Friday, 24 October 2014

A Trip to South Africa - Part 3 Still Amakhala Day 1

Well this is still day one at Amakhala, just realised missed a couple of things before we got back for Breakfast on day 1, a much closer encounter with a lone Bull Elephant:
our first Kingfisher of the trip,
Pied Kingfisher:
then on our way back in an opportunity to photograph some Oryx (Gemsbok):

After Breakfast and Lunch the weather improved and the Sun made an appearance, so we couldn't wait to get out on the next game drive. Mind you the morning had been so good we didn't think that the afternoon would be able to match it. We got off to a quiet start with the tracks being rather slippy after the mornings rain, so the Land Rover was sliding about all over the place, I have to say it was great fun especially traversing some steep hillsides, we had every confidence in our driver though, Jason was brilliant.

So wildlife wise a great start was a posing,
Speckled Mousebird:
and a Leopard Tortoise having a drink in a puddle:
This Fiscal Flycatcher was our first of many sightings over the next few days:
Antelope were abundant as we progressed and provided we didn't get too close, which Jason was very good in judging, you could get some decent photos (well I think so anyway!)
One of the most common birds around was the:
Helmeted Guinea Fowl:
We saw these continually during our 3 weeks in South Africa, in the Bush, by the Roadside, Parks, Gardens, everywhere. Anyway next up for our first sighting was the stunning,
Cape Longclaw:
followed by the rather drab
Yellow Billed Duck:
The new bird sightings kept coming:
Yellow-fronted Canary:
Red-necked Spurfowl:

At this point things got a bit exciting! The Eland in the earlier photograph in this post was minding his own business grazing away, when a young Lion shot out of the bush and went for it, this took us completely by surprise and I didn't get any photos of the chase, but the Eland managed to get away, the whole thing could have only lasted about 30 seconds if that. The disgruntled Lion then turned around and headed towards us, giving us the once over and must have decided that he would need a tin-opener to get us out of the Land Rover and he moved on. Not before I took a few for the album though!

After this excitement we headed to a safe spot for that great South African ritual the Sundowner. This involved in our case snacks and a Beer (In Tina and Jo's case a Gin and Tonic) brought along by Jason in a cool box, whilst the sunset, very civilised. After this we drove back to the lodges to get ready for a wonderful three course meal.

Life is tough, but someone has to do it!

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