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 Post subject: WAC In KNP
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:08 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 4:10 pm
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Location: SA
Hi everyone, got back a mere few hours ago, not too happily though, wish I was still there, but there is still May so....

I will begin the trip report ASAP. :D

3 nights Sirheni
1 night Letaba

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:59 am 
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Day 1, Part 1

April 6th 2007

We were in the car on the way out of Joburg by 3am. We were very aware that there was going to be a lot of traffic by a church we passed people call Moria. We watched the sun rise over the horizon as we were driving throught the traffic. We passed the church after gasping in awe at how many cars and busses there were. They stretched on for at least a half km.

Our journey continues through beautiful mountainous regions. As we were driving, I spotted an eagle on a post. My dad was very sweet and stopped next to the road. We had a look through the binocs, and I saw one beautiful bird. The first Long-crested eagle I have ever seen and it was stunning. We also passed some vervets, some parrot that flew off before an ID, and my sis aparently saw a Samango monkey in a tree but I'm not so sure.

We arrived at Phalaborwa gate around 9-10. We went in and , after quite a while of driving, we saw our first spotting of the trip, impala. We were driving for a long time, as we had to get to Sirheni. Now and then there was an hour or more of nothing. No animlas, no birds, nothing. We did see: Buffalo, Saddle-billed Stork, Waterbuck, elephant coming out of our ears, zebra and baboon.

My family and I are Saddle-billed Stork magnets. We saw tons of them. My dad made a competition with us. Whoever spots the first giraffe wins a chocolate bar of choice. I hoped I would spot it!!!

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 11:15 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: SA
Day 1, Part 2

April 6 2007

We finally arrived at Sirheni. :dance: We had been on the road since 3am and arrived at 5pm. We were all exauseted but so excited to be back at one of our favourite camps. We unpacked the car and enjoyed the river view. Just before entering the camp we had come across a male nyala marking his territory. At Mooiplaas we had seen a purple strork that disappeared before we could ID it. There was also a croc in the water who looked like he was standing on his tail, which I think he was.

We heard via the lady in reception that there had been a recent sighting of two leopards by hut 15. We stayed at hut 11. We made a huge fire and admired the setting sun. We noticed that there were no millipedes around. In December, they were everywhere! My dad and I walked along the fence for a while. We saw an African Jacana, White-faced duck beginning to roost, A Goshawk taking off and egrets yet to be identified.

We were eating our braaied potatoes, rump and salad when the neighbors began to sing. Ok, we didn't mind at first but they just kept going! Singing and singing and singing, It was driving us mad!!! :evil: It was disturbing the sound of nature and chasing everything away! So after persuading my dad to go and complain for 5 minutes, he finally did. They became silent and we could enjoy the sounds of the bush.

My favourite thing of the day was looking up to the stars. There were so many, it blew my mind. There wasn't a half cm of sky without a shiny speck. Another day in Kruger, another day in paradise... 8)

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:31 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: SA
Day 2, Part 1

April 7, 2007

We woke up at 5 and left at about 6:30. We were driving for ages and saw absolutly NOTHING. We finally spotted a group of I think 3 impala. As it got late my dad said, "It's desperate when you start counting the impala, and even more desperate when it fits on one hand. :lol: :lol: :lol: "

I was staring blankly out the window, hoping there would be a leopard in one of these trees, when I saw a shape and called for my dad to stop. It's funny, if he had stopped a second later, we would have missed something great. It was vervets in the tree. My dad said something and as he did I saw a greyish colour next to the tree. As I looked, I saw what my dad had seen. A couple of Giant Eagle Owls!!!! They were beautiful. As a noisy car approached, one of them flew off. The car left as the other began calling and calling for the one who had flown off. It soon took off. The vervets had been completly forgotten... :lol:

We had also seen: a bateleur nest with a chick in it :shock: , A fish eagle, Swansains Francolin (I think the spelling is wrong), Yellow-billed Stork, Goliath Heron and Brown-headed Parrot.

As for the animals...We had counted 14 impala before we came to a big herd and decided to stop. That was late morning...We also saw eli, buffalo, monkey, Baby bushbuck all alone in a dry riverbed it's mom probably amoung the reeds, Impala fighting, waterbuck, zebra.

