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 Post subject: KNP - Where The Sun Rises In The West ....
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:31 pm 
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Only two and a half sleeps!!! :dance:

We'll be at a magical place ... where a miracle happens every day!

Meet you there! :whistle:


*edit* I wondered who would challenge my navigation skills :twisted:

Imberbe wrote:
I am a bit worried about whether you are ever going to reach KNP. Who does the navigation?


Ahhhh! so you noticed :wink: Come along and I'll show you! :tongue:

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Last edited by Spotted Cat on Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KNP - Where The Sun Rises In The West ....
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:02 pm 
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Thank you, thank you all for your kind wishes - packed in my bag and I'll take them out every day :lol:

SO received a call this morning from one of the staff at Croc Bridge (sorry, can't remember his name :redface: They had noticed that we have a booking at CB for tomorrow night and called to inform us that the bridge is under water. That is super caring for visitors!!!!! SANParks :clap:

I am bushed!! Need some serious zzzzzzzzzz *yawn*

Elsa, p@m, RosemaryH - thanks for being willing to post for me :clap:

ps - there really is a place in Kruger where you can see the sun rise in the west. Majestic mountains and a place to stretch your legs. :wink: :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: KNP - Where The Sun Rises In The West ....
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:15 pm 
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Hi everyone :D

AT LAST!!!! Gremlins are defeated! Login was a real problem since yesterday :evil:

Thank you for caring ... it's been hectic since we've been back :roll:
"under the weather" - something I brought home from Kruger and add to that withdrawal symptoms :(

Micetta, the special Guy did not organize a prolonged stay this time, he was too eager to get home and we're off on a trip with a difference. His biiiiig birthday present has arrived and we have to go to Johannesburg to view and finalize everything. Boys and their toys :roll: :wall:

I have been very busy working on photos in the meantime, hopefully the TR will get under way as soon as we are back.

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 Post subject: Re: KNP - Where The Sun Rises In The West ....
Unread postPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 10:26 pm 
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We’ve been back almost two weeks now, life has returned to normal and the sun rises in the east every morning. :lol:
The place of magic is just a memory now, moments of wonder … moments of frustration … moments of extreme sadness and a special, very special moment of …..

But before I run out of “……” let me start at the beginning :D



Day of arrival – 17 April 2010

The day before we left home, we had a telephone call from one of the staff at CB informing us that the bridge was under water and that we should enter the park at Malelane.
We left Richards Bay around 8 and once through Swaziland and on the “air” again, SO got a call from his friend who was staying at Ngwenya Lodge saying that 4X4’s and SUV’s could cross the bridge at own risk. They had entered the park that morning and suggested we should have a look before driving up to Malelane gate.
It sounded like a good idea, so after shopping at the Spar in Komatipoort we headed for the gate.

I did not like what I saw. SO was confident that he could get me across safe and sound, but ever the cautious one, I wanted to go the Malelane route. We had a wonderful Wild dog sighting on the S25 on our first day in December and maybe, just maybe, Lady Luck was still around.
Two other vehicles arrived and I watched with horror as they entered the water flowing across the bridge. Surely they could not, would not try to get through. They did AND they made it. 8)

“You see?” That “trust me” look.
The Guy could work miracles, but this??
“Well, I don’t want to!!” I was pouting like a naughty child. Not a good beginning :wink:

The moment (the “horror” moment) we reached the bridge, I sunk down in my seat with eyes shut and took a deep breath … just in case. :pray:
Of course we made it! SO gave me that “I told you so” look. :tongue:

I breathed a sigh of relief. Oh SC, come on! Get a life!!! Africa is not for sissies, everybody knows that!

Booking in went smoothly and we were allocated bungalow no. 8. Quick inspection … no bats! Good! 8)

I had packed a small suitcase with just the necessary items for one night and the rest of our stuff was left in the car for a quick get away the next morning, so not much to unpack.

After a short rest, we took an equally short afternoon drive.

