Kruger never disappoints…It isn’t always about the Big Five or even the Ridiculous Nine…All of it is special to us!…

A pair of elephants affectionately playing in the mud and water at Sunset Dam 
in Kruger National Park.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

A pair of barn owls in the rafters at Mugg & Bean restaurant looking down at all the crazy humans trying to take a photo.

Early this morning, we took off for the river when we’d seen lions had been spotted a few hours earlier. We must have missed them when we arrived at least two hours after Tom had seen the Facebook announcement indicating where they could be found.

A Southern Ground Hornbill in the bush.

But, as always, our trip to the Crocodile River, a 10-minute drive on the bumpy dirt roads, wasn’t a bust. We saw so much more, which we’ll share in days to come.

This appears to be a mating pair of vultures tending to their nest.

Afterward, we made a quick trip to the Marlothi shopping center for a few items, and by 11:30 am, we were back home. The boys had come to clean while we were gone, and the house was spotless and even smelled so.  

A hippo near the shore of the Sabie River.

The constant dust was wafting indoors from the garden when “visitors” come to call leaves every surface covered in dust daily. It takes considerable attention to detail to keep the level of dust indoors to a minimum, and Zef and Vusi are masterful at this.

A hippo and an oxpecker.

Before we left this morning, I’d gone through the hundreds of photos I’d taken in Kruger yesterday, narrowing them down to a possible good 50 shots, many of which we’ll share over the next several days along with others we’ve taken at the fence and of course, in the garden.

A giraffe side-face view.  The hair atop the ossicones indicates this is most likely a female.  Males wear off the hair due to fighting for dominance.

Last night, after holidaymakers left the park, all of our favorite animals returned to see us beginning at about 1700 hrs (5:00 pm). We were so busy with them we hardly had time to get our dinner and beverages ready for the evening ahead.

A giraffe was contemplating a drink.

At one point, we counted eight species in the garden simultaneously: kudus, bushbucks, wildebeest, warthog, duikers, mongoose, helmeted guinea fowl, and bushbabies. We hardly stopped for a moment when finally, we managed to get dinner on the table a few hours later. We couldn’t stop smiling.

A little bird was going after a breadcrumb at the Mugg & Bean restaurant in Lower Sabie, where we had lunch.

As for yesterday’s visit to Kruger, although not earth-shattering, we were content with our varied sightings as shown in today’s and future day’s photos. When we don’t readily spot all the animals considered as the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, Cape buffalo, and elephant), we tend to focus our attention on those we do find.

This couple fed the starlings based on how they gathered at their table, staring at them for more.

Yesterday was undoubtedly a busy elephant and hippo day, as evidenced in our photos and included video. We know many of our readers don’t care to watch videos, but we invite you to do so.  

Elephant families on the Sabie River.

We don’t post our videos unless we find something special contained therein. Of course, that’s based on our personal opinion, which may not necessarily appeal to you. Typically, they are only one to three minutes long.

A mom and two offspring from different birth years.

We drove through Kruger on our preferred route, where we’d enjoyed considerable success. But, the sightings weren’t as prevalent along the paved road as we’ve seen in the past.  

It was a hot but gorgeous day, perfect for spotting elephants on the river.

The paved road leads to the Lower Sabie and the Mugg and Bean, where we stopped for lunch to see once again its expansive river views from the restaurant’s veranda.

The little one was enjoying the water too.

As mentioned in an earlier post, recently, I’d accidentally broken a bottle of red wine on one of our two cameras. The SD card was destroyed but ultimately not the camera itself after letting it dry out for a week.

The young elephant was playing in the water.

I hadn’t been able to find another SD card in Komatipoort and didn’t want to wait until we returned to Nelspruit to the immigration office in the next few weeks. I thought the gift shop at the Mugg & Bean might carry them.

They did much to my delight, and I was able to purchase a 16 gig card for ZAR 220 (US $15.43), a reasonable price for such a card. When we returned to the house, I placed the card in the camera, and all is working well.  

Mom elephant fussing over her youngsters.

We’re both relieved that once again, we have two working cameras, especially needed for our upcoming photography tour in Kenya in about three and a half months. I guess I won’t spill red wine on a camera again.

Anyway, the day in Kruger continued with some excellent sightings, some of which we’re sharing here today.  As for the rest of today, we’re hanging out at the house. We’ve had a relatively steady stream of frequent visitors, which we expect to pick up in about four hours for another spectacular evening in the bush!

May your day and evening be spectacular as well!

Photo from one year ago today, November 6, 2017:

We wrote one year ago…”Today’s flowers from the grounds of La Perla in Atenas Costa Rica are a token of our sorrowful expression for the loss of life and injury of the victims in the Texas mass shooting.” For more, please click here.