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 Post subject: Re: ~A Collection of GUNNER'S Kruger Pics~
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:21 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:57 am
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Location: South Africa, Mpumalanga, Middelburg....289km from KNP!!!
The Leopard, with out a doubt the most popular animal in Kruger and personally my favourite mammal! :dance: Always difficult to find and always stirring up huge traffic jams, where ever they are seen. :shock: It gives me great pleasure photographing them, appreciating their beauty, observing their stealth and agility! :cam:

On my last trip to Kruger the Leopard managed to elude me, :wall: but I’ve been lucky enough to spot them on numerous occasions. :thumbs_up: This particular leopard I saw was branded,” The Stubborn One!” :roll: We were driving along the S125 N’waswitsontso road, and about 1km before the road ended joining onto the H1-3, we seen a sudden movement in the grass!

It was a Leopard! :P A big male! :big_eyes: He sat low to the ground and seemed to be shy at times, trying to hide from us. He occasionally gave me a stare, but not just any ordinary stare! :twisted: It was one that made you feel uncomfortable! :twisted: Like he could hypnotise you! :shock: We sat with him for over an hour and he never moved from that spot! :slap: I was hoping he’d get up and walk so that I could get a few decent photos, but nothing! :? He just sat there like a statue! That’s the reason I called him “The Stubborn One!” :roll:
I did however I take a few hundred pics of him, :whistle: very similar looking photos though… :cam:

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Then within 5 minutes from that sighting, we came across a traffic jam on the H1-3. :hmz: This was the cause, another Leopard in the tree, :P about 50 meters away, :doh: having a snooze… :thumbs_up:
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:thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: ~A Collection of GUNNER'S Kruger Pics~
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:10 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:57 am
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Location: South Africa, Mpumalanga, Middelburg....289km from KNP!!!
Hippos….The fourth largest mammal after the Whale, Elephant and Rhino! :thumbs_up: They are truly the ballerinas of the animal kingdom, tippy- toeing as they run! :lol: But don’t confuse the play on words! :naughty: They can be one dangerous beast! :twisted: Like all documentaries claim, they kill more people in Africa then any other animal! :shock:

In Kruger they are usually the first animals to be seen, depending which gate you enter from. Down below the Crocodile River Bridge surfacing the water or in Lower Sabie bellowing out in the river as you wake up in the morning! :roll:

Hippos like the Elephants and Rhino, are commonly found in a number of Dams around Kruger. So you won’t leave disappointed without seeing any. :cam: To be honest with you, I don’t photograph them as much as the other animals. :redface: Not that I don’t like them, :naughty: but because they are always hidden in the water. :huh:

I do however have some pics I’d like to share with you, :cam: and especially for our fellow forumite Hippo-fan who requested them! :dance: Here you go…
:thumbs_up:
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Happy now Hippo-fan? :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: ~A Collection of GUNNER'S Kruger Pics~
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:56 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: South Africa, Mpumalanga, Middelburg....289km from KNP!!!
"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song"~Chinese Proverb
Next up, some random pics of BIRDS in Kruger... :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: ~A Collection of GUNNER'S Kruger Pics~
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:03 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:57 am
Posts: 2592
Location: South Africa, Mpumalanga, Middelburg....289km from KNP!!!
BIRDS…The winged, bipedal, endothermic (warm-blooded), egg-laying, vertebrate animals. :D They epitomize the sounds of Kruger! :whistle: Many of them are rare, beautiful and even dangerous. The chirps and sounds they make help us identify them. :dance: For example, the African Fish Eagle is regarded as the most popular bird sound. :thumbs_up:

In Kruger there are hundred’s of bird species. :hmz: I’m not so clued up on birds so I can’t give you the exact details, :hmz: but there is a few which can identify just with the sound they make. :P I have some pics to share with you, :cam: they are random shots of birds all around Kruger. :D I might have gotten some of their descriptions wrong, :hmz: so please excuse me and correct me. :redface:

I have split the pics up into two parts, because there’s just too many. So here is the first part of Bird pics…
:thumbs_up:
Part one...
Red-crested Korhaan

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Southern yellow- billed hornbill
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Saddle-billed Stork
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Brown snake-eagle
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Helmeted Guinea fowl
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Red-crested Korhaan
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Ostrich
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Resident Scops- Owl @ Satara
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Maribou storks
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Blue Waxbill
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Mozambiquen Nightjar
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Saddle-billed stork
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Southern Ground Hornbill
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Part two...To Be Continued :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: ~A Collection of GUNNER'S Kruger Pics~
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:45 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:57 am
Posts: 2592
Location: South Africa, Mpumalanga, Middelburg....289km from KNP!!!
Part two of the BIRDS... :thumbs_up:

Vultures
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Pied Kingfisher
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Secretary bird
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Southern yellow-billed Hornbill
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Took these at the Birdbath @ Lower Sabie
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Bateleur
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Crested Barbet @ Olifants
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Southern yellow-billed Hornbill
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Hooded Vulture
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African Harrier-Hawk (Gymnogene)
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@ LQ, will upload your Fish Eagle tonight, promise! :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: ~A Collection of GUNNER'S Kruger Pics~
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:15 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:57 am
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Location: South Africa, Mpumalanga, Middelburg....289km from KNP!!!
lion queen wrote:
Wow Gunner,

Very nice photos. I like the vultures. They are such interesting caracters.

