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 Post subject: WAC's Adventure
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:03 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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9 days and I will be in KNP. :dance: :dance:

The Story:

Being 15, it is one of the last times I can go to KNP without knowing where I am going. So, my mom decided not to tell me which camps we are visiting fom 22 Decmber to 10 January. I found out about Orpen at Christmas, although that could have been a clever way of tricking me... :hmz:

Also found out that we are staying at Balule. I see we have 4L bottles of ordinary water and we are taking our skottle, which is something that we would normally leave behind, so I do think we might be staying at a hide. :dance:

The Report:

Elsa and Spotted Cat have volenteered to do an sms report for me, so they will be posting updates here. Thanks guys :D, will give full details of everything when I get back. :wink:

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:09 am 
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Hello Forumites!! Its great to be back! Had an extreamely successful trip with a LIT sighting and 12 lion sightings in total. I think the number of lions we saw totalled about 49. We saw the pride males that drink at the cam every so often as well as their pride! It was magic...

As for the mamba thing... You guys will not believe what happened, trust me. But you will have to wait and see. :wink:

Will start asap.

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:28 am 
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Day 1


I was so excited, I didn't sleep a wink. So I lay in bed for 2 hours trying my best- to no avail. We 'woke up' at 10 and left at midnight. We planned to be at the gate as it opened, but little did we know that seriously heavy mist would hit and we were slowed down very badly. We managed to arrive at the gate half an hour after it had opened.

We arrived at Orpen gate. Now I was starting to get suspicious because we happened to be spending a lot of time there instead of moving on quickly. So I eventually found out that we were staying there for 4 nights. We stayed at Oasis Cottage, right next to the fence, and yes, the webcam. As we arrived there was on of the resident Marabou Storks tanning itself in the hot sun.

Image

My sis an I put our cozzies on and went for a swim. Note: That pool is great! It wasn't too cold and was the perfect depth.

On our afternoon drive down the H7, we started to admire all the new smells. Some were quite nice-smelling, but... some weren't. We saw zebra, wildebeest, giraffe etc. Oh yes, and a first for us: 2 Black backed jackal parents and two youngsters! We were delighted to see jackals, as we don't see them very often anymore. Orpen was the only area in our entire holiday where we managed to find these dogs.

This was all I managed to get as one dashed off.
Image

We returned to Oasis exausted from the days activites. We made a lovely fire and watched the webcam until bedtime. The light shorts so often! Every 10 minutes or so. We had a lovely sleep listening to the sounds of the bush again. It felt so good to be home.

Image

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


Last edited by Wild about cats on Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 7:45 am 
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pardus wrote:
Wow! Great start WAC. It was nice to meet you, but before I could spend time with you, you dissappeared! Looking forward to the rest of your trip report.


Sorry about that, but you know what they say, the cats don't hang around for long :wink:
We left early cos my parents wanted to be back by midday and I felt sick. Turned out to be Larenjitis :shock: (Don't know how to spell it :? )
Uploading pics today, will continue soon!

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:54 am 
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Day 2- The day of the lion

Our first morning in KNP. We all managed to get up on time, but we were'nt into the feel of things yet and we only got to the gate once it had already opened. Oh, how good it felt to have the fresh Kruger air on our faces once more! We used my mom's new spotlight for the first time and managed to see impala, zebra, wildies, and shapes that we thought were hares. As the sun began to rise, our day began to get exciting.

Image

Our family has a new love for 'car crowds' as my sister calls them. Before now, we used to hate the traffic they caused, but being up north where they are extreamely rare, we learned to appriciate them. And, around the bend we found our first lions of the day. The light was terrible for my camera, so I only managed a few very feeble shots.

Image
Image

Don't get too excited! These are not the resident lions that drink at Orpen cam, but I must say, this pride has an extreamely handsome male. I stared at him the whole time. So magestic as he rose and walked off after his family...

But this was just the beginning of our day...

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 1:41 pm 
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Thanks BGS, CC and Pumbaa for your comments :D

Day 2- Day of the lion (2)

After the brilliant lion sighting we set off towards Roodewal for the meet. We saw this beauty along the way

Image

We didn't ID the snake, any help??

It's call echoed through the bush all lonely, until a second call joined in. In the distance we saw one land in a massive fig tree. We listened as they explained to each other why they were calling. The second one flew closer, but not close enough for the first. It eventually got so fed up that it flew across the road and began to eat the snake itself.

We were on the S39 about 1km from Leeubron when we came across this grumpy ellie.