The bush was still very lush and green and the S28 our first choice.
Rhino X8 (too far for pics)
Elephant X3 (ditto)
Warthog families X2
A few wildebeest, giraffes and of course the ever present (if you’re lucky :lol: ) impala.

We could get a snapshot of this beautiful juvenile Martial Eagle

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The sun was setting in the west 8) an absolutely amazing display of colours –no matter how many sunsets you are blessed to see, not a single one is ever the same. A moment of magic wonder! It was good to be back!


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A wink to say goodnight

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 Post subject: Re: KNP - Where The Sun Rises In The West ....
Unread postPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 10:20 pm 
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Thank you all for welcoming me back and for joining me on our morning drive :D

First full day in the Park - destination, Satara

18 April 2010

We left camp at 6:40, temperature 20°C.

The S28 - It may seem a bit boring taking the same route almost every day, but we have had some of our most treasured moments travelling the magic dirt road.
The day was still young, blades of grass draped with drops of liquid diamonds that glistened in the early morning sun.

Etched against a clear blue sky - A White-Backed Vulture

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Further up the road a few cars were parked this way and that, signalling a possible cat sighting.
Yip! 3 Lions, some distance from the road and not at all interested in giving us a proper photo opportunity. Not that it would have helped me at all!! I don’t have the foggiest idea what happened with this pic :redface: Green lions?? :shock: “Tainted” evidence that we indeed saw lions - albeit the only ones during our entire trip!!! :wall:


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At first I thought this one was dead, but I think she’s wearing a collar smeared with blood. They must have had a feast of note.

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And the one that got away – I do hope the wound will heal properly :pray:

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Judging by the nicely healed wound on his neck, this one had a narrow escape as well.

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We met SO’s friend further up the road and he mentioned that he had seen a “little bird” in the patchy grass area by the Ntandanyathi hide which he could not id. We didn’t search long before we spotted it, a very busy little fellow, never standing still long enough to take a decent pic. On our return trip to CB, I eventually got some nice shots and will post them later.

Temmnick’s Courser – a first for us (heavily cropped)
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Mr Warthog took some time out to stop and “smell the bush”

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Just before turning onto the tar road to LS, a Kori Bustard made a brief appearance before moving off into the tall grass.

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The drive to Sunset dam was dead quiet - very, very dead quiet :?

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 Post subject: Re: KNP - Where The Sun Rises In The West ....
Unread postPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 9:52 pm 
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Kamadejo... Flutterby :thumbs_up: Thank you!


...... to continue

Breakfast at Sunset Dam was spent in the company of our friends, parked close enough to have a nice chat through the open window. There was nothing but hippos to see and no other cars around so we did not disturb anyone.
We have never seen the dam so full and it was a heart-warming sight!
After a quick visit to shop and ladies/gents at LS we were ready to hit the road again.

A Heuglin’s Robin and Black-eyed Bulbul shared the communal bird ablutions outside reception.

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The H10 is usually a good road to travel, but sightings were few and far between as the temperature steadily rose towards the high twenties. One of our reliable old favourites gave us reason to stop and converse a while

“Morning SC! You and the guy saw any lions? Not? ….. Great!” *chuckle*

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(I didn't think it was so great, but then again, I was not on the menu)

And thus the journey continued. There was nothing, absolutely nothing to be seen for kilometres on end. The scenery however was awesome and made up for the absence of things big and small … yes, it was THAT kind of drive. :roll: I’m always hopeful, but I was starting to get sleepy.
At last, movement! A breeding herd of ellies in the distance, quite a few little ones and we sat and watched them for a while.


We were grateful to get out of the car at Tshokwane but didn’t dawdle for too long. It was very hot, temp 33°C and the sun felt like it meant business. Not many people around either.
From there we took the S34 and I must mention the road was in very good condition, a pleasure to drive. A family of Ground Hornbills were seeking shelter in the shade of a tree, obviously suffering in the heat and panting heavily. I did not blame them for not even glancing in our direction.

