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 Post subject: Eric-Carol - KNP 11th to 18th May
Unread postPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 1:22 pm 
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Just over a week to go and we will be in KNP. :D :D :D Unfortunately we are not staying in the park this time :( although we will only be a few kms from the Crocidile Bridge entrance at Ngwena. Friends from Cape Town will be with us as well.

I would love to hear from anyone who has been in the south of the park recently if they have come across any hyena dens, leopard cubs or sable.

Regards
Eric


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 8:44 pm 
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Sms's received from Eric-Carol this evening:

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Arrived at Croc Bridge after one on Friday. Quick tour along S28 to Lower Sabie and back to CB. Items of note Tawny Eagel, Pearl Spotted Owlet. Only saw two elephants.


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Saturday we left early. No cats today but saw everything else. Saw Pale Chanting Goshawk, Green Pigeon and just below Afsaal 6 rhino all together.

Did not go today as had lunch in Maputo.

Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers.

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A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: eric-carol
Unread postPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 9:46 pm 
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Hi

The Gezantfombi dam is indeed dry.

We left the park last Sunday at Crock bridge. We had a nice sighting of a leopard baking in the sun on top of the dam wall.

Hope you enjoy your trip


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Unread postPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 8:28 am 
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Sms received from Eric-Carol last night:
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Saw a big pride of lion with cubs along S25. Of big 5 saw 4 today. Still to see a leopard. Have a good evening!

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Unread postPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 1:16 pm 
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Yes!! There is news Katy!!!
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Morning! Cool quiet day yesterday. 3 female lion early am and 3 very distant cheetah late pm.


Holding thumbs for that leopard sighting!

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A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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Unread postPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 1:18 pm 
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Bush Baptist wrote:
There are no PCG's in Kruger, DB, must have been a Dark one - which I have only seen once or twice!

Oh OK! Eric-Carol will have to confirm that with you :D

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 8:56 pm 
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SMS via DinkyBird (her lines are down)

Eric-Carol wrote:
Finally! At ten past five on the Hippo Pool road we saw a leopard. Saw about twenty rhino today but no black rhino.


20 rhino :shock:


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Unread postPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 4:45 pm 
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Hi everyone,

We are back from our trip to KNP and surrounds. :( I will do the trip report during the course of the week.

Bush Baptist wrote
Quote:
There are no PCG's in Kruger, DB, must have been a Dark one - which I have only seen once or twice!


Quite right - It is a Dark one!! I have a few pictures of birds which the experts will have to help with when I get round to posting them on the forum!!

Regards
Eric


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 7:56 am 
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Time to start the trip report :clap:


KRUGER NATIONAL PARK TRIP 11th – 18th MAY 2007

FRIDAY 11th MAY 2007

Friends of ours had flown up from Cape Town the previous day. We had done our shopping and preparations and were set to go. As usual I did not sleep very well in anticipation.

From Durban we drove through Swaziland and reached Crocidile Bridge just after midday. The trip had taken us just under 7 hours at a leisurely pace.

A quick stop at the entry gates and we were in the park and on our way to Gezantfombi Dam to relax and eat lunch. Unfortunately the dam was dry :( so we decided to take the S28 and have a late lunch at Nhlanganzwani Dam instead. From there we made our way to Lower Sabie before returning to Crocidile Bridge along the H4-2.

Sightings along the way were rather sparse and interestingly we only saw two elephants. The most interesting sighting was a Terrapin crossing the S28 in search of a pool of water. Image

We saw a large number of Burchell’s Coucal’s on this trip, at least 4 or 5 every day. Is this usual for May? Image

Close to Lower Sabie a Tawny Eagle (being a novice at birding, please correct me if I have incorrectly identified any birds) was devouring a kill. Image

By Crocidile Bridge a magnificent Kudu was picking leaves off the shrubs. Unfortunately the light was fading and he would not turn our way. These animals seem to be camera shy!! Image

We had to be out the park by 5.30pm as we were not staying in one of the camps. It is the first time that we have stayed outside the park and I must admit that I much prefer to be in one of the camps. You then don’t have to travel to the gate and go through the check-in formalities every time


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 8:12 am 
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DAY 2 - SATURDAY 12th MAY 2007


Our first full day in the park. Up early and through the check-in procedure by 6.15am. A bit of a shock for our Capetonian friends who enjoy a late lie in!! :shock: :shock: Our route today was along the H4-2 to Lower Sabie. Breakfast at Sunset Dam then along the Salitje Road to Skukuza and Lake Panic for lunch. Then down along the H3 to exit through the Malelane Gate with quick detours to Transport Dam and the S118.
The road to Lower Sabie started off well when we saw a couple of white rhino. The rest of the road was quiet in the early morning with the only bit of excitement being when we stopped by a car only to be told that we had just missed a leopard. :( Sometimes it is better not to ask what people were looking at!!