Maybe you must think of publishing a book " a collection of Gunners Kruger pics" Then we can page through it every time we feel the need!!!

Thanks for your input and comments LQ! :thumbs_up:
Never thought of that hey :hmz: Maybe i will :hmz: Thanks for the idea! :P

Here's the only decent pic of a Fish Eagle i have for you as promised! :whistle:

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:thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: ~A Collection of GUNNER'S Kruger Pics~
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:46 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:57 am
Posts: 2592
Location: South Africa, Mpumalanga, Middelburg....289km from KNP!!!
Coming up next...“Lions in Love”… :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: ~A Collection of GUNNER'S Kruger Pics~
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:38 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:57 am
Posts: 2592
Location: South Africa, Mpumalanga, Middelburg....289km from KNP!!!
Back to a Lion sighting… :thumbs_up: This sighting was not your usual Lion sighting, :hmz: one where you’ll find them lying about and sleeping or just having their heads popping up above the long grass. No, :naughty: these were two very active Lions on a very important mission! :doh: :whistle:

They were coupling! :P Yes, they were involved in a mating bout, :whistle: every few minutes doing the deed! :whistle: You could see how exhausted they were, :redface: because they were doing it on the tar, at around mid-day, in the sweltering December heat! :twisted: Both Lions were panting heavily and the female was very restless, :rtm: growling and swiping her paws at him at every mounting! :evil: The poor guy was just doing what he had to do! :huh:

We came across the two about 5km’s from the Lower Sabie camp on the H4-2. We spent about 20 minutes with them and seen about 7 mountings! :whistle: In some of the photo’s you can actually see the fresh scar’s on his face, :shock: it was a really intense mating session! :cam:

Here are some photos of the Lions in Love… :cam: (Not the best of pics so please excuse some of them, taken with bad lighting :wall: )

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:thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: ~A Collection of GUNNER'S Kruger Pics~
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:38 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:57 am
Posts: 2592
Location: South Africa, Mpumalanga, Middelburg....289km from KNP!!!
Next installment, a RHINO Mother with her baby calf... :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: ~A Collection of GUNNER'S Kruger Pics~
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:21 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:57 am
Posts: 2592
Location: South Africa, Mpumalanga, Middelburg....289km from KNP!!!
The Rhino...One of the most vulnerable animals in Kruger at the moment, due to the increasing poaching of their horns. :sniper: Of the two species found in Kruger, I have only had the opportunity of seeing the more common White Rhinoceros. :wall:

Like their Big Five compatriots, Rhino’s are can be very dangerous and very over protective over their young. :twisted: On my most recent trip, this particular Rhino mother and her calf was one of my first big sightings for the day. :dance: We entered through the Malelane gate and proceeded on the famous H3, then decided to hit a right turn onto the S114 which links up with the S25. :cam:

We were barely a kilometer on the S114, when we seen a Rhino just browsing on the side of the road. :P At first i thought it was just a single Rhino, but then ruffling in the dry grass, appeared this tiny calf! :D :cam: It was the smallest baby Rhino i had ever seen in Kruger! :shock: She seemed curious, coming around her mom and having a peek at us, then hopping and running back in front of her. :lol:

The mother eventually started to become a bit nervous and snorted at us, :naughty: before turning and walking onto the road. The baby trotted at her side in a playful manner until the mom decided it was time to head deeper into the bush. :D
I managed to take these pics of the pair...
:cam: :thumbs_up:
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:thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: ~A Collection of GUNNER'S Kruger Pics~
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:36 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: South Africa, Mpumalanga, Middelburg....289km from KNP!!!
Coming up next...CHEETAH'S at Girivana Dam... :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: ~A Collection of GUNNER'S Kruger Pics~
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:04 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:57 am
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Location: South Africa, Mpumalanga, Middelburg....289km from KNP!!!
A CHEETAH sighting :D ...For me it is always special to have a sighting of these beautiful and delicate big cats! :P I sometimes say, I would sacrifice a Lion or a Leopard sighting just to see a Cheetah. :whistle: Every visit to Kruger, I hope to capture them standing or even sitting on either an anthill or a fallen log. :roll: That would make one fine photograph! :cam:

