Besides all the larger mammals and reptiles in the Kruger, many of the smaller animals and birds provide some sort of entertainment.
Driving back from Lower Sabie to Skukuza rest camp before gate close at 18:00, my friend Anthony and I came across two very playful Francolins on the side of the road. They were chasing each other, bolting in and out of the bush, running circles in the road and making a racquet as they usually do. We stopped the car to take a little break and watched their shenanigans.
The next moment a SUV drove past us as one of the Francolins darted across the road. I knew what was about the happen next. The SUV didn’t slow down and simply drove over the bird. All I saw was feathers flying around. My friend chirped them and they claimed it wasn’t intentional. Either way, the Francolin was history and his friend just stood around wondering what just happened.
The next day returning back to camp after a successful day of game viewing, Anthony and I spotted something coming waltzing far down the road. We didn’t have a clue what it was. It looked rather light in colour and had a bearish appearance. After a couple of guesses we gave up. We drove closer and to our surprise it was out first Spotted Hyena sighting.
We were overjoyed with excitement and decided to follow the hyena. The hyena was trotting in the opposite direction of our camp, but that didn’t matter to us. We turned the car around and drove side by side with the hyena. The hyena would scamper off into the bush and then return to the road. This continued for a fair distance down the H4-1 road. Then the hyena crossed the road.
I could see something lying in the road and the hyena was eager to investigate what it was. It was some road kill. The hyena wasted no time and started eating the road kill. Being close to the same spot as the night before, we wondered if this was the same Francolin that had been hit the night before.
A couple of cars stopped at this sight. The hyena easily scoffed up this bird, after getting half of the bones stuck in his feet. It is very entertaining watching these animals in their natural environment and seeing what they all get up to.
When it finished off the road kill, it simply hurried off into the bush again trying to avoid all the attention from the cars.