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Drive 1- Satara S100 to S41, Sweni Hide, H6 to Satara.
Drive 2- Satara H7 to S36 to S126 to H1-3, H6 to Sonop waterhole, H6 back to Satara.
Every day in Kruger is better than the last. Every morning is so exciting and beautiful, every day is hot and lazy, every evening has the most gorgeous light and temps. It’s just magical. Even the most boring game drives are magical. Africa is full of life. It’s the birthplace of mankind after all, and everywhere you look it’s alive. Birds in the bush and lizards on the trees and baboons in the road and elephants at the waterholes and hyenas at the fence. I retold Greg the whole story of The Lion King today and by the time I got to Rafiki realizing Simba was still alive we were both in tears. “Remember who you are”- that’s exactly what we’ve been trying to do.
We took the S100 out of Satara which is one of the most, if not the most, famous road in the park for lion, leopard, and cheetah. Wouldn’t you know it, we didn’t see a one of them. We stopped at the N’wanetsi picnic area where there isn’t any coffee or food available, but there is a hut atop the Mabyematsune Geological Formation Reef which overlooks the valley and a waterhole and is a perfect place to enjoy second breakfast. Saw an ant colony changing homes, which neither of us had ever seen before. The entire colony was on the move, everyone carrying something- food?- and marching along like they knew exactly where they were going, a six inch swath of bustling insects. A local man told us it was because of the rain.
We were both so exhausted after back to back night drives and there was no coffee available at the picnic area we pulled over next to a river and napped in the van to the sound of hippo grunts and giggles. Oh, the beauty of van. It’s like being a turtle- wherever you go you’re home. The Sweni Hide is on the way back to Satara so we stopped to watch the hippos and bee-eaters. And this guy:
When we got back to camp there were two baby mongoose about the size of newborn kittens under attack by monkeys. One baby was fending off three by itself! The monkeys were dancing all around him, then they’d run in and poke him and try to get him out from the bench he was hiding under, but he always kept his mouth to them and they’d get scared and run away. One monkey managed to get ahold of the other baby and picked it up by its tail but the baby bit his hand and was dropped again. The two of them managed to survive until a third baby came out to rescue the first and they both ran back to their rock home together. The second baby had to run the monkey gauntlet by himself, but all three of them made it home in the end. No mama mongoose in sight the entire time. We suspected she must just constantly beat them up when she’s home to make them so tough when they’re so young. My kind of lady, and quite the spectacle!
Didn’t mean to record this, but it sums Greg up just perfectly. Jacana my way…
Check out our other days in Kruger: