Sunday, 5 February 2012

Lake Panic

During the afternoon we decided to take a drive up to Skukuza to see what the hype about Lake Panic was all about.  Lake Panic is a bird hide that provide secret views of a hippo- and croc-filled dam which is a magnet for birds of all types. Big raptors, herons, jacanas, thick-knees, kingfishers, ducks and many more inhabit the convenient dead leadwoods and thick surrounding bush, or dart around on the lily pads. One story is that Lake Panic got its name from a year in which the river feeding it flooded and threatened to break the wall. If it had, that would have been the end of the golf course and staff village.

On our way there we stopped at a popular lookout point for a rare chance to get out of the car and stretch our legs.
Approaching Lake Panic we saw this raptor soaring high above.
Lake panic is very peaceful and noise and loud conversation are frownded upon.
The highlight of our visit was the African Fish Eagle.

The fish-eagle is a piscevore (fish eater) and is specialised for this difficult task. It has long, sharp talons and effect a tight grip on its slippery quarry as well as spicules under the feet which also assist with grip.  Typically the fish-eagle will remain perched for most of the day hunting for only 1% of the time. The call of the fish-eagle is a magnificent and majestic sound and always leaves me with goose-bumps. Whenever you hear its call you know that you are in Africa.

Unfortunately we could not spend a long time in this beautiful and peaceful place. We had to drive back to Berg and Dal, but we will definitely be back...

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