Kruger National Park – July 2016
Kruger is bountiful in sharing her delights and we had a wonderful visit. So many birds, elephants and some rare moments. The pangolin (ietermago) was definitely a highlight. And to sit and watch leopards mating – unforgettable. The privilege of seeing a honey badger pacing up and down a river bank looking for a way to cross without wetting his feet – priceless.
In this Blog we share with you a few photos of the Kruger trip with links to others. Kay and Mike Leresche
There were large numbers of elephant throughout the park - north, central, south, and several little ones were fierce in "seeing us off". Click below for a spectacular view we had of a herd in the dust of the dry Shingwedzi river at sunset.
We didn’t have many repeat sightings of carnivores, but we did see lion, cheetah, hyena, honey badger, civet, mongoose and had several sightings of leopard.
This all included the amazing fortune on one occasion near Lower Sabie to be able to spend time gazing across a small creek and watch through the reeds as a male and female enjoyed their honeymoon. They came together for a while then abruptly parted with one (usually the female) retreating up to the top of the bank and returning quickly down at the slightest sign of life from the male lying exhausted below. Finally the female signalled enough with a slap and the male reared back with a snarl!
Being July, there were no migrants, but we identified over 130 birds and and captured over 80 of these on 'film'.
As it was heading towards Spring, testosterone levels ran high! We witnessed many fights: the eagles fought over lunch, the zebras had to get past a buffalo for water, the warthogs had a bloody battle over a lady, and the buffalo just battled.
And then the trees – really beautiful trees along the riverbeds, including figs, mahogany, nyala and duiker berry. In the north, the Mopani veld was turning burnt orange. It wasn't yet Spring but the Sabi stars shone bright in the dry twigs and there a few other flowers braving winter frosts.
Kudu, impala and waterbuck were common, and we also saw nyala, steenbok, duiker, klipspringer, tsessebe, bushbuck, reedbuck whilst we were very lucky with good sightings of grysbok and roan. Missing from the antelope we expected to see were eland and sable.
Zebra and giraffe - their stripes and spots creating patterns and pictures - encountered frequently.
Oh, those baby baboons - their little hands were so human, and the monkeys always curious.
Some of the 'out of the ordinary' wildlife we encountered included the pangolin and a porcupine, honey badger and dwarf mongoose
We also saw many hippo, rhino and buffalo, all with the attendant ox-peckers of both types: red and yellow-billed.
But Kruger is more than just the animals, birds and trees – beauty is all around