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 Post subject: ggreensill in KNP (At last!!!)
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:33 pm 
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Hey everyone

Will be leaving for Kruger first thing Saturday morning. :dance: :dance:

This is the first time i've been to Kruger since joining the forum and seeing as though I enjoy reading everyone else's trip reports so much thought i'd give it a go myself.
Will be taking the laptop and 3G card down so connection permitting will try and give daily trip reports of all my sightings and experiances over the 9 days we'll be there.

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Unread postPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 10:45 am 
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Hi everyone, sorry to disappoint but I got a bit ahead of myself when I said i'd be giving you guys up to date trip reports from the park.
As it turns out I have an i-burst card and not a 3G as I said earlier. I-burst has no coverage in the park so was not able to connect and give you guys daily reports.
:redface: :redface:
I'll have to do my best to make up with reports including lots of pictures, expect the first post tonight.

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Unread postPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 11:49 am 
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The time has finally arrived!!

I drag my exhausted body out of bed. My younger brothers girlfriends 21'st the night before has left us drained but not even the 2 hours of sleep is going to stop us. We pack my little corsa to the brim with all the camping equipment and head out to meet the rest of the guys for a boys week to remember!! :dance: :dance:

We arrive at the house at 2.30 to find the others eagerly awaiting our arrival. We shove as much of the stuff in the trailer as quickly as possible and throw the rest in the back seat of the quantum (for a group of 5 guys our packing left a lot to be desired) and hit the road.

We arrived at Malelane at about 8.30. You could see it was a long weekend as the roads were already packed. A quick stop on the bridge to have a look at the crocodiles in the river and it finally hit home. Back at last!! :dance:

We followed the H3 from the gate up to Afsaal where a much needed breakfast was in order. Along the way the usual impala, warthog, Zebra and Kudu greeted us. It was great to be back!!
Our first big five animal greeted us at the Mlambane Bridge. A small breeding herd of elephants in the river bed below.
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We sat and watched them for a while before moving off.

A few km up the road and all of a sudden an old bull comes out of nowhere and walks into the road right in front of us. Its amazing how such a huge creature can just appear out of nowhere!! The bush in the area is still pretty thick and the grass high making viewing a quite difficult. It seems that this area of the palk has received a bit of rain recently as it appears a lot lusher than all other areas we visited during our stay.
We toook a couple of pictures including the one below (rather interesting view of an elephant) and moved on.
ImageImage

Just before afsaal we are treated to a mother and calf white rhino next to the road. Not the best picture due to the long grass but thought i'd include it seeing as though it was the first of our trip. We arrived at Afsaal with stomachs groaning and settled down to a delicious breakfast.
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After breakfast we decided to take the H2-2 up to Pretoruiskop where we would be spending our first evening. By this time the sun is taking its toll and the temperature must have been close to 30 degrees. As a result the road was fairly quite. We did manage to see a herd of buffalos and another ele bull at one of the waterholes along the way. Alough not quite an emerging tusker he still had and impressive set of tusks.

We settled down under a tree to watch him chasing every single buffalo that tried to come down for a drink for about ten minutes before he lost interest.
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Other animals seen during the drive up included giraffe, wildebeest, warthog, impala and zebra.

Just before Pretoruiskop we saw a lovely group of waterbuck next to the road. Managed to get a few good pics which I thought I'd share.
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We arrived at Pretoruiskop at about 2 and checked in. This is the first time i've camped in Kruger and was really looking foward to the experiance. The camp site was already full but we managed to find a spot and set up. It wasn't next to the fence but as we were only there for one night I wasn't to disappointed.

After we'd set up there was a unanimous vote that a little afternoon drive was in order. So we headed dwon the H1-1 to Shitlhave dam where we watched a breeding herd of buffalo, Waterbuck, and hippo whilst having a few sundowners before heading back to camp. The perfect end to a perfect day!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
(A couple of pics from the dam)
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Unread postPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 9:54 am 
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Day 2.

After a good nights rest it was an early start as we had to pack up the tent and make our way to croc bridge where we would be spending the next three nights.
Everyone put in a good effort and we were on our way by 6.45.
I was very keen to head to Croc Bridge via the H2-2 Voortrekker Road as we had done it the day before at midday (hence the lack of sightings) but got outvoted and as a result he headed down the H1-1.

The first part of the morning stated off at a slow pace. We did however manage to see a tssebbe :D (spelling???). Unfortunatley he darted off into the bush before we were able to get a shot of him but this was my first sighting of one in kruger so was really pleased.

