Satara To Malelane, Via Nkumbe
We started our drive from Satara to Malelane in quite hot weather. The birds were quiet and the animals were hiding. Due to it being Adrian’s first time in the Kruger National Park, we felt we had to show him the Nkumbe lookout point. You can see, what seems like, the whole of the Kruger from here. It is truly amazing.
En-route To Nkumbe Lookout Point
Close to Nkaya Pan, we had our first surprise. A Black-backed Jackal quickly crossing the road in front of us. I love Jackals and this was the third one we had seen today, all in perfect condition. On our way to Nkumbe we encountered Buffalo, Impala and Elephant. A shy Steenbok was also seen close to the side of the road, before it bolted off before we could get a decent photograph.
We stopped for breakfast at Tshokwane, where we were greeted by African Mourning Doves and Greater Blue-eared Starlings, waiting to get at our breakfast.
Birds were out and about again after our breakfast brunch, with Fork-tailed Drongo, Red-billed Oxpecker, Magpie Shrike, Natal Spurfowl, Southern White-crowned Shrike and Black-crowned Tchagra all making an appearance. We arrived at Nkumbe, on the H10, to a spectacular view and some regulars – A Rainbow Skink, and Blue-headed Agama.
After we took in the breath taking view, we were able to spot a variety of animals, including Buffalo, Elephant, Zebra and Impala. You don’t often see so much from this lookout point.
We drove back to the H1-2 to continue our route. We drove past the spot where we saw Sable less than 24 hours before in hope we would see them again, but no luck this time.
We saw Slender Mongoose, Tree Squirrel, Impala and Waterbuck on the way to what would be an amazing sight…
Drama At Delaporte
We were so lucky to come across a Spotted Hyaena who had just recently made a kill at Delaporte Waterhole. The kill was recent, and we must have just missed it. We could not really identify what it was, but was feeding on it in the water to mask the smell so the Vultures did not pick it up.
All of a sudden, a herd of Elephants came down to the water to drink, and were very aggressive towards the Spotted Hyaena. The Matriarch quickly challenged the Hyaena and made this predator quickly retreat, with it’s meal.
All of a sudden a Venue (Flock) of White-backed Vultures came down to feast on the scraps. They could sense the kill as soon as it was taken out of the water… Amazing! They then fought over what the Hyaena dropped while dragging the carcass away from the Elephants. This was a really special sighting. We were not positioned well as there were a lot of cars, but we managed to get some really interesting footage! The video can be seen below.
On To Malelane
So Satara to Malelane produced the goods at Delaporte Waterhole, and it was hard to compete with the sighting we had above. The rest of the drive was hot and very quiet. We saw a beautiful Lilac Breasted Roller and a White-crowned Helmet Shrike, some Giraffe, Impala, Kudu and Elephants.
We checked in at Malelane Gate and proceeded to the camp site. We started to unpack and to our shock we found a small Thin-tailed Scorpion in one of our camp chairs. We released the little guy into some long grass at the border fence. We then set up and went to the viewing deck at Malelane Camp. We saw a bull Elephant and a Hippo grazing. What a beautiful way to end another Kruger National Park day. We were all geared up for our last day in the Kruger now, as we listened to the Whooping of Hyaena’s as they passed our Braai… The water and nocturnal birds put us to sleep, and we couldn’t wait to have another day in the Park.
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