Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Woke this morning to it being very chilly. I still have not broken out the jacket or hat yet. Ollie picks me up and we head to breakfast. On the game drive with me today are two girls from Netherlands. We are tracking leopard tracks we found and another truck is tracking big lion tracks. We see waterbucks and more impalas. I see a bird I’ve not seen yet, an african hoopoe.

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Ollie gets a call on the cb they have found the big lion. During the ride to see the big lion we see zebras and an endangered wattled crane. It takes us about 35 minutes to get to where the big lion is. He is 8-9 years old. This is probably the lion we heard last night. As we are looking at the lion a self drive vehicle stops and asks “what are guys looking at?”, I respond “a lion”, he says “no, really”, I point and say “he’s right there”, he responds “wow, thanks”. I don’t know how people who self drive see much and not get lost driving in this terrain. We spend almost an hour watching the lion hoping he will move around some.

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He doesn’t move much so we head off to our morning coffee break. We quickly see another sitatunga that runs off into the bush and a booted eagle just before stoping for the break. We see more impalas but this time there are red billed ox packers sitting on some impalas. An elephant crosses in front of our vehicle and I get my picture taken with it.

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Going back for brunch, there’s a weedbuck nicely camouflaged and a hamerkop sunning on a branch. After brunch, Ollie helps me to my tent and I have company. A bushbuck is right next to my deck.

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I am alone for the afternoon game drive with Ollie. We start the drive seeing a baboon family and finally a good view of a waterbuck. He points out a white browned coucal and by the time I get my camera ready it’s gone. Some birds are very hard to take pictures of because they fly off when the truck approaches.

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We go by the elephant crossing from the boat ride and see the nest of a white backed vulture. We drive on and see a lone female giraffe, which Ollie says is not normal. Giraffes are normally in a group. Almost time for sunset, we see green pigeons and stop by hippo highway.  Where hippos cross from water to water.

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We return to camp at 6:20pm and after getting showered Ollie picks me up for drinks at the fire pit. Dinner tonight is butternut squash soup for appetizer, paprika chicken, eland, cream spinach, carrots, potatoes, basil pasta and chocolate tart for desert. At the fire pit after dinner we hear an elephant blowing water from it’s trunk and the usual frogs, crickets, and hippos. I get escorted back to my at 9:55pm, yes, I’m the last one at the fire pit. When I get back I have more company, this time in my tent. A fishing spider with a 3” leg span directly over my bed. The spider is not considered dangerous but after my incident in FIJI I was taking no chances. Each tent has two very important items, a can of insect killer and an air horn. I used a fair amount of insect killer but it still took 15 minutes for the spider to die and fall from the top of the tent. The air horn is for emergencies you can’t deal with, like a hippo or crocodile on your deck. After disposing of the spider, I organize the days photos then go to bed.

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