Posted by: tim ellis | December 24, 2012

Just Cats:- Wednesday 17th October 2012

Waterfall

As the song puts it, “Awaken to the rhythm of the falling rain”. We assemble at Jason and Leon’s chalet (no 76) for coffee anyway,but decide to put plan B into operation (rather than walk – breakfast – pack we will pack first, then go for breakfast, then look at the weather again and decide whether to walk)

It is still damp after breakfast but we decide (for the most part) to risk it. We walk down past the restaurant to the lower viewpoint, then down on to the Kadisi River which we follow back then scramble up the embankment to return to the restaurant. We pass several stretches of rapids and some mini-waterfalls, and see a variety of wildlife including vervet monkeys, wagtails and large beetles.

Cloudy Weather

We get into the vehicles and set off for the Kruger National park, stopping first at a viewpoint opposite where we sat last night. Although it is not actually raining here, we can see the cloud rolling in and out of the valley, and can’t see the three rondavels at all. From there we go to Lisbon Falls, where the weather is a bit clearer. These are quite impressive falls with several small birds flying around, and quite a nice small lizard.

Lizard at Lisbon Falls

Our next stop is a Belgian bakers/patisserie to buy food for a “lunch on the go” before finally arriving at the Phabeni Gate to the Kruger Park,where we transfer ourselves and all our gear into 2 open safari vehicles. Sheila, Doreen and I are with Leon today, so we have 3 passengers in a vehicle designed for 9 – plenty of room!

The weather is brightening up a bit, but we are not seeing an awful lot, so Leon decides to head for camp and drop our bags before continuing. On the way we do see a Leopard Tortoise which has managed to snag himself on a branch. No one is taken by my theory that he is a tethered tortoise, put there as bait by the leopards hoping to trap soft hearted tourists, or by my alternate “Androcles and the Tortoise” theory that if you free him now, in ten years time when you are about to be nibbled to death by an angry tortoise, he would remember you and spare your life. Fortunately he managed to free himself without the need for human intervention.

Giraffe

We see a lot more when we go back out – several elephants (some very close),some good giraffe and a lone white rhino – but no cats.

Dinner tonight is good, but the service is slow. On the way back up to the huts we see a hyaena wandering through the camp…

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