Image

His friend was reasonably peaceful, but this one didn't like us driving on his road. He began to see us out and walked us at least 500m down his road, trying to make us disappear for good. As he was delivering a smelly 'this is my road' message, my dad and I saw a movement next to us. 'LION!!' At this point the ellie thought we were pushing it again, just when he saw that the driver was distracted. Now all you hear is
'Dad, the elephant is coming.'
'But there's a lion!'
'Dad, he's getting aweful close!'
'A male lion!'
'Dad! We've seen lions today! Do you want to be a pancake???'

By now the ellie was way too close. But you will have to wait and see if my dad listened to me or not... :wink:

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:10 pm 
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Sorry all, but my dad shouted at me about plugging my camera in, so no photo's today, will add them while he is at work :wink:

Day 2 Day of the lion (3)

My dad did eventually come to his senses when the ellie was coming at us very fast, as one of a man's first instincts is PROTECT YOUR PRECIOUS CAR!! The ellie finally left the road and we sped those 100m to try and spot the lion. We were extreamely lucky to see him as he was in a huge hurry, and marked his territory promply before walking off into the bush.

This isn't why this was the day of the lion, but you will have to wait a while to find out about that. :wink:

We had a lovely time at the meet (ok, my family did). It was awesome to meet Freda, who was an exeptional hostess; BGS the famous; Pardus, the one and only (BTW Pardus, we found a lost twin of yours at Orpen dam :? );Pieter Steyn and Kitty, who had some interesting stories to share(Pieter you have to read my mamba story :wink: ); and many more. We had a wonderful time, short and sweet.

We saw 3 buffs at the webcam when we retuned, one of them stayed and grazed right next to the fence. My sis and I snuck very close to him, but we remembered that you have to respect animals and give them their space. The buff was getting a little fed up with all the tourists and mock charged a particularly cheeky lady. It was great fun to watch! :lol:

Here it is. I was standing near the big, hot fire in the early evening, admiring all the smells and sounds that surrounded me in a world of wonder. My dad says quietly as he could ,'lions.' I strained my hearing, still focussed on the fire. I heard nothing, and lifted my head to see where he was pointing. But he wasn't pointing. He was gaping at the fence right next to us. Confused, I turned my head to see big brown shapes walking by. I was gaping too.

Unfortunately the neighbors heard too and were on their way. We tried edging closer to the fence. My dad was a little disrespectful to the lions and ran right close to the fence. The lioness rightly gave him a loud growl that shook our bones and stopped us all in our tracks. WOW... The sheer power a single lioness holds became obvious as she stood before us, seperated by nothing more than a pathetic fence of nothing more than wire.

The pride got sacred from al the tourists running toward the fences with cameras and disappeared into the bush :cry: BUT-before they did we saw them. The lions that drink at the cam now and then, the two big males. They are even more beautiful that you can imagine. The webcam is an insult to their sheer magnificence. They did return later on at the cam. The males had a drink and lay down by their females. It was such an experience to see them rolling over and just being their proud, lazy selves. Then, the light goes out. Image

Our binocs managed to capture them in the dark. They were still on their backs. They did eventually get up and move on. The buff stood his ground the WHOLE time :shock: , but I guess the leeus were not hungry. The night drive stopped and flashed were going off like crazy, so I knew they were in the road, but my family didn't think so. Later on we had to go on a drive so 'Father Christmas' could come :D Image We went to the gate and put on the lights to see if they were there. The guard came to see what these crazy people were up to and we joked around saying we wanted to go on a night drive of our own- and he believed us!! :lol: :lol: :lol: He told us the lions were the road.

We opened our prezzies and had great fun. After all the excitement of the day we were utterly exausted. We went to sleep, but were awoken at midnight by the lions, who were roaring their hearts out. It was a magical day...

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:44 am 
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Day 3

We didn't leave very early today. But we had a great treat.
We came across many of these birds this trip, but this one was special.
Image
Red-crested Korhaan
Image
Can you believe what a little patience will yield! My parents said they have never seen this before, so this was a big new one for us! As first time birders on this trip, it was great to ID the bird before it gave itself away. :D

Today we saw 2 more BBJs! We were delighted once more, but they were too far off for pics.

We came across our second snake today, as well as our second carnivore. I wonder which they were? :wink:

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:02 am 
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wanderw wrote:
Great sighting and pics! :clap: :mrgreen: Never seen a RC korhaan! :(


Go to Orpen wanderw, they are all over the place there! We sat with one for 10 minutes while it called, and just as we were leaving we saw another one approaching, no doubt the female. :D

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:12 pm 
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Ok, well, since nobody answered the questions I'll just tell you all, we came across a PUFF ADDER crossing the street. :twisted:

Shortly after, we found a family of hyenas in the road. There was a mom, a teenager, a youngster and a toddler. My personal favourite was the youngster, and the toddler... oh but I loved that teenager... anyway, they were facinated by our yellow ribbon and stared at it.

