Skukuza camp’s fascinating surroundings!

in travel •  4 months ago

In the Kruger National Park you have to be in camp before dark, otherwise you may find the camp gates closed before you can book in.

But we were early: 

We felt the day had been really long, maybe because we had stopped so many times, and seen so many animals along the way. 

And been well before sunset, we had plenty time to unpack into our booked bungalow and look around the camp. 

Our cottage had a lovely big veranda. 

And out front, there was bare sand and some trees. And when I looked up in the nearest tree, there was this… 

Black-collared Barbet:

Sorry my photo was so blurred. It was hard to focus because of there been so many twigs in the way. Maybe he had a nest in the tree, because barbets make nests out of dry dead twigs.  

He or she seemed warily as he checked us out… would we be the right folks to have his collage and could he trust us?! 

As you can see I also include in the collage a black-collared barbet, from my husband’s bird book: 

  • I think black-collared barbets are fascinating colourful birds. They are about 19-20cm long and a very entertaining bird with their song and performance. 
  • Their synchronized duet call starts with a “skizzing, kerr-kerr-kerr” note and then a “kwe-borra, kwe-borra or too-puddely, too-puddely” or “clink-collar” sound that’s repeated about eight times, accompanied by wing-quivering and bobbing. And when alarmed will give out a “whaa or snaar” sound. 
  • Barbets like eating fruit and berries, particularly figs, so I wonder if there was any wild fig trees close by in the camp area. Oh, and they eat insects, termites and beetles too. Maybe they find the white-ants in the dry parts of trees they conveniently make their nests in! 

And after taking a photo of the barbet, I wondered off in search of more stuff to photograph. 

The camp was big and vast:

There are many cottages to rent and many activities you can take part in. So it took some times to wonder down to the Sabie River side. Looking out over the Sabie River to my right I saw this bridge spanning the river: 

Then looking to my left out onto the river, this is what I saw: 


Such a lush scene after all the dry scenes up till now! 

Here is how I painted that oil painting:

  1. As with most of my landscape oil paintings, I apply a raw sienna undercoat turps wash. Why do I do that? Well if you miss spots while painting, you see the yellow of raw sienna radiating through. This gives your painting the effect of the sun shining. It also creates overall unity throughout the composition. 
  2. And when that undercoat is dry, I draw and block in the basic shapes of the scenes elements. In this painting I especially took care of the bark of the tree on the left. I started by painting it a dark brown. 
  3. And in the next layer, I applied my paint with a small `diamond’ shaped palette knife. This was to build up a rough textured foundation. And when that was dry, I into-play the bark colours until I get the right effect of its bark. 

The power of painting: 

Creating the effect of rough bark can be fun and also nerve racking. Because the technic can be to some degree unpredictable! But the challenge fires you up and adds exhilarating tension. How will it turn out? That’s when you have to have courage to do your thing.  

So what if you don’t get the right effect you hoped for. Perhaps it will turn out better than you intended. There again, to be an artist is not for sissies! And Aaah, it’s like an adventure. It’s what excites me, and spurs me on, to keep painting, scene after scene, year after year.

  • So this painting was exciting and exhilarating to paint. Hope you enjoy it. 
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THE black-collared barbet is a common resident found from Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape northwards throughout the whole of KZN , Eastern and, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and North of Botswana.

Basically, these barbets enjoy forest edge, coastal bush, riverine forest, woodland, parks and gardens.


Thanks for your input. Yes, it lives in the southern region of Africa. And loves woodlands where they can nest in old dead trees. I think their funny character makes them a fascinating bird to watch. But here it was watching us and not the other way around!

Wao great travel trip.You are so enjoying your kruger park trip.You stop your car and see more big and beautuful animals.Thats so amazing.Black-collared Barbet looks so beautiful.No problem your pic blurred.I see this pic.and sed the brigh side Sabie River looks so wonderful and attractive.And your water and oil painting always valuable.This oil painting looks so beautiful.Best painting.You are best artist.And thanks for sharing the the way of oil painting.I m so enjoying your travel.Thanks for sharing.@artguru.


When we turned into the camp for the night, we didn't know what to expect. But it was a very interesting place. I didn't expect to see a sight of the last rays of sun causing such beautiful haloes and rim-lights against the blue shadows.

Basically, Their song is a loud ‘clean-collar or ‘two-puddly clean-collar’ sung in duet, the first bird giving the two immediately answered by the second bird with the puddly and repeated about eight times.


Thanks for giving your impression of the barbet's calls. Even though they outfit may seem ugly, they are indeed a fascinating bird, beautiful in their own way.

Wow great travel trip.You are so enjoying your kruger park trip.You stop your car and see more big and beautuful animals.Thats so amazing.Black-collared Barbet looks so beautiful.No problem your pic blurred.I see this pic.and sed the brigh side Sabie River looks so wonderful and attractive.And your water and oil painting always valuable.This oil painting looks so beautiful.Best painting.You are best artist.And thanks for sharing the the way of oil painting.I m so enjoying your travel.Thanks for sharing.@artguru.


You know the bridge scene was dynamic with the long bridge. But I thought if I had to paint it, the bridge would somehow be hard to paint because it's repeated neat lines. It would make the whole scene look stiff. Maybe one could soften the bridge with parts of it blurred, and add some contrasting colours to the whole painting, go make it emotionally dramatic.

Really this looks very fantastic and I love it and this place so very beautiful actual beauty to focus in this post..just it. So go ahead@artguru..


