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 Post subject: Impressions of our First Kruger & other Sanparks visit
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 6:58 pm 
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After some difficulties with our North European winter weather we only arrived in Johannesburg with 1 1/2 days delay and not enough that we lost already our first night in Shingwedzi we also realized that our luggage must still be lying in the snow of Paris International Airport!!! Anyway tired and without luggage we decided to head towards Kruger not to lose any more days. After one night which we spend in one B&B on our way to Kruger we entered through Phalaborwa gate at noon. As we were still in our winter cloths you still can imagine how hot we become during our way to Olifants via the H-9. As absolutely wildlife "greenhorns" as well as wildlife photograph
"greenhorns" we enjoyed every minute although the February heat was very very hot. Each giraffe, elli, impala, waterbuck etc. which joined our way has been put on pics although not that "good" compared to the ones we took now after three trips to Kruger.
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Such termite hills we realized very often on the H-9.

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In the following some impressions which we took in the beautiful afternoon sun on the S46, S93, S44.

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After arrival in Olifants Camp we just realized that our luggage still not arrived, however, the camp staff in Olifants has got a phone call that same now said to arrive tomorrow morning....

Anyway after a shopping trip to the camp shop to get some T-shirts...and after a visit to the camp restaurant we still enjoyed the African night on our verandah in our riverside bungalow.

To be continued....

Thanks Dinkybird & Gwendolen for your help the link was very helpful and very easy to upload and resize several pics.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:49 pm 
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Thanks Dinkybird and Richardt for your help here.

Boorgatsppook we were in Kruger in 2003, 2005 and 2007 each time in February. This report is from our trip in 2003. I now it is a time ago, however, wanted to do a trip report for our this year's trip and do this just as an exercise. In 2003 we stayed only 3 nights in kruger as we wanted to see also other game parks in SA, however, our trip in 2005 was 2 1/2 weeks Kruger, mostly the North and our this year's trip was again some game parks in KZN as well as 8 nights Kruger. So I thought we can do instead of one 3 rip reports.....also wanted to show the chances in taking wildlife pictures from this report to our this year's one.

Anyway in case I should stop this report and write instead only the one for our this year's trip please let me know.

After a very good night which we spent in our bungalow in Olifants the next morning came up with the following pics which all have been taken from our verandah of our bungalow.

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The Olifants river with a lot of water in it. During our trips in 2005 and 2007 not that much water.

As our luggage still did not arrive we decided to explore the gravel roads around olifants instead of heading forward to Lower Sabie.

While standing at the lookout point on the S44 we have been informed by a car that approx. 1,5 km further north there were some lions at a kill. We as greenhorns jumped in our car and drove to the direction the car told us and finally we had luck and were blessed with this beautiful lion sighting. Wow our first lions....we at least forgot our missing luggage.

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Our first vultures

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and this little beauty. picture has been taken from the low water bridge near Balule.

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Finally after checking again for our luggage at the reception we have been told that same arrived safely and after a quick change of winter shoes against sandales and shorts our South Africa trip can start. Lower Sabie we are coming.

To be continued....


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:40 am 
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Thanks everybody for your interest. Bushbaptist that is exactly the reason why we have up to now not visited KTP you will be infected by both virus and the problem will be to decide between the two parks....We are already planning our trip for next February to Kruger or indeed to Kgalagadi really not easy to decide.

Back to our report. As we could leave Olifants only by noon and had to go to LS we decided to mainly use the tar roads and if some time left to use some of the gravels as well. As you can imagine during the heat of the day not so much animals to see

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After a pit stop at Satara we took the H7 to Orpen then turned left to use the S 36 and then the S 126 to come back to the main road, however, not that much to see. On the S 126 a lone ellie, some zebras, wildebeests and Kudus.

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We headed then forward on the H1-3 and also time enough for a stop at the Open Dam and at the Nkume lookout. One hour before gate closing time a lone Ellie crossed the street in front of our car then a bit further down on the road mating lions we could not believe our eyes, however, the grass was too high to take proper pics. Both crossed the street she disappeared in the dense grass, however, the "King" allowed us an audience.

