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 Post subject: Baz's Kruger Adventure 2006 - The final chapter !!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:47 pm 
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Well, almost there, only 10 days until we head down under for our trip to the Kruger and Cape Town. Personally I can't wait, my 1st wildlife trip for 2 years and first to Africa since Botswana in 2001.

My wife will be on her 1st safari, and is hoping to see Giraffe, Monkeys and Elephants. Hopefully not too demanding :lol:
Thanks god she hasn't said Brown Hyena, Roan and Black Rhino !!!!!

Me I'm hoping for Wild Dogs and Leopards again, and new ticks of White Rhino, Klipspringer and as many night animals as poss.

DB will be posting my sightings providing we can get a pay as you go SIM card at the airport, Thanks in advance DB for this.

I will post full reports and piccies when we return in early August. Certainly hope we get some good sightings with the amount of camera gear I'm carting along with the forest of printouts from this forum !!! I spy some excess baggage charges !!! :lol:

Finally if any of you Kruger Vets have any last minute suggestions of things to take , we may just find a bit of extra space !! : :? Also any suggestions for things not to miss in our 5 days in Cape Town, esp Wildlife viewing suggestions.

Oh and we must not forget our Yellow ribbon, hopefully to be spotted by bert, Freda etc


Last edited by Baz on Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:48 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 3:47 pm 
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Well in just under 20 hrs time we head off for the first time to the KNP.

Must admit when I booked the trip last October I did'nt realise the intervening months would be so difficult !!!

Anyway bags are now all but packed, camera's charging and passports ready.

We leave tomorrow about 10am and arrive in Nelspuit about 12 noon on Tuesday, so after a bit of shopping at Madelane we should I hope be in the park about 3 ish. We are flying via Frankfurt and JNB with Lufthansa and South African and hopefully we won't be too tired following the overnight flight ](we have managed to get upgraded using airmiles to first class) :) :D :lol:
We are planning to take our time to Biyamiti and hopefully have some good early sightings. :o

Will hopefully send DB our first SMS when we arrive in Nelspuit providing that we find a Pay as You go card


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 4:31 pm 
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Apologies all for not SMS sightings. To say we had a nightmare 1st 24hrs is an understatement, what with delayed flights causing missed flights, damaged baggage, blocked mobile phones hust to name a few hurdles to our first day !!!

We were unable to get a pay as you go sim card to sms DB as our mobile had been blocked in the UK. Anyway we are back home on wednesday so I will start to post our sightings and reports then. Thankfully we had a superb time in the Kruger, loads of sightings with the top being a very brief sighting of a mother black rhino and calf about 6:45 am in dense bush by the last low bridge before the tar heading west on the S3. Not sure who was more suprised us or them !!! The mother had a large gore wound on her left side that had obviously been caused by another Rhino, so I would be interested if anyone else has seen this pair. Only disappointment re this sighting was that it was so early in the morning and happened so quick that we were unable to get photo's still we have the memories. We also had 9 lion sightings (inc 2 on the road), 3 Leopard sightings plus Sable, Side striped Jackal, plus rest of big 5 . Missed Wild Dog and Cheetah though !!!Full reports to follow


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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:39 pm 
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OK now back home, and sifting through a couple of thousand pics !!! The Vosonic was certainly a good buy, I didn't realise I'd taken so many.

Anyway whilst I try to make sense of everything here's a pic to wet your appetite, and also see if I can post them properly :lol: !

One question if somebody can help me how do I put a text box over it to copyright it ???

Anyway hopefully the pic is below, reports to follow with more pics

Image


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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:03 pm 
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Tuesday 18th July 2006

Well off we set from sunny Preston, in the UK for our first trip to the kruger flying via Frankfurt to JNB with Lufthansa then to Nelspuit with SAA.

To say we had a disaster getting there !!!! :(

First Lufthansa left Frankfurt 1 1/2 hours late meaning we missed our connection then when collecting our luggage at JNB found they had kindly put a nice big hole straight through a brand new case !!!!! :twisted:

Anyway after a further hour they finally sorted it out almost !!!

This meant that we arrived at Nelspuit at 2;30 and as we wanted to do some shopping at Madelane along with a bit of wildlife watching on route to Biyamiti, we headed off in our hired, half cleaned VW Combi.

Must admit the Combi is a great vehicle if there is only two of you !!!! :lol: 8) Nice and high plus if you have a sighting on one side it has easy access to the rear seats !!!

Anyway after picking up some shopping and and completing the gate formalities we had arrived !!! :) :D :lol:

See decidedto take the S114 then the S25 folowed by the 4k to Biyamiti

It wasn't long till the sightings began with guess what ........






















Yep Impala !!!!!

