Berg en Dal to Lower Sabie - Kruger National Park, South Africa

Kruger National Park, South Africa

During the night whilst camping at Berg en Dal we could hear hyenas whooping and jackels in the early morning. As we ate breakfast several yellow billed hornbills watched from the trees overhead. The weather was cloudy but humid. We'd taken the smaller dirt road to leave the camp and were rewarded with a sighting of an elephant within a few yards outside camp together with a group of impala. We crossed a few dry rivers and always look down the river to check as sometimes there are animals in the dry riverbed. Three white rhino were grazing on the long grass. Elephant and rhino within half an hour of leaving camp! As we turned a corner in the road we spotted a leopard just climbing down from a large rock where it had been resting. As we watched it crossed the road in front of us with its head forward keenly watching for prey. It sat down on its haunches in the bush and a buck passed close by. The leopard had a rounded look to its stomach and didn't pounce on the buck so we assumed it had eaten during the night. Travelling towards our next camp these animals were seen at various spots - troop of baboons including tiny babies, nyala, common duiker, leopard tortoise, shongololo, impala herd, buffalo scratching his head on a tree and kudu crossing a dry riverbed. We tour a detour to Renoster (rhino in Afrikaans) Pan. A pan is a small waterhole. There were impala, zebra and warthogs and, true to its name, a white rhino standing in the water. Until now the bush had been very thick with long grass but as we approached the Afsaal picnic site the scenery become more open savannah. We stopped for cool drink and kuduwors (wors is sausage in Afrikkans) rolls for lunch. It now become very hot and sunny. Two white rhino and warthogs were at the Mpondo Dam with a solitary male kudu and several young male nyala. Birds seen today included francolin, lilac breasted roller, European roller, jacana, bee eaters and a large bird of prey yet to be identified! Arriving at Lower Sabie campsite we were slightly dismayed to find it was very full with hardly a space left. Lower Sabie is a very popular rest camp as it is situated by the Sabie River with lovely views. The campsite is in the middle of the rest camp surrounded by the camp road so everyone drives past making it noisy especially when people leave on early drives. The chalets are nicer especially those with river views. The restaurants in the Kruger rest camps have been franchised out to various food chains. At Lower Sabie there is Mugg & Bean so, for a change, we went there for dinner.

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