much right next to my camp site Shingwedzi. I drive out to go down a road and next to the road is an elephant hiding in the trees. It is actually amazing how well such a huge animal blend in with the trees around it. Even though the elephant is virtually next to the road it is actually quite hard to see it. It is only somewhat blurred behind the trees.
I get down to the river area where there are a few hippos down in the water just relaxing for the day. One of the places to go on the river road is a small bird hide where I go in. And right when I get in threes a few birds flying around and there is a bushbuck couple walking by having their breakfast snack. They are a couple of quite cute small antelopes which I never seen before.
As I go down the road I get closer to the hippos and in the bushes are another antelope walking around in the high grass. It looks a bit like a waterbuck female.
I keep going down the road but the road just continues a quick look at a map kind of indicate this road will go on for a couple of hundred kilometers hence I will not be going to the end of the road before breakfast. I decide to go back and get something to eat.
At the camp for breakfast there are a couple of small visitors coming to pick up the scraps. There are some squirrels running around but the main cleaners are the bright blue starling which come and pick up the breadcrumbs. They are not scarred by the humans but they seem quite hostile towards each other and very territorial when they particular good spot to pick up the small stuff you have lost.
Other birds run around the campsite as well. The most noticeable are the different hornbills which seems to be everywhere around the park. When you see them on the roads you’ll get the impression they are quite stupid and unwilling the fly to safety when a car pass them on the road. This is actually the only road kills I saw in the park.
Even though the birds in the camp is funny it is time to put an end to breakfast and leave again for the day.