Warming up in Kruger | Unexpected sightings

We leave Sirheni Bush Camp at the crack of dawn.

Sirheni dawn

We’re off to Bateleur Bush Camp, but taking the long way – via Letaba Rest Camp – because we need the ATM machine there. Maybe one day, the little ATM machines at the park’s shops will be sophisticated enough to accept foreign bank cards. Until then, we will have to make do :-)

So, off to Letaba it is. No stops on the way down. Apart from the usual suspects we don’t see anything spectacular. After feeding the ATM machine our bank card and receiving fresh new bank notes as a reward, we drive back up. First stop Letaba river bridge …

From Letaba Bridge

… where we spot a buffalo and a small herd of waterbuck. On the other side of the bank we see a lonesome Ground Hornbill strolling towards the bank. (River bank, not the ATM)

Southern Groundhornbill

We arrive at Mopani Rest Camp, where we want to pick up some groceries. While there, we see there’s an exhibition going on in the conference center, so we decide to have a look.

Mopani conference centre Moholoholo Show

Brian Jones of Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre fame is giving a talk. The talk has already started, but the Honorary Ranger ladies show us to a seat anyway.

Brian Jones has the gift of the gab. He talks faster than anyone I know. He also has a lot to say!
The goal of Brian’s presentations is to make the public aware of the plight of the Environment in Southern Africa. He does this with the help of two cheetahs, a bateleur, a – was it a pearl-spotted owl? (I don’t remember) – and Queenie the Crowned Eagle. (Thanks for the reminders Cees & Corina)

Queenie the Crowned Eagle

Crowned Eagle

Bateleur

Bateleur

These most unexpected sightings turn out to be the highlight of the day. We skip petting the cheetah – what’s his name again? – and drive off towards Bateleur Bush Camp instead.

To be continued …

Have a look at more bird photography at Bird Photography Weekly for more bird photos around the world.

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  • Mick

    It all sounds fantastic – except for the hassles with the ATMs!  The scene from the river bridge is beautiful. 

  • http://thebirdersreport.com Larry Jordan

    What a gorgeous bird that Crowned Eagle!  And just look at those talons!  Awesome shots Gwen!  It looks like a great trip.  I can’t wait to see what else you have in store.

  • http://twitter.com/gwendolen gwendolen

    Thanks Larry. There’s an overview of reports on the new Trip Report page: http://demersus.net/trip-reports/

  • Lana Gramlich

    Neat hornbill and the eagle’s fantastic! Thanks for sharing. :)

  • http://nfbird.blogspot.com NatureFootstep

    that´s an eagle? So unusual in coloring, love it. Thanks for sharing.