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 Post subject: Niknak's Wednesday in KNP : April 2007
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:16 pm 
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With yet another long weekend around the corner I decided that today would be a better day to visit Kruger than over the holidays. I needed a Wild Fix bad.
I entered the Park through Numbi Gate at 6 turned left onto the S1 and made my first stop at Mestel Dam. Birds and the hippos were the only creatures there greeting the sun. I then turned right onto the S7 to find the first of many white rhino that I found. A mixed grouping of giraffe and zebra were the next to be found. I drive around the Shabeni loop before heading for Pretoriuskop for a takeaway breakfast. Apart from more zebra, rhino, steenbok and a few impala the bush appeared to be very quiet. Around Pretoriuskop there has been a fair area of the bush burnt. These areas are now green and lush with many of the animals grazing in them. I also noticed many depressions holding water and believe that this casual water must be available throughout much of the south.
After picking up the breakfast I went up the Napi Road (H 1-1) towards Skukuza. The first sighting on this road was a mixed group of what I believe were tsessebe with impala and a lone steenbok. I expect to find lichtensteins hartebeest in this area but the horns of these animals were not right. Once again there were not very many animals within sight of the road. Two lone elephants and a family group of white rhino were the counterpoint to the breeding herds of impala and the many steenbok all visible in the burnt areas.
At Shitlhave dam a lone water buck stood as a sentinel on the dam wall watching a couple of hippo and a water monitor. Even the water birds seemed to be thinner on the ground than normal.
Transport dam was not much better with water buck and minimal numbers of birds so I decided to go south and left the Nape road for the H3.

Will continue the report and post pics over the next few days

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:26 am 
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I am having a spot of bother getting the pics loaded to ..... for hosting.
Managed these two earlier.

Tsessebe?
Image




Early morning rhino
Image

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:04 pm 
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Thank you for the feedback. Yes BB it is great living so close but one has to guard against taking the park and all it is for granted.

I will work on the photos later but will do a bit more of the report now.

The H3 was as quiet as the Nape Road and only birds, impala and tortoises were seen. I was most upset at the numbers of small tortoises I saw crushed on the roads! Do drivers aim to kill anything on the roads?
Not being a convulsive(compulsive?) twitcher, often forgetting to record my sightings, I have made no attempt to mention the birds viewed.
I took the S 113 to join the Biyamiti Loop (S 26) and eventually to visit the Biyamiti Weir the scene of many a good sighting. I have also found (black) hooked lip rhino in this area in the past so was hoping for that special sighting!
The loop was very quiet and apart from what one of the “Jeep jockeys” referred to as general game there was not much to see. The river in most places is a sandy strip with a lot of lush looking vegetation. Up on the banks every depression was filled with water. The area appears to have had rain but not enough to have a visible flow in the river.
The weir was very quiet and a solitary black crake was working the reeds.
I turned onto the H2-2 to get to Afsaal for a snack and a ritual visit to the Scops owls.
About three kms from the tar I saw movement at the side of the road in front of the car and stopped. What I thought I had seen was possibly one of my best ever sightings but the elusive creature had slipped back into the long grass. With the motor switched off I waited to see if it might reappear. About 10 minutes later a caracal (rooikat) stepped out of the grass and proceeded to examine the scents along the road side. The cat spent close to 10 minutes in the road and only left when traffic came from the other direction. The excitement of the sighting was fantastic but it is at times like this that I wish my SO shared my love of the bush! I visited and recorded the Scopsies, did not bother with the snack and decided that it was time to head home.
The trip home was a blur all I wanted to do was to get home talk about the caracal and down load the pictures.
And still no Yellow ribbons!

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Last edited by niknak on Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:41 pm 
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A few more pics loaded. :thumbs_up:

More Tsessebe?
Image




Steenbok
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Lofty

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:42 pm 
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And the biggie!!

Caracal

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Image

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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:25 pm 
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A few more pics. :lol:



Scops at Afsaal

Image




Caracal in bush


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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 6:47 pm 
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Do impala use their ears as a means of communication? Look at the ears in the second picture. Each of the rams has his right ear down.

Image

Image


Thank you for the comments. :lol: :D

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Unread postPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 11:57 am 
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Bush Baptist wrote:
Great caracal niknak. it's not just about lions and the big 5!


You are so right there! I spent more time on the two impala rams than on any of the solitary rhinos that day.

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