Kruger Part 4 Balule

Kruger Part 4

Balule

Report by Paul and Sally Bartho

18 to 21 November 2018

On arrival we found a site by the fence close to where we had camped previously. We goofed on our estimation of the direction of the setting sun and ended up enjoying our afternoons in its full glory at 36 degrees and beyond unfortunately.

In the evenings the Hyenas made their patrol around the camp and one lay facing us with beseeching eyes every night – the same as happened when we last stayed at the camp.

We spent time on both nearby bridges checking out whatever appeared. That is the bridge on the main road and the fjording bridge by the camp.

One day crossing over we noticed numerous African Openbills landing up stream. Quite a sight through the scope.

Last year we came to try our luck at finding the Egyptian Vulture often reported as seen from the main bridge among the many White-backed Vultures. This year the White-backed Vultures were also present but like last year no sign of the Egyptian Vulture. However we did see Hooded Vultures below the bridge.

Hooded Vulture

On two occasions we saw Southern Ground Hornbills.

On one drive we ended up on a new road following the Ngotso North river – not shown on our old map nor on the GPS. Coming from Satara heading north, it is the first road on the right after the Timbavati turnoff (Ntomeni Road S127). There is a sign saying no caravans and that it is a one way road.

It is on this road that we encountered a female Leopard and her sub-adult on a number of occasions. Not to be outdone, there was another female Leopard and sub-adult seen in a tree beside the main road after crossing the main bridge heading north – with a huge carcass of an Impala hanging in the tree.

On a visit to Letaba we had a strange sight of a Bearded Woodpecker trying to get into a electric power box in the campsite.

Birding was excellent and we identified 116 different bird species – see list by clicking here.

Probably our best bird sighting was that of the Jacobin Cuckoo – not having seen one for quite a while,  although the mad Bearded Woodpecker came a close second.

Jacobin Cuckoo

Our three nights passed quickly and we were soon on our way to Shingwedzi.

Sunset over Balule

Paul and Sally Bartho

 Kruger Part 5 – Shingwedzi to follow

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