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DIY Kruger safari pix 2

DAY 3

This yielded some interesting encounters, but no photos, with jackal and lion on our pre breakfast drive and also the rear view of a rhino legging it away from the vehicle. Apparently the increased level of poaching has made them very wary. Poaching remains a major problem with 508 rhino reportedly being killed in ZA in the eight months to August 2018 and 58 elephant in the Kruger alone. We saw several armed patrols but the arrest of three rangers from the Croc Bridge sector in January on suspicion of poaching indicates part of the problem. Two sets of elephant tusks are worth more than a year’s pay to many South Africans and rhino horn is worth even more.

Once again birds featured in the day’s photography. This is a Redcrested Korhaan; despite the name the crest is only visible whilst displaying.



We were surprised to find this pair of Yellow Billed Storks in the middle of the savannah where they’d found a pool on a small river. This is the female.



The male has a different coloured iris and yellow wattles. The name saddle comes from the yellow flap rather than the black band on the bill. They stand nearly five feet tall.



The Steenbok is a small antelope which is usually found on its own.



The Water Buck knows it is handsome and likes to be photographed. It will often stand around, apparently waiting for a camera wielding visitor to turn up! Part of its lack of concern is due to its coat. This is waterproofed by a foul tasting substance in consequence of which it is only preyed on in extremis, usually by lions, when there is nothing tastier available. It is seldom found far from water.



By now the weather was warming up and we were encountering temperatures in the high 30s. By late morning most of the game was seeking whatever shade was available. In this group you can see that the two younger animals, about a year old, have yet to develop their full headgear and colour. Buffalo always look at you somewhat malevolently but do not normally pose a problem to vehicle passengers. It appears that animals see the vehicle rather than its occupants which is one reason why you’re not allowed to put any part of your body outside the vehicle.





DAY 4

The big advantage of driving yourself is that you can stop to admire anything you like. I'm no expert on gastropods (though no doubt some forum member will be) but I think this is a Giant African Land Snail, albeit not a fully grown one. It is regarded as a serious agricultural pest, especially in countries to which it has been introduced and where it is regarded as an alien invasive species.



Elephant dung may not be an obvious thing to photograph but there’s more to it than just the smell! Elephants have a very inefficient digestive system and much of what comes out looks very similar to what went in. It is home to a lot of small people. Butterflies are frequent visitors. I believe this to be the Common Blue but perhaps a lepidopterist can confirm. A smaller yellow butterfly is also often seen.



My favourite in the dung business is this beetle. We saw none in our last two visits and I wondered why this was. Enquiry with a ranger revealed that this species requires wet ground in order to lay its eggs. Although we had a fair amount of rain this was the only example we came upon. Other folk must have thought us a bit potty stopping to examine every deposit we passed.



After that it’s time for some colour. There are nine different species of kingfisher in ZA and this is the Malachite. It obligingly stopped alongside the causeway that crosses the Olifants river near Balule camp.

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Re: DIY Kruger safari pix 2

Lovely photos and commentary again. This is a series which I know will end but don't want it to.
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Re: DIY Kruger safari pix 2

Thanks so much - I'm enjoying your travels.

The pictures are very good too.

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