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 Post subject: Southern Kruger sightings : August 2005
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 6:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 5:59 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Bryanston, SA
Hi everyone,
We are back from our weekend in the park and had excellent sightings! The kids only fell apart completely once, and we were only attacked by a baboon once.

We entered at Malelane Saturday p.m. and drove up the H3/H1-1 in the heat of the day and saw giraffe, rhino, wildebeest, buffalo, warthog, duiker, klipspringer...and of course the graceful impala.

Sunday morning I went out on my own when the gate opened and had the Lower Sabie road to myself since everyone else went to see the gored rhino that was being eaten by a pride of lions on the S65. Saw nice ellies with babies and hippos in the river. Had to cut my drive short when I realized on the H12 bridge that I was almost out of gas...coasted my way back to camp.

After breakfast we all went out along the Lower Sabie Road again, since it is so pretty. Saw even more ellies and hippos on the banks of the river. On one of the loops we stopped to watch a baboon troop...I thought all the windows were up :redface: I feel very bad that we contribulted to the littering of the park...he managed to get our rubbish bag, and will probably put our 4 year old daughter in therapy from having a baboon reach over her to get our stuff. She was very scared and talked about mean baboons for the rest of the trip. :cry:

Sunday afternoon she and I took a drive together. We stopped in at the Lake Panic Bird Hide and saw hippos, crocs, turtles, darters, great egret, and a baby bushbuck.

From there we headed out the S1 where we saw zebra, giraffe, elephant, warthog, and ground hornbill. From there we decided to go check out the rhino carcass with lions on the S65. We got a good view for a couple of minutes and saw 1 lioness, one male and heard the cubs calling. Stopped at the Nwatwitshaka WH and saw hippos and knob billed duck.

Monday morning I hit the jackpot on the Early Morning Game drive. We took the same route along the S65 and saw White Rhino and went to the rhino carcass again. The lions were awake and feeding. This time two lionesses, two large males and two frolicing cubs pulling on their mother. Hooded vultures in the trees nearby. All this with the rising sun over the bush in glorious shades of rose and violet.

As we were leaving the rhino/lions we got a hot tip...cheetahs on the Napi Road near Transport Dam. We arrived to see three of them moving across the bush towards the road. I was quivering with anticipation to see them closer and that's what we got! The three of them started walking behind the first layer of brush right along the road. They looked very well fed. :) At Transport dam there were several Fish eagles and a lioness lounging on the other side. We also saw waterbuck and Klipspringer on the koppie.

Our late morning "exit" drive was very lucky as well. We took the Maroela Loop and saw lots of impala, but not much more. We crossed the H12 bridge across the Sabie again and saw the hippos again as well as a herd feeding in the tall river grass. We took our lunch at Nkuhlu and got some nice leopard tips. As we left and drove VERY slowly scanning the trees, we came across another car that had spotted one about 20 meters back under a bush. Nice! Further along the road we saw another leopard (WAAAAAAY up in a tree). Double nice! :lol: Also some fantastic kudu bucks grazing right along the road.

At Sunset Dam we saw about 50 hippos and several crocs sunning themselves. The H4-2 was pretty quiet as we drove towards Crocodile Bridge....zebra, giraffe, warthogs. I was hoping for wild dog and hyena, but I guess we got lucky earlier, so that was it for us.

We all had a wonderful time and I can't wait to get back again!

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 Post subject: Kruger trip report- 17th Aug
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:40 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 3:54 pm
Posts: 113
Location: Venetia, Limpopo
Just quick day trip report on that day:

Travelled between Orpen, and ended Phabeni gate, via Sweni rd, main tar rd., Skukuza, and then Sabie river westwards.

Elephants, buff were aplenty, 3 diff. lion sightings - 1. lioness with kill N Nkaya pan, Satara, 2. lions watching buff at Shilolweni dam, and then 3. lion pride lying on gravel rd. along Sabie west of Kruger gate - that is nice quiet rd.

Park looking dry, nice impala lilies out in bloom.

wj


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 Post subject: Southern Kruger sightings August 2005
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:48 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 3:54 pm
Posts: 113
Location: Venetia, Limpopo
Next trip - 2 nights - satara and Berg-end dal.

Sightings as follows:

Leopards - a) 1 seen late afternoon in Timbavati riverbed, W Bobbejaanskrans - that little loop where the river bends N - worthwhile to check for them and other things at that pnt.

b) 1 leopard seen next day, midmorning in Sausage tree along Nwaswitsontso, N Tshokwane.

No lions.

Servals - twice on Satara's late night drives.

Many eles, and buff.

Nyala - Timbavati & Sabie river areas

All rhinos in south, S Afsaal. That gabbro plain at Afsaal always produces a group of rhino there - if you seeking them to compliment the 'big 5' I would go there and look for starters.

I was very impressed with Sweni bird hide - plenty of life - crocs, birds, etc. - great spot for bird photography.

American women that accompanied me was very impressed with the Kruger - not only the nature, but the ablutions and general camp cleanliness was of a very high standard, she mentions more so than back home at resorts.

