Down the Lindanda Road (S35) to Orpen Dam then to Nkumbe Look Out Point
Wolhuter memorial we headed for the Orpen loop. Then a bit later
we'd watch 2 lionesses walk about 3 kms while viewing from the
comfortable and well located Nkumbe look-out. In addition there was a
Rhino hiding in the far distant thicket. A magnificent
Candelabra seen here too (Naboom).
Waypoints 316 to 325 Wolhuter Memorial to Orpen Dam and Nkumbe along the S35 onto the S32 and H10. The Lindanda Road or S35 has been named after the Siswati name for Wolhuter. Siswati refers to a type of loin cloth worn by the Swazi and which Wolhuter also like to wear.
The S35 Lindanda Road towards the S32 and H10 to Nkumbe look-out and then back to Satara on tar road. We passed a group of Giraffes shortly after leaving the Wolhuter monument.
Waypoint 316 ... is a turn off to the Trail Camp which starts in this area
(called Metsimetsi named after a nearby creek) and situated at the foot of
N'Mwamuriwana Hill shown in the photo. Passed an
elephant on the right. Waypoint 317 ... At this point we passed a range of Fever Trees which were
the first I'd seen in this whole area.
Waypoint 318 ... The left turn off to the Orpen Dam. At waypoint 319 we
crossed a small river bed with some muddy pools.
Waypoint 320 ... Orpen Dam look out point. The dam is named after Mr and Mrs J H orpen who donated some 7 farms to the Kruger Park. This Dam which is on the N'Waswitsonto River has been invaded by Water lettuce and Red Water Fern now declared as alien weeds in South Africa. They originally came from South America. 2 Different and specific Weevils are being used to biologically control these weeds. Pre testing has shown these Weevils will not attack indigenous plants. The N'Waswitsonto River enters the Kruger far to the west and flows for some considerable distance before entering Mozambique and joining the Komati River.
Take a look at how badly weeded this dam was when the Google earth image was
taken (some time in last 3 years). The marker is the Orpen dam look out point.
|Waypoint 321 is the junction with the H10 onto which we turned left and headed to the Nkumbe look out point. On the way we had a great view of Sandstone Koppies on the right which rise to more than 350 metres above sea level. The road actually climbs to 375 metres at the Nkumbe look out point. The road level was about 240 metres at the H10 entry point.|
Waypoint 322 ... the Nkumbe look out point which is a favourite spot. This
is a get-out point (always at own risk) and one worth experiencing first hand.
Today we were especially lucky sighting a Rhino "hiding in a corner thicket and
we watched for quite some time 2 lionesses "stroll" across the plain below.
For the umpteenth time probably I've said the Kruger is way beyond the Big 5 although we were incredibly lucky to see 2 of these 5 from this single look out point. Just take a look at the vista stretching far away ... Imagine the incidents that have taken place on these plains over the millennia. And it looks today like it did so very many years ago.
This view is looking south west from Nkumbe and it was the direction the 2 lionesses were taking. They were heading for the H4-1
Another view this time looking more towards the west, slightly north.
Look at these 2 magnificent Euphorbia specimens at the Nkumbe lookout. And
because you can alight from the vehicle at this point it was easy to see the
plants close up. These plants are POISONOUS ... The candelabra tree can grow up
to 30 to 40 feet (10 m) tall. The branches all grow out of a single trunk and
end in typical candelabra style as can be seen. Yellow flowers in mid-winter.
The candelabra tree is beautiful, but poisonous. Skin contact results in
blisters and eye contact with the sap can be blinding. In the foreground is the
Naboom (Euphorbia) after which the Limpopo town Naboomspruit is named.
Waypoint 323 is another look out point almost opposite the Nkumbe. Take a
look at the photo and see the difference as we now look east instead of west.
Waypoint 324 is the bridge crossing the N'Waswitsonto River and a lone
Buffalo was walking in the stream bed.
|Waypoint 325 is an unusual tree full of long seed pods. There were a number of birds feeding in this tree including Black-collared Barbets , Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, and there was even a Woodpecker. Two Brown-headed Parrots flew off just as I was getting ready to take a photo.|
Close to waypoint 325 we see a
Eagle on a branch. It has caught something. On closer inspection we can see
its a young chick grasped in its talons. The chick has unusually long legs
suggesting it's a stork or heron chick. The eagle quickly finished off the small
bird. The Bateleur is a truly magnificent bird as this image shows.
|We reached Satara as the sun was going down. Another glorious day ...|