South Africa Day 03

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Yesterday afternoon I discovered that my mobile was still on UK time. That's why the alarm didn't go off when I wanted it to. Instead it went off whilst I was doing the game drive. Anyway this morning it goes off at 0400.

I get the stuff ready for a game drive. Most of this has been prepared the night before, but there are still devices being charged overnight to sort out, water to boil for the flask and drinks/cool-packs to get out of the fridge and store in the cool-bag.

I'm away at 0435. And set off on the route I did yesterday afternoon again. The plan is to detour off the set route to see if the lions are still there.

Like yesterday, the first stop is the waterhole. There seems to be nothing here. I hang around for a bit. Then a hyaena turns up.

This is wonderful. Another car passes. I flash them, but even though I'm reversing to follow the hyaena as it approaches in the distance, the other car seems not to see the hyaena. Idiots. But I don't think they had binoculars.

I hang around wondering which way the hyaena is going to go. Suddenly it comes in my direction and crosses the road in front of me. Again another good opportunity for some good photos.

I go trundling off along the road on which I saw lions yesterday, but it's a wasted trip and so I return to the waterhole. There are now 5 zebras here.

The set route continues to the klipspringer rock but he's not there again. I continue on the set route (rather than shortcutting like I did yesterday).

I go off to the S65 waterhole but there is nothing there except for a tortoise. I have some breakfast whilst waiting for something to happen. I have 2 weetabix. Nothing happens. I alter the GPS so that it records other stuff besides its defaults such as latitude and longitude.

Elena raved about the bird hide when she went to Skukuza and so I have a look at that. There's lots of small birds, some jacanas and a grey heron. I take some photos of the latter.

En route back to the camp, I see a bushbuck and this time manage to get some photos of it before it shoots off.

I take a 20 minute break at the rest camp. I look at the spottings board but either people have been very active or it's the spottings from yesterday. I decide on the latter.

So leave Skukuza again at 0850. I plan to take the route northwestwards. This crosses a river crossing which is a good place for game. I see 2 hippos, a crocodile, and 6 maribou storks. I'm aiming for a dam but it's 39K away and that's too far and I regret it. Anyway at the dam, there are three hippos out of the water, some in it and some elephants.

On the way back, I find another male steenbok. This one is unusually not shy and stays there being photogenic.

Back at the river, the maribous are still there. I also see 2 crocodiles and many hippos.

I get some bread, cheese and apples for lunch.

For the afternoon game drive, I decide to do the set route in reverse. I work oput that if I am to supply the GPS stuff to openstreetmap, I need to recall the road numbers form the signs on the ground rather than nick them from exising maps. So during the course of this afternoon's drive I saw writing done road numbers. At each road junction, I also take down the lat and long from the GPS unit. I should have done this earlier.

At the S65 waterhole I see a hippo in the water with a terrapin on its back. If I had stayed here all day after eating my weetabix, I would have seen the hippo arrive.

Later I see a chameleon crossing the road.

Back at the klipspringer rock, the kilpspringer is again not there. This is very disappointing.

And so onward to the S114 waterhole. Here there are lots of wildebeeste (including some youngsters) and lots of zebra.

It's been a rush getting around the set route this aftyernoon. Trying to do it in 2 hours 15 minutes is not on.

Tonight is the first of two nights of vegatble and chicken stew (that I made yesterday). It turns out to be not bad. I was worried that I had cooked the chicken for too long, but it's one of the tastiest chicken I've ever cooked.

I eat it with some wine I got from the shop earlier. This is the second most dearest wione thay had. Most of the wine sells for 13 rand (about one pound) or less. The shop seels very few wines that are dearer than this. However, I choose one that is 50 rand (about 4 pounds). It's a Merlot from the Meerendal vineyard in Durbanville. I quite enjoy it.

As I'm typing this in on my PDA, there's a powercut for about 15 minutes.

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