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 Post subject: Trip report- our highlights-18-25 April
Unread postPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 8:22 am 
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Having read many tripreports and knowing the value of the "butterfly-feeling" reading through fellow forumites exciting sightings, I decided to do the same...
Here are some of our highlights;
18 April-Day1
After a long wait at the Phabeni gate, we entered the park @ 6:30. 8km on the S1 we were greeted by 12 wild dogs! :pray: What a way to start the day!!!!!
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This guy even had the "balls" to sniff out "the new species" :shock:

We heard a leopard was seen on the Marula loop, so on our way there we saw the first of 2 sightings that had us confused?
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To us it looks like a skink. We know skinks look roughly like lizards but most have no neck and small legs. Also that several genera have no limbs at all! do they occur in Kruger? We are not sure, so if there's an expert out there...please let us know what you think!! :hmz:

Later we saw 3 female lions 4km before you reach Satara on the H1-3, disappearing behind the bushes.
We reached Balule late afternoon, began setting up camp and welcomed our first beautiful Kruger-sunset with a glass of redwine.... :D

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Punda Maria
Letaba
Balule
Shipandane hide
Tamboti


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 Post subject: Re: Trip report- our highlights-18-25 April
Unread postPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 8:37 am 
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19 April - Sunday
We took the H1-4, heading for Ngotso dam...14 Lions, 8 o'clock in the morning. We enjoyed this sighting with coffee and rusks...sorry no pics :( , they were too far.
Took a midday siesta and went for sundowners at Olifants lookout. Wow, we couldn't have asked for a better ending to the day! The elephant gorge, painted by the warm red sky and 11 giraffe quenching their thirst...

20 April-Monday
Although a quiet day, we saw 9 rhino's on the S90 and 4 male lions on the S41 - we were gratefull!!!
Image

21 April-Tuesday
Coffee at Goedgegun - a gameranger tells us about 7 lions with a giraffe kill at Roodewal dam...and what a fantastic sighting it was!
Image
Image

That afternoon, just before gates are locked, we stopped on the Olifants bridge, just outside Balule, watching the ellies enjoy the abundance of water!
Image

Around the campfire we spoke to friends staying south and they told us about a rhino cow and her calf that died at the waterhole on the S21...so sad! :(

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Punda Maria
Letaba
Balule
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Tamboti


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 Post subject: Re: Trip report- our highlights-18-25 April
Unread postPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 8:51 am 
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22 April - Wednesday
5:30 packed up camp and headed down the H1-4.
At Nyamarthi, I definitely had the best moment of our trip...7 female lions stalking impala...
Image
The lioness is hiding in the bush on the left of the photo. If you look carefully, you can see the back of her bum. Another female hiding in a bush nearby and a third moving in for back-up...
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At this stage I am so excited...think the cars around us can hear my heartbeat! Just the possibility that I might see my first kill...
Now, I keep yelling to her (in my head), go now, the moment is perfect, the impala suspect nothing!
But she's too late...Precious seconds went by and the impala live to see another day!
Image

Still, it took me an hour or so to calm down...
Close to Witpens-waterhole, more lions! 3 Females. (where are all the males hiding?)
A quick look at the sightingsboard :big_eyes: at Thokwane - leopard seen in the morning on the H4-1 to Skukuza and thats exactly where we are off to...
15:30 - no leopard but a single lioness near kwaggaspan. Just before sunset we set up camp at Malelane...

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Punda Maria
Letaba
Balule
Shipandane hide
Tamboti


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 Post subject: Re: Trip report- our highlights-18-25 April
Unread postPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:01 am 
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23 April
We went to see what was left of the rhino cow and calf. We took the main road (H3) and planned to turn off on the S112 but my SO decided on the last minute to make an earlier turnoff onto the S113 and what a great decision it turned out to be!
A leopard and two cubs!
Image
The cubs were hiding to the left of the road, in the reeds. She crossed the road alone in front of us, then crossed again behind our vehicle. We now knew she wanted to get het cubs across, so we waited.....
and the first little brave cub appeared running with mom to the other side and minutes later another shy cub stormed across. My hands shaking, finger on the silver button of the camera, still clicking away...they were gone. For a while we sat in silence, just to take in the moment...
(unfortunately this is the only photo I had on my computer at the time.

That afternoon we saw another male leopard with an impala kill in the tree at Afsaal...
It just goes to show... After 5 days hping to see leopard we suddenly have 2 sightings in one day!! We felt blessed..... :pray:

_________________
december-
Punda Maria
Letaba
Balule
Shipandane hide
Tamboti


Last edited by cel on Tue May 05, 2009 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Trip report- our highlights-18-25 April
Unread postPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:58 am 
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Baffers, Dotty, Bornfree, Elsa, Pikkie and droopy - so glad your enjoying it as much as I like reporting it! And droopy...I must agree with your comment...enough said, lets not step on anyones toes, he-he :D

Anyway, still on the 23 April - we arrived at the tragic spot od the rhino cow and calf (or what was left of it) could see no calf, only a fat croc baking in the sun...
Image
Im sure you have all read the thread on this story. We sat there for an hour imagining what had taken place only days before and drove away in silence....

Our last night in Kruger, spent around the campfire and talking about all our wonderful sightings and planning our next visit (that always seems to make us feel better about leaving) It was so peaceful falling asleep to the sound of the pearl spotted owls...

(Ps: it was the first time visiting the park with our yellow ribbon and we were pleased to have met 2 forumites! :thumbs_up: ) - just wish we could have had a longer chat!

Image

_________________
december-
Punda Maria
Letaba
Balule
Shipandane hide
Tamboti


Last edited by cel on Tue May 05, 2009 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Trip report- our highlights-18-25 April
Unread postPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 1:51 pm 
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As promised.......more pics of leopard and her cubs.... :dance:
Crossing the road the first time...
Image
Going back over the road when she realised her babies were not following...
Image
encouraging them to come out...
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Baby number one...
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And...baby number two!
Image
:clap:

_________________
december-
Punda Maria
Letaba
Balule
Shipandane hide
Tamboti


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 Post subject: Re: Trip report- our highlights-18-25 April
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:10 am 
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Hi katydownunder!
Sorry for the late reply-only saw your post today... :shock:
It was indeed tragic...apparently the rhino's went for a drink, baby got in too deep and got stuck, croc saw the opportunity and got hold of it, mum then tried to save her calf and also got stuck! :big_eyes: Rangers had to shoot her and pulled the carcass out the water, where later on, the lions finished it off...sad... :cry:
I must also just mention, there are a few other versions to this story but this is the one I believe... :thumbs_up:

_________________
december-
Punda Maria
Letaba
Balule
Shipandane hide
Tamboti


Top
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