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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 6:23 pm
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Location: Yorkshire,UK
Went to Berg en dal after reading Lauren's reports when he was a guide there. Met the King about 50mts outside the gate walking down the road. He began roaring just a short distance from the car, a magnificent sound that vibrated right through the car.

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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:44 pm 
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Wow OWN I am really enjoying this thread and going through these responses takes me right back Rookie2009 you are so right about sitting at the Matjulu waterhole and watching the comings and goings of the animals. It amazes me how often people go down have a look and without stopping move on. We had an incident like this where we left BnD as the gates opened headed for the waterhole and saw nothing, we love listening to the sounds around and decided to just sit for a while and take it all in when the next thing... coming over the excuse of a hill...... Hyena I took a lot of pics but as it was still very early pics were not very good this one was one of the best. They had a drink and were gone just as quickly
as they appeared.

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Raymond is an absolute gem and if anyone gets the oppurtunity to go on a drive try to get him as your guide he has a GREAT passion for the bush and it shows in his knowledge and his willingness to share. Apparently he is no longer at BnD but now at Lower Sabie.


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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:11 pm 
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OWN, I have had such wonderful sightings on this stretch of road, from Lion to Leopard, Rhino and Elephant....., however I have not always had great photo opportunities.

One of my most memorable sighting was early one morning in December 2005, just turning onto the 'Matjulu loop' just a few meters off the road, sat the most beautiful young Serval. Rolling around in the grass playing with her tail, and then deciding to half-heartedly stalk a francolin, she kept us completely enthralled for at least 45 minutes and luckily for me, this was one time I did have my camera with me.

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This was truly a moment I will never forget!!


Thanks for such a wonderful thread! :cam: :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:58 am 
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Wonderful trip report so far :thumbs_up:


The area is connected to me as an image that stays painted in my mind.
It was the first day of my first Kruger trip (in the last millennium). In the last day light we met a pride of lions lazing peacefully.

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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:45 am 
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We've had some good sightings on those roads.

2008 - My SO saw her first leopard there on the S120 just before heading up the hill (pics are awful so no posting!). We had our first sightings of Ground Hornbill at the Matjulu waterhole. We got held up by an irrascible bull coming back into camp at the section of the loop where it crosses the river. Had a magnificent bull kudu cross in front of us coming back along the S120.

Next day we saw a huge breeding herd of ellies grazing on the right hand side of the S120 which were right next to the road on our return trip.

2009 - We saw our first leopard of this trip on the S121 on a sunset drive! We were staying in Hut 90 and during the evening while we were braaing and sitting outside enjoying the ambience we had a genet who came and sat on the verandah just like a cat - would spend half hour or so before moving on each time!

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“ Every year elephants were becoming scarcer and wilder south of the Zambezi, so that it had become impossible to make a living by hunting at all. ” FC Selous 1881


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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:42 am 
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Fantastic ... let's move onto chapter 3 of our combined trip:

Today, we are going to drive one of the most popular roads in Kruger:
the S25:

This dirt road extends from the S114/S121 junction, all the way along the southern border of the Park, until it reachs Crocodile Bridge Camp. 5 km from Croc Bridge, we take a small detour to the excellent Hippo Pools on the Crocodile River (S27), where a guide leads us relatively close to the resident hippo, or up on to the rocks for a stunning all-round view.

For many people, it is sometimes distracting that the S25 opens up vistas of human encroachment on the other side of the Crocodile River, but the magic change in scenery of the road through four different vegetation zones - Malelane mountain bushveld, through mixed bushwillow woodlands, into Sabie Crocodile thorn thickets, and finally through Delagoa thorn thickets - as well as the outstanding variety of top game, including leopard, cheetah, wild dog, lion, buffalo, elephant, and rhino, more than makes up for this! Martial eagle and various raptors also may be seen. Delightfully, there is a lot of riverine bush, as the road often moves close to the river from which it takes its name.

