Unusual sunset over the Crocodile River…A cape buffalo herd on the move and more…

This doesn’t appear to be a sunset. But, it was, exactly as it appeared at 6:33 pm behind this odd opening in a cloudy sky as we sat outside Ngwenya Lodge on Thursday night. It was hard to believe what we were seeing. The following are a few photos leading up to this view. 

Tom was watching the sunset from the deck at Ngwenya Lodge, alerting me when to take a photo, as I perused the Kruger Park side of the river for wildlife.  Together, we got these shots.

Sunsets are exquisite everywhere in the world. Unfortunately, in some of the locations in which we’ve lived, we had to leave the house in order to take sunset photos with the proximity of the house inadequate for good views.

This view was taken at 6:04 pm.
We took this photo at 6:15 pm from the deck at Ngwenya Lodge overlooking the Crocodile River.

Here in Marloth Park, there are a few tall trees blocking the view, even from the second story veranda. This fact doesn’t deter us from jumping in the car and head to the Crocodile when it appears there will be a great sunset.

This photo was taken at 6:31 pm as the peculiar formation began to take shape

The magic of heading to the river for sunset views is enhanced by the possibility of sighting wildlife along the river. Thursday night, we tried a new restaurant outside of Marloth Park, Ngwenya Lodge, a huge resort a short 20 minute drive from our house.

 This appeared to be a river of lava, but was in fact it was a break in the clouds during the sunset, occurring at 6:32 pm, Thursday evening. This photo is different from the above photo, taken one minute earlier.

Most often, we drive only five minutes to the public park and campground located on the Crocodile River with the best views of the river that we’ve found thus far. Today’s photos are a combination of two visits to the river on Thursday, the nearby location, and at Ngwenya Lodge, both of which proved to be very rewarding.

A small herd of Cape Buffaloes, “Retired Generals” were resting on the Crocodile River close to sunset.

Our Sony Cyber-shot Exmor camera has several limitations when taking photos of wildlife across the Crocodile River. As I’ve mentioned in the past, my bad right shoulder prevents me from using a camera with a large lens and subsequently, more weight. It’s a limitation I’ve tried to overcome as much as possible. 

A crocodile was swimming in the river at sunset most likely on the lookout for a meal.

Using a tripod is impossible based on taking photos on the move from vantage point to the vantage point. Wildlife doesn’t stand still for our use of a tripod, in most cases. Hauling a tripod has as little appeal, adding more weight to our problematic baggage issues.

With the sun rapidly setting, the cape buffaloes began the trek back to land for safety. In the past, we’ve noticed that they don’t stay near the water at night, preferring to stay out of sight of predators.

Thus, we work with what we have to the best of our ability. In addition, a spot has appeared on the interior of the camera’s lens, which is evident in certain shots, not in others. We believe it’s a result of the gross amount of humidity in Kenya or dust from all of our treks in dusty locations.

Part of their trek requiring a short period in the river.

At this point, we’re terrified of attempting to repair it for fear of damaging the camera. With little time to receive a package here, we’d be lost. We’ve decided to wait and purchase a new camera in the future, either outside the US over the next several months or, back in the US when we arrive in Hawaii in October.

Far from us and after the sun had fully set, we saw them make their way to the safety of the bush in Kruger National Park, where they reside.

Yes, we do have a photo editing software that can remove the spot. However, as I now spend half of each day working on this site and uploading the many photos, I have little interest in spending more time editing photos, instead preferring to spend the remainder of our day searching for more photo ops. 

A White Fronted Plover couple taking a dip in the river, eyes peeled for predators.

This morning as soon as we opened the door at 7:00 am, we quickly realized that we had visitors, impalas in the rear yard, and a mom and four baby warthogs, one of our usual families. Today may prove to be a good day. 

Holding the camera steady using maximum zoom for this far away shot, required a steady hand, not easy for me to accomplish. The sacrifice is clarity, as seen in this shot. I believe this is a Saddle Billed Stork, we’ve often seen at a distance on the Crocodile River.

Cooler and cloudy, we’re outside on the veranda, dealing with the flies, once again excitedly awaiting our next round of visitors.  

Now that the tourist crowds have dissipated, some of the local restaurants are closed on Mondays, leaving us to fend for ourselves for tonight’s dinner which we always enjoy as much as dining out.

A male, on the left, female on the right, White Fronted  Plover, common to the river as also shown above.

Tomorrow, we’ll pack for our road trip on Wednesday. The prospect of driving through Kruger Park on our way is as exciting as the upcoming three nights in Blyde River Canyon. Ah, life is good, as long as no snakes make an appearance or any scorpions or any centipedes.

Yellow-billed storks resting on the bank of the river.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *