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 Post subject: Sharifa in KNP : 3-12 January 2007
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:48 pm 
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Location: Centurion, ZA
We entered from Phabeni gate promptly at 5h30 and made our way towards Skukuza on the S1. Stopped at Lake Panic for breakfast which we enjoyed in the company of Egyptian geese and African Jacana. We then headed for Tshokwane and saw the usual impala, giraffe, zebra and Ellies on the way. After a leg stretch we decided to do the short S32 Orpen dam loop which is always productive and sure enough there was a pride of lions feeding but some distance from the road.

First night was at Satara and searching for the Scops owl was fruitless for once. The next morning we took the S100 and came across a magnificent pride of lions made up of three males, four females and eight cubs of various sizes. Lions were sprawled all over the place and we enjoyed the spectacle for an hour before we returned to camp and lazed around till late afternoon.
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On the afternoon drive we headed for the Girvana waterhole and were fortunate to see an AWC. Decided to return to the S100 and were caught up in a traffic jam no further then 4 km in due to a leopard sighting.
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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 1:20 pm 
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Location: Centurion, ZA
The next morning we took the S100, S90 towards Olifants. The cubs from the previous day were still on the S100 and having an early morning frolic which kept us entertained for an hour.

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We also saw some nice hyena and giraffe en route

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and just before Balule came across a leopard hunting. Made our way to Shimuwini where we were to spend the next two nights. Found this to be a delightful camp with a lovely setting although game viewing is slow. This snake seen outside our cottage (any ideas on which snake it is?)

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:00 pm 
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Location: Centurion, ZA
“Shine” is the friendly and tame duiker which is resident in the camp and moves about from cottage to cottage and “listens” attentively when spoken to.
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For those who have not stayed at Shimuwini, this photo was taken while relaxing in bed with a novel during the hot part of the day. All the cottages overlook the letaba river. Enjoyed watching hippos and waterbuck while reading, and as Boulder says the birds are great (will read your report Boulder)
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Although we did not see much game in the area we found the camp most relaxing and the stay was worthwhile as we saw this handsome cat.
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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:54 pm 
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Location: Centurion, ZA
Hello Arks. This was our first time at Shimuwini and we had decided to stay here after reading your report on Shimuwini. We were in cottage 9

Hi Macho Mouse – we have had wonderful luck with cats but have not seen wild dogs in five years and will give up some of the cat sightings to see roan, caracal and a honey badger in KNP. I’m not complaining though as each trip has its special moments and there is always something to return for.

Thank you Elsa.

The next two days were to be spent at Bateleur, one of our favourite camps. On checking in we got the customary “welcome home” from Lazarus. On the first afternoon drive we were lucky to see the Sharpe’s Grysbok near Silvervis dam.
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The next morning we headed towards Babalala hoping to find Sable and Roan, no such luck but did see another Grysbok on the H1-6. We returned to Bateleur on the S52 and in the midday sun came across another LOG. Spent a good hour with the cat. Very lucky to see our fourth LOG for this trip. (Sorry Macho Mouse :redface: )

At first it just seemed to be strolling along,

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Then went into stalk mode as there were impala ahead

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Then disappeared behind some bushes and was not seen for about 15 minutes and the impala were edgy all the time and snorting. We waited expectantly for this burst of energy to erupt from behind the bushes………..



………but the impala crossed the road and moved off.

Shortly thereafter the cat reappeared 10 meters ahead of where we were parked, crossed the road and settled down under a tree for about twenty minutes,


Then got up and disappeared into the distance.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:48 pm 
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Location: Centurion, ZA
We also spent a lot of time at Rooibosrandt dam hoping to see sable and roan (Lazarus had informed us that a herd of 15 roan antelope was seen at the dam two days before). We got to see a huge herd of Ellies on the far bank………………..

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………………………..and although we had all our ducks in a row on the near bank…


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…………………………………we did not get to see the rare antelopes!

The ducks however kept us amused as they squabbled with the other water birds and the elephants were a delight to watch and before realizing it we had spent two hours here.



The next night was at Letaba and we saw three Eland just before we got to Mopani. As always we enjoyed the ellies in the riverbed alongside the Letaba camp. Also got close to the resident bushbucks at Letaba and this little fellow.

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Drove towards Phalaborwa and sable dam still searching for the elusive Sable and also because Wild Dogs had been seen in the area for the past two days. Did not get to see either. Spent some time at Sable Hide which looks like a wonderful place to spend a night or two. On the return trip to Letaba we saw three cars parked off, all occupants looking intently to one side – we had missed a leopard crossing the road by a couple of minutes (even the magnet fails sometimes Macho Mouse)


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:58 pm 
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Location: Centurion, ZA
The next morning we headed towards Satara and saw our first porcupines in KNP, about 3km from camp. As we scrambled to get some shots they rustled off to a culvert under the road. Our final night was in Tamboti (also the first time we were staying here –thank you, Arks) which we found to be another delightful camp. An afternoon drive and a drive the next morning to the Muzanzeni area still non productive as far as Sable was concerned. We then headed to Thsokwane and decided to take the H10, S128 and S30 to Skukuza.

The H10 was very productive as we saw numerous ellies, zebra, two rhino, wildebeest, warthog, impala, kudu and baboons.
A wonderful white rhino on the S128 which continued feeding alongside the road and did not mind us at all.

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We were now on the S30 and a sudden gloom had descended in the car as we only had a couple of hours left in the park. We were discussing which gate to exit from and because there were three of us we naturally had three different opinions: Phabeni, Malalane and Numbi.

Just as suddenly the gloom was uplifted because we saw…………………………………


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 10:53 am 
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Location: Centurion, ZA
………………………………. two magnificent and regal sable antelope.

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Our best sighting of this antelope as our previous sightings (only four in all) were some distance from the road. We had done all the hot spots for sable and our persistence finally paid off.

Hope the wait was worth it Freda, Matthew and Bouf. Boulder the leopard was seen on the northern side of the R52 Red Rocks loop and about 9 km form the H1-6 intersection.

Made our way to Skukuza and then the S1 to Phabeni.


Ellies, rhino and buffs on the way out.


Another memorable trip.


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