15 July 2022 - Midrand to Roodewaal, KNP; Day 1
We were invited by our good friends Eric and Kari to join them along with our kids at the stunning Roodewaal Camp in the Central Kruger for a few days. We thought it would be a good idea to enter at Phabeni Gate near Hazyview and enjoy the drive up to Roodewaal. So after an early start from Midrand, we made it to Phabeni Gate by 9:30am, missing out on the planned breakfast at Kruger Park Lodge, since the restaurant was closed/under renovation.
It was a little overcast, so conditions should have been ideal for game watching - unfortunately this was not the case. However, we stopped at Skukuza for breakfast before our stomach's started eating us from the inside. From Skukuza we passed by Leeupan but the expected targets were nowhere to be seen.
It was then a long drive to Satara, where we had to check in and which was packed when we arrived. I managed to take my first photograph of the trip in the car park of a Greater Blue-eared Starling feeding on a flowering Aloe, but still in gloomy conditions
|Greater Blue-eared Starling (Lamprotornis chalybaeus)
The last stretch was to Roodewaal camp itself and this was probably the most productive section of the drive where we had some decent game and bird sightings. Aside from a family of Southern Ground Hornbill we enjoyed watching a Secretarybird actively hunting in the late hours of the day
|Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius)
By the time we made it to Roodewaal, we had been going over 12-hours, so it was a long day with not much seen which was really surprising, but it does happen. After arriving we had a quick catch-up with our friends then unpacked into one of the spacious chalets. Once unpacked, we could then unwind around a fire with a few cold beverages, good banter and later food with the sounds of the bush all around us to create that authentic ambience.