There is also a fair amount of history on this road - such as the trading store owned by Alf Roberts in the late nineteenth century, and the site where one of the Boer generals from the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) abandoned his artillery, spiking the guns so that the British would not use them.

The S25 and S27 are two of my all-time favourite roads in Kruger!

Super, let's get posting, as I know that many people have seen many special sightings on these roads!

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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:57 pm 
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Location: Jakarandastad
On the 22nd of July 2009 we journeyd the S25. We were suppose to have a 11h30 brunch at Afsaal, but coming from Lower Sabie direction and all the beautiful scenery at the Hippo Pools and on the S25, we arrived at Afsaal round about 14h00. By then we were starving! Anyway, what a lovely experience the Hippo Pools was!! Unfortunately I took most of everything on video.

As the guide took us on the rocks near the hippos there were two buffalos between the reeds which the guide type of scared off by clapping his hands. As we turned back to the vehicles one of the buffalo's was busy drinking water in a pool of about seven/eight meters in width. Only a few reeds (which I could seperate for a more clear view) and the pool of water was between me and the buffalo. The guide watched carefully as I took about a minute of video of the buff staring at me. Just remembering it again make the blood rush to my head in exitement. Me and the buffalo staring at each other.

Then there was this tiny hippo who was lazing with the rest of the group on the sandbank in the middle of the river. No words can describe the cuteness factor. I can only utter babyish sounds to describe it. Unfortunately I can not spell the sounds.
We also saw a saddle billed stork and grey heron but they were a bit too far for excellent pics.

Afterwards as we drove along the S25 we found impala, a small herd of buffalo, giraffe and warthhog. The scenery on the riverside is awesome. There are some turn offs you could drive in and park your vehicle about next to the river. Okay, not next to it, but you are on the same level as the river with no bushes or trees or shrubs to obstruct your view. We sat for half an hour + just watching waterbuck and impala grazing on the river banks. It felt as if we were in another world. The peace and quietness that is only interupted by bird sounds suffocates you to a state of near unconsciousness. You just don't want to leave. We could stay forever. As I already mentioned, we had a very late brunch. I think the S25 took about 5 hours of our time.

Our friends, Ben and Cindy, at Hippo Pools

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Hippos at the Pools

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A giraffe on the S25

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Waterbuck at the riverbed

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And a glance of history: A stone for Jock

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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:29 pm 
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November 2009 I was lucky enough to be part of the Angels Challenge. I only saw wilddogs once in my life and that was at the age of about 15 years. My biggest wish was to see them and on our first day of the challenge, we came across these :dance: . They were about 5km from Crocodile Bridge on the S25.
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This sighting is one I will never forget, and from now on, that is (if possible) one of the roads I will always travel.


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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:36 pm 
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In March 2009, we had to enter at Malelane Gate due to Croc Bridge being under water. We had a lovely meandering drive to Croc Bridge. The vegetation was quite dense.....

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But thankfully some residents also like the clear view ....

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If I stick to the side of the road it will be easier than scrambling through the bush...

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Quick pop into hippo pools.... Bum shot cos we are shy!
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No hippos though - just a couple of these guys! :lol:

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Croc Bridge - 6 April 2012
Berg en Dal - 7&8 April 2012


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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:21 pm 
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last December I saw a pack of at least 21 wild dogs encountering a pride of 13 lions :big_eyes:

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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:02 pm 
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onewithnature wrote:
Wow, FLYING CHEETAH! :clap: :clap: Lovely photo! Can you share the story with us? I mean, wild dog meeting lions is bound to have led to some frantic activities and unique memories! Such an encounter I have never seen.


Of course onewithnature. You can read the full story here:
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=39415&start=300

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There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:38 pm 
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Such lovely doggies and lions - flying cheetah. Thank you for the great photos!

