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 Post subject: Just Another Day in Kruger!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:02 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Hi, there are just to many trips to report back on so I have decided to just randomly post different sightings we have been fortunate enough to be blessed with and share them with you.
To begin with, our last series of trips this past June and July were truly awesome in terms of predator sightings. My son and I left home and the cold during the early hours of Thursday 10 06 2010 and arrived at Malelane Gate basking in the gloriously pleasant heat of Kruger. After the necessary paper work we drove up the H 3 enjoying the breath of fresh and unadulterated air that is special to Kruger. We then cut across the S 118 Mlalmbane road and drove up the S 114. Stopping at the Biyamiti Weir we saw some kingfishers and the resident croc enjoying the sun.

Thereafter we met some people just before the S 21 turn who informed us about some lions on some rocks five hundred metres from the turn off. We turned onto the S 21 and measured five hundred metres after which there were some rocks but no sign on the lions. Went back and forth a couple of times to see if we had somehow missed them, but nothing was to be seen there. Carried on and came to the second set of rocks on top of which, lo and behold, there they were three lionesses and three cubs lazily yawning and stretching. After sitting with them for a while we carried on along the S 21. After flagging down an oncoming car and asking them what was in store for us on the way to Lower Sabie where we were booked for one night after which we had to move to Skukuza for the second night after which we were to return to Lower Sabie for another five nights. The good news we were given was about a leopard in a tree. Not long thereafter and close to the end of the road, we met up with a game drive vehicle who enquired whether the lions were still there and informed us that in the opposite direction, going towards Skukuza, a leopard had made a kill next to a bridge and was feeding there. A choice now had to be made, which way do we go?

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 Post subject: Re: Just Another Day in Kruger!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:16 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Here are some pics. Enjoy!

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Link to some of my pics
http://picasaweb.google.com/wildchildknp1


Last edited by wildchild on Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Just Another Day in Kruger!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:34 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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What do we do? Turn right towards Lower Sabie or left towards Skukuza? After a quick pow wow, our minds are made up as we both opt for left. Passing the bridge over the Nwathimiri riverbed, we drive on and finally reach the concrete bridge that spans the width of the Nwathiwambu riverbed and see a single game drive vehicle parked off. This turns out to rather be an anticlimax, for expecting a leopard with a kill, there should have rightly been a traffic jam of great proportion but all we find is a single game drive vehicle. Stopping next to them, I ask about the leopard and am informed that it has moved into the thick bushes on the left hand side and cannot be seen any longer. As I move along the bridge, the game drive moves off in the direction of Skukuza but I persevere and drive very slowly to the end of the bridge, turn around and scan once more. This pays off as we spot the leopard walking down the rocks and jumping onto the bridge in plain view of the few cars that now happened to be present there. My son fumbles for the camera which is still in its bag and by the time he removes, it... takes off the cap... switches it on...she has already walked across the bridge and now stands at the opposite embankment, at which point I hear the first click of the camera. She now puts her left paw on the curb and we expect her to jump down but instead, she turns her head in our direction and stares into the depths of our souls. She stands regally surveying the intruders in her territory and with a dismissive gesture, jumps down. As we move to where she was last standing on the bridge, we catch a last glimpse of her moving away in the underbrush. Bidding farewell to this beauty, and expressing gratitude at having been privileged to see he at all, we head for Nkulu where we freshen up and then drive back towards Lower Sabie...

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 Post subject: Re: Just Another Day in Kruger!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:57 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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These pic make me wish I was back there right now...sigh! :cry:

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Link to some of my pics
http://picasaweb.google.com/wildchildknp1


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 Post subject: Re: Just Another Day in Kruger!
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:36 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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I forgot to post this pic of the leopard looking at us. :o :o


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Last edited by wildchild on Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Just Another Day in Kruger!
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:55 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Thank you all for the kind comments which are highly pleasing. To me the realy enjoyment of Kruger is to share sightings with other people who are there for the same reason. In fact, if I have moved away from a solid sighting which I still expect to be there, I usually stop oncoming cars and inform the occupants. the thrill I experience when seeing the faes light up on hearing that there are lions, cheetahs or a leopard to be seen cannot be experienced in words, especially if there are little children whose eyes go all soft and bright with expectancy. In fact, this is one of the factors I attribute our excellent sightings to, sharing andd caring about bringing joy to others.