Yours, enjoy if anyone going soon.

w


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 Post subject: Kruger update - where da lions (and other stuff) at
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 5:11 pm
Posts: 14
I just finished 4 weeks in Kruger - the first trip consisted of 2 weeks in the first half of July and then an additional 2 weeks just concluded

Detail trip report and photos will be online in a week or two, for anyone interested, but a quick summary follows - especially lion pride locations, in case anyone is interested.

The first trip coincided with school holidays and was planned 4 days in advance - not the ideal recipe. We spent the first week in the northern part of the park - Shipandani hide, Mopani, Olifants, Sirheni, Bateleur and Punda. This part was fairly slow when it comes to game viewing, and even slower when it came to photography, thanks to very cloudy skies. We did have 2 decent and extended leopard sightings. The second week was in the southern part of the park - Lower Sabie, Skukuza, Talamati and Satara. Sightings were better this time, but due to large crowds, productive photography was very hard.

The second trip, I was by myself, as my wife had to fly back for some other work. This was entirely in the southern part of the park - Lower Sabie, Skukuza, Satara and Croc Bridge, with a couple of nights in Malelane for change. Viewings were significantly improved this time, and I definitely had a lot more photo ops as well.

Generally, for viewing and for photography, I think the southern parts of the park were much better -- no surprise, eh?

Highlights of the trip for me:
- photographing a pride at a giraffe kill
- getting a second chance to shoot a leopard in a tree (I missed the first sighting near Lower Sabie)
- second time I saw elephants mating in the water (first time was in Matusadonha NP in 2002) - and this time I got shots
- seeing a suni
- some very nice steenbok shots
- watching an ele kick a sleeping calf awake. Literally. She walked up to the baby and without preample, gave him a moderate kick on his backside. Strict parents, those eles.
- having a 30 min session in fading light with a lioness, by myself.... (details in the trip report)

Not-so-highlights of the trip:
- the food at the park. I love meat more than most people I know, but lord, would it kill them to have *some* veggies? What do vegetarians do?
- the lack of respect some people show for animals and for etiquette: there was even a jackoff honking his horn at the giraffe kill, to get the dozing lions to look at him! And the number of people that nosed over to see what I was shooting (stupid big white lens sticks out like a sore thumb) and roared away - literally gunning their engines - when they saw it was nothing glamorous, ruining my shot for me. Why do these people even come to a NP????
- didnt get to see wild dogs. I guess that's what next trip is for...

During this time, I noticed some trends in "trophy" sightings, which I thought I'd share here:

The tar road between Lower Sabie and Skukuza turned up lions over 50% of the times I drove it. However, photographically, this was pointless, as the lions mostly crossed the road - and the high volume of cars made getting even a simple lion potrait hard. I stopped driving this road as a result. However, if you dont care about getting saleable photos, then this is probably your best bet for seeing lions.

As far as I can tell, there is a pride of atleast 1 male, and atleast 9 lionesses and subadults that hangs around about 5-10 km past the Lubyelubye bridge, coming from Lower Sabie. I've seen them thrice in this area. There is also atleast one pride between the start of the H4-2 and the turn off to go to S30.

The road between Lower Sabie and Croc Bridge was also very productive. There is a pride of 3 lionesses (incl. 1 with a collar) and 2 males that hangs around the dry river bed just south of the H5 turnoff on this road. I saw them almost every time I drove that road, and they dont seem to go far.

There is also a resident leopard that hangs around in the first 6-7 km on this road (starting after you pass the turn off to the road to Tshokwane), as you leave Lower Sabie. I didnt see the blasted critter, but he had a buck on a tree one day, I saw his tail another day and heard impala alarm-calling a third day. Others seem to have been luckier.

There is also atleast 1 pride that hangs around the early part of the S25 road. Another pride hangs out north of the bridge 6km north of Croc Bridge.

My favorite road in this area is the one going north from Croc Bridge. I had both my cheetah sightings (a mum with 4 cubs, and a coalition of 3) on this road -- although both were in fading light. This route was quite grim in July, but game numbers have picked up a lot more now. There are atleast 2 prides that hang around on the road between Lower Sabie and the hill near Mlondozi. There may also be a pride around the Muntshe Dam area - I saw a whole lot of vultures clustered on a tree there 2 days ago, and a lot more landing... good indications of a lion kill. Didnt see the cats, so it may be nomads.

The Muntshe dam was also a good road for rhino - I saw them virtually every time I drove the road. The Muntshe dam area was also awesome for steenbok - right by the road, without too much thick brush obscuring them.

In other areas: there is also a pride of lions that seems to visit the dam just south of Tshokwane) quite regularly. I've had good luck seeing them in the late morning, sunning themselves on the embankment.

There is also a hyena den right where S125 branches off from the main tar road connecting Satara and Tshokwane. The pups seem to be quite big, so I am not sure how much longer this den will remain occupied.