Both the Shitlhave and Voortrekker dam were fairly quiet with a few waterbuck milling around on both occasions.
Just after Voortrekker we encountered a breeding herd of elephants. There were two young males in the group testing themselves against each other and this kept us amused for a while before we moved off.
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We decided instead of travelling down the H3 to the S25 to give the S114 a go stopping off at both Renosterkoppies and Biyamiti Weir on the way.The S112 delivered our first white rhino sighting of the day. Unfortunaley no great pictures to share.Renosterkoppies was its usual hive of activity. Giraffe, waterbuck, wildebeest, warthog and impala were all present. It seems that the animals enjoy milling around after coming down for a drink and to date I can't remember visting it without seeing anything. Here are a couple of the giraffe pics from the dam.
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The drive down to the Biyimiti Weir was fairly quiet. I was hoping to get a look at the resident croc that resides in the weir and as we approached there he was, only a couple of metres away from the wall. This is the closest i've been to one of these magnificent creatures and we took a few snaps before moving off.
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The S25 to Croc Bridge was fairly quiet, probably due to the heat. We did however manage 3 different elephant sightings along the way as well as this hippo grazing along the bank. This was unfortunately the only time we travelled this road during out trip after I had promised myself that i'd do it at least a couple of times whilst stating at Croc Bridge. Will have to give it a go when i'm back in June
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We arrived at Croc Bridge at about one and were lucky enough to get a beautiful spot right on the fence. A couple of beers and a quick snooze later 3 of us decided to do a little afternoon drive.
Just after the S25 turn off and two white rhinos next to the road. Sat with them for about 15 min until they moved off into the bush.
ImageImageImage

Both the S130 and S137 were quiet with nothing much seen. Dukes waterhole is bone dry at the moment. The S28 delivered another two lots of white rhino sightings as well as an elephant in the distance. We returned to camp and settled down to a wonderful meal before this guy decided to pay us a visit. They are so quiet and appear out of nowhere. This was really a highlight for me as this is the fisrt time i've been camping and to see a hyena up close and personal was amazing.
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Still no cats but as they say tomorrows another day.

A couple of other pictures I thought i'd share.
Vervet at Biyimiti Weir
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Zebra on the S114
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PS CAN SOMEONE LET ME KNOW IF I'VE INCLUDED TO MANY PICTURES IN MY REPORT. NOT SURE IF THERES A LIMIT. ALL THE ONE'S I'VE INCLUDED ARE 350 PIXELS.

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Unread postPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 10:23 am 
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No, not too many pics on this page ggreensill. Thank you for being so considerate to all in this regard. In fact, if members do not have large pics, more folk are able to enjoy the trip report as it loads for those still using dial up or slow connections.

We do have a limit - 1000kb of pics per page. You are roughly still about 4 pics off of that limit on this page :D

Thank you!

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Unread postPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 2:32 pm 
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Day 3 (Crocodile Bridge and surrounds)

We were to loose one of our team memebers back to the concrete jungle of JHB :( at the end of the day and as such we were unanimous that a full day in the park would be a great sendoff. (hopefully with a few memorable sightings) :dance:

As such it was another early start but not before a couple of bacon and egg toasted sandwitches had been consumed. We hit the road at about 6.30 each of us hoping that today we would finally break our cat drought. I think over the last couple of years i've really been spoilt sightings wise as we had only been in the park two days and already all of us were crying about the fact that we had yet to see any cats.

We headed up to Lower Sabie via the S28 as this road had always been kind to me in the past. Unfortunatley we did not have much luck this time (cat wise) but did manage to see Rhino, buffalo, giraffe, kudu, warthog and impala along the way. The rhino and buffalo were quite a way into the bush and as such was not able to get any decent photos.
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A quick stop of at Lower Sabie and we were on the road again. We took at quick drive past Sunset dam (one of my favourite places in kruger where I spent many hours last year before the gates closed) and was quite shocked at its state. Not sure if something has been written about it in the forum (couldn't find anything) but there was a horrible green slime covering most of the dam. If there is something or if anyone knows could you please let me know so I can go read up on it. I know the park if having an algae problem at the moment that has caused them to breach the dam on the S28 and more recently drain Siloweni dam and just hope this is not also the case with Sunset.
The pic below of the croc shows what i'm talking about.
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Anyway on with the show. We decided to take a slow drive up to Mlondozi dam via the H10 where we would stop for a little brunch. On the way up we were entertained by a group of baboons playing along the roadside just after the bridge crossing the Sabie river. There was a young adolecent and i'm assuming his little brother/sister that were having a bit of a squable and it was so funny to see how their mom reacted by repremanding the older one who later got his own back when mom wasn't looking. Its amazing how much of us I saw in them.

