Lake Panic Is A Special Place!
Kruger National Park’s Best Hide… Lake Panic!
Lake Panic is without a doubt the best and most visited bird hide in the Kruger National Park. We have had some special memories and sightings at Lake Panic over the years… This time it was a birders delight.
Lake Panic is less than 10 kilometers from Skukuza, and it is very popular amongst all of those who know about the hide and who have traveled there. It’s popularity does not deter the feeling you are alone with nature at this bird hide. Looking through your binoculars at Hippo’s, or taking photographs of flowers, gives you the feel that you are the only person here at times, despite is always seeming to be a busy hide. Then again, it is the best bird hide in the Kruger National Park, and it even as a resident Leopard that drinks here quite often, should you be so lucky as to see it.
This trip, however, was just great because it was the first time that a few of the people with us had visited Lake Panic, so they did not know what to expect, and wow were we lucky…
What Happened During Our Visit To Lake Panic?
As we got to the Lake Panic bird hide it was full, not surprising as it was a long weekend and around about lunch time. The Hippo’s started shouting, almost welcoming us to this magical place. It was the first time Adrian had heard Hippo’s live and in action, and I could see the contentment on his face. There were a few Crocodiles scattered around, one fairly large one out of the water basking in the sun.
There were a few Impala around that had just had a drink, and the amount of bird species we saw was amazing. It included a new species for me, (Finally!) a Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides), previously known as the Common Squacco Heron. I had been waiting to see one of these for 20 odd years. They are not that common, but at the same time not uncommon, if that makes any sense at all. Here are some photo’s we took below, showing the Squacco Heron in action. This bird was quite far away, but the pictures did not come out too badly… There is also a video of this bird as well.
Water Birds Galore At Lake Panic
We saw more than just the Squacco Heron. There was a Pied Kingfisher hanging around, looking for small Tilapia, an African Jacana moving gracefully over the lily pads and we had an amazing sighting of an African Fish Eagle. It called from a distance and made it’s way towards the hide where it perched in a tree that made for some great photography.
We had some more great sightings of a variety of birds. There were 3 Green-backed Herons scattered around Lake Panic, Cattle Egret, Yellow-throated Petronia, Southern Masked Weaver, Pied Wagtail (With it’s lunch), Dark-capped Bulbul, Water Thick-Knee, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Cardinal Woodpecker, Crested Francolin, Blacksmith Lapwing and one of the best sightings of a very clean looking Brown-hooded Kingfisher we have had in the Kruger National Park.
As we left we saw an Nyala ewe all by herself, and the Arrow-marked Babblers were going crazy, as they usually do, calling as if to say goodbye…
Next, we were headed to our destination for the night; Maroela tented Camp, close to Orpen Gate.
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