6 July 2008
We took a
flight in the morning and we arrived late in the evening to
7 July 2008
good breakfast, we spent some time in the garden for seeing and taking
pictures of our first birds: Black-collared Barbet, Fiscal
Shrike... 6 species had been never seen later during the trip: Sacred Ibis, Gray-headed
Gull, Red-headed Finch, Olive Thrush, White-browed Sparrow-Weaver,
8 July 2008
This day was focused on the
9 July 2008
In the morning we started by a walk in
11 July 2008
12 July 2008
started by a walk in this big camp which allow us seeing 2 Purple-crested
Louries. The day started very well with our first Lions on the H4-1. Few
hundred meters further we discovered our first Hippopotamus on the
13 July 2008
this small camp early and we found a small group of Lions with babies almost
at T junction with the main road. In the morning, we were very lucky to find
first a Pearl-spotted Owl and half an hour later a couple of
White-faced Owl! We ate at Afsaal Picnic Spot were we saw at less than 5
meters our first Bushbuck and a pair of wonderful Orange-breasted Bushshrike (or
14 July 2008
After a breakfast
before the sunrise and after a short drive, we started a walk of 4 hours. We got closed to Elephant,
Rhinoceros and tried to approach Impala,
Zebra and Common Duiker but they let a big distance with humans on foot. We also saw 5 Sable Antelopes even wilder than the other antilope! We saw the only
Black Rhinoceros of the trip, really much more nervous than the White one...
15 July 2008
program was the same than the first day except that we started our walk from
the camp in the morning. Since we woke up we heard a Giant Eagle-Owl (or Verreaux's
Eagle-Owl ) and our rangers found it easily in a big tree along the river.
During this walk we scared 2 Harlequin Quails, 1 Kurrichane Buttonquail and we
had a good view of a Slander Mongoose not so far. We were very lucky with the
White Rhinoceros as we saw 23 of them, at few meters only for some of them.
At the end of the morning, the rangers walk in the direction of some Rhinos
waiting that one of the 8 tired tourists to detect...
We were all surprised several times to find them very late and very close to us but this animal is fortunately
usually quiet. I let you imagine what could happen without ranger and with
mimetic and smaller animal like Lions...
16 July 2008
We came back to
Pretoriuskop Rest Camp in the morning and said good bye to our group
and rangers. We did some shopping and caught a Southern Masked-Weaver
before leaving the camp in direction of Biyamiti using the H1-1 road.
We stopped a long time at Shitlhave Dam. It's a big pond with a lot of
animals everywhere: Giraffe, Kudu, Burchell Zebra, Warthog, Waterbuck,
Blue Wildebeest feeding a baby, Impala with 2 males already fighting!
Of course we saw interesting birds too: Water Dikkop (or Water Thick-knee), 3 species of
swifts: Black Swift (or African Swift), Little Swift and Alpine Swift!
Later we took time to look a small group of Giraffes coming to drink to
another pond. When crossing a small river almost dry, we saw our first
Green-backed Heron (or striated Heron). A little bit further, I
detected a bird of prey starting to swoop down in direction of the car.
The time to stop, the bird disappeared already behind some trees less
than 20 meters from us and reappeared immediately without any prey: it
was a fascinating view of a Martial Eagle although a little bit
frustrating! Then when crossing a small dam just before
17 July 2008
We got up
early as the Leopard is known to move more in the morning and in the evening than
during the day. As soon as the gate was open (6:30) we were out of the camp
but actually with no more success than the day before. However we saw 2 Elephants
pushing each other during several minutes and we were not able to define if
it was a play or a small fight!
18 July 2008
morning walk with its interresting species: Cut-throat, White-faced Duck (or
White-faced Whistling-Duck), we drove to Satara trying to find again the
Cheetah site without success. However we saw Giant Eagle-Owl (or Verreaux's
Eagle-Owl) even better than the first time. Before the
19 July 2008
started the day with the view of the small African Scops-Owl that we would
have missed if an employee didn't show it to us in a tree at less than 4
meters in the middle of the main parking! We also saw before leaving:
Bennett's Woodpecker, Yellow-spotted Nicator (or
20 July 2008
morning walk were very good again: White-browed Robin-Chat, Red-capped
Robin-Chat, Cardinal Woodpecker, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Greater Blue-eared
Starling (Greater Blue-eared Glossy-Starling), Red-headed Weaver. We started
our discoveries of the day with the S46 to Engelhard Dam on the
21 July 2008
breakfast was distracted by a Scrub Hare in the camp blocked by the fence and
wanted to get out of the camp just behind us. The birds of the morning
were this time: Brubru, Blue Waxbill (Blue-breasted Cordonbleu), White-browed
Scrub-Robin (or Red-backed Scrub-Robin) and just on the river when leaving
the camp: Lesser Striped-Swallow and Three-banded Plover. We drove North in
direction of Letaba. On the S94 we found an enormous Elephant with corn of
more than 2 meters! We did some shopping in Letaba and took some time to
observe Speckled Mousebird and Crested Barbet eating honey in some flowers
and also a Blue-gray Flycatcher (or Ashy Flycatcher).
22 July 2008
morning, we walked until the big baobab in the middle of the camp. A lot of
small tracks arrive to the enormous tree and on one of them, a group of
Red-billed Firefinch came into our direction. I stopped to move and start to
take pictures and I finally ot pictures of a male at less than 2 meters! Around 10am we saw from the
terrace of the restaurant a lot of vultures flying into the sky from the
forest. We finished our camp tour along the fence following the big lake of the
camp: Pied Kingfisher, Black-winged Stilt, Great Egret and few others...
23 July 2008
for the morning in this small camp. We decided to drive to Shingwedzi on the
S50 although the note we had said that there is usually nothing of big
interest on this road. Except few Ostrich and Kudu that was the case.
Moreover Grootvlei Dam was dry... We reach Kanniedood Dam and then we found
again a lot of animals even 2 new species of mammals: our first Nyala and Sharpe's Grysbok
and a very long Varan (Nil Varan?) on the other side of the dam.
morning was used to explore the S52 loop, a well known place for Leopard
usually! It's a beautiful area although very quiet during this morning. We
took our lunch at Shingwedzi before driving to Punda Maria Rest Camp. Not so
many animals during this afternoon too, the main point of interest was a bush
fire along the road attracting dozens of Fork-tailed Drongos and
Lilac-breasted Rollers coming to eat frightening insects. In the burnt area
we found several Black-Shouldered Kites too: the only ones we saw inide the Park.
of the day was to go to the extreme North of the Park in the area called Pafuri, one of
the best place for birds in the Park. However we had to find first some cash.
So, we left the camp as soon as the Gates opened for the