Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Sable Dam experience or Revenge of the Pooping Baboons

Tuesday 5th September

Our long anticipated trip to Sable hide was upon us.

We left Mopani at 9am and made a quick stop at Tsendze Rustic camp to visit camp manager Roger, who does a marvellous job maintaining this beautiful camp.


He proudly gave us a tour of the ablutions block/kitchens and then found the scops owl for us.


Phalaborwa and lunch with Scipio and Scorpion was calling so we said goodbye to Roger and Tsendze.

Letaba river between Mopani & Phalaborwa


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We enjoyed our lunch and discussed our night in the hide……..lions and ellies heading the wish list.

We had already planned on snack food for our sleep out and also picked up pizza.

Bedding and a light from Phalaborwa reception crammed into the already overflowing van and we were off for the big night .


We arrived at the hide at 4.15, and would sit inside with just cameras and binocs until we could unload our bedding and food at 5.30.

As we entered we mistakenly thought we had entered a “country dunny”.

The floor was scattered with freshly deposited baboon poo.

One dropping and we could have cleaned up ourselves, but not the amount that was in the hide.

A quick trip back to the gate, always below the speed limit, and we reported the mess. They were rather surprised at our findings because a check had been done at 3pm and all was in order.

A cleaner was despatched and by 5.15 we were cleaned and disinfected.

Resident fish eagle at sunset

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Don’t know what happened to ellies and lions or anything big. We were visited by small bucks and scrub hares and lots of insects.

Two honey badgers were the highlight at 8.30 and that was it for the night.

Morning found the resident fish eagle in his tree across the dam, waiting for the birdwatchers to start trooping through.

We may not have seen or heard anything bigger than the honey badgers, but will remember the night because were in the open bush in KNP in a wooden hide and with no electric fence surrounding us.

To experience the sunset, the sounds of the night, the starry sky above, the birds calling and the sunrise waking all is something not easily forgotten.

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