Africa on Foot Sunset with Hippo, Crocodile & Buffalo

Every afternoon game drive involves the highly anticipated ‘sundowner stop’, which is a perfectly timed pause on a game-filled safari cruise to watch the sun go down. On Sunday, Africa on Foot guests unpacked their gin & tonics and biltong snacks on the edge of a large dam teeming with grunting hippo and chance-taking crocodiles making for the perfect sundowner stop. The sun shone like a giant gold coin in the sky, and quickly calmed to a soft, candy floss pink just as Mike and Greg took a seat on the sandy banks of the floodplain alongside their guests.

Africa on Foot guests enjoying the sunset on the dam

Guests relaxing at the surrounded by the wild

Big pods of hippos and lots of crocodiles in the dam

Panoramic view of guests at Bateleur's Nest dam

This is relaxing in Africa! Surrounded by nothing but the wilderness, admiring that famous Kruger sunset, and watching the giant jaws of yawning hippos open and close in the water. Drinks in hand, and a lion sighting already under their belts, guests absorbed the last of the day’s warmth, and took memorable photographs (and selfies for the Sun Destinations selfie competition!).

What no one was expecting was that this paradisal moment in the bush, was about to get even better. Out of the thicket emerged a breeding herd of buffalo, nervously stepping into the open and heading for the crocodile-infested water. Mike and Greg silently gathered their guests and everyone took a seat on the ground next to the vehicle, making them appear as one single unit – something that wouldn’t spook the buffalo. Quietly nestled on the ground, the Africa on Foot group watched the buffalo cows and calfs head for the dam and gulp down the refreshing water. These are highly respected members of the Big 5, and guests were enjoying them on ground level without the buffalo even knowing they were there!

Buffaloes emerge out of the bush to drink

Guests watch silently as buffaloes arrive

Up to 10 crocodiles were seen in the dam, their beady eyes and nostrils gliding through the water undetected by the buffalo, desperate for a young one to take down into the depths. Crocodiles are fast moving predators, and if the opportunity had presented itself, one of those calfs would have gone down without a fight. Luckily for the buffalo, hippos are notorious fighters, and they weren’t putting up with crocodiles sneaking around their dam, so the opportunistic predators didn’t quite get near enough to kill.

What an outstanding way to do sundowners in the bush! Africa on Foot’s traverse has grown, opening even more pristine territory in the Klaserie to explore – and Bateleur’s Nest is the keeper of this fantastic hippo-filled dam.

Yellow-billed storks and a grey heron

Burning sunset at Bateleur's Nest