South Africa · 4 Days · 19 Moments · February 2018

Pilansberg South Africa

5 February 2018

Check out completed and one last drive in the Park. It was not even 1km from the Lodge and we spotted the Verreaux’s Eagle perched on top of a dead tree. Too far to take a photo, so we waited for him to take flight to get a better shot! A few kilometers into the park and three lions crossed the road in front of us - fortunate or what? Two large male elephants made for spectacular viewing and really close to us. Love the birds, Red-backed Shrike and the Barn Swallows.
Out with Jonathon again this morning, greeted with an amazing sunrise, and it was a morning with good sightings. The Kori Bustard, the highlight and I was so excited to see this bird, one of the worlds heaviest flying birds. Lots of Zebras and Gnu in the grasslands, beautiful light on the landscape and a nice breeding herd of elephants on the Kubu road.

4 February 2018

Wonderful dinner for me, set up in the bush with Rhinos grazing in the distance, all organized by my husband Tommy....even the colour scheme goes back to the day we got married. Celebrating 40 years of marriage
Sunday we made our way down to The Hide at the Lodge. Upon arrival there was a troop of baboons in the nearby sweet thorn and on the ground rummaging for food, a tree squirrel was busy removing the Marula pips from the elephant ‘fall out’ and eating the nut in the middle. Soon the Wood Sandpiper flew in and ran along the edges of the water. A family of 4 Hippos came down to drink and stayed awhile and lastly this magnificent male elephant appeared right in front of us. So close we could have touched him!!

3 February 2018

Our evening drive was with the Lodge and we saw a glimpse of a leopard - sadly no photo but we did see him (in between all the other guests on the vehicle) as he crossed the road and vanished into bush. The road home.....and last minute sunset over the Dam. One of the swimming pools in the Lodge in the evening.
There is a little loop called ‘Hippo Loop’ and we missed the first entrance, so Tommy decided to do it backwards (you know what I mean) and I’m so glad that he did because we came across this magnificent sighting..... Secretary Bird. We watched him walking around in the long grass, running quickly and stomping his feet when spotting a possible meal.
Back at the Mankwe Hide and this time a flock of Arrow-marked Babblers squeaking for food .... close up of a dragon fly.... this I know because the wings are out and not up 🙃
After breakfast we then decided to enter through Bakubung Gate and we made our way to Kabu Dam. We sat and watched the breeding pairs of White-breasted Cormorants - the male leaving the nest, diving under the water and shooting out with the sticks that he had retrieved and bringing back to the female who then packed them nice and tight to form the nest. Close by we watched this Zebra roll over and over in the dust, sand bathing - having a wonderful time. As we left the Dam these two male Waterbuck popped out - chasing each other and clashing horns - might have been a young lady close by!
Inquisitive giraffes 🦒- peeking out from behind the sweet thorn. Perhaps they were looking out for the male lion that was close by. It was the loud whistling that caught my attention, but with such a striking colour Iam sure we have noticed this Crimson-breasted Shrike in the tree. The Burchells Coucal dropped in to visit and hopped around for a while and then said good-bye.
Awesome ‘Cat’ moment - this male was found resting in the long grass near Mankwe Dam. Normally lions are ‘flatcats’ during the day so when he got up and started to move we had to move as well. We were playing leapfrog-he would move past us and then we would move past him again so that I could get these fabulous shots Thank you Mr Lion!!
Early up and back into the park. The impala were running in front of the vehicle and when they decided to stop and look at us I got the photograph. Just look how small the Helmeted Guineafowl chick is ...and only one!! Swainson’s Francoln not hanging around. The black shouldered Kite was watching us, and just sorry that the light was not good.

2 February 2018

The short break over we started our journey back to the lodge. The last sighting a baby Hippo with Mom. Special indeed.
Time for afternoon sundowners and bathroom - as soon as we had stepped of the vehicle this Crested Francoln came rushing up to me looking for a titbit! He got really close and was not concerned for his safety at all, only for something to eat. Great opportunity to take a close up photo. The hide we stopped at is Mankwe and delighted to find two of the Kingfisher family perched at the waters edge.
This little guy was not afraid to show himself. The Blackback jackal always in pairs.
Left the Park and made our way to the Lodge-all checked and and settled into room 140. For this afternoons drive we joined the local guide Jonathon and other guests on the safari vehicle. The Marula trees are fruiting, and very strange that they are falling off the tree before they are ripe. Our first White Rhino sighting, and we were certainly spoilt over the three days, as we saw many Rhino.
The rocks around this pool of water were a wonderful red and everything so still - no animals at this waterhole. Our elephant had recently taken a mud bath and his face was streaked with muddy water. Made for a beautiful shot!
Everything around us is so green and beautiful - the sun is just perfect and I get to take some lovely landscape shots. Our first sighting ....Cattle Egret. A family of warthog kept us entertained, mom and dad not worried about our presence, but the two little ones high tailed it every time I moved into another position to take a photograph.
We have arrived.....a little too early to check in at Kwa Maritane so have decided to enter the Reserve and enjoy a drive.
40th Anniversary week-end. Will be staying at Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge for 3 nights. Pit stop on our way to the Lodge. Cannot beat the bush for the perfect ‘P’ 🙃