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 Post subject: Kruger - the adventure continues
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:20 am 
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Location: Germany
Sunday 02.03.2008 Trip to Pretoriuskop
We started at 7 a.m. in Kimberley in the morning. Today was our longest trip during our holidays. The trip from Kimberley to Pretoriuskop was planned for a Sunday to prevent having too much traffic.
Unfortunately there were a lot of road works. Right at the beginning of our trip we arrived at road works near Bloemhof, a sign showed us 20 minutes to wait until we could take the one lane for our direction. The road works alternated with speed traps and the closer we were to Joburg the more traffic was on the road. I didn't expect to arrive at P'kop today, maybe we manage to come to Dullstroom. :(

At half past 12 we arrived in Johburg and driving towards Witbank on a nearly empty N4 made Pretoriuskop possible again. It seems nobody was on the way from Joburg to Kruger today and the few road works were much better organised than the road works on our way to Joburg.

We arrived at Numbi Gate at half past 4. It was very hot and humid today. On our way to the camp there were no animals at all. Too hot this afternoon.
Only inside the camp we saw our first impalas for this time visit some vervet monkeys and squirrels.

We got rondavel #1 right next to the filling station. As I stepped into the rondavel it was like a deja vu for me. The rondavel looked like the one during my first stay in 1992. The good old linoleum on the floor, the bathroom the same as I knew it from my first visit to SA. It was a very small accomodation. Where to put all our luggage? For four weeks in South Africa there is more than only a small little bag.

As a part of the luggage was unloaded from the car we walked to the take away restaurant. Today there were only three guests having the buffet at the restaurant, but some more guests at the take away section. After Safari pizza with Castle we soon were back at our rondavel and had an early bedtime today.

All in all we would not do the trip from Kimberley to P'kop on one day again. We didn't expect to find so many road works on our route.

Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Kruger National Park

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Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: Kruger National Park, 3rd March 2008
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:45 pm 
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Location: Germany
Monday 03.03.2008 The grey beauties.
We started at 6 o'clock in the morning. The impalas and the vervet monkeys were already busy in the camp.

Imagelarger view
Imagelarger view

Close to Shitlhave Dam there were buffalos on the hill ... our first animals outside the camp.

Imagelarger view

After rain in the night it was again very quiet and I enjoyed Shitlhave Dam and the view to Ship mountain.

Image
larger view
Imagelarger view

A European roller greeted the morning

Imagelarger view

and it started to rain again.
Suddenly four jackals arrived at the road. I never saw side striped jackals before.
Now they were crossing the road. You can see the wet fur. Lovely animals, aren't they?

Imagelarger view

Imagelarger view
Imagelarger view

The grey beauties.


Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Kruger National Park


Last edited by CuriousCanadian on Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:02 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Thank you JenB, anne catherine, Pumbaa and anne-marie. :)
It was not easy to watch animals in such a high grass. We had a short glimpse at steenboks several times but before we could stop they disappeared into the "ocean" of grass.
We were lucky that this striped jackal showed the best sides close to the road as at the same time the other jackal disappeared with the youngsters to a safer place.

Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Kruger National Park


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:47 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 533
Location: Germany
On the way to Skukuza
On our way to Skukuza we saw more of the big five, an elephant.

Imagelarger view

It looks like the ellie has a pyic trunk.
What to see at De Laporte waterhole? A terrapin :)

Imagelarger view

During former visits I was lucky to see elephants or giraffes drink, but today the terrapins used their chance.
Back at the tarred road we watched a ground hornbill cleaning his feathers.

Imagelarger view

There were many impalas close to the road and finally we saw the gate from Skukuza.We arrived at half past 8 in Skukuza and had breakfast under the eyes of the fruit bats.

Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Kruger National Park


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 1:30 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Germany
First visit at Lake Panic Bird Hide
After breakfast we soon were on our way to our first time visit at Lake Panic Bird Hide. I read a lot of this bird hide here in the forum and saw your stunning pictures. So I had to see it myself.
There was only one other car at the parking.

At the bird hide we saw mum Jacana with three youngsters. They really live on big feet. :wink:

Imagelarger view

Imagelarger view

It was great to watch the African Jacana family walk on the leaves.
A fishing heron was waiting for the next catch.

Imagelarger view

This terrapin was looking for a nice place to rest.

