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KNP and Drakensburgs, October 2010 Part 2

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Old Wednesday 27th October 2010, 12:21   #1
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KNP and Drakensburgs, October 2010 Part 2

Next stop, Mopani. We had our first lion sighting on the way: a male walking on some rocks on a dried up river bed. Burchellís Coucal and Saddle-billed Storks put in further appearances. We also saw a very puffed-up Kori Bustard and a Goliath Heron. There was the gruesome sight of an antelope carcass up a tree, but no leopard. Despite lots of wonderful animal sightings, we didnít see a leopard during the whole trip.

Olifants is one of our favourite camps in the Kruger, though we have never managed to stay there. Stopping to take in the view at the Olifants Bridge, we had our second lion sighting: a male and female sleeping it off after dinner. The kill was somewhere off in the bush and about 30 vultures had congregated in the trees. We had a pie-and-pint lunch at Olifants and saw a small herd of elephants in the river below. What a view it is from the terrace.

The view from our chalet at Mopani equalled and possibly surpassed the view at Olifants. I hadnít expected the camp to be in such an elevated position, with far-reaching views over the dam. We all fell in love with it.

The trail around the camp takes you very close to the water and it was good to be able to get out and walk (even though Iím lazy). Highlights included a family of Pied Kingfishers, Yellow-billed Stork and a Black-winged Stilt. From the Shipandani hide we watched a Green backed Heron feeding young in a nest and there were more Green backed Herons and Pied Kingfishers on view at the Pioneer hide. These are both excellent hides.

Also in the Mopani area we saw a group of several Kori Bustards and some Crowned Lapwings. There is a waterhole close to the camp which always has elephants on it and sometimes buffaloes. The whole area has lots of game. Our best sighting was of a female cheetah and two well-grown cubs.

In the area around our chalet we saw White-bellied Sunbird, Arrow Marked Babbler and Crested Barbet. An African Fish Eagle was perched in the same tree each morning and the Egyptian Geese made sure that everyone knew they were there.

We took a night drive with a guide and saw African wildcat and lesser spotted genet.

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Old Wednesday 27th October 2010, 15:44   #2
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Another good report & more super photo's, Pat.
Best wishes,
From Val.
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