Whos keeping an eye on me....

Saturday, 20 August 2016

South Africa 2016 - Satara Kruger Park

We (Liz & myself), flew into Jo`burg then immediately into Heodspruit. We very quickly picked up our car and enjoyed a leisurely 60 minute drive and entered Kruger Park at the Orpen gate. We booked in and then travelled across central Kruger to Satara rest camp. From there we would over the course of 7 days move between Satara, Olifants, Mopani, Letaba and exit via Phalaborwa gate.

We had a great spot in the rest camp with our accommodation backing onto the outer fence. This would enable us to spotlight at night. On the second night we had 6 Spotted Hyena come very close to the fence, one even came down the fence line to check us out. A while later and we had more superb views, this time of 2 Civet  also very close to the fence (one drink too many on my part and touched the electric fence with my torch..... I wont be doing that again!).

The biggest miss this time around that we saw well in 2013 were Cheetah, and I am still waiting to see a Secretary bird....... it must be good for another visit in a few years then.

What we did score well with were great views of numerous Lions, a Leopard in a tree, although a little distant we had prolonged views and watched it climb down and eventually disappear.

We booked onto a night drive and had great views of 3 Porcupines around the dam, stunning views of Genet and Civet. The night drive also gave us good views of Verreauxs Eagle-owl, a Tawny Eagle sat low down in a tree guarding what seemed to be a Bee`s nest and 3 very vocal Water Thicknee around a waterhole.

We desperately wanted to catch up with either of the Rhino species but disappointingly only had a single view of a White Rhino, and unfortunately it kept its back to us all the time before wandering off.

No Nyala sightings all trip, but enjoyed numerous Kudu sightings. We also picked up our first ever sighting of a foraging Honey Badger and also a few Steenbok. All other mammals showed well and in good numbers, the Elephants giving especially close wildlife watching experiences.

 Bird wise one of the highlights were the pair of Bateleur which gave stunning views while preening each other. This was closely followed by a great view of a perched Martial Eagle (lifer for me) and then watched it fly off low to a more distant tree. I picked up a few more lifers around the area with Little Bee-eater, Grey headed Kingfisher, Black Crake and a single Collared Pratincol.


Martial Eagle

Having visited Satara for the second time now, and even though I think the rest camp and general areas were a little quieter than our last visit three years ago, I think I would give it a miss next time as the area is easily covered on day trips from other rest camps such as Olifants.

Enjoy the images of the Wildlife around Satara.

Blue Waxbill 

Brown Headed Parrot


Crested Francolin

Dark Capped Bulbul

African Elephant

 Grey Backed Camaroptera
Grey Go-away bird
Impala (one looks albino)


Lilac Breasted Roller

Lesser Stripped Swallow 
Magpie Shrike

Pearl Spotted Owlet
Burchells Zebra

Red Billed Oxpeckers enjoying the free meal and ride


Water Buffalo
Next stop Olifants


Russell Jenkins said...

Wow! Beautiful eagles and other birds and wildlife. What a magnificent experience and great pictures.

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

What a wonderfu5 trip. I had 5 days in Kruger in 2014 and loved it. Your header is stunning anad I loved seeing and hearing of all the animals and birds you came across

Richard Pegler said...

What an amazing collection of wildlife you saw, and beautifully photographed, in just a week, Dave! What a magnificent place!

Jeff said...

Some excellent sightings and photos there, Dave! I was glad to see your trip report because we're heading for Kruger in February and we'd heard lots of people saying the drought meant there was little to see there.

sanpiseth40 said...

What a magnificent experience and great pictures.

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