Image

Rather than show pics of every sighting I will avoid mentioning Impala, hornbills (all 3 flying ones), squirrels, Lilac Brested Rollers, Magpie Shrikes, Grey Louries etc which we saw every day on almost every road !!! I will list 1st sightings of the trip in bold

Anyway sightings were as follows with the Black Shouldered Kite by far the best, hovering for quite a while before dropping into the long grass.

Unfortunately due to the fading light we didn't see anything on the 4k road.

S114
Impala, Lilac Brested Roller, Magpie Shrike,
S25
Giraffe (x1), Vervet Monkey (x2), Grey Lourie (2 x sightings), Tree Squirrel, Tawny Eagle(2 sightings), Black Shouldered Kite


Finally we met the new 'stephen' and checked into our cottage number 4. That night was spent listening to lions in the distance, the adventure was starting ..............


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:35 pm 
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Wednesday 19th July 2006 Sunrise Drive

Our first full day in the park and we start it off by getting our eye in with an organised Sunrise Drive. Starting off at a chilly 5am we head out with the truck to ourselves and the guide.

we take the following route

S139

Impala

S25

Our first Elephant heading down the road, a large male, then in an instance disappears into the bush !

Other sightings were White Backed Vulture, Red Billed HornBill, more Impala and Common Duiker

Image

S102

Suddenly a crack of wood, and 4 White Rhino appear at the roadside. We sit and watched them for about 20 minutes before heading on where we also see our first Hammerkop.

H5

Steenbok (x1), Zebra (x7), Yellow Billed Hornbill

We get Back to the camp about 9am, and spot a Black Collared Barbet aswell as a Crested Barbet and glossy starling.

Image

We also have our first mystery bird !, Any help anybody ???


Image[/b]


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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:05 pm 
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Wednesday 19th July 2006

After having some breakfast we dcide to head back to Madelane to pick up some things we forgot and then to cover the roads around Berg En Dal.

We first take the 18k stretch of the

S139

Within the first 1k we see 2 large Greater Kudu Stags followed by a further 8 females in 3 more sightings along the road.

Image

We also find another Duiker

Image

However whilst observing this little chappie we felt like we were being watched. Sure enough my wife suddenly screamed 'look a rat !!!' pointing down outside her window.

I moved across to see a friendly face peering up !! :lol: A Dwarf Mongoose !

Image

Also along this road we see Steenbok, Tawny Eagle, Vervets and our first Brown Hooded kingfisher

We then move on to the following roads

S114

Crested Barbet & Burchells Starling

S118

Along the S118 we find another 3 White Rhino carefully stood in the road. Again we sit and watch them until they allow us to pass by moving off the road

Image

We also see Steenbok , Impala, Zebra, Giraffe (x2), Emerald Spotted Wood Dove

H3

Kudu (2 fem), Giraffe (x2), and our first Buffalo (x1) and Grey Heron

After lunch we head round the Berg En Dal area heading to the Matjulu watering hole.

On the

S110

We see our first Blue Wildebeast (x5), Slender Mongoose (x1), and a puff adder crossing the road. We also have the normal Impala, and 2 Female Kudu.

At the waterhole itself we see 5 elephant drinking .

We then head back along the S120 (Impala) and see another White Rhino on the S114 along with another Slender Mongoose.

The 3 White Rhino from earlier are still in the same place some 4 hours later on the S118 as are the Giraffe !!!!

As we head back the H3 gives us nothing whilst the S139 18k provides another slender mongoose, kudu (3xm,1 x f), elephant, and 2 Bushbuck right outside the camp.

We also have another black collared barbet

Image

That evening we are kept awake by a mating pair of lions who were apparently in the river bed. My wife was convinced they were on our veranda !!!!! So much so she almost convinced me !!! :lol:


Last edited by Baz on Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:07 pm 
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Freda

Think You may have me on this, I've just checked the book again and suspect it may have been a Brown Hooded Kingfisher instead. See what you think (not a good picture I'm afraid)

Image


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:14 pm 
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Freda wrote:
I think brown hooded :wink: nice one to see :D


Thanks, comparing it to another we saw in Olifants and which is a better pic I think you are correct


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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 9:45 pm 
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Thursday 20th July 2006

Following our sleepless night, it seems that the whole of the Biyamiti camp has searchlights looking in the river bed for the lions ahead of the gate opening. We decide to head towards Hippo Pools as it is in this direction it sounds like the lion have moved. We are unsuccessful, however hear later on that they are seen on the S139/S25 junction at 7am, 10mins after we pass !!!

Anyway on leaving the camp we get 300 yrds up the S139 and find 4 more White Rhino. we sit watching with another car as we wait for daylight. We then head on seeing more Duiker, Impala and Kudu before reaching the S25.

