Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge – October 2005

We overnighted at Hippo Hollow on 28 October. Our chalet was right alongside the Sabie River. We saw a cane rat feeding amongst the reeds in the late afternoon. The next morning we were awake early to enjoy the sunrise and take photographs of the river.

29 October – Evening Drive

We started our drive with a herd of impala. We then came across a sleeping male lion. He was so drowsy that he could hardly lift his head to look at us. A female lion came walking down the road and then the two of them – male and female – moved down to drink at a small dam next to Selati Lodge. The female started drinking first but obviously caught a glimpse of her own reflection as she pulled back up to stare at it.

30 October – Morning Drive

Our first sighting was an elephant. We then saw waterbuck, followed by a giraffe. It was quite funny as Terry was using his new 300mm fixed lens on his camera and he could not fit in the full head of the giraffe. He decided to just take the photograph anyway and it came out beautifully. Our next sighting was 2 impala rams fighting. Thereafter we came across 2 tortoises – a large female and a much smaller male who felt that he had what it takes! But the female was having none of this. On our way back to camp we saw some more giraffe.

Back at camp there was a breeding herd of elephants around the waterhole that you can see from the veranda. As we got to our room, we also saw a grey-headed bush-shrike in the tree just outside our front door.

30 October – Evening Drive

We first came upon a female nyala. This was followed by a lion on a kill in an area close to Earth Lodge. We were able to spend a fair amount of time there which was a good thing as the rest of the drive was relatively quiet. The vultures were all in the trees around the kill, getting ready to roost. I am sure they were hoping to wake up to a good breakfast!

31 October – Morning Drive

We saw a bushbuck in camp on our way to the vehicle. Everyone was obviously thirsty this morning as we first came upon an impala ram drinking and then a giraffe drinking. This is always an amazing thing to watch. We then watched a female leopard lying on top of a mound. She got up and the other vehicles in the sighting with us made their way out. Our ranger asked us all whether we minded missing coffee and being late for breakfast and everyone acquiesced. So we followed her through some rough terrain for a fair distance until she came up to a very dense thicket. Luckily for us she stopped and made a call. In response 2 young cubs came out to greet her. She then walked back to where some of the other rangers believed she had a kill stashed away. The cubs followed her, lagging behind every now and again as they got tired. She stopped under a tree (close to her kill we believe) and let the cubs drink and rest. The one cub was curious and came a little closer to the vehicle, while still staying behind some broken branches – almost as though looking at us while camouflaging itself. We stayed a little while, but then left them in peace, arriving back at camp very late for breakfast. But it was worth it, we all agreed.

Lifers: yellow-fronted tinkerbird.