Imagelarger view

I saw my first pied kingfisher in Kruger.

Imagelarger view

An african darter streched his wings. Thank you gwen for your help to identify it.

Imagelarger view


Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Kruger National Park


Last edited by CuriousCanadian on Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:33 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Germany
Meeting the scops owl at Afsaal

On our way to Afsaal picnic spot we had more impalas and elephants. Close to the picnic spot a giraffe with a dark fur arrived near the road.

Imagelarger view

Now it was time for a rest at Afssal. It was the first time we met the scops owl in the tree at the picnic spot.
I didn't expect it to be such a tiny one. It is a real cutie, isn't it?

Imagelarger view

Imagelarger view

A sign suggested not to use the flash when taking pictures of the scops owl for not to disturb it. We were only five minutes close to the tree to take pictures and a video and there were two of these fools using the flash! :evil:
I wonder how many flashs the poor little scops owl has to bear during a day.

It was very hot and we decided to continue our way to our first time stay at Berg-en-Dal. At the parking this nice red-billed hornbill was so close to me that I couldn't resist to take a picture. :wink:

Imagelarger view

Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Kruger National Park


Last edited by CuriousCanadian on Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 1:31 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Thank you Pumbaa, annalie and Illie for your nice comments. :D

Reading about the scops owl here in the forum made me very curious about seeing it at the picnic spot. You should really look out for it when you visit Afsaal the next time.
I was suprised that the scops owl seems to be at home at such a busy area. As we visited Afsaal the next day we saw it again sitting in the same tree.


Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Kruger National Park


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 1:40 pm 
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Location: Germany
Here is a short video of the scops owl at Afsaal.

scops owl

Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Kruger National Park


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 4:15 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Germany
First time visit at Berg-en-Dal
As already mentioned it was very hot and we decided to drive to Berg-en-Dal to rest in a cool accomodation. Imapals, blue wildebeests and zebras tried to hide in the shade. I checked this zebra was still breathing. :D

Imagelarger view

A kudu family with young ones enjoyed the shade as well.

Imagelarger view
Imagelarger view

On the road to Berg-en-Dal (S110) we saw another giraffe and far away elephants with youngsters. We arrived at half past one in the afternoon at the reception and got chalet #21. It was a large chalet with bedroom. kitchen inside, bathroom and separate toilet. Outside we had a large verandah and there were a lot of trees giving the desired shade. Berg-en-Dal is really a well kept camp.

Imagelarger view
Imagelarger view

After two relaxing hours we had a look at the Dam of the camp, there was a lot of water, but no animals at all. The afternoon sky was marvelous, we enjoyed again a nice blue sky with little white clouds.

Zebras and blue wildebeests walked along the hills and suddenly there was a big grey animal in the grass, a white rhino.

Imagelarger view
Imagelarger view

We watched the rhino until it disappeared into the deep grass.
The giraffe and the elephants had come closer to the road.

Imagelarger view
Imagelarger view
Imagelarger view

Unfortunately the gravel road of the Matjulu loop could not be graded because there was not enough rain. After only a few meters we decided to go back to the tar road.

Back at the camp we had a look at the bat home at Berg-en-Dal.

Imagelarger view

I hoped this is their preferred home instead of the chalets. :wink:

We had a nice dinner at the Take Away restaurant, even if the area was under construction. It was nice to sit outside with a cooling breeze every now and then.
After dinner we bought some cold drinks and had a nice evening at our verandah listening to the sound of the bush. We were lucky, no bats in our chalet this night.

Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Kruger National Park


Last edited by CuriousCanadian on Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:39 pm 
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Location: Germany
Tuesday 04.03.2008 Rhino's paradise
We left Berg-en-Dal after a wonderful but much too short stay at 6 o'clock in the morning. Again we were on our way to Afsaal. Close to the crossing of the tarred road with H3 we saw impalas and again a rhino. Was it the one we saw yesterday afternoon?

Imagelarger view

At the beginning of the gravel road for Matjulu Loop there was a traffic jam. There was a big camper who seemed to be the first at the sighting. Following the camper were three more cars. No chance to see the animal they watched. Maybe it was the lion someone saw the day before and marked the sighting board at Berg-en-Dal with the relating pin.
It started to rain and as this place was too busy for us we continued our way to Afsaal. There was a snake on the road. It was not moving, a road kill. Is it a puffie?

