17 October 2021

West along the Crocodile River

24 August 2021 - Kruger National Park/Ngwenya; Day 5

An early start to be at the Crocodile Bridge Gate by 6am and this time in clearer weather. This morning was much quicker and it wasn't long before we headed west on the S25 toward Malelane Gate. We thought we would track along the river, with the sun behind us in the hope of a Leopard sighting.

A new day dawns

However, it wasn't a spotted coat we found, but rather a painted one - in fact three of them, still asleep in an open area. We stayed with the 3 Dogs for around 30-minutes with not too many other cars with us. Eventually they woke up and one of them took a stroll, conducted his morning ablutions and then settled back down again. The light was really low, so had to push the ISO to get a decent image

African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus)

Whilst they were still laying down, a couple of Spotted Hyaena's walked past without stopping - great start to the morning..

Spotted Hyaena (Crocuta crocuta)

After this initial excitement, it was slim pickings with not too much else seen on the fair drive to Berg-en-Dal camp. However, we were rewarded with a sighting of two Honey Badger's that crossed the road in front of us and we enjoyed brief views as they foraged and finally disappeared into the long grass. This was a case of rather enjoy the sighting, than stress about trying to get a photograph

A little further along, we did get a brief sighting of a 'crash' of White Rhino in the dense bush

White Rhinoceros (Chiromantis xerampelina)

Followed by a few and always regal looking, Greater Kudu

Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros)

and later a diminutive female Steenbuck

Steenbok (Raphicerus campestris)

At a river crossing, a Green-backed Heron paused briefly on a rock, before continuing downstream

Green-backed Heron (Butorides striata)

We stopped for a coffee at Berg-en-Dal and then exited the Park at Malelane and headed back to Ngwenya for lunch.

Later in the afternoon, I had a short walk around the Lodge, finding some more Ashy Flycatcher

Ashy Flycatcher (Muscicapa caerulescens)

Along with a Dusky Flycatcher

African Dusky Flycatcher (Muscicapa adusta)

A couple of Terrestrial Brownbul's - this taken hand-held in very low light and low speed

Terrestrial Brownbul (Phyllastrephus terrestris)

And a duetting pair of White-browed Robin-Chat's in thick bush

White-browed Robin-Chat (Cossypha heuglini)

Back at our Unit, we watched a few Ele's cross the river whilst enjoying the braai fire and a sundowner in hand

African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

Followed by another African sunset to close out the day

Another day draws to an end

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