Interesting facts ….( Rosemary Drisdelle)

`Do birds sweat? Birds’ normal body temperature is higher than ours, so they don’t need to shed heat as soon, but they can get warm inside their thick layer of feathers. Birds don’t have sweat glands so they don’t sweat, but they have a few other ways to keep cool on hot days and get rid of excess body heat:
• Birds pant to expel body heat – they breathe very quickly, letting the cooler air passing through the lungs and air sacs carry heat away from the body. A bird standing with its mouth open on a hot day is probably panting. The structure of a bird’s lungs allows the air to pass through in only one direction so it doesn’t mix with air that is already in the lungs. This means a greater cooling capacity as well as higher oxygen levels.
• Birds flutter the throat when they’re hot, flexing the hyoid bone. This area has a generous blood supply and thus can give off a lot of heat.
• Bird’s legs are not covered with feathers and significant heat is lost through the legs and feet. Some species moisten and cool their legs by allowing liquid waste to run down them. Birds turn their backs, or white parts, toward the sun so that their feathers will reflect the sunlight.


Wonder if the Grey Penduline-Tit’s home comes with an air conditioner

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The nests are cleverly disguised to look like spider webs and have a cunning, false entrance to confuse predators. I don’t pose any threat, but I was fooled for many years. I thought that monster spiders lived in it! :redface:


This ellie was flapping his ears lazily to get his cooling system going …. Didn’t look as bothered as the birds, though.

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A Golden Orb Spider sat patiently waiting for something, anything, to fly into its web trap. There were hundreds of them all over the park! Talk about a population explotion!

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Just before turning onto the S36, a beautiful young Kudu …. the perfect model :D

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Lugmag Dam was definitely not the hot spot of the day. A few impala and water buck were grazing on the opposite side of the dam.
A big treat for us - a beautiful, graceful Saddle-billed Stork was fishing for lunch in the shallow water.

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Next post .....
Please be patient, I have to master the video thingie before I can do the next post– eish!!

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 Post subject: Re: KNP - Where The Sun Rises In The West ....
Unread postPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 9:40 pm 
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The promised Saddle-billed Stork video 8) Pheww! The wind caused a bit of a hassle, but ... my first solo effort. (Son did my Lion duo video for last TR)

View My Video

To continue ……

The S36 was no joy. There were badly corrugated stretches that made it very unpleasant. Disappointing after the smooth drive on the S34.
A couple of Double-banded Sandgrouse watched us rattle past. Who can ignore such beautiful birds? Stopped and reversed – I was absolutely sure that they had fled into the undergrowth. We must have sounded like a thunderstorm rolling in over the corrugated road. :roll:

Thank you for sticking around long enough for nice TR pics :D

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Quiet, quiet … QUIET!! We just could not believe it. By then we were getting numb in places where blood circulation was thwarted. :?
Nhlanguleni picnic spot was a welcome get out point. It was blistering hot and we were again forced to just do the necessary and then hastily retreated to take refuge in the air conditioned car.

Muzandzeni dam – 2:00pm – 35°C

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The picture says it all. Dead quiet – literally! Nothing!

Then a little something – hairy something - strange looking something. We almost missed it, but SO is very observant and always on the lookout for creepy crawlies, slithery, scaly and slow moving little creatures on the road. Some kind of worm? First time we’ve seen the likes of it … soft, silky hair covered its whole body.

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Another first for us – a Steenbokkie busy with its ablutions. (SC, sorry, you’ve lost it!! Is there really nothing else you can come up with? :naughty: :roll: )
Well, I’ve heard about their ablution tactics, but never seen it before. Unfortunately I realized too late what all the scraping was about, so only one pic.

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(Googled these interesting facts)
Breeding season has not been clearly defined. All year round births have been recorded. They have a gestation period of about seven months, after which single lambs are born. Lambs are concealed for the first three to four months, during which time the mother only makes contact in the early morning and evening to feed and groom the infant. To conceal the infant’s presence, the mother eats her lamb’s faeces and drinks its urine during her visits, this keeps the hiding place relatively odour free and protected from predators.
Behaviour
Rams and ewes defend and share a territory. They are mainly solitary. Males will mark off their territories with urine and secretions from gland under the chin as well as using dung. They are the only bovid who scrape the ground before and after urination and defecation. The males are known to use roads and telephone lines as boundaries. They have excellent hearing. They have been known to scavenge meat from carcasses as well as kill the young of ground birds but this is due to severe shortages of food.


