Oscar, our guide for the evening, seemed to know all the best places to discover critters. On all of the trips, the rangers had placed a rifle on the dashboard or in the seat next to themselves. Shortly after our departure from camp, Oscar left the jeep briefly to scout for a lion pride that had been spotted earlier, rifle in hand. The lions had moved on but the potential for danger is always present in the park. This is not a place you want your car to break down! Over the next few hours, we saw white rhino, porcupine, an African wild cat, a badger, hippos in the water and then on our return hippos grazing as they do after sunset. He even stopped for a chameleon. All of our trips were chilly with evening (or morning) temperatures in the 40-50 degree range, but on this ride with mist and high winds, in the open air vehicle, we were grateful for the blankets provided.
Since we were in this camp for 2 nights, we headed out at 7 A.M. the next morning to explore. Big cats had been seen on the road toward Lower Sabie Camp, so that's where we headed. Luck and timing are everything when it comes to seeing the animals. Coming upon a road jam on our route, we learned there were some lions nearby. Unfortunately, with our low profile vehicle we were unable to see them. Located below the road level behind high grasses and low bushes, they were hidden. We waited about 30 minutes hoping they would move on, but finally decided we would move on instead.
|Our lion slinking through the bush|
With the gates open at 6 A.M., the following morning we decided to go out and explore early, prior to our 10 o'clock checkout. Good call. Within 15 minutes of our drive we saw a male lion moving through the bush. Now we could move on to our next camp.
|Oscar with a flap neck chameleon|
|African Fish Eagle|
|Red-billed oxpecker cleaning the impala's ears|
|Our cheetah playing peek-a-boo|