WOW after waking up this morning and crawling out of bed we are definitely feeling the effects of yesterdays walk on our limbs but are determined to make the most of it so we head up to the main reception area for a quick brekkie before heading out with Pieter . T.L Ben today will be staying at the camp to rest his toe which he broke on Sunday morning but he will join us again tomorrow .What a lucky bugger .. we bet he spends all day around the swimming pool .. !!
Pieter explains to us today that we will be heading out over to the Base Camp side of the reserve where there is a savannah and where we will hopefully see some of that we haven’t been able to yet so fingers crossed :p
Along the way we spot a Marula Tree that has been used as a scratching post by what could have been a Warthog or some other tusked animal .. the Marula Tree’s fruit is used to make a gorgeous cream liqueur called Amarula which has a nice toffee/sweet taste to it and is a favourite among the locals here …hmm if only we could find some of the fruits !
Making our way through the bush up ahead were 2 Male Nyalas who were engaging in a potential fight because of their low walking around each other , raised back hair and lowered heads .. far off in the distance flying gracefully above was one of Africa’s largest Eagles the Martial Eagle even in the distance this bird of prey was huge casting an intimidating shadow on the ground below .
Towards 8:30 we were nearing the Northern Boundary of the reserve Pieter spotted 2 Bull Elephants , this man has eyes like a hawk we even struggled to see them ! Then coming from the bush there was this rumbling sound … what could it be ..?? .. yup .. stomachs lol so we sat down in a little spot for 2nd breakfast and to have a bit of a break and take onboard some water to keep hydrated .
On our next expedition we spotted some Hyena tracks that were obviously from some point his morning so we decided to track them for a while , we are really starting to learn how to follow tracks now and try and gage what has been going on .. but it seemed the Hyenas were too far ahead We did however see a large group of Guinea Fowl about 20 of them , some Vervet Monkeys and a small coalition of termites that had started to build their mound .
Hmmm what tracks are these … LEOPARD ! Let’s follow … :p Again this Leopard had been around at some point his morning but we thought let’s try our luck anyway , after following the tracks for a short while we spotted it’s kill .. and from the remains ( hair and bone ) it looks like it could possibly have been a small Scrub Hare . Continuing to follow the tracks they become slightly fresher but they were heading the opposite direction to our camp and there was no guarantee so we decided to leave him be and see what else the day brought ..
By late morning the sun was starting to beat down and beginning to get quite warm .. we could tell from the sweat dripping down our faces and backs haha . Next up we saw a Crested Franklin which is like a small game bird and 3 GIRAFFE !! At last .. it has only taken us 3 days but finally we spot these giant graceful animals . While watching them we got to learn a few facts about them which was really interesting .. did you know they have 4 stomachs and their tongue is 40cm long !!
As we made our way through the sickle bushes we see something moving a little ahead of us .. could it be .. ?!! Could we really be this lucky .. ??!! YES … BLACK RHINO !!!! Apparently it is quite rare to see Black Rhino on the reserve as they are normally very anti social and love to hide in the thickets and keep themselves to themselves and seldom come into view .. but we are on foot .. there was no hiding from us haha ! But WOW what a great sighting .. we did have a slightly restricted view but we could see him .. this reserve has really been very generous to us sighting wise .. as we only have Leopard and Cheetah left to find ..
Single bull Black Rhino can get very aggressive if agitated so we let him be and carried on our way .. yoh spirits are definitely very high now ! Continuing through the bush we then see a herd of Zebra and a couple of Blue Wildebeest .. yet more sightings of new game we haven’t seen yet and to see Zebra in the wild was a fantastic experience and one of the ones we were hoping to see today along with Giraffe and Wildebeest . Zebra and Wildebeest often hang around together as they have similar grazing habits and find it safer around each other I guess they just have a mutual respect for each other .
There was a watering hole just ahead of us so knowing there is a drought here we venture there to see if any game were thirsty.. not much there apart from 2 Warthog Soo weird seeing them up close and personal rather than in some Disney film lol definitely funny little animals who snort , go down on their front knees in order to eat because their necks are too short and their tails raise up like flag poles when they run in the long grass like an antenna so others can spot them lol .
Along the way we also had some nice bird sightings of an African Hoopoe , a Tawny Eagle and a Stone Chat which is only seen in winter and is an altitudinal migrant .. yup we were a little confused as well haha . We also came across another herd of Buffalo who seemed to get pretty interested in us and started walking towards us so after a quicke selfie we legged it haha . Then the sun really started to beat down on us after about half 1ish… it was getting intense .
Braving the hot weather we spotted some Impala .. mainly a harem of females with just the one male .. what a lucky guy hey ! and some more Wildebeest but after walking for soo long already and in this baking heat we decided to call it a day and head back to the lodge around 2:30 to grab some lunch and maybe cool off in the pool and catch up with Ben to see what he has been up to .
We were still quite a distance from the lodge so being cheeky we called in for a lift back haha and had a little bit of a game drive on the way back just spotting some more Impala . Reaching the lodge .. where did we find Ben .. just grabbing some buffet lunch after messing around and having a doze by the swimming pool .. we knew it !! But now it was time for us to join .
Sitting down for some lunch we fill Ben in on what we had been up to during the day and eve get the chance to have a dip in the pool which Hannah gladly did under the recommendation from Ben who said it was lovely and warm .. yea right .. Hannah jump in and it was freezing haha but it did cool her down after a long hot day in the sun .