Just outside camp, buffs sharing a mud bath.

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While SO did the booking in thing, I took some pics outside .... :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: KNP - Where The Sun Rises In The West ....
Unread postPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 11:02 pm 
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While SO did the booking in thing, I took some pics outside ...


The light at the cam .... :lol:

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Pic taken as evidence that I thought of the cammers - too late, though!! AFTER 4 buffs, a few zebbies and wildebeest were at the drinking trough :slap: my camera ... in the car of course! :evil:
Fetched it, missed the big ones, but was ready for the vervets' late afternoon antics :D

Little rascal :naughty:
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I didn't start this! He bit me first



The cutest ....
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(Note the cigarette butt :evil: )

.... and the brave with the aspiration of becoming a firefighter :D
right, let's figure this one out ....
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where do I start this engine?
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uh, uh... nothing down here :?
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Booking in done, some shopping and off to find our bungalow. We were allocated no D81. Close to the personel quarters, but throughout our stay it was very, very quiet.
Unpacked, refreshed and out for dinner at the restaurant.

On our way we had a lovely sighting right in camp :D A Dwarf Mongoose family crossed the road as fast as their little legs could carry them ... one mommy carrying her tiny, tiny little baby in her mouth. Awwwwhh! So cute!

Dinner was great, we had a perfect view of the waterhole, but no thirsty animals on parade.
It was a loooong day. Sleep came quickly .....

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 Post subject: Re: KNP - Where The Sun Rises In The West ....
Unread postPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 6:03 pm 
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The little thief almost got away ... :lol:

Missed his pics :roll:

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and in a nutshell -

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Next post .... the place where sunrise is in the west :lol: 8)

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 Post subject: Re: KNP - Where The Sun Rises In The West ....
Unread postPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 5:52 pm 
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Lionspoon ... fenwickh Thank you!! Sunrise :popcorn:

19 April 2010

I woke up during the night. A bit disorientated at first, but then realization sunk in …. I was in Kruger!!! A thunderbolt lit up the sky, bathing the room in an eerie glow. Pulling the blanket up to my chin, I gently slipped into a dreamland where lions and leopards, butterflies and cute little ….. until the alarm went off.

The “dry storm” during the night was reason enough why I didn’t hear the commotion outside when mr Badger overturned the dustbin in his quest for food. A lot of rubbish was strewn all over just outside our bungalow, but an attendant was already busy cleaning up. Thanks young man :whistle:

We slept in, so we had left camp a little bit later than usual on our first full day at Satara.Went through the ritual first – steaming hot coffee and rusks for the guy before he even considered (as per usual when we’re on holiday) getting out from under the covers. I forgave him - at home I'm the one getting coffee in bed. :D

The promise of a lovely day was written in a sky tie-dyed in different shades of subdued blue. No words can describe the feeling of being alive, of breathing and experiencing the smells and sounds of the bush. Unique – Africa!
We embarked on our journey to find the magical spot from where one can see sunrise in the west.
First we had to travel the S100 and in doing so, we experienced not only the beauty and the wonders of the bush, but also the saddest sight of our trip. :cry:

Can vultures be beautiful?? As long as I did not think about their abhorrent table manners and terrible menu, I thought so … kind of :roll:

Whitebacked Vulture
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A little grooming, Trying to convince me!!
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Definitely beautiful !!! Fish Eagle
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Little Bee-eaters
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Impalas do deserve a place in my TR :D We were very lucky to find them! :wink: They are beautiful. I think we get so used to seeing them, that we just don’t see them anymore.

