Kruger – Bottom to Top – Part 3 – Tsendze and Shingwedzi.

Tsendze 23rd to 25th February 2022

The next part of our trip took us to Tsendze Bush Camp.

One thing we noticed as we progressed further north in the Kruger was how quiet the birdlife was. And our quest to see loads of raptors swarming among millions of Red-billed Queleas was unlikely to happen. It was for this reason we cut short our stay here to 3 nights.

Despite this we had several interesting experiences while at Tsendze. Most along the Tropic of Capricorn Loop (S143) and the adjoining S50 heading south bordering the extensive wetlands.

Wetlands with herds of Buffalos.

It was along the S143 that we had the best sightings of raptors, Amur Falcons, Lesser Kestrel and Eurasian Hobby.

Here are some photos of other birds seen around Tsendze.

Some photos of non-bird creatures seen based at Tsendze.

Along the Tropic of Capricorn loop around the Tihongonyeni waterhole we had brilliant sightings of Harriers – Pallid and what we believe to be Montagu’s.

And what we believe to be a Montagu’s Harrier:

And not to be outdone, we encountered several Temminck’s Coursers. Here is one:

That was all on our last evening there. And we commented how we had not seen any cats while at Tsendze when lo and behold a pride was enjoying a rest against the tank at Tihongonyeni waterhole. The Gnus were waiting their turn and in the process got closer and closer until one Lioness stood up and walked closer to the water trough. Then we came across several more as we headed back to camp.

And that was our short stay at Tsendze – one of our favourite campsites where the Owls are heard calling every night along with the occasional Fiery-necked Nightjars.

During our stay we added another 16 different bird species to our list taking our tally to 206 at that stage.

And then we were on to Shingwedzi for 3 nights.

Shingwedzi

26th to 28th February 2022.

The campsite was pretty empty except for the sites by the fence. We found a spot on the fence – fully shaded – to the right of the swimming pool. Its only drawback was the late afternoon sun.

Shingwedzi pool. Photo taken from the best shady area.

Among the few campsite birds was a pair of Bennett’s Woodpeckers. Forever on the ground and totally unperturbed by us – often getting quite close.

Another lovely campsite bird was this one – an African Mourning Dove.

African Mourning Dove

Very friendly to us but had a real prolonged humdinger of a fight with another.

As you approach the camp gate, following the river on your left, you have a view of ponds in the river below and alongside the camp. There is always birdlife in these ponds.

We drove extensively around the area. Going down river, visiting the Red Rocks Loop as well as going further afield further north to Babalala Picnic site following the scenic route by the river.

Scenic route

No abundance of Quelea to be seen. However we did enjoy several raptors.

Then there were the other birds and animals we found in the area.

And birds;

The highlight of out time at Shingwedzi was undoubtedly when we came across a pair of Dusky larks in the middle of the road. Most unexpected and most enjoyable.

And that was our excitement at Shingwedzi.

We added another 10 species to our total Kruger list bring the total to 216 species for the Kruger up to that point.

Our next camp was Punda Maria for 2 nights followed by 2 nights in Nthakeni to complete our Kruger trip from Bottom to Top.

Paul and Sally Bartho

4 thoughts on “Kruger – Bottom to Top – Part 3 – Tsendze and Shingwedzi.

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