Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 1 of 2
 [ 25 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Back in Heaven Vol. 2 - February 2007
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:54 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:43 pm
Posts: 3594
Location: The planning is on again.....
Saturday, 17.02.2007 – Malelane – Berg en Dal

After an exciting first week in South Africa spending in four KZN Parks with lots of extraordinary sightings, just to mention a few: tons over tons of birds, antelopes of all sizes and plenty other general game, a black rhino bull without ears, black rhino cow with calf (they were grazing and we only realized at home that they were blackies), lions at a kill, a new born zebra, wild dogs (!) and in each park we saw white rhino the animal which we wanted to see most, as unfortunately on our last KNP trip we only saw them 2 times at the beginning of our trip and then no more. With these extraordinary sightings for us Kruger was just a bonus – just enjoy the remaining 8 days and see what is crossing our ways.

We arrived today late in the afternoon at the Malelane gate in KNP and this is still something very special for us - we are home again. 8)

The bridge shortly before the gate was due to the Saturday already filled with people and all of them stopped on the bridge left their vehicles and enjoyed the view from the bridge and so we did. In one of the cars the radio played quite a lovely song, of course silently, suitable to the view and all over my back prickles were running. In the very far we could spot a herd of elephants and from the bridge we realized one of the hugest and fatest crocodile in the river with the same name we ever saw, a nile monitor was lying on a rock, several white herons were taking a sunbath and a single jacana was searching for something and a pied kingfisher in flight.

Image Image

With great concern we arrived at the gate – it was full of people, however, everything went more than fast and after not more than 10 minutes all formalities have settled and we were again back in our beloved Kruger. The first shock we got because of all the dryness in the area around Berg en Dal. Normally this is one of the greenest parts of Kruger but this year it was unfortunately one of the driest. We only hoped that the rest of the park has got some rain and that quite massive rain to follow in remaining “raining season”.

Quite a view birds crossed our way for example this glossy something, several yellowbilled hornbills, marabous and quite a few grey louries and then a traffic jam in front of a bush.

Image Image

Unbelievable but true there was lying a leopard under a bush unfortunately no picture. She was lying there and you could only spot her by binos. She seemed to be very nervous - you could only hear some rustle and then some hissing and of she was. Someone in the other car told us that there was also a cub to see. Wow what a promising start just after the very few kilometers.

It was already a bit late to plan an evening drive so we entered Berg en Dal Camp, checked in which took a bit longer as I had to get my Wild Card renewed and as we were a bit concerned about the mass of people on that Saturday we already booked a table in the restaurant for 1 ½ hours later. After a quick shopping in the camp’s shop which was also filled with people we finally had some time to relax in our bungalow (we got No. 73) after this long drive and the heat which greeted us as usual in Kruger. It was time enough to upload the pictures from card onto laptop and for a refreshing shower before we headed to the restaurant.

It was a wise decision to book a table in advance as the restaurant was fully booked and no empty seats available. We enjoyed the best buffet dinner we ever had in any South African Game Park – here the Berg en Dal management had made a real improvement - unfortunately a very huge and very loud tour group from Germany 8) arrived and disturbed this perfect dinner a bit. We only felt sorry with them as they had to head forward day after day from one highlight of their trip to another but we could stop where we want and stay as long as we want.

Very satisfied with this delicious meal we strolled back to our bungalow and fell asleep as soon as we laid down.

To be continued….soon


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:45 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:43 pm
Posts: 3594
Location: The planning is on again.....
Wow thanks,

you are really not getting bored to read trip reports. 8) so do I :lol:

Anyway thank you very much MM, icurrie, WAC, Zypresse, Boorgatspook (always have to watch three times when writing this name :lol: ), Elsa & John n poppy (indeed thats a feeling that I do now miss very much).

Sunday, 18.02.2007 – Berg en Dal – Crocodile Bridge – Morning drive First part

Early up as usual, a quick breakfast and after packing all things together we are on our way to Crocodile Bridge. It was very cloudy and we had the feeling as if a thunderstorm was coming up. Our first drive brought us as usual to the Majulu waterhole. On this morning we again realized how dry everything was compared to our two visits in that area before.

