Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm Posts: 702 Location: Back Home Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator
Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
my wife and i spent last week in the KNP. Two nights at L.S. and five at Satara. Imust say the Park is in excellant Shape with the late rains having a positive impact on the lush vegetation. The camps were also in Good shape. On Sunday 20/5/07 went for a early morning drive along the H4-1 and as we were not seeing much we turned onto the S21. Along this stretch of road we spotted Rhino on 4 occassions all well within photographic range. A total of 6 Rhinos (all square lipped) were seen. In between the rhinos a pride of 11 lion crossed the road right in front of us. we then drove back to the H1 and turned left to visit the Transport Dam. Low and behold we came across 3 cheetah at a kill albeit far in and not possible to photograph. After the cheetah dispersed we finally arrived at the transport dam. After tea and rusks started to drive back and whilst on the gravel road leading to the H1-1 there were 4 lions laying in the road which we had passed some 15 minutes earlier getting to the dam. After taking a number of photos the lions drifted into the bush and were after a herd of impala. they slowly disappeared into the bush. Rode on to Skukuza for a late breakfast and then drove north along the H1-2 and came across a leopard but this time it was also too far in to photograph. Went back to L.S. via the Salitjie road were we came across a number of elephant crossing the rode at various points. Not a bad mornings drive.
The next couple of days were spent at Satara. For once the S100 did not produce any sightings of the cats for us. In fact the S100 was generally quiet. Apart from the odd zebra /wildebeest/impala the only member of the big 5 spotted on this road were a number of elephant herds which always give me immense pleasure. I can watch elephants for hours!!!
If the S100 was quiet then the S41 and the southern portion of the S90 were extremely busy and had numerous sightings of lion, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, and square lipped rhino.
We witnessed a very interesting spectacle on our last morning drive. One km outside Satara on the h1-4 we came across a group of buffalo bulls (11 in all)giving a pride of 10 lion a very hard time. 2 bulls in particular were very aggressive and kept chasing the lions. The lions would re-group and try and stalk the buffs. The 2 aggro bulls were having none of that and simply kept charging the lions who would scatter and try re-group again. After approx 30 mins the lions appeared to give up and disappeared into the bush. The bulls just carried on with their grazing. We then turned right onto the S90 and came across a pair of mating lions and another male lion. We had this spectacle all to ourselves for over 30mins and was able to take some memorable photos. The other male lion was past his prime and simply watched the other 2 having a good time. The photos of this old lion are ruined by the unsightly tracking collar fitted around his mane. We then started to return to Satara by doing a u-turn. When got back to the H1-4 we came across a very sickly looking female leopard covered in mange and open sores. This was not nice to see and quite honestly she looked close to death as she scavenged for insects.
Another truly memorable and enjoyable trip and cannot wait for my next weeks stay in August 07.
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