We were discussing our good fortune so far, it being the first day of the trip and already lions and a leopard had been seen. It was still early afternoon and we wondered what else lay in store for us? Leisurely we drove along and reached the Nwatiwambu bridge once more where we found two vehicles parked off. I drove alongside the person facing me and asked him what he had seen. Imagine my joy when he replied, “Not three minutes ago there was a leopard right next to the bridge.” As soon as I heard this, I realised this was not a spot to leave in a hurry. We once more drove up and down the bridge a couple of times scanning the riverbed and rocks to see if we could spot her again. Finally we drove beyond the bridge in the direction of Skukuza and spotted her once more sitting not too deep into the bush providing us with a lovely view of her. Before long she began snarling at a car that got a bit too close for her comfort and she then moved back as a result of which we gradually lost sight of her. Once more driving up and down the bridge we caught sight of her quickly crossing the road behind us and before we could take any pics of her sitting down, we heard her calling aloud and realised just why she was going up and down, crossing from one side of the bridge to the other repeatedly. When we had left her the first time, she had, after securing her kill amongst some thick bushes, gone to fetch her cub to come and feed. Can you imagine out exuberance on seeing this little bundle of fur that has followed its mom and was now there in front of us to admire and appreciate? The mother repeatedly crossed to and fro but the cub was too scared to follow her across the road. It stood there on its own and then went to her and shyly stood behind her. Soon, it bounded up onto the rocks and began mewling to get mom’s attention as it saying, “I am too scared to cross over with so many people watching me.” The mother then crossed back to the side the cub was on and led the cub away from us and the last we saw of them was about eighty metres away melting into the undergrowth.

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Link to some of my pics
http://picasaweb.google.com/wildchildknp1


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 Post subject: Re: Just Another Day in Kruger!
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:23 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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I finally managed to sort out the problem abd post the pics. hope you enjoy them.
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Link to some of my pics
http://picasaweb.google.com/wildchildknp1


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 Post subject: Re: Just Another Day in Kruger!
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:53 pm 
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Thank you Pumbaa, Flying Cheetah, Elzet, Fenwick, Elsa, PetraJ, Mauxie, Bushmom Micetta and Lionspoon. the tale goes on...

All the cars now cars now drove off but we remained patiently awaiting their return with our engines switched off, for the whole objective of the mother was to take her little one to feed on the kill she had made. She was sharp enough to disappear, knowing that the cars would leave in her absence, after which she could return. And return she did. Before long, she was back on the bridge and wanting her cub to join her on the opposite side but because a number of cars had pulled up, the cub was still very hesitant to cross over. She walked along the side of the bridge crossed over repeatedly calling her cub to join her. Due to the cub’s reluctance, she once more disappeared with her cub. Having seen her repeated use a pathway just beyond the bridge, we parked off a distance about thirty to forty metres away and expectantly awaited their return. It was the perfect place to for not long thereafter she came down the pathway and stood on the opposite side of the road calling again to her cub. This time, the cub plucked up enough courage to make a dash onto the road, came half way, when its courage fizzled out and it ran back in the direction it had come from. Thrice did the cub do this before finally standing in front of its mother for a few seconds after which they walked up the pathway on the side the kill was on. The perfect ending to Just Another Day in Kruger. Highly elated, we drove to Lower Sabie reaching there just befoe Madala closed the gates, proceeded to the reception and checked in. After being allocated our unit we unpacked just the bare necessities because we were booked at Skukuza the next night after which we were to return to LS. For another glorious five nights. Wonder what tomorrow holds in store for us? O well, it will be Just Another Day in Kruger...

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Link to some of my pics
http://picasaweb.google.com/wildchildknp1


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 Post subject: Re: Just Another Day in Kruger!
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:11 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 9:10 pm
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Here are some more pics for you all to enjoy:

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_________________
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Link to some of my pics
http://picasaweb.google.com/wildchildknp1


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 Post subject: Re: Just Another Day in Kruger!
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:14 pm 
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The last two pics of the day which I am sure, you will agree were well worth waiting for. :D

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Link to some of my pics
http://picasaweb.google.com/wildchildknp1


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 Post subject: Re: Just Another Day in Kruger!
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:17 pm 
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Thank you Shi, Pumbaa, Bushbaby30, Gunner, Micetta, Zeelie, Kamadejo, Elsa, Lowveldboy and lionspoon for the kind and encouraging comments which spur me on to share more memories with ou all. :D :D :D