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:53 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: SA
Day 2, Part 2

April 7, 2007

We were going to Shingwedzi through the back entrance. We crossed the river. That was a lot of fun. Along the edge of the concrete where the water falls to the other side of the river, there were HUGE crocs waiting for fish. We stopped right next to them. They were huge, absolutly massive. There were also Hamerkops fishing and mating, The Yellow-billed Stork and Goliath Heron I mentioned and a lot of other birds.

We had an enjoyed breakfast at Shingwedzi. There was a bushbuck there too. We went back to camp after a long day. We arrived at 5. It surprised me how dark it was. I had to charge my camera desperatly and if you have been to Sirheni, you will know, there are no plug-points. And we had forgotten the adapter :redface: . My dad needed to put the ice in the communal freezer so we began our walk to reception.

I was admiring the bush around me so much, I didn't realise I was at reception yet. Near reception, there is another path. My dad suggested we take that one as it might be faster. I gave my battery in and my dad put the ice in the freezer.

We began the walk down the path. We were not even 10 meters down when I heard a rustle. I looked sharply and stopped. I saw a tail and tried to show my distracted dad. It was one LONG tail for a lizard. I wanted to see it again so I walked forward a little. Little did I know, this was no lizard but a snake. It shot out of the small grass bush and across a clearing. I called my dad. He only saw the tail. He ran after it and got nettles all over his legs. He thought it was an Aurora snake but he was wrong. It was a Stripe-bellied Sand snake.
It was SUPER fast!!!!
Legnth: Average 90cm
Distribution: All over Kruger
Habitats: Dry Savannah, common on rocky outcrops
Habits: Dirunal, flashes away at great speeds into thick vegetation when stumbled across. Bites and struggles when captued and remains nervous when captive.
Food: Mainly lizards
Harmless to humans.

That was a great way to end another day in Kruger. 8)

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 2:47 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: SA
Sorry :redface: Was caught up in school work and the wait for Lebombo trail...

Day 3 Part 1

My dad tried to wake me but I didnt wanna know. This is the wrong day to be sick, Easter morning. I got up and managed to get everyone else up. We had an awesome search for eggs, my sister finding most of them. This was really cool, we had never done it before. There were eggs everywhere, up trees, in the car, and in the hut. We were entertained for hours and only thought about a drive at about 7. It was cloudy but not miserable at all. The roads weren't very busy at all, and for good reason. No game. We did see a lot of eli and 2 big herds of impala. We went back to Shingwedzi but the crocs weren't there today. We went on a hunt for the tap in the tree in Shingwedzi camp. It was broken when we finally found it. :(

We saw my favourite birds, Red-billed Wood Hoepoe and left feeling happy. On the way back we came across 2 bull elephants without tusks and one with only one tusk. We came to a troop of vervet monkeys. The car in front of us had a little child hanging half out the window and screeming his lungs out at the vervets. My dad yelled at him to get back in his car and when the dad got angry, he told them that if they didn't like the rules, they shouldn't come. My mom drove off in a hurry. :lol:

My dad fpound 7 giraffes and now we owe him a choclte bar! :( Oh well...then I made a competition to whoever finds a wildebeest first. We had a delicios dinner that night, my mom made me some tea as I still didn't feel too good. I saw the boerawors as it caught fire. It was so funny watching my dad put it out. That actually tasted nice. :lol: :lol: We had a wonderful night and a wonderful day. :D

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:32 pm 
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Day 4 Part 1

I didn't feel much better today but I managed to get out of bed a lot quicker than usual. My sis and I snuck off for 5 minutes while my parents were packing the car. The smell of stagnant water is repulsive but the wildlife makes up for it. There were some white-faced ducks nearby. We got back just as my parents finished.

We never see a lot of game in the Mopani area. As for my compitition, my mother spotted the wildebeest. Now I owe her a chocolate too! As we approached a pan without a name, we saw a 'car crowd'. We thought straight away it was a leopard. I was shocked to see it was only some tssesebe. But they are so stunning and rare, so we enjoyed the sighting too. They had 2 adorable little ones.

Part 2 to follow.

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 5:16 pm 
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Location: SA
No, I'm in the midst of dress rehearsals for our play and about to write exams.. :(
Will carry on one day at a time :D :D

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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