Sunday, June 8th, 2014

I woke this morning at 5:15am because the game drive starts at 6:30am.  Erny picks me up at 6am to push me through the sand for breakfast in the upper eating area.  It is cold again this morning.  I wear my two long sleeve shirts, my jacket and hat.  Erny again helps me to the vehicle.  I need a little help this morning transferring to the passenger seat.   The 6 Germans are on the game drive with me and Baba is our guide.  It’s cold enough this morning I use a blanket to help keep my legs warm and wrap my hands in part of the blanket.  My hands are cold; the gloves would have come in handy.  Not many animals out in the first hour just impalas and a few tsessebe.  I missed getting a picture of the tawny eagle yesterday but get a good photo of a juvenile this morning.  There is a giraffe eating leaves later in the morning.  As you can see the terrain is different than in the delta, much more open.  There’s a better chance to see a cheetah here but still a long shot.

tawny eagle DSCN5418

There are two black backed jackals walking around looking for food.  We start tracking the lions we saw yesterday.  There’s more impalas, saddle billed stork and a yellow billed kite.  The kite is mostly a scavenger.  We get a radio call that another vehicle has tracked the lion prints to a wildebeest that was killed yesterday.  When we arrive a black backed jackal is cleaning up the carcass.  This kill is from the lions we saw yesterday and probably the jackal we saw earlier.  The yellow billed kite is fly overhead waiting for its chance at the wildebeest.  We see another lilac breasted roller prior to stopping for morning coffee.

black backed jackal DSCN5452 yellow billed kite

It’s warmed up nicely during the morning drive.  The area we are in was flooded in 2010 and it’s expected to be flooded again in August 2014.  During break we had a herd of wildebeest fairly close but not at all interested in us.  After break we see more wildebeest, zebra and elephants.

DSCN5463 zebra and wildebeest DSCN5469 elephant

We arrive back at camp for lunch at 11:15am.  Erny helps me through the sand and down the steep ramp to the lower eating area.  During lunch Priscilla tells me my flight to Kasane leaves at 9:20am and the pilot will have my sunglasses.  I will not do the morning game drive so this afternoon will be my last drive in Savuti.  Juan takes me back to my room where I get caught up on organizing my photos.  I am very far behind in writing.  I’ve had no internet or wifi since May 31 so it’s been easy to get lazy.  I watch a group of elephants crossing the water from my deck.

DSCN5521 DSCN5523

Juan picks me up at 3pm for afternoon tea at the lower eating area.  I get help up the steep ramp, through the sand to the game drive vehicle.  The same group from this morning is on the afternoon drive.  I finally remembered my binoculars; this will be the first game drive I’ve taken them on.  We see wildebeest, impalas, elephants, saddleback stork, juvenile fish eagle and little bee eaters.  There are more animals out this afternoon.

saddle billed stork juvenile fish eagle little bee eater

Before sunset we see buffalo with castle egret, more elephants, hippo, southern ground hornbill and buffalo herd.  The castle egret are often found near buffalo where they can feed on ticks.  The one elephant has a major problem because one of the tusks has grown the wrong way.  It’s pretty amazing that he’s still alive.  One fall and the tusk will mostly likely kill him.  We stop at the baobab tree for sunset.  This tree is about 1,200 years old.  It loses leaves in the winter and will again have leaves starting in September.

DSCN5538 DSCN5547 DSCN5546 southern ground hornbill buffalo

??????????????????????????????? DSCN5566

We make it back to camp at 6:30pm and Juan helps me to my room.  I have once again forgotten something in the game drive vehicle, this time my jacket.  Erny brings my jacket when he picks me up for drinks before dinner.  Erny helps me down to dinner.  Dinner tonight is minestrone soup, thai chicken curry, lamb shank, cauliflower w/cheese, caramelized couscous, sweet potato bake, ratatouille and chocolate cake for desert.  Tonight is much warmer than last night.  Several elephants make their way to the waterhole during dinner.  The owl from last night is back too.  11 guests have drinks at the fire pit after dinner, the most of any night I’ve been on safari.  10 guests leave at 9:15pm for bed leaving only me and 3 staff.  I get walked back to my room around 9:45 to pack some before bed.

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