Imagelarger view

We came along mother and child rhino crossing the road. It is nice to watch the little rhinos.

Imagelarger view
Imagelarger view
Imagelarger view

After they disappeared into the bush we arrived at a hyaena family at both sides of the road. Two youngsters were at the right side of the road and the rest of the family at the left. They were wet because of the recent rain.

Imagelarger view

Imagelarger view
Imagelarger view

hyaenas

After a side trip to a very quiet Renosterpan we had one of these road blocks.
This one was teaching the guineafowl chicks how to stop cars. :wink:

Imagelarger view

Arriving at Afsaal I could hardly belief my eyes. :shock:
There was a rhino browsing at a bush of the parking. I never thought they would come so close.

Imagelarger view

rhino at Afsaal

It took a long time until it decided to leave and we finally had a chance for our stop at Afsaal. :D

Imagelarger view

Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Kruger National Parkhyaenas


Last edited by CuriousCanadian on Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:36 pm 
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Posts: 307
Location: To far South
anne-marie wrote:
it does not seem to be injured

near the head, there is something like blood :(


Thanx Anne Marie. I can see it now after enlarging the photo a few times :redface:

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Knowledge is power, but enthusiasm pulls the switch


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:56 pm 
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Spots on the rock
After breakfast at Skukuza we had another visit to Lake Panic. This time it was very busy with visitors, but as it was hot and humid there were not many actors on the lake. No little jacana featherballs on the leaves today, but we had our second pied kingfisher sighting. The hippos could be heared, but they were too far away.
I discovered there are beautiful water lilies on the water and there was a little dragonfly which I didn't notice when I took the picture.

Imagelarger view

Imagelarger view

Imagelarger view

We decided to drive a loop from Skukuza along the Sabie River, then take the H12 towards Tshokwane and follow the road along the Sand River back to Skukuza.

A raptor on a tree watched it's hunting area. Is it a brown snake eagle?

Imagelarger view
Imagelarger view

Elephants enjoyed the nice green, impalas appeared every now and then as we arrived at a safari vehicle which continued their planned trip. No time to ask ... What did they see? They watched something down in the riverbed of the Sand river.
I took my binos and checked the banks. There! Spots on a rock!
How beautiful, a leopard hiding away from the midday heat on a rock in the shade at the banks of the Sand River. It was such a wonderful sceen that I forgot to take a picture immediately. As I took the cam the leopard was about to leave his place on the rock.
It seems leopards don't want to be watched during their siesta. :wink:
So there is only this picture to prove.

Imagelarger view

It was comming up to the road, but the thick bushes didn't give a sight of the leopard and suddenly it rushed out of the bush and crossed the road ... too fast for a picture, but a great sighting.

From the bridge over the Sabie river we watched a marabou stork and a hippo in the water.

Imagelarger view

Imagelarger view

Happy about our leopard sighting we were on our way to Skukuza where we booked our next accomodation.


Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Kruger National Park


Last edited by CuriousCanadian on Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 7:16 pm 
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Posts: 533
Location: Germany
Thank you nightjar for confirming the ID of the Brown Snake Eagle. I'm not that familiar with all those birds. :wink:

Thank you nightjar, Pumbaa, Donny, anne-marie and anne catherine for your nice comments. I will continue soon with our afternoon visit at Lower Sabie.


Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park,Camdeboo National Park
Kruger National Park


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:13 pm 
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The elephants of the Sabie River area
We arrived at Skukuza at noon and tried to get our chalet. After the check in procedure we were informed that the key of our chalet had not been returned yet.
At the reception they told us to go to #124, it is open and we can unload our car.
The key will be available at the reception at 1 p.m.

#124 was a little rondavel with open kitchen.

Imagelarger view

The door of the rondavel was locked, no chambermaid available to ask for help.
So we were back at the reception asking for another accomodation, but they told us they were fully booked. Finally we got a backup key for our rondavel and started to unload the car.
At 1 p.m. we tried to change the backup key and get the regular key, but there was still no other key available. We should keep the backup key.
What was wrong with this rondavel? :?

Our plans were to have an afternoon visit at Lower Sabie, we didn't want to spend more time at the reception.
On the road along the Sabie River we were heading towards Lower Sabie.
Warthogs, impalas and elephants enjoyed the green at both sides of the road.
Vervet monkeys were waiting for the next guests at Nkuhlu picnic spot.
We saw hippos in the water of the Sabie River and came along this elephant turning around and coming closer to the road.

