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Jay visits Kruger...again : Dec 06

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Jay
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Jay visits Kruger...again : Dec 06

Unread postby Jay » Sat Jan 06, 2007 2:17 pm

We didn’t stay in Kruger, but travelled in and out regularly as we were 1km from the Paul Kruger gate, so this report will once again be anecdotal according to the pics.......also because I didn't write down when and where I saw everything, like Gwen suggested :redface:
The day we arrived, flying in to KMI airport, we drove through the park (in Phabeni gate, out Kruger gate) in the most AWESOME thunderstorm! It poured with rain, lightning flashed continuously around us and the thunder shook the ground. We travelled very slowly as rivers were gushing down the roads. The first animal we saw was this tortoise. Turns out all the tortoises head onto the roads when it rains to drink water.
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So, we mostly travelled back and forth along the road to Lower Sabie as I have developed an addiction to the toasted mushroom and feta sandwiches served there. The park was full of babies: baby impalas, monkeys, birds, ellies, blouwildebeest….
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Unread postby Jay » Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:05 pm

And, of course Lake Panic was a regular haunt. We spotted Grey Heron, Black-crowned Night-heron and the babies are Egyptian geese…in case you are impressed with my ID’ing of baby birds: I hadn’t the foggiest idea what they were until mommy goose dive bombed a poor little moorhen who got too close to her brood. I did wonder what on earth an Egyptian goose was doing desperately trying to balance in a tree; apparently the tree was a good lookout over her precious babies!
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Unread postby Jay » Sun Jan 07, 2007 7:43 pm

A mommy bushbuck and her youngster also paid the lake a visit. We sat dead quiet as it drank just a few feet from us. The pic of mommy and the young one was just so idyllic I couldn’t resist. Somehow it looks like a scene from woodland somewhere in Europe, rather than the African bushveld, doesn’t it?

I have to mention that while we were all sitting so quietly, an absolutely beautiful little girl, dressed in the frilliest little white dress, let off the most impressive fart…..we all howled as her poor mother turned bright red.
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Unread postby gwendolen » Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:10 pm

Maybe this is the mother? :D

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Unread postby gwendolen » Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:11 pm

Eh, mother bushbuck. heehee

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Unread postby Jay » Mon Jan 08, 2007 7:39 pm

We saw lots and lots of ellies. The first pic was taken at Sunset dam, an entire breeding herd had come down for a drink on a rather hot day. The second pic aint gonna win no competition, but zoom in closer and check out some of the ellies rolling in the mud!
And more ellies….and more ellies……yes, I am happy to report I am slowly but surely overcoming my fear….mostly.

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And yes, we saw leopard, yup, not a great shot, but it is a leopard. If anyone is going to Kruger soon, this is apparently a resident female, found about 2km along the S3 from the Paul Kruger Gate side. She was spotted 3 days in a row a little up and down from there.
Btw, only our vehicle and the one behind us spotted her; she lay a while, then got up and slowly walked off, melting into the dense bush…just before the 3rd vehicle arrived. Timing is everything in the parks isn’t it?
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Unread postby restio » Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:52 pm

Thanks, Jay! :thumbs_up:
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

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Unread postby Jay » Tue Jan 09, 2007 9:45 pm

Rescue 911: on the S128 we came across this poor couple with the bonnet up. We stopped and helped, but unfortunately they had to wait for a tow truck as there was something in their fuel tank….that smelt like cold drink?!
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And we saw Sable!!!! Yeah…with a white rhino hiding in the bush directly opposite.
Actually on the same day we spotted Nyala on the tar road from Skukuza to Lower Sabie.
No pics, they were down in the bushes along the riverbank, but still so nice to see!
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On the way to Lower Sabie on one of our drives, we crossed the river and back again. Here we spotted this giant Kingfisher sitting on the rail. We could pull up so close, I could have reached out and touched him. I was so surprised we could get that close as the combi is a rather noisy car!
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This hyena we saw along the road to Phabeni gate, she looked rather stressed and we wondered if she was not close to giving birth as her stomach was very large and distended. She disappeared down into a gulley, so we will never know…
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Unread postby Jay » Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:37 pm

This little Steenbokkie posed so sweetly in front of the pink flower…and then promptly bit the flower off!
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And his royal highness was well aware of his regal stature and posed endlessly, pretending that he was quite disinterested in our firing cameras. We saw one of the biggest troops of baboons I have seen in Kruger that day. It spread for quite a length of the road and caused quite a traffic jam too!
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And yet another baby. On the way out of the park (to the airport) we drove in yet another thunder storm and we came across a large herd of zebra, wildebeest and impala. The impala were ecstatic with the rain and were leaping up and down. It looked odd though as they were behind some bush and every so often they would suddenly appear above the bushes. And one of the zebras was rolling around in the mud, all four hooves in the air. To be honest, it had been hellishly hot and I felt like doing the same!
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This pic was taken at Lake Panic…of course
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Unread postby Jay » Sat Jan 13, 2007 6:05 pm

We did see lion on 2 different occasions, both times a little far for the capabilities of my camera but nice sightings none the less. Once on the opposite river bank on the road from Skukuza to Lower Sabie; 3 females lay right next to the water, one was fast asleep, her one paw in the air…you know, I’m sure if one were close enough you could hear her snoring. The second group was on the road to Phabeni gate, just after we had seen the leopard; a male and three females lay in the grass, doing what lions do best during most of the day…nothing.
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Another incident which springs to mind is, just after we had entered Paul Kruger gate we came across a small troop of Vervet monkeys, we stopped to take pics when suddenly the whole bunch sprinted into the bush. We looked behind us and there stood a Parksboard bakkie….hmm, I’m thinking this was perhaps a bunch of monkeys who frequent picnic spots!
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And this was the last creature I saw before leaving the park…
It was a wonderful, glorious holiday; I added 4 new birds to my list: Violet-backed Starling, Burchell’s Starling, Jacobin Cuckoo, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird. It was hot, no denying that, but the thunder storms broke the heat periodically and it also seemed to keep the park from becoming too crowded, in fact it seemed rather quiet….perfect :wink:


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