Anyway, back to one of my Cheetah sightings I had when I stayed at Satara in 2007. :D We woke up really early and headed for the gate, hoping to be the first car out, :P but when we got there, there was already a queue! :doh: Initially our plan was to do the S100, :hmz: but after having seen all the cars in front, I immediately knew they had the same plans in mind! :slap: (dust, overtaking & noise on the S100)

So we headed out the gate, all cars in one big convoy, :shock: bumper to bumper, some even overtaking! :rtm: Everyone turned right out of Satara, and like you would have it, all hitting a left onto the famous S100! :slap: I turned in the opposite direction and proceeded on the H7 . It was just us and one other car that followed. :D We then turned onto the S40 and planned to have breakfast at the Timbavati picnic spot. As we approached the Girivana waterhole, I saw two cats sitting underneath a tree! :P I shouted “Lions”, :dance: but as we got closer I said, “I mean Cheetahs!” :redface:

Two male Cheetahs, just relaxing under the tree, oozing confidence as they laid there. 8) A herd of Zebra even came for a drink, but the two brothers weren’t bothered at all. :hmz: At that moment, I was on cloud nine! :dance: Here are the pics…
:thumbs_up:
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:thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: ~A Collection of GUNNER'S Kruger Pics~
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:18 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:57 am
Posts: 2592
Location: South Africa, Mpumalanga, Middelburg....289km from KNP!!!
The Vervet Monkeys:D The mischievous animals of Kruger, :tongue: well, the Baboons could rival them for being the naughtiest! :hmz: At certain camps and picnic spots, these monkeys can become pests, :twisted: stealing food and other items from people who are unaware of them! :slap: They are also very intelligent little apes! :clap:

They are found and seen all around the park, especially at the camps where you can get a good chance of photographing them, :cam: performing their antics! :dance: I managed to rack up a few photos of them all around Kruger, most of them carrying their young. :lol:

Here are the pics, enjoy…
:thumbs_up:
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:thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: ~A Collection of GUNNER'S Kruger Pics~
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:41 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: South Africa, Mpumalanga, Middelburg....289km from KNP!!!
A Leopard sighting gets us all excited, :P it makes the heart beat faster, :shock: we tend to shake and stutter when we talk! :big_eyes: Why? :hmz: Well, they are one of the most difficult and elusive animals to spot in Kruger, :wall: and every sighting of them is a special one. :dance:

Personally, the Leopard is my favourite animal, without a doubt. :thumbs_up: Their beautiful rosette coat standing out in the lush green background, :wink: their immense stealth and agility to hoist almost double their weight into trees, :shock: the way they silently stalk their prey. :twisted: I can go on and on about Leopards, I just love them! :P

Anyway, the next sighting I had of a Leopard was seen at the Lubyelubye Bridge near lower Sabie. :cam: It was also one of the biggest traffic jam’s I had ever seen in Kruger, :big_eyes: on a bridge plus, :slap: and to make things worse, a bus was part of it all! :doh:

Apparently, a Leopard had caught an Impala on the road, :twisted: and dragged it down the riverbed before taking it up the rocks to the side of the bridge. Things were chaotic at the sighting, :wall: with so many people jostling for positions, :doh: hooting, exchanging words and getting out of their cars. :rtm: We eventually got our chance to see the Leopard, :P and with good timing too, :pray: because while we were looking at this magnificent beast, he decided to abandon his kill and run away! :shock: He most probably came back for it later, :hmz: but with all the noise I don’t think Mr. Leopard felt too comfy! :naughty:

Here are some of the pics I took, just to give you an idea how big the traffic jam was...
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The leopard with its kill, before moving off because of all the commotion...
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The impala carcass left abandoned, to be eaten later...
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:thumbs_up:


Last edited by Gunner on Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ~A Collection of GUNNER'S Kruger Pics~
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:09 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: South Africa, Mpumalanga, Middelburg....289km from KNP!!!
The Doispane road or the S1 as it is also known is the main road leading from the Phabeni gate to Skukuza. :D This very road has produced Big Five sightings for me on numerous occasions. :dance: On one trip we managed to spot the Big Five in 45 minutes! :cam: All between the gate and the Nyamundwa Dam! :thumbs_up:

It has produced Lion sightings every time I have travelled on it! :clap: So I rate this road a good road for Lions, :thumbs_up: if you ask me what a good Lion road is! :wink:

This sighting of Lions I had was about 5km from the Nyamundwa Dam coming from Skukuza. :P It was late in the afternoon when we came across a healthy looking pride of Lions. :cam: There was a big male in the bushes, but the rest of his family sat on the edge of the road, sort of posing. :lol: There were also a few cubs, not tiny, maybe about 4-6 month old looking that was very keen on posing for some pictures! :D :cam:

I got some photos of them, :cam: but I wasn’t armed with a Canon at that time, :doh: just an ordinary digital camera. :redface: Nevertheless, I managed to capture the moment to share with you all! :wink: Here are the pics…
:thumbs_up:
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:thumbs_up:


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