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Interesting facts:
Females that have an excess level of testosterone have been known to grow horns. The horns however may grow disproportionately. (Google)

Source: Getaway Magazine - January 2004
It is also the smallest antelope that tolerates oxpecker birds to assist in removing ticks. Ticks can reduce blood reserves exposing the antelope to disease and malnutrition. To assist them in grooming, impalas possess a "antelopes toothcomb" comprised of canines and incisors adapted for removing ticks and other parasites. By allogrooming they get rid of ticks etc in the unreachable places, like around the ears, head and neck. When it comes to the area under the tails the two black stripes of the “MacDonalds logo” come into play. The constantly wagging tail of the impala brushes the ticks towards the warmer black hair where the impala can reach with its teeth.
Unlike most animals, the impalas graze and browse, thereby maximising the availability of food. For safety they move in herds as large as the available food will allow.




Photographer Frank Solomon captured the “personal web site” of an impala ram on camera while on safari in the Kruger National Park. (*edit* Copyright, permission granted by photographer to post)

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Black-faced Impala (Aepyceros melampus petersi) between Olifantsbad and Aus, in Etosha, Namibia.

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(Wikipedia - picture)

The black impala, found in very few places in Africa, is an extremely rare type of impala. ****** (not advertising :wink: ) Private Game Reserve in South Africa has over 150 black impala. Its “black face” is the result of recessive genes.

I couldn’t resist taking pictures of this magnificent Waterbuck
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Not in the least impressed with me, though.
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Zebras at Shibotwana waterhole
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If I had to choose colours to blend into the bush … would definitely not have chosen black and white stripes :| Too conspicious I would think :roll:

Mother nature thinks otherwise, and rightly so - :lol: pretty as a picture they are, chose this one for a close-up
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Next – a sad, sad sight ….. :cry:

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Last edited by Spotted Cat on Thu May 27, 2010 11:55 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KNP - Where The Sun Rises In The West ....
Unread postPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 1:44 pm 
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Thank you all for sharing my journey with me and for your kind comments. :D


And now for the sad, sad part of our trip :cry:



You will know the feeling when you see a car parked up ahead ….
“I wonder what they are looking at?” Why I always ask that question I don’t know. SO doesn’t either. :roll:

A single vulture was sitting in a dead tree and the people in the only car parked at the scene, were looking through binocs at something lying in the grass. Spots! Vulture! Must be a kill.
A kill it was, only not the kind one would like to see. A dead cheetah, what a sad sight! We debated for a while as to how it had come to its end. Is it a cheetah, is it a leopard? It wasn’t easy to id because of the distance and it seemed a bit bloated already. A third car arrived and the couple agreed – cheetah. We didn’t stay long, there was no movement, not a flickering of tail or ears. Our hearts were heavy when we continued on our way.

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Fast forward - afternoon drive…..

We decided to go and see if anything had happened since we’ve left that morning. A few cars were parked at the spot. Not planning to stop, SO slowly drove past. It was still there, no scavengers in sight for which I was grateful. Let them do what they have to do during the night. :(

A man indicated that we should stop. “Have you seen the dead leopard?”
“Yes, we’ve seen it this morning. We thought it was a cheetah!”
“No, definitely a leopard! I’ve seen pictures of it! A guy was hanging out his window, stopping everyone and showing off his pictures … close ups! It must have been a terrible fight. Looks like a male… lots of blood!”

Apparently the man and his wife had gotten out of their car, ran up to the dead cat, took a couple of pictures and quickly ran back to their car. “A once in a life time opportunity they said!”
Idiots!! What if another leopard or lion or whatever killed it, was still in the area? If they got killed, would another animal have to die because of their stupidity?? We were horrified!!

I had to crop the pics. I was grateful that it was not closer – we definitely did not want to see such a magnificent animal so badly mauled that it had died of its wounds.
It could have been a lion, another male defending his territory or even baboons. I never thought of the latter, but after reading Kobie Kruger’s book Mahalangeni, Stories of a Game Ranger’s Family, it is a possibility.

Short excerpt from page 186
“Barking, screeching and roaring with a fury that frightened even me, the baboons chased the leopard from tree to tree, surrounded it, allowed it to escape, and then surrounded it again and again until, finally, it was so intimidated that it fled. The defence operation lasted a full forty minutes.”

