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 Post subject: Doug and Michele 's trip to Kruger 1 - 10 June 2006
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:02 pm 
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This is just a brief report of my first trip to Kruger in June last year (2006). I did not know much about trip reports then so therefore did not do one. But now that I am a forum junkie I would just like to share a few of my special moments in Kruger.

1st June 2006
We (my SO and I ) left Cape Town at some horrible hour in the morning. We flew to Phalaborwa via Johannesburg. Our trip went without a hitch. We landed safely, organized our hired car and hit Phalaborwa for a brief shopping spree…. bottle store, butcher and P and P.

http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2i1eeep

We arrived at the Phalaborwa gate with enough time to take a leisurly drive to Mopani. Not long into the drive we spotted elephant and buffalo. Birds and impala were plentiful and we had one brief but good sighting of a lioness
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2w69xd5
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2jga643

I thought the accommodation at Mopani was great, the view of Pioneer Dam was spectacular and we had the entire restaurant to ourselves. Food and service were great.

http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2e37vcy

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17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:38 pm 
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Thanks everybody. I am glad you are enjoying the video clips.I am enjoying doing this report because I seem to be reliving my trip again. Maybe there is something to be said for doing a report 9 months down the line.
Right, on with show !

2nd June
We decided to leave the camp early and go for a drive before packing up. We saw waterbuck, hornbills and LBR. Not many photo opportunities…either bushes in the way or the light was not good. By now I had realized that game viewing in the Kruger was vastly different to what I was used to in Kgalagadi. Spot the animal and then spot the animal move behind the bush…so frustrating. I was extremely happy with the following photo of a hornbill. As you can see I use it as my avatar.

Image

We went back to pack up and then moved onto to Bateleur Bushveld Camp. We had 2 nights booked here.
En route we came across a grumpy elephant. We had stopped and reversed because I thought I had seen baby elephants in the bushes. Well the baby elephant had disappeared and mama elephant appeared instead.
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=4bzmovp
Bateleur was wonderful. I decided there and then that bushveld camps were for me.
I spent a wonderful afternoon ( while SO had afternoon nap) watching the birds and squirrels squabble over whatever they could find. We set off in the late afternoon to explore Silwervis Dam and Rooibosrant Dam.
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2q9dzpu
This must be the most peaceful place on God’s earth. There were no other cars there and we just sat and listened and observed. Lots of birdlife as well as crocs and hippos.
Image
We enjoyed a very quiet evening listening to the nightsounds, watching the stars and wondering what the next day had in store for us.

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:08 pm 
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3rd June
We decided to head off in the direction of Shingwedzi. We spent a while sitting at Silwervis Dam and Rooibosrant Dam We had many good bird sightings.
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2niptuq
We decided to have lunch at Shingwedzi…lovely camp
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2vtcc49
We then headed back to Bateleur and had some great sightings on the way. I didn't quite know what kind of snake I was videoing but back at Bateleur I learnt that it was a rock python. That is another thing that I enjoyed about the bushcamps is that there was always somebody on hand to answer questions for you. I found it very difficult to find somebody in the larger camps to answer my questions
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2yzc55f
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2ykz1uf
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=4i5hphg
A little rest was called for in the afternoon and thereafter a quick drive to Silwervis and Rooibosrant Dams again. It was amazing to see the wildlife at Rooibosrant Dam. Wherever you looked there was something happening. I had immense pleasure watching a jacana and her chick running around on top of the water plants. Poor chick had a hard time trying to keep up with it's mommy. It was bit far away to get on video..sorry :cry:
Eventually we dragged ourselves back to camp and had the usual braai with the usual liquid refreshments!!!
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=4gs0mz7
I must admit Kruger was growing on me.......

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:40 pm 
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And on with the report....

4th June

I left Bateleur with mixed feelings. There was still so much to see but Bateleur had really impressed me. I think I could have stayed there forever. We went via Silwervis and Rooibosrant Dams yet again.....
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2mx4cnk
We then continued to Letaba where we would spend the next night. I think it was here that I finally made up my mind that bush camps are way better than the bigger camps. I just don't cope very well with lots of people around me. I also found that the chalets were really close together. I could honestly hear the man next door snoring.... I don't suppose it is his fault that I am an insomniac. Nevertheless it was a lovely camp and the tame bushbuck on the lawns helped me to cope with the snorer of note. I also found the museum very interesting.
We had seen many animals and birds during the day namely, wildebeest,zebra, ostriches, saddle billed storks, elephant and waterbuck. We also enjoyed watching 2 Egyptian geese chasing a crocodile.
Image
Image
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=358z6v7