I hope this is of use to people planning their trip now. Please note that this is based on my own observations and these conclusions helped me with regular sightings of lion and rhino. Your mileage may vary.

Overall, we had a great time in S Africa, although I have to admit I am a little worried about the Saffie love for (a) biltong and (b) Celine Dione ("Celine Dione weekend" on JacarandaFM??!! Surely there are public interest laws against that!!!). :)

To quote the Governator - I'll be back!

Cheers,
Vandit

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Wildlife/nature appreciation and photography tours in India


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 Post subject: Oumie's Trip - August 2005
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 9:45 am 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 1731
Location: My business...
Arrived safely yesterday. Spent the first night at Berg'nDal. Saw lots of general game. Best ones - hyena with cubs and two White Rhino. Had a braai with amarula last night.

Just received word that they are looking at lion at James' Waterhole on the S114 resting on the mound with Some impala a few metres away.

Guess who's hoping for some hungry lions! :lol:


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 9:36 am 
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Location: My business...
Update for yesterday. :lol:

At Skukuza for three nights. Saw a cheetah yesterday morning at the turnoff to Renosterpan which was trying to catch a zebra foal - unsucessful. :shock: (I'd love to see a cheetah hunt!), 6 rhino, lots of ellies, buffalo, duiker, Saddlebill. Just passed the turn-off to Skukuza Airport - A LIT eating an Impala! :shock: Barely made it back in time before camp gates closed.

Also reports huge veldfires at Berg'nDal and Pretoriuskop heading towards Skukuza.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 5:32 pm 
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Location: My business...
They are having a wonderful trip. 8) For today:

2 different leopards, 3 prides of lion, Sable on the S36 at Lugmag Dam, Vultures and Jackal at a giraffe carcass.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 9:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:10 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Cape Town
Good Evening,
Back from a wonderful 5 days in Kruger :D
Saw a lot and took some :cam: with our new digital. Hope they come out ok :!:

I see that I have started a nice discussion about my Amarula! :wink:
Surely you Musketeers know what I meant by having a braai with Amarula :evil:
Let me tell you again: While my SO was braaing meat, I was drinking Amarula. Do you now understand now :twisted: capish :?:

On Thursday we entered at Phabeni gate. I asked them about the “my acreâ€Â

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Twee Revieren 5/9/14
Kalahari Tented camp 6/9/14 - 9/9/14

Kruger booked for 2015.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 10:41 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:10 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Cape Town
Here is some photo's I took with my new digital camara :D

Image

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Twee Revieren 5/9/14
Kalahari Tented camp 6/9/14 - 9/9/14

Kruger booked for 2015.


Last edited by Oumie on Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:16 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Cape Town
Image
Image

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Twee Revieren 5/9/14
Kalahari Tented camp 6/9/14 - 9/9/14

Kruger booked for 2015.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:08 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Cape Town
Also had "Park Rage" in August :evil: the same as in Jumbo's report.
Had an "Aussie" couple at the Leopard sighting yell at my SO to move so that he could get a better view :!: SO ignored him first then after a while he drove up next to our car and yelled out loud that "In Australia everybody give each other a turn to see the animals, Mate" SO told them they are in Africa now, not in Australia and to ralax, and he could park next our small car and have a look at the Leopard which you could see in the grass from all different points. He shouted no thanks and something about stupid South Africans and sped away. Needless to say everybody there "killed" themselfs laughing :lol:
The second incident was at the sighting of Lions. While I was concentrating to take a photo of the Lions paw (we were sitting in our small car) when a chap with a Colt Bakkie pulled up behind us and revved the car all the time. Also after a while he pulled up next to SO and asked why do we not move so that other people could be in our spot to see better. (The Lions were on a slight inbankment right in front of us, so everybody did see them clearly.
(Before that we had a combie parked next to us taking photos over the top of our car roof chatting quietly to us)
SO said that his car is higher than ours and can see them better than we could, but he just got angry and yelled at SO that he is a pig :shock: . Well SO then lost it and yelled back better he leave:!: He then sped off with dust flying and everybody there also started to laugh at him, Then he really got mad and did a wheelie, sand and stones flying :!:
Such a shame that there is "Park Rage" in Kruger now :(

_________________
Twee Revieren 5/9/14
Kalahari Tented camp 6/9/14 - 9/9/14

Kruger booked for 2015.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 10:12 pm 
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The last photos taken with my new
digital camara :D

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_________________
Twee Revieren 5/9/14
Kalahari Tented camp 6/9/14 - 9/9/14

Kruger booked for 2015.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:09 am 
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This photo hubby took from the bridge.
Image

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Twee Revieren 5/9/14
Kalahari Tented camp 6/9/14 - 9/9/14

Kruger booked for 2015.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:58 pm 
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Taken these photos with the new cam:
Lions was lying under the tree on the left
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Then zoomed them in
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Forgot to paste this pic, this little face is soo cute :D

Image

_________________
Twee Revieren 5/9/14
Kalahari Tented camp 6/9/14 - 9/9/14

Kruger booked for 2015.


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