An eyewitness account of baboons vs leopard. Read here

It was only now, getting ready to post this instalment that I noted the difference :shock:

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Compare with pic 1, in the upper left hand corner is a small portion of the bush on the left in pic 2 – the cat had moved! it was definitely not in the same spot as it had been that morning!! Was it still alive then, had he tried to drag himself to the shade of the bush and then died before he could reach it?? We will never know, because the next morning he was gone.

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 Post subject: Re: KNP - Where The Sun Rises In The West ....
Unread postPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 11:53 pm 
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anne-marie :D - hop aboard!


To continue with our morning drive....


Duke is still the only elephant I feel comfortable with, even up close. Therefore our next sighting was a rather quick one. A big ellie wanted to cross the road, so there was not much time for a pic – I’m very weary and poor SO always gets the only ringside seat available (in the car) when I have my little concert. :twisted:

We saw quite a few elephants with “holy” ears (and broken tusks) during our trip :wink:

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Not much seen on the S41, but I loved this one! Look at those drumsticks!!!

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A few bird pics taken on our way to the picnic site at N’wanetsi. (Wanela I think it was - :roll: )

Yellowbilled Egret

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Juvenile Greenbacked Heron
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Egyptian Geese on the march
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We were glad to get out of the car. Stiff legs needed a few paces to get supple again and even a few more to get backs straight again. The joys of being 20+
8) :dance:

A beautiful view from the lookout point
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We scanned the area around the dam for a while, but the only movement was a giraffe way off in the distance. Two African Jacana flew past with a sharp, ringing “krrrrk” and all was quiet again.










Welcome to the spot where sunrise is in the west :lol:

To the east, the Lebombo Mountains. To the west, Sonop waterhole.

And here my non Saffie friends must please forgive me, but now you can add another Afrikaans word to your Kruger vocabulary. 8)

“Sonop” is the Afrikaans word for “sunrise”. :D :whistle:

Next - Sweni Hide :)

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 Post subject: Re: KNP - Where The Sun Rises In The West ....
Unread postPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 11:11 pm 
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Hello everyone :) Thank you all for your kind comments, it's my pleasure to share with you!!

fenwickh wrote:
You got me with Sonop - didn't guess for one minute


:twisted: Only in KNP :wink: Magical place!

Kamadejo wrote:
I really like this Afrikaans word


Danke schön! :wink: Always look west when you visit N'wanetsi and think of me 8)

Meandering Mouse wrote:
Love the drum sticks


Me too!! :lol: if he knows what's good for him, he'll take some flying lessons :lol:

annalie wrote:
Marinated and slowly barbequed


See what I mean?? :wink:

anne-marie wrote:
I come... to the braai -
I'll try to retain this new word "sonop"


Hope you get a chance to see sunrise in the west :D braai? Yes :thumbs_up:

Flutterby wrote:
....and loved playing catch up with your TR. So sad about the leopard. Keep the good stuff coming


Thanks, glad you're enjoying it! My leopard ... yes, so terribly sad!
" good stuff " - we did have a rather unique sighting, people who have been going to Satara for many years, told us that it was a first sighting for them as well :hmz:

Sharifa and Duke wrote:
Idiots getting out of car for pix


:sniper: They were very careless - it could have cost them their lives.

Micetta wrote:
Why a holy ear? Only because it has a hole or is their a deeper meaning....
So you were not sent to jail for stealing a pic


No, "holy" just because he has a hole in his ear :lol:
:cam: Eish!! No!!! He was very kind ... but don't you try the same :twisted:

Crested Barbet wrote:
Your pic of the Egyptian Geese is awesome


Thank you!! They do look as if they're on a mission - the rear guard should watch his posture, though! A bit sloppy :D



fenwickh wrote:
Yellow-billed Egret is another name for an Intermediate Egret


:thumbs_up: It is not the greatest pic, but my first impression was Yellow-billed Egret. What do you think?