Image The instigator getting in the first blow!!!
Image A mothers wrath!!!
Image A little revenge when mom turned her back!!!

Image The croc seen in the Sabie river.

Other animals seen on the drive up included warthog, giraffe, impala, elephant as well as a hippo and croc in the Sabie river.
We arrived at Mlondozi to find that the dam was almost bone dry. A small pool next to the dam wall was all that remained. There were hundreds of catfish/barbel splashing around in the mud which was quite sad to see but I guess thats nature. I have also heard stories of these fish being able to bury themselves in the mud and survive until the next rains, not sure if this is true.

Next on the list was a drive up the S30 Saaltjie Road. By this time the sun was high and we not see much along the way. We had however expected this and had driven the road so that we could do a stretch of the H4-1 which we thought would give us our best opportunity of spotting a cat. The drive down the H4-1 produced numerous elephant sightings as they made their way down to the river for their afternoon drink.
On the S30
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The heat was beggining to take its toll to and spirits were dwindling when out of nowhere a screech came from the back seat. "STOPPP CHEETAH". We quickly stopped and reversed and alough not a cheetah we had broken our cat drought with this magnificent sighting.
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A huge male leopard no more than 5 metres from the road and out in the open. Within a minute of the sighting there must have been at least ten cars with one idiot (thats all I can call him) deciding to hoot repeatedly as he'd arrived last and couldn't see. The leopard promptly got to its feet and made its way into the bush. A sighting spolied for everyone by one idiot. Deciding the leopard wasn't going to come out we started the car and drove off. We had driven about 20 metres when we suddenly saw that he was hiding in bushes between the main road and one of the little sand roads that people take to get views of the river. We drove down the sand road and managed to find him on the otherside of the bushes. How lucky :mrgreen: :mrgreen: . He didn't seem to happy with all the comotion and we soon realised why as he emerged from the bushes with a young implala which he had just caught (nothing had been eaten). Torn between protecting his meal and getting away from the ever increasing crowd he bounded up a tree deposited his kill and promptly made his way to the ground again. He then proceeded to into the river bed where he was out of sight once and for all.
One last piture of him walking behind the car before he disappeared.
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With our spirits at an all time high we headed of down the road towards Lower Sabie. The elephant sightings continued until we left the Sabie River. About ten km from Lower Sabie we see a something cross the road in front of us. We got to the point where it crossed the road and scanned the bushes for any sign of life and to our amazement found this little guy.
Image (Best picture I got)
This is the first time i've seen a honey badger before so was thrilled. We watched him for a little while as he stayed close to the road going about his daily foraging before he made his way out of sight and we moved on.

Barely a kilometer down the road and a moster traffic jam. What could it be. We pulled alongside the nearest car and enquired what they'd seen. He said there were two female lions as well as a few cubs. We got out our binoculars and managed to spot one of the lionesses. She was doing what lions do best and after a few minutes, deciding this was as much action as we were going to get we were on our way as it was getting close to gate closing time.
This was the best pic we managed to get, not much but still great to see.
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Overall it had been a great day as we had seen the entire big 5 as well as other memorable sightings most notably the honey badger. What a great place this is!!! :dance: :dance:

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Unread postPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 11:11 am 
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Day 4.

After the wonderful day before (including a little celebration in the evening to mark the occasion) :doh: :doh: everyone was a little slow to rise. Never the less we were up by about 6.30 and after booking a night drive at reception we hit the road in search of more of Krugers treasures. :dance:

