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 Post subject: Pumbaa Tales from under the Marula tree February 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:16 pm 
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It is nearly time to say good bye for the next 19 days. The drought is over and soon we will be back to your beloved Kruger. You can be rest assured that we will enjoy each single second after entering the gate a Malelane this Friday afternoon until we will leave on a Sunday afternoon more than 2 weeks later via Punda Maria gate.

After meanwhile 5 visits to Kruger we already saw a lot of different creatures either small or huge ones, some with only 2 legs and some with even 8 legs but we never get enough and so we will appreciate everything which is willing to pose for us either up in the sky or low on the ground – We will have our eyes, cameras and lenses everywhere.

One of my greatest wishes during this trip will be to see the one and only Duke – and maybe huge herds of roan or sables would also be nice as well, we will also look for new birds which we never saw before and also for already known feathered friends, oh and a serval would be nice too. :tongue:

Please hold thumbs for us that the rains will not wash our holidays away and that the water levels in the rivers will not rise anymore.

Kamadejo is willing to inform you via SMS about our sightings – Thanks a lot for that already, Katja – You are a star.
:clap: :clap: :clap:
Let's hope that wonderful magical Kruger moments can be shared shortly with you again :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Tales from under the Marula tree
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:54 pm 
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We are back and what to say it was another WoW trip especially the first week had nearly blown us away with incredible sightings. A big thanks to Kamadejo who was willing to share our first impressions via SMS immediately with you. Thanks so much Katja :clap: and also a big thanks to all your wonderful messages you posted here which I wanted already to reply earlier but the day we departed was a bit hectic so now thanks all your good wishes brought us luck. :thumbs_up:

To start with the “Lowlights” which were this time only a matter of luck I think. During our meanwhile 6 visits to Kruger we never saw that few elephants and rhinos which for us as tusker hunter, elephant and rhino lovers was a bit disappointing but that’s a fact that nobody can change. The park was still very wet and green and the grass incredible high (partly elephant high) so that there must be a tremendous number of hidden water sources and mud baths which could not be viewed from the public roads. No cheetahs, neither sables nor roan or even black rhino, Mac or Duke this trip but there must always be one or more reasons to return. Also the areas around Talamati and Satari were nearly elephant free – No bathing elephants at Nsemani dam – and nearly totally animal free and I am here not talking about cats. Both areas were nearly empty animalwise. :? The best spot was at the entrance gate and the first 2 km around Satara camp – There the animals were plentiful.

The friendliness of the employees in the park and spotlessly cleaning bungalows in the entire camps we stayed was outstanding. :thumbs_up:

To summarize the highlights I indeed do not know where to start – Although the first 1 ½ week it was raining in between slightly we had incredible bird sightings of at least 10 new species for us which could be ticked off, the spotted George Clooney on our first full day was breathtaking and unbelievable, the pond full of baby crocodiles watched carefully by her mother was indeed amazing, the free sunset drive we got at Talamati was wonderful although we saw very few but to be out at moonlight in the park was a totally new experience for us, the four (!) wild dog sightings we again had around Skukuza were just mindblowing and not to forget the sighting of MaMerle together with her huge herd after we saw her during our very first trip to Kruger in 2003 was fantastic, also the Mananga Trail is an experience which must under all circumstances had to be repeated soon. As you can imagine not really back totally plans for a return trip are in the making.

How, I miss already the smell of the ripe marulas everywhere in the park, the trumpeting of the elephants, the overall daily woodland kingfisher calls and just everything there :( – we can already start counting down the days as we will most likely be back in February next year.

Beware you must getting bored of all the bird pictures Timon took of nearly each and every European roller, banana bird and kingfisher in the park and also the amount of pictures we took whilst roaming around with the painted dogs will become boring to you but you will have no choice we will show you many of them to you. :tongue:

So please allow me some time to get things together and pictures sorted as we took as much as we never took before. There are many tales from under the Marula which will be shared with you soon.
:popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: Tales from under the Marula tree
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:10 pm 
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Thanks so much for your lovely welcome back wishes we do appreciate them all :thumbs_up:

Friday, 11. February 2011 – Arrival At Berg-en-Dal

I think you all know the feeling at least those who will arrive via airplane at O.R. Tambo after a nearly sleepless night in the tight seats squeezed in any economy class. The minute the airplane will touch the ground and the closer you will come to Kruger nearly everything is forgotten. For us everything went well until we got lost somewhere in Boksburg – I know not very far from the airport but we must have somehow missed an exit as there were a couple of exists closed due to maintenance but with the help of the friendly people in South Africa it was no problem to get back on track until we reached after only some short stops in the afternoon Malelane. We just realized a pick-n-pay and only wanted to refuel but when Timon wanted to start the car after refueling nothing happened. So close to Kruger and still so far away.

Gladly Timon, as car mechanic, already noticed that only the car battery died and maybe a cell inside the battery broke but needless to say that we needed a new battery. I tried to phone nearly half an hour the car rental company but got always an occupied signal it was meanwhile 4 o’clock in the afternoon and I finally decided to buy a new car battery at my costs and try to get the money back when returning the car. To our great luck the Fuel station was situated right in front of a huge car workshop and I walked in and even not 10 minutes later we had a brand new car battery in our car. What a fantastic and efficient service and I also must mention that I never saw a much cleaner car workshop ever before. :dance:

As we then still had enough time to invade the pick-and-pay and after also a short stop at those delicious fruit and here especially mango stalls right outside the gate we were standing finally again on the bridge over the Crocodile river and were back to the place that we both love soooooooooo much. 8)

Whilst I was doing the paperwork Timon just had a quick check whether the cameras are ready for a 2 ½ weeks photographing marathon and they were. This is only one of the quick check pictures he took but I just wanted to share it with you

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And we already saw our very first animals already whilst standing still outside the park – a family of warthogs crossed the street and disappeared so this year no impala as first animal. The paperwork was as usually done in no minute and after a visit to the loo I nearly crashed into ecojunkie. She was in a hurry and we too so only a quick hand shack and off we were.

We already decided prior that we will today only drive up to Berg-en-Dal camp and skip the later evening drive as we both were exhausted from the drive, the flight and the battery fright. So we easily took the S110 and drove slowly into the park. Not very far we met already the first impalas – yieppieeee – we are finally back and also noticed that the grass is this year extremely high. It is always high at this time of the year but this year it was extreme high, partly elephant high – I will later include some pictures of the thickness of the bush so you can imagine how difficult it would be to trace animals but as you also can imagine with nearly four months without any leaves at our trees and bushes, greyness, snow and darkness it is always a pleasure to visit Kruger in her summer dress – it definitely is always looking good. :D

Suddenly as silently as always an elephant herd crossed the road right in front of us and also many mini jumbos followed

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and more

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and even more

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Trumpeting all over in one minute and after the thick bush swallowed them it was quiet again.

Gladly also some zebras came across and welcome us too

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Besides the calls of the Woodland kingfisher – a call which we missed desperately – and which I still miss now again – the birds kept hidden and stayed quiet but as already mentioned the birdies were good to us this year and I am sure you will get bored from all the woodies, banana birds, European rollers, Ground hornbills and, and, and Timon took.

The check in at Berg-en-Dal as well as the wild card renewal had been also done quickly so that we could move into our home for the next 2 nights into bungalow No. 23. Same was located close to the dam and fence and after we brought everything into the bungalow, repacked and changed cloths we walked a bit on the Rhino Trail and enjoyed the sounds of the