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 Post subject: Bush Magic 27/6 - 13/7 2009
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 8:51 am
Posts: 80
Location: Magalieskruin, Pretoria
16 nights in Kruger - 4 Shingwedzi, 2 Letaba, 3 Tamboti, 4 Skukuza, 2 Satara and lastly 1 at Skukuza again before going to Marloth Park for 3 days

26 June 2009
After 18 months of planning, the day finally arrived that the long awaited trip to Kruger could eventually begin. My brother and his family arrived from New Zealand on the 25th, so they hardly had any time to adjust to the time difference. We ( Dad and Mom, Brother with his wife and 2 kids, and me, SO and Son) were off to Phalaborwa at about 12h30, to spend the night there.

27 June 2009
We were the first 2 vehicles to enter at Phalaborwa gate. After the long awaited trip, we were eventually in Kruger. We could not contain our excitement. Took the loop to Sable dam, but since the people that stayed the night were still occupying the hide, we drove off to Masorini for a quick breakfast. Thereafter we travel on the H9 to Letaba. Not, as usual, many animals on this road. A quick stop at Letaba to buy water and drinks for the road, and then we drove along the H1-6 on the way to Shingwedzi. And to my great joy and exitement, we came across Hlanganini, next to the road, feeding very peacefully, oblivious to the 2 vehicles so close to him. He doesn't look in very good condition any more, as can be seen from the picture.
We could off course not miss the S143 to go and check out the famous Tihongonyeni waterhole, and what a good choice this turned out to be. 2 Herds of Tsessebe. The 1 herd lying peacefully on the eastern side of the road, the other at the waterhole. But the best was 1 lone Eland drinking at the crib, surrounded by lots of zebra. He eventually walked back into the mopani's. This waterhole turned out to be just as special as everyone wrote.
We continued along the H1-6 toward Shingwedzi. We stayed in the 3 bed rondawels, next to the camping area. While unpacking, I noticed a vehicle that looked very familiar. Samoesa Woestyn and Zapman were busy setting up camp right behind our rondawel. They were also there for all 4 days. It was very special meeting you guys.

Pictures of day1 sightings

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Hlanganini

Zebra at Tihongonyeni waterhole
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Eland in the distance
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Tsessebe
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One of 9 herd of Tsessebe seen during our 16 day trip

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 Post subject: Re: Bush Magic 27/6 - 13/7 2009
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 8:51 am
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Location: Magalieskruin, Pretoria
Day 2

We left camp at 6h00. We planned to travel via the Mphongolo loop towards Babalala. On the H1-7, just after the Lamont turn-off, a monkey in a tree was making the typical alarm calls when spotting a predator. We stopped, turned down all the windows, eyes peeled. A typical predator growl came out of the undergrowth, unfortunately too far away to be able to see. Then peace returned. I saw movement in a tree, overgrown with a very dense bush. Through the binoculars I could see the remains of a kill in the tree, swinging in the wind. A bit higher up in the tree, behind all the thick leaves, sat a leopard, only the spots visible. It sat there for a while, then jumped from the tree, and disappeared from view.
Unusually the S56 Mphongolo was very quiet. A few giraffes, zebra and lots of impala. 1 Small Sharpe's Grysbok, unfortunately too far in the bush for a photo.
Around the waterhole at Babalala were a herd of buffalo, as well as a few zebra. Staff there informed us that the buffalo have been lying there since the day before, waiting for the crib to be filled up with water. Clever animals.

The road back to camp delivered a few elephant bulls at Boyela waterhole, and an ostrich that looked really thirsty. It approached the waterhole very carefully. We all sat very quiet, waiting to take pictures, when a lady with a Kombi pulled in, all the kids hanging out of the windows and talking very loudly. Needless to say, the ostrich disappeared, picture spoiled.

An awesome sighting awaited us at Nkulumbeni South waterhole. ROAN!
Our first sighting of roan after 20 years. Wow!

Pictures of the day

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Zebra with foal

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Elephant drinking at Boyela

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Roan having a drink at Nkulumbeni South

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Roan and Zebra

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Impala

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 Post subject: Re: Bush Magic 27/6 - 13/7 2009
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 8:51 am
Posts: 80
Location: Magalieskruin, Pretoria
Day 3

We left camp early to go to Pafuri for the day. Pafuri is one of our very special places in Kruger, because of it's scenic beauty.
We traveled along the H1-7. We encounter a little Sharpe's Grysbok and a young elephant bull with tusks that might turn impressive as his age progresses. We only encountered Nyala's when we approached the picnic site. Picnic site was rather busy, with Frank running around sorting our people's requests for "Skottel Braais".
The road to Crook's Corner produced lots of Nyala and, off course the ever present impala. Other game was not as abundant as on previous occasions. Lots of crocodiles lying on the bank of the river.

