12 October 2023

Back to Central KNP

22 July 2023 - Roodewaal, KNP - Day 1

We were invited by our good friends Eric and Kari to join them together with Paul and Saskia and our kids for a few days at Roodewal private camp, situated in central Kruger National Park. It is a fantastic and spacious camp, situated on the Timbavati River with easy access to both Olifants in the north and Satara to the south.

We left Midrand at 4am, so that we could get to Orpen Gate fairly early and give ourselves a few hours in the Park before checking in. We stopped for coffee at Alzu where it was a chilly 2 degrees and then had to contend with mist all the way to Belfast - so it was slower going. We arrived at Orpen around 10am and could then relax and let the KNP just recharge our souls. We had a slow drive to Satara, finding a large bull Ele

African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

I picked up a pair of Mosque Swallow's which is a good record in the central park and then a couple of beefy Dagga boys. These Buffalo do also look good in B+W

African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer)

We stopped at Satara to check-in and stretch our legs before backtracking a little to continue north on the S40. I saw a Lilac-breasted Roller dive into the grass, so we stopped to watch it decimate the Grasshopper it had caught

Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus)

A little further up the road, we flushed a Pearl-spotted Owlet that was bathing in a puddle in the road - luckily it didnt fly to far off and gave us a few photo opportunities

Pearl-spotted Owlet (Glaucidium perlatum)

Just before we got to the Timbavati Picnic Spot we encountered good numbers of Waterbuck - one of the more photogenic antelope in the Park who also lend themselves to B+W with their shaggy fur

Waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus)

A leg stretch at the Picnic Site, before continuing on the S39 and last stretch to Roodewal Camp. A male Red-crested Korhaan gave good views as it walked slowly and deliberately across the road and then almost disappeared into the long grass

Red-crested Korhaan (Lophotis ruficrista)

We made it Roodewal right on check-in time and at the same time as Eric and Kari. It didnt take long to unpack in our respective chalets and get out a few cold ones whilst enjoying a catch-up at the communal fire pit outside the kitchen area.

Later in the afternoon, I had a walk around the camp to see what 'resident' species were around. Mid-winter means you cannot rely on calls especially during the day, but rather have to walk, stop and look for movement. This worked well and I picked up African Dusky Flycatcher

African Dusky Flycatcher (Muscicapa adusta)

Black-backed Puffback

Black-backed Puffback (Dryoscopus cubla)

Brown-crowned Tchagra

Brown-crowned Tchagra (Tchagra australis)

and a few Chinspot Batis

Female Chinspot Batis (Batis molitor)

By then the rest of the gang had arrived, so back to our communal area to start preparing for dinner and sundowners around the fire

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