This morning as well we wake up early, we are at the Skukuza Rest Camp, in the Kruger National Park in South Africa; today we leave Skukuza and move for the next two days to the Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp.

Today, opposite to the other days, the sky is overcast and it's cold, we wonder if this facilitates or not our sightings.

In theory if it is colder the animals are more active, but without the sunlight we may not have the perfect light to take photographs; while if it rains we could have the opportunity to shoot differently from the usual, but often the animals, except for the elephants, do not love the rain, so they tend to shelter and maybe it's more complicated to sight them.

We drive the H 1-2, that we also drove yesterday, from the bridge over the Sabie river we see several waterfowls like the pied kingfisher, the hammerkop, the goliath heron that we have understood lives here, since we have seen it every time we pass on the bridge; moreover we see, and especially we hear, several ibises that break the silence of this gloomy morning with their shrill.

On the banks of the Sabie river we also see some nyalas coming down to drink.  

south africa sudafrica exploringafrica safariadv kruger rhino safari travel

The landscape from this bridge is always exciting and, although there are several clouds, the sun manages to paint the sky with the warm colors of dawn.

We continue along the H 1-2 up to take the deviation for the S 83 but, unlike yesterday, today we see nothing, but we know the safari is like that, where one day you see a lot the next day you see nothing and vice versa.

Therefore we return to the H 1-2 and we see a lot of giraffes among the trees, how beautiful, we could stay here all day to admire them; they are beautiful, elegant, but also too funny because, as soon as they hear a noise, such as the engine of our car, they stop and stare at us with their big curious eyes, sometimes trying to hide behind the trees, not calculating that their 5 meters of height does not facilitate them to play hide and seek.

We turn onto the H 12 and when we reach the intersection with the H 4-1, we turn left; here too we find many giraffes along the Sabie river, today is the day of the giraffes.

Along the way we also meet many kudus and many impalas at the side of the road, we always slow down when we see the impalas as they often suddenly cross the road, careless of the passing cars, better to slow down in case they decide to pass right in front of us.

Even this morning, like yesterday, we decide to stop at the picnic area of ​​Nkuhlu, even today we need a coffee, we prepare it immediately and drink it before it cools; today it is much colder than yesterday, the clouds prevent the sun from warming the air.

We leave again and decide to explore a new road, the S 21, this road moves away from the Sabie river and heads West, it follows the course of the N'watimhiri river, however, in this period, it is mostly dry.

The S 21 is very varied in terms of landscape and, in the Western part, there are several very scenic kopjes.

south africa sudafrica exploringafrica safariadv kruger rhino safari travel

We drive along this dirt track and see the ubiquitous impalas, kudus, giraffes and different elephants; we also spot many vultures, that are probably monitoring a killing, several brown snake eagles and some go-away birds.

At one point, while we are descending into the dry river bed, a car, that comes in the opposite direction to ours, makes us sign that in the river bed there are lions and that thay are climbing towards us, we stop immediately and we wait to understand from which way they will arrive.

Suddenly we see them coming right in our direction, they are three females and pass behind our car; we cannot take pictures but we enjoy the scene until they slip into the tall grass and we do not see them any longer.

We continue along this very beautiful road, we are alone and we like it very much; as we approach the area of ​​the kopjes we begin to see some rock formation.

The kopjes are very scenic, but they are different than others we have seen elsewhere in Africa, such as in the Serengeti; these are made up of large rounded boulders, in some places they look like the Devil's Marbles found in Australia.

The road winds around the various kopjes, we also find several safari cars, usually these rock formations are very popular with big cats, like cheetahs, leopards and lions, as they are excellent sighting spots from which to observe and look for a potential prey .

We turn around all the rock formations but not even the shadow of the cats, among all the animals of the savannah they are certainly those that love the bad weather and rain the least, they will be holed up somewhere dry while waiting for a more favorable weather .

But even without exceptional sightings the kopjes deserve a lot and we are happy to have come to see them.

south africa sudafrica exploringafrica safariadv kruger rhino safari travel

From here we take the S 114 that takes us on H 1-1.

We are near Skukuza and it is almost lunch time, so we decide to go to the Skukuza Rest Camp and have lunch there; today it's cold and we do not want to picnic, sometimes there are even a few drops, so we decide to go to the Skukuza's buffet restaurant and eat something hot.

After lunch we decide to drink a hot coffee sitting at the tables that are located along the river and, incredible, we see two African crowned hornbills!

