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Herman Kruger- north to south in 4 days Dec 07

Tell us about your breathtaking experiences in the parks

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Herman
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Herman Kruger- north to south in 4 days Dec 07

Unread postby Herman » Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:01 pm

Just back from a hectic trip - been from top to bottom in four days . Reconfirmed my LIT and LOG membership, missed a YR (was driving in opposite direction and I noticed too late) . Saw the lions at Satara cam live last night just after finishing meal in restaurant and spoke to a guy there while watching the lion who must be a forum member, but he was gone before I could ask. Also met two brothers in Orpen who are both forum members - only got their real names and forgot their forum names - I think the older brother who is studying nature conservation uses Mlambane as a forum name. So as you can see I'm not quite forum material !!! Also think that Pardus might have been in Tamboti the night we stayed in Orpen (29th) ? Missed her too!! Will post pics later to convince
non-LIT believers !!

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Herman
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Unread postby Herman » Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:24 pm

For LIT , LOG or just leopard fans ....

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LIT was 1.6 kms from Punda Maria gate on 31st Dec and LOG crossed the road in front of us near Gommondwane this morning at about 11 am

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Jose
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Unread postby Jose » Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:41 pm

Welcome back! :D Hope you enjoyed that "extra special" drink on Old Year's!! :mrgreen:

Nice kitties!!
Don't you just love them tuskers? 8)
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Herman
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Unread postby Herman » Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:04 am

We decided a few weeks ago that we needed to go urgently - David our son would be here from Stellenbosch and Alexandra our daughter would have received her matric results the day before on the 28th, so it would be a good occasion ! (any reason is good enough as you all know !! )
So we took any bookings we could get and ended up with Orpen 29th, Mopani 30th, Shingwedzi 31st and Satara 1st of Jan. We got to Shingwedzi at about 7:30 on the 31st and decided to drive to Punda and back - so that's how I can claim that we were North and yesterday we decided to leave via Kruger gatefrom Satara, but when we got to Tsokwane at 7 with no good sighting for the morning , we pushed on to Croc Bridge - that completed the North to South trip !!
In the process we were rewarded with sightings of the northern LIT near Punda and his southern cousin LOG near Croc Bridge !

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Herman
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Unread postby Herman » Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:05 am

We missed out on seeing the big 5 though - no rhino ! The highlight of our trip apart from the two leopard sightings, was our midnight drive from Shingwedzi on Old Year's Eve ! Included in the price was a meal in the restaurant . We didn't see much apart from scrub hares, eagle owls, bush babies and quite a few genets, but the best part was stopping on the bridge over the Shingwedzi river at midnight to drink a toast on the New Year ! The guide surprised us with a cooler box with Champagne "on the house" ! Thank you Shingwedzi - you people are great !! In fact the staff everywhere was great -management is doing something right somewhere, because everyone seemed cheerful and clued up !
( Yes Jose - I did have that special one on you !! )
More pics later.....

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Herman
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Unread postby Herman » Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:03 pm

Old Years Night, New Years Eve Whatever ! The LOG in the pic above is the one we saw - it was very relaxed and walked slowly and took its time to smell every bush and tree in the area - that was about 11:30 near Gommondwane and we were the only car. Just after it disappeared into the bush, a car stopped and when we told the people, they said " yes we also saw a leopard crossing the road a few kms back " . Was that you BB ?
Last edited by Herman on Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Unread postby pardus » Sat Jan 05, 2008 9:11 am

Herman, we were indeed at Tamboti on the 29th and my daughter and I had a swim in Orpen that afternoon! My YR flew away on the first day of entering the park... :|

Great LIT and LOG sightings - pity you missed the rhino who grazed just about every evening at the entrance to the Tamboti camp road! :(

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Herman
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Unread postby Herman » Sat Jan 05, 2008 8:31 pm

The LIT near Punda was indeed a fantastic spotting by Alexandra, my daughter. She was driving and we were all half asleep by that time ( 10:40 am) after the early 4:30 start from Mopani. The leopard was really high up in the tree - could quite easily have been 4 metres up - so she just looked up at the right time as it was only visible from the southern side - the trunk and branches of the tree next to it made it impossible to see from any other angle. Here's an unedited pic to give you an idea ...
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Herman
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Unread postby Herman » Sat Jan 05, 2008 8:41 pm

We spent about 15 mins with it and stopped two other cars, then moved on to the camp, which was exactly 1.6 kms away ( we measured the distance ) On our return journey we were just behind another car as we approached the spot - there weren't any cars at the tree any more and we assumed that the leopard had left, but it was still there and we flashed the cars headlights to alert the car in front of us. Fortunately he noticed and turned back. When we showed him the leopard he said" How could I miss it !! " LOL - as if he could have seen it while approaching from the northern side !!
The LOG was much easier - I had to slam the brakes to avoid hitting it ! It was just emerging from the bush and had one foot on the road when I stopped about three metres away. It stopped briefly and gave us a glance and continued as if we didn't exist !!
Here's another pic

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Herman
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Unread postby Herman » Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:14 am

As you all know the Park is full of life and young ones in summer, but apart from the calves in the veld we also saw other young ones. Difficult to get perspective right in these pics, but this little guy was tiny - about 10cms nose to toe..
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Another young one - about half a metre long....
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Herman
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Unread postby Herman » Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:20 am

There were more entertaining young ones too...
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Herman
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Unread postby Herman » Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:40 pm

I'm not a twitcher - I like my birds big and easy to ID - like ostriches LOL , but we couldn't miss them on this trip - lots of colourful ones like carmines and lilac breasted and other easy-to-spot bigger birds. Here are a few pics......
Water and birds everywhere in summer....
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Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:12 pm

Thank you Herman, what a wonderful way to see 2008 in! May this mean a year of great leopard sightings for you!

I have also passed on your positive remarks - thank you. Good to get positive feedback.
Sawubona
Dalene


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