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Berg-en-Dal Nov - Dec 2006

Work has been so hectic this year that it was time to take some time out. I took a Thursday and Friday's leave and we headed out to Berg-en-Dal which is always such a pleasure of a drive.

Fortunately the kids were already finished with exams and was not an issue to take them out of school, which incidentally closed that week. This visit was very awesome. For the first time we were in Kruger around the "central" summer times. There were so many animals with babies. There were baby impala, warthogs, zebra and Kudus.

Even more lovely were the birds. Literally within 5 meters of our caravan were 3 different birds nesting. Right in front of us were a pair of hoepoe. To the side of the caravan was a woodpecker of some kind, and behind us were a pair of glossy starlings. Anyway, as normal, there are photos below, but with not as much commentary as before.

This was our camp for the weekend. Right next to the fence with very few people around. Not that having people around is bad. We have been around when the camp is full and has never felt cramped.
Here are some of the birds around our site. It was lovely watching them going to and fro. They were certainly busy trying to feed their kin!
And here, some of the mamals. The monkeys were very cheeky. The fist day we were there, we were having a lie down. Well a couple of these guys blatently entered our caravan and quietly started eating some crisps we had. My wife woke up and proceeded to chase them. Non the less, they were up a tree and laughing at her. From then on, we locked everything up even tighter!
This was the best day of all. Thursday morning, we went on one of the day walks. This is like bungee jumping. Full adrenalin. It was awesome to be walking around where the wild animals walked. We followed a river half the way and then headed towards a koppie where a light breakfast was served and we sat looking over the scenery below. I can not tell you how enjoyable this was. If you have a chance, go for it. You will truly enjoy it.
We were heading along the S118 towards James waterhole. These guys were lying right next to the road. Any closer and we would have run over them. There were two males lying in the river bed, but a bit too far for a quality photo. Next to the road, there were 4 lionesses and 3 cubs. We sat there for a good hour watching them before we had to start heading back to camp to get in by closing time.
This was the next day and we decided to take the tarred road to the S118 to see if we could find the Lions from the day before. On the way, we met this Elephant who held us up a short while. About 1km before the turning to the S118, I thought I saw Cheetah because there was two of them. At a second take, they were two Leopards playing along the side of the road. As usual and with my luck, it was dark and by the time I had reversed, they were a fair distance away!!! As they were heading towards a tree, a number of Hyena came chasing to Leopards. The one disappeared al together, but the one headed up the tree. The photo in the middle you can "just" see the guy. Not long after once the Hyena's had left, he cam down and disappeared. As usual, they were gone.
After the Leopard and S118, we decided to head toward Crocodile Bridge. The reason for this was 3 fold. 1: - to see the Hippo pools which I had heard about on the Kruger park forum. 2: - To visit a site I have been to before which I loved, Gomondwane, a dam just after entering Crocodile Bridge. 3: - To visit Crocodile Bridge where we had spent a camp a couple of years ago. Below is the Hippo pools where you can get out and a Ranger escorts you down on foot to the pools.
At Gomondwane, we came across this pride of Lions. Now, quite honestly, we do not know how many Lions there were, because, wherever we looked, there were Lions. If you looked carefully, there was a paw sticking out of a bush here, a tail waving behind a log there. Man, they were everywhere!!!
And here, Crocodile bridge. Not thinking, I took no photos of the camp, however, the Rhino was just before the camp. The remaining photos were on the way out.
On the day were were leaving, my wife and daughter decided to stay behind when my son and I decided to take one last early morning drive. Again on the tarred road just before the S118, I came across these Zebra and then a short distance further on, this tiny little Tortoise.On the way back, about 3 km's after the Malelane Camp turnoff on the way back to Berg-en-Dal, we cam across two male lions who were suffering in the heat. They were panting like mad.
At this point, it was onto the road for a trip home after another enjoyable time.
Till next time keep well, travel safe and enjoy. Home