First animals of course the ever present impalas, followed by a feeding elephant bull and on the road crossing the dry riverbed of the Matjulu our first white rhinos in KNP this year. It was a very curious calf coming closer and closer and a very relaxed mom without taking any notice from us.

Image Image

At the Matjulu waterhole two dagga boys came to drink, stayed a while, turned around and disappeared in the dry bush.

We decided to drive this year instead of the Crocodile river road the S114 crossing the Biyamiti weir and then the Bume road (S26) down to Crododile bridge – we never drove these roads before and it was wise decision we took. The birding was again excellent and soon we had on our list a longtailed shrike, a chinspot batis, a European bee eater, natal francolins, several grey louries making as ever some noise, plenty of yellowbilled hornbills, a lilacbreasted roller and finally a beautiful tawny eagle was posing only for us.

Image Image Image

Need your help now to identify this bird – it is just a guess but can it be a juvenile common fiscal?

Image

Finally we reached the Biyamiti weir two cars still in front of us and we took as usual some time and let the other cars drive away so that we had the weir on our own. There were plenty of water dikkops well camouflaged in the grass staring with their reptile eyes at us. Whilst we were still counting them – it must have been some 20 – another curious reptile eyed friend came up silently without making any noise.

Image Image Image

To be continued with the rest of the morning drive


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:46 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:43 pm
Posts: 3594
Location: The planning is on again.....
Thanks once more MM, John n Poppy, Zypresse, Anja, Anne-Marie and wanderw. Yes, the croc was special if I had streched my arm out of the window I could have crawled his head :lol:

Morning / Midday drive second part.

We spent another 15 minutes there and no movement of the crocodile we already thought it was a dummy when same dived as silently as he came up.

We turned into the Biyamiti loop and spotted a buffalo herd down in the river bed with some small calves obviously there were some puddles in the river still filled with water which they drank.

Image

The thunderstorm had somewhere disappeared and the sun was coming out and it was getting hotter and hotter. Although this road is very scenic with several good views down to the river from which we still could see the buffaloes on this Sunday morning this road was filled with each and every safari vehicle on tour in the South area of the park but each of them made a stop at a big herd of impalas which were grazing on some green grass.

Image

At the Muhlambamadvube waterhole an elephant bull came to drink. On the first kilometers of the Bume road nothing really nothing could be spotted neither a single impala not any birds. Shortly before the S102 turned left we heard from the back a car coming up in full speed. A lone and small elephant came from nowhere between the dense bushes and trumpeted after this strange car, crossed the road in front of us and disappeared. It was a break down truck and after the next corner we had a very strange sighting.

A family of homo sapiens was standing on the road, the break down lorry arrived already and then we saw their car. The driver somehow managed to drive up a tree – nobody had been hurt - really unbelievable how fast some people drive on such a gravel road. Unfortunately we were a bit shocked and forget to take a picture of the vehicle.

At the end of the S26 we could finally spot the dry riverbed of the Bume river – of course although the river was besides some puddles still dry this was high class leopard area. Finally on our left side we spotted two cars and again we heard this remarkable hissing of a leopard. It seemed that the cars had scared that leopard and same jumped with only one jump on a branch just in the same moment as we reached the tree.

Image Image Image

W O W again as ever on a leopard sighting with trembling hands we could take some shots but it was again a very very nervous leopard and soon same jumped from that branch hiding himself under a bush. I could only spot them again via binos. One of the other cars stopped and we chatted a bit with the driver. Their view from where they watched the scene was not that good as ours. We still stayed a while but nothing happened and we could only watch that the leopard when suddenly he was walking away into the riverbed. We stopped at each and every view point on that road in order to search for the leopard in the riverbed but could not find him any longer.

As it was now unbearable hot already we decided that it is now time to drive to the camp to check in. We took the S25 and although it was already that hot we spotted another tawny eagle, some yellowbilled hornbills, a herd of wildebeests and some kudus. On the tar road approx. one kilometer from the camp’s entrance gate we saw these two cute four tonners taking a nap under a small tree which seemed to be too small for them.

