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 Post subject: Northern and Central Kruger sightings : May 2005
Unread postPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 5:04 pm 
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They arrived safely at around 5 this afternoon. Very tired but glad to be here. They'll be leaving for Mapungubwe tomorrow morning. 8)


Last edited by Guinea Pig on Sun Oct 02, 2005 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 4:30 pm 
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They've just spent 5 fantastic days at Mapungubwe. Very hot - had a temp of 44 deg C yesterday!. Very dry - Limpopo River has no water. Good but difficult wildlife viewing. Left for Polokwane today - entering KNP tomorrow. No mobile reception at Mapungubwe.


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Unread postPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 1:11 am 
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Hi everyone

Just a quick report for now as it's late and I have to be up early tomorrow for my trip to Kruger :lol:

This place is totally magical! Unbelievable scenery and the most intense colours I have seen anywhere. As I said to GP, viewing is difficult due to the scarcity of the water and we saw none of the big 5. However, what we did see was interesting........

A brief summary:

Tshugulu Lodge area:
Chacma Baboon (the biggest ones I think I have ever seen!)
Vervet Monkey
Scorpion (Parabuthus -caught under UV light in the garden)
Rock Monitor
Giraffe
Scrub Hare (in daytime)
Zebra
Warthog
Impala
Steenbok
Rock Hyrax
Toktokkie
Various assorted lizards
Not so many birds in this area, but saw the usual hornbills, Lilac Breasted Rollers and on our 4x4 trail saw a grey-headed bush shrike, Jackal Buzzard and some rock pigeons. Many, many francolin, but couldn't get close enough to any to id them absolutely. I should comment that animals and birds are incredibly timid in this part of the park and I therefore believe that it may have been a hunting lodge in its pre-Sanparks existance. The bush is incredibly varied here and the scenery changes dramatically with each turn in the road.

Limpopo Tented Camp area

Bird life is very varied and very noisy here - the most deafening dawn chorus I have ever heard. Despite this, it is not always easy to see the birds as the bush is very thick and green here. I am not great with id'ing bird calls but I did get some sightings which I have logged on my Sasol eBirds software. Unfortunately, this is packed in my bag for tomorrow and I haven't got the energy to find it right now. As I am rubbish at remembering bird names, the detail here will have to wait for a bit. I do remember seeing a few woodpeckers, large numbers of Kori Bustard, speckled mousebirds, grey louries, guinea fowl & red and yellow-billed hornbills. There is a lot of rehabilitating farmland close by which may explain the diversity of the birds to be found here.
Animal-wise:
Impala
Warthog
Kudu
Bushbuck (probably saw more here than in all my trips to KNP put together)
Baboons
Waterbuck
Banded Mongeese
Suni (we think - couldn't get quite close enough to ID)
Terrapin (there is an artificially fed waterhole quite close to the camp)
Golden Orb Spider (next to our tent)
Animals are far less shy here.

Leokwe Camp area (actually, the whole western part of the park!)
Impala
Duiker
Vervet Monkeys
Baboons
Waterbuck
Warthog
Wildebeest
Zebra
Giraffe
Kudu
Eland
Lots of elephant poo, but no actual ele's
....and my favorite spot of the trip......
A porcupine ambling past our cottage at night (a first spot for me).
Bird sightings -same excuse as above, although I did spend my coffee and rusk time this morning admiring a beautiful white-fronted Sun Bird extracting the nectar from some flowering creepers in the tree next to our cottage and we saw a (I believe!) Verreauxs Eagle consuming something dassie-like on another drive.

I feel so privileged to have visited this place so early. It's far from perfect at this stage (I will elaborate further when I have more time) and it won't be for everyone, but its remoteness and harsh beauty may interest those of you who like areas such as the Kalahari. Camps are unfenced and (at the moment) VERY quiet. I would estimate that even in Leokwe, which sleeps around 40, I think, that there were only about 10 people in camp. At Limpopo River, I would say that there were only about 6 other people, and at Tshugulu, we had the place totally to ourselves. As I mentioned to GP, mobile reception was pretty-much non-existant (bliss!!) and on occasion when my phone did chirp, it was just to let me know I was now on a Botswanan or Zimbabwean network - I still could not make or receive calls!

I'll also be posting some pics when I get back as there is very little about the Park on the internet at this stage.

Now. I'm off to the KNP tomorrow and must get some sleep!
I'll try to keep in touch with the sightings from there :oops:

Krok


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Unread postPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 6:09 pm 
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Report from up North:

Baboon, Impala, Loads of Nyala and crocodiles, vervets, A pair of Steenbok, 4 Giraffe - never seen any that far up North, a pair of male buffs, lots of birds at Pafuri, Picnic Site.

Bush is very thick, A bit of rain this evening.

Had a great day! 8)


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Unread postPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 6:12 pm 
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Sightings for the 21st:

Steenbok, Pair of Water Monitors, kudu, buffalo,waterbuck, tortoise, elephant, giraffe,zebra, babaoon,monkeys, and (of course) impala.

Having a great time - sightings for the 22nd to follow. :D


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Unread postPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 6:28 pm 
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Sightings for the 22nd (Bateleur to Mopani):

Hippo, crocodile, giraffe, apparently missed 10 lions near the camp by minutes, Ground Hornbill, Normal assrtment of bokke :lol: , elephant, peeeeeeg, Nyala, terrapin, baboons and monkeys, 6 Saddlebilled Storks, 3 Bateleurs.

Interesting sighting - male Waterbuck tasting female's urine.

Chicken sosaties are calling - will report the rest tomorrow! :lol:


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Unread postPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 8:36 am 
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Not much new to report since the 22nd as the Mopani veld is very thick. Two good nightdrives though:

Letaba - civet, hyena, wild cat

Olifants - hyena and 4 lions

Driving to Satara today - hoping for leopard and cheetah! :D


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Unread postPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 1:13 pm 
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They had an incredible sighting at around 11:20 this morning. There were some jackal on the road they were travelling on when 2 cheetah came tearing onto the road to chase it away. It seemed like a family as there were 2 young ones under a tree nearby!! 8)


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 9:33 pm 
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I have to confess that at the point that the cheetahs burst from the grass at the side of the road, my husband was manoevering the car so I could take a pic or two of the jackal, and I was fiddling with my camera. I heard "OH MY ***** ******* ******!!!!!!" and looked up to see the cheetah chasing the jackal across the road. I was whimpering like a small child and shaking like a leaf and did not manage to take any photo's until the jackal had been chased away. The cheetahs returned to the pair of younger looking cheetahs under a tree a short distance away and this is where I got most of the photo's. The grass was very long but I did get a few pics which, whilst they won't win any prizes for technical skill, do clearly show the Cheetahs.

One thing I have learnt over the last couple of weeks is that my camera will not autofocus through the windscreen of a Nissan X-Trail! Hasn't been a problem with any other vehicle, but it's manual focus only with the Nissan.


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