ADORABLE things they are, hyenas. Then they tried biting the bumper, but we started the car and they got scared off, and bothered another car.

It was cloudy, so bird photos weren't very good. We did get a new tick today at Sweni hide: Brown-hooded Kingfisher. Also saw a herd of ellies with lots of young ones.

Will add photos ASAP

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:34 pm 
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First time birders on this trip:

African Spoonbill
Yellow-billed Hornbill
Lesser Black-winged Plover
Yellow-billed Stork
Marabou Stork
White-fronted Bee-eater
Natal Francolin
Swainsons Francolin
Fish Eagle
Pied Kingfisher
Purple Heron
Hamerkop
Red-crested Korhaan
Lesser Striped SwallowWhite-faced Duck
Comb Duck
Wooly Necked Stork
Yellow Billed Kite
European Roller
Arrow marked Babbler
Grey Hornbill
Red Hornbill
Ground Hornbill
Green Wood hoopoe
Brown-hooded Kinfisher
Woodland Kingfisher
Pradise Flycatcher
Barn Owl
Lanner Falcon
Eurpean Bee-eater
.... to be continued...

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:13 am 
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Munchkin wrote:
:clap: Wow WAC - so impressed with your bird list. Am also a novice at birding and was'nt half as fortunate as you on our Addo trip - but it is still exciting to see and then try to ID the birds. :redface: Not always that easy!

As for your Christmas in Kruger - :thumbs_up: thats special!

:whistle: I know you're back at school and lots of work etc so will wait patiently for the next installment........


Munchkin, I so appriciate your patience... There is so much work I feel like crying! Not even 5 minutes for SANParks during the week, let me tell you, it REALLY depressing!! And on top of that, my parents are in KNP for the birding weekend and I could have gone!! :evil:

Quote:
African Spoonbill
Yellow-billed Hornbill
Lesser Black-winged Plover
Yellow-billed Stork
Marabou Stork
White-fronted Bee-eater
Natal Francolin
Swainsons Francolin
Fish Eagle
Pied Kingfisher
Purple Heron
Hamerkop
Red-crested Korhaan
Lesser Striped SwallowWhite-faced Duck
Comb Duck
Wooly Necked Stork
Yellow Billed Kite
European Roller
Arrow marked Babbler
Grey Hornbill
Red Hornbill
Ground Hornbill
Green Wood hoopoe
Brown-hooded Kinfisher
Woodland Kingfisher
Pradise Flycatcher
Barn Owl
Lanner Falcon
Eurpean Bee-eater
.... to be continued...


Black-bellied Korhaan
Namaqua Dove
European Swallow
Crested Francolin
Purple Roller
Green Pigeon
Double-banded Sandgrouse
Africa Harrier Hawk
Levalliants Cuckoo
Red-faced Mousebird
Wattled Starling
Goliath Heron
Red billed Oxpecker
Helmeted Guineafowl
Blacksmith Plover
Three-banded Plover
Brown Snake Eagle
Giant Kingfisher*
Eastern Red footed Kestrel (Amur Falcon)
Little Egret
Water thick-knee
Spotted Thick-knee
Brown-thriated Weaver
Hooded Vulture
Pied Wagtail
Cape Sparrow
Red-headed Weaver
Plum-coloured Starling
White-backed Vulture
Orange Breasted Bush Shrike*
Black Stork
Kori Bustard
African Barred Owlet
Brown-headed Parrot
Chestnut Finchlark
Red-billed Buffalo-weaver
Speckled Mousebird
Jameson's Firefinch
Grey Heron
White fronted Bee-eater
Jacobin's Cuckoo
Black-headed Heron
White-winged Widow
White-headed Vulture

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 5:37 pm 
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I have NO time for SANParks during the week BGS :cry: :cry:

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:43 pm 
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I searched and found the lion we saw!!!!

Posted by Imberbe under Orpen highlights:
Image

The pride lay to the right of the cam, just beyond sight.

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 5:35 pm 
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Yep... :wink:
Will do MAC

Day 4

Today we decided to sleep late instead of trying to be first at the gate. It was bliss getting up and drinking tea while watching the webcam first thing in the morning... We left around 05h30 and went down past Talamati. The bird life this morning was increadible!!
One of my favourite birds
Image
We saw soo many of these unidentifiable raptors!! Maybe an expert could help us out...?
Image

We stopped at Muzandzene picnic spot and had a snack before returning to camp.

I walked around the camp by myself looking for birds and I found my favourites!
Image

We had some visitors to the cam too
Image

Another call out to the birders: Lanner or Peregrine Falcon?
Image

And so our last night in Orpen began...

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Next SANPark: Mapungubwe 2014

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14


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