We decided that we would make our way up to Nkuhlu via the H4-2. The morning turned out to be extreamly qiuet with not much to be seen. Our only big 5 sighting turned out to be this lone buffalo bull which opened its eyes for about a second to see what we were before resuming his nap.
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We arrived at the S81 and as we hadn't had much luck along the tar road and i'd never travelled this road before we decided to give it a go.
Again not much to be seen alough we did come across a large group of vultures that appeared to be doing exactly what the buffalo had been doing about 30min before (absolutely nothing). It could have been down to our condition and spotting ability rather than the lack of game along the route that had produced the quiet morning but we'll blame Mr Morgan. :wink:
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Other animals seen on the drive up in the morning included this kudu, wildebeest, zebra, warthog and impala.
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The drive up the H4-1 to Nkuhlu was also fairly uneventful and we arrived at Nkuhlu ready for a good breakfact. (always a better remedy for those headaches that seem to appear for no reason than panado) :twisted: :twisted:
I've read in the report that the monkeys at Nkuhlu seem to have disappeared. Well sorry to disappoint but they were out in full force that morning. One of the staff had a plastic gun that he kept trying to chase them off with but they were having nothing of it. The lady sitting next to us actually hit the one when it tried to grab something of the skottel. I've never stopped at Nkuhlu before so can't make comparisons but it appears as if there is still a bit of a problem with the monkeys.

We got charting to a couple whilst sitting at Nkuhlu and they told us that they'd seen three cheetah earlier that morning on the Mlondozi Loop Road that had a kill fairly close to the road. Not having seen much we decided to backtrack and give it a go in the hope that they'd still be in the area. We arrived and scanned the area where they seen the cheetah earlier that morning but to no avail. Oh well you win some and you loose some. We travelled the rest of the Mlondozi loop and then headed back to Lower Sabie via the H10. We saw general game along the way inluding gifaffe, elephant, zebra, wildebeest, warthog and this lovely little steenbok which was feeding right next to the road.
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A quick stop at Lower Sabie and it was down the S28 to get to Crocodile Bridge by 4.30 so we could be in time for the night drive. Along the way we were caught in a little traffic jam as a herd of ellies made their way down to the river for an afternoon drink.
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The S28 produced four seperate sightings of rhino as well as two sightings of elephant. Unfortunatley the light wasn't great and the animals a fair distance away from the road for any decent pictures. We arrived back at about twenty to five and made our way over two the truck ready for what the night had in store for us.

Other sightings for the day included this pair of fish eagles. The one was eating some sort of bird which I haven't been able to identify. I must admitt that i'm not really a bird fanatic but took a bit of time during this trip to learn more about them. I've started off with the bigger raptors and vultures but will slowly work my way down and learn as I go along.
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Not the best day sightings wise but I guess thats what makes Kruger so great. It also makes you appreciate those speical moments even more. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Unread postPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 11:56 am 
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Hey BH

Day 4 would have ben the 29'th of April.
There was one troop but they were fairly large (+-30 or so monkeys).
The scary thing was the fact that they were not scared at all. They'd walk right up to the table where we were having breakfast and all our efforts to try and scare them off were worthless. As I said the lady next to us actually hit the one as it tried to steal something off the skottel.
Its quite sad to see that this has happened as a result of people feeding them.
During our 9 days in the palk we saw people feeding baboons/monkeys on three seperate occasions. No common sense. And then when you have something to saw they look at you as if you're mad. :evil: :evil:

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Unread postPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 8:36 am 
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Day 5 Croc Bridge to Skukuza

Our time at Crocodile Bridge had finally come to an end. :( We were heading up to Skukuza where we would be spending our final four nights. I've never camped before (so may be speaking a whole lot of nonsense) but I really enjoyed Croc Bridge as a camp. Even though its also used an an enterence gate, I never got the feeling that it was crowded and the evenings were very peaceful. The ablution facilities were spotless and I found the staff to be very friendly and helpful. All in all i'd definately return. :clap: :clap:

We were up at about 5am as we wanted to get to Skukuza as early as possible to get a campsite as we knew how busy its was going to be. The trailer was packed in no time and by some miracle we left as the gates opened.

