Wednesday, 8 February 2012

A Walk on the Wild Side - Kruger National Park... Part III

Today, we cross the bridge over the Sand and Sabie Rivers in early afternoon…

Hippos in the River
These rivers are wide for the dry African bush, at least 200 meters across. While the Sabi River was full of water, the Sand River, just above the confluence, was mostly empty, with pools. The bridge crosses both rivers as they merge and is great viewpoint for hippo and birds such as the Giant Kingfisher. 

Giant Kingfisher
After we had left the bridge, we headed toward the western border of the Park.  Driving along the banks of the Sand River, we saw lion almost parallel to the carcass that we had seen from the bridge. They were lazing around under some trees, mostly sleeping but others were watching us warily. 

Young Male Lion

The pride consisted of females and young males whose manes were just beginning to show. Unfortunately, they were difficult to see, lying as they were, in dappled shade with the sunlight reflecting off the white sand of the riverbed behind them.

Butterflies and Lions

Not long after the Lion, we were forced to a stop by a group of frisky Impala playing “cross- the-road”; back and forth, having a whale of a time, totally ignoring the car and their spellbound audience.

Pretty Boy?

I would have thought that the animals in general would be a lot more afraid of people and vehicles than they proved to be. After all, they are completely wild and the Park can be a very dangerous place if you wander away from your vehicle. Last year, a game ranger, taking tourists on a night drive, went to the back of the jeep to check something in the road and just disappeared! Later investigations discovered that he had been taken by a Leopard... Even the professionals can forget to be cautious.

Later in the day, we are treated to more great views; join me for Part IV tomorrow...


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