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 Post subject: Mads have "red hot" sightings in Kruger... AGAIN!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:28 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Good evening forumites!!! :lol:

I have 2 trip reports to write about!!! :redface:

1st Trip: 8-10 or 11???? August 2008- Lower Sabie

This was not one of the trips that I do not want to remember!!... and it was not about the sightings I had !!! (Maybe that is why I took so long to write this report)... but probably one I will remeber for the rest of my life! :big_eyes:

:hmz: In retrospect I must say it could have been much worse! :wink:

Day 1:
We left 2:00 for the gate… no sleep!! Car serviced and packed. Cannot wait any longer!! We entered Malelane Gate just after 6 that morning. Looking forward to a wonderful weekend in my Bushveld heaven!!

We took the Matjulu loop and just after the waterhole found a traffic jam! We were speculating what there was to see… I said the way the cars were parked it must be a cat… I was surprised when I saw the white rhino…. Then I saw a male lion walking through the cars parked in front!! Walking towards the rhino. The rhino smelled him and started chasing him when he thought he was to close!! Unfortunately between moving the car and bushes in front I could not take a photo!! They both disappeared!!

We drove on and found a huge buffalo herd in a distance.. and still to far for a photo – between us and the buffalo a lioness! All the usual game were present… Ellies in abundance near the river!!
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We took S25 towards Croc Bridge just before Croc Bridge we saw this Pearly!
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We unpacked at Lower Sabie, and decided to take “Eloff street”. We found these 2 and sat with them for 2 hours.

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He was definately in a fight and she was very young.

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We then decided to turn back towards Lower Sabie..

A few kms further we found her in the road. I first thought she was sick… but then saw that she was highly pregnant and I could see the babies kick!! I only did what a prgnant mother would do... Rest in a comfortable place!
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After we watched her we left for our next “ victim” This was really a TRAFFIC JAM!!!We waited our turn untill we had a "good" spot .. but you can understand when you see this beauty!!
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Unfortunately at these traffic jams somebody must be out of their car! :sniper: See how the leopard check her out!!
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Back to camp!! What an exciting day!! Just to hear the lions roar….

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: Mads have "red hot" sightings in Kruger... AGAIN!
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:44 pm 
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Hallo every one,
I had server problems :evil: .... but all sorted now!! :dance:
Thanks for everybody's comments.

Quote:
Lots of traffic jams usually mean exciting/rewarding Big 5 sights

The Jackal it is true!! Traffic jams normally have wonderful sightings! .. but I prefer the sightings I find myself and I had a couple of them on these trips. It is also more common in the Southern part of the Park than North!!

Icurrie you are welcome to tag along next time!! Luck is all you need in the bush... and I certainly had that!!

Meandering Mouse you will just have to wait for day 3 ... and see..... :big_eyes:

Day 2:

We left camp as the gate opened! Still dark. We took the Salitjie road and about 1 km later encountered a breeding herd ellies. I stopped where the herd started, checked them out and they seemed very relaxed. We had coffee with them and watched them for about 15 minutes before the Matriarch walked out and came straight to my car to investigate. Before I could start the car, she was so close that she could put her trunk on the bonnet!! :big_eyes: In my mind I saw that Golf with the elephant tusks on it. :pray: … I knew that there was nothing I could do now… except sit still!!! :doh: She was not aggressive but not friendly either… It felt like an eternity but was only about 3 minutes….before she moved away! What an adrenalin rush!!!! :pray: :pray: :pray:

We came around a corner and saw all the Impala in a row, staring….. and this is what popped out.. They played around and eventually disappeared again.
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A female with 3 small cubs!! We had this sighting for ourselves!

We also had this visitor who wanted to take a ride with us… at a water hole.
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We also found the "usual game"
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The afternoon close to Lower Sabie we found this female . I have seen her before. Martie (MJ) at Lower Sabie calls her Compass because her tusks are so ”Scew” . Note the growth on her foreleg!
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Another wonderful day in paradise!!! :thumbs_up:

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: Mads have "red hot" sightings in Kruger... AGAIN!
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:06 pm 
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Hi Every one!!! Thanks for reading my report and commenting on my trip report!!!

Day 3:

We left the camp 06:00 because we needed to still drive back to Gauteng…. :( We will load the car later… :?

We took the Mlondozi gravel road. At first I thought I have taken the "wrong" road.. We saw only 2 impala for the morning!

We found this ellie sleeping against a termite mount.
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Sorry photo not great! Even before sunrise!

