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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:18 pm 
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Is that the side striped Jackal :shock:
it has the white tip to the tail...
wow ecojunkie
:clap: :clap:

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:37 am 
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Yes, I got quite a few nice pix of the side-striped jackals and will post more at the end of the month if I have a few mb to spare then!

Meanwhile the withdrawal symptoms are biting again..... I was going to wait for the caravan to be back before heading into Kruger for a stay - but...... No response re my elephant from big tuskers thread or from Letaba, so I am going to go and visit Letaba and ask in person. I know, any excuse..... I do have pix of another couple of eles to ask them about too.

Will take a small tent and pray it does not rain.... well not too hard anyway, as it is rather old (like me??!!). Staying 2 nights, so may have more interesting things to report.... Hope Croc Bridge is open tomorrow morning, otherwise it will be a long trip up.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:33 pm 
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Enjoy your trip.
Also very curious about that ellie ! Hope you get some answers !


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:51 pm 
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managed to end the month with just a few mb over so here are another couple of pix of my side-striped jackals:
Image
Image


Today I got in via Croc Bridge with no problems and headed north to Lower Sabie on the tar road. Just a few km befor the S82 turning this poor fellow was lying on the road
Image
There were a number of cars there and he was obviously unhappy as his tail was twitching but he seemed to lack energy to do anything. As soon as I could I left him - unfotunately not in peace.

After a quick stop at Lower Sabie I checked Sunset Dam - water lower now, but the big crocs were visible again.

Then across the bridge and up to Tshokwane. I saw a couple of lone elephants and 2 white rhino in the shade of a bush, but not much seemed to be about.

After Satara I saw my first zebra! Then a couple of warthogs came along with a whole troop of babies
Image

After Olifants there were several groups of buffalo in the swollen river.

After checking in at Letaba and putting up the tent I went out for aride (after a visit to the museum - more later).

Headed south on the S46 and watched 3 elephants playing in the river. They were joined by a 4th who played just as hard!
Image

Heading back towards Letaba I found 3 ground hornbills - but they were rather camera shy - I trapped one though
Image

My battery is going - more tomorrow!


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:25 am 
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Also had a group of 6 zebs at the side of the road. I stopped, and they slowly filed across in front of me, each one stopping to look at me on the way. Definitely a case of who is watching who!

Then went north along the tar road to the bridge. I took all the turnouts on the way and found lots of hippos. Some were already coming out to graze
Image

Then back to camp hot and tired.....

This morning I took the S47 loop - again not much about in the way of animals, but it was a lovely road. Did find double-banded sand grrouse twice. The Mingerhout dam was overflowing. Hippos were in the pool above the dam, mostly resting their chins on the dam wall! Below them were a number of crocs lined up facing them! It looked quite comical, and I could imagine the conversation between them....... A couple of the crocs were really huge.

As yesterday there is plenty of evidence on the roads that the elephants are thoroughly enjoying the marulas - but the culprits appear to be hiding shame-facedly in the bush!

Two ladies at the museum did not recognise my tusker from Gardenia and think he may well be a new one. The real fundi was not there though, so I will have to wait for her to see the pix. Also left pix of a couple of others I saw in October last year.

Booked a walk for tomorrow morning - no one else interested this morning so they would not take my booking.

I have come back into camp to find a group setting up on my doorstep - the place is very empty so they could have gone elsewhere! I could spit - but if I did it would make a mess of their tents!!!!!


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:53 am 
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Another sweet trip report and warmer than Lymington eh! :lol:

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:05 am 
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Hi Dotty

Very definitely - the outside temperature on the car thermometer was 38C yesterday!

This morning started at 19C and was 29 by the time I got back here


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:02 pm 
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Enjoy your walk, ecojunkie. Letaba is one of my favourite camps.
Hope your neighbours are quiet & friendly (people are often a mystery !).


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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:42 pm 
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In the afternoon I went up to the museum again to see if there was any further information for me. Kirsty - the fundi - was there, but had not been told about my requests! We had a good talk and she looked at my pix. The Gardenia elephant is unknown to her, so may be a new tusker indeed. She will check with someone else first. She identified another I had seen near Shingwedzi as Tamaka (the look-alike to Arks' elephant).

I then went north and took the Engelhard road. It was hot, and not much about. Elephants in the river on the way, plus waterbuck, and several herds of impala. I had Mantambeni hide to myself and spent a while watching hippos and buffalos in the distance on the edge of the water.

On the way back to the road I found a pair of steenbok. Then a large make kudu - but like many males he wanted a drink and nothing was going to stop him so he disappeared in the direction of the dam very quickly! More grazing hippo on the way back too.

Headed for bed early as I had to be at reception at 0415 for the walk. The neighbours were noisy, but did quieten down shortly after 9. New folk with a caravan on the other side of me however continued loud talking, banging of metal things (sounded like they had one of those noisy off-roaders, but it was a newish Sprite), bottles noisy dumped into a container and then into the bin.... I sent several sms to the duty manager with no response. It was gone midnight before they quietened down.

My alarm went off at 3.30 and I had a hot drink then headed for reception......and waited, and waited. Eventually looked at the board where the activities were advertised and found the walk started at 0500! A little devil got in me and I rang the duty manager!!!! Not much help there - but as I was talking the guide turned up - and turned out to be Saska. She apologised, but it was not her fault after all. 2 other folk joined us, we set off to collect the other guide, Robert, and headed for the Engelhard dam again. About 0545 we were walking in the bush - bliss....

