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 Post subject: 6 weeks in Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:56 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:20 pm
Posts: 1739
Location: East London, South Africa
I lost this whole report earlier today so now I wuill send it in segments.

My SO and I spent six weeks in Kruger from 13 Aug to 24 Sept. What a wonderful place to be. Thank goodness some people had the foresight to preserve this place for all of us to enjoy.
Will it still be there in 20 years time for our grandchildren to enjoy?
First up. We entered at Orpen gate, caravan in tow and stopped at the Nsemani dam as there were a few cars on the wall/road. We noticed a lioness sneaking up on a waterbuck who was drinking. All of a sudden she ran forward and jumped on his back. The force of that pushed him into the dam and under the water. Lioness let go he swam across and they spent some time eyeing each other across the water. When all this drama was over we noticed another lioness and 4 grown cubs behind some logs at the far side. Unhitched van, had a bite to eat and back to Nsemani dam. Lions were still there but we could only get a parking spot at the Satara end of the wall. There was a kill but it happened over the sandbank from us and all we could see was a cloud of dust as the deed was done. We were now excited about what we would see in the next 6 weeks. We saw a lot at Satara, LIT (mgoddard told me where to find it) and it was so nice to meet her. We had a nice chat and she was packing up to go to Skukuza but we would again meet up with her at PKop. We saw large herds of the usual animals, zebras, wildebeest, buffs, and some rhinos, kudus, warthogs, steenbok (one at the side of the road - looked like a roadkill by one of those speedsters we talk about) We so enjoyed this area and were glad we would be coming back for 5 nights on our way down south. Also saw two large male lions on the S100. Sorry I dont have a digital camera so will not be able to show you any photos, but believe me our trip was truly amazing. Shingwedzi to follow: Delene D


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 Post subject: 6 weeks in Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:11 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:20 pm
Posts: 1739
Location: East London, South Africa
Continued. So glad I never lost that. As for the comment I made about will it still be there in 20 years time, I will give my reasons at the end of this trip report.
Shingwedzi 17 to 21 Aug. On the way up north besides the usual buffs, zebras, wldebeest and the ever present impalas we saw a herd of tssessebe at Eendrag WH, quite a few rhinos and elephants. near the Timbavati turnoff a buffalo carcass far off the road, with a pride of lions at and near it but we needed binocs to see it. Our son, DIL and 3 grandkids joined us at Shingwedzi for the next 8 days of quality family time. It's heartening to see the young ones (even the 4 year old) so interested in nature. While at Shingwedzi we packed our picnic baskets and off to Pafuri via Punda Maria and Mahonie loop. I was sad to see how dry it was up north. Frank at Pafuri said the Pels fishing owl had flown away to better fishing waters but would be back when the river gets more water. On the way back we saw a really huge herd of buffaloes, maybe over 1000. Had to wait a good while as some were crossing the road, but eventually they parted a bit and we could go getting back to camp in time. What a sight! Will continue with Letaba next.


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 Post subject: 6 weeks in Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:27 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:20 pm
Posts: 1739
Location: East London, South Africa
How I wish I could write poetically like Dinkybird and others. Hope you are still with me.
Letaba 21 to 24 Aug. Our family still with us. We were rather disappointed how few animals we were seeing up north, even the impala herds were small! We decided to do a day trip to Satara area so our DIL would maybe see a lion (she had heard them roar in the night around letaba, but not 1 in sight). So off we went with picnic baskets and we were not disappointed. Near Balule turnoff on the gravel road, a group of lions lolling around near a buffalo carcass, just lying there "poot in die lug" (paw in the air) having feasted well. That day was very rewarding for all the game we saw. Also another LIT across the road from the previous sighting. I didn't mention that up to now we had seen lots of giraffes (my favourites, long and gangly legs). I also realised that the elephant herds we saw were small breeding herds maybe 5 or 8 ellies including the cute ones). Previously when we had spent time there (1986, 1994 and 2001) the breeding herds were about 20 or more strong. I thought maybe they were over the transfrontier side (Moz and ZIM). Next: Satara again, exciting lion kill and all.