Then we found these 13 lions in the road all to our self!!! We first saw 6, and when they disappeared into the bush, I looked in my rearview mirror and asked: Is that a termite in the road or more lions... Another 7 came along!!!! They were very shy and left the road as soon as I approached them slowly.. I even switched the car off!!!!

(Again before sunrise!)

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Sunrise! Must I really leave this paradise today?
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One after sunrise.
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MJ told me this pride normally are 18 lions... so I missed 5 somewhere :slap:

4 km later we found a white rhino cow with a very small calf. Unfortunately they were not photogenic.

A kilometer further we stopped at a duiker. Suddenly we noticed smoke coming from the engine. :big_eyes: I switched the car off, but it became more and more!! The next minute we heard a loud bang. :big_eyes: :big_eyes: Then we realized something seriously was wrong!! :pray: :pray: We quickly unpacked the car. Jackets, cameras, binocs, bird books, etc.

I checked my cell phone… but no signal. I did not have a fire extinguisher in my car!!!!! :big_eyes: I started to walk to find signal. We were about 1 km from the turn off to the Mlodozi Picnic area. I know that you usually only get signal at the picnic site… but at the turn off I got SIGNAL! :huh: I phoned Lower Sabie and told them the story!!! By now I could see flames underneath my car and the bonnet looks like a dalmation!! .....While phoning I saw cheetah dung on the sign board… See trip report 2. ...(Crazy what you are looking at while your car is burning!!!!) :shock: :shock: :shock:

Normally this road are FULL of cars..... but not one car came past while this whole insident happened!!!

10 minutes later Lower Sabie Staff was there and towed us back to Lower Sabie…
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The staff told me to be careful for this road is full of Predators!!! :hmz:... Well I saw 13 lions 5 kms back!!

What now?? I will definitely not reach Pretoria today any more!!! I phoned friends… and they told me that they will tow me back to Pretoria the next day!!!!

That evening MJ (the guide at Lower Sabie) did not go out with a drive. So she took us kindly for sundowners to sunset dam in her own car!! Thanks Martie! :thumbs_up:
These were some of the photos taken.
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Well to make a long story short, We arrived back safely (with no hair and no nails ... (I think the towing back was more nerve recking than having a burning car in Kruger!!)... in Pretoria the next evening, and R12 000 later I have a car again!! I still do not believe the reason why my car burnt that the garage gave as an excuse…..

Thanks for all the help the Lower Sabie Staff provided!!! I really appreciate it!!!

MM can you understand now?

Untill the next trip report.....

_________________
"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: Mads have "red hot" sightings in Kruger... AGAIN!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:24 pm 
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MJ wrote:
Quote:
i'm just glad i drove my own car and that it did not go up in smoke like yours.

:imsmilin: :funny:

Hi every one!!!

At least I can laugh about the “red hot situation” and have red hot sightings (antelope, birds and cats) on my next trip! A BANG it was!! Note the YR still on my car!!

But about a month later I was on my way again…

2nd Trip Report 19 – 24 September 2008
Destinations:
19 - 21 September : Punda Maria
22 – 24 September: Lower Sabie

Day 1: - Punda Maria 19 September 2008
We entered the park as late as you can…and went straight to camp!! Wonderful to be in paradise again!!

Day 2:
It was cold and cloudy… This is not weather that I associate with Punda. We left camp just after the gate opened. Su (my friend who saw the Serval and Puff adder sighting with me in June... now, the guide at Punda Maria) joined us for our drive! We found a female elliie on her own with a tiny baby.. that looked if she gave birth the previous night. The baby could not even run well! She was skittish and hid the baby. So no photos unfortunately.

We also found a buffalo in the road....
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with these “hitchhikers on him. Quite special ones: Yellow billed oxpeckers!
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We turned and went back to camp, and left for a walk at Thulamela archeological site near Pafuri!! We needed to pick up other guests at Pafuri Picnic Site.

On the way to Pafuri we found this beauty. Unfortunately we could not stay long. :lol:
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At least I knew that my luck did not burn with my car!! :tongue:

We picked up the other guests and drove the Nyala drive westerly along the Levuvhu river. We found Nyala eating a snake skin… unfortunately no photo!! Does any body know why they do that? I guess it is a shortage in minerals??

We also found this Eland Bull! I cannot remember when last I saw an Eland in Kruger!! What a sighting!! :lol:
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We also saw huge Kudu bulls, Nyalas, Impalas, etc.
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Then we reached the point where we started the walk for Thulamela!! I could not wait!!! :dance: :dance: :dance:
The walk was with Eric and Su. Eric was one of the working team that helped with the excavations at Thulamela.

