Monday, 6 June, 2011
Game Drives from Bateleur
Left camp at 6:05 a.m., our earliest start yet. So
early, in fact, that we had to open the gate ourselves.
It looks locked, but there's just a removable loop of
chain holding the gate closed.
Our short route this morning: southern S52 west, Red
Rocks Loop (looking for leopards), across the
Shingwedzi riverbed to the northern S52 west and back
to camp. No cats, but we saw another black-backed
jackal, a large kudu, a different kind of antelope, a
nyala, which resembles a kudu, and a tiny antelope
called a Sharpe's grysbok.
There were also several giraffes, some baboons, a pair
of African fish-eagles, a pair of saddle-billed storks,
and, right outside camp, several extra-large
We were back at Bateleur by 9:15. Tom and I took a walk
around camp, not having gotten much of a look during
our nighttime exploration. Unlike Talamati, which was
close to a Kruger gate, enabling most of the staff to
leave each night, Bateleur is far from any park exit,
so it has extensive crew quarters. Consequently, even
though Bateleur houses the fewest guests, it's much
larger overall than Talamati.
cottage at Bateleur
On our walk, we saw turtles sunning themselves at the
hide waterhole, the first life we'd seen there, and a
cute little skink running in and out of the fence.
At 11:15 Tom and I went out on another drive, just the
two of us this time. Our route: northern S52, H1-6/H1-7
north, H1-7/H1-6 south, southern S52, Red Rocks loop,
across the Shingwedzi riverbed to the northern 52 and
back to Bateleur.
Notable animals on the S52 were multiple giraffes,
another chameleon crossing the road, and then a great
group of vultures. There was no carrion present, so I
don't know what the vulture get-together was about. At
one point we saw some South Africans outside their
vehicle at an unauthorized location, so then we were
compelled to leave our car a couple of unauthorized
On the H1-7 we waited a long distance back as a herd of
elephants crossed the road, while other vehicles waited
much closer. Then when we passed the elephants a few
minutes later, one of them trumpeted angrily at our
car. How rude! We'd done just what we were supposed to.
That was an ill-tempered elephant!
We returned to camp at 3:15, had a beer, picked up
Linda, and at 4:00 headed for Rooibosant Dam, which we
again had all to ourselves. There were several hippos
tonight and one crocodile that we watched swim around
for a long time, hoping he'd do something interesting.
At 5:25 we whooshed back into camp, and they closed the
gate behind us.
This is our last night in Kruger and our last night of
self-catering, so I dumped most all the food we had
left into a pot, fried it up, and called it dinner. I
cooked up bite-sized chunks of beef, poured in a can of
corn and a can of kidney beans, added a diced tomato,
and there you go. It was good. Tom and I mixed in the
last of our chakalaka, and it was even better. And a
bottle of South African cabernet sauvignon to toast our
time at Kruger made it better still.
The high today was 88 degrees. Our car had a
thermometer in it that gave the temperature in Celsius,
but I've converted the temperature throughout this
journal to Fahrenheit for the benefit of our American
brains. Any in-room temperatures were gathered from the
thermometer on my travel alarm, which requires no
Tomorrow's going to be a long day, so I went to bed at
9:00. We need to be up and out of here as early as we
Tom Goetz's Homepage
Sign our guestbook
View our guestbook