At a waterhole just around the corner from Jocks Lodge, we came upon three elephants cooling off by spraying themselves with water.
Just as we were setting up our cameras, they scrambled out.
The cause was two rhinos that had arrived and chased them off.
After checking out the lie of the land, they too wandered away, leaving the muddy waterhole deserted. Estien, our guide, took the 4WD down to a larger muddy wallow, where four rhinos were placing mud packs on their delicate complexion.
On the back of one, the red-beaked oxpicker birds were cooling off; their beaks wide open.
Our guide from Jocks took us out before sunrise and what a feast for wildlife enthusiasts!
Lions by resting the waterhole were a highlight:
But first Estian, our guide pointed out a trio of distant zebra.
Then a family of hyenas. One cub walked under the 4WD and sniffed at the running board.
Then we came across a rhino family. The curious baby sniffed it’s mother’s dung.
As the sun rose higher and the day became hotter, a hippopotamus kept cool in a wallow, watched over by a bird.
To top the morning game drive, we rounded a corner and came across an elephant with huge tusks. Estien pointed out that such “tuskers” are now rare due to previous poaching and genetic tendencies.
Last night, our first ever game drive revealed all the famous Big Five African predators.
That we should be so lucky!
After a late breakfast, we decided to skip lunch and by noon were lounging by the pool in little lodge that is part of Jocks Concession adjacent to Kruger National Park, South Africa.
David pointed out an elephant coming towards us down the sandy dry river bed. As we lay still, a herd of eleven emerged. I had been uploading yesterday’s blog on my iPad so hastily attempted to capture this special moment.
In this photo is a large elephant followed by a baby with mother. Elephant herds are apparently matriarchal, so the leader may also be female.