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 1
 [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: This is why I love Kruger !!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:01 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:16 am
Posts: 96
Location: Pretoria
Hi everyone - we just got back from a three day trip from Kruger.

Our mission was to see wilddogs, meet Martie and enjoy being so close to nature, but then again, it is everytime - earlier this year SO won two nights accommodation with breakfast included at a hotel franchise that we could choose from anywhere, anytime in S.A. :dance:

The obvious question was : Is there one in Nelspruit ?Off course there was,SO approved(as she had the final say) and thats when we started planning this trip - went to Head office to book one night in paradise and requested to stay at BnD in the 3 bed unit nr 28 - got it, got my 2 days leave approved and as SO is still studying ,she did not have to make any arrangements.

It wasn't too long before the wait was over and in no time we were heading to Kruger again..... :dance:

All the pics are downloaded,we are just sorting them out and resizing before I will make the first post....I suggest you keep an eye on this topic - because this is " Why I love Kruger !!!"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: This is why I love Kruger !!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:50 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:16 am
Posts: 96
Location: Pretoria
Day 1 - 3 October 2009

This day did not go to plan at all and we ended up in Kruger :| , I promise SO that this was not one of my strategic moves but she is not convinced.

Our initial plan was to visit Moholoholo Rehab Centre near Phalaborwa as I have heard about them before, maybe go past the three rondawels and visit a few surrounding POI's near Kruger.

I had my Garmap on my mobile ready and couldn't wait to try it out in Kruger - much to my dissapointment that it has a GPS Signal problem and only picked up signal in Nelspruit. Well, I can blame it on the GPS for us taking the wrong turn-off. Instead of following the R40 I took the Phabeni Gate turn-off. :clap:

At the Rehab centre they have tours twice daily, one at 09h30 and 15h00. At 09h30 we were not near the centre at all but close to Orpen Gate turn-off. Thats when we made the decision to spend the day in Kruger. :lol:

Check-in went smooth and we were in the Park at about 10h00,saw buffalo and ellies on our way to the gate. We travelled from Orpen to Satara to stop for an early lunch then down to Skukuza and out at Phabeni - quite a long drive but it was just so lovely to see the bush come alive with the change in season and taking in the smells and sounds of Kruger.

This is just a few pics of our first day :

Image

Image

Image

Image

These hyenas occupy two different dens about 200m apart on the way to Phabeni Gate. That scar on its back must have been quite painfull, but seemed to have healed up nicely.

Image

And this was our favourite pic of the day, the mom was just off to the right of this pic and they were really close - they surprised us as we drove slowly onto a low water bridge when they suddenly appeared behind some tall grass out of nowhere - surely got the adrenalin going :D

Image

The rest of the day was pretty quiet and we left the park at about 17h20, only to come back tomorrow for a one-nighter at Bnd.

Stay tuned,the best of the rest is yet to come...... :dance:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: This is why I love Kruger !!!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:51 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:16 am
Posts: 96
Location: Pretoria
Day 2 - 4 October 2009

After a wonderful stay at our Hotel with excellent service we arranged for a take-away breakfast as we left there at about 04h45. We got to Numbi gate at 05h28 with two cars in front of us.

Check-in went very smooth and we were in the Park at 05h35. We haven't used the road from Pkop to Afsaal in a long time now and were excited as the sightings board had cheetah and wilddogs the day before.

No cheetahs or doggies although we had 9 white rhino for the day, loads of ellies, male and female reedbuck :dance: .

We stopped at BnD at 11h30 and got our keys for unit 28 - will post some pics - what a nice unit and the renovations are great !!

We thought about taking a quick afternoon nap but I then met our neighbour( Charles ) who also reads the forums but has not signed up yet - he told us about the buffalo carcass on the S25 towards Croc bridge that has been there for 3 days already and as we have planned to use the S25 a lot in search of the doggies we decided to get in the car and do the S25.It was nice meeting you Charles!!!

Some pics of our day....