Image

Check in at Crocodile bridge took as usual not more than a minute and after another quick shopping we could relax on our verandah of bungalow No. 15 passing in review this exciting morning drive.

Image

To be continued with the afternoon drive on the S28


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:26 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:43 pm
Posts: 3594
Location: The planning is on again.....
Better short than nothing......

As usual when staying at Croc bridge the S28 was our target for this afternoon drive. Soon outside the gate on the tar road we watched a family of warthogs. Mom was still feeding them but the grass was also already delicious for them.

Image Image

An elephant bull crossed the road in high speed – he seemed to be very thirsty. First animal on the S28 was a giraffe which enjoyed the acacia evidentially.

Image

A big herd of wildebeests, another elephant bull were the next animals. The area around Crocodile Bridge was compared to the BnD area so green and fresh as known by us. Therefore it seemed that this area was visited by big herds quite frequently.

Soon we got stuck in a herd of buffaloes and as usual they allowed us some good photo opportunities.

Image Image Image Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:59 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:43 pm
Posts: 3594
Location: The planning is on again.....
Thanks MM - warthogs are always cute 8)

Driving further this road which was filled with animals we found this female kudu enjoying the oxpeckers work.

Image

This massive male rhino came from nowhere

Image

Again plenty of yellow billed hornbills could be spotted on that road

Image

Also some ostriches - a male with his harem were enjoying this green area
Image

There was so much to see on that road that time was running out and we had to turn around and drive back in order not to come back after gate’s closure. The buffaloes were still grazing at the same spot, another ellie bull and a herd of wildebeests which allowed us some close shots.

Image Image

This rhino was so cute – It seemed that Timon was frightening her with the big lens he had on the camera. She was hiding behind this leaves (obviously not thick enough for a bush) and had no desire to pose for us. It seemed that she had “a bad horn day” – that’s the reason why I thought it could only be a female!

Image

Enough time to left to take a picture of this very scenic sunset and the evening we spent once more with a delicious braai meal and a good glass of wine on our verandah.

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 7:55 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:43 pm
Posts: 3594
Location: The planning is on again.....
Monday, 19.02.2007 – Crocodile Bridge

Early up as usual and after taking a quick cup of coffee to get a little bit more awake we were already on our morning drive which took us – no surprise :lol: – to the S28. Some vultures were sitting still a bit sleepy in a tree but nothing could be found they were maybe waiting for. This morning it was still a bit cloudy so it was not that hot on this morning and also it was a bit windy. Just outside the camp we were stuck in a huge herd of impalas it must have been more than 200.

Image

Soon we reached the S28 and spotted a flock of Helmeted guineafowls which were running around on the ground so you had to be careful when driving. Maybe the same giraffe we met already during our yesterday’s afternoon drive was still enjoying the same acacia tree.

Not very far we also met our buffalo herd from yesterday. The whole herd was still very sleepy and nearly all of them rested down on the ground spread all over behind, under and in bushes. Over and over between the green you also could spot some grey “rocks” - only lifted up the head a bit, took a look around and then lay it down again.

Image

Meanwhile the sun came out but due to the wind the heat was still at a comfortable level.

Image

Far away down in the valley we could spot a herd of wildebeests and zebras, the harem of ostriches was still at the same spot and also our female Kudu was still enjoying the oxpeckers. It was as if time stood still. A beautiful European roller in the mood for posing, another glossy starling and this longtailed shrike ready for take off were put also on to our bird list.

Image Image

The obligatory short visit at Nhlanganzwani waterhole brought us the usual hippo clan living there and already three other cars were enjoying the view whilst sipping at their coffee. On the way back to the S28 several millepedes were crossing the street and we had to wait until they reached the other side.

Suddenly a desperate screaming…..


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:05 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:43 pm
Posts: 3594
Location: The planning is on again.....
Thanks BGS, MM and wanderw,

it was really a heartbreaking sreaming

Suddenly a desperate screaming could be heard from a branch on a tree and soon we found the noisemaker – it was a beautiful juvenile verreaux’s (giant) eagle owl – w o w our first owl ever in KNP! It seemed that it was calling for the parents the screaming did not stop. Soon another car arrived at the tree and the people in the car were also delighted after spotting the owl in the tree.

