25 May 2021

Another great day in the Park

15 February 2021 - Kruger National Park; Day 5

More rain through the night, so we left after breakfast to the Park, this time through Kruger Gate which was a longer drive from Kruger Park Lodge. Once inside, a slow drive toward Skukuza stopping for this chilled Elephant Bull

African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

We were lucky today and saw all the iconic African Eagles; starting with this juvenile Bateleur with a Barbel on the bank of a small river

Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus)

Later we had the unmistakable African Fish Eagle, peering at us from the top of a tree

African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)

Then a juvenile Martial Eagle against a backdrop of threatening clouds

Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus)

and lastly a Tawny Eagle with a similar backdrop

Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax)

Just before Skukuza, I picked up this brute of a male Leopard walking its territory and toward us. It came past my car and then turned into the thick grass and melted away - another treat!

Leopard (Panthera pardus)

We stopped for coffee at Skukuza and picked up a calling Jacobin Cuckoo in the car park

Jacobin Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus)

And a number of birds down at the restaurant deck, including a displaying Red-collared Widow

Red-collared Widowbird (Euplectes ardens)

It was then a fair drive to Tshokwane picnic site, finding more Red-backed Shrikes.

Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio)

We had lunch at Tshokwane, before heading back to Lower Sabie

Old Brands at the Tshokwane shop

The grass was so long, we almost missed this lone Buffalo bull. It was grazing and slowly came toward us, before crossing the road

African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer)

This Warthog was pretty well hidden in the grass

Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus)

Now the storm clouds were building up again, but provided a backdrop for a magnificent African landscape; both colour and B+W work well with this image

Dramatic African Landscape

Followed by an Ele landscape

African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

There were many European Roller's to be seen - another migratory species

European Roller (Coracias garrulus)

At Sunset Dam, a Nile Crocodile cruised by

Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus)

By now it was late afternoon, so we cruised slowly back toward Phabeni Gate, finding a sleeping Saddle-billed Stork

Female Saddle-billed Stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) 

Red-billed Oxpecker on a Zebra 

Red-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus)

Followed by another herd of Zebra with youngsters, resting in the road

Burchell's Zebra (Equus quagga burchelli)

At the last river crossing before Phabeni Gate, a Black Stork foraging in amongst the reeds was unexpected

Black Stork (Ciconia nigra)

Then it was back to the Lodge for dinner after a long, but pretty good day in the Park

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