Mr. Bump

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Isn't he beautiful?

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Unfortunately time was running out and we had to leave him and his girl to reach LS in time then our first Rhino unbelievable everything in that short time and always short before gate closing time that's not fair.

A quick stop at the high water bridge at LS allowed us to take some Hippo pics.

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We made it just in time before gate closes and after a dinner in the restaurant we fell asleep immediately. What a day!


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 7:34 pm 
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Hi Everybody and thanks a lot for your kind words and interest especially Skillie, BB, Francoisd and MM.

John'n'Poppy we upgraded our camera from the first up to the third trip not only the camera itself but also the objectives.

jpvn55 we also could spend 3 or more months SA without getting bored, however, imagine what our bosses would say!!!We have also got some nice penguin pics for you later in this report.

Our last full day in Kruger for this trip has started and we named him the "Day of the big 5". During this trip in Kruger we saw just one single buffalo and we wanted to see more also one reason to come back soon. Unfortunately no pics of this buffalo as same was too far away for a really good pics.

After a quick stop at sunset dam we headed forward to BnD our last camp for this trip and we decided to take the H4-1 via Skukuza also in order to get some cash. The drive along this famous street is always wonderful. For us it is also a special moment when a herd of Ellies is crossing the street in front of our car but as this was the first time ever for us we were again speechless.

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"Her Majesty MaMerle" we only noticed two years later whom we met here. Unfortunately could not find a front pics of her where you can see both tusks as the long grass is always hiding the tusks.

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After this special sighting we have been stopped by a car shortly before Nkuhlu picnic spot and have been told that under a tree a leopard is hidden. Wow - our first leopard although very good camouflaged under the said tree where he was lying we could see him very clear. He got up for a short moment so we can take a pics of him then he turned around and continued what he did before.

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Also these beauties are always wonderful to look at. Those colours!!! We never saw any Nyalas again that south in Kruger.

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On this road you can spend hours and hours but we had to do a pit stop at Skukuza also temperature was again far above 30 degrees. We just had to make a break and enjoyed the aircondition in the shop at Skukuza.

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edit IMG by gwen


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 6:20 pm 
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After some break at Skukuza we drove just the main road (H3) to BnD. Due to the midday heat not that much animal to see just the normal ones some impies, zebras, one lone ellie at a waterhole. After we arrived BnD we started for a short afternoon drive to Matjulu waterhole. On the Matjulu loop seemed to be rush hour not because of the cars on that road but due to the animals. We saw grazing zebras and giraffes

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and of course the two missing animals to make our Big 5 complete. The lion pics is not that good but he came from drinking and disappeared in the dense grass in this area in total we could see 2 lions and also a family to white rhinos. Is it normal that a rhino cow will have twins?? We always thought they will only have one calf or maybe the second calf has been adopted???

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After we spent the last night in our bungalow in BnD with several thunderstorms at night we started our last drive in Kruger and left the park via Numbi Gate in the afternoon. We drove north the H3 and then took the Voortrekker Road and also some loops around Pretoriuskop, however, as already supposed by us not that much animals to see after the heavy rains in the night.

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The usual tortoise you will always see after rains and also our last ellie in Kruger.
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We already decided that this first trip in Kruger was too short for us and we have to come back as soon as possible which we did 2 years later and also one single night in the restcamps is definitively too short. At least 2 or if possible more nights will be given you a better feeling for the camp and you will also have much more time to explore the roads around the camps also in case you will drive one single road again and again.

However, our SA trip has not ended here after we spent 2 nights in Nelspruit and visited some game parks in KZN we entered an airplane in Durban and the flight brought us to Port Elizabeth and we headed forward to Addo NP which brought us also some special moments.

To be continued...


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:03 pm 
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@KDU Thanks and more Ellies to come..... :lol:

@Weebirdy Thanks but up to now nobody from National Geographic called :( . Do not get me wrong but these pics are definitively not "bad" but you always will learn to do it better or try to experiment a bit with the camera. These are let me call them our "wildlife beginners" pics.

@DuQues Also thanks. Yes Nyalas are so beautiful - they do really have something special.