Image

On the way to Duke’s waterhole again several herds of zebras and wildebeests and an African fish eagle directly at the waterhole were the last animals we saw and then for a long long time we – unbelievable but true – found nothing. We crossed the high water bridge near Lower Sabie and drove the whole H10 up until we turned left into the S128. Normally this is a real good game viewing area but on this morning it wasn’t. The complete area had been burnt down and already some green spots appeared between the black earth.

Only three elephant bulls crossed our way and this one came closer and closer and in my opinion he was definitely not in a good mood.

Image

We left him – we really have no interest in any grumpy ellie – this morning. The only animal we found on the S128 was this little curious steenbock in “thinking pose”.

Image

He came running in our direction from nowhere and we were under the impression that he was looking for some company on that lonely road. We stayed a while with him as he was so cute. On our way back we visited Mlondozi picnic spot mainly in order to do a little break from driving. The view down to the dam was not that encouraging. The dam was nearly dried out and a family of hippos in the remaining brack water and plenty of waterbucks were still the only animals we could see. Once more we were shocked about the dryness also in this area of KNP this year. Fortunately I read in a trip report that in June this dam was once again filled with water so we were no longer concerned about all the dryness.

At Lower Sabie we enjoyed once more the view from the viewing platform, the air condition in the camp shop and a big ice cream before we finally drove back the tar road to Croc bridge without paying sunset dam a short visit but due to the heat we not stayed that long. Tomorrow on our way to Skukuza we will stay a bit longer.

Unfortunately I realized during this morning drive that I had lost my earring somewhere and I only hoped that I lost same in our bungalow and the staff were able to found same and what to say after entering our bungalow the earring was lying in the ashtray – a big thank to the cleaning staff of Crocodile bridge :clap: -you made Pumbaa once more happy.
:dance:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 4:20 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:43 pm
Posts: 3594
Location: The planning is on again.....
As promised here now the final installment of this day:

We spent the noon on our verandah and around 3 o’clock in the afternoon we were again on the road but soon we were stopped as a breeding herd of ellies were crossing the street.

Image

Several giraffes at the beginning of the S28 and finally a “real musketeer” blocked the road.

Image
Image

Once more elephant bulls could be spotted in between the bushes and some members of a zebra herd allowed us some nice bump shots.

Image Image

On our way back to camp two more rhino bull, some more ellies and giraffes, a family of totally tree white rhinos were grazing between some dense bushes and again the huge herd of impalas we found on the same spot as on our morning drive. Once more we enjoyed another braai (what else) before we went to bed.

Image Image

To be continued with a very eventful drive from Croc Bridge to Skukuza


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:02 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:43 pm
Posts: 3594
Location: The planning is on again.....
Tuesday, 20.02.2007 – Crocodile Bridge – Skukuza

Today was again moving day and we had to leave Croc Bridge for Skukuza. After a quick breakfast with a strong coffee and after everything was packed into our car we left and drove one final time our beloved S28. Just outside the gate a big troop of baboons entertained us – unfortunately today it was again extremely cloudy so no descent picture.

Soon we reached the S28 and again today the game on that road was plentyful. Several herds of wildebeest, zebras and giraffes were grazing or feeding on the acacia leaves altogether. It were so many of them that nearly the whole drive on that road we saw these animals and in between we spotted several waterbucks, vervet monkeys in a tree, a lone male kudu and a mother kudu with two half-adult sons.

Image

In the very far distance we could spot a lone elephant bull with enormous tusks – unfortunately this guy was hidding the whole time under a tree and behind a bush and did not move – so we could not find out whether it was maybe Duke or not.

Soon we reached once more Nhlanganzwani waterhole which we unfortunately realized later on the forum had been closed – hopefully same will be re-opened soon. Several white-backed vultures were sitting in a tree near the waterhole.

Image

After a final visit at Duke’s waterhole which brought us nothing we headed forward for another break from driving at Lower Sabie, however, still on the S137 a huge herd of zebras attracted our attention as there were 2 females battling.

