Rhino, the Bushman Trail and lessons in the stars

Trip Start Dec 16, 2005
Trip End Jun 12, 2006

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Flag of South Africa  ,
Monday, May 22, 2006

Click here for all Kruger part 1 photos

Good game drive around Berg-en-Dal and up to Afsaal. The highlight was early on we spotted 3 white rhinos about 10ft from the road. We were the first people there in the morning, so we got 15 minutes of prime viewing before the crowds turned up. Besides many of the animals we'd seen the day before we also saw sun squirrels and a black stork.

We met at 3pm for the Bushman's Trail. This was a 3 night trip where we go into the bush and hike with armed guards to try and spot game.

Nick was our guide and he was all about being one with the bush. He was an excellent guide and very knowledgeable indeed. At last a good guide in Africa! He certainly knew his birds and bird calls and would be able to determine what animal was making any sound that came from the bush. I don't think I get to use my ears enough when back in 'reality' and found it very hard to remember and distinguish between the sounds.

Nick and our guard Bento were also great with tracks and tracking and would often spot animals that were mere dots on the horizon!

From the tops of kopjes (small hills) it was amazing how they could spot animals so far away or ones that were camouflaged mainly by the bush.

Our group was 4 South African ladies and 2 Germans. Unfortunately Jo'berg airport had lost their luggage and we started by doing a drive out to the main gate to pick it up.

Some of the ladies had come to Kruger every year since they were young. What a great way to spend your vacation! 2 of the ladies had done the Bushman's and number of other trails before but raved about the Bushman's. This was a good omen.

It was dark and cold by the time we got into camp, but on the way we saw rhino, white fronted bee-eaters, water dikkop, yellow throated longclaw, black shouldered kite, dark chanting goshawk, hawk eagle and fiery necked night jar.

After been given our rotund we all had a great dinner before Nick imparted yet more of his knowledge, this time the star constellations.

It was a pristine night for star gazing and the things I remember were the Southern Cross, the False Cross, Libra, Scorpio, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus.

A very cool day indeed.
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