Tag Archives: giraffes

Everything Greg knows about lions, he learnt from The Lion King

Wildlife tally for Wednesday Feb 4

elephants
giraffes
antelopey thingies – impala
buffalo
hippo
warthogs
zebras
white rhinos
blue wildebeest
tortoise
storks
vultures
New to our list today – a rock monitor who lives around our campsite. A very good reason to take a torch and wear thongs or sandals when venturing away from the tent in the dark.

We took a short drive out to Mlondozi, a popular picnic spot a bit north of Lower Sabie. Up on a hill, it overlooks a river and the Lebombo Mountains, which mark the border with Mozambique. So that’s probably as close as we’ll get to Moz. The picnic area was busy, and I guess in the busy periods it would be impossible to get into … or out of. Not much wildlife around at that time of the day, and it was hot – 37C
We headed back to camp for a swim, then went for a drive later in the afternoon, south towards Crcodile Bridge. We saw 4 more rhinos, including a group of 3. Plus a big group … oops, tower … of giraffes. 8, the most we have seen together. And on the flora side of things, we found sausage trees! Lovely large leafy trees that have red flowers in spring, which become┬ásausage-shaped seed pods that drop in autumn. They are heavy so it’s best not to stand under one of these trees at that time of the year. The only animal that likes to eat the ‘sausages’ is the baboon. The seed pods are very fibrous.

Last night’s dinner was blue wildebeest schnitzel steaks, cooked on a braai! The wildebeest smelt a bit ‘gamey’ when it was cooking, but they tasted very much like beef. 500g cost less than $6, and as Greg pointed out, they were probably as low in food miles and carbon footprint as we could get.
We had a HUGE thunderstorm last night. Clear sky when we went to bed, 2 hours later the lightning and thunder woke us up and we took shelter in the car for a while. This morning … clear sky again, and very high humidity.

We’re leaving Kruger today. Its been an amazing week here, but now it’s time to move on and find more adventures. We’re going to Swaziland for a couple of days and may not have internet access there. In which case, see you on Saturday when we get to Joburg

Everything Greg knows about lions, he learnt from The Lion King movie
A group of lions is called a ‘pride’, but only if they are standing on Pride Rock. We haven’t found Pride Rock yet, so that might be why we haven’t seen many lions.
He keeps looking for meerkats, but hasn’t found any yet. But they must be here somewhere ‘cos we’ve seen heaps of warthogs, and Timon and Pumbaa were best buddies.
Warthogs are much, much uglier in real life than Pumbaa was in the movie. They must have Photoshopped him.
Zazu the bossy bird in the movie (Rowan Atkinson was his voice) was a red-billed hornbill, like the one that fell in love with our car when we camped at Satara Rest Camp. We didn’t realise it at the time or we would have made sure we got a photo. We have seen a few since, but never close enough to get a decent photo.

Our African Safari camp at Lower Sabie
Our African Safari camp at Lower Sabie
Hippo pokes its head out of the Sabie River
Hippo pokes its head out of the Sabie River
Sausage Tree
Rhino versus Car. This Rhino got a bit agitated by the car. Then later a truck came along and nearly hit the Rhino, it then ran off.
Rhino versus Car. This Rhino got a bit agitated by the car. Then later a truck came along and nearly hit the Rhino, it then ran off.
Rhino shows its best side
Rhino shows its best side
Cooking blue wildebeest schnitzel steaks
Cooking blue wildebeest schnitzel steaks on the Braai
Bread choices in South Africa are between Brown Bread and White bread. Almost zero specialty bread like multigrain etc
Bread choices in South Africa are between Brown Bread and White bread. Almost zero specialty bread like multigrain etc

 

Mozambique

Wildlife tally for Monday Feb 2

zebras
elephants
giraffes
antelopey thingies – impala and waterbuck. We see so many of them that now we just call them all ‘antelopey thingies’. If we find something different that we haven’t seen before, I’ll add it to the list
blue wildebeest
baboons

New to our list today – lions! 2 lionesses actually. They were about 100 metres away from us, sitting in grass near a bush and we could really only see them when they raised their heads. If someone hadn’t stopped to tell us they were there, we wouldn’t have known. Still, it was exciting for us to finally see them. Greg marked the spot on the GPS and we stopped again on the way back – they had moved into the sun as it was late afternoon and ther previous spot in the shade would have been getting cool. Then last night there was one roaring and growling somewhere nearby … on the other side of the campground fence, I hope!

