Friday, July 3, 2009

Kruger 02 July 2009

The black maned lion headed straigh to where we were parked.

A Belgian couple from Spain joined us yesterday for a day trip into the Kruger National Park. Although we were searching out the big game, high on the list of priorities was also the wide variety of birds Kruger has on offer. Setting off in the pitch darkness of July we arrived as Kruger opened its gates for the day.

What proved to be a slow start wildlife wise soon changed as we encountered the first of many breeding groups of elephant. Mid morning we stumbled upon a pride of four lions (three females and a male) feeding on a Buffalo killed the night before. Luck was on our side as we anticipated the path of the lions after the feast, resulting in the big black maned lion coming straight at us offering wonderful photographic opportunities.

Next up was possibly the biggest herd of Cape buffalo I have seen in years and as we watched hundreds of them pass it was interesting to see the younger ones loose face as they fell behind and made a dash for the rest of the herd. A quick stop at Satara camp had us searching out some more birds and the highlight was a Veraux’s (Giant) eagle owl perched in a huge Fever tree.

Other noteworthy birds for the day was Saddle billed Stork, Lapped faced vulture, Stierlings barred wren-warbler, Bushveld pipit and numerous Bateleurs and other large raptors. The rest of the afternoon produced more Elephant sightings and we were seen off at last light by another lioness and one of Kruger’s huge elephant bulls.

A Stunning Burchell's coucal making the most of the first rays of sun.

No comments: