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 Post subject: Punda and shingwedzi sightings
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:47 pm
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Location: Brackenfell, Western Cape
Why is there no thread by field guides or tourists of sightings in this area ?
I find this form of information in forums of other areas most interesting and informative.
It might be that Internet connection is not possible in remote areas, but I am sure some form of sending reports for capturing to areas where there is Internet connection could be developed.
Also, reports by forum members moving to an area where there is reception or when returning home, can update those who are planning their trips.

Let us start right away !

Lennie
Ps. I suggest SanParks consider this form of communicating information as part of a field guide's job description.


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 Post subject: Re: Shingwedzi sightings
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:10 pm 
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Sighting on tloodplain near the bridge ...

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 Post subject: Re: Shingwedzi sightings
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:19 pm 
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Hi, I need some info about Shingwedzi and the surroundings.
I am new to the northern parts of the Kruger.
In May I will stay over at Shingwedzi for 3 days.
Will it be a waste of time to drive to the Crooks Corner area while there.?
Can some one please give me some guidance to which roads to take and places to visit in the 3 days that I`m there.


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 Post subject: Re: Shingwedzi sightings
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:59 pm 
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Hi there Louis.

This is a big thread but you should find some very useful information in there.

Crooks Corner is eminently doable from Shingwedzi but it is a full day's driving.
Drive up the tar road, take the S56 Mphongolo Loop (keep an eye out for elephants) and stop at Babalala picnic spot for breakfast.

Back on the tar road, you could take a detour to Punda Maria camp, but I'd drive past and take some time to divert a short distance along the S61 to Klopperfontein.

Stop at the bridge over the Luvuvhu river and try to spot a Pels Fishing Owl, then take the S63 along the river and through the fever tree forest, stopping off at Pafuri picnic site which is great for birding and lunch.

While you are up there also check out the S64 Nyala Drive.

There are no supplies at the picnic spots so you'll need to take your own food.
They do have the gas braais at both picnic spots I mention.
And cold drinks.

While in Shingwedzi go out of the East gate (at the back of the camp) and have a look what's at the causeway.
A drive down the S50 along the river, past the hide to the dam is always worthwhile.
And the Red Rocks loop R52 is also recommended.

On the way up or back, near Mopani Rest Camp is the Tropic of Capricorn Loop S143 and I love the Nshawu waterholes at the bottom of the S50, always good for elephants and Tsessbe.

Three days is great to explore the area.
Don't expect much other than peace and quiet and you'll be fine.
Sightings are not as frequent as in the south but when they come I find I appreciate them all the more. Hope you have a great time there.

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 Post subject: Re: Shingwedzi sightings
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:53 pm 
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padlopertjie wrote:
Will it be a waste of time to drive to the Crooks Corner area while there.?

IMHO it is never a waste if time going there. Sure, the area is not rotten with lions, but there are many reasons for a Karoo boy to visit.

1. Put your feet in the north east corner of the country (then go to the NW corner at Union's End - but that is another park.)
2. The high concentration of baobab trees, including young ones
3. The different vegetation & experience.
4. The birds not found further south.
5. Meeting the legendary Frank at Pafuri.
6. Lots of nyala.

Must I go on? Get there!

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 Post subject: Re: Shingwedzi sightings
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:25 am 
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Hi padlopertjie

I am not saying you should not head for Pafuri/Crooks corner from Shingwedzi.
However, it is a long way up there from Shingwedzi (more than 100 km).
So even when leaving Shingwedzi as early as possible you will arrive quite late in the morning at the wonderlands near the Luvuvhu.
It not bad to drive let's say around 11 AM to Crooks corner but it might be quite hot already and many animals will quite likely be in shade somewhere in a thicket.

NOTHING beats Pafuri/Crooks corner in the early morning when you may even spot a rare bush pig! I try to stay at Punda Maria or even come in from Pafuri gate when I visit Pafuri/CC, which allows to be there much earlier.

Instead, from Shingwedzi I would recommend to take s50 up to Dipeni and back (stunning riverine vegetation).
Take the Lamont loop (S55) and the Mphongolo loop (s56) through marvelous riverine forest.
Look for leopard on the s56 (I found a female leopard and two cubs there in January 2010).
Stop at Babalala and search there and near Boyela waterhole for rare antelopes (roan).
I would also drive south from Shingwedzi on the H1-6 to take later on the s143 (tropic of Capricorn loop) which is in my opinion a very good game-spotting road and one of the most beautiful areas in KNP.

Cheers,
Manovo-Gounda

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 Post subject: Punda Maria - any tips on best roads to travel
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:05 am 
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Good Morning !

SO and I are off on a sneaky sneaky Kruger trip tomorrow morning :whistle: (for an extra two days before we do some work in the park) - and I want to enter at the Punda Maria gate - any tips on the best roads to travel around the area ?

Also - Last time I was at Punda Maria, I was but a small Little thing, sitting in the back of the folks station Wagon - so I cant really remember all that much about the area :hmz: . What is the restaurant like ?

