Cat House

Nancy Vandermey, Author
South Africa Trip October/November 2013 part 11

But that wasn't the end yet! We had 3 nights at Notten's bush camp, in the Sabi Sands reserve adjacent to Kruger park. There are no fences between the two. The big attraction to going to a private reserve is they can drive off road to follow animals, and the animals are habituated to the vehicles. In case we hadn't seen any leopard in Kruger (entirely possible), and to have a few days of being driven around and fed well, I like to end a trip here. While driving in we passed a buffalo herd and then got checked in and had Amarula on ice. I neglected to take any pictures of our fabulous room, but they can be found online. At 2:45 pm it was time for high tea (a multi course gourmet lunch) and then 3:30 out on game drive with ranger Tinyko, who was awesome. Almost immediately our tracker Abi (not sure if I'm spelling that right) said, "Lioness in a tree" - a shocking sight here, as they almost never climb trees, and this one was high up and very uncomfortable looking She finally jumped down safely And went for a walkabout, eyeing some waterbuck Other sightings included elephant, steenbok, duiker, gray lourie, and young giraffe During sundowners I got to try the tracker's seat Spotlighting on the way in revealed a white tail mongoose. Dinner was held in the downstairs area, with a scorpion on the wall The area by daylight On the 27th we were up at 5 and out at 5:30, we went to the south of their driving area to where the Southern pride had killed a young rhino 3 days ago. One lioness and her two cubs were still at the smelly kill While the pride male lazed nearby Heading north we joined a sighting of the Mahlatini male leopard as he hunted After the drive Eric went for a walk, seeing flowers and the scratch marks on the tree the lioness had been in while I went for a swim After another delicious high tea, the evening game drive found a giraffe with a missing horn and then two male lions (Solo and the Eyrefield male) More impala with young Woodland kingfisher Elephant on the plains Posing zebra After dark, a chameleon And a Scops owl just outside camp During dinner, 2 hyena paid a visit outside camp. There were only 4 of us going out in the morning (an Australian couple and us) so we left at 5:15 am. Wild dog had been seen late last night so we were tracking them. It was a pack of eight, on the hunt - we followed them at high speed after some impala, but they missed Nearby the two male lions were resting two male rhino feeding a tree full of baboons and a peaceful waterbuck For our final evening drive, we saw some busy leopard tortoises and then spent a long time laughing at two young male elephants fighting A young elephant in the same herd Next up we visited Mahlatini again, resting on a riverbank During sundowners 5 rhino walked nearby Just down the road another male leopard had been found, Mxabene A side striped jackal and pups were spotted Our final dinner And one last morning drive, with elephant, male nyala leopard tracks and ending with Solo and the Eyrefield male Notten's Video has several short clips, including lions, leopards, wild dog, and elephants

After that it was just packing, a drive to the airport, and a long flight home.

Part 1 - Planning and Kgalgadi: Twee Rivieren
Part 2 - Kgalgadi: Urikaruus and Kalahari Tented Camp
Part 3 - Kgalgadi: Nossob, Grootkolk, Mata Mata
Part 4 - Kgalgadi: Twee Rivieren and Black Footed Cat group
Part 5 - Kruger: Berg En Dal and Skukuza
Part 6 - Kruger: Nwatimwambu Walking Trail and Lower Sabie
Part 7 - Kruger: Satara
Part 8 - Kruger: Sweni Wilderness Trail
Part 9 - Kruger: Olifants
Part 10 - Kruger: Tamboti and Biyamiti
Part 11 - Notten's Bush Camp