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Tom124's Overdue Trip Report

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Tom124
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:36 pm
Location: Central Scotland

Tom124's Overdue Trip Report

Unread postby Tom124 » Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:50 pm

Hi all!
This TR is from last years visit - but I hope you'll still enjoy it. Got a few great pics, but unfortuantely some are so blurry they simply can't be posted! Spent 3 days in Kruger all at Pretoriuskop, but we saw some amazing critters - we were very lucky!
Its a long way from Scotland to SA - 14 hours flight, 9 hours drive, 16 hours delayed....... but it was well worth the wait!
Hope I've whet your appetite, I'll start day 1 tomorrow!
Back from beautiful Botswana - a long time to wait, but KNP and KTP planned for 2016!

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Tom124
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2321
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:36 pm
Location: Central Scotland

Re: Tom124's Overdue Trip Report

Unread postby Tom124 » Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:39 pm

Hi all!
Now I hope you understand if some sightings don't have photos - I trusted my seven year old daughter with the camera! Seeing as it was a short trip, I'll post it all at once :)
Day 1

This was my seventh visit to Kruger, but my first with my wife and kids. I've been blessed with many sightings each visit, and I was hoping my luck would continue..... and it did!

We entered KNP at midday and we drove for about 2 minutes before our first sighting..... and it wasn't an impala :) It was 4 buffalos having a lie-down in a burnt out patch of grass! 1 of the big 5 already.... I had a good feeling about this trip!
By the time we had reached the camp we had seen giraffe, impala, kudu, warthog, zebra and dozens of white rhino!
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Pair of giraffe down a side-track
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Just a few of the very common rhino
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Red Hartebeest?
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Kudu!




Day 2:
We exited the gate in early morning and drove around without much success. The omnipresent rhinos were there, along with a buffalo which was hanging around Pretoriuskop gate. My son was nagging constantly - first he wanted to see elephant, then leopard, then lion and even wild dog!
I think his enthusiasm was rewarded.
I drove to a nearby waterhole - truth be told I was looking for a hippo. But I spotted some wildebeest fleeing the area...... lion? Nope.
I was amazed to see a spotted hyaena come bursting out of the foliage...... snarling with a wild dog! We were there for 90 minutes before the wild dogs surrendered their wildebeest kill and we tracked them until they disappeared. And no-one else saw a thing! Apologies for the poor photo!
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I felt we had got very lucky and shouldn't hope for anymore, but I had an urge to keep driving..... and I'm so glad!
I noticed that the area around a certain waterhole was soaked, yet it wasn't raining :huh:
Right on cue, a lone bull elephant walks out in front of us as relaxed as can be!
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He was still there when my wife let out a shriek, giving me a heart attack. She just pointed to the road ahead..... to a breeding herd of ellies!
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Lucky right? But Kruger still had more to offer!
We checked a few waterholes, white rhino sightings now about 50, and were amazed at how few tourists were about. And our next sighting was shared with no-one. A cat made its way across the road in front of us, silhouetting the blue sky. I couldn't tell if it was a lioness or a leopard, so I edged closer... and closer.... leopard! This was the sighting that my daughter only got 1 blurry phot of.... :redface: sorry!
It was only visible for about 20 seconds before disappearing into the wavy grass :D
We noticed the grass getting greener and lusher as we got further from Pretoriuskop...... so some animals stick out like a sore thumb. The Kruger gods were smiling on us that day, and I made a joke that I would not be satisfied if we didn't see a lion.
This was getting ridiculous...... round the next corner taking a nap in the bushes... the king of the jungle himself! 4 adult lions with 2 juveniles.
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I headed back to camp with a smile the size of KNP on my face, only made bigger by some photgenic white rhino.
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Just before we reached camp, a ranger told us whilst passing by that there was a black rhino just ahead :dance:
I was a bit disappointed at the light for the photo..... but I still identified it as a white. What do you think?
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Wow, all the big 5 plus wild dogs and hyaena on a kill in one day :big_eyes:


Day 3: We left the park early - so many more tourists :(
But before we left someone gave us a wink goodbye!
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And this!

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Hope you enjoyed, don't think I'll ever have another trip like it!
Back from beautiful Botswana - a long time to wait, but KNP and KTP planned for 2016!


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