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 6:17 pm 
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5th June
Tlme to move on. Our next stopover was Talamati Bushcamp. We saw many animals along the way but as yet we had not seen leopard or rhino. One very exciting sighting for me was that of sable. We saw 3 adults and 1 young one walking quite far away through the bushes. I managed to get one or two photos just to prove that I had seen sable. By now I was also thoroughly enjoying watching the birdlife. I had added quite a few first timers to my birdlist.
Image
Image
Image
I really enjoyed Talamati . It was quiet and peaceful and we saw quite a lot of game in the dry river bed. The bushbuck was too quick for me but I managed to get the ellie on camera
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=35213wh
I spent a wonderful afternoon being entertained by the resident birds (SO having aftrernoon nap again ). There was one hornbill in particular that was very friendly. I think he would have quite happily fed off my plate if I let him.
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=3zvfhaw
We went on a night drive that night but we did not see much. Apparently there had been a leopard sighting the night before. I always seem to miss the leopard sightings. Our guide also told us that in winter it is better to do a sunset drive than a night drive because it is so cold and the animals seem to hide away. Oh well, we would remember that in future.

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:00 pm 
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Katydownunder: Apparently Sable are quite often sighted returning to camp along the S145...I wish you luck. :lol:

6th June
I think what I really enjoyed in Kruger were the magnificent sunrises and sunsets. I kept trying to tell myself that I should stay in camp one morning and try to get some photos of the sunrise...but I never managed it. I was too scared that I would miss out on some action along the road. So you will have to make do with a video clip.
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2lcbvgm
The first little bit of action that we had was a snake in the road. Unfortunately it was dead. I had no idea what kind of snake it was but I have since been told that it was a juvenile boomslang. I would never have been able to identify that.
Image
We then came across a huge troop of baboons . They were still sitting up in the trees and waking up. This was highly entertaining.There were many young baboons that were a lot more wide awake than the adults and spent their time pestering them. The adult baboons were not always too happy with this ( I can certainly identify with pesky kids that won't leave you alone in the mornings )
Image
Image
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=43h0nlw
We had many wonderful sightings that morning. We saw quite a few ground hornbills and waterbuck.I was still awe with all the birds that I was seeing.
Image
All the animals and birds seem to be very lethargic. It had been rather cold
through the night and they seem to be taking their time in warming up. We headed back to Talamati for lunch and SO's afternoon nap. I once again was entertained by the resident birds. We headed out again in the late afternoon and the animals still seemd to very peaceful and relaxed.
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=49j91lx
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=42l7h9x
Yet again we had an amazing day in Kruger. Our next stop was Skukuza. I had mixed feelings about that. Talamati and been so quiet and peaceful...but where oh where were the leopards and rhinos. :?: :?: :?: We had had not one sighting of these elusive animals :cry: :cry:

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:01 pm 
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And how right you are..Gunner!
7th June
We left quite early in the morning....I suddenly realised that we were already in our second half of our stay in Kruger and that was not a happy thought. We saw loads of animals and birds on our way to Skukuza. We had a quick bite to eat for lunch and while So was having yet again an afternoon nap I walked around the camp. I really enjoyed watching the bats under the thatched roof at the takeaway restaurant. There were lizards and butterflies everywhere. Marabou storks flew overhead. I then rounded the afternoon off with a shopping spree of note in the shop. I remember thinking to myself that that would teach my SO to spend the afternoon sleeping.
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2dbm3cn
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2luxe28
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2wd55oi
The afternoon drive was very productive indeed . We started off at Lake Panic. There were hippos and loads of birds. Also loads of photographers with really huge lenses. The hide was a bit crowded so we left and not far along the road we eventually saw a leopard. He was lying right next to the side of the road. Just before we drew up alongside him he popped his head up. The car that was driving in front of us did not see it. This leopard was all ours :lol:
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2vhtzzc
We were now very happy. Now we had narrowed the wish list down to wild dog, rhino and hyena.
I cannot remember where we saw the following but we came across an antelope carcass with terrapins ( I think that is what they are called) feeding on it. Ugh !
Image
We saw plenty of water monitors ( newbie for me ! )
Image
as well as a lovely sighting of a klipspringer
Image.
Then we came came across a long row of cars in front of us. We guessed that something must be on the go and what ensued was absolute chaos. There was a lioness with her 2 cubs walking in the road. The first few cars were being really well behaved by keeping their distance when all of a sudden the cars from behind us just overtook and pushed their way in front. I actually could not believe what was happening. Well the lioness took one look at this car and promptly walked into the bushes with her cubs hot on her heels. So some jerk :twisted: had spoilt the sighting for everybody. Unfortunately for me but luckily for him I did not get his registration number. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
We must have been about ten minutes out of camp when we came across a spotted hyena lying next to the side of the road. Another one ticked of the wish list :lol:
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2udvoz9
All in all we had a great day in Kruger.....we rounded the day off with a really tasty meal at Selati Restaurant :lol:

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:27 pm 
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Thanks Ollie and Restio for compliments :lol:

