25 April 2023

A family weekend in the bush

18 February 2023 - Dikhololo; Day 1 and 2

We traded some excess timeshare points for a weekend away to Dikhololo Resort, not too far from Brits and a relatively short drive from home. It is a family oriented resort on a game farm where the game (primarily antelope) roams freely without fear from any predators.

We arrived late on the Friday afternoon in overcast and drizzly weather, unpacked, had a orientation walk and then settled in our chalet for an enjoyable evening braai (after we had sorted out some of the issues we encountered in the chalet).

As usual, I was up early on Saturday morning for a walk of my own, whilst the family enjoyed a lie in. It was still overcast and gloomy, but the rain had abated. 

Outside our chalet, I had a young and skulky White-throated Robin Chat

White-throated Robin-Chat (Cossypha humeralis)

Along with a migrant Spotted Flycatcher on the driveway

Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)

I found the family of Natal Spurfowl that had woken me up, before the sun had risen

Natal Spurfowl (Pternistis natalensis)

I walked down to the dam where I was entertained by an obliging Tawny-flanked Prinia - but not much else of interest

Tawny-flanked Prinia (Prinia subflava)

Back to our chalet for an early breakfast where I discovered a Black-collared Barbet nest in a dead tree trunk literally outside our front door. It provided some great photo opportunities

Black-collared Barbet (Lybius torquatus)

Later in the morning, together with the family we had another walk to check out the Spa. Here a pair of Pin-tailed Whydah provided some entertainment as we booked a few Spa sessions

Female Pin-tailed Whyday (Vidua macroura)

Male Pin-tailed Whyday (Vidua macroura)

In a small wetland, I photographed a few invertebrates; a Slate Sprite damselfly

Slate Sprite (Pseudagrion salisburyense)

And a Netted Sylph, a butterfly I haven't photographed before

Netted Sylph (Willema willemi)

After lunch, we decided to have a drive around the relatively small game farm with low expectations - we weren't disappointed, but did see some of the plains game on the drive, including this resting Giraffe

Cape Giraffe (Giraffa c. giraffa)

We were entertained by a family of Banded Mongoose that allowed me to get very close on foot - they are real comical characters

Banded Mongoose (Mungos mungo)

The birding highlight was a Bushveld Pipit

Bushveld Pipit (Anthus caffer)

Back at the chalet, the Dassies were out in full force and also provided some great photo opportunities, especially the mother with a few youngsters

Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis)

We had a few Kudu come a visit and they literally walked onto our patio to check us out while we were enjoying our snacks and sundowners, before getting ready for another evening braai.

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