We found evidence of buffalo around but did not meet any - although the smell was strong at times. In fact we only saw hippo and a few buffalo on the far bank. We found huge numbers of armoured grund crickets, and several golden orb web spiders (one mating), and one garden web spider. So not much - but I just love being able to walk in the bush! On our return we came across a huge flap-neck chameleon crossing the road and stopped to make sure he got there safely. On the bridge we could see Ground hornbills in the distance, but something spooked them and they flew off.

When we got back I asked to see the manager - but was told he was 'in a meeting'. I went and packed up and returned to the office. The only recetionist was busy so I rang the manager - and saw him outside talking to me on hes phone!

I told ihim the problem of the previous night - and he found the sms messages still on the phone! He promised to check up with the duty manager, and to check the campsite tonghit - too late for me! I also reported the erroneous information re walk time and he was horrified... Also reported the abultion block, newly finished had cold water only in the showers and hot water only in the hand basins - someone had messed up the plumbing. He was dismayed..... We parted friends, He was grateful for problems being brought to his attention so he cold deal with them, and asked me to contact him when I next visited Letaba so they could do something to compensate me! Again I learned that it is best to speak to the person in charge as soon as possible!

So it was 1000 befroe I left Letaba in the end - which meant a fairly quidk journey home rather than time to go via Orpen dam, etc as I had hoped. Still I found a number of ellies, and a group of kudu females with a yound male. He started to cross the road and then suddenly took off and virtually cleared the road in a single leap. He stopped in the shade of a small tree and looked at me as if to say 'that is what kudus can do. Over to you.' I conceded defeat and drove on!

Just south of Ngotso dam I found a large gathering of wildebeest, zebs, giraffe and impala. And a couple of km later I came across the Kruger maribou stork convention. There were about 100 birds in small groups of 2-8 and a couple of larger ones scattered over a large area. They were preening and just resting in the shade. Very strange.

More ellies and several lots of giraffe later and I was at Croc Bridge and out of the Park again.

But now I have my reason to return again - I have to go back to Letaba to claim my 'compensation'......!!!

But I will manage some short day trips before then......


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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 8:23 am 
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Thanks again ecojunkie, I look forward to hearing about your tusker...when is the next trip???

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 9:03 am 
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Thanks ecojunkie! How i wish i could 'pop' in to Kruger like you do :mrgreen:


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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:13 pm 
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Thanks for the report, ecojunkie! :D

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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:32 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Decided to do that breakfast trip tomorrow - the river is way down so there should definitely be no problem getting in at Croc Bridge - my only problem is to decide which route to take to LS for brekkie........???!!!


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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:41 pm 
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Decisions, decisions, have a geat trip, I am so :mrgreen:


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:41 pm 
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Soon after going through the gate I was greeted by a mix of zebras, wildebeest and warthogs. It is always amazing how they can be there in such numbers one day and not the next!

I decided to head straight up the tar road this time. When I got to the Vurhami bridge I found this group:
Image

I looked like they had just woken up, but junior was not quite up yet!

Not too far up the road was a lone elephant. But just 1km before the electric wires crossing the road I had a real treat::shock:

Image

I sat for ages watching this playful young leopard in a big leadwood tree. It was chasing birds! I saw it chase a group of hornbills - which came back several times teasing it, a european roller, and drongos. It was magical..... Once or twice it disappeared into the foliage, but soon reappeared again as it could not stay still. At one stage it was right in the top branches of the tree. Eventually it settled on the end of the branch in the picture again, and after it had been in one spot for about 5 minutes I decided it was time to move on!

I enjoyed the break at Lower Sabie - very quiet this morning, and then headed on to Skukuza. Not too far down the road a lone buffalo crossed in front of me. He was on a mission, but I did get a photo:
Image

And then a few minutes later a honey badger ran across the road. I tried hard to get a photo, but the grass was long and all I could see at the side of the road was grass stalks moving!

Just a couple of km south of Nkuhlu a cow elephant with a yound calf crossed the road - a car ahead of me (beyond the elephants) turned across the road to watch, and I knew other ellies would be near by so was horrified to find a safari vehicle hurtling up behind me! I indicated to slow down - and he managed to stop just in front of me. And just in time to avoid going straight into a bull elephant which emerged from the bush. I got a photo of the cow and calf:
Image

The safari vehicle decided it was staying - so I slowly pulled past - and had a cheeky youngster charge me! It was only about the size of my car, and had very cute shiny white little tusks and a huge attitude! He did not trumpet - just a sort of spluttering squeal. It was very amusing, and not at all frightening. I got the impression he was tired of charging at birds and small animals and wanted to try a trick he had seen his older mates doing!

By then it was getting hot, and although I took a long loop via Pretoriuskop and down the Voortrekker road to Malelane there was not much else to be seen. A few giraffe, zebs on the Voortrekker road, the first kudu calf of the season (for me anyway), and a couple more lone ellies. Never found a lion to make up the Big 5....

But the magical time with the young leopard made the whole day completely worthwhile! One of my best ever Kruger moments! :clap:


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