The one hit her legs into the tummy of the other female and you really could heard a dull noise when she hit the other one with a strong kick. Both females could not calm down and a third zebra came to settle their fight.

Image Image Image Image Image

They still had not quiet down but we had to leave them. A blackbellied korhaan was the next animal and also the ever present impalas crossed out way as well as a family of warthogs and a kudu bull rested down in the grass.

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:36 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:43 pm
Posts: 3594
Location: The planning is on again.....
Then we found an older elephant bull with a broken tusk and it also seemed that his ear was also broken, however, he was a very friendly one and allowed us some good close shots.

Image Image

Before our quick stop at Lower Sabie we checked the bridge crossing the Sabie and found this very active colourful Southern red bishop.

Image

On the bridge we could spot a lone resting dagga boy and a lone impala bull came to drink. As usual when on this bridge we spend some time with the hippo clan living here and Timon is always fascinated by these massive animals. Soon the leading male did the typical hippo “yawning” in order to mark his territory.

Image Image

After a toilet break and a look at the sighting board at Lower Sabie we spent some time at Sunset dam. Meanwhile also the sun had pushed away the clouds and it was another hot hot summer day in paradise. Sigh.....

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:08 am 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:43 pm
Posts: 3594
Location: The planning is on again.....
Thanks once more MM - exactly but sometimes you wish to push him to walk a bit faster..... 8)

@Ralph - Thanks a lot :lol:

Whilst driving the main tar road up to Skukuza we watched a relatively big breeding herd of elephant on a short gravel loop. Elephant of all sizes some of them were taking a bath, others were only feeding, several small calves in between and two teenagers chased a lone hippo out of the way into the water. It is still a good advice just to stop somewhere under a tree, switch the engine off and watch animals – normally you will always find something interesting.

Image

Nearby Nkuhlu picnic spot we could see in the distance another road block in form of a clan of vervet monkeys – nearly all of them were lying on the road and did what monkeys do best – coat care – except one very small baby which was quite active in jumping from one branch to another and back. It was really difficult to get a descent picture of him.

Image

Another car was driving in full speed but realized also in time this road block and slowed down.

At Nkuhlu picnic spot we did another break and enjoyed just the view and silence with a cold ice cream in the shade. Unbelievable but true no monkeys disturbed us there today.

Furthermore this beautiful white-fronted Bee eater, a Nile Monitor, another lone dagga boy and several very sleepy baboons could be spoted before we finally reached the bridge crossing the Sabie river.

Image Image

It was already early afternoon and not much cars out – we just enjoyed some views from the bridge and envy the hippos and crocs and the “cold” water. Goliath herons, an African fish eagle and some Southern Carmine bee eaters could also be watched.

Image

Another breeding herd of ellies were active breaking branches and feeding on one bush right beside the road before we finally reached Skukuza. We had been booked into a Riverview Bungalow and after such an exiting drive with watching fighting zebras, hippos, vervet monkeys, baboons and elephants and many many more and also due to the fact that this day was extremely hot – the other days were also hot – but this day must have been one of the hottest ever for us in KNP - we took a little nap.

to be continuted with our afternoon drive - and finally some lions. :lol:

I herewith would like to take the opportunity to wish all readers a very happy and prosperous new year and may at least some of your wishes may come true. :P


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:31 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:43 pm
Posts: 3594
Location: The planning is on again.....
Thanks once more Elsa, p@m and wanderw also for your new year's wishes I transferred same also to Timon and also he is wishing you the best for 2008 with many many exciting Sanpark trips. :dance:

@Elsa - mini meet for February is still on my agenda! :lol:

@p@m - Thank you wishing you also many many happy returns :D

@wanderw - Thanks also for you the sighting of your life 8)

After this relaxing refreshment with the aircondition on full power we visited the shop and on our way back we watched a vervet monkey which tried to open the fridges on each riverside bungalow. Clever as we were we put a chair in front of the fridge but he showed us that he also can open the fridge with the chair more than easily. So we turned the fridge around the wall so that no monkey can open it again. Also the dust bins in Skukuza were no hurdles for them - the cover can be open easily and then they can help themselves.

