ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

An early morning in the African Wilderness

Updated on October 19, 2013
Malachite Kingfisher
Malachite Kingfisher | Source
African Elephant near road
African Elephant near road | Source
Pied Barbet-Pretorius Kop
Pied Barbet-Pretorius Kop | Source
Shithave Dam with Buffalo, Waterbuck and birds in attendance
Shithave Dam with Buffalo, Waterbuck and birds in attendance | Source
Natal Francolin crossing road
Natal Francolin crossing road | Source
This is my road
This is my road | Source
Waterbuck at Shitave Dam
Waterbuck at Shitave Dam | Source
Pearl-spotted Owlet- Pretorius Kop restcamp, Kruger National Park
Pearl-spotted Owlet- Pretorius Kop restcamp, Kruger National Park | Source

Shithave Dam-Kruger National Park

The light wind is rippling the surface of the water. A lonely African Buffalo Bull makes his way down to the water’s edge to quench its morning thirst. A mother Waterbuck stands in heightened awareness over her newly born calf in the long summer grass next to the dam.

On the rocks across the dam a group of Water Thick-knee wait for the morning sun to heat up their roosting place while a Grey-headed Heron keeps a silent watch on the surroundings, hoping for a morning snack of a careless frog or minnow that approaches too close.

The resident Water-monitor swims across the dam in search of food and an African Fish Eagle patrols the sky. In fact the search for food is the order of the day as we pour some coffee into our mugs and munch on our homemade rusks. We are delighted as a Malachite Kingfisher flies into the reed beds right next to us, its blue, brown, white and red colors flashing in the early morning sunlight. The larger Pied Kingfisher hovers over the edge of the dam before diving into the water in a splash, bringing our morning bird count up to 15.

The Shithave Dam is located about 12 km. north of Pretorius Kop camp, This old southern camp is “a diamond in the rough” according to the latest “Go Kruger” magazine and a favorite for families with children due to its great swimming pool.We enjoy camping at this rest camp because out of school holidays it is quiet and peaceful. The swimming pool does make a great place to relax during the heat of the day. The bird life in this old camp with its established trees is always good. This morning we watched a colorfull Crested Barbet calling in a tree next to our camp site while a Golden Tailed Woodpecker was building a nest above our tent. On a previous visit we were lucky enough to spot a Pearl-spotted Owl near our campsite

.On our way to the dam we are surprised to see a small group of Rhino grazing right next to the road and one seems to not be too happy that we are sharing the road with him. There are two kinds of Rhino in Kruger,the White and Black Rhino and these appear to be White Rhino who are grazers. The Black Rhino eat shrubs and leafs.Both types of Rhino are endangered due to poaching for the Rhino horn that fetches huge amounts of money, especially from people in Asia.

Further along the S1 road towards the Skukuza camp is the Transport Dam that became famous due to the so called “Battle of Kruger” that was popular on U-Tube a few years ago. Some visitors filmed the attack and fight between some Lions and a herd of Buffalo, with a Crocodile joining the fray.

This morning no Lions enter the picture at Shithave and so the dam is a scene of peace and tranquility. We reluctantly start our vehicle and move slowly back to camp searching the roadside for the Leopard that someone saw there yesterday. A huge African Elephant crosses the road in front of us as we approach the camp, completing a pleasant start to another day in the African wilderness.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Johan Smulders profile imageAUTHOR

      Johan Smulders 

      5 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Thank you for your comment.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      5 years ago from Flagstaff, AZ

      Wonderful photos of the wildlife of the African wilderness. Thank you for all the interesting information.

    • Johan Smulders profile imageAUTHOR

      Johan Smulders 

      5 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Have not been busy on blog recently but need to get back. Blog on lastlegjourneys

    • celeste inscribed profile image

      Celeste Wilson 

      5 years ago

      Really well written, I felt like I was right there. Do you write for a blog too perhaps Johan?

    • Johan Smulders profile imageAUTHOR

      Johan Smulders 

      5 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Book your flight and we will guide you!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Johan, believe me, I want to see all these wonderful things, and share them with you and Audrey. I have been thinking about Africa a LOT lately.

    • lcbenefield profile image

      lcbenefield 

      5 years ago from Georgia

      So beautiful. I really enjoyed the pictures. Your article makes me want to visit there.

    • Johan Smulders profile imageAUTHOR

      Johan Smulders 

      5 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Glad you enjoyed it.

    • My Cook Book profile image

      Dil Vil 

      5 years ago from India

      Good and interesting article on Shithave Dam-Kruger National Park, I had a good read. Thanks for sharing the hub with good pics.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very interesting thank you

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)