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 Post subject: 6 weeks in Krugewr. Continued. Back at Satara.
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:49 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:20 pm
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Location: East London, South Africa
on the 25th Aug we headed back to Satara. Our family (poor things) had to get back to JHB for work and home school).
Satara 25 to 29 August. What a place, so much to see around Satara and the S100 did not disappoint. Driving down from Letaba 3 lionesses sunning themselves on the Ngotso dam wall. We could get close with caravan in tow to take some video and pictures (our son had left his Video cam with me) On the 26th we left camp at 6.30 and I remarked at what a beautiful morning it was. My SO said every morning in Kruger was beautiful - which it was but that day seemed special. And it was! Went down S100 to Gudzani dam. Sat there at the dried up dam for quite a while having coffee and rusks and our "boerekoekies" a family recipe of big biscuits which you dip into coffee as you would a rusk. After a while of not seeing anything we decided to go up the S41. On the spur of the moment turned off to the Gudzani East WH. Not much going on there (some zebras making their way down the hill towartds WH and an eagle of unknown type in the water trough which seemed to be just about empty. As I am not good at identifying birds of prey I had my book open looking. SO said a lioness has come on the scene and the eagle has flown away. She laid down in the shade of a small tree across the WH. Got the cameras ready. Battery light flashing on Video cam (quickly changed that). A young zebra came down and the lioness had disappeared into the bush. He went to drink, very nervous. Eventually had a quick drink and hurried back to the others. The rest of the herd came to drink, jostling each other, young ones kicking each other. Then all hell broke loose and the zebras scattered. That lioness had one of them by the throat and hung of for dear life. Zebra stood up a couple of times lifting her off the ground (she was in the trough he was on the edge) but eventually she got the better of zebra and he stopped kicking. Then 5 others (lionesses and almost adult cubs) joined the lioness that made the kill and started eating. Where was the big male. After all he has the choice cuts. After abut half an hour the lioness who made the kill went into the bush. A huge male came out to drink water at the other end of the WH and turned back to the bush. He looked as though he had already eaten. When we left the other 5 were still busy. Our first ever lion kill and all on video. What a magnificent sight! Now please dont think I am blood thirsty, but lions also have to catch and eat their meals. We saw many animals in Satara area and the herds are large. Quite something! Will continuwe with Berg enDal


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 Post subject: 6 weeks in Kruger Now at Berg en Dal
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:07 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:20 pm
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Location: East London, South Africa
Sorry forgot to mention that we also saw a herd of Sable antelope after that lion kill.
Berg end Dal 25 to 29 Aug. A whole week and we did some travelling! Saw at least 12 diferent lion prides in the area and the Croc river to Croc bridge area. The pride near the Malalane camp turnoff we must have seen 5 different times. And plenty buffaloes and the other usual game including elephants and white rhinos. And a leopard on the S114. Crossing ahead of us on one of those little concrete causeways over a dry rivine. We stopped where we saw it cross and it was in the undergrowth near the road. Heard it snort/snarl but just could not see it. We called that place leopard creek and we must have gone back there at least 10 times in the next 5 days but no sight of him/her. But we enjoyed looking. As I said before lions and plenty of them. One day 2 males coming down the tar road towards us. They were just walking along. One of them stepped off the tar road and must have got a thorn or something in his front paw. Sat down and licked his paw. Got up and joined his mate and they walked past us about 3 metres from SO's door. The next day on the S114 a huge male walking towards us. After he passed by we turned car around and followed him for about 500 mtrs till he got fed up with us following him and walked into the bush. The sightings here were so good. Elephants aplenty, but again in small breeding herds. Plenty Rhinos too. Next we moved on to Pretorius Kop.


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 Post subject: 6 weeks in Kruger Now at P Kop.
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:22 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