Image

Maybe it helps to cover the dustbins monkey and hyena proof? :?

From our verandah we could spot another goliath heron and an elephant bull. We decided to do another afternoon drive on the H1-2 and soon we reached the low water bridge outside the camp and met our elephant again which we already spotted from our verandah.

Image

We enjoyed another great view on the low water bridge crossing the Sand river and soon a safari vehicle waved us down that a bit further down the road seven lions were lying down in the riverbed and you can find them easily on the bridge crossing the Mutlumuvi. Btw - we really do not had any problems with any safari vehicles during our three trips to South Africa – on the contrary the drivers or the co-pilots are always waving us down telling us if they had find something interesting. :clap:

And finally we found the lions far away in the riverbed and did what lions did best – sleeping!

Image Image Image Image

Soon the bridge was filled and blocked with cars so nobody could turn around. We spent quite a time here but more and more cars arrived and we had really enough of this traffic jam and as usual when something interesting had appeared time was running out and we had to return to the camp. :(

On the low water bridge crossing the Sand river we were the only car and could find some catfish in the water allowing us some shots.

Image

Another quick stop at the low water bridge crossing the Sabie we found this crocodile in the water.

Image

Back in camp we decided that it would be a good idea to visit the Selati train restaurant. In the whole camp in each and every bungalow the air condition was running on full power and on our way to the Selati restaurant a total power failure took place – although it was already dark it was still as hot as on the whole day. The atmosphere in the restaurant was extreme cosy and idyllic without any electricity – the candles on the tables and the braais were throwing flames and the yummy smell – heaven.

Soon the electricity was back and the people in the restaurant applauded but then followed by another “ooohhhhh” as the electricity was down again. After another 10 minutes the electricity was finally back with no further break downs.

We just soak in the atmosphere here, the food and the wine were excellent and also the staff was quite friendly – as normally everywhere in the Park. After that delicious meal and after that exciting day we felt again in bed as soon as we came back from the restaurant. This was definitively not our last visit in this restaurant - of course not will be back on Valentine's Day 2008!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:34 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:43 pm
Posts: 3594
Location: The planning is on again.....
Wednesday, 21.02.2007 – Skukuza

Today we had one full day for the areas around Skukuza and our first target was the main tar road north with visits at Mantimahle, Olifantdrinkgat and N’watindlopfu waterholes. At the low water bridge near camp we found this flock of marabous on the sandbanks in the Sabie river. Although really not one of the most beautiful birds this bird has definitely got something and also the wing span is more than impressive.

Image Image

The drive to the waterholes was not that eventful we only spotted these two still very sleepy white rhinos.

Image

We turned around and once more enjoyed the atmosphere on the high water bridge crossing the Sabie. For us it is always a highlight to stop on either low or high bridges and looking out for something interesting to see also the landscape is usually extremely stunning.

Image

As it was still early we decided to drive the first kilometers on the S30. Although this road is here very scenic no animals besides this family of waterbucks with an extremely young male had chosen such a lovely and idyllic place.

Image

Also this road brought us no more animals beside some stunning views into the Sabie river we also turned around and as we had still enough time for a longer drive we decided that we can give the S3 another choice as also this road is following the Sabie quite a time and always allows some good views into the river. However, before starting this drive another stop at the bridge brought us a hamerkop and this beautiful pair of saddlebilled stork searching for some fish.
Image

On our way to the S3 a family of ground hornbills caused a traffic jam by crossing the street.

Image

Unfortunately the S3 was today also no good choice as not much animals around, however, this dark-eyed beauty was tinkling with her long eyelashes and we could not hesitate to photograph her.

Image

Only some elephants in the dense bush and a grey hornbill was everything we could find on that road today. A quick stop on our way back to camp at the N’waswitshaka waterhole which is hidden behind a sand dam brought us a lone hippo with the head under water between the water salad and a lone African jacana. We first thought that the hippo was dead but same was still breathing.

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 2:50 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:43 pm
Posts: 3594
Location: The planning is on again.....
Time for a break in camp and we strolled a bit around, changed some cash and bought some meat for our braai this evening and of course paid a visit to the fruit bats in camp and enjoyed some more great views from our verandah. It was strange but today we could not find a single vervet monkey in the whole camp.