Despite the title of this blog post, we’re not going to Mozambique. We thought about it as Kruger National Park continues across the border into Mozambique to become the Limpopo Transfrontier Park, and visiting the capital, Mabuto, would be interesting. But we can’t take the car, a day visa costs $80 each and we heard a horror story about corrupt Moz immigration officials from a South African woman when we did the tour to Vic Falls. I’ll re-tell it here in the hope that it warns other people to be vigilant at borders.

This woman had been to Moz at least half a dozen times before and travels around Southern Africa a lot, so she isn’t a novice, but the last time she and her adult daughter went to Moz, their passports weren’t stamped and they didn’t realise it. She remembers hearing the thump of the stamp, but it didn’t go on the passport. They only realised when they were trying to leave the country and got hit with a 2,500 rand fine each (around $300). They didn’t have that kind of cash with them, so the officials held the daughter while the woman went try and get the money from an ATM across the border. While she was there, her car was robbed and she lost phones and other valuables. The daughter eventually got away and the woman got in touch with Moz officials much higher up the chain and got it sorted out. But tourists wouldn’t have the time or connections to be able to do that.

So …. anyone travelling to Mozambique needs to be vigilant about making sure their passports are stamped properly.

We’re heading south today, but still staying in Kruger. We’re planning on camping at the Crocodile Bridge campground as it’s good for seeing lions and rhinos. Fingers crossed! On the way, we’re calling in to Szkuza, which is the main camping and admin area in Kruger. There is an Avis office there and we want to get written permission to take the car into Swaziland. If we get permission, we’ll spend a couple of days there before we head back to Joburg on Saturday.

One of the Lions resting in the shade
One of the Lions resting in the shade
Another zazzle of Zebras
Another dazzle of Zebras
A troop of baboons
A troop of baboons
The electric fence that keeps the Lions out
The electric fence that keeps the Lions out

 

Back to Francistown

We headed south from Kasane to the Woodlands Rest Camp yesterday, just a few kms north of Francistown.

As we drove out of Kazungula, where the borders of Zim and Zam meet Botswana, we saw giraffe grazing by the side of the road! We stopped and got out of the car, but they were a bit wary of us. We got back in the car and turned around to get a closer look and they weren’t at all bothered – more used to vehicles than people, I think. There were 3 of them.

I decided that giraffes were my favourite African animal because of their purple tongue, but then a few hundred kms further south, we saw a group of 5 zebras! Again, we hopped out of the car and walked a short distance off the road to get a better look and spent quite a while watching them watching us. I think we got to see as much wildlife on the A33 as we would have if we’d done a game safari tour thing in Chobe National Park.

Our night at the Woodlands Rest Camp was very nice – a little oasis in the desert, with beautiful grassy campsites, a swimming pool and good amenities block. There were several groups of campers, and they all seemed to be staying there for a while, unlike us who were just using it overnight. We had a very interesting chat with the owner this morning. Originally from Zim, her 4 siblings now all live in Australia, but her daughter still lives with her young family in Zim, in Harare and it’s …. difficult.

We’re heading back to South Africa today. I’ll be sorry to leave Botswana, it’s been an absolute pleasure travelling here.

The borders of Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana all meet near Kasane. Note Elephant droppings on the road next to sign.
The borders of Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana all meet near Kasane. Note Elephant droppings on the road next to sign.
Giraffes on the road south of Kisane
Giraffes on the road south of Kisane
Look left , look right...
Look left , look right…
Cattle wandering through the servo while we got fuel. We nearly ran out, with less than 10km of fuel left. Fuel is cheap at less than $1 per litre.
Cattle wandering through the servo while we got fuel. We nearly ran out, with less than 10km of fuel left. Fuel is cheap at less than $1 per litre.
Zebra on the A33
Zebra on the A33
Camped at the oasis that is Woodlands, north of Francistown
Camped at the oasis that is Woodlands, north of Francistown