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Antelope in Kruger

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flying cheetah
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Nyala behaviour

Unread postby flying cheetah » Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:43 pm

On my last trip I got the impression that Nyalas (my favourite Antelopes)
in the northern part of the park are less shy than the animals in the
central part (I never saw any in the South). Around Shingwedzi and
on the S63 (Nyala loop) they stayed totally relaxed near the car (15-20m),
while the others took off as soon as I stopped. Was it just
coincidence or did you experience the same? And if so, is there a
known reason for that :hmz: :hmz: ?
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Re: Nyala behaviour

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:58 pm

I have found all nyalas (from Pafuri to H7) to be shy, but if you stop for a while they sometimes get a little braver and feed instead of taking off.
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Re: Nyala behaviour

Unread postby lobotes » Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:15 pm

Despite numerous visits to the Park we have never seen Nyala in the South. However when we were ther 2 weeks ago we saw a small group of Nyala ( Male + 3 female) between Croc Bridge and Lower Sabie.

They were very relaxed crossing the road slowly and even stopped in the Road to look at us. First time for the south of the Park.

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Re: Nyala behaviour

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:21 pm

A year or so ago, I saw 3 females near the low bridge over the Sabie, probably escapees from an adjoining reserve.
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Re: Nyala behaviour

Unread postby oddesy » Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:52 pm

Interesting question flying cheetah :hmz: i have noticed the ones near pafuri picnic spot to be a little less shy but not overly much. Furthest south i have seen nyala is also the H7 just before the satara turnoff :)
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Re: Nyala behaviour

Unread postby Tony Park » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:38 am

I've seen Nyalas wandering around the picnic site at Pafuri early in the monring quite close to us.

In the south I've seen them along the banks of the sabie river when my brother in law paid for my wife and I to stay (in absolute luxury) at Tinga for my wife's 40th.

These Nyala seemed very shy and I'd never, in 14 years of visiting the park, even known there were any nyala in the Skukuza area. It was a real surprise.

They seemed OK near the camp, but out on drives they were a bit more skittish. Perhaps people remember them in the area from the days when Tinga was the old Jackalsbessie Bushveld Camp?

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Re: Nyala behaviour

Unread postby yoda » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:34 am

Hi All,

Weren't Nyala traditionally found only in the far northern parts of the park? But I have heard that in the past few years they have moved as far south as the Sabi?

The furthest south I have seen them is Letaba.

Thanks
Yoda

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Re: Nyala behaviour

Unread postby Elsa » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:28 am

We saw a lovely family of Nyala on the road just before Lake Panic 2 years ago. :D
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Re: Nyala behaviour

Unread postby Tony Park » Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:35 pm

That's cool, Elsa, because that would have been close to where I saw them.

They were definitely Nyala on the Sabie that I saw - I couldn't believe my eyes, so double checked with the head guide and other staff.

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Re: Nyala behaviour

Unread postby saraf » Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:05 am

I've also seen Nyala at Lake panic - in the parking area!

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Re: Nyala behaviour

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:18 am

I do remember reading, and I wish I remember where, that the Nyala can "warm to humans". They can, given the right circumstances, stay around humans.

I do think that they are the most magnificent of antelope. I noticed on my last trip to Punda area that they were very skittish around water holles. Maybe because they were aware that this was a potential Lion feasting moment in sticky mud.

I can't help wondering if they might not be one of the most intelligent of antelope.

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a Nyala after using its horns to get water.
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Re: Nyala behaviour

Unread postby o-dog » Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:43 pm

Hey!

Some further info relating to this topic...

I have seen 1 male Nyala near the entrance of Skukuza, thats the furtherest South for me. Slightly further north, there is a lovely herd of about 10 individuals that I have regularly encountered next to the Skukuza airport. Otherwise having worked in the area that covers about 25km of the Sand River (in the Sabi Sands) upstream from where it enters the park, Nyala are very common. I would estimate on the area where I could traverse the population to be as much as 150, meaning the Sabi Sands could have a population of 300 or more very easily - this is an interesting figure as the KNP mammal census states the Nyala population at 500 only!
Nyala were especially common close to the camps, perhaps because they were more used to humans and would regularly come about 3m from us especially in winter where they would take advantage of some of the interesting variety plants in camp.


I have also heard that in one the Natal Parks, that they are out-competing bushbuck!!!! And apparently studies have shown this.

Correct me if im wrong but with bush encroachment being prominent in the park in recent decades (just look how the Combretums and Terminalias have taken over the open areas in the Sabi Sands of late) are we maybe seeing a Southward migration of this species in the park or should I rather say area expansion??
I would think that the Nyala population is very much on the increase and if this is the case I wonder if impacts on the bushbuck population will be significant as is the case in one of the Natal Parks.

This ofcourse leads to other topics such as why has the wildebeest popualtion decreased so much while the zebra is on the increase in recent years. Similar questions for so many species.
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Re: Antelope in Kruger

Unread postby wachinda » Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:39 am

We heading doing Kruger south (bnd) to punda Marie in October. What can we expect to see in terms of the more rare antelope especially up north away from crowds
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Re: Antelope in Kruger

Unread postby Elsa » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:35 pm

If you are lucky you can find Sable around the S36 area,
Roan and Eland I have seen regularly up above Shingwedzi towards Babalala area and more frequent sightings of Nyala in the Punda and higher areas.
Tsessebe can very frequently be found on the Tropic of Capricorn loop.
But have a look at the related Topics in the Index and also another Topic in KNP Here
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Re: Nyala behaviour

Unread postby johanrebel » Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:45 pm

o-dog wrote:this is an interesting figure as the KNP mammal census states the Nyala population at 500 only!
Really?

I'm no expert, but up at Pafuri Nyala are a dime a dozen. Along the rivers they are literally everywhere, there would be ten on every corner if only there would be enough corners. In the veld between the Limpopo and Luvuvhu they are also far from uncommon, and even up on the sandveld plateau they are the antelope one sees most often. Surely the population must be a multiple of the census estimate.

Game numbers generally in the Makukele CNP have shot up over the past eight years or so, with the exception of elephants, monkeys and baboons (of which there has always been an abundance), lions (guess why) and rhinos (guess again).

Johan


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