At Sunset Dam we were entertained by some Hippo’s on the far side, especially two young ones that were running around. It was interesting to see the different colouring of the young ones. One looks quite pinkish!! Image

While eating breakfast, a water monitor popped his head out from the shrub next to us to see if there was anything for him!! Image

By the dam a Threebanded Plover kept his eye on us. Image
The Salitje Road was very quiet until the last part. I was very excited to see a Dark Chanting Goshawk which made the trip worthwhile. Image
A few buffalo were grazing peacefully just before we reached the tar road. Image
Soon after joining the highway to Skukuza, this raptor was perched on a branch surveying the Sabie River. I could not get a shot of it from the front but hopefully someone can identify it from the following sideviews. Image Image
Off to Lake Panic for a peaceful hour. Birds spotted included Grey, Goliath and Blackcapped Night Heron, Pied Kingfisher, Water Dikkop, Whitefaced Duck and African Jacana. Their large feet are ideal for walking on the waterlilies. Image

To be continued


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 1:43 pm 
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Thanks Wild-doc and BB for the ID on the Martial Eagle. I was a bit unsure as it did seem to be smaller than the other Martial Eagles I have seen.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 2:06 pm 
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DAY 2 - SATURDAY 12th MAY 2007 (Continued)

From Lake Panic we made our way to Transport Dam after a quick pitstop at the Kruger Gate. Apart from a few waterhole watchers, the only item of interest was a waterbuck settling down for his siesta. Image

At Afsaal we hunted for the Scops Owls and finally found them fairly high up in the trees. Just after leaving Afsaal we saw 6 rhino in the open veld. They seemed to be two groups of three. It is the first time I have seen so many rhino in close proximity of each other. The picture is a bit far but it was the only one with all of them together!! Image

Along the S118 green pigeons and a juvenile bateleur were soaking up the afternoon sun.
Image Image
Not long afterwards a giraffe was licking his lips after the tasty meal he had just had.
Image
As the sun was going down we decided to exit through the Malelane Gate. Doing the last stretch of the S25, one of our favourite birds was also soaking up the last few rays of sunlight. Image

On the Malelane Bridge we watched a crocodile in the water current with an open mouth waiting for a tasty morsel to swim past. As we were watching, a smaller croc seemed to catch something and it was making a strange sound as it was maneuvering it in its mouth. We finally worked that it was a plastic bottle that it had “caught”!!.

No cats today but a very sucessful day nevertheless.

Eric


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 2:52 pm 
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DAY 4 - MONDAY 14th MAY 2007
For those wondering what happened to Day 3 – Sunday, we did a trip to Maputo as we had not been there before. Excellent prawn lunch on the waterfront. Only problem was coming back at the border post as all the migrant workers were also checking through so there was a bit of a delay. Anyway it was a good experience.

Our route today would take us from Crocodile Gate all the way along the S25, the H3 up to Afsaal then across to the S114, up past Biyamiti Weir and onto the S26 back towards Crocodile Bridge. It was an early start and we were about fifth in line at the starting gate.

Soon after turning onto the S25, the remains of an impala were lying in the bush. There were no animals or birds around. The ribs seemed to have been picked clean. Image
A martial eagle was warming up in the early morning sunlight. He was a bit far so the picture is not too clear. Shortly thereafter a juvenile Bateleur was weighing up his options.
Image
Image
The S25 was very kind to us this morning as a little further on we came across a large lion pride relaxing by a water hollow. Someone said that with the cubs etc they had managed to count 17 lions in total.
Image Image
The lions must have had a feast during the night (they must have to make a kill daily to sustain the large family!!) as round the corner vultures and eagles were cleaning up the remains.
Image Image Image Image
The Lappet-faced vulture was on the ground picking at the remains of a rib. The Tawny Eagle chased the juvenile Bateleur from a tasty morsel it had in the tree and thereafter the Bateleur really seemed to be trying to focus on anything else that was in the grass. On the other side of the S25 senior Bateleur was resting.

Will be continued
Eric


Last edited by Eric-Carol on Thu May 31, 2007 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:13 am 
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DAY 4 - MONDAY 14th MAY 2007 (Continued)

Carrying on along the S25, Grey Louries were out in force. This monkey was relaxing in the crook of the tree. Looking at his back, it seemed as if he had been in a bit of a scuffle.
Image Image
Before the end of the S25 we also saw buffalo and elephant, so we had seen 4 of the big 5 in the space of a few hours as we had passed a few rhino in the distance.
Image
Along the H3 to Afsaal, an eagle was waiting to take off. I would be obliged if someone can identify it for me. It was a bit far so the picture quality is not very good.
Image
At Afsaal we found the Scops Owl again. He blends in so well with the tree that you have to look hard to find him. It was a warm day and although it was not yet half past eleven, this rhino was resting in the sandpit at the exit from Afsaal.
Image Image
A couple of buffaloes were having a drink at Biyamiti Weir. It was the first time we had been along this stretch and we loved the weir and surrounds.
Image
Along the S26 and finally I managed to get a decent picture of the loveliest of birds, the Lilac Breasted Roller. They always seem to fly away just as you are focusing on them! When I think about it, most birds seem to do this. I suppose that is what makes it so rewarding when you finally manage to get a decent picture.
Image
This impala had been a bit too robust during the rutting season!!
Image
As we departed across the Crocodile Bridge, a Moorhen was scratching for food.
Image
After a very successful day :D :D we left to go and have a late afternoon braai.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 2:56 pm 
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DAY 5 - TUESDAY 15th MAY 2007

A sightseeing day. We traveled to Sabie and had lunch by the Bridal Veil Falls. We did go back to Komatipoort through the park entering through Kruger Gate. Apart from a quick stop at Lake Panic, we kept to the tarred road. It was a very warm day with the temperature in the car registering over 35 C till very late in the afternoon and game was rather scarce.

At Lake Panic a Greenbacked Heron was waiting among the weeds for some food to come swimming past.
Image
On the way to Lower Sabie we did see a lone buffalo, some giraffe, the usual impala’s and this steenbok pair.
Image
Just after Lower Sabie the elephants were busy doing what they do best.
Image Image
With the lack of game to take pictures of, we experimented with the sunset.
Image Image
It was a hot and quiet afternoon and the one consolation is that the beer went down very well!!
:D :D


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