8th June

Our plan of action was to go straight to Lake Panic hide. It was rather overcast and looked like it was going to rain. Well, the hide was empty..no huge lenses...and so was the lake empty. I cannot believe that things can be so different from one day to next. There was not a bird, not a hippo..only a few insects. I left in a huff. :evil:
We did have many good sightings of all the usual things and eventually we found a rhino. He was so far back in the bushes so I was not able to take a photo of him. Never mind a sighting is a sighting ...I could now tick off rhino....which just left wild dog on the wish list.
WE popped into Lower Sabie and the heavens opened...I thought Kruger received rain in summer. It was still raining when we continued our journey but it soon stopped. We then saw loads and loads of birds, albeit bedraggled ones.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
It started raining again but we still saw many animals...just did not lend itself to photography though.
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2nixwmu
Eventually the rain did stop and the sun came out for a while and so did some other creatures.
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2m5f5hd
Image
Driving back to camp that evening I realised with a heavy heart that I only had 3 more nights left in Kruger. :cry:

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:04 pm 
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Thanks all for comments..now let's get on with report :lol:

9th June

We were now on our way to Biyamiti...only 2 nights left. I was ready to leave Skukuza. There were far too many people there but it does serve it's purpose. I had another go at the shop....my SO should really learn not to sleep in the afternoon. I was looking forward to Biyamiti...I had read so much about it .
Our first sighting was of a group of ellies.They were quite relaxed and so we were able to watch them for quite a while. We then saw 2 side striped jackals....another first for us. Unfortunately they did not hang around for a decent photo shoot.
Image
Next on the list was a bunch of lazy baboons ....
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=40kx72a
Then all of a sudden the rain came down again which wasn't a bad thing because all the birds came out to dry themselves when the rain stopped
Image
We made our way to Renosterkoppies and as the name implies we started to see rhino. They were still hiding in the bushes but just before we got to Renosterkoppies a mother and baby rhino ran across the road. I managed to get the tail end of it on video
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=43zf7er
The view from Renosterkoppies was magnificent.
Image
We were also entertained by a mischievous monkey. He was terrorising everybody and he eventually made off with somebody's lens cap.
Image
We eventually arrived at Biyamiti and it was as everybody had described it...awesome. I definitely have to go back there.
We had booked a sunset drive and we saw quite a lot of the usual things. A highlight was seeing a hippo right next to the side of the road. I found that strange because in my opinion he seemed to be very far away from water. Apparently hippos can wander far away from water during the night. I would have liked to see another leopard but no such luck. Yet again the leopard had been spotted the night before :cry:

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:56 am 
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Ok, now I am very confused. I can neither find my little note book that I used to record everything while on the trip nor can I find my large map of Kruger. I am just going by what I did on my dvd.....does Renosterkoppies Dam have a picnic area The photograph was taken from a thatched shelter looking down on the dam...... :?: :? :?:
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=42uwazb

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 2:57 pm 
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MM: I could watch my Kruger dvd over and over again. It just brings back such awesome experiences. It never fails to remind me how really privileged we are to be living in a country like South Africa :lol:

10 June

Time to move out of Biyamiti and on to Malelane where we would spend our last night :cry: :cry: :cry:
We saw lots of wildlife as well as lots of cars...oh well we can't have it all I suppose.
We enjoyed Biyamiti Weir immensely...loads of birds
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2lidffl
We eventually had a decent sighting of rhino
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=4cjn9ll
It was very busy in Africa that day ..it was almost as if the animals were coming to say good bye to us :cry:
Image
Malelane was a great little camp. I did not enjoy the view of civilisation though....it reminded me of where I would be heading the next day :cry:

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 3:18 pm 
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11th June
We had decided to do one last drive before we hit the road to Nelspruit. We had a plane to catch so we did not have much time.
Our last game drive was tremendous.....see for yourself :lol:
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=4g5dovd
What can I say :lol: :lol:
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=42wgf82
I suppose all good things come to an end.....but I have to go back to Kruger because I never did get to tick off wild dog. I suppose that excuse is as good as any...what say you forumites ? :lol: :lol: :lol:

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:27 pm 
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Thanks Toddelelfe and Anne -Marie


Quote:
enjoying your amazing trip report and lovely pics.
your magnificent view is Mlondozi,not Renosterkoppies


Had a look on the map and now I am even more confused. Mlondozi Dam is north of Lower Sabie off the S29. We were on our way from Skukuza to Biyamiti and I remember stopping at Afsaal......that tells me it is Renosterkoppies Dam. Unless we went the long way round.
So where was my photo taken .....anymore offers ?????

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:39 pm 
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michele nel wrote:
Ok, now I am very confused. I can neither find my little note book that I used to record everything while on the trip nor can I find my large map of Kruger. I am just going by what I did on my dvd.....does Renosterkoppies Dam have a picnic area The photograph was taken from a thatched shelter looking down on the dam...... :?: :? :?:


It looks like Mlondozi Dam to me Michele, a lovely little picnic area and view site east of Lower Sabie.
Have loved your report, pics and video clips.
Thanks so much. :D

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