Just before sunrise on the 17th of August – Joubert’s final day as an eleven-year old – we headed out of Skukuza towards Pretoriuskop, driving along the Napi Road and intent on visiting every one of the waterholes along the way.
Just past Transport Dam we have the first big-ticket highlight of our morning: a cheetah on the hunt! Unfortunately the cheetah caught its steenbok prey at an awkward angle behind our vehicle and immediately carried it into the long grass away from the road, so these are basically the only photos we have of a most thrilling sighting!
Just a few kilometers past the scene of the cheetah kill we encountered a pack of very excited spotted hyenas in and next to the road. It appeared that an interloper was coming a bit too close to their den, causing quite a stir among the resident cubs.
At Shitlhave Dam this grey old Buffalo bull posed for some pictures.
While it was quiet along the Voortrekker Road towards Afsaal, with the day heating up nicely it was easy to decide where to head next: all along the Biyamiti River in the general direction of Crocodile Bridge and Lower Sabie. As expected, lots of animals and birds where congregating along the dwindling stream of water to quench their thirst.
Nearing Lower Sabie we felt compelled to cross the causeway over the Sabie River, and then back again (as most everyone visiting this part of the Park is wont to do) before heading into camp.
The last stretch of our route today again followed the course of the Sabie River back to Skukuza, through a part of the Kruger National Park famous for its teaming wildlife.
And so the sun set on another extremely rewarding day in the Kruger National Park. The next day would be Joubert’s twelve birthday – more on that in the next installment!