We had decided to take the main Road to Skukuza with a quick detour to the hyena den on the S130. The morning stated off fairly slowly with not much to be seen other than a few kudu, giraffe, wildebeest and impala. We arrived at the hyena den to find that the youngsters had not yet risen. Two adults were however above ground, looking a bit weary after a long evening i suppose.
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We took a few pictures and were just about to move off when one of our party let out some very choice words. He'd left his binoculars in the game vehicle that we used for the night drive last night. All our plans and early morning excursions were for nothing. We headed back to croc bridge none to happy letting our forgetful party member know exactly what he was going to have to do to make this up to us. Back at Croc Bridge and 45min later he finally walks out of reception having made a plan to get the binoculars delivered to Skukuza (the vehicle was out).
No stopping at the hyena den this time and we made our way up to Lower Sabie via the H4-1. We gave our "forgetful Harry" a get out of jail card in that if we managed to see the entire big five before we got to Skukuza all his punishments would be abolished. Not far up the road and 1/5. A large male white rhino. Only four to go. We round the next corner and a lone buffalo bull appears. 2/5 Things are starting to look up for him!! For the next half an hour wedon't see much apart from a group of kudu. The dominant male had a wonderful set of horns as displayed in the photo below.
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Just after the S28 turnoff and we round the bend to see two game viewing vehicles stopped in the road. At first it looks like a couple of impala crossing until the one turns around and looks directly at us. CHEETAH. I can't believe it. We make our way up just as the wo brothers disappear into the bush on the other side. Fortunately for us they don't stray to far from the road and we end up spending a full hour with them before they finally dissapear out of sight. Unfortunatley we were not able to get the best pictures but just to see them and be with them for that length of time was amazing.
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As you can imagine a sighting like this on a main road caused an absolutely enormous traffic jam (i'm estimating up to 100 cars at one stadge). Having being one of the first vehicles to arrive we were lucky enough to get a good spot and stopped to watch and believe me we were going no where. Cars had parked us in from every angle imaginable as everybody scrambled to get a look.
And now for the idiots. :evil: :evil:
During our time at the sighting we saw three individuals all from different cars get out there cars to get a better look. (all of them tourists- could tell by their accents after they responed to me kindly (okay mabye not so kindly) letting them know that they weren't allowed to get out. The worst of the three, an american woman must have been at least 50 m from her car at one stadge. She walked up to where we had palked and calmly looked into the bush. When I told her she was not allowed to get out she started shouting saying this was her dream and how she'd travelled so far and who were we to tell her what to do. I replied that I hope the fine you're going to get is worth the sighting. My brother took out his video camera and filmed her and took down her registration which we gave in when we got to Lower Sabie. I hope she was serverly punished. The mentality of some people never ceases to amaze me!!! :x

I'll leave it at that for now as I have to get back to work but will hopefully post the rest of the days sightings later this evening.
Will we see the rest of the big five on our way up or would my cooking and washing up duties have come to an end???? Until later.

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Unread postPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 10:05 pm 
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On with the story from this morning. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

After the terrible start but wonderful end to our morning we arrived at Lower Sabie upbeat over the mornings events. By now Midday had arrived and our plan to get to Skukuza by 12 had somewhat evaporated (not that we carred much). We decided that we just have to hope that we got a spot and had a long lunch before deciding to move on.

We headed up the H4-1 with everyone in good spirits hoping that the days good fortune had not come to an end.
It was not long before our college could add another of the big five to his list. It was a herd of elephant crossing the road to the river. 3 down and two to go!!!!!
Image
Image

A few km before Nkuhlu and we round the bend to see an all to familiar site, traffic jam. Must be a cat. and indeed it was. Our second leopard who had made himself/herself comfartable in tree and was having an afternoon siesta. We waited patiently until we were in a position to have a quick look and after a few pictures we hit the road again. Things were looking up. About 25km to go and only lions left. We had a quick stop at Nkuhlu to go and check the sightings board to see if any lions had been spotted in the area and sure enough there were two red magnets between our current position and final destination.
Image
(Not the best picture)

And now what you're all waiting for.........................................................................

Can you believe it!!!!!!!!!!!

NO LIONS :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Other animals seen on the drive up to Skukuza included giraffe, warthog, impala, baboons and vervet monkeys. All in all another great day that i'll remember for a long time.

We did however decide that the cheetah we'd seen in the morning due to the mishap would count as part of our big five for the day and a reduced punishment making him cook dinner for us that evening would surfice. :dance:

We also took at quick drive through to Lake Panic as we arrived at Skukuza a little earlier than anticipated and all I can say is wow.
Have never been there before but am definately a fan and will be spending many many hours there on future visits.
Image

A couple more pics on my road to learning more about our feathered friends!!!
Image

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:53 am 
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Hi guys.

Sorry its been so long since the last report. :redface: :redface:

The 8 to 5 job has turned into a bit of a 24 hour a day job over the last couple of weeks. Things are quietening down a bit now though so thought I had better get the rest of the trip report out before I go back to Kruger in less than a week and start developing a bit of a back log.

Luckily I made a few notes on the days highlights as the memory is a bit rusty.

