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 Post subject: Senyetse and family in N. KNP : 9-17 June 2007
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:59 pm 
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Location: Krugersdorp
The excitement is building. We will leave for the northern parts of KNP in the early hours of Saturday 9 June 2007. We will be taking the N1 north to Polokwane and from there to the Phalaborwa gate. We have booked campsites at Tsendze, Shingwedzi and Punda. I have been to Punda before and I just love this area. I'm a bit of a botany fanatic so I'm in my element there. Many times people have stopped beside us to see what we are looking at with me responding, "That tree over there". This usually results in a quick departure by the enquirer :roll: . A good one to try out when you do not want to share a sighting :twisted:.

Roll on Saturday :dance:

_________________
Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


Last edited by Senyetse on Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:37 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:32 am
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Location: Krugersdorp
Thanks everyone.

We are now safely at home, although a bit depressed. :cry: I am already suffering from bush widthrawal.

Here's a trip report, I will see if I can post some pics.

Trip report part 1 - Tsendze

We left JHB at 4 am on 9 June and arrived at the Phalaborwa gate at about 11 am, after shopping in Phalaborwa. We then drove up to Mopani to check in - we arrived at about 2 pm. On the way we saw a small breeding herd of ellies and general game. Mopani is a lovely camp, it is very quiet and relaxing and the views over the Pioneer Dam are amazing. After checking in we went to our campsite at Tsendze and set up camp at number 5 right against the fence. It is a bit close to number 6 and there is no separation so privacy is a problem. Luckily we only had neighbours on the first night. The other two nights we were alone in corner with sites 6, 7, and 8 being empty. Tsendze camp is beautiful. It has a real bushveld feeling and is very quiet. I had a shower in the open air shower. There was a problem with the ablution lights since the solar power battery kept going flat. We saw a few lone ellies, an ellie breeding herd, a huge herd of buffalo crossing the road about 50 m south of the Tsendze turnoff, bushbuck, zebra, giraffe, kudu, impala, tsessebe, duiker, steenbok, baboon, vervet, a cane rat at Mooiplaas. On the Tropic of Capricorn loop we watched a huge puffadder slowly cross the road. We did not hear or see any lions during our 3 days at Tsendze nor were there any spotted visitors at the fence like at Maroela. Its only a matter of time though because people continue feeding the animals despite the signs posted everywhere. I did notice that the braai sites are very close to the very dry grass. I was a bit nervous about lighting a fire.

I really like the practice of being assigned a campsite. I find with the choose any site that people tend to pitch up camp at funny places over two sites or in front of the communal kitchen so you have to walk a mile so that you don't pass through their camp. SANPARKS should implement the numbered campsites at all parks ana camps. If you don't like your site you can change to another provided it has not been assigned yet.

We visited the hide at Pioneer Dam and watched a huge croc drifting by. We stopped at the overnight hide nearby and watched the resident hippos - staying there is a definite to do for us. Game wise the area around Mopani and Mooiplaas was the quietist of the three camps.

Oh and it seems we went in the peak pensioner period as all camps were filled with senior citizens. We met some really nice people (and some grumpy ones but I'll mention that later) and most of them had the grandchildren along so our 5 year old daughter had some playmates. :lol:
Part 2 - Shingwedzi to follow...

_________________
Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:48 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:32 am
Posts: 957
Location: Krugersdorp
Here are some pics from our stay at Tsendze:

Huge herd of buff crossing the road a few meters from theTsendze turnoff:
Image

Ellie a few meters from Mooiplaas picnic site:
Image

Puffie crossing the road:
Image

Tsendze gate:
Image

Tsenndze communal kitchen:
Image

Ablution block:
Image

I forgot to mention we went down to Letaba for the day and visited the elephant hall. Letaba is a beautiful camp and the new day visitor center is awesome.

Will post some more tomorrow.

_________________
Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject: Part 2 _ Shingwedzi
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:22 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:32 am
Posts: 957
Location: Krugersdorp
Thanks everyone!

Part 2 - Shingwedzi

On the main road to Shingwedzi (about 20 km south) we found these guys right next to the road
Image
There den is in a drain under the road.

Arriving at Shigwedzi gate:
Image

The roads along the Shingwedzi River are full of game at this time of the year - this Nyala was on the road to Kaniedood Dam, one of many we saw:
Image

Here's the camping area at Shingwedzi, very level and sandy. As you can see our camp has only the basics, no satellite dish for us :D.
Image

Once again on the Kaniedood road we found this Sharpe's Grysbok:
Image

The same road was crawling with ellies - a huge breeding herd was spread out all along the road for about 2 km. These 2 youngsters were having a jol:
Image
This herd caused some consternation among the tourists - we saw many frightened and exhausted faces after having travelled through 2 km of ellies! One lady stopped next to us and said (in Afrikaans), "There are more up ahead, way too many". Actually they had only just started :lol:.