@bert Thanks. Yes we were really lucky with our sightings we saw this as a little compensation because we already missed one day in Kruger. Now we are a bit "wiser" when travelling in February to SA. Two years ago we came back from SA only wearing sandals n T-Shirt only to realize that we had 10 cm snow after landing....

Everything went well with our flight from Durban to Port Elizabeth and also our luggage - unbelievable but true - were the first bags coming out of the aircraft. We hired our car in less than a minute and were already on the way to Addo NP. Also one of those great parks in SA. After we had moved into our cottage we decided to do a little afternoon drive.

First animal we found already in camp, this huge tortoise.

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We drove the Nzipondo loop and also time enough for the Gorah loop. Unfortunately saw the famous Addo Ellies only from far but were able to see some animals which we could not trace in Kruger.

For example these elands. Never saw them in Kruger or any other park in SA.

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Our first blackbacked jackal - we just love them

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A red hartebeest - also unable to trace them Kruger.

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and a family of warthogs it is just so funny when they are grazing on their knees.

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Very satisfied with our sightings we returned to camp and enjoyed the view from our verandah.

Tomorrow will be rush hour at the Hapoor waterhole....



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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:47 pm 
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@Weebirdy - Yes we indeed had a wonderful time in Addo -Also one of those great sanparks from which you did not get enough. :dance:

@Skillie Thank you, we found also a relative from you in Bontebok will post the pics only for you later in this report.

@MM Thanks yes BBJ are still one of our favourite animals - guess we have to much favourite animals.....

@BB Thanks for your information - indeed BBJ are also not easy to find in Kruger :cry:

For us we now come to one highlight of our trip on the search of the famous Addo elephants - finally we found them at the Hapoor waterhole. On our morning drive we found again some BBJ and warthogs. Unfortunately not much other animals to see. After a quick stop at the Spekboom hide - no animal there but a lovely hide we reached the Hapoor waterhole and same was already filled with herds of elephants and also with elephant bulls and also the whole visitors of the park had joined to observe these famous elephants. Much to our surprise everybody stayed in their car and also the elephants were relaxed and came from everywhere in the park to come to the Ellie meeting point at Hapoor today. Only wonderful.

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It was also lovely to watch the interaction between the several herds and how each herd protected their little ones. Just wonderful. We were speechless and overwhelmed.

to be continued....


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:14 pm 
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@Weebirdy Thank you. Yes Addo is really great a phantastic place to stay and watch game. Unfortunately we stayed there only once but for us it is a "must go" place in SA.

Next to come some more Ellies.....

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After 3 hours watching those llies we decided it is time to take a break at camp as it meanwhile was again very hot.

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Have a look at these two Ladies who also visited the Hapoor waterhole. Our afternoon drive took us to the Domkrag dam and also several ellies around.

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Very satisfied with our full day in Addo we enjoyed a nice dinner at the Camp restaurant. As already mentioned Addo is more than worthwhile to go. Nice camp and game will be all around also at midday on a hot day.

To be continued with Tsitsikamma NP.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:54 pm 
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As we were only booked one night at Tsitsikamma we decided to drive just after the wake up call straight to Tsitsikamma without doing a last morning drive in Addo. So we also could sleep a little bit longer...distance between the two Parks is not much and we already arrived at around 11 o'clock in Tsitsikamma and also were immediately impressed by the beauty of this park. After so long time spending the time in the car and watching game (what we really do love very very much) we wanted to stretch our legs and do some hiking, as this is also one of our hobbies.

First we did the Mouth trail which took us up and from where you had a phantastic view.

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On top of the hill we spent around half and hour and we met there some Austrian guys who we met again later on this trip in the Table Mountain NP.

The afternoon was reserved for the Waterfall trail and what a lovely trail although weather was very cloudy and very very hot with very much humidity. This weather is definitively not the weather for us North Europeans but we were brave and did it :clap:

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After this very sportive day we had fallen into bed like nothing else. On the next morning still some time to take some pics now with deep blue sky. The clouds have gone and the charley horse came.
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During this trip we spend also one night in Swellendam and as we already felt a bit "game sick" we decided to make a afternoon drive through the Bontebok NP. Not many cars and people in the park as it was during the week. Also it seemed that a big fire had caused some damage in the park so compared to Kruger and Addo not much green grass to see in some parts of the Park but we found the antelope which we wanted to see.

