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 Post subject: Deville's KNP Trips: Nov 2006
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 9:08 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: 71 km from KNP
We changed our booking from Tambotie to Pretoruiskop for our stay on Saturday night and was the biggest mistake I could have made. (Later about that) :evil:
We again went looking for the baby Impala this past weekend and found about twelve in total. :D Unfortunately we had to leave at about 3 o’clock on Sunday because of heavy rains.
I am leaving tomorrow morning early for a day visit :twisted: to see if more of the moms had enough of their 194 – 200 day pregnancy :roll: and thus cannot finish my trip report but have to post one of the photo’s I took. :wink:


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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:31 pm 
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Location: 71 km from KNP
Had a great trip today, but not many more Impalas have had their babies. :cry: I still have to convert most of the photos but have two more for you guys. :cam:

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@Gwen, did get some but not as many as I would have liked. :(

@DB, not sure how old, the mother and lambs are still separated from the herds, so I would guess about one or two days. Mothers keep them away from the herd for a max of three days. :thumbs_up:

@Mark, Pretoruiskop won’t see us in a hurry but will explain later. :evil:


@lisa, thank you :wink:

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:44 pm 
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Location: 71 km from KNP
4 November 2006

We left Nelspruit at 4:35 as usual and arrived at Malelane 10 min before the gate opens, vehicle no 7 in the queue. :D Only one person on duty again, we were informed that the others where apparently toy-toying for no apparent reason? :evil: We only got going at 6:00 and not very happy. Because we lost time I decided not to drive up Steilberg but kept on the H3 to Afsaal. We saw some ellies on the mountain and no photos, to far. Just before the S118 was the first sighting of a baby Impala, unfortunately mom and baby took-off before I could take any decent photos. :cry:

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Before Renosterpan we saw this Hyena pup on the side of the road but also disappeared into the den as soon as other cars stopped. :wink:

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At Afsaal we saw our first Leopard (tortoise) grazing next to the road, at least this guy couldn’t run any ware. :twisted:

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After our pit stop we took the H2-2 to Pretoriuskop and saw 5 herds of Buffalo, 2 about 300 strong but also no good photos.

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We got to Pretoriuskop at about 8:30 and decided to book in early so we could get a nice bungalow. Very helpful staff had us back on the road in no time. :D We decided to drive to Transport dam and that would kill time till 12:00 until we could collect our key for the bungalow. Just outside camp we found a mother Warthog with three babies, one very small.

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Not much along the road. At Transport dam we found this communal nest in the tree on the waters edge. There were three bird species utilizing this nest, Masked Weaver, Egyptian Goose and Redbilled Buffalo Weaver which made for a really nice photo.

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We had some breakfast at the dam and had a small heard of Impala drinking after which we decided to take a slow drive back to camp. About 5km from the dam we found a couple of cars parked on the side of the road. Four Cheetahs relaxing under a tree, we spent a good 40 min and 1.5 gigs of photos with them. :twisted:

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I do have about 75 photos but can’t post them all.
They eventually got up and started moving off in the direction of the dam, but by now we had enough vehicles at this sighting to fill the parking at JHB International Airport, so we decided to head back to camp. We took the Napi boulder loop and found this White Rhino having an afternoon snooze.

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Unpacked and relaxed in camp till 4:30 for our afternoon drive. The afternoon drive brought us some Kudu at Shabeni loop, Chameleon and our second sighting of the babies on the S3. :wink:

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End day one

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:59 am 
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Thank you anne-marie,Cees & Nico

Cees wrote:
Deville wrote:
We changed our booking from Tambotie to Pretoruiskop for our stay on Saturday night and was the biggest mistake I could have made.
Yep now I understand the mistake................ I also hate it when I see a communal nest utilised by three different bird species.......... Or a snoozing White Rhino.................
And most of all.......... I hate to see four Cheetahs relaxing under a tree :


Ok maybe now is a good time to explain myself. The staff at Pretoriuskop was wonderful and I did not have a problem with them. :lol:
We paid for a bungalow on the perimeter and ended up in No. 118, you can just see the perimeter fence past No. 117. :evil: Bungalow 118 line of site from the veranda is straight towards the swimming pool fence which is still a good 40m away and imho is not a perimeter fence. Maybe we are spoilt with camps like Tambotie, Byamiti, Talamati, etc., but if I pay more for a perimeter bungalow, I do expect to at least be close to the fence. This was unfortunately not the first camp it happened us, but had similar experiences at B & Dal and Lower Sabie. I do think these bungalows should not be sold as perimeter, but at the cheaper rate. :wink:

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Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:49 pm 
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Location: 71 km from KNP
Ok that’s enough griping from me. :x
Day two was better for birding after a very overcast, windy and cold day one. :wink:
We left camp at 5:15 and headed out on the H1-1 to Skukuza. The first couple of km was very quite. At Sithave dam we found this youngster with a funky hairdo. 8)

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On route this Wahlberg’s Eagle posed for a photo, not much on this road, but did find the resident Klipspringer on the rock outcrop at the t-junction with the H-3. :)

