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 Post subject: Jb 72's 2 Weeks of Kruger Magic : Sept 2007
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:37 pm 
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Hi guys,

Just back from 2 weeks of pure magic. Had some of the greatest sightings, and quite unbelieveable luck.
Some of our sightings included:
Duke on the S28 !!!!! :dance:
8 different leopard sightings (2 in tree with kill)
Sable x2
Litchtensteins Hartebees (first for me)
Cheetah on kill on S100
Honey Badger
Black Rhino - 3 different sightings
Loads & loads of Lions
Herd of 500+ buffalo near Satara
Lots of raptors and some great owl sightings
3 Big tuskers - definitely material to take over Duke's mantle
Mating Lions, Elephants, Hippos & Vultures
Tiny baby rhinos
Lion kill 25m from lake panic
Lots & lots more !

Unfortunately no doggies. They still elude me.
And then off coarse the greatest of all. This must undoubtably be a new record for Kruger. 4 Days/ 3 Nights in Satara and not 1 lion seen :roll: Saw everything else - cheetah, leopard, black rhino, loads & loads of Kori Bustards, but no lion.

Now unfortunately I have to also complain a bit. I feel really strongly about this. The south of the park is turning into one of those private game reserves. Maybe it was just the time of year we decided to go, but the amount of jeep jockeys on the roads is mad. They all seem to be in contact with each other, and race from one sighting to the next. On our last day in the park we came upon a leopard on a rock (sorry I don't have a map with me, but it's the raod that connects the S1 & H1-1 just before transport dam). Within 20mins there were at least 10 jeep jockeys there, and within another 30mins 10 more. It was complete chaos. I was stuck in the middle, and there was no way out. I started talking to one of the jeep jockeys (very nice guy by the way) and he told me that there were no other sightings found yet, and therefore everybody was racing there. This example might have been the worst of the lot, but there were many more like this over the 2 weeks.

Anyway - I don't want to moan too much - I'm just affraid that the situation is getting worse, and soon there will be no more space for us poor suckers in our cars. On the plus side, one can always follow one of these lads around for the day, and you will be assured of all the best sightings in the park :twisted:

For anybody visiting the park in the near future. There is a mating pair of leopards on the H4-2 3.7km north of Lower Sabie. It is where the road crosses a river (sorry can't remember the name). They were seen there just about every day while we were there.

Will be sure to post some pics once I have them all sorted.

cheers
Jean


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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 9:50 am 
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Thanks for the replies ! Got lots & lots of pics to share, so tell me when you get bored.... :lol:

We entered at Malelane gate, and before we even got to the BnD turn-off we had already spotted loads of animals including rhinos and elephants. Spoke to a couple of people in the park and all of them were mentioning how much game there was in the BnD area. Some people were telling me that they had been going to the park for 30 years and had never seen so much game in the area. Must be Lourens attracting them :twisted:

Some of the babies we spotted in the area:
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Once again for anyone going in the near future - this hyeana den is 2.8km south of afsaal on the tar road in a culvert under the road.
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We saw loads & loads of baby rhinos in the park:
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We saw this big boy near BnD every day. The one day he was a mere 50m for the camp gate. He put on quite a show for us that night.... I wonder if this is Lourens' king of the jungle....
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The afsaal local:
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We also saw lots & lots of ground hornbills - they seem to be everywhere you go. Great news !
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A pair of Saddle Billed Storks were building their new home in the riverbed just south of afsaal.
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Also saw this little fellow on the road near BnD
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Time to get back to work. After BnD we moved to Ngwenya, so I'll try and post some pics from the Croc Bridge area later.

cheers


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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 4:56 pm 
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Thanks again for the replies guys.

We stayed at Ngwenya for 4 nights after BnD. Our most productive road in this area was definitely the S28. We saw huge herds of buffalo, zebra and giraffe, and also lots of raptors and owls. Our best sighting of the trip was also on this road. He might have been a bit far, but there is no mistaking who this handsome fellow is:

Image

One of many roadblocks on the S28:
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Another baby on the tar road just north of Croc Bridge:
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My favourite picture of the trip. Not quite sure about the ID though, maybe someone can help ?
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Dinkybird:
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Our first kill of the trip:
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There were also lots of cheetah sightings on the S28, but unfortunately we were not lucky enough to witness one. We did however see our first black rhino on this road, but unfortunately it was a bit far for a pic. Got great pics of the other two sightings though :lol: Will post later.