On the way up to to the site, you zig zag through these giants. It is an amazing walk!!
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Eric told us about plants and their uses on the way up.
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We also looked at spoor and dung. We found this civetry. (the toilet of a civet. See also the shongololo (millipede) rings in the dung.
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Then we were at the site:
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One of the graves found at the site.
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A grinding stone
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You have a wonderful view over the Levuvhu river, I could see the baboons playing :tongue:
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And over these giants on the other side of the site. We heard ellies, but never saw them…
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On the way back we saw this ellie,
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and Grysbok (sorry no photo) At a waterhole we found ostriches with babies (about 6 babies), but to far for a photo!

On the way back we passed by Klopperfontein. At Klopperfontein we found these ellies playing, swimming, and crocodiling…
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Late afternoon we decided to drive to Thula Mila waterhole and Buffaloes drinking.
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We also encountered this Common Duiker.
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I fell asleep to the sounds of a hyena calling…..Wow!! I am in paradise!!!

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: Mads have "red hot" sightings in Kruger... AGAIN!
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:41 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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I must say that Su and myself are very lucky finding cats! We even saw in June how a Serval caught a puff adder!! See Mads & Betelgeuse in Kruger June 2008.
http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=23335
or just the video
http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=FUBtccQE04o

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


Last edited by Mads on Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mads have "red hot" sightings in Kruger... AGAIN!
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:25 am 
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Thanks Foxy for following my report!

Okay MJ here it is!!! I promise!! :pray:

Day 3:

This morning we were out when the gate opened!! It was again a cold and chilly morning. We decided to drive towards Shingwedzi, and Su did not have a morning activity. So… she joined us for the drive!

We found fish eagle on the H13-1.
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A few kms further this Swainson’s spurfowl was also cold next to the road!
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It was very quiet on the way down. We encountered the usual on the way down.We decided to go to the Kanniedood dam… We had wonderful sightings! Including Yellowspotted Nicator in a bird party. We also saw Open bill Stork! Lots of Nyalas, Bush buck, Waterbuck, Ellies, Buffalo, etc.
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We turned back and stopped at Shingwedzi. In the garden we heard parrots that was not Brown Headed…. It was Grey headed Parrot.! What a nice sighting!

We decided to take the Mphongolo loop and went back to the main road. We suddenly realize we needed to get back. Then our luck changed.

Just before Babalala saw a herd crossing the road.. It was Tsessebes with babies!!!!.... :dance:

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and a Lichtenstein with the herd. Unfortunately this was the only part of their anatomy that they were prepared to show off! It was the first Lichtenstein I have everseen!!!! :dance: :dance: :mrgreen: Wow!! Could the day get better?

A few kms north we found this beauty!! I cant remember when last I have seen one!! :dance: :dance:
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We also Ostriches on the way back.
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That evening we went on the late night drive with Su! We saw: About 15 Grysbok, many Pundaroos (Springhare), civet, 4 genets, thick tailed bushbaby in camp eating the flowers of the Weeping Boerbean!, a huge herd of Buffalo, Ellies at Thula Mila water hole drinking water... it sounded like emptying your bath!! Duiker, Bush Buck, Ellies close to the road, breeding herd and listening to the hyenas... We also heard Scops Owl very close but did not see it!

What a day for rare antelope!!! With the big heard of buffalo at the waterhole at Punda's hide, and all the sounds connected to it... I fell asleep!!!
Tomorrow will be a Mad(s) Day driving to Lower Sabie!!
Till next time!!

_________________
"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: Mads have "red hot" sightings in Kruger... AGAIN!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:44 pm 
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Hallo all forumites, Thanks to Every body for the comments!! :lol:

It is all about luck!! :pray: But there are definately more predators in the central and southern part of the park... but that does not mean I do not love the northern part of the Park, it has SO much to offer on rarities... mongoose, antelope, birds, plants, that you do not found in the rest of the park!

MM just say when!! I am moving to a bigger house in the next 2 weeks but after that ANY TIME!!!

Pumbaa the north stays one of my favourite places for birding, botany, animals, etc. I just love it! :mrgreen:

... But here we go!! ALL the way to the South!

Day 4:
We were heading from Punda to Lower Sabie… It was a LOOOOOOOOOOONG or is it now a MAD(S) drive… so we left as the gates opened. I hated to drive all the way 50km an hour… but had to go to Lower Sabie!!Tar road all the way!