On the S25 we see a pied kingfisher at the low bridge and then our 1st Baboons cross in front of us. A bit further 4 Warthog are foraging for food. We also spot a Bateleur in a tree. Other game on the road includes 4 Kudu (2xm 2xf), Impala, Dwarf Mongoose, a couple of Slender Mongoose and a White Backed Vulture on a nest.

Image

As we approach the pools we see 20-30 vultures circling the pools. The ranger says he thinks a leopard has made a kill in the reeds on the other side, but we can see nothing. We see our 1st Crocodiles and Hippo at the pools

As we are in Skukuza tonight we decide to drive the S139 one last time. However no suprises this time and we only see Impala, Kudu, Elephant (x4) and 2 more Warthog.

We also see another Bird that we need help identifying ? Possibly a Crowned Plover ?

Image

We then decide to drive the Biyamiti loop but see nothing except a croc sat on a bank right next to the weir.

Image

We then head south on the H3 to Asfaal for some lunch. Just after joining the road we spot what we think is a Lizzard Buzzard in a tree and spend 15 mins trying to get a pic. How costly this was to be !!!

Image

After moving on about 500 yards we spot two cars pulled up on the verge, as we approach we see they are looking into the bush. As i look I see the white underpart of a tail walking from the road. We had just missed a leopard cross the road !!!! A bit further on we get our Leopard, well a leopard tortoise crossing the road to Renosterpan !!!

Still as we turn for Skukuza we see more Zebra (x5), Kudu, Impala, Blue Wildebeast (x1), another Rhino, Dwarf Mongoose and finally 2 x Southern Ground Hornbills struting up the road.

Image

As we arrive early we decide to drive up the H4-1 to the bridge and back. Here we see a big troop of 25 Elephants in the river followed by another 6 later on. We also see a dozen or so hippo, Impala, 2 female Kudu, 4 x Warthog, 2 Bushbuck and 25 or so Baboon all sat along the road. Our first Helmeted Guinea Fowl are also on this road

Image

Image

Image

The day ends on a sad note as we watch a bushbuck on the riverbed inch it's way along the bank. It had obviously injured a hind leg which we feared would be it's downfall once night fell. :(


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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:19 pm 
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Friday 21st July 2006 AM

Another early start as we leave camp at 6am and head for the S3, Sabie River Road. A road that I had read quite a bit about. Things started well with two sleeping White Rhino on the junction with the H11. We take our time as the only car on the road then as we approach the last dip before the tarred section at about 6:45 am there is a crash in the bush next to the road, and I see something put the breaks on. As I reverse to give this animal room to cross a black Rhino appears, about a 1/2 of the size of a white and very stocky, acting like a bull in a china shop. It is clear that has been to the river and now wants to cross the road to the safety of the dense bush on the other side. Soon we see why as it has a large single puncture in it's left side caused obviously by another Rhino but pink so healing. Then to our amazement a second smaller Rhino appears and runs into the bush. The whole incident takes 25-30 seconds max so by the time I have stopped the car and reached for the camera it is all over !!!

We continue along the S3 with 6 seperate Bushbuck sightings, Impala, and 4 x Buffalo.

Image

Birds wise we see a Bateleur in a tree, 2 x Hammerkop and a couple of white backed vultures.

Image

Image

As we cross the S1 we decide to head for Mestel. Here we see our first 2 Waterbuck, A pied Crow, Hippo, crocs and on the road out a family of dwarf mongoose.

As we turn for Pretoriuskop on the H1-1 we see a car stopped on the left, as we approach we can just see the curved antlers and head of a male sable. by the time we stop it is gone. We then have a late breakfast in Pretoriuskop.

After we did the Fayi Loop spotting loads of plains game where the new green shoots were coming through. Kudus, Zebra, Giraffe are all spotted along with Tsessebe.

Image

We head back via a very quiet S7 (Ie Nothing ), and an S1 that provides a 50+ herd of Buffalo, Impala, three lots of zebra, an elephant, Vervets and a couple of Warthog. We then arrive at Skukuza for a late lunch.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:01 pm 
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Friday 21st July 2006 PM

We leave Skukuza at about 3pm and head along the H4-1.

Sightings include Giraffe (x1), Impala, Helmeted Guineafowl, Vervets, Warthog (x6), Ellies (x25 and x 5), Kudu (x1) and Baboons.

We try a number of the gravel side roads But still no cats !!!!

Rather than drive the same route back to camp we decide to take the S21 which has very little water due to the N'watimhiri being dry. We see impala, a couple of slender mongoose and 4 Blue Wildebeast but that is it until we pass Siyalu where we see one car parked up. As we approach we see the belly of our first Kruger lion !!!

Image

In all there are 4 of them all lying in the sun near the road. We sit for about 30 mins watching the occasional head move but little else. For the whole time there is just ourselves and the other car. With one eye on the clock we leave the lions to their naps about 5:10 and head back to camp. Due to the distance we have to drive at the speed limit making further sitings impossible !!!

