Lunch At Skukuza & Road To Pretoriuskop

Skukuza Restcamp is one of the largest ones so I wanted to have a quick look at it just in case we come back to South Africa (meaning getting more miles).  The restaurant is called Cattle Baron Grill & Bistro and has both a sit-down service and a fast food outlet.  We went for the fast food so we could get back to the safari asap.

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Heading off, we passed another waterhole.  Given that it was now the heat of the day, there wasn’t a whole lot to look at.

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Not sure what this lizard with the blue head is but he looked pretty cool!

IMG_4086 IMG_4088 IMG_4089 IMG_4090 IMG_4093 IMG_4094 IMG_4096 IMG_4099 IMG_4100That was pretty much it up to the Pretoriuskop gate.

Game Drive From Satara To Skukuza Restcamp

One of the nice things about Kruger Park is that the restcamps are spread out at suitable distances to make it easy to do a game drive from one to another, stop for a meal and a rest, then go off again.  After very early morning birding at Satara, we had breakfast and then headed off in the direction of Skukuza for a leisurely game drive before lunch.  Then we would continue on the shorter road to Pretoriuskop.

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Heading out, the first thing we saw was the lions resting after last night’s feast.

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European Bee-eaters looking for a meal.

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We got 4 out of the big 5 just on this one stretch of road!  Lion, Buffalo, Rhino & Elephant.  Sadly Leopards eluded us again!

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Helmeted Guineafowl

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There’s a nice pond with lots of water birds.

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Distances are marked in kilometres so you know how far to the next pit stop.

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Signs like this indicate a water hole you might want to check out.

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No, I wasn’t too close, I had a 100-400mm lens on my camera!

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THIS guy is too close!

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Picnic area with snack bar, toilets and BBQ facilities.  Great to take a break midway!

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It’s the dry season now but sometimes this river can be flooded.  I like how they have the turn outs so people can stop and take photos and others can still get by.  Good planning!

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Hoopoe (Upupa epops)

The Hoopoe (Upupa epops) is a colourful bird found across Afro-Eurasia, notable for its distinctive “crown” of feathers. It is the only extant species in the family Upupidae.

IMG_3944 IMG_3956 IMG_3903There are 9 sub-species and I have seen 3 of them, all in Africa.

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They were very easily seen in Satara Restcamp in Kruger National Park, Ankarafantsika in Madagascar and several places in Tanzania.  The Wikipedia map shows just how widespread they really are!

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LEARN MORE ABOUT HOOPOES

Wikipedia

Birdlife

ARKive

VIDEO

Great close up action and you can hear the sound he makes!

 

Birding In Satara Restcamp

Following on from my review of the restcamp, I thought the birds deserved their own post as there were so many!  Just get up at first light and wander around, you will probably see these birds as they were found all over the camp.  I started in the circle where our hut was, then followed my ears as more birds made their presence known.

Red-billed Hornbill

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Cape Glossy Starling

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The African Hoopoe was one of my favourites, I loved watching him manipulate his crest!

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I got lucky with a Hail Mary shot of a bird flying overhead, it was a Brown-headed Parrot!

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A gorgeous Crested Barbet

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Going by the photo in the Sasol book, I think this one is a Greater Blue-eared Starling.

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Grey Go-Away Bird

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Here you can see our car and our cabin and how close it is to the bush.

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Francolin

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Mystery bird!

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Cape Buffalo just outside the camp

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Dark-capped Bulbul

IMG_3985I know I missed some, if anyone can help me out, please comment!

Lodge Review: Satara Restcamp, Kruger National Park

You really can’t go wrong with any of the well-kept SANPARKS Restcamps in Kruger National Park.  They all have lots of options from tent sites to large family sized cabins.  I recommend reading the briefing on each camp to see what sort of wildlife is found in the area and choose based on that.  My choice of Satara Restcamp was based on several trip reports of people saying they have seen Brown-headed Parrots in the camp.

LOCATION

Satara is pretty much right in the middle of Kruger National Park.  The best access gate is Orpen Gate and you should try to make it through the gate by 3pm so you can enjoy a leisurely game drive enroute to the camp.

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AROUND THE CAMP

Our cabin circled in pink.  The yellow circled areas I found especially good for birding.  The green dot is where I saw the Brown-headed Parrot flying overhead.  The yellow smudge down by the reception is where the Scops Owl lives.