The road back turned out to be very special.
On the H107, just after the Klopperfontein turnoff, a herd of Eland lying in the dense mopani bushes. Then, to make the trip even more special, a herd of ROAN just as we passed the Vlakteplaas Rangers turnoff.
We could not believe our luck. Roan 2 days in a row. Awesome!

Pictures of day 3
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Eland
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Eland
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Roan
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Roan with skew horn
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Sand Grouse
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Elephant
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Elephant blowing dust

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 Post subject: Re: Bush Magic 27/6 - 13/7 2009
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 8:51 am
Posts: 80
Location: Magalieskruin, Pretoria
DAY 4

We spend the day in and around camp. Went for a very early morning drive along the Red Rocks road. Very little animals to be seen. We did however see a tiny Sharpe's Grysbok. Back in camp we made breakfast, and then went for a drive along the Kanniedood dam. What a treat awaited us. More Tsessebe, coming down to drink. We never thought that there were so many of then in Kruger, and this was not the last sighting.
We has lots of special Bird sightings, and a Tusker that once again refused to turn for a decent photo. Lost of general game, but the predators were still eluding us.

But, the best was still to come.

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Sharpe's Grysbok
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Tsessebe
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Tsessebe
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Fish Eagle, sound of the African Bush
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Unknown Tusker
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Tusker?
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Pied Kingfisher
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Hamerkop
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Young baboons playing
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Spotted Eagle Owl

In that is the wonder of Kruger. It has all the wonderful, beautiful animals, that one often forgets that the birds are just as beautiful, and special to see.

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Lower Sabie 1st to 10th October 2012


Last edited by Petro Rossouw on Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Bush Magic 27/6 - 13/7 2009
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 8:51 am
Posts: 80
Location: Magalieskruin, Pretoria
Day 5 Letaba

Left Shingwedzi to make our way to Letaba bright an early. The H1-6 was quiet. Took the S144, and what a good choice that turned out to be. Our first lion sightings of the trip. And what a special sighting it was. 4 Young lions drinking in the Dzombo West crib. We watched them for a while until they decided to walk off into the bush. We had to go past the very famous Tihongonyeni waterhole, but unbelievably, there was nothing, except a few doves and starlings. A quick stop at Mooiplaas for breakfast, and then we continued further on to Letaba. Next to the river, there was yet another impressive tusker, and while we were photographing the elephant, a leopard ran across the road right in front of our vehicle. She was really shy, sat for a bit and then slunk ed off into the river bed. She then disappeared into the reeds.
We were booked into the rondawels overlooking the river. We unpacked, had lunch and then went for our afternoon drive. And what a drive that turned out to be!!!!!
We took the S47, planning to travel a way towards Mingerhout dam. Not far on the road, a vehicle was parked next to the road. There was a Leopard feeding on an impala carcass in a mopanie tree. A few other vehicles turned up, and our position was unfortunately so that the sight was spoiled by some mopanie leaves, and the sun was right in our eyes. I took lots of photos, none the less. She eventually jumper down from the tree, and walked into the bush. Some of the vehicles left, but we tried ot follow at a snails pace. She then came out into a barely visible opening , and, that was when my most special sighting of ALL TIMES appeared. 2 Tiny leopard cubs came out of a very dense bush, and proceeded to suckle from mom. It was the most heart warming scene we ever had. They were really tiny babies, the 1 being more adventurous than the other, who went right back into the bush after his meal of mom's milk. The adventurous sweety proceeded to walk around. Unfortunately they were at a much lower angle than the vehicle, so the photos I took is mostly with mopanie leaves obscuring the view. But at least they are visible.
And that is what makes Kruger so special. The once in a while, tear in the eye sighting, because it is so special.

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Baby leopard.
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Babies feeding. Photo not great. Sorry.
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Sunset
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Lions at Dzombo Wes
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Another potential tusker
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Leopard next to Letaba river
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2 of the Big Five in one picture
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Leopard
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LIT

Enjoy!!

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Lower Sabie 1st to 10th October 2012


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 Post subject: Re: Bush Magic 27/6 - 13/7 2009
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 8:51 am
Posts: 80
Location: Magalieskruin, Pretoria
Day 6
Day of the elephants.

Today we traveled to Masorini, but the roads were very quiet. We then returned via the tar road to and went on to Makhadzi for a late breakfast/brunch.
After the high of the previous day, today was really very quiet with any sightings. We did see a few elephants, and once again a few with impressive tusks.
The afternoon drive was along the Engelhardt dam, where we saw waterbuck, elephant and buffalo.