Imagelarger view

Imagelarger view

Imagelarger view
Imagelarger view

As it came much closer we continued our way to Lower Sabie. There were giraffes at the other side of the river. At Sunset Dam as usual a lot of hippos swam in the water. A waterbuck enjoyed the shade of a tree and crocodiles were waiting for their next prey.

Imagelarger view

Imagelarger view

We were lucky the big tourist buses already left and we had a quiet Day Visitor area.
After a visit to the shop we had an ice in the shade with the nice view at Lower Sabie Dam. Our sweet drinks attracted the bees very much and as we didn't get rid of them we ended our pause at Lower Sabie and had a look at camp from the Dam bridge.
What a beautiful view of the Sabie River from the dam.

Imagelarger view

On our way back to Skukuza at the road along the Sabie river we had again a lot of elephants. Once we watched an elephant herd close to the road a truck arrived.
It didn't slow down and the ellies jumped into the bushes as the speedy truck passed us. Never saw such frightend ellies before. :(

These ones had more luck, the road was not that busy as we saw them.
It was a little one with an itchy foot :wink: and a big ellie without tusks.

Imagelarger view
Imagelarger view

From the bridge over the Sabie River on the road to Thokwane we watched a nyala family walking towards the banks of the river.

Imagelarger view

We returned to the road along the Sand River, the place were we saw the leopard this noon, but it was quiet. The area had a lot of spiderwebs.
The Golden Orb Web Spider had done a big job. :wink:


Imagelarger view

Back at the bridge over the Sabie River we watched a hamerkop in the low water.

Imagelarger view

It was time to return to the camp, we had reserved a table at Selati restaurant this evening.

Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Kruger National Park


Last edited by CuriousCanadian on Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:08 pm 
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Location: Germany
In bed with a bat
As we arrived in the camp there was still time left for the visitor area with view to the Sabie river.
It was very hot and humid, so everyone at the visitor area looked like after a shower without using the towel afterwards. We were lucky there was an elephant enjoying dinner in the river bed right next to the camp and baboons were hanging around at the bridge watching the sun set.

Imagelarger view Imagelarger view Imagelarger view Imagelarger view Imagelarger view

It was not that quiet. Nearly all the benches were occupied. Little children were crying, they had no interest in the ellie.They sure preferred an airconditioned room.

Soon we had to take a shower to be ready for our dinner at the famous Selati restaurant in time. It is a great idea to use a train and a station as scenery for a restaurant. This evening we enjoyed an excellent meal at a Selati restaurant full of atmosphere. It is indeed a must if you stay in Skukuza.

Imagelarger view

After this great evening we returned to our rondavel and soon fell asleep.
I woke up at midnight as my hair was grabbed. :big_eyes: It was not SO, it was at the other side of my bed. Something grabbed my hair in search of my ear. As I moved the search stopped.
"Da ist was!" I shouted and SO woke up and got the torch. As we switched on the light we could see a fruit bat in the thatched roof. It was one of those guys watching you at the restaurant at Skukuza, one of these big ones, not the friendly little ones which only check if you are there and let you feel a little airflow when passing by.

How to get rid of a fruit bat? We opened the door to release it to nature, but the fool didn't accept the offer. :evil: There was no meal to attract the bat to leave the thatched roof.
Whenever we switched out the light the fruit bat attacked us. This poor guy seemed not to have good radar, you could hear it bang against the fan several times which fortunately was switched off. It often flew against the switched off lamps as well.

We cooled the rondavel a bit more, but the beast got more and more angry with us.
As we switched the aircondition back, it stopped shouting at us. Whenever we switched on the light the beast got more and more aggressive. We finally packed away everything into our bags in torch light.

No chance to get rid of this beast and no chance to calm it down. :evil: We decided to sleep under the blanket and get out of the rondavel as early as possible. I woke up twice when it tried to take away my blanket. :evil:

Our night ended at a quarter to five in the morning, everything was in the car by 5a.m. and we were the third party at the gate waiting for it to be opened.

We never had such an early departure before.

Imagelarger view


Reports 2008
West Coast National Park
Cape of Good Hope National Park and Boulders
Karoo National Park, Addo Elephant National Park,
Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park
Kruger National Park


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