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 Post subject: Skukuza - Tshokwane Road
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 3:15 pm
Posts: 153
Hi Guys,

I have just had what I can only describe as an unbelievable time in my recent visit to KNP.


I entered via Croc Bridge 16/12/07(sunday) at about 3:45pm.About 10 minutes after driving into the park we came across a traffic jam not just after the Vurhami bridge. We were witnessing a LIT:twisted: :twisted: .

Probably an hour later on the Skuk-L/Sabie river road we came across a bus loaded with school kids who seemed to be excitedly looking for something. On enquiring we heard it was lions.
Couldn't see them initially,only impala nearby.
In the next instant we saw 2 female lions bursting thru the bush chasing after the impala :clap: :dance: :D . This sighting only lasted a few seconds but it was exhilirating.
Continued onto Skukuza camp where i spent the night.

Was out of the gates at about 5am. Rain was steadily coming down.Decided to take the Skuk-Tshokwane road.Saw general game until we came to a point where we saw 2 vehicles parked ahead. On stopping we see right next to the road 7 lions sitting in the grass :clap: :clap: :clap: .Not even 3m from the vehicle.
One particular lioness looked desperately in a poor condition. She was skinny and her eyes were almost in a daze. Curious to know if any1 else may have seen the same sighting. Just about 10m further on the left side of the road we see another lioness :D :D .
They were all drenched din't seem to keen to go anywhere.

We must have spent +- 30mins with these lions & not a single car from either direction approached us which I find extraordinary given that this is a fairly busy road. This was just after 6am.

Thrilled to bits we continued futher onto Tshokwane where the sightings board showed that a leopard was "spotted" the day before. We opted to drive north of Tshokwane just to try our luck. Drove upto Mazithi H2O hole and saw general game but no leopard. Took a u-turn and about 2km b4 Tshokwane an absolutely gorgeous leopard was seen resting in a bare tree with a bent trunk :P :P :P . Legs draped over the trunk it rested in the drizzle & overcast skies. Spent about 20mins here & proceeded back 2wards Skukuza.

Stopped at Silolweni H2O hole and saw it as I have seen it b4. It was filled to the brim.Elephants were having a ball on the opposite side of the bank as were hippos. Catfish were lying stranded outside of the main body of water,so much overfilled was Silolweni.

Came back to the point where the lions were seen earlier.No sign of them ! Drove 2km further and there they were. In our absence the same pride had brought down an impala and were feeding about 10m off the road. :lol: :lol: :lol: This time though a magnificent male was to be seen with the pride.

Having barely caught our breath this sighting, b4 the Sand river we were interupted. A leopard was in the area. Finally we got a glimpse of "him", I presume. It was a young leopard, not more than a year old. We watched what we thought was play-hunting for a few minutes. Then a scattering of impalas and then to our utter amazement we see it coming ouf of a thicket with an impala lamb in its jaws. Absolutely Unbelievable !!! :dance: :dance: :dance:

Saw the rest of the "Big 5" b4 exiting at 2:15pm.

All of this seen in under 24 hours.

Just curious to know if anyone else shared the same sightings over this period.

Best of luck to all those visiting the park.

Kruger rocks !!!!

Can't wait to be back !!!


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Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 12:39 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:34 pm
Posts: 566
I've had a number of interesting drives heading north from Skukuza. Two highlights:

One summer morning in the early 90s, we first came upon a leopard sleeping in the middle of the road. Next came a civet, also fast asleep in the road, and then another leopard sleeping on the tar. All that within half an hour or so.

On the second occasion, a very hot summer afternoon, I came around a bend at 13h50, only to find a leopard sleeping on the tar, in the shade of a rather insubstantial knob thorn. My first thought was that it must be dead, lying on a scorching hot tar road that carries high volumes of traffic. Knowing how fast people drive, and given that the leopard had conveniently chosen a bend for his siesta, I parked diagonally across the road, thus blocking all traffic. I sat there for some ten minutes, only meters from the leopard, when I heard the first car blazing up the road from the Skukuza side. The vehicle slowed down and inched past me. Upon seeing the leopard, an occupant poked a video camera out the window and shot about 30s, after which the vehicle sped off towards Tshokwane. In the next ten minutes another of couple of vehicles appeared on the scene, none staying long. After 20 minutes of this, the leopard decided to get up, did some stretching and yawning, and ambled off.

Johan


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