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We decided to do the loop S112 – S114 to Skukuza. We found this Martial Eagle on an anthill but otherwise nothing else major to report on this road. :x

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Quick pit stop at Skukuza, we then decided it was too early to go to Lake Panic, so we did the loop along the H1-2, H12 and back on the N4-7 (H4-1). Lots of general game on route, on the H12 we found a big heard of Buffalo in the thickets on their way to the Sabie river. A couple of km further we found a car parked next to the road and the conversation went something like this. :lol:
“Lion.”
“Where.”
“Do you see that dead tree on the horizon, next to it is a green bush, just to the left of that a dry bush and they are lying under it”
“Thank you, that’s well spotted”
“Not really, it is a pride of about 12 and they where next to the road and moved off to that spot five minutes ago”
:evil: This was one of two sightings. Photo as proof

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We then found this Hooded Vulture on route to Lake Panic.

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At Lake Panic we identified a total of 22 birds and these posed for photos and this Common Duiker. :D

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Image Pity about the reed!

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People with very noisy children arrived and we decided to move on. :evil: We took the H11, S1, S65 and H1-1 to the H3 on route to Byamiti area. On the S1 we found this baby Impala with mom, umbilical cord still dangling from its stomach. Mom and little one was very nervous so I couldn’t take nice photos.

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As soon as we reached the H3 it started raining and at Kwaggaspan I saw these Zebra enjoying the rain. The first guy smiling all the way. :lol:


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We diverted from the H3 onto the S113 and S23 (Byamiti loop) because the rain started following us and it seemed that it had finished raining in that area. The resident Crocodile was having its afternoon snooze at Byamiti weir and a Dung Beatle hard at work

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Just after the turnoff to Byamiti it started raining heavily again and it did not look like it would clear up soon, so we decided to take the shortest route to Malelane gate. Back on the H3, we saw this Blackheaded Oriole and found these White Rhino at the S120 turnoff.

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We exited the Park at about 15:00 and headed back to Nelspruit.
Another successful trip to the KNP.
:D

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Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:27 pm 
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Location: 71 km from KNP
For the past two years I have had a standing arrangement with my brother-in-law and a friend that we would do a day visit every second Thursday of the month until a couple of months ago when he started a new job. :evil: He decided to take a days leave to do one of our trips on Tuesday 7/11/06.
Arrived at Malelane gate at 5:15 and had our first cup of coffee. This time there were 3 people on duty and got us going in no time. :D We have a specific route planned for every trip we do, H3, S110, S120 (Steilberg for the first beer :twisted: ), H3 to Afsaal. We saw our first baby Impala on S110.

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On the S120 we saw our first White Rhino in the distance and this Hyena back on the H3 close to Renosterpan and a Redbilled Hornbill posed for a photo.

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From Afsaal we took the H3, S113, S23, S26 and S102 to Mpondo dam. On the H3 this magnificent Waterbuck was more interested in something on the other side of the road.

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At Muhlambamadvube dam we found a herd of Blue Wildebeest and Impala, just as we where leaving a herd of about 30 Ellies came to drink water. Without SO not in the car I could take some photos. :D

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Not much to report on route to Mpondo dam except for a lot of general game and our bird count stood at 23. From there we took the H5 and H4-2 to Lower Sabie. On the H5 we found a young Kudu bull that was hit and killed by a vehicle. :evil: There was no vehicle at the scene but sufficient proof in tracks. As soon as we had cell phone reception I phoned Croc. Bridge, they knew about the incident and had a vehicle on route to move it. On the H4-2 at the Sabie river we found a young replacement for Duke on the opposite bank. Not a good photo but will give a good idea of his tusks size. :shock:

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At Sunset dam the Hippos could not decide if they wanted to be in or out of the water and this Grey Heron was trying its luck close to shore.

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Lower Sabie, the time 10:30 and that meant it was time for first Captain of the day, a single for the designated driver (me) :twisted: . From LS we took the H10, S29, S30, and H4-1 to Skukuza. On the H10 we saw a Martial Eagle sitting on a bush and took off with its kill, Steenbuck before we could take any photos :cry: and found this guy demolishing a bush at the intersection to Mlondozi dam. On the S29 and S30 we saw lots of general game including two White Rhino sleeping, Whitefronted Bee-eaters and Ground Hornbills.

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On the high water bridge we saw these Vultures having a bath in the Sabie river and this Warthog was having his beauty sleep. 8)

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A quick pit stop at Skukuza for more Ice, etc. :roll: and then on to Lake Panic. We spent about two hours at Lake Panic with lots of people coming and going. We added 13 more birds to our list including this Water Dikkop with chicks, Dad Dikkop chasing anything that might threaten the babies. They really do blend into the surroundings and these White Face ducks trying to snooze.

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We had our first sighting of Nyala at Lake Panic as well.

We then took the H1-1, H3, S121 (Timfenheni loop) and H3 to Malelane gate. We found more Impala babies on the H3 close to Jock Lodge, further down the road close to Mlambane river and this Redcrested Korhaan on a ant hill.

