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 Post subject: A day in Kruger is still better than a day .........
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:59 pm 
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I made another solo dash into the KNP today! Once again I came home feeling excited and purified.

As with all my other daytrips I was waiting at Numbi Gate shortly before opening time. Only one open game viewing vehicle and another car with a family group were waiting to enter.
Service at Numbi was as always quick, efficient and very friendly. It always gets my day off to a great start being made to feel welcome and sometimes guilty for not visiting as often as I sometimes manage.
Once in the Park I made a quick turn onto the S1 then looped back on the S7 before crossing the tar to drive the Fayi Loop. In this section the game seen but not always photographed was Waterbuck in the Numbi car park zebra, impala, elephant, kudu, white rhino, steenbok, common duiker and klipspringer. The effects of the fires have created a situation where species are seen in areas where one would in normal circumstances not expect to see them.

Early Elephant

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Sunrise Rhino

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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:32 pm 
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After picking up a snack in Pretoriuskop I decided to stick to the Napi Road and to visit the water holes close to the road on the way to Skukuza. A slow drive to Shitlave Dam there was not a lot to see a lone elephant, a few steenbok and one small herd of impala. In the open area between the road and the water hole, an area that has suffered from the fires, I spotted four dark specks making their way towards the water. Down at the water were 2 wildebeest, 3 giraffe and a lone fish eagle.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:47 pm 
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After a long wait the four specks finally arrived at the water to drink. Sable!! The first group that I have been able to photograph. A good day had suddenly become so much better.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 4:33 pm 
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After the sable had left it was time to continue on towards Skakuza. The first animal to be found and photographed was an elephant. There were various sightings of steenbok one of which was very much involved in digging. The fact that it was very close to a small herd of zebra possibly gave it the security to keep its head down while digging for extended periods. As I was moving off from this there were two rhinos deep in the bush. I was not able to get an even half decent picture but I’m certain they were of the hooked lip veriety.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:32 pm 
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Thank you all for the comments. :D
I stopped at Transport Dam to find a small herd of water buck crossing the dam wall. In my last visits to this dam I have noticed a decent sized crocodile that appears to have taken up residence. A large water monitor was sunning on the rocks to the left of the car park. Further to the left a small herd of kudu were snatching a drink while the impala stood back to watch. The croc lazed in the sun. The bird life here was as thin as at Shitlhave. I wonder if the fires have not had a part in scaring the birds.
I then drove on to Mathekenyane where I made use of the opportunity to get out of the car and stretch my legs. There was a raptor in one of the trees and I am not at all versed in their identification. My normal MO is to take photographs as quickly as possible and then to look the bird up in the books at home. I managed one shot before suffering the death of the batteries in the camera. By the time I had changed the batteries the subject had disappeared leaving me with a very substandard photo. :( :(

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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:42 pm 
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After a stop in Skakuza to get a few cool drinks and something to eat I took the H1-2 first going over the lowwater bridges. And then I took the H12 to get back onto the Lower Sabie Road. An icecream at Nkuhlu was the goal.
The road from the lowwater bridges to the big green bridge was quiet but then it was close to midday and many of the impala were resting in the shade. From the big green bridge I saw these two Saddlebills and the Goliath heron. A left turn and I could taste the icecream!


Saddlebill storks

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Goliath heron
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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 3:11 pm 
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The Lower Sabie Road was also quiet except for a large troop of baboons. This male lookout made me think of the family who are featured on Discovery building motorcycles. Was he testing the frame for size and fit or was there something to be watched?

After getting my ice cream it was time to start back in the direction of home. About 5 kilos from Nkuhlu I stopped to examine an area where I had been lucky before. I had not been there for more than five minutes and she appeared.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:02 pm 
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The leopard was moving away from the road and within five to ten minutes had disappeared from sight. About 100 meters further on the opposite side of the road one of the Kruger traffic jams appeared to be starting to form. With no effort on my part I was sucked in and had a poor but grand stand view of this handsome fella. The traffic jam was fairly well organized and directed as can be seen in the next picture.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:47 pm 
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The same traffic marshal was still directing traffic as they crossed the big green bridge.
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A group of giraffe between the road and the river looked interesting.
The pecking order?
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Once again a car with a passenger sticking up through the roof!!
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Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but indifferent.


Last edited by niknak on Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:48 pm 
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The last stop for the day was Lake Panic.
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Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 6:08 pm 
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One of the aspects of the park that I love and enjoy are the various scenes that nature has created. One such was an uprooted tree laying with the base of the root system full of rocks and stones. This had been burnt in the past but had survived. The last lot of fires appear to have destroyed it.

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