Anyway on with the story. (Day 6)

It was an early start for us as everyone was keen to explore some of the roads around Skukuza and see what they had to offer.
We headed down the H4-1 towards lower Sabie hoping for a magical sighting before the crowds gathered on the highway. Unfortunately we were out of luck this time and only managed to see a couple of bushbuck and impala before the bridge heading up to Tshokwane. On the bridge however we were greated with a huge troop of baboons that kept us entertained for quite a while.

Image
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We decided to head back to Skukuza via the Maroela loop. Again there wasn’t much to be seen apart from the odd elephant as well as a couple of other general game species.

After a quick break at Skukuza for a bit of breakfast we decided to do another slightly larger loop which consisted of the S1 and returning to Skukuza via the S3. These roads have never been kind to me sightings wise and today was no exception. The S3 seems like such a perfect route and I would expect it to be similar sightings wise to the H4-1 but this doesn’t seem to be the case. Along the entire route or sightings comprised of three separate bushbuck sightings as well as a lone buffalo bull. (Not even a single impala).
The S1 was slightly kinder to us and we managed to see a couple of nice giraffe sightings as well as this kudu herd.
ImageImage
ImageImageImage

After a quick afternoon siesta we headed out again hoping that our luck from this morning had changed. We had planned to do the S65, returning to Skukuza via the H1-1 but never managed to get that far. About a km after turning onto the S1 which later meets up with the S65 we managed to see this guy which made our day.
Image
Alough not the best photo’s we sat with him for about an hour as he tucked into his imala kill, unpeterbed by the ever increasing crowds.

Our day was rounded off with a quick stop at lake panic before heading home.
Other animals seen during the afternoon drive included an elephant bull (which snuk up on us while we were watching the leopard) as well as 3 hyena on our way back to Skukuza (unfortunately to dark for a decent picture).

All in all not the best day, but I guess you can't win them all. Was still great to see the leopard and being the third one for our trip so far I guess we could consider ourselves very lucky indeed!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

A couple of other pics taken during the day!!
Image
ImageImage
(this guy came to pay us a visit at our tent)

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:50 pm 
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Location: Port Elizabeth
Hi ggreensill,

Thanks so much for the great trip report. Just a quick question on the leopard you saw on the S1. What day did you see it on. Judging by your posts, day 6 would be the 1st of May. I saw it on the 30th and the morning of the 1st of May(and was told it made the kill on the evening of the 29th). That Leopard must have had a good meal to be eating for 2 solid days :)

Keep up the great report. I look forward to reading more :D

Kind regards,

Pat

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:00 am 
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Day 7

Again it was an early start as we decided that a trip up North (relatively speaking) was the order of the day.
So far we had been a bit short on lion sightings (only 1 in the first 6 days) and speaking to a couple in camp the evening before who had had 7 sightings the day before on a trip to Satara we decided this would be our best bet.

As such we left at around 6:30 and headed up the H1-2 to Tshokwane. Our first sighting of the morning was a male bushbuck that stuck around just long enough for us to get a photo before he made his way into the bushes and out of sight.
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At the low level bridge crossing the sand river we saw a couple of crocs sunning themselves in the early morning. Here’s a photo of one of the larger ones
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The H1-2 is one of my favourite roads in the south especially in the early morning as there is often minimal traffic and due to the amount of waterholes on route to Tshokwane. As such we allowed plenty of time on the trip up. Our first water hole yielded nothing and we moved on.

A quick stop at Elephant water hole and again nothing. Just before we got back to the main road to continue our journey 3 young bull elephants came walking up the road towards us. Not having much choice in the matter we were forced to reverse all the way back to the water hole (+-1km). We stayed with them for a while as they drank. The two larger ones went straight to the reservoir and had a drink. The smallest of the three was however not large enough and despite his best efforts he was forced to make use of the communal water hole. I’ve noticed that elephants are very picky about where they drink and will always choose the cleanest water when available.
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We finally made our way back to the main road and continued onwards in search the so far elusive lions. Barely a km up the road and and we saw a single car that had stopped. We pulled up slowly alongside them to enquire what they’d seen. Nothing replied the driver, my son said he saw a lion but I think he’s imagining it. The other car pulled off and just as we were about to leave there she was. A lone female lion appeared out of no where not more than 5 metres from the road. Its amazing how well camoflauged they are. We flashed our lights and managed to get the attention of the family that had just left. They returned immediately and together we enjoyed a couple of minutes with her before she walked over the road and out of sight. Good spot little guy however you are. (he was probably only about 6 or 7 years old).
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With spirits up after the great sighting we made our way up to Tshowane without much more luck but it was okay, our day had already been made. It was a pity to see Siloweni dam empty. Hopefully the algae problem can be sorted out soon and the park can get the dam up and running again.

After a good meal we decided to head a little further North before returning to Skukuza via the S36. The weather had taken a turn for the worse and it had become quite coldy and windy. The round trip up the H1-3, S33 and S36 did not yield much in the way of sightings. The S33 did however catch my attention as a road to do again and the waterhole looks like it draws fair numbers of game.
Not sure what other peoples opinions are on this road but it would be interesting to see what people have to say. The road was very quiet which was a nice change to chaos over the rest of the long weekend.

A couple of pictures of animals that we saw on the trip to Tshokwane and back to Skukuza.
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We arrived back at Skukuza in good time and decided that a little afternoon drive was in order. After being outvoted on numerous other occasions I purposely volunteered to drive and pretended not to hear all instructions from the peanut gallery as I headed straight for the S65 via the H1. The S65 is one of my favourite roads and last year I was lucky enough to spend about an hour with 3 female lions and their four tiny cubs as they made their way for an early morning drink.

On the H1-1 and we got stuck in a little ele traffic jam. These two guys decided a little play fighting in the middle of the road was in order. Other than that we were lucky enough to get our first sighting of a young Nyala ram. Unfortunatley he disappeared into the bush bfore we were able to get a decent photo but never the less a great sighting. The S65 was fairly quiet all the way to the waterhole with only giraffe, impala and kudu to be seen. We stopped at the water hole to have a look and met a group of tourists who informed us that there were wild dogs just up the road. My heart started pumping. In all the years I’ve been to kruger I’ve never seen wilddogs and they were just down the road.
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I prayed that they would still be there and as we rounded a corner a huge traffic jam confronted us. We waited as patiently as we could until the traffic started to disappear only to find out that the wild dogs had just disappeared into the bush. My heart sank. So close and yet so far. The rest of the trip back to S kukuza was a bit subdued as we contemplated what might have been. We did however manage to see two white rhinos and other general game before we arrived just before gate closing time.

A couple of giraffe pics from the S65.
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Another great day. (will just have to keep waiting and hoping for those doggies!!!)

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:11 am 
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Hi Patto

The leopard that I posted yesterday was seen on the 01/05. It was about 1km onto the S1 after you turn off from the Paul Kruger gate.

I would think that leopard could eat off the same carcuss for a few days. The carcuss didn't look to be that freash and there wasn't much left of it when we spotted it.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:43 am 
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Day 8: (already back from my next trip and still giving a trip report from my last visit). :redface: :redface:

The morning stated out as all others had with an early rise. We left camp at just after 6.15 and headed straight for the S65 hoping to catch up with the wild dogs that had been seen on the road over the last few days. Unfortunatley we missed them by minutes again which was really upsetting but thats life I guess. Knowing that they were not going to be down the road we did a u turn and headed for the H4-1 down to Lower Sabie, which alough busy had been our best sightings road over the trip.

Our first nice sighting of the morning was a large troop of baboons which we saw at the bridge leading up to Tshokwane. Next we came across a group of buffalo's which were crossing the river away from us. Luckily there were a few stragglers and we managed to get a few nice shots before we moved on.
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The road was fairly quiet until just before the turn off to the S79 where out of no where a lioness and her cub suddenly appeared . They walked along the road for about a km before they disappeared into the bushes and out of sight. Being one of the first cars at the sighting we were able to follow her as she walked in front of us often getting within touching distance of her. The little guy was doing his best to keep up with mom and was going as fast as his little legs would carry him.
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With the dissapointment of missing the wild dogs a distant memory we continued on our way to Lower Sabie. Barely a km down the road and we found this guy. It had taken us 7 days to get two lion sightings and now within 5 min we had another two. You never know with this magical place. :D He was quiet far off but we sat with him for a while before moving off.
A few pics!!!
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After a good breakfast we decided to take a quieter road back to Skukuza. We chose the S21. This was the first time i've ever tried this road and alough we didn't see much it appears full of life judging by all the game paths. I'll definately give it another go.
A couple of pics of animals that we saw whilst driving down the S21.
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We decided not to go out again in the afternoon and instead packed up what we could knowing that we were leaving tomorrow. The trip was almost at an end. But what a great trip it had been.

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