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 Post subject: Two weeks in Kruger : July 2007
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:58 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 11:49 am
Posts: 92
Location: Vaal
Leaving for Kruger on Friday (27 July) for 13 nights going from PM to Sku.

Hope I will have great experiences to share

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 Post subject: 2 week trip report
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 9:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 11:49 am
Posts: 92
Location: Vaal
I returned today to civilisation after 2 wonderful weeks in Kruger. Started at Punda Maria and ended in Skukuza.

I will share my experience with you all, post pics etc.

Basically I will divide the report into ie. roads travelled and their conditions, camps stayed at and my view of them, and of course the animals encountered.

I will try to keep it short but comprehensive enough to make you feel as if you are in the bush.

I will start tomorrow, but now I first want to get the negative things out of the way so that we all can enjoy the report.

1. Sanparks, pleeeeeeease, GET RID OF THE TOUR GUIDE OPERATORS IN THE PARK. :evil: :evil:

2. Letaba, please change the safari tents, they really are in a bad state. :cry:

3. Sanparks, if the park is near capacity on overnight visitors, please cut the amount of day visitors allowed. If we keep on running the park as a business, we will only have a business left in 10 years time.

4. Sanparks, please take faster action on problems. We were at Masorini Picnic spot, and it was already without water for 3 days.

Now I feel better and hope someone who cares can actually do something now.

I will also have a list ready of various places ie. waterholes with their GPS co-ordinates available for anyone interested.

Hope you enjoy all the good things to come :dance:

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Kruger rocks !!!


Last edited by jakoventer on Fri Aug 10, 2007 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: 2 week report part 1
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 11:49 am
Posts: 92
Location: Vaal
Day 1 - 27 July

Leave from home in Vaal. First goal, get past jhb traffic. Driving along all happy the first people carrier ( I will refrain from using the correct term) I come across swerves in front of me, but no worry I am on my way to KNP.

Arrived at ............. (non Sanparks resort) for overnight. About 100km from Pafuri gate.

Day 2

Left ....... at about 06h00. Road to gate not the best but nothing wrong. Saw hundreds of donkeys. I thought the specie was extint so long has it been since i've seen one. Arrive at gate about 07h15.

The smell of the bush, the deafening sound of nature is what hits you first.

As we are the only people there, we decided after checking in to have a coffee before entering heaven. The steam of the coffee dissapearing into the african morning.

As we have not ever been this high in Kruger, this was an experience we were looking forward to. So off we went. Not far and we came across the first animal for this trip. And surprise surprise, it was an impala. Further on we came across a big herd of bufs, kudu etc.

I will post pics later in one post, unless you guys think it's better to do it step by step. I will also post only pics of special sightings and off course the big 5. As I am not a birder I will also post the pics of birds in a seperate post so you clever guys out there can help me identify them. Saw some lovely ones by the way.

Well back to the trip. First stop, Luvuvhu river bridge. Get out of car, time for next cup of coffee. Whilst drinking, the sound of fish eagle draws the attention. I never realised they also made the call while in flight. Looks very good when he throws his head back in mid flight to make the call. Stunning. Next thing is he lands in a tree right next to the bridge, and as if by magic, two come flying out of the tree to take rest in a tree further down the river.

Well off to camp. Arrive (forgot to check time) but was after 12h00 as we could check in and unpack immediately. After unpacking take a stroll through the camp. The best things was the hide and the safari tents. Pity the tents are for two people only, and not family based as well.

Then at about 15h00, we decided to hit the road.

I will now end this first part (hey have to work again :( ) but only to make money to return to knp :dance: .

Moderators please advise if I should post pics per post as we go along, or all in one seperate post. I have 1100 photos after deleting the ones that did not come out right. But do not worry I will not post all of them(maybe just 1099). :lol:

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 Post subject: 2 week report part 2
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 11:49 am
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Location: Vaal
This part will cover 6 days, 3 in Punda and 3 in Letaba.

Both are lovely camps. Punda being the best of the 2 if you want to feel alone.

Roads travelled from both camps are good, only the one part of the tar road near pafuri picnic is bad since the 2000 floods. Surely this should have been fixed by now, or are we expecting another flood.

Up in Punda we were not fortunate to see any cats, but ele's and antelope aplenty.

The last morning in Punda leaving for Letaba, as we sat at the gate about 05h35 we heard a male lion. I got out of the car as it was close by. I walked closer to the gate and stared into the bush on the left. I heard the francolins making alarm so the lion was very close by. The nerves started getting the better of me so I turned around to go back to the car, and there just behind my car in the middle of the road( remember this is inside the camp) I saw............................

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...........................................

the lady coming to open the gate :lol: . We heard the lion to the right side this time, and as we left camp, we turned right on the loop. We heard more alarm calls and one more roar, but could not spot the beast.

Anyway, down to Letaba we stopped at Babalala where I took these pics of the birds. Please help me id them, as I know nothing about birds. (pics will be at end of post).

At Letaba we also arrived after 12h00, and once again took a stroll through the camp. Lovely place. Some more birds shot (camera off course) and time for afternoon drive. We drove to Engelhardt dam and the look out at the end of the road. On the way back we stopped at Mantambena hide.

4 Buffs were lying on the banks with a croc not 3 metres from them. No action between them though. The buffs got up and started grazing amongst the reeds etc. As I was looking through the binocs a shadow caught my eye. I looked carefully, and saw none other than the spotted one cominhg for a drink. As it came into the open, it saw the croc and went back into the reeds. The buffs saw it, and I could not believe that they were scared, as the started running and did not stop untill far far away (no not the place in the Shrek movie).

The next thing we saw was impala's scattering everywhere and a sound of one being caught by the leopard. That sound goes straight through you. This was however among the reeds and we could not see anything. Even the pic of the leopard is not that clear as I only have a 300mm lens. I seriuosly need a converter or a bigger lens.

The next day we travelled all along the gravel roads to Masorini. What a nice spot, and very informative on the little tour that we took there. Coming from Vaal I know all about steel works, but it was interesting to see how they did it back in the days.

Back to camp, about 7km from camp we came across 4 male lions that caught a baby buff that morning. Spend some time and then back to camp. Afternoon trip we decided not to go back to the lions but to go to the other side of Engelhardt dam. Here we came across 2 more male lions that also caught something. The vultures were also feeding. Are there any female lions up north?

All in all the top part of Kruger was nice, not nearly as busy as the south. We are used to the south, and were at the gate every morning around 05h30 just to see others only pitching up at around 05h55. In the south you need to be at the gate 04h00 or after opening time to avoid all the traffic.

As we did not see so much animals up north than what we are used to, we started the whole birding thing. Only one problem besides my 300mm lens not being enough for birding, they do not sit still very long, so you basically take about 500 photos of a bird and afterwards pick the best ones.

Here follows some pics. ( The car we used, birds, and 4 out of the big 5). Hope I get this right.

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