OWN -This is such fun when time to do an individual report is at a premium. Croc Bridge is such a great camp - I would be back in a flash. If I am jumping the gun you can rattle my knuckles and I will remove the couple of photos of the camp.

Every Bungalow has a perimeter view.
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The boys enjoying the quietness.
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Croc Bridge - 6 April 2012
Berg en Dal - 7&8 April 2012


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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:58 pm 
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Over the past .....years, (far too many to mention), I have had the wonderful privilege of returning to Kruger over and over. The S25, being one of the very first roads I ever travelled on my very first visit to this wonderful park, needless to say, I have had many memorable sightings along this road.

A memory that always comes back to me was in the early eighties. I had been working for about a year and had saved up enough money to buy my first car, a ruby red 'Daihatsu Charade', not the largest vehicle by any means of imagination, however, it was mine and I was so pleased to be able to drive myself to Kruger, at the time, all the way from Bloemfontein.

Early one morning I found myself travelling along the S25, my Mom as passenger by my side, it was winter so a little chilly, but wonderful nonetheless. We saw some ellies at the river, a couple of giraffe, and a troupe of baboon that kept us thoroughly entertained.

My Mom and I were discussing the fact that it had been several years since we had had a black rhino sighting, and how wonderful it would be if one could just appear around the next corner.

On approaching the next bend, the hair on the back of my neck stood on end, almost as though we had wished this event to happen, but alas, to my great disappointment, it was not to be.

Travelling very slowly as I always like to do, about an hour later as I rounded a bend, a huge black blur of motion appeared about 8 - 10 meters in front of the car, a cloud of dust surrounding it, as the dust settled, in shock and absolute amazement, there in front of us, in the middle of the road, stood the most magnificent black rhino, I screeched to a halt! Creating as much of a dust cloud as this beautiful animal had, we just froze, he stared at us, we stared at him, and then, I have to admit, I started to become nervous as I realised we were possibly a little too close, and that he may feel threatened.

For me, at that moment, time stood completely still, my heart pounding in my chest....... within a flash, he turned, snorted loudly, and sped off into the bush, disappearing as quickly as he had appeared.

Since that time, I have had 2 other black rhino sightings, none as clear or close. It was one of those sightings that bring the realisation, that all sightings should be appreciated to the fullest, as they will never, ever, be repeated.

It is a moment forever ingrained in my memory.

Unfortunately, with this all happening so quickly, I had no time to grab my camera, so I have no photo's to share here, but, thank you OWN, for giving me the opportunity to share this, and bring this wonderful day to memory, once again.

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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:12 am 
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I must admit, I did the S25 a few times when I lived in Nelspruit but it has never been the best road for me.

Last year we did'nt cover this road, but in 2008 we travelled via the S25 to Lower Sabie from BnD - we left at gate opening and we saw some impala and a couple of warthog on the whole trip to Hippo Pools and that was it.

Hippo Pools was a different story. We took the walk up to what is left of the bushman paintings with the guide (I was fascinated to see him carrying a Lee Enfield .303 :big_eyes: ) - from the viewpoint there we saw some buffalo crossing the river, and quite a few hippo. However, the guide pointed out a lioness to us probably 800 to 1000m away on the bank of the river. She appeared to be stalking a small herd of impala and we could only see her with binos. We watched her for a bit while the other people left. We then decided to leave ourselves. We walked back to the car and drove away from the area.

We were about 100m out when we spotted the lioness motoring through the bush towards us. We lost sight of her for a moment and were looking backwards out of the car when she appeared about 2m behind us. She was thin as a rake and did not look really good at all, but her dugs were hanging down. We figured she had a set of cubs somewhere. She crossed the road quickly and headed up into the rocks behind the Hippo Pool area. We drove back down and let the guide know where she had gone. Seeing her so close and knowing that everyone else had missed her was a real treat for us.

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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:20 pm 
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Saw this little guy in 2008 close to the S27 turnoff, he was about half a meter in length.

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