There were lots of waterbuck:
Image

And zebbies:
Image

We heard lion roaroing on each of the three nights but they were nowhere to be found.

Our daughter also had an encounter with a grumpy old lady who had nothing else to do but compain :roll:.

In camp we watched a guy from a 4x4 rental company (who had driven out from JHB the prevoius night) change the tyres from one vehicle to another, while the foreign guests had breakfast. And there was nothing wrong with the vehicles being replaced, the client was adament he wanted the tyres changed! Well they were paying so he had to do it, grumbling all the time. And then he got a lecture from the grumpy old lady, I'm sure that made his day :lol:.

Next part 3 - Punda Maria where we had some very nice sightings...

_________________
Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:27 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:32 am
Posts: 957
Location: Krugersdorp
Eventually, and as promised

Part 3 - Punda Maria

We woke up early, packed up, said goodbye to the neighbours and set off on a slow drive to Punda Maria.

Punda Maria gate

Image

We packed out and looked around the camp. Punda is one of the small main camps and has a relaxed feel about it. It is not crowded and has a real charm. The camping area is quite lovely with large shady trees and a waterhole right next to the fence and a hide in the camping area.

At about 3 pm we set off on a drive on the Mahonie loop around Punda Maria. This drive was very productive: we found a huge herd of buffalo and they were very wary of our car. See this one sniffing:


Image

At this point there was a small group of dwarf mongoose under a tree right next to our car. The light was too bad for photos though

We also found several kudu, nyala and this monitor lizard:

Image

We also saw a couple of ellies on this road.

The next morning we were out of camp by 6:30 am and decided to drive up to Pafuri and Crook's Corner. On one of the links between the H13-1 and the H1-8 I noticed something on top of a far away koppie on my wife's side of the car and my first thought was leopard but then I thought, "Only a rock". Then my wife tells me to stop, looks throug the binos and says, "Leopard". And yes, there it is lying in the early morning sun. We could see it clearly with the binos but it was too far for pics. We watched it for about 10 mins and then 2 cars arrived and it got up and, in a running crouch, disappeared into a shrub.

We stopped of at the Pafuri picnic site for breakfast. The attendant approached me and told me that I have a flat tyre. I went to check and yes, flat. I changed the tyre and off to Crook's Corner we went. The Pafuri area is really beautiful, nyala are almost as common as impala. There were hundreds of crocs along the Luvhuvhu River. At Crook's Corner we saw two guys walking along the Limpopo on the Zimbabwe side. It spoils the atmosphere a bit.

Here are some crocs in the Luvhuvhu River:
Image

On the Pafuri road:
Image

That night at about 7 pm there was a huge racket at the waterhole. A huge herd of buffalo came to drink and it was such a noise. All the campers had out their torches and we watched them for about an hour. They returned in the middle of the night again. That night we heard lion roaring nearby.

The next morning we packed and were all very down because it was time to go home. We hoped we could find the lions because they were roaring near camp. We set out on the road to the Punda gate. My 5 year old daughter was looking at the pictures in the Kruger map book and asked me if there were any cheetah in the place. I answered yes and not 5 minutes later we see this. As you can see it is a few meters before the T-junction of the Punda gate road:

Image

There was one other vehicle following the cheetah and as they saw us approach (very slowly) they sped up to get closer, obviously thinking that we were going to try get a better view than them. In so doing they chased the cheetah off into the bush. We all went to the T-junction and turned left and waited for the cheetah to cross the road. By this time there were 2-3 other cars. Our car was at the back closest to the T-junction. We were all expecting the cheetah to cross the road in front of us and I mentioned that it would probably cross behind and of course it did just that. I saw it crossing just behind us and being the considerate (sometimes too considerate!) perosn that I am I flashed my lights at the cars in front of me and pointed at the cheetah. Everyone started making u-turns and I just had to reverse and got this great view:

Image

It sat there for a minute or so scanning the bush and saw a herd of impala a 100 meters ahead. It jumped off and went into stalk mode. We knew the hunt is on. It disappeared into the bush and we waited. After about 15 minutes our daughter got bored and we had a long road ahead of us so we had to leave. What a wondeful parting gift from Kruger!

Now its time to plan next year's trip - this time it will be central Kruger. That trip will be somewhat of a challenge though since our family will be extended by one in early January 2008. :roll: :wink:

_________________
Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


Last edited by Senyetse on Tue Jul 03, 2007 3:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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