Year in the Wild Blog

Kruger Catch Up – Week 5 – Another leopard (sigh)

Things were a bit quiet this week on the wildlife front. Olifants Camp is probably the beginning of the northern part of Kruger, and so although it’s a big camp, there are far fewer tourists here than at Lower Sabie and Skukuza. It’s a function of wildlife numbers too – this is where the vast mopane shrubland begins, and consequently there are fewer NUMBERS of herbivores, although all the same species do occur here. But you never quite know what you’re going to see…so although it can be very quiet for a week, suddenly you can see EVERYTHING in ten minutes. That’s the allure, the promise, the flirt of the bushveld and Africa’s wild places. And it’s why these places are so intoxicating…because there’s ALWAYS the hope and chance of seeing something spectacular.

Anyway, it was quiet up to a point, then we spotted…(that’s a hint right there)…a LEOPARD (spotted, of course).

Enjoy the photos.

There she (or he? - I couldn't tell) lay - dappled and dignified. If lions are the kings of the beast, leopards are the princes. This adonis was lying in the mopane woodland just south of Letaba camp. Late afternoon.

Chilling. Baboons know how to chill!

I liked the way the grass contrasted with the elephant's skin and tusk...I will convert this image to black and white one day, because I think it will work well.

An unusually cold snap passed through Kruger while we were at Olifants. These tree squirrels huddled up and used their thick tails as blankets.

Baobab country...Olifants is the start of baobab land in Kruger. Although there is a baobab between Tshokwane and Satara - presumed to be the most southerly wild specimen in Africa (there is a cultivated one in Lower Sabie camp) - the area north of Olifants is their true territory

Looking south from the Olifants River lookout point towards Olifants Camp on the ridge to the right. One of the better viewpoints in the park. This is on the S44 road.

The view from the chalets at Olifants Camp. The broad, meandering Olifants River is not as dramatic here as it is further down in the gorge, but hey, it's a wild African river, so it's perfect for me. Although, it has been polluted by upstream commercial and industrial activities outside the park...which is one of the reasons - apparently - why some of the crocodiles in the river are dying. But that's a story for another blog...

For more, go to www.yearinthewild.com and www.facebook.com/yearinthewild. Check out my Flickr photos at www.flickr.com/scottnramsay and my Instagram photos at www.instagram.com/wildscotty. Twitter on www.twitter.com/yearinthewild.

Thanks to my partners Cape Union MartFord EverestGoodyear, and K-Way.

As well as WildCardEeziAwnFrontrunnerGlobecommHetznerNational LunaOutdoor PhotoSafari Centre Cape Town, Tracks 4 Africa, and Vodacom.

Conservation partners BirdLife South AfricaBotswana Department of Wildlife and National ParksCapeNatureEastern Cape Parks and TourismEzemvelo KZN WildlifeGorongosa National ParkiSimangaliso Wetland Park, Namibia Wildlife Resorts, Parque Nacional do Limpopo, South African National Parks and Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

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