I decided to stop for only “special” sightings, but after we reached Satara, and I saw that we will be in time, I stopped at general game as well. We had all the usual game… several huge herds of Buffalo (in fact I think :doh: I saw the Buffalo population of Kruger!), big groups of Ellies, Secretary bird, etc. Here is some photos of the general game.

I stopped for this cutie!
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General game…
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Just after the Olifants River we found 6 very full lions at a giraffe carcass. Yippee our first lions of this trip!!
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Just after Satara we found 3 more lions at another giraffe carcass (too far for a photo) At Mazithi dam we started the next chapter of cats!! 10 adult lions and at least 10 cubs!! Eating a buffalo. I had to look with binocs to count them. Still wonderful sightings!! ....And now the total for today...3 prides of lions at kills!!! :dance: I cannot recall when I saw last lions at a kill!! :hmz: NOW 3 in 1 day!! and that all on the tarr road :huh:

Just before Lower Sabie I found this Martial Eagle eating a monitor lizard. Another kill!! :dance:
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We then quickly went to unpack and then went for a short drive on “Eloff Street (H4-1). Martie did not have an activity and came with!! Nice to do a game drive with your personal guide! :dance: Though we were catting away and looking for game... the aim was more an outing than full blown game drive!! But still very enjoyable!!!

My father was very fond of baboon and monkey troops. As a child we used to spend hours with them! I love to sit at them nowadays if they are not a pest! :rtfm: Trying to climb into the car.. :sniper: or to steal some thing. This troop forgot about us!We found this Baboon troop in the road! It brought back memories! :thumbs_up:
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And so the sun sets on another day in paradise!
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Day 5: More Spotted ones!... To continue... :tongue:

_________________
"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: Mads have "red hot" sightings in Kruger... AGAIN!
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:37 pm 
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Thanks for reading my TR and comments made by ELSA and Rusty Justy

RJ aardvark do excist! :wink: I saw just outside Pretoria tonight: Brown Hyena, Aardvark, Serval, Buffalo, Hippo, White Rhino, Marsh Owl, Otter, Bush Pig. AMAZING!! :clap: :big_eyes:.. and no guests to show them to!! :twisted:

Day 5:
We (Martie had no morning activity and decided to accompany us!) left camp as the gates opened. We decided to go North…

At the Sabie river bridge we saw this Yellow billed Stork.
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Martie wrote on Lower Sabie Sightings:
Quote:
Like normally I love Mlondozi loop, but they didn’t.

Well, after my last “red hot” experience, I did not feel comfortable with the road…. :slap:

Martie wrote on Lower Sabie Sightings:
Quote:
And the words were something like, this road you see absolutely nothing and less than nothing,

Well it was quiet and not something I wanted to be reminded off… :twisted:

Martie wrote on Lower Sabie Sightings:
Quote:
…..until we saw giraffe running over the road and dust clouds in the distance. It was our female cheetah and her cubs that caught a kudu, quite in a distance, but still wow!
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5 Cheetahs…. And we just missed the kill!!!! WOW!! :mrgreen: :whistle:

They pulled the carcass behind a bush and we decided to move on.

Martie wrote on Lower Sabie Sightings:
Quote:
We couldn’t make up our minds if we want to stay there or rather move on, because some hyenas were also moving in.
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We found this Steenbok next to the road.
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Then we saw another kudu in the distance staring in totally different direction. Then we realized there might be another form of predator in the surroundings. :shock:
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So we went down to the picnic spot …..
(You know that is the area where my car caught fire!!!!!!!) :redface:

Martie wrote on Lower Sabie Sightings:
Quote:
and so we found another 3 cheetahs, this time males,

They were very vocal!!! They were running on both sides of the road,
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calling. Climbing on every tree log, termite mount, etc.
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At one stage a hyena came in the picture following or chasing the cheetah… but gave up after a while.
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And guess where they also climbed on?? Sniffing the dung I saw??
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….on the sign post of Mlondozi picnic spot. Where I stood to phone and had a look at the cheetah dung on top of the sign, when my car was red hot!
This time the sighting was red hot!! WOW!! What a morning!! :dance: :dance:

We dropped Martie at Lower Sabie and carried on towards Skukuza and found this Sausage tree flowering. A lot of animals ate the flowers underneath the tree.
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How must a lady sit? :huh:
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We found this giraffe next to the road, very relaxed.
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We went to lake panic to do some bird watching and found this. A darter caught a fish! :mrgreen:
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We also saw black crowned night heron, hippos and these terrapins.
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On the way out we found them next to the pathway of the hide.
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We found the usual as well!!
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Another day in Paradise!!... and our last night in Paradise for this time.