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As gamewise we could not trace any other animals on this day a good opportunity to make a rest at Lang Elsie's Kraal and do a short river walk along the Breede River.
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After coming back from our walk we found another relative from Skillie, it seems a very hungry relative.
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We really enjoyed this afternoon drive in this lovely small park which is also highly recommendable. We really cannot get enough of these phantastic Parks in SA. :dance:

As on every evening on this trip we had fallen death tired into our beds after we enjoyed a phantastic dinner in Swellendam.

To be continued with Boulders Beach....


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:38 pm 
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Thank you MM - yes the sea was the whole day rather wild. The next morning the weather calmed down a bit, however, still high waves.

One further highlight for us on this trip was the Pengiun colony at Boulders beach. We arrived there around noon and as you can imagine the viewing platforms where crowded with people. Tour buses come and go :cry: a bit too much for us, however, we could take some lovely short of the penguins.

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After quite a whilte we left for the time being our new friends and took a short walk. In the late afternoon after most of the people left we again visited the viewing platforms. In the evening on our way to the restaurant everywhere we could find penguins and they made the whole night noises. Also after leaving the restaurant at night one single penguin stood in front of the restaurant door and thought shall I go in or not? Very nice.

As we stayed in one nearby hotel we were the first ones on the next morning and had the penguins for quite some time at our own. Wonderful!

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Around 10 o'clock we left them and where already our the way to the Table Mountain NP.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:05 pm 
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Thanks Bouf and Skillie. We would do the waterwall trail again and again and again. We would have missed something in not doing that lovely trail. However, my trip report is not yet finished. :lol:

After leaving our penguin friends at Boulders we straight drove to the Table Mountain NP to visit Cape Point. Howeverer, shortly after entering the gate we realized that this one day is much too short for this lovely Park as you can leave your car on several points and do some hiking. We decided to drive first to Cape Point in order not to be overrun by the crowd of people especially by the tour busses and then to explore all the other nice corners in this park. When we arrived at Cape Point around 10.00 o'clock not some much visitors there. We had a lovely walk to the lighthouse and enjoyed the views down to the sea and to some hidden beaches..
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Also we found this little friend.

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Our second visit we paid at Cape of the Good Hope and as we already expected the crowd is already on the run. The Park became fuller and fuller. We strolled a bit around and found these lovely rocks covered with hundred of these seagulls and also some cormorants were present as well..

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We then drove to all other corners of this park and there we had the park on our own. No cars at Buffelsbaai, at the Black rocks etc. It seemed that everyone just wanted to see Cape Point and Cape of the Good Hope :cry: We also were able to find some animals. We saw zebras, ostriches, baboons and also some bonteboks.

In the afternoon heat (again) we decided that we must do a hike and we parked our car at Olifantsbos and walked down the beach to Olifantsbos Point shipwreck. Also a wonderful hike and not that strenuous as in Tsitsikamma as we did not have to climb over rocks. On the parking ground we met again our Austrian friends from the Tsitiskamma NP. They asked us whether we can take them back to the entrance as they parked their car there. They wanted to do the whole park by hiking but realized on half way that this was not possible.

In the late afternoon we left this park together with the Austrians and spend the 2 last nights of our first South African trip in Cape Town. As hubbie had not enough from hiking he climbed the next day also the table mountain (I did the much more comfortable version and took the cableway due to the heat). We spend half the day on top of Cape town with really lovely views.

After we enjoyed our last dinner of this trip we drove up to lions head and did some nice pics of Cape Town and Table Mountain by night. I seems that we were not the only ones who had this idea as Lions head was filled with people from all over the world.

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Good night everybody and thanks for all your nice comments and also for your views at this trip report. I will start soon under a new topic and trip report about our 15th day's visit to Kruger, as we found that these 3 days we spend there during this trip where much too short.


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