A bad day for the impala population

Trip Start Dec 16, 2005
Trip End Jun 12, 2006

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Flag of South Africa  ,
Friday, May 26, 2006

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Today was a bad day for impalas - but more to come on that!

Up in the dark but it was all worth it on what was my best day in Kruger and the start of 6 months on the road for me. Just out of the gates and there is a hyena trotting along by the side of the car, impala head in its mouth! We followed him for a while and he led us to 3 other adults and 2 little cubs, who must have been less than 6 months old. We stopped and listened as the older hyenas crunched on the bones. It was still pretty dark while all this was going on.

Next we stopped at Lake Panic hide that tuned out to be really cool. We watched the sunrise, it looked impressive as the mist rose off the lake and the hippos wallowed close by.

On the road again with a rhino spot on the way to Pretoriuskop. Back on the Napi road on our way back to Skukuza we happened upon a fantastic sight. We sat 5 ft away from some hooded and white backed vultures as they devoured an impala that looked like it may have been road kill. As I said earlier not a good day for the impala. I said to Erica half joking lets stick around and wait for the hyenas. 10 minutes later, it wasn't hyena, but 7 lionesses that turned up and started to devour the remains feet from the car. They stuck around for a few minutes before dragging the carcass into the bushes.

There wasn't much that we felt that could beat that so we decided to head back to Lake Panic. We saw plenty of kudu, waterbuck and bushbuck on our return trip. We also spotted a beautifully coloured double banded sand grouse.

Lake Panic is a great place to see animals up close. We got to see malachite, giant and pied kingfishers, gray heron, black crowned night heron, white faces ducks, jacana, black crake, hippos, African darter, turtle and catfish.

We did a short drive that evening and saw a male nyala briefly. I'd been wanting to see these my whole time in Kruger. We also had a good 20 minutes on a bridge over the Sabie river close to Skukuza while we watched a couple of hippos fighting.

If all this wasn't enough - fantastic sunset yet again!

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