04 November 2009

Farewell to Kruger...(South Africa): October 8, 2009

For our final day of the main tour in South Africa we wandered the Letaba Camp before heading out of the Kruger and back to Johannesburg. The camp was hopping with glossy-starlings, the plains out the back of the camp held Buffalos and Nyala, and over breakfast we watched a Red-headed Weaver from the breakfast table. As we tried to leave Kruger Cut-throat Finches stalled us by the gate, and we almost missed a Groundscraper Thrush (see photo) that was hopping around behind our backs on a lawn by the gate. On the way back to Jo'Burg we stopped off for one of Africa's rarest raptors, at a set of rich red cliffs behind some souvenir stalls in the middle of nowhere. There was no doubting we were in the right place though as a large rock held the large painted letters "Taita" splattered across them. We got out of our vehicle in the sweltering afternoon heat to find the official Taita Falcon guide who is normally resident at the stalls not in attendance, although no bother as one of the ladies on the stalls stood in for him (see photo) and led us to a large set of cliffs where she indiacetd a falcon was currently sitting on eggs. Sadly though this was in a dark crevice away from our prying eyes, so we waited, and waited and sweated heavily in the oppressive heat. Just as we were wilting our stand in guide indicated skywards and there above was a gliding Taita Falcon that circled above us and then dissappeared high above. At which point we all ran for the car and the cool relief that only air conditioning bring!

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