For our today’s afternoon drive we have chosen H4-1 tar road and were not disappointed. Soon we have been waved down by another car whispering the word “lion”.

And there she was – a lone lioness. Although she was licking her wounds on the noise and around the eyes the healthy teeth are telling another story. She was breathing strongly under a tree and must have killed just shortly before a warthog which was lying some meters away.

Image Image Image

More and more cars arrived and also a van carrying some staff members to the camp stopped and the people in the car took some pictures with their mobile phones.

Unfortunately the cars and traffic jam chased her away and she crossed the street in front of us and walked down to the river not before holding in for a few seconds allowing us to take another brilliant picture of her.

Image

We drove a bit further and soon another traffic jam had been built as a breeding herd of elephants were crossing the street.

Image

Whilst we were stuck in this traffic jam another breeding herd of totally four elephants and with an extremely young matriarch appeared just between the bushes on our left hand side. We could neither drive further nor turn around so we had no choice then to switch the engine off and let the elephants cross the road.

The matriarch did not throw us a single glance but the very last small elephant – still a baby - was in no good mood and spread the ears, shaking his head came closer and closer and nearly had broken our mirror of the car but then turned around and disappeared in the bush. When this small one had been grown up I am definitely not the mood for meeting him again. :roll:

Image

Back in camp we enjoyed another great braai on our verandah, under the trees, with the crickets around and already feeling a bit sad as tomorrow we have to move to our very last camp of this holiday.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:24 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:43 pm
Posts: 3594
Location: The planning is on again.....
Thursday, 22.02.2007 – Skukuza – Satara

Again we had to pack everything together and were soon on our way to our very last camp in which we stayed during this holiday – Satara. First we wanted to inspect whether the killed warthog was still on its place but the complete animal has totally disappeared. It seemed that not only the lioness but also other animals had a great dinner last night.

A troop of baboons

Image

and another troop had occupied the high water bridge crossing the Sabie

Image Image

Whilst driving the main tar road we found impalas, giraffes and elephant bulls but soon we were waved down by another car whether we saw the three rhinos which they had spoted some kilometers back. We did not lose a minute and drove approx. one kilometer back where we found them, mother and calf and a collared bull.

Not much cars around today and also the sun was coming up and it started to get hotter and hotter. Back on our way to Satara we met several giraffes on the tar road and paid a visit at Leeupan which had been totally dried out and beside a lone dwarf mongoose and a few vultures in a dead tree nothing else were found.

Image Image

At Silolweni waterhole we met again the younger people in the car which gave us the hint about the rhinos and we thanked them and made a break whilst scanning the waterhole for some animals. We saw once more hundreds of impalas coming to drink, some waterbucks, a saddle-billed stork and the clan of hippos living there.

Still enough time to pay a short visit at Orpen dam but nothing really interesting on the whole road there beside an armed staff member on a bicycle. Back on the tar road we came along a tree which was filled with grey louries, more lone elephants bulls and some nice posing waterbucks.

ImageImage

And once more we met the car which told us about the rhinos telling us that they just saw the tail of a cheetah crossing the street. :cry: We stayed a bit and tried to look through the dense bushes in that area but could not spot anything and decided to leave. Although the cheetah still was on our wish list….

We passed the Mazithi and N’watingungu waterholes, drove as usual the N’wasitsontso loop and paid a visit at the baobab tree, however, not a single animal around. We only met an elderly couple in a car which was a bit desperate as they could not find the exit to the tar road again they were only driving in circles again and again and again. We told them to just drive straight and then only right – hopefully they found the way back to the road. :wink:

Also Kumana waterwhole was nearly empty and no animals around but we found this beautiful Brown snake eagle in a tree allowing us some nice shots.

Image

Giraffes en masse in between the bushes and trees and a lone steenbock

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 25 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: barryels, Meandering Mouse and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by Jurie van Vuuren at 12:26:03 Submitted by Trudie at 17:40:30 Submitted by Trudie at 16:36:57 Submitted by grannyb at 17:57:00