I think it's time to go home now....
Have a nice evening. Will post some more pics tomorrow.

cheers


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:48 pm 
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jb72 wrote:
My favourite picture of the trip. Not quite sure about the ID though, maybe someone can help ?
[img]...[/img]

it's an African Barred Owlet. very nice shot :D
you can make the difference with the pearl spotted owlet by the upperparts (the brown back) which is finely barred (spotted for the PSO) and the row of bold white spot on the wings which you see clearly on this shot ...
thanks for the report

_________________
LIT, CIT, AWCIT, ROTR membership


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:30 pm 
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Some more pics from our trip:

A different view of a Martial Eagle with his dinner:
Image

Only had 3 Nyala sightings over the whole 2 weeks, so they were pretty special:
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We saw this pride of lions regularly on the tar road north of Lower Sabie:
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Some more help with an ID will be appreciated. It looks like a water monitor, but it just seems like a strange place for him/her to be:
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One of my favourite sightings in Kruger. This guy caused a traffic jam of at least 20 cars, and for 30 mins nobody was travelling up or down the highway between Lower Sabie & Skukuza:
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After our 4 nights at Ngwenya we went to Satara for 3 nights. Will post some pics a.s.a.p.

cheers


Last edited by jb72 on Wed Sep 26, 2007 3:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 3:26 pm 
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Thanks for your comments MM - I appreciate it.

Like I said yesterday we moved to Satara next. Still can't believe that in 4 days at Satara we did not see one lion. Amazing how nature decides to show itself. Still got some of the best sightings of our trip there though,

Waterbuck on the S100:
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My favourite bird - also on the S100:
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My favourite road in this part of the park is definitely the S126. Seen some of my best sightings on this road, and this trip was no exception. These shots were all on the on the S126:
Image

Image

Image
Image


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 4:31 pm 
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Now for some of our best sightings from the whole trip.
I think this guy was just standing waiting for us to arrive. What a pose:
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Brown headed parrot (first for me):
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Cheetah having dinner on the S100:
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Also on the S100 - how is that for a smile :lol: :
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Kori on the S90:
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And then we drove into these two beauties - also on the S90:
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Image

Like I said before - we might not have seen any lions, but we were certainly blessed with some other ones !


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Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:48 pm 
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Thanks for all the comments ! Much appreciated.

After Satara we moved to a timeshare place just outside Kruger gate (on the same grounds as the Protea Hotel). It is a great place to stay, but I'm affraid entry at Kruger Gate in the mornings is an absoluut mess. The road from the gate to Skukuza is also extreemly quiet, because so many trucks/taxis are on the road before the gate opens to the public, that all animals are miles away by time we enter. There is just way too much traffic on this road, and I can promise you one thing for sure - not ANY of the SanParks employees, or delivery vehciles travel below 50km/h. Anyway - what can we do ? I know I won't be staying there again.....

Here are some more pics.
Martial Eagle having dinner:
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We saw this big tusker just south of Jones dam. Quite impressive:
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One of the few animals we saw on the road from Kruger Gate:
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Klipspringer:
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This guy was looking for something to eat at sunset dam:
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One of the many huge crocs at sunset dam - look at that lovely smile for the camera:
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Lazy leopard on the H1-1:
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Our third black rhino sighting for the trip. He was also on the H1-1. There was a lot of talk about him being in the area, and we were lucky enough to see him:
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This fish eagle was a bit too close to the plover's nest for his liking, and kept on bombarding him, till the fish eagle gave up and moved to a diffirent tree. Just goes to show - size does not always matter......:
Image

Had a lion kill at transport dam. 12 Lions feasting on a buffulo for two days:
Image
Image

Have a good weekend !


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:13 pm 
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Thanks again for the replies guys.
Elpaco - I'm not sure what the eagle was feeding on. By time we got there he was happily eating away.

Here are the last couple of photos from our trip.

There was a family get together at De Laporte wathole. There were 6 rhinos all standing in the waterhole:
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This guy was having dinner on the H3 around 4km south of Skukuza:
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Mother and child:
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Secretary bird:
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Another of my favourite pics:
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This guy definitely uses a very good conditioner - don't you just want to get out and run your hand through that hair?:
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Silly face on the H4-2 5km north of Lower Sabie:
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These 7 lions had brought down a zebra just outside Lake Panic bird hide:
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Just to show how close it was to the bird hide. The parking area is in the back ground. People were getting out their cars about 25m from the kill :shock: :
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Major road block on the Napi Road:
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"The boys are back in town" - after their game they decided to rule the roads:
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This was a first for us. Spotted on the Voortrekker Road just before sunset:
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One of our last sightings. Major traffic jams, but well worth it. This was on the gravel road between the S1 & H1-1:
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And that's about it. Also spotted some more Sable and a honey badger on our way out the park, but theye were abit far for pics. Another great trip came to an end. Can't wait to go back for more.....


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