Having shared Just Another Day in Kruger with you all, I was wondering which other experience to share and my mind jumped to last December... we entered at Malelane Gate and decided to take the magic road to Berg and Dal. Along this road we encountered a hyena which seemed to be visually impaired walking on the road towards us after spending some time with it we continued on to the water hole where we sat for a while chatting to a friendly couple for a while and then decided to drive back along the S 110, coming to the T junction we turned left towards Afsaal and even before reaching the Matjulu bridge, we came across a leopard which was well camouflaged in a thickly leaved tree. While sitting there we noticed a few cars parked about a hundred metres away and decided to investigate what they were watching. To our pleasant surprise, another leopard in a tree, but this tree was totally bare. Sat with it for a while went back and forth between the two leopards till the one in the bare tree finally went down and disappeared. We then went back to the other leopard which was now fast asleep and barely visible. Fully satisfied with the morning’s events thus far, we continued... we drove around and were treated to lots of general sightings till we checked in at Pretoriouskop where we were to spend the first night before proceeding to Satara. Having checked in, we were busy having lunch when I received a call from a friend from the Free Sate infirming me that a relative of his had entered the park at Numbi and turned onto the S 7 where he had come across an impala carcass hanging from a tree. So where do you think we decided to spend the afternoon? Of course, looking for the carcass in the hope of finding the leopard who put it there in the first place.
Leaving PK, we took a leisurely drive along the tar road to Numbi and turned right onto the S 7. Driving slowly we scanned the trees for the carcass and finally saw it hanging from this fairly low tree. My son took a shot of the carcass and we settled down on our stakeout. Cars kept on coming and going, waiting a few minutes when they asked us what we were watching and on being shown the carcass, some waited a few minutes and all of them eventually drove off. As long as the sound of cars coming and going persisted, there was absolutely no sign of the leopard. A good two hours sitting and waiting had passed and the light too was receding. Sitting there and scanning the long grass with my binoculars every few minutes, it eventually paid off, for I spotted the leopard walking towards the tree. Just as I drew my son’s attention to where it was, we heard the roar of an oncoming car and with the sound of the car the leopard disappeared. They were driving towards us and stopped alongside asking what was to be seen. Once more showing the carcass, they had a quick look and drove on. Another few minutes dragged by after which I once more spotted it now coming right up to the tree. It stood there on its hind legs looking at us while its forepaws were resting on the carcass, truly a sight to be witnessed. This was something I never even imagined ever seeing. My son took a quick shot but realised that the settings were not right. He quickly adjusted the setting and the next few minutes, all I head was the clicking of the camera. Now, unconcerned with our presence, it began eating heartily while still on its hind legs. Shifting this way and that, it kept on looking for and eating the best chunks of meat it could find and gulping them down with gusto. Soon, we saw another car approaching and I indicated to the driver to slow down and turn off his engine. As soon as the leopard heard the sound of the engine it looked in their direction. I feared the worst, thinking it will disappear once more but it was now probably too hungry to bother about the onlookers and went back to eating but with a marked difference this time. It no stood on the ground but had its forepaws attacked to the carcass, holding on with its claws while its hind legs were in midair and the end of its tail hidden by the tall grass. This was when we realised, it is a female. Can it ever get better then this?
O yes it can! As I look through the binoculars and listen to the clicking of the camera, I see this beautiful leopard become an acrobat par excellence. Holding onto the carcass with its front paws, it now arcs through the air biting and eating the impala meat while swinging from side to side. At first, it hols on with both paws and them we see three paws attacked to nothing. It is now holding on just with its right front paw and jaws. The other car had by now driven off and missed the best part of the sighting. We now see this beauty resting the left paw on the tree for support while with its right paw, it still holds onto the carcass feeding frenziedly. With another change in its position, it now rests two paws on the tree, one latched onto the carcass and one still in midair. Before long it rests all four paws on the trunk of the tree and persists in its meal. Finally, this acrobatic act reaches its finale and it once more rests on the ground, standing on its hind legs still eating away. The crowning moment was when, still in that position, it focuses its eyes upon us as if asking, “Did you enjoy the show?” so comes to an end, Just another Day in Kruger...

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Link to some of my pics
http://picasaweb.google.com/wildchildknp1


Last edited by wildchild on Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Just Another Day in Kruger!
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:34 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Link to some of my pics
http://picasaweb.google.com/wildchildknp1


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 Post subject: Re: Just Another Day in Kruger!
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:06 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Here are some more pics for you to enjoy:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

_________________
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Link to some of my pics
http://picasaweb.google.com/wildchildknp1


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 Post subject: Re: Just Another Day in Kruger!
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:44 pm 
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Really appreciate your taking the time to read and view these posts Kamadejo, Lowveldboy, Pumbaa, Micetta and Lionspoon. Glad you al liked the photos, so here are some more for you to enjoy:

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http://picasaweb.google.com/wildchildknp1


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 Post subject: Re: Just Another Day in Kruger!
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:50 pm 
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March was almost over. Waiting anxiously for April to begin, for we had a couple of nights booked at Kruger and were busy discussing the said trip with Bushkid who was visiting from Cape Town. Like any self respecting Krugerholic, his mouth began to water and he went into withdrawal symptoms. No sooner did I see the look in his eyes, I realised there was a bonus trip in the offing. Scanning the availability section on the forum, we soon managed to book a couple of nights from the 26th at Pretoriouskop, 27th at Skukuza and the 28th and 29th at Lower Sabie.

The day of departure finally arrived and we were on our way. Arrived at Pretoriouskop, booked in and went for a late afternoon drive. It proved to be a very quite drive with hardly any sightings. Came back to camp and proceeded to the sightings map where we made new friends and in the process met up with old regulars while standing there. It was very interesting meeting up with Constand and his partner who both work for the Endangered Wildlife Trust, their forte being wild dogs. Went to bed early and were soon up and ready to begin our first full day of the trip in the park. Guess what our first sighting and second for the day was?

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