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 Post subject: Long weekend in Punda : May 2007
Unread postPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 8:21 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:44 pm
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Location: Limpopo
My family and I were privileged enough to visit Kruger again. This time it was Punda.

We entered the park at Punda gate on April 6. That is after we visited some friends the morning at 5h45 en route to Kruger. And they were not even cross with us!! Farmers are early movers.

The trip was a family gathering. My brother, sister and their SO’s were there. We lost our mother earlier this year, and we children decided to make this an annual gathering to keep up the family ties.

In general, the bush looks good, although there are areas that are dry. The game was scares, but the experience great. After all, this is the northern parts of Kruger.

Friday afternoon we did the Mahonie loop (S99) around Punda camp. We didn’t see much, but the Pod Mahogany trees are magnificent. We saw Baobab trees who already lost their leaves, others are coloured yellow and some are still in full summer clothes.

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We also saw an impie with abnormal horns, but he seems very happy among all the ewes around him.

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Saturday

We started our day very well, with lions just outside the camp. They became a regular feature and on every game drive we did during the weekend, we saw them. Lion as regular as impies!! Wow!!

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We took the tar road, H13-1 and H1-8, to Pafuri. On the way, we didn’t see many animals. The birdlife though is another story. My brother is a keen birder, and we were not disappointed in any way. Some of the birds we saw for the day were Village Indigo bird, Brown Snake-Eagle, Little Bee-Eater and White-crowned Lapwing. Being a novice birder myself, I learned a lot from him. We stopped at a drinking hole, where there was “nothing” at the hole. We started looking for birds, and after a short while, we saw plenty of species.

Imho, Pafuri is the most beautiful part of Kruger. SO says she will put my ashes there one day!! I won’t mind.

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Obviously we saw lots of Nyala’s. They are all over the place. Amasingly, the ellies were scares. This one was quite close to us.

Image Image

The rest to follow later.


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Unread postPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 9:34 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Hi guys, thank you for your responses. J n P, I don’t actually have a lot of lion’s pics, but here is another one.

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Sunday and Monday

We started our day with the usual lions. Apparently an ellie upset them earlier, and they were moving around a lot. No pics this morning from them. We took the H13-1 and H1-7 on our way to Shingwedzi. We enjoyed our breakfast at a windy Babalala. The drive to Shingwedzi was quite.

The drive back to Punda was more rewarding, although the hours on the road caught up with SO. Luckily we drive a camper.

ImageImage

We took the Mphongolo loop on the bank of the river. This drive was rewarding in the sense that we saw many ellies and general game. The best sightings were these ellies drinking from holes they made in the sand.

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We came across this Sandgrouse and a big herd of Buffs.

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Unfortunately no pics of the buffs. We ended the drive with the usual lions.

The evening we met up with Pieter Steyn and SO, the first forumites we met. Great guy who has the ability to negotiate very well. He convinced his SO to stay another unplanned 4 days longer. Well done Pieter!! We had a wonderful evening with them.

The next day, we left the park at Phalaborwa gate. This was a very long drive, which meant that we couldn’t stop that much. This is not the way I prefer to drive, but it is better to do it this way than to leave the park at Punda gate and do the driving outside the park.

Anyway, we didn’t see that much, although we saw these Hornbills.

Image

The long weekend was far too short, but that is the problem with every single visit to the park. Enough reason to come back again and again….

Till the next visit.


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Unread postPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 11:42 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Hi Richprins
Thanks for the sympthy. She was bedridden for a few months and we believe she is better of this may.

Yes, that part of the park on avarage is dry. The loop around Punda still has open water, and at Pafuri is looks very good on the banks of the river. Apart from that, it is dry, but there is still plantmaterial (grass) all over the area. Not to worry to much at this stage.

Pieter, sometimes I do join her, but then, who is on watch for that great once in a lifetime sighting right next to your car??

Since the Punda trip, I paid a quick visit to the park on last
Wednesday morning. I had to work in Phalaborwa and thus entered the park at 6 o'clock. At 9, I had my first appointment in town. It was very cold, and I didn't see much. I stopped at Ngwenyeni waterhole for a while. Saw all kind of small birds, and these Impies visit me.
ImageImage
This little one is a Golden-breasted Bunting and these doves were not upset with the cold water.
ImageImage



My next visit is DV June 2, in other words, this coming weekend. One just can't keep away from the place!!


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 10:46 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Hi guys

I was so lucky to be in Kruger this past weekend AGAIN. We entered on Friday and came back on Sunday. We camped at Tsendze. It is a very special camp with a very unique atmosphere.

We travelled the H14 four times this weekend! We used it on Friday, and on Saturday, SO had to be in Phalaborwa for a sports event. That meant we went to Phalaborwa and back on the H14, and on Sunday, we left through the same route. We got to know the road!

The gate at Phalaborwa is being revamped, and we will never see the old one again:
Image

Our list of animals looks like this:
Impies, Warthogs, Buffs, Ellies, Waterbuck, Kudu, Zebra, Honey Badger and Steenbuck. Apart from the Badger, it doesn’t seem like much, but this Daggaboy at the Ngwenyeni waterhole was a very nice sighting. And the zebra added to the pleasure.
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I realised how difficult it is to do photography on an overcast day. The light from the sky and the reflection from the water made it almost impossible (for me) to get a decent photo. All the pics are edited and/or cropped.

We had some feathered visitors at the waterhole as well. This White Backed Vulture was apparently drying it’s feathers in the sun.
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And this Little Bee-eater took a bath in the pool, and later joined it’s friends on a branch.
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This visit was our visit of the Kingfisher. I spend a long time at a waterhole with no name, trying to take a decent pic of the kingfisher catching fish. Again, the overcast conditions, me and my aim and shoot camera didn’t produce the goods. I can show you these (cropped) pics though:
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And sometimes it took a break.
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And then this Malachite came along.
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Again, it was a great weekend. Kruger just never disappoints!!

No, it is KTP in June/July!!


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:50 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:44 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Limpopo
Hi Guys

Yes, we are really fortunate to be able to go to the park so often.

What I meant with “not much”, is exactly what you mentioned, BB. It doesn’t seem like much in terms of big 5 or big cats etc., but what we saw were sooo special. You don’t have to see those kinds of animals to really have a GREAT time in nature. If you only focus on the big things, you miss out big time. While we were watching the KF, several cars saw us at the waterhole, stopped and checked it out. They saw “nothing” and left disappointed.

DQ, the waterhole is on the right hand side of the road, about 3 to 4 km north of the bridge over the Letaba on the H14. I assume it is only seasonal and it will dry up. We stopped approx 10m from the water’s edge, and nothing in between! I am very glad you responded on this report. I would like to improve my pics, and I can learn so much from people like you. You already gave me part of the answer: sun in the right place.


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