Kruger Day 2

We woke up in our Satara bungalow at 5:30am, and left the camp at 6:05am to try our luck on the S100. Katie’s research, and the owner at Travellers Palm both agreed it was one of the best drives in the park for game sightings. Apparently everyone else had heard this as well, as we had a decent bit of company on this road. Never too much though.

The Satara bungalow was simple. It was essentially a round-shaped hut. There was a refrigerator outside, but no kitchen (there was a shared kitchen nearby, but we never went to it). The two twin beds were next to each other – which was good for us, but could be awkward for some. There was a shelf by the head of our beds that was good for putting commonly used objects.

We struggled to see any exciting game until we finally saw a tree full of monkeys and baboons. It was pretty awesome! We did not see any other notable wildlife on the S100, which was disappointing after the amount of wildlife we had seen yesterday. At the end of the S100, we turned left to go see a waterhole. This waterhole had multiple hippos, mongoose, and wild dogs chasing the mongoose.

Then we drove to N’wanetsi picnic area , which had a nice view over a waterhole with a hippo and general good views of the area. From here we took paved H6, on which we saw very little.  However, what we saw was awesome!  We came across a large group of cars and after talking to a few people, we learned there were three male lions laying in the grass about 20 meters away. We could not see anything since they were lying down. We ended up waiting until everyone else had given up and left (about 30 minutes), and then one of the males sat up and then got up. We are so glad we waited as this let us actually see a lion!

As we were nearing the end of the H6 near Satara, we saw another large grouping of cars. This time we learned it was two cheetahs they were trying to see. After passing by the group and finding no good viewing spots, we looped back around and lucked into the perfect one!

We reached Tshokwane picnic area around 2:15pm. We had planned to eat soup for lunch, but this picnic area did not have hot water or burners. We were not prepared for this, so we ordered from the grill. This ended up working great (and was cheap! R31 for a bacon and egg sandwich for JT, R22 for a cheese and tomato sandwich for Katie, R19.3 energy drink), and we got to watch monkeys and baboons as we ate.  JT did a good job of scaring the one monkey who approached and tried to steal our food, as no more monkeys approached us.

After our late lunch, we drove on the paved H10 towards Lower Sabie. This drive was beautiful, and the animals were out! We saw lots of zebras, giraffes, monkeys, warthogs, hens, elephants, and hippos. There were two large waterholes on this route that were surrounded (and filled) with wildlife. There was also a really nice viewpoint right above the plains. We could have sat at each for a long time – every time you think you have seen everything a waterhole or viewpoint has to offer, you usually spot something new.

View from the Nkumbe Viewsite along H-10

We took a quick bathroom break at Lower Sabie before heading to Suzuka. This drive was along the Sabie river on the H4-1 as dusk was nearing. We ended up seeing plenty of wildlife on this route, including elephants (including some crossing the road in front of us, giraffes, monkeys, and baboons). We even saw some baby baboons that were still nursing and being carried around by their mothers. One stopped right beside our car, first protecting her baby from other baboons and then nursing it. It was pretty amazing to see!

We made it to camp with 8 minutes to spare before the gate closed for the night. We headed to the shop and got Laughing Cow cheese wedges for Katie (R25), laundry powder (R16 for 250ml), 4 postcards (R6 each), and some flu meds for Katie (R27). Then, we got the keys for our safari tent and went to drop our things in the safari tent. Then we went to do laundry in one of the two laundry rooms. We found the machines only took new R5 coins, and JT only had two. So we started the washer (R10) and Katie stayed with it while JT went to find change. Once he returned, he found the kitchen to get hot water for our ramen noodles. We had the ramen noodles, crackers, and cheese + bread for dinner as the washer was going. The dryer required R10, and we only had two remaining new R5 coins, so we decided to set the heat to high and hang the fragile items. This worked well, as everything was dry by the time the dryer stopped (and almost all of the hanging items were dry by the morning).

After finishing the laundry (yay – clean clothing!) we went back to the safari tent and then showered in the clean, shared shower block before heading to bed.

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