Jan. 12th. There was a Londoner at breakfast this morning. Talked about his wife in London… Then about 4 paragraphs later mentioned his girlfriend in the Hamptons. I wondered if I was the only one who caught that.
Morning Game Drive: Yesterday when I found out there were Sable Antelope in the park, I was quite animated. I have not seen one in the wild so we had gone in search of those yesterday. And, as I said above, we finally say a small heard of females with babies inside the Rhino Sanctuary but they were extremely skittish and took off. And there were no males with them. I was told we couldn’t go into the Sanctuary since the rainy season had started but there were a very few inside the park otherwise. I accepted that. This morning Michael and my guide, George, decided to get the key to the Sanctuary since it hadn’t rained in 3 days and should be dry enough. (Besides Black Rhino, there are the Sable Antelope, Zebra, Kudu, Impala, Roan Antelope, and Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest, as well as leopards and hyenas.)
On the way to the Sanctuary: Squacco heron, 2 warthogs greeting each other with squeaky squealing noises, Carmine Bee-eater, Lilac breasted Roller, Bohm’s Bee-eater, baby bushbuck, Malachite KF. Inside the Sanctuary: is more dense vegetation so was harder to sight: African Hoopoe, and a gorgeous male Sable Antelope!!! He posed for me! My day was absolutely made. A few minutes later, there is a 2nd male Sable Antelope, Common Duiker (smallest antelope in the park and usually nocturnal), Rose Ginger (a very low-growing ginger plant), Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest, 4 MORE Male Sable Antelope for a total of 6 so far and I am in heaven. They are just stupendous animals. Continuing on the drive: Roan Antelope, male Sable Antelope (7, are you counting?), Bushbuck, herd of female impala, Lillian’s Lovebirds*, Western Banded Snake Eagle, Martial Eagle, Woodland KF, and male Sable Antelope Number 8!! Python vine which curls counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere just like a python around another tree. Supposedly in the Northern Hemisphere it would curl clockwise; that is according to George. Broadbilled Rollers.
I asked for one male Sable antelope and got 8 fabulous specimens. So, this afternoon I have decided to ask to see a Pangolin! George has seen two in all his years in the park. I can ask, can’t I?
Lunch was sliced beef, curried potatoes and cauliflower, Greek Salad, rice, and bread.
Afternoon Game Drive: NOTE: Hereafter, Lilac Breasted Roller will be LBR, African Fish Eagle will be AFE, Hornbills will be HB, and Kingfishers will be KF.
Impala, impala, impala! Bush Buck, Nile Crocodile, Sandpiper, Pied KF, AFE, Red necked Francolin, warthogs, Euphorbia inglens, male and female Waterbuck, LBR, Goliath Heron, morning dove, Red headed weaver, Grey Lorie (Go Away Bird), Malachite KF, Little Bee-eater, Striped KF, Woodland KF, Baboon and impala and babies, Banded Mongoose, Yellow Billed Stork, Elephant and Baobab with stormy sky, lightning and rainbow, Grey Heron and Great White Egret on a limb in the inlet, Waterbuck in field, Crowned HB, Sunset, Yellow Billed Stork flying with night sky and on top of Baobab tree, Water Mongoose, 2 genets, White Tailed Mongoose. It was raining across the river but we have had great weather.