Tomorrow we are going home.... :cry: but we still needed the Lower Sabie Gentlemen as Martie calls them!! :cam: To be continued.....

_________________
"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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 Post subject: Re: Mads have "red hot" sightings in Kruger... AGAIN!
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:14 pm 
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I'm sorry!! :redface: Its now already Tuesday and I have not posted!!

THANKS to every body (Lorrainepring, Wendy A, Annalie, Anne-Marie, Mikerid, Pumbaa, Janeli) for commenting and reading my trip report.

MM Apparently they found a cheetah dead in that area (not sure of cause of death) I think they were looking for their brother.. :(

MJ surely we had alot of laughs and a million photos we could not use, at the cheetah sighting!! The ones we do have is definately worth it!! Memories kept for ever!!! :mrgreen:

Billyf: I am sure that is a marking spot for cheetah, for they are regularly seen on that road. Well, you can call it now the red hot predikant! :wink:

Giraffe: I think if it was only the cheetahs I would be okay....but lions :big_eyes: Which tree should I climb?? :hmz: :wink:

Weesy speak to Martie, maybe :huh: she will know where you could go look for them... I wish you ALL the luck!

Anja... :hmz: well that will be a difficult question.. :doh: I think I will combine the 2... The road where my car burnt and the cheetahs healed the wound!! :dance:.. :hmz: or maybe the road of red hot sightings!! :clap:

Sorry Giraffe, I will give the Martie the blame.... (although she was not here over the weekend!!) I had to show her my plastic bush.. At least we saw Aardwolf, Brown Hyena and a idea of a cheetah!! :dance: :mrgreen:


Well.... :hmz: Its now or never!! :roll:

Last day::(
We waited in front of the gate with a cup of coffee in hand for the gates to open. :lotsocoffee:

This morning we decided to try our luck on the S28.... Well it started as a "quiet" morning.

Our first sighting was Compass as Martie calls her. We saw her on our last trip as well. I am sure (even with her "funny" tusks) she would qualify as a cow as a tusker.
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On the the S28 we found this Magpie Shrike.
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These "migrating" Zebra close to Nthandanyathi Hide.
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At the hide there was very little water left... and a hippo dying... :cry: but I know thats natures way to make sure that the fittest survive... :wall:
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We had to turn back for Martie had to be at Lower Sabie...

About 4 km before LSabie we found these 2 waking up :P
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Just before the turn off to the bridge, we found the Lower Sabie Gentlemen as Martie calls them. We loved the sighting :dance: .... but the traffic jam... :naughty: we hated!! After the first gentle man walked passed the turn off he went to lie down..
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We decided to stay with him as we knew that the younger brother will follow.. we stopped at the side of the road and we sat and watched him (we were the only car that stayed with him ...untill his brother and the traffic jam arrived.
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One of the cars decided to park between us and the older brother :sniper: even though I was already at the side of the road !:rtm: And even though Martie was in uniform and she questioned them they did not bother!! :imsmilin: Check on the photo the arm out of the car!!
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There was an impala male in the road as the older brother approached The lion tried his luck (not really with an effort) when he saw the impala is ignoring him... but the impi did see himand fled.... and the brothers went into the bush.

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We waited at the bridge for a while to see if they do not re-appear.... but instead they decided to go and lie on the soccer field at the staff quarters... :hmz: With all these traffic jams they caused I will also go and lie where nobody can bother me..

While waiting at the bridge I spotted a Great Spotted Cuckoo! :roll: This was early for it was only September... :huh:

We watched the hippos as well...
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We packed up at Lower Sabie :( said goodbye to Martie
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and left for Phabeni Gate. On route we found the folowing:

2 more prides of lions... though they were not photogenic
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Just when my hands was full of suntan cream, the nyala female with horns crossed the road in front of me.. for a second time this year!! :dance: We also found it in June (the same trip Betelgeuse and myself saw the serval catching the puffadder.) So the photo is terrible :redface: and my clothes full of sun cream!!! :o
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Elephants and all off the normal game...
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Well...so another RED HOT TRIP ends :whistle: We arrived home safely!!

...but there should be at least 1 (maybe 2) trip(s) in December to Punda, to end off this year!

Till next time!! :thumbs_up:

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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


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