Grey Go-away Bird (Corythaixoides concolor)

The Grey Go-away Bird (Corythaixoides concolor), (also known as grey lourie, grey loerie, or kwêvoël) is one of the most entertaining birds you will see in Africa.  Even when they are telling you to “go away”, they are still endearing and I look forward to seeing them on a safari.  They are widespread in savanna woodland, a clumsy flier though extremely agile in clambering through tree crowns. It has a distinctive loud alarm call “quare”, fancifully sounding like “go away”. The crest is raised when excited.
IMG_3797 IMG_3938 IMG_3952They have a large range in Southern Africa.  I saw them all over Kruger National Park.  Although the Birdlife map shows them only in southern Tanzania, I saw them in the Whistling Thorn Camp near Tarangire National Park, and was personally told to “go away” after checking into my tent!

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS BIRD

Wikipedia

Birdlife

VIDEOS

Excellent sound quality, you can hear them saying “Go away”!

 This is a very old movie clip from “The Gods Must Be Crazy”.  The first part is hilarious, the last part (I hope that’s a prop) not so much.
 
 
 

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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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.

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We had a fairly small cabin but it had everything we needed and I was really happy to be in the rear of the camp which is quieter and better for birding.  No wifi, you should count on being off the grid while you are on safari!

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The main restaurant is operated by a popular South African chain called Mugg and Bean’s.  This was by far our favourite restaurant in the park, they had amazing variety that I never expected to find in a restcamp and the prices were very reasonable.  I would compare them to a Chili’s in the USA only in a much nicer setting!  There is a pizza takeaway just next to the Mugg and Bean’s.

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Rules & Regulations are posted in several areas around the restcamp.

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The gift shop is next to reception and the restaurant area and is very well-stocked.  If you don’t have a birding guide book you can pick one up here.  Of course my husband collects baseball caps with local motifs so he was in heaven!

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The reception area is where you meet your guide for the night game drive and are shown to the vehicle.  They also keep a list of interesting animal sightings so be sure to check it out before you drive off in the daytime.

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We didn’t have time to use the pool but they do have one!

IMG_3988Next post will be about the birds found in this restcamp!