Thanking you kindly,


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 Post subject: Re: Punda Maria - any tips on best roads to travel
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:08 am 
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Kayth I would highly recommend the Mahonie Loop just outside Punda Maria Camp.
Our favorite in Kruger.
A day trip to Pafuri picnic spot is also very good – the great vast openness and atmosphere calls for traveling very slowly to and from :D .
A picnic at Babalala is also a firm Punda Maria favorite – to us in anyway :D . Enjoy :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Punda Maria - any tips on best roads to travel
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:15 am 
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Hey Kayth :D

The Punda Maria restaurant is one of the better ones in the Park :D It should be to your satisfaction :thumbs_up:

I would have to agree with Grantmissy on the routes :thumbs_up: Mahonie loop and Pafuri should be stunning :D

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 Post subject: Re: Punda Maria - any tips on best roads to travel
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:51 am 
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A trip to Klopperfontein is usually productive too.

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 Post subject: Re: Punda Maria - any tips on best roads to travel
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:24 pm 
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Kayth wrote:
My Sister in law has just joined our little adventure (and is a first timer in KNP) so we would like to find a few of the big and hairy creatures for her - we need to get her hooked....

So you need to find the big cats :lol:
The s99 loop around camp has produced some lion sightings for 'Mites.
As well as Klopperfontein dam 8)
But the more frequent cat sightings are at babalala downwards towards Shingwedzi!
There is a resident leopard often seen between Babalala and Sirheni.
The s65 Mphongolo Loop is a scenic route and maybe leopard luck is on your side :wink:
Recently there have been updates on the Blackberry sighting network of cheetah and lion sightings near Babalala.
So I would drive South of Punda for a morning drive to try find them kitties :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: Punda Maria - any tips on best roads to travel
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:49 pm 
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Your SO should chatter with the groundskeeper at Pafuri picnicspot in that case. His name is Frank, and he'll show you some rare birds, always good for contests...

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 Post subject: Re: Punda Maria - any tips on best roads to travel
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:44 pm 
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cheetah2111 wrote:
But the more frequent cat sightings are at babalala downwards towards Shingwedzi!
There is a resident leopard often seen between Babalala and Sirheni.

There is a rather big lion pride that operates along the H1-7, roughly between Magamba and Shitangeni, i.e. where the road runs parallel to the Shisha River.
Lion prides in the Mopani shrubveld tend to have very large territories, but I would be surprised if this pride's core area is not centered on the Shisha.

On the 19th I found them on a buffalo kill, counted 16.
Driving from Pafuri Camp to Phalaborwa early last Monday morning, I found them all resting on the tar.
This time they numbered at least 20: two males (pretty ugly ones, to be honest), five females and lots of cubs of all sizes.
I had them there for about one hour.
Very entertaining, which makes for a nice change as far as lion sightings go.

In the 90s, there was a large pride known as the Boyela, named after the waterhole south of Babalala.
They numbered about 17, and the pride males was weighed at 254 kg on an empty stomach, which is rather impressive.

There is also a pair of male lions that are regularly seen east of Punda, one of which is apparently really huge, and has a radio collar.
I have not seen them myself.

cheetah2111 wrote:
Recently there have been updates on the Blackberry sighting network of cheetah and lion sightings near Babalala.

Driving up from Phalaborwa to Pafuri Camp on the 15th, I found four male cheetahs drinking from the trough at Boyela.

Johan


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 Post subject: Re: Punda Maria - any tips on best roads to travel
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:51 pm 
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saraf wrote:
A trip to Klopperfontein is usually productive too.
I really like the 7 km from Klopperfontein Drift down to the T-junction, it is very scenic and pretty.
However, I drove along this route to Punda Maria quite a few times last week, and there was very little game to be seen.
Some zebra and impala here and there, a couple of elephant bulls at the Klopperfontein waterhole, and that was about it.

The tar road, especially around Kremertart and Mashikiri, was a lot better.

Animal do have legs, though!

Johan


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 Post subject: Re: 2012 Sightings in Punda Maria Area
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:09 pm 
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Lennie Senior wrote:
How is the Levubu River at Pafuri doing - also running high ?
The Luvuvhu is doing just fine, but certainly not running high. It was quite low until the recent rains, then went up and down a bit, but still nowhere near where it should be in summer. In June you should expect water levels to be low, of course.


Lennie Senior wrote:
in September 2011 the declined number of crocodiles was noticeable - hope the numbers have increased in the meantime.
There are lots of crocs in the Luvuvhu, including a bunch of vevery large ones.

Lennie Senior wrote:
We will be camping at Punda Maria from the 1st of June 2012 and gearing up to have the latest available information.
I stopped by at Punda Maria several times the week before last. The place was empty, and I met several dissatisfied guests who where so unhappy that they left for elsewhere. For instance, the campsite ablutions had not been cleaned for a week.

Johan


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