Whos keeping an eye on me....

Thursday, 25 August 2016

South Africa 2016 - Olifants, and Satara area

In 2013 we had been as far north as Olifants, this trip we toured further north still. It turned out to be a great idea. This post is dedicated to the Satara to Olifants area.

Overall I think we saw less animals as the open savannah of Satara disappears and  becomes more populated with Mopane trees and bushes, views from the roads are more hindered..... however the views that we had were better....... far better. The areas visited were less populated with tourists which meant that we had some of the most wonderful sights to ourselves.

The Olifants river is a haven for all species of wildlife and gave us superb views of the larger species of Mammal and bird.  The river was  only part full and almost completely dry in places. One a particularly blustery morning from the camp we had a sky full of Vultures, Eagles and Storks.... quite a sight. I had a glimpse of a Palm Nut Vulture, but was unable to get the camera in time for the conclusive evidence.

We also utilised the time to revisit some of the Satara areas that were easily doable as a day trip from Olifants.

Enjoy the wildlife.

Southern Ground Hornbill
Not particularly easy to see now, as sightings are somewhat rarer nowadays, but great to see this family, there were actually 3, and we would see an immature bird later on.

Ellies..... giving a warning!

Black Crake
A life bird for me and pretty easy to see if you could afford 30 minutes around the edges of rivers

Cape Sparrow..... common as muck! not in Kruger.
It seems this is a good sighting by me as they are extremely rare in Kruger.

Chestnut Backed Sparrowlark, rubbish pic, great bird

Crested Barbet

Lilac Breasted Roller

The next 3 images are immediately after I heard a loud commotion whilst travelling towards Olifants. Two Crowned Lapwings fought off a Slender Mongoose

Slender Mongoose

 Leopard Tortoise

Sabota Lark
White Headed Vulture soaring over Olifants
 From Olifants we were able to revisit the Satara area for a day trip and here the Wildebeest are just outside Satara rest camp 
this image doesn't depict it very well, but this herd were in a boisterous mood as they chased each other around, while others took dust baths and were generally in a fun mood!

the same day visit produced this young male Lion relaxing

Magpie Shrike, very common but a striking species
Olifants and the large expanse of river are a good place for the larger species, this Marabou Stork is one of many that were along the river often sharing the space with large flocks of Vultures

Vultures and Storks

Hippos "Lazing on a Sunday afternoon"

Waterbuck drinks from the waters edge
This is a typical scene along the Olifants river, large herds of Elephants on the move

Where there are Elephants, there is usually Hippos.....
Saddle-billed Stork.
The best view yet, and actually not very close to the river but along the roadside, a stunning creature

and finally for this post
a rather big tusker!
It was just too close for my lens, so a close in full frame in yer face Elephant

After being alerted to a website called Tuskers of Africa, I know the name of this fella.
He has a good ID feature with this hole in his right ear.

Next stop Mopani, Letaba

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