Image

Image

Image

We saw two reedbuck but quite far into the bush and stayed there for a while, then a car stopped next to us telling us of the lions in the road on the way to BnD about two km from us. We got there only to see them dissapear into the bush-one guy told me there were five males lying all over the road just before we got there :clap:

Just got this bum shot :

Image

Image

The Matjulu loop was pretty quite, with only impalas, kudu and girffe

Image

Image

About two km from BnD gate towards Malelane we got to the leopard sighting. This was where we met Martie - what a great sighting and place to meet her. We did not get a pic but Martie got some nice pics, it was the one with the scar on the front of its head- maybe if you look on the blog on that date you can see some nice pics..

Then off to the S25 - nothing much up to the kill except some nice buffs but no wilddogs.....

This is what we got at the carcass - I must add we smelled the carcass before we saw it :|

And the patient vultures were all over.

Image

Image

He walked for another 5 metres just to drop down and sleep his lunch off

On the way back to BnD where we met the H3 we turned left and got to a lot of cars where a lioness was lying in the thickets - not a very clear sighting, this one guy told us that he just came from a male lion in the road just after the S114 and H3 junction.

We had enough time to go back that way again and he was still there. He got up and roared to the top of his lungs - very special!!!Amazing how the bush goes quite when the King roars!!!!

Image

Image

Image

Image

And to end of the day we had a beautiful sunset

Image

I must add we had a wonderfull day with a lot of lions and the Big Five.
We played cards and had some wine while listening to the sounds of the bush........................with all of that, I'm getting "home" sick

Day 3 pending.......


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: This is why I love Kruger !!!
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:30 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:16 am
Posts: 96
Location: Pretoria
Day 3 - 5 October 2009

We got up very early as this was our last day and we still had some travelling to do - we decided to take the S25 again all the way to Croc bridge, grab a bite there then head up to Lower - Sabie, then Skukuza and eventually leave the Park at Phabeni Gate.

This is always risky as a very special sighting could get you lagging behind with time, but I believe you have to be out there to increase your chances of seeing it all.

As you know by now the buffalo kill was on the S25 and we hoped to see some activity there, no wild dogs this trip again, but what we saw today made up for all the long hard hours we've done in Kruger and made this wonderful place just seem so much more special !!

I will split the pics of day three as we got a lot of nice sightings, so this is the first half of it...........

This herd of buffaloes crossed the S25 in huge numbers - they just kept coming.....

Image

Then we got to the kill and just before the carcass these vultures were waiting for their turn. With this we thought the lions must still be feeding as the vultures were not taking chances to get too close.

Image

We found the hyenas close to the carcass but they were looking very uncomfortable getting too close to the kill as we think the lions could not have been too far away - one of them went in on the buff, took a bite out of it and made a run for it to get into the open, his other partner in scavenging was a male and looked like one of the lower ranked in the clan, he seemed very frightened.

We got some nice pics....

Image

Image

Image

Then these two came down the road to inspect the scene - this is when I decided that I will never say that my dog is "smelly" .Boy did they have a stench that could give a few Striped polecats a run for their money :lol:

Image

Image

Image

Image

We could not stay too long, got to Croc bridge and was really looking forward to their mutton-curry pies and a coffee, but no pies yet ,just grabbed the coffee and headed up to Lower-Sabie for our next stop.

We got these two males about 80m from the road but they were "normal" lions :lol:

Image

A nice herd of ellies had a drink then crossed the road in front of our car

Image

This warthog had no tail and did not seem bothered by the ellies around him

Image

Image

After pie and gravy at LS we headed on the N1 to Skukuza.

These dugga boys really had some impressive horns :clap:

Image

Image



Sunset dam was busy - these hippos were making the best of the midday sun......

Image

Image

Our next sighting is our best in Kruger ever, this was Kruger magic, unfortunately spoiled by human interference, but more on this in the next post - keep watching this space :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: This is why I love Kruger !!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:43 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:16 am
Posts: 96
Location: Pretoria
Day 3 Part 2

With the sightings that we had for the day, we were pretty satisfied to call it another successfull trip to Kruger, but Kruger was not done with us yet......

