2018 South Africa and Botswana Trip travel blog

Rest camp at Skukuza

Vervet monkey on my patio

Vervet monkeys

Armed ranger


Could not sleep well last night. Too excited to hear so many wild sounds from animals that I do not know. I could only recognize the laughing kind of call from Hyena. After a quick breakfast with orange juice, bread with jam and a cup of low fat milk, I went to the gathering place. South Africans still believe that full fat milk is the best. It was hard to find non-fat milk. This low-fat milk was what the store has here. It tasted like 2% milk. I am not sure how my stomach is going to take it.

8 of us plus 2 armed rangers set off for the bush walk. After riding in the safari jeep for 30 minutes, we started walking. We saw many animal droppings but nothing too exciting. The ranger pointed out what dropping belongs to Black Rhino and White Rhino, elephant and hyena. A leopard left some footprints. We took turns to be in front of the single line to get the feel of walking in the bush. It truly felt very wild – a place that belongs to animals. We saw some antelopes and by the end of the walk we encountered some giraffes.

After the bushwalk I took a walk around the rest camp river side. It was very nice and I got to see a Black-headed Oriole, many Greater-eared Starlings, 1 Bee Eater, a couple of Collared Barbets and some new kind of Sunbirds. I started to get hungry by 11:00am. Hurried to the Lake Panic Bird Hide. A few people were here. It is a beautiful and tranquil place. At there I ate my picnic snacks and drank water. Many antelopes (Bushbuck, impala, Kudu, waterbuck, etc.), a family of Mongoose, a couple of warthogs came to drink and just hang out. Saw the Brown-capped and Pied Kingfisher. An African Darter caught a large fish. He had trouble to swallow it. 4 to 5 Hippos were semi submerged in the water. Now and then they made loud noise. A buffalo came to drink also. I saw my lifer Water Thick Knee. They have very large eyes and their knee can bent backwards. A Fish Eagle was on a tall tree and called. A family of black-faced monkeys were playing in the trees.

When I got back to the camp site, a group of about 10 Vervet Monkey were enjoying my patio. Not sure what to do, I told a ranger. He came over and shoot out the monkeys. He told me that the monkeys were not happy and had peed on the ground. What an experience that was!

At 4:30pm the Sunset game drive began. We saw an elephant and many antelopes. It was my first time to see hyenas in person. They are ugly animals but has its place in the food chain. A group of giraffes were grazing the new growth in the trees. Still no rhino, cheetah or leopard.

Had buffet dinner since I was hungry. Not too bad for buffet.

Tomorrow I will visit down south for a couple of hours. The sunset bushwalk tomorrow starts at 3:30pm and I signed up for a night game drive starting at 8:00pm.

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