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Location: East London, South Africa
We were very disappointed at PKop. The camping grounds need attention and the ablution blocks were the worst in the park. The management needs to check on the cleaners and teach them about hygiene. And we were stuck here for 9 days because we could not get into Skukuza until the 15th Sept. But quite a few good things at PKop. We met Mgoddard of "Living my dream" blog and also Dinkybird and Hawk one driszzly evening who were looking for mgoddard. At lunch time one day a couple told us about a kill near Shabeni so off we go. 2 male lions and 2 lionesses lying near the kill, full tummies. Another female at the buffalo carcass with 5 cubs playing nearby! And the next day they were still there and the cubs climbing all over the carcass. On the 3rd day the vacuum cleaners were busy with the last bits. Not many roads around Pkop so we did them many times. Twice we wnt past Skukuza towards Satara. Saw lots at Jones se dam. Nothing at Orpen dam but water lettuce covering almost the whole surface. But Sanparks are treating that. We had the pleasure of having a lovely meal cooked for us over the open fire by Martie. Roast Pork neck, roast Lamb shank, Roast potatoes (as only Martie can do them - soft on inside and crisp on the outside, butternut in foil and also brussel sprouts. It was as delicious as it sounds. What an amazing lady Martie Goddard is.Turns out her SO was also raised and schooled in East London and my SO knew his dad well from rugby days at the Cambridge Club. Talk of a small world! We looked forward to Skukuza and what a lot of game we saw there. Next Skukuza.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 weeks in Kruger Now at P Kop.
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:36 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:20 pm
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Location: East London, South Africa
Sorry I should have posted this in segments under post replies instead of new topics each time. I am learning.
Skukuza 15 to 19 Sept, We saw a lot of animals in this area especially the lions in an around the Sabie river, And we discovered Lake Panic. What an awesome, tranquil birdhide. We went back several times to see the 2 grey herons and the goliath heron on their nests with the dads in the water fishing. We also saw a greenbacked night heron, an african jacana, a darter, some water dikkops, and a whole lot of weavers trying to entice mates into their nests. Also saw Nyalas and Bushbucks.Dont forget the hippos in the water and out. Also went to the nursery to buy an impala lily, hope it grows in East London. Skukuza area was just so good as far as game viewing is concerned. Went to Nkuhlu to see Whacktazz and SO bought one of his famous buff pasties and declared it was the best pastie he has ever eaten. Sorry I have got a thing about eating wild animal meat so I didn't get one. Went back three more times for buff pasties for SO's lunch. So nice to meet you Whacktazz. We saw hyenas at a kill on the Salitjie road. We also enjoyed a skottel breakfast at Mdolozi dam. Thats another wonderful place.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 weeks in Kruger Now at P Kop.
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:59 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:20 pm
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Location: East London, South Africa
We moved to Crocodile Bridge on 20th Sept, our last 4 days in Kruger. Time was short, but maybe Kruger saved the best for last. 2 cheetahs next to the road, we followed them for about a kilometre then they crossed the road, marked a tree and laid down for all to see, close to the road. What a sight. On our last day we were 2 kms out of camp and 8 lions. The big male crossed the road a bit ahead of us, the other 7 (lionesses and almost adult cubs) crossed right in front of our car, so close I could have patted them. Glad I didn't though! We left at 6 a.m. on 24th
Sept. headed for JHB to stay a couple of nights with the kids. Our son put the video onto dvd discs for us. 3 whole discs full - lots to enjoy in our old age! I cried as I crossed the Crocodile bridge, but then thought of the 8 weeks of blog I need to catch up with when I get home. That cheered me up a bit.
To sum up. Kruger is so beautiful. I was privileged to spend 6 weeks there and I met quite a few YR's. Big5spotter, TJ, Bushchild, Atlanta Joe, Zolbol. Nice meeting and chatting to you all too. That was special.
I was very disappointed in most of the campsites. Remember we were caravanning so I cannot comment on the huts and bungalows. The Management don't seem too interested in what there staff are doing. For instance at Pkop the public laundry was being used to wash and dry the bungalow towels and when a machine eventually came available I had to tug and pull to get out about 30 bath towels. How can these be efficiently washed in such overloaded machines. The cleaning lady swept out the ablutions in the morning then took the already soaking mop and spread the water in the mop over the floor. She then washed it at the tap outside and set it back in the ablution block soaking wet, for people to try mop up wet dressing room floors, and it was repeated next day. No sanpic or disinfectant used on the mop. As a caravaner of 32 years that is just not good enough. The best ekpt and run camping area was Croc Bridge and then Shingwedzi, The worst P kop and Letaba, Now I know the visitors make a mess too and trash out of windows etc ( I wonder if they mess like that at home) but really since I visited 8 years ago these camps have gone down. I could see no maintenance being done in camps. Do they have maintenance people? At Croc bridge when I reported a toilet water running though the maintenance man came straight away to fix it. Problem solved. Not so at the other camps. Every ablution block I used had at least one toilet that water kept running through when flushed. I think they don't worry about things like saving water! And only at Shingwedzi and Croc Bridge were the general staff smiling and greeting. But must say all Reception staff were very courteous and helpful. And I will go about the roads.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 weeks in Kruger Now at P Kop.
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:12 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:20 pm
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Location: East London, South Africa
And to fianally finish off. I hope that I am not offending anyone by my comments but I write it as I see it. What about those gravel roads with signs at the beginning which say something like"this road has not been graded due to shortage of rain". Well thats seems to be a lot of bull because the H5 had been recently graded but there was no recent rain. We did 5900Kms in the park alone, most of it on gravel roads. We have a 2004 Toyota Camry and I take my hat off to Toyota because it actually was still going well after all that but a tad dusty. I wonder if anyone can tell me if the Parks shops profit goes back into conservation as it is rediculous to pay R12.80 for 1 litre of milk and R12 for 1 loaf of brown bread. If the profit goes back to Sanparks then it's money well spent. If it is going into a private concern's pocket then I object. Then where are those camp security guards of yesteryear so neatly dressed and saluting when you drive in? The staff all looked a bit scruffy except the reception staff! And of course the rangers always look neat and tidy. I hope Sanparks get their act together before the influx of 2010 soccer visitors, many of them will be hiring campers! I hope the roads are graded before then. I wish for the old days in Kruger, but how things have changed! A bit of supervision and maintenance will go a long way to improve things! And thats all the moanng from me. Best regards to all from Delene D.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 weeks in Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:00 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:20 pm
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Location: East London, South Africa
Hi Atlanta Joe,
Happy to hear that the lions waited for you at the hippo pool area. Did you have any other sightings of lions? My son is a computer fundi and he actually put our video tapes onto his computer and from there onto discs. I will speak to him and ask him if he can put them on the forum for me. So just keep looking out for it. He is due to travel to Prague and Nashville in the next 2 weeks (business trip) so I hope he can fit in some time before he goes away. May have to wait till he gets back. Yes, my SO recovered from that emergency appendectomy and I believe the extra 2 weeks he had for recovery were a good idea, we had to change our bookings completely but Sanparks waived the cancellation fee because of the Doctors letter.
I see my TR has been put nicely into order by one of the Mods, and thank you for help.
Regards from Delene.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 weeks in Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:42 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:20 pm
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Location: East London, South Africa
I am going to try to get the facebook link now for you all to see the video of the lion kill on the zebra at Gudzani East WH on 26 August 2009. Apologies for the shaky picture. real amateur at this.
to link to Youtube use this link


Last edited by CuriousCanadian on Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
embedded the video-CC


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