@anne-marie - I didn't know about the "Yellowbilled" until I had to id it for my TR :roll: Hope I'm right, though. :redface:


Info from ....

Stiffnecks Newsletter : Volume1, No 3, June 2007
Words by Deefstes


There are a few Herons and Egrets that could potentially pose a challenge to the beginner birder but armed with some rudimentary knowledge, identification becomes quite easy. For the purposes of this discussion we will not consider the vagrants such as Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron and Western Reef Heron.

Egrets:
Let’s start off with the white Egrets (Great Egret, Yellow-billed Egret, Little Egret and Cattle Egret), which often is the main stumbling block for beginners. As you might have expected, the main features to note would be the colour of the bill, the colour of the legs and the colour of the feet. Bear in mind though that, in some species, these colours may change in breeding season and it is important to be aware of the different combinations and have some appreciation for when the birds go into or out of breeding plumage. Another compounding matter is that the colour of the feet and legs can be obscured by mud from the Egret wading in muddy waters, as is their wont.

Great Egret:
The Great Egret really is a large bird, comparing in size to the Grey Heron. The Great Egret will always have black legs and feet but the bill can vary in colour from yellow when not breeding to black when breeding. When the bird is seen from close range and there is still confusion with Yellow-billed Egret, the black line extending from the gape can be of help. On Great Egret the line extends well beyond the eye while on Yellow-billed the line extends to only below the eye. The Great Egret and Yellow-billed Egrets are the only ones to have this line extending from the gape.

Yellow-billed Egret:
This seems to be the Egret causing the most confusion. It’s not a particularly common Egret so one often sees many more of the other white Egrets for every one Yellow-billed Egret. The legs and feet will always be black below the tibio-tarsal joint and from the tibio-tarsal joint upwards yellow when not breeding to reddish when breeding. The colouration of the tibia can be surprisingly difficult to see in the field so care should be taken when looking for this feature. The bill will be yellow or orange depending on the season but never black.

Will post again tomorrow :thumbs_up:

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Last edited by Spotted Cat on Thu May 27, 2010 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KNP - Where The Sun Rises In The West ....
Unread postPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 11:25 pm 
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Location: Where hippos, crocs and sharks meet ...
Rest of our morning drive - and a few more pics :D

It turned out to be a very green morning :roll:



Lizard soaking up the sun
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Rock Monitor
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Dragonfly
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Marabou (can't remember which little loop it was)
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Next stop, Sweni Bird Hide.


What a disappointment when we got to the hide :? The water, thick as pea soup from the green algae that covered the entire dam, was a very worrisome sight. :(

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Last edited by Spotted Cat on Fri May 28, 2010 8:48 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KNP - Where The Sun Rises In The West ....
Unread postPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 11:47 pm 
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Location: Where hippos, crocs and sharks meet ...
On the opposite side of the dam an elephant made his way down to the water. It was interesting to see how he tested the air, hesitated, and then decided it was safe enough to venture deeper (note the hole in his ear :) )

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Crocodile - colour coded to blend in :wink:
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Brown-Hooded Kingfisher
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We met our “Hide” ellie again, but luckily he chose to travel bush style while we chose the much easier ride on the tar road.
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I had to see for myself that “sunrise” was still in the west :lol: It was!!! :whistle: We sat a while, diggiing in our “do you remember the time we saw …..” story bag – we have had a few special sightings at the waterhole in years gone by and it was lovely walking down memory lane 8)

A warthog family took off the moment we arrived – I was a bit disappointed, because little “warties” are just about the cutest babies there are!!

Close to camp, a beautiful juvenile Burchell’s Cougal
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Back in camp at 2:30 pm. Went to have a quick look at the cam where a few impala and zebra were having a drink. A welcome reminder that I had to stock up on bottled water. After a quick shop stop, back to the rondavel for a short siesta.

(As mentioned before, our afternoon drive took us back to the leopard sighting :( )

Once again we had a lovely dinner at the restaurant. Sitting outside with a perfect view of the waterhole was absolute bliss! At this very moment, while sharing my story with you, my heart yearns to be there again … :pray:

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