Thursday, 19 December 2013

Kruger: December 2009 (Part 8)

The next morning we headed off (read the previous episode HERE) early northwards, as our next stop was at the Punda Maria rest camp for the night. The plan was to drive up to Pafuri and enjoy the scenery there, before heading to the camp as our book-in time was only later in the day.

This was the sunrise that greeted us over the Shingwedzi river that morning.


The family of Ground Hornbills was there to see us off...

 
Close to the Babalala Picnic Spot I had some good photographic moments with this European Roller.
 


We pushed northwards, and I always love driving past this clump of trees on this road.



A herd of Cape Buffalo was grazing in the thickets, but this guy gave me a quick silly pose before we drove off.


There's always a good chance to spot some Tsessebe antelope in the northern reaches of Kruger, and this time we found a herd crossing the road in front of us. They do look a lot like East Africa's "Topi" and are related to them (part of the Hartebeest genus).



On the road up to Pafuri we came across a Yellow-billed Kite hunting/hovering right above our vehicle and the road.



We found a lovely herd of Nyala on the appropriately named "Nyala Loop". They are such graceful antelopes.



It was still very gloomy when we turned into the Pafuri main loop...


This remains one of the most beautiful spots in Southern Africa in my estimation. Seeing some wildlife wander through here is an added bonus.







We spotted a Woodlands Kingfisher who was catching food to feed his mate.




The local residents of the Levuvhu River were presiding as well...a large pod of Hippopotamus and some nasty-looking Nice Crocodiles were spotted.





We made it all the way to Crook's Corner - where the countries of Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique meet at the confluence of the Levuvhu and Limpopo rivers.

The spot derives its name from days gone by when the islands in the middle of the river were safe zones and no-man's land where wanted criminals could hide out from the law enforcement agencies of any of these 3 countries.


We slowly made our way towards Punda Maria to go and check into our chalet. We would only be spending one night there, and tomorrow would be our last day in the Park.

On the way to camp we came across a Hamerkop hunting in a shallow pool.



Stay tuned for the next and final episode which should be posted over the weekend!

Morkel Erasmus

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