My favourite waterhole in the Mopani area is the Mooiplaas Waterhole. I have never been there when there wasn’t something happening. And it almost always a guarantee that there would be elephants. This trip was no different.
They always seem to be arriving from all over the place.
And they always seemed to head straight for the water.
There were also some other animals. This Blue Wildebeest had a little group of passengers.
It was the first time I had aver seen both Red-billed and Yellow-billed Oxpeckes together on one animal.
The area around the waterhole was very dry.
The wildebeest were often joined by Zebras and Warthogs.
I am not sure what these warthogs were digging for, but they seemed very intent on finding whatever it was.
This elephant was enjoying a dust bath.
Mooiplaas Waterhole is also one of the most reliable places to find Chestnut-backed Sparrowlarks. I found a small family in the usual spot.
I had two Kori Bustard sightings at the waterhole. The first was a very proud male that stood as if he was a statue.
The second Kori Bustard was a fleeting sighting as he crossed the road and walked away.
Some of the other birds I saw at the waterhole included an African Pipit and a Red-crested Korhaan that was crossing the road extremely slowly as if on her tippy toes.
The birds and mammals were not the only wildlife at the Mooiplaas Waterhole. I was quite surprised to spot this little Agama.
There is always something happening at the Shipandani Hide and Causeway. This trip was no different. One of the best sightings was of a family of Black Crakes.
The little ones were so sweet.
Black Crakes are always skulking about, so it was wonderful to see these pretty birds in the open for a change.
Some of the other birds at the causeway and the hide included a hunting Little Egret and lots of Water Thick-knees.
A Green-backed Heron was skulking about at the side of the river while a Grey Heron was looking bored.
A Yellow-billed Stork was sunning himself in the late afternoon sun while a pair of Black Crakes looked like they were having an intimate conversation.
I stopped in at the Shidlayengwenya waterhole a couple of times. I saw a few elephants and a waterbuck.
At the water there was a Great Egret, a Terrapin and a Black Crake.
I loved the close up views of this Goliath Heron.
When I was driving towards Mopani on the Sunday I saw many termite mounds in the distance. When you drive to the waterhole there were a couple of massive termite mounds right next to the road. They were all active, and the sheer height of them took my breath away.
I spent a couple of mornings at the Pioneer Hide. There were a few African Jacanas. They made a pretty picture against the leaves of the water lilies.
There was a massive crocodile on the bank opposite the hide.
A bunch of Egyptian Geese Goslings wandered past another large crocodile. I thought they were rather brave.
There were quite a few dragonflies as well, including this Red Basker and a young Southern Banded Groundling.
These White-faced Whistling Ducks seemed to be stuck in the same position during both my visits.
I was excited to see many heron species. A Purple Heron and a Goliath Heron flew past.
A Green-back Heron did a quick flyby, and there were a number of Squacco Herons milling about.
There were also thousands of Pond Skaters on the water.
During my afternoon visit a Common Sandpiper and a Malachite Kingfisher were hanging out close tot the hide.
As always the hides and waterholes provided a lot of entertainment and wonderful sightings. Just as I expected. Kruger never disappoints!
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