We arrive back at the cottage to find that we have been burgled !!!! The thieves have stolen 3 apples and a chocolate bar from the fridge and leaving our meat on the floor. My wife blames kids, but surely kids would have pinched by beer aswell !!! I suspect baboons / vervets !! :wink:


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 5:06 pm 
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Saturday 22nd July 2006 Pt1

We have a long drive to Olifants today, but as ever I am keen to get out of the gate at 6am and check the Skukuza/Sabie road. We are first along the road and see only Warthog (x2), two lots of baboon, slender mongoose, bushbuck (x2) and ground hornbill until we are stopped by a ranger about half way along. He tells us of lion about 3k down the S30.

We head straight there to find a pride of 12 have just crossed the river to the Sabie side. We watch them playing on the rocks but they are too far for photo's. As they are moving towards the road we decide to cross back over the river to see if we can find them. Alas no joy !!! :(

We head back towards Skukuza via the S76 finding a couple of warthogs who practise fighting for us :shock:

Image

Then as we head along the H4-1 we spot some more Lions in the river bed. This time it is a male, female and 2 cubs. The female and cubs soon move to long grass so we are unable to see them, the male however stays put. It soon becomes apparent that he is sat on a kill, as a number of white backed vultures keep landing near him and when they do he chases them off ! :o

Image

Even so we sit and watch them for the best part of 40 mins until the crowd of cars suggests we should move on ! :wink:
(Bert I'd hoped you may be one of these :redface: )

We then start heading north via the

Maroela Loop

Warthog (x2), Steenbok, Duiker, Giraffe (x2), Buffalo (x2), Hammerkop

Image

H1-2

Giraffe (x5)

We then stop for breakfast at Tshokwane. No sign of the baboons/vervets though.

Refreshed we head up the H1-3 seeing Buffalo (x4), Waterbuck (x 13 and x 2), Elephant (x5), Wildebeast (x3), Girafe (x5) and Zebra (x20).

I am keen to drive the famous S100 so we decide to take the H6 first. This road is quiet today, as we see what we think is our first African Grey Hornbill, along with a nice Elephant (x1) in the river , Wildebeast (x20), Giraffe (x4) and Zebra (x9 and x1)

Image

We then take the Gudzani road to the S100. on this road there is a lovely ford where we see Terrapins on the bank, some Zebra(x8), a croc and two lots of as yet unnamed birds (help please ??)

Egyptian Geese ???
Image

Black Crake ??
Image

The S100 starts promisingly with plenty of plains animals. However this is as good as it gets as the predators stay away from the road or our van at least !!! :cry:

On the S100 we see Elephant (x2), Blue Wildebeast (x2, x20 and x8), Giraffe (19 in one go !!!!! then another 3 sightings of 1) Zebra (x12, x20, x2), Warthog (x2), Waterbuck (x6), Vervet, Kudi (x1) and Impala.

I'll do part two later this evening


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:55 pm 
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Saturday 22nd July 2006 Pt2

After leaving the S100 we continued up the H1-4 towards Olifants.

This gave us more Ellies (x4), Impala, a herd of 20 x Kudu, Zebra, Wildebest, Slender Mongoose and at Ngotso a herd of around 150-200 Buffalo. Think these may be the ones Katja saw on her trip ! :?

Then as we approached the Olifants high bridge a Giant Kingfisher was sat on the bridge observing all below !

With that we headed to the camp, marveling at the view from our cottage.

We were visited by another Hooded Kingfisher, as well as a red winged starling and the ever present YBH. :wink:

Image

We even had a troop of Baboon pass along the fence.

Image

Then about 3.30 we headed out for a late drive, with only one desination on mind thanks to Katja's previous visit, and were we lucky.

As we headed south of Balule we came to a water duct with a stone wall held together with mesh next to it and there lying in the sun was an adult hyena.

Image

We sat patiently and sure enough suddenly 1, then 2, then 3 small heads emerged from under the road !!!

Image

Image

Image

We sat and watched the cubs for about an hour. Each certainly had it's own personality, esp the one constantly playing up by biting it's brother/sisters.

Image

One even decided to show us a bone he had found !!

Image

Then as if to ruin the whole moment one of the other pups decided to show us a bone he had, trouble was he had previously eaten it, but back it came in two 3 inch pieces right in front of us the same way it had entered the little cutie. Never mind thought one of the others I'll roll in it !!!!
:shock: :roll:

Image

Let me know if you want any more cubs posting !!! :lol:


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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 8:12 pm 
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Thanks everyone for your kind comments.

I am planning to put more photo's in a later days report, and also on a website which I am building at the moment , www.picofthewild.co.uk.

However in the meantime

Image

Image

Image


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