I like you wards, `just it'. Here in our family, we say, "Love it, just because". That means there is something there we can't put a name on it, it's just so special, in it's own right. It just doesn't need any more words to explain our feelings. It's all-in-all!

Travelling is my favorite passion and your post is travelling related so happy now..
Thanks for sharing this post..


Travelling is even made more fantastic, if we are able to feel it's beauty with our hearts. And being able to paint those scenes makes it even more dynamically special.

Cool great to know to get in before dark! I will keep that in mind. Thanks for the facts about the bird too, and hopefully you got a good view of the bird whilst you were there!
Amazing painting of the river - Kruger must insipre you to want to paint so many scenes! I can’t wait to go :)


Yes, Kruger National Park wildlife scenes are exciting to paint, maybe because of the variety of compositions you could put your spin on.

Really good post to provide in this platform I appreciate your post and actually I follow your post thanks for this it..
So Carry on your activities..


I feel it's our duty as steemit folks, that we uplift the platform by posting fascinating blogs. Not just pictures, but stories about those pictures.

I know that this travelling post but in this post, replace art and painting just which looks very amazing and beautiful..
So thanks for the painting post..


You can see it wasn't just travelling through the park for me. It was the beauty of the place and animals and birds that gripped my heart.

They are looks really amazing bird
I love their song
However, thanks for sharing this photography
Have a good day
Steem on..!


You know, its the song of the birds that lightens my heart. I once lived out in the country where there was no electricity, and so there was no radio music. So the song of the birds were my music. They made washing by hand and hanging out the clothes a joy to do.

Mind blowing post actually I am to be happy when I see your post so great one and l love adventure and travel..


You can travel and feel exhausted. But if you make up your mind to enjoy every minute of it, it has a feeling of adventure about it.

Just a good work which is waiting for your better things just good to give and I want to give my own support for your painting so keep it up ..


I think with each blog, one learns how to express yourself better and better. But it's the reaction and support to what you write and paint, that drives you on to do better with each effort.

This is very important and fantastic post and this photography just creative and very informative so just mind blowing one..
You continue your painting and art work..


I was worrying about the next few blogs would have too many paintings! But every photo I have seems to demand a painting! So you will see watercolours and more oil paintings.

Wow astonishing to your painting skill so very proudful to see your post so Carry on your activities @artguru and this drawing so very good one..


Thanks for resteeming my last post. And I hope my travel series will somehow have something for you too.

Great post and I am aslo little bit designer, artist and painting ..but your painting post just looking very gorgeous..
So continue your super painting..@artguru


Maybe because you like being creative, you can also check out my personal website:
WordPress had a 500 error problem with my site, but it's fixed now. Only I can't have the same theme design, like the groomed design I had before. But perhaps simplicity is better than a cluttered site.

wow it's amazing draw art and very nice photography birds
and geat wrting the Kruger National Park is great place
Thanks for sharing this post i love painting post


Painting can be just as technical as your designs! ;P
One has to work out how you are going to do the compositions and what painting techniques and brushes to use. Then pouring your emotions into creating it.

Krugar park is realy beautiful place. And you made such a nice views in painting.


You know it isn't just a scene to me, it's another dimension of time and space to travel through!

River painting is so beautiful. I like your all posts attachments. Nature is so beatiful in every way.


I love painting river scenes, and this one was a challenge because it was such a cool coloured scene. You have to put some warm colours in it to make it `sing'!

Your oil painting is so beautiful. Yiu always add painting in your post. This is realy grat stuff. Nice post


Glad you enjoyed it.

Black-collared Barbet are so beautiful. I realy like this one.


Crazy bird hey!

Yes! black-collared barbets are fascinating colourful birds. They are about 19-20cm long and a very entertaining bird.


This barbet nervously moved up and down his perch impatiently as it checked us out!

Painting post just looking very amazing actually painting ismy little good passion you are great one in this platform..
I will wait for your text post..


I love going into bookstores and museums too, and check out the techniques others artists use.

Thanks a lot for sharing this your valuable post actually your every post so good and your all art and painting post is very aweful..
Thanks for sharing the details..


Do you mean awesome' (extraordinary) orawful' (terrible)?!
Whatever it is, thanks for thinking it was a valuable post. :)

Just your painting birds so very beautiful I like it and your every post I see and your every so good ..I appreciate you post and I will wait for your New activities and I will support your every post..


Thanks for your support. I appreciate you interest. And will try to perk you interest from post to post.

One of the best post so like it and painting place so very beautiful ..
So Carry on @arrguru..
And i want that you succeed from this platform.


Well, I do try to give you something worth reading. So I hope you enjoy the next too.

Well, its oil painting.
Just looking awesome.
This is good painting and travelling story Skukuza camp's.
Thank you very much for this sharing beautiful painting.


A pleasure to share with you.

Wow, this amazing camp of Skukuza.
Specially looking nice of Black-collared Barbet birds.
This is also fascinating colourful birds.
I really love this birds and vast of camp's.


People are always want to to see the `Big five" animals, but birds can be just as great to observe their antics.

Very nice post overall!
I love this black-collared barbet, and specially your oil painting! It is really beautiful and I loved it because this remind me of my childhood, when I was fond of collecting these types of drawings and photographs from our school books and magazines. Because we had a lake near our house where we had to go for cricket with my cousins. And it was almost same like your painting. Thank you for reminding me of that beautiful happy moments!