17 October 2021

A Big 5 Day

25 August 2021 - Kruger National Park/Ngwenya; Day 6

As in the past few days, we were at the Crocodile Bridge Gate by 6am and this morning headed north on the tarred H4-2 toward Lower Sabie. Unfortunately, not much was to be seen on this road today, which was unusual. We had a pit stop and coffee at Lower Sabie, before continuing west on the H4-1 to the Nkulu Picnic stop. 

However it wasn't too far along the road when we were stopped by a pride of Lion crossing the road - we were the 3rd car, so enjoyed great views as they settled under some trees and surveyed the Sabie River and surrounds. The male Lion was really pale compared to the females, but also appeared to have a some deformed teeth which made him look a little comical - but a great sighting nevertheless.

Lion (Panthera leo)

It did take some time to exit the traffic jam they had caused, before we ran into the next one. The same big herd of Buffalo as we had two-days ago and again we were surrounded - awesome experience

African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer)

Red-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus)

We finally managed to get through the herd and hit another traffic jam - this time it was a Leopard in a tree with a kill - but the traffic was chaotic. When we finally reached the tree with the Leopard, it still took some searching to see just a part of it through the thick foliage. Tempers were starting to flare, so it was best to carry on

Spot the Leopard (Panthera pardus)

We had a picnic stop at Nkulu and were greeted by a pair of Bushbuck near the entrance of the car park

Female Cape Bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus)

Male Cape Bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus)

On the way back to Lower Sabie, we avoided the main road and instead went on the S30 sand road on the north side of the Sabie River. This was a quieter road and we had a number of antelope sightings, the best being a small herd of photogenic Waterbuck, very close to the road

Waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus)

Nearing Lower Sabie, a big herd of Ele's were heading to the river, including a few playful youngster's.

African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

Another traffic jam just outside Lower Sabie was for a brute of a male Leopard that had recently killed a Warthog, but was resting in a roadside culvert - certainly, a little better sighting than the earlier one

Leopard (Panthera pardus)

We then headed south, back to Crocodile Bridge, stopping for some Zebra before heading back to Ngwenya

Burchell's Zebra (Equus q. burchelli)

In the early afternoon, I enjoyed a short walk around the property where we had a small family herd of Ele come down to the drink in the Crocodile River.

African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

Walking back from the sighting, I had a White-browed Robin Chat

White-browed Robin-Chat (Cossypha heuglini)

and an unidentified Skipper

Skipper sp.

And a hypnotic Fly species

Fly sp.

In the late afternoon, we had a short sundown drive into the Park and connected with two White Rhino

On the way out of the Park, I stopped at the Crocodile Bridge Gate to photograph an obliging female Scarlet-chested Sunbird feeding on the flowering Aloes, whilst the male remained elusive on the top of a nearby tree

Scarlet-chested Sunbird (Chalcomitra senegalensis)

Another great day in the Park, traffic jams aside

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