We’ve spent the last couple of nights at the Letaba Campground complex, and done a couple of drives around this northern part of Kruger – one during the day yesterday to Olifants Camp , and an early morning drive to Englehard Dam this morning. We’re not usually ‘morning people’, but the combination of birdsong and cars driving past to do their own early morning drives had us up and out the entrance gate of Letaba by 5.50am.
Yesterday’s drive during the heat of the day took us along the Letaba River. We saw a group of zebras just across the track we were driving on, a couple of groups of buffalo (we’re a bit scared of them as apparently they charge without warning and are the most aggressive of the ‘Big 5′ animals), and lots of antelopes. There are many different antelope species, I’ve managed to identify 3 or 4 so far, thanks to our guide book which lists 20 or so. Nyala, impala, bushbuck and this morning we saw some waterbuck.
But the most interesting thing we saw yesterday was at Oliphant River, which has among the highest densities of crocodile in Africa. It took us a few minutes to work out what we were seeing in the water … a dead hippo with about a dozen crocs around it. We counted 8 or 9 at the time, then looked at enlarged images of the photos Greg took when we got back to camp and realised there were more than that, including one lying on a nearby rock that we hadn’t even noticed at the time, we were so busy looking at the crocs around the hippo. Poor hippo had been there for a while, if the smell was anything to go by. No carrion birds – maybe they get their turn after the crocs have finished.
Just after we set out this morning, we saw some fresh piles of elephant dung on the road, but only saw one elephant a few kms further along. He just walked about 5 metres in front of the car, straight across the track towards the river. He was a man with a mission, took absolutely no notice of us, although if we had been any closer, it could have been awkward. The track led to a great view of Englehard Dam, and on the way back we saw hippos lolling in the water, waterbuck and birds.