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KNP Lions Sightings - Hotspots

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wildtuinman
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KNP Lions Sightings - Hotspots

Unread postby wildtuinman » Tue Nov 15, 2005 6:32 am

Two large lion prides were seen in Southern Kruger last week.

12 lions were relaxing on the S3 just north of the S1 next to the road and another pride of 15 was sleeping it off between the river bed and the H4-1 just north of sunset dam.
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Unread postby Shidzidzii » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:32 am

I believe this completely.

I think that in exceptionaly dry summer seasons the prides are living off the fat of the land and they are bigger or they are less dispersed and more likely to be seen relaxing together.

I saw many large prides in 1982/83 and 1991/92 which were similarly dry summers. Other predators also abounded too.

The drought may be distressing but it is a part of nature in Africa , and it's a predator spotting fest.

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:44 am

Mikev, Thanks for your very informative and interesting opinion. Nothing beats experience, like this of yours. Just wish that I could see this for once. :lol: 5-8 was the most I have seen in a pride.
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Unread postby Elsa » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:50 am

In June 2003, on the S29, we were lucky enough to come across a pride of about 15.

They were initially lying sleeping on the side of the road and then got up and walked on either side of our car for approx 1 km. It was the most awesome sighting and one I will always remember.

Unfortunately some of the older females were carrying fresh wounds and injuries, with one limping badly.
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Unread postby Jakkalsbessie » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:58 am

We were very lucky to see 2 big prides in August / September...

1 pride of about 12 on the H4-1.
and another of about 14+ just outside Punda Camp... could actually see them from the gate :lol: walking in the road and some lying in the road and bushes.
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Unread postby craigsa » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:14 pm

Biggest lion pride I have ever seen was bout 6 0r 7 years back, 18 of the beasts, saw them at the waterhole right by Tamboti and Maroela, but has been closed since then due to erosion.
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Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:33 pm

My largest pride was about 1990, close to Satara. There were 2 litters of cubs, 4 females and at least 2 males. Eachcub litter had at least 4 cubs.
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Unread postby Oumie » Tue Nov 15, 2005 10:44 pm

Tshukudu wrote:Photo taken on Sat. 12/11/2005 on the bridge just south of LS.
There were only 2 males
[img]...[/img]


Resident pride. Seen this guy and his mate for the last 3 years. Got photo's of him (on bridge) and mate somewhere, will post it when I have gone through all my photos.
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Unread postby acekam » Tue Nov 15, 2005 11:28 pm

Biggest pride I ever saw was 21 close to Orpen, but that was about 9 years ago. If my memory serves me correctly, I don't think I've seen more than 4 together in one sighting since then and I also think that was the last time I saw cubs.
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Unread postby DinkyBird » Wed Nov 16, 2005 9:06 am

Also a not so recent lion sighting :D

The best lion sighting I have ever had was in 1996 on the S62 (near Letaba). At the very least there were 12 lions there feeding on a buffalo right next to the road. Spent a long time just watching them feed, the interaction amongst the pride and the very cute cubs!

Old pics from 1996 that I scanned in:
Image
Image
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Unread postby johanrebel » Sun Mar 05, 2006 6:07 pm

Off the top of my head (not at home, so do not have records to hand).

Greatest number encountered together in the KNP:

- Nineteen H4-2/S28 T-junction (not too sure on this one, it was in 1990).
- Eighteen on the S39
- Seventeen H1-4 Nyamarhi Suiping (presumably same pride)
- Seventeen H1-7 south of Boyela.

Elsewhere :

- 23 in northern Timbavati/Umbabat
- 28 in the Masaai Mara

Greatest number in a single visit to the KNP : 234 (10 days just after the February 2000 floods. Best game viewing ever by a very big margin).

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Unread postby johanrebel » Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:00 pm

Freda wrote:That is unbelievable, did you keep driving past the same pride
Well, I drove past the same prides on several occasions (without counting them twice).

I think several factors contributed to the large tally :

1. Almost no traffic. No trucks, no buses, almost no cars. No speeding, no insensitive behavior. No morons.

2. The veld was sopping wet, so animals of all kinds congregated on the roads just to keep dry. Given the lack of traffic, they then remained there, sometimes all day long. I recall finding a pride of lions one morning, sleeping on the H1-2 Skukuza-Tshokwane tar road, south of the H10 T-junction. When I came back along the same road over an hour later, they were still in the same spot. The H1-2 is one of the busiest roads in the KNP, under normal circumstances these lions would have been pushed off the road in no time.