Tomorrow we head for Tamboti.

Pictures of the day
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Tusker?

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Tusker?

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And another

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And another

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Buffalo

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And my Favorite photographic topic. A dead Lead wood Tree

Thanks to all who share in our special experience. Will continue the report on Tuesday, as we are off to StLucia / Cape Vidal (South Africa) for the long weekend.

Enjoy

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Lower Sabie 1st to 10th October 2012


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 Post subject: Re: Bush Magic 27/6 - 13/7 2009
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:19 pm 
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Location: Magalieskruin, Pretoria
Days 7,and 8 Tamboti
We left Letaba early on the H1-5 towards Olifants camp. The road delivered lost of usual game. It was freezing cold at the N'wamanzi lookout, so we did not spend long before we took off again. Turned off on the S39 towards Timbavati. We encountered a Kori Bustard drinking water at Goedgegun waterhole. Interesting sighting. Close to the picnic spot, a few lions were lying under a bush, but they obviously had no intention to move, so we moved on.At Timbavati picnic spot was the usual Bushbuck. We traveled further on along the S39, took the H7 towards Orpen. The road was very quiet, presumably due to the burnt grass.
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Kori Bustard
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Lions
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Hippos


Day 8
Took the H7 towards Satara. The way up to the S36 turnoff was quiet, except for a very feisty elephant that wanted to cross the road this after the S106 turnoff.
Just before the S26 turnoff towards Muzandzeni, we saw lions walking in the burnt off veld. The one female was limping very badly, and her hind leg looked to be disjointed. Amazingly, the other females and 1 cub, walked at a slow pace to allow her to keep up with them. They eventually walked into the veld, maybe towards the Rockvale waterhole, where hoards of zebra were streaming to.
We then headed to Satara, via Girivana, and what a good option that tuned out to be. Female lions with cubs. 4 Females with 7 bubs. They were lying around, with some of the cubs playing around. They all eventually disappeared into the bush behind the waterhole
Close to Satara were the usual buffalo, impala, zebra and blue wildebeest. And a Giraffe creche of lots on babies.
We had breakfast and then departed to travel along the most special road of all, the S100. We saw lots and lots of zebra, impala en blue wildebeest.
On the way to N'wanetzi, out very first Rhino of the trip. Big 5 at last.
It turned out a very special day with lots of special sightings.
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Injured lioness
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Girivana females with cubs
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Cub practicing tree climbing skills
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Baby giraffe creche
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Thirsty elephants
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Rhino

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Lower Sabie 1st to 10th October 2012


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 Post subject: Re: Bush Magic 27/6 - 13/7 2009
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 8:51 am
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Location: Magalieskruin, Pretoria
Day 9 Tamboti

Not a very productive day. Took the main road to Satara, and then up to Ngotso dam. Saw a few elephants, 1 rhino and the big herd of buffalo that is usually close to the Gudzani dam turn-off. A few pictures of today
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Baby ellie
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Reedbuck
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Herd of buffalo
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Sunset from Tamboti camp

Day 10 Skukuza
Not much heppening on the road down to Skukuza. Saw general game, and a herd of buffalo crossing the road. A lone rhino at Kumana dam. When the sightings are not abundant, we normally turn to bird watching.
And my son turns to photographing landscapes

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Son's pictures
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Stonechat
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Ground Hornbill

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 Post subject: Re: Bush Magic 27/6 - 13/7 2009
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:55 pm 
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Location: Magalieskruin, Pretoria
Day 11 Skukuza

Uneventful days. Saw lots of general game.My son took some amazing Sunset pictures
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Image

Day 12 Skukuza
Skukukuza via Onder Sabie to Mlondozi, Tshokwane and back
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Sunrise along the Sabie river - Magical
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Rhino on the gravel road toward Mlondozi, where there were huge herds of zebra.
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Steenbuck
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Muliluwuane who refused to pose for a proper picture

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 Post subject: Re: Bush Magic 27/6 - 13/7 2009
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:39 pm 
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Location: Magalieskruin, Pretoria
Jane wrote:
Superb Petro! Great :cam: ! Out of interest, what was wrong with the lioness??


Jane, it looked as it her hip bone was disjointed. If you look at the picture, it appears as if the bone is located at the side of her hip, instead of straight in the leg.
She could not walk on the leg. Limping really badly.
Very sad to see, but I suppose that is part of nature. Survival of the fittest, although it would be nice if humans can intervene sometimes. But that is just the emotional part of me speaking.

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