It's really amazing because, since we entered the Kruger, we want to see this species of hornbill, that we have never seen before, and we find them right here at the camp in the picnic area!

We cannot photograph them because we do not have the camera with the zoom, but it does not matter, the important thing is to have seen them: checked!

After lunch we leave, we have to cover all the H 4-1 and the H 4-2 to reach the Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp, our camp this night and we hope to make sightings along the way, so it is better not to waste time and leave.

Along the H 4-1 we see a lot of elephants, as I would always say, here is the water of the Sabie river and they are always nearby; several families cross the road as they descend to the river.

Even some giraffes cross to go to the river with their elegant and graceful gait.

On the side of the road we also see some hyenas that are walking, who knows where they are going; these animals can smell the killing by another predator miles away, maybe they've smelled something, or they are simply scouring the surroundings for food.

We also find a large clan of baboons, many are in the grass at the roadside, while some daredevil is sitting right in the middle of the road but, when a car arrives, they are forced to move.

south africa sudafrica exploringafrica safariadv kruger rhino safari travel

We do not particularly love the baboons, but it is undoubted that, observing them, we can see some behaviors similar to those of us humans, even meeting their glaze one has the sensation of looking someone like us in the eyes.

Before continuing to our camp for tonight we stop at Lower Sabie to do some shopping, we also take a break and drink a cappuccino at Mugg&Bean, the South African Starbucks; right now it is drizzling and it's cold, a hot cappuccino is just what it takes!

From the terrace of the Lower Sabie we see some cars standing on the bridge over the Sabie river, we decide to go and see what happens; we leave the parking lot of the camp and turn left and then left again and descend to the bridge.

There is a crocodile that moves with sudden shots and raises a lot of water, it is a little hard to see what it grabbed in its jaws, until we clearly see the horns of a male impala.

Actually we do not think that the crocodile has caught it alive from the shore, it is more likely to have found the impala carcass in the river; in fact, the state of conservation is not the best.

After taking, inevitably, several photographs, we reverse and go back.

south africa sudafrica exploringafrica safariadv kruger rhino safari travel

We are going to take the H 4-2 that heads South and that will take us to the Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp, our camp for tonight; it is the first time on this journey that we venture along this road and the view is not bad at all.

The road runs, for a stretch, along the Sabie river; here are several herbivores, including zebras, impalas and several elephants.

Subsequently the road moves away from the river and goes through a wooded area; while the weather has improved, a pale sun has come out and there is also a beautiful rainbow.

Today it has been very beautiful for the landscapes and for some scenes, but it has not given us important sightings, but we know the safari is like that, you never know what it has in store.

As we continue towards the South, the road begins to skirt the Vurhami river; in this period it is dry but, here and there, there are some waterhole of stagnant water, where possible we take the detours that lead to the various waterholes.

When we get close to the bridge on the Vurhami river we see 2 or 3 cars parked, we wonder what they have seen and we approach.

Just below the bridge is a waterhole and there are two white rhinos, a mother with a puppy, that are drinking; at a certain point a solitary male elephant approaches, it wants to reach the water, too.

Among rhinos and elephants it does not run good blood, they are two species that compete for food and water and therefore, when they meet, they often face each other.

The rhino mother is placed in front of the elephant that, in turn, inflates the ears, we fear a fight but instead nothing happens; the rhinos return to drink and then move away and the elephant, that has waited in turn, approaches the waterhole.

south africa sudafrica exploringafrica safariadv kruger rhino safari travel

A saddle-billed stork, lying in the water, in doubt, has preferred to fly away, probably it will return here when the atmosphere is quieter.

After observing the whole scene we decide to take the dirt road that follows the river on the opposite side, we want to try to find a point from which to see the rhinos again; we get to the end of the road, from here there is a nice view of the river and we have time to see the mother and the puppy that go away slipping into the bush.

Wow! This was the most beautiful sighting of the whole day, we are really satisfied; now we can head towards our camp for a little deserved relaxation.

Unlike the other camps the Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp is small, has some bungalows, some tents and a small space for camping; it has a petrol station and a small shop with some souvenirs and basic things.

Outside the shop there are several skulls of elephant and rhino, they are huge; we observe them closely because we are very intrigued.

It's a very quiet camp and we really like being here!

south africa sudafrica exploringafrica safariadv kruger rhino safari travel