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At the H3 and S110 intersection we found this baby White Rhino and mom. By now the light was fading very fast and these last shots were taken at iso 800. :wink:

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We had our last Sun downer on Malelane bridge before returning to Nelspruit.
Another tough day in Africa had to come to an end. :twisted:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:53 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:29 am
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Location: 71 km from KNP
Just a short note to let you guys know that we stayed in B&D on Saturday night and will post a trip report soon. Mark should not read this report, that’s for health reasons. :twisted:

Sneak preview of photos. :D

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:41 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:29 am
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Location: 71 km from KNP
We decided on Monday to see if we could get into the park and found place in B&D.
Was at Malelane gate at 5:15 and found ourselves in a queue past Leopard Creek’s entrance. (I think most of them slept there). Well to no surprise we had one person on duty and we only got away at 6:15. :evil: This is a problem KNP should really look into! :evil: The weather was strange in that it was very windy, cold, overcast and it rained on and off, thus not good for birding or game viewing in general, but we where grateful to be in the park and that’s a good enough reason.
We decided to travel up to Afsaal H3, S113, S23 Byamiti Loop, S114, H2-2 and H3.
This was the same Hyena we spotted two weeks ago. :wink:

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One of the resident Rhino on the plains just before Afsaal.

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By now most of the Impala have given birth and there are babies all over, saw these at the intersection of the H3 and S113. :D

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The Dung Beatles are very active and the poor males have to do all the hard work. :twisted:

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At Byamiti weir we found this Blacksmith Plover.

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This guy got stuck in the middle of the road and I helped it off before some maniac decided to drive over it. 8)

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Back on the H3 on our way to S120 Steilberg we found this Ellie.

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On Steilberg we found these Giraffe relaxing. 8)

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We booked in at B&D and were given bungalow no. 12. In camp I took these photos.
Fruit of the Transvaal Gardenia. (Hope my id is correct).


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Whitecrowned Shrike.


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To be continued…. :wink:

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:20 pm 
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Location: 71 km from KNP
At 16:00 we left camp for our afternoon drive and sundowners. We decide to take the tar road S110 to the H3, S114, S118, H3 back to B&D. No major sightings due the weather still being fowl and people speeding on most of the roads. :evil: On the S114 a couple of these maniacs came tearing past us and made it so unpleasant that I decided to rather take the S121 back to the tar roads. :twisted: About 2.5 km from the H3 we came across this pack of 12 African Wild Dogs (4 Adult and 8 Sub-adults) desperately trying to get warm by huddling together. :D The light was very bad for photography so please excuse the quality. :redface:

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They would get up and play for some time, just to lie down again for a while and then they start the whole process from the start. :lol:

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We where fortunate enough to spend an hour with these guys alone. Leaving them in peace we headed back to camp along the H3-1 & S126 and found some other live around in this Natal Francolin and Ellie Bull.

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End day one.
8)

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Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 3:44 pm 
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Location: 71 km from KNP
Day two started of a bit later than expected at 5:00 and we (SO & myself) did a pyjama run. One of our daughters has returned for Varsity holidays and her cousin came with so we left them to snooze a bit more. :) The weather had not changed much during the night but according to our weather service it would clear up later in the day. Nothing mayor on our run, went back to camp to pack up. We decided to head up to Skukuza and spend more time at Lake Panic. Our first sighting on this drive was this lovely White Rhino with quite a big horn. :shock:

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Not that much more to report up to Skukuza, but saw this mother and young Warthog at the cross roads just before camp. :D

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After a toasted sandwich we went to one of our favourite spots, Lake Panic. By now the sun stuck its head out behind the clouds and warming up nicely. The hide was rather full but relatively quiet. This mom & dad Egyptian geese with seven babies, Pied Kingfisher, African Jacana having lunch and lots more birds. 8)

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To be continued….

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Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 4:16 pm 
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Location: 71 km from KNP
After spending about 2 hours at the hide we started our slow drive back to Malelane gate. We took the H11, S65, H1-1 and H3. At N’waswitshaka dam on the S65 a car waved us down and showed us Lions in the thicket. 8) I took a drive down to the waterhole to see if they where more visible from that side but could not see a thing. Drove back to the spot were we could see them. The other car had just left when the eight of them decided to come and pose for us and this is the result. :wink:

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As these magnificent animals moved toward the road a couple of Safari vehicles arrived which meant a lot more would get to this sighting soon and park us in, :evil: so we decided to take some photos and leave. On our way to the H1-1, as predicted came the hoards. :shock: Seems to me the general public have caught on that if they follow these guys they will have good sightings. :evil: At Klipspringer koppies these guys also posed for a photo or two.

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On the H3 close to Afsaal we found this Rhino chewing on a stick, no make it a log. :)

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And then my personal favourite, the baby Impala. :D

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All the trees are a spectacle of colour this time of the year, just a couple of flowers.

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At the Matjulu river we found these African Black Ducks.

Left Malelane gate at 17:00 because some children had to study for exams. :evil:

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