Report by Paul and Sally Bartho
22 to 24 November 2017
Prior to going on the BLPN Weekend Outing to Sand Forest Lodge, Sally and I decided to spend a couple of nights camping at Mkuze.
The campsite has a lovely layout with two ablution blocks. It’s main issue is lack of maintenance and site management. The other issue is that they charge for 3 people minimum, making the cost for two people prohibitive unless they are offering discounts.
Anyway we enjoyed our two night stay despite no water on the last morning.
All the hides were open but there was little water at the hides except those at Nsumo Pan and kuMasinga.
Anyone wishing to identify this tree? It’s fruit is the size of a Gooseberry and yellow/orange in colour.
KuMasinga was quiet both times we visited. However there was a pair of Egyptian Geese with 8 goslings wandering about near the water. What was interesting was to see all 8 goslings (at this stage no longer small chicks) snuggling together completely under mother goose. Not sure how she managed it.
Also seen at kuMasinga hide were:
Nsumo Pan was overcast and windy, rain threatening. Despite that we had what we thought was an unusual sighting of 6 Comb Ducks on the opposite bank from one of the hides.
Also a Whiskered Tern was seen chasing a White-winged Tern for some reason.
As we left Nsumo Pan we heard a call – Woodland Kingfisher. We scoured for the source of the call without success then just as we started to turn away from the water we heard it again and I managed a photo from a distance.
Driving around we came across a couple of juvenile raptors – an African Harrier Hawk and a Bateleur. Each was being bombed by angry birds. In the case of the Bateleur by a pair of Broad-billed Rollers.
The Crowned Eagle we saw on the previous visit made an appearance too.
Here are some of the other species photographed while traversing the Game Reserve.
Over the past several visits to Mkuze we had not seen any of the big cats. My sister visited a few weeks earlier and said she had seen a Cheetah near a camera trap near the far end of the Beacon Road. So as we passed by the camera we made an effort to see whether this cat frequented the spot. No luck. Then – having started car and driven about 200 metres there she was with 2 juveniles. Lovely sighting.
Hope you enjoyed the read.
Paul and sally Bartho