Satara is a lovely camp – we all wished for more nights there. What should have been a post-lunch siesta time was spent stalking birds, like this lovely Mourning dove, in front of the rondavels (the round thatched huts typical of Kruger). I wish I managed a better shot of the Green Wood-hoopoes; they were very busy foraging for bugs in gaps in the bark of a tree. The Red-billed buffalo weaver was much more relaxed.
Green wood hoopoe (or Red-billed) foraging for bugs
Green wood hoopoe foraging for insects
Red-billed buffalo weaver in Satara camp
During our late afternoon drive heading north from camp, we came across a huge herd of Cape buffalo. I changed to my wide-angle lens to try and capture a sense of the size of the herd. It probably would have worked better if I could have got out of the car and low down, with one buffalo in the immediate foreground – but I wasn’t going to try that. Buffalo may look a bit like cattle but they aren’t one of the Big Five for nothing! Even this one trying to scratch his head looks a bit dangerous, especially when you look at those horns closely.
Huge buffalo herd near Satara
Glossy starling showing off its shiny feathers
Cape buffalo having a scratch
We stayed out as late as we could – as ordinary tourists in Kruger you have to be back in camp when the gates close at sunset. Some vultures hanging about in a tree were intriguing but too far away to see if there was something exciting on the ground attracting their attention. I am glad I managed an African sunset shot – not bad for handheld at 250mm.
We were very lucky with elephant sightings throughout our trip. I could have spent ages watching this group drinking and splashing about at the waterhole, but we did have to keep going to make Satara before the gates closed.
Time for a refreshing drink
Drinking with a trunk is a messy business
Lovely splash of cooling mud
Catching the hippo yawning at the waterhole was pretty cool, as was this mid-tree squabble between two Tawny eagles (I think?). Never did figure out what the issue was though.
This is my tree!
Another ‘Big Five’ species we saw plenty of was buffalo, especially near Satara where the grass must be tasty. The late afternoon light was lovely to work with, as long as the animals were on the right side of the road. A Burchell’s coucal and a pair of male Waterbuck posed very cooperatively.