Total number of lion sightings on that visit was 68, and the highest number in a single sighting was 18 (S89).

Shortest time between consecutive sightings : 7 minutes (on the S39).

Shortest distance between sightings 500 meters (while watching the one lot of lions, I could see the next bunch crossing the road (H7) up ahead. The third sighting was another 500 meters beyond the second one.

And a correction : I spent 14 days in the KNP that time, not 10.

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Unread postby wildchild » Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:25 pm

Hi everyone! The largerst pride we have seen consisted of 14 lions. We entered the park through the Orpen gate and took the dirt road going towards Talamati and then branched off to the left past Rabelias Dam. A few kms down the road, there was this pride sleeping it away on this hot summer morning.

We spent a long time with them and then carried on to Satara, did the S100, the Nwanetsi rd among others and returned to the road on which we had seen the pride which was still there. All those lions lying there in splendid repose.

The kids suggested taking the sunset drive due to which we went on to Orpen camp, booked the ride and boarded the big 23 seater truck. From Orpen we went to Maroela and Tamboti to pick up those who had booked the drive. We had an excellent guide who informed us about the difference between the white and black rhino by means of such an amusing example which I still recall and enjoy. He firstly asked us where do white women carry their children and where do black women do so? The answer obviously is, white women carry them in front on their arms while black women carry their babis on their back. "Well", he goes on to say, "that is why my nose like that of the black rhino is squased, because I kept bumping my nose into my mothers back everyday, for as long as she carried me." The whites have aquline noses and the white rhino has the square jaw. Also the black rhino will always be in front of her baby and when she suddenly stops, whan, he bumps into her and squashes his nose repeatedly while the white rhino will keep her baby in front of her.

Anyway, to continue about the lions, I metnioned to the driver that we had seen this pride on the Rabelias road as a result of which he decided to try that route. As we approached the spot where they had been sleeping, we saw the pride, getting up one by one, stretching, washing themselves and begin to lazily move along the road.

There were lions to our right, lions to our left, lions in front of us and behind us. Shortly, there was a dramatic change in their attitude with all of them becoming totally alert and spreading out. They had spotted some zebra up ahead and were now in hunting mode. By now, the light had totally faded and we were dependant on the spot lights on the truck. As soon as it was realised that they were on the hunt, the driver instructed those handling the lights to turn them off. Neither lions nor zebra could now be seen. Tense enticipation was followed by the laughing of a pack of hyena alerting the zebra to the lions presence as a result of which, they dashed off to safety.

Well, the lions were not very impressed by this intrusion and gave chase to the hyenas who could now be heard yelping. All in all, it was an ecellenty day that developed into an excellent evening with our return to Orpen and from there to Hazyview where we were staying at the time.

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March 2006 Sightings

Unread postby datanics » Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:24 pm

I was in the kruger park this weekend and could see the Big 5, but was really working hard for the cheetah. Can someone guide me on the Cheetah "hotspots" in the park? Also, some help on leopard "hotspots" would also help. This is in contrast to the experience in November 2005 where, I travelled from Pafuri to Crocodile Bridge and saw herd of about 60 elephants close to Shingwedzi, over 200 buffalos between Letaba and Olifants, pride of 15 lions next to Olifants camp, 2 leopards around Skukuza and 5 or 6 rhinos.

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The Lion King....

Unread postby Johan316 » Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:48 pm

My wife and I were very fortunate during the first week in March, enroute to Olifants. Another car spotted some lions just off the road, under a bush, so we stopped and swithed off the engine. We then heard the yelping of a cub somewhere near. A few minutes later, a lioness came walking out of the busb, carrying a cub in her mouth. The little Lion king was not very pleased in the way his mother was carring him, and was complaining all the time. The lioness came right out of the bush, walked up to next to our car, and put the cub down on the ground. She then gave it a few licks on the head, picked him up again, turned around, and walked back into the bush with him. I could SWEAR she came and showed us her cub!!!, She the went back and dissapeared into the bush, the same way she'd came out.... This was a great moment which I shall never forget!!

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Last edited by Johan316 on Sat Mar 25, 2006 2:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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