Whos keeping an eye on me....

Monday, 29 August 2016

South Africa 2016 - Kruger Park Mopani to Shingwedzi

I have a new favourite rest camp, Mopani. It is set in a woodland, we felt more secluded (even though we still had neighbours), but I thoroughly enjoyed the fantastic garden bird list of 30+ and add a very close encounter from a Honey Badger that entertained us for 40 minutes, even though it was at the cost of ransacking our bin.

We also added a new antelope species with Tsessebe and saw our first Klipspringers of the trip.

There were some magnificent highlights too, Stunning close views of a Leopard, a Waterhole scene out of a wildlife documentary, and witnessed Lions mating.

We drove even further north for a day trip to Shingwezi rest camp which has a reputation of the area being some of the best uninterrupted wildlife viewing in the park.

Enjoy the wildlife of Lower Northern Kruger Park!

Typical  winter colours of the Mopani bushes

After leaving Olifants we headed towards Mopani via Letaba (this rest camp would be our final stop over in a few days time). 
This Klipspringer was resting at the side of the road and was one of a pair

We didn't realise how much quieter the roads would be and certainly didn't realise that we would have an amazing half hour at Middlevlei waterhole completely on our own. We pulled up and immediately noticed a few Zebra that seemed on edge. Then we witnessed a Spotted Hyena come out o the bushes and head for the waterhole, quickly followed by two Elephants and two Black Backed Jackals, and throw in a huge Kori Bustard.

Zebra takes evasive action form the Spotted Hyena

Spotted Hyena

The Big4, Kori Bustard, Black Backed Jackal, Elephant and Spotted Hyena
Kori Bustard and Black Backed Jackal

We booked into Mopani and quickly left as we wanted to visit as far north as we could in a day trip so headed towards Shingwedzi. We had now well and truly left the open savannah and were now deep in the golden colour of Mopani trees and bushes. It wasn't long before a few new trip birds were seen, African Green Pigeon and Red Faced Mousebird, while I managed a few life birds as well.
Red faced Mousebird
We continued from Mopani past the Tropic of Capricorn where if feeling brave you can get out of the car to walk the line and see the marker boulder..... we felt brave!

We continued north along the H1-6 when a car infront stopped suddenly, he had gone too far, we were perfect, along side our car posed this stunning Leopard.

we managed a few images  before the car in front hastily turned round his car and immediately disturbed the cat who climbed down off his rock and into the bush. I am convinced the Leopard would have happily sat there a while longer .
What a morning, stunning wildlife and incredibly good views too.
We just had time before reaching Shingwedzi to add a new species of antelope to our list with a few herds of Tesessebe.

I would add 6 new life birds to my list before we reached Shingwedzi
Purple Roller, Long Tailed Paradise Whydah, Wattled Starling, African Openbill, Sabota Lark and Red Billed Quelea.
Purple Roller
Red Billed Quelea
Yellow billed Stork keeps an eye on the croc
African Fish Eagle
Shingwedzi camp
by comparison of the morning the return journey back to Mopani would be fairly uneventful apart form the normal herds of Elephants, Zebra and Impala.

a superb days wildlife spotting was capped off by having the Honey Badger in our garden for 30 minutes or so as it ransacked our bin and gave very close views as it ate our brai waste.
Tomorrow we take a morning Bushwalk around Mopani and I do a spot of top class garden birding.


Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

Brilliant sighting at krueger. That leopard is fantastic

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

The zebra in mid air is great, and so is the purple roller!

sanpiseth40 said...

That leopard is fantastic

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