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 Post subject: Sharifa's trip to Biyamiti KNP : September 2006
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:43 pm 
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We arrived at Malelane gate at 5.30am and got out of the car to have a leg stretch and and also take in the sounds, smells and sight of the surroundings. Soon we were in tune with the surroundings and had that "Kruger feeling" - always a magic moment for us. The day was well into its way and it was rather bright and we wondered why the gate opening time was not 5.30 for the month of September.
The queue started building behind us and everyone was now waiting expectantly. Soon we were on our way and two of the jeeps doing the guided tours raced pass us on the bridge - we were to experience a lot more of this unruly behaviour but more importantly many more magic moments.
We were greeted by the ubiquitous impala on the H3 and a lone ellie bull on the S114 which was making a meal of an acacia tree. On the S25 we came across a huge herd of buffs and then just before the S119, barely 30 minutes from entering -another magic moment.
On the road were four male lions soaking up the early morning sun.
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Had some good sightings of Bateleur and Tawny eagle on the S119 and on the Biyamiti loop suddenly coming round a corner at some speed was a hyaena with 5 legs.
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We headed for Skukuza where we had breakfast and thence to the H4-1 and S21. A mating pair of lions just before the Nhlotini waterhole. A guide tour jeep soon pulled up and parked in front of us but at a 45 degree angle to get a good view. Another tourist arrived and parked alongside us and the jeep. To get a better view the jeep started revesing and I signalled from him to stop but he just indicated he will not hit me and reversed bang into the pajero alongside us and messed up somebdy's holiday. we really do feel for them.
We headed for the S114 and just after getting on to it we saw a leopard although it was too far away for a decent photo. On the S139 we saw an impressive herd of ellies and at 14.00 we were home. We rested for a while in preparation for the night drive and more magic moments.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 9:36 am 
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They indeed were a wonderful sight Daggaboy, pity we missed each other.
Mark we still debating the fifth leg but I think “one you can’t stand on” will do just nicely.

Feeling refreshed after our siesta we lazed around on the veranda looking at the birds, squirrels and my SO had seen an antelope which he thought was a female bushbuck in the thicket next to our cottage.

We were soon on our way for the night drive and saw a white rhino just outside camp and then on the bridge over the Biyamiti on the S25 we had another magical moment. We came across a herd of ellies of all sizes simply carrying on with their business and quite oblivious to our presence.
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Youngsters were jostling each other testing their strength, ellies feeding and drinking water. They were really not concerned with us and it was great to be able to spend time with them. The ranger informed us that elephants have a “fear” of bridges and never used them. Can anybody verify this?

We then headed towards CB and on the H4-2 in the Gomondwane area we saw a beautiful male and 2 female lions. We headed back to Biyamiti via the H5, S108, S25 and picked up a genet and bushbaby along the way. Too quickly we were near the camp thinking what a wonderful day looking forward to a good nights sleep……yawn…..zzzzzzz.

……….barely a kilometer from the camp, a huge herd of buffs. Alert and huddled together. Then we pick up a lioness playing advance/retreat and another in the reeds. We limit the use of the spotlight trying not to influence the outcome in any way but it is difficult. Enjoy the spectacle for 10 minutes.

We go to bed wondering the outcome and fall asleep to the roar of a lion. Up bright and early the next morning we head to the scene of the lion/buffalo encounter….nothing. We just sit around for a while enjoying the beautiful sunrise in this tranquil setting.
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Breakfast at Mphondo dam looking at impala and crocs and then up the S114 to Skukuza. At the junction with the S113 a tour guide informs us that there are lionesses and cubs on the H3/H1-1 intersection. So, they all not bad and in all fairness the tour guide at the 4 lion sighting was very courteous and considerate.

We get there and park off. We can get a glimpse of one lioness in the distant, an ear twitching, a tail flicking. We want to move on but are now blocked by the jeepjocks (thanks for the term Bert). The one in front of us start reversing and ignores our frantic waving of hands. She is getting ever so close and my SO does something we have never done in 26 years of visiting the park – hoots – how sad is this.

We return to Biyamiti via Skukuza, Nkulu and the S21, S114 and the S139. Feeling sleepy after a hearty lunch we decide to relax on the veranda when my son very excitedly says “leopard”. I grab binoculars and camera and my SO who had dosed off jumps off the sofa trying to orientate himself…

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:09 pm 
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Ah yes, the "leopard". Imagine this scene, you are not within the confines of a vehicle (no danger of bumperkissing, Bert :lol: ) and the human form is clearly seen and the human odour is picked up so the "leopard" makes a dash up the opposite bank. We sit on the bench and slowly the "leopard" emerges and is a lioness. Then we see another and a third one. Pure magic.
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There were four lionesses and they had killed what looked like a kudu through binoculars. We soon have all of the camp there and everybody has a great time seeing the lions.

We are soon off for our night drive and it is rather quiet until we get to the H5. Then there it is a shadow in the twilight and it does not bolt off into the night but approached our vehicle. The light is not good for photography but we get more than an eyeful of the wonderful beast. We keep the spotlight off just appreciating our good fortune and eventually when we do turn the light on it disappears into the night - a magnificient black rhino - not the best of pictures.
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On the H4-2 just about 500 metre from the H5 towards the CB side, we pick up some impala. Then coming down the road towards us, two lionesses who are on the hunt. They spot the impala but you cannot hunt on a full belly.
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 6:30 pm 
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On returning from the night drive there still was a lot of activity by the fence. The lionesses were now in the riverbed and a male had join them. To hear the male let out a territorial roar about 30 metres away was awesome.

Got to see them for a few minutes the next morning and then sadly we were on our way out. I leave you with some pics from our exit trip.

Bye for now and God bless.
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