Friday, February 6, 2009

Kruger - Biyamiti Bushveld Camp

Our trip for the day involved getting from Swaziland to South Africa’s Kruger National Park. It is important to get to your Kruger destination in a timely manner as they lock the gates at 6:30pm, leaving you outside at the tender mercies of the night-hunters. Not a pleasant thought. So we set off, stopping at only one craft shop, and got to the border right on schedule. Getting out was no problem but getting in to South Africa involved this line being handled by two immigration agents. It took us 45 minutes and we felt sorry for the people in the tour bus which pulled into line as we left.

We drove back to Nelspruit to restock for our four nights in Kruger. Thanks to Becky and Kurt for their meal planning. A stop on the way back to the Kruger gate at this fruit stand finished the grocery shopping and we were off into Kruger.

We passed through the Malelane Gate, paying entry fees and verifying reservations. This family of Wart Hogs greeted us at the gate, welcoming us to Kruger.

We made our way, leisurely but with purpose, toward our evening’s camp. This flight of Impalas got our attention and we watched them for awhile, trying to capture their enthusiasm and zest. Becky got the best picture – a ballet of animals with their heels over their heads.

We surprised a troop of vervets. This mom and baby were cute as the mom tried to keep us from seeing the baby.

This looks suspiciously like an American Bald Eagle. It’s not. It is an African Fish Eagle. I suspect they might be related. We also saw and photographed a lot of vultures but they’re not too photogenic.

This is the best we could do for a picture of a Cheetah. There was a mother and four large cubs in this group, but it was hot and they just wanted to be left alone in the shade.

It’s unusual to see Hippos out of the water in the heat of the day. This family group started feeding at 11:40am.

Betsy and I went on a sunset safari drive on day two at Biyamiti. How fortunate! Another driver clued us in about Lions in the road. We parked in an advantageous spot and took these pictures.

It was a good-sized pride. I counted nine individuals including three mature males, one very young cub, and an assortment of females and juveniles. They passed right beside the safari car, so close that we had trouble taking pictures. Nevertheless, we took a lot.

More birds and some Hyaenas rounded out the pictures for the evening. As it got darker the photos became more difficult. We put the camera away and focused on the night sounds. The bush at night is fascinating.

The next morning we packed up and moved north to our next bush camp. That’s another journal so bye for now.


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