After fillling up the car at Skukuza, catching a bite for the last stretch to the gate and a quick stop at the sightings board we decided to go on our instinct to choose which roads to take.

We saw buffalo, giraffe, impalas and white rhino on our way to Paul Kruger gate. The sightings board had wilddogs and leopard on the S3 so we headed that way.

At the S3 junction the "no entry" sign was in such a position that we did not know if we were allowed to use the road. I became a big fan of the S3 as we've had some great sightings on previous trips although we haven't used the road that much. Our first trip down the S3(also our last day of trip) we got a male and two female lions with their three cubs next to the road.

Then we decided to take the road just some way in and hopefully if we pass another vehicle from the opposite direction we can continue and that the "no entry" sign was not positioned correctly.

Luckily we saw the first car about 200m in and we could continue using the S3. More or less 1.8km from the junction where you get the first sharp bend I had a look at some spoor in the road and told SO it looked like it belonged to a leopard.

Then as I had a quick glance to our left my eyes caught the sillhouette of the leopard with a cub on top of the rocks right next to the road :big_eyes:

We could not believe our luck as this was a sighting SO has always wanted to experience, so we grabbed our cameras and tried our best not to disturb them, and we were there all alone.

First an aerial pic of the exact position:

Image

And this our very first pic when we spotted them, the cub's head was just visible behind mom and very alert as these humans approached them :

Image

We took a lot of pics from here as we thought they would dissapear if we were to continue on the road closer to them. They did not seem bothered with us getting so close to them except the little fella. At times it looked like he was lining us up for lunch :big_eyes: . We spent about 45 minutes alone with them before the first cars arrived. You have to be there to experience the excitement but for now these pics would have to do

Image

Image

Image

The mom suddenly looked very alert and interested in some movement behind us. The cub went behind the rocks and out of sight for a few minutes as mom surely had lunch or dinner on her mind.She went down the rocks and closer to where her attention was drawn to only seconds earlier.

We could not see what she was looking at but got these pics:

Image

Image

She quickly lost interested and went up the nearest rocks right in front of us followed by her cub. It was great to see how safe the cub felt once she was close to mom and really close to us - they were now about 4 metres from our car and really amazing for us

We got this growl from them both and knew that this was the closest we were gonna be allowed.

Image

The little one stalking a 4 x 4 next to us

Image

Image

Image

Then they got up went down the rocks and returned to the rocks we first spotted them.

Image

Image

The mom again looked like she had her eyes focused on some movement and we were not going anywhere as we only had to be patient. By now we were there for more than 90 minutes and it felt like only 5.

This was the last pic we got as something frightened them and they dissapeared in a flash. We could not find them driving up and down the road only to discover two men in casual clothes with white caps just behind the first row of bush. They were walking next to the river about 80 metres from where the leopards were towards Paul Kruger Gate but we only got a quick glimpse of them when they went behind some thick bush

There were people on the opposite side of the Sabie river waving their hands and shouting at them trying to get their attention. Nothing came of it and we could not believe what we saw.

These guys were not dressed as field guides or Rangers, they were not armed with visible rifles, and the only thing I could think of is poachers, but in broad daylight? :big_eyes:

Not only did they spoil our sighting but how dangerous was this?

We had some mixed feelings leaving this wonderful sighting but at least we did get to spent some quality time with the mom and cub


Image

It now was the second time we got to see cubs on the S3 and this road will see us again soon. Although we did not get to see wilddogs we were very happy with the leopard with her cub.

This was certainly our best sighting in Kruger so far and I hope this can explain the Topic of my Trip report, because this is "Why I love Kruger"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: This is why I love Kruger !!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:04 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 6:23 pm
Posts: 96
Location: Yorkshire,UK
Just read your report and especially the encounter on the S3 with the leopard and cub.

We were on that road Oct 3rd, had a sighting of a leopard for 10 mins all to ourselves in the same spot

Image

Don't know if it's the same one , she just would not look directly at us but was in hunting mode.

Your experience was truly uplifting, we ended up seeing 4 leopards in 5 days but I would have traded them all for yours.

Great trip and yes thats why I love Kruger.

_________________
----------------------------------------------------
Confirmed Kruger junkie
-----------------------------------------------------
Next visit Jan 15th 2014 13 Days


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: This is why I love Kruger !!!
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:00 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:16 am
Posts: 96
Location: Pretoria
Thank you all for reading and wonderful comments. Meandering Mouse -this was certainly one of those sightings that absolutely take your breath away and will be remembered forever. We can try our best to bring you the pics and reports, but to be there is a feeling words cannot describe.

wmahon 465 -It could be the same leopard. The first pic we took was about 12h55 and the last one around 14h00, we might have passed each other at some point, except if we were heading in the same direction, but well done I must add that she looked like she was in a hunting mood when we were there as she twice left the safety of the rocks and the cub went to hide away only for her to appear behind another tree, shrub, rock, you name it, to our surprise. Who knows, could have been the same one, sounds like you had a nice trip with 4 leopards in 5 days - when can we expect your TR?

They are so well camouflaged and elusive you have to follow and watch them closely.

And now I get over excited again and need to get this off my chest.... :dance:

Elsa it is a great pity to hear of all the snares and traps - I had a look over the river and that fence surely needs serious upgrading to keep poachers out. With the latest news on all the rhinos that's been poached it is really sad to see what is happening to our Kruger Park.

There was a story on Carte Blanche on this if I remember correctly. They say those rhinos got darted out of a helicopter and then the horn is removed. Not every second person owns a helicopter license. These guys are experts in their field and it just comes to show to what extend these poachers will go for money. I know Kruger is a very wide-spread area and the task to keep an eye on all the areas is enormous or even impossible.

This one guy even made a suggestion that all the rhino in Krugers' horns should be removed and exported for a large amount of money, then the poaching will stop. :shock: Well, we all now where that money is going to end up.

I believe this is not even negotiable - what is a rhino without its horn?It cannot defend itself or its calf and the human interference is driving me nuts!!!! I know there is a lot of us feeling this way, but this is not an option.

I take my hat off to all the staff that do their bit against poaching because they have got their hands full and I hope something good comes out of it all.

But I will never stop loving Kruger, and my addiction just grows stronger each and every day.

Well, this is the end of my Trip report and surely one that will always be remembered, thank you all for reading it and commenting. May you have the best sightings wherever you go and keep sharing all the memories on the Forums.

Ciao for now!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: This is why I love Kruger !!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:49 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:16 am
Posts: 96
Location: Pretoria
Thanks Kamadejo, Magic Guarri and greenertina for comments.

Micetta I believe we feel the same will go and post my thoughts on poaching in the appropriate thread as I saw two more rhinos were poached in Limpopo - such a sad topic!!

Maddie, I think I must have seen your YR where our cars were parked close to the units, were you using a silver VW Polo? Yes, its a pity we did not meet as we were neighbours at the time. I will have a look at your TR soon.

I agree BnD is one of my most favourite camps, if not the most. Those units we stayed in are stunning and its so close to the fence. We missed the ellies at the fence but when we did the rhino trail just after dark, we found a hippo right against the fence where the waterhole starts. It was really scary as we used our torch to scan for animals against the embankment only for us to realise this huge beast is right under our noses about two metres from us - and the only thing between us was the fence, very comforting to know :big_eyes:

Just to sit outside and listen to the bush is the best part and I am getting "homesick" right now. Yes the forum guest was Charles and I hope he is reading this report so we can convince him to register. He has got two small kids and they seem to be just as passionate about the Park as his dad :dance:

Who knows, I hope we will meet one day, for now we'll follow each others trips on the forums.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 8 posts ] 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


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 swartj at 19:10:55 Submitted by Ellies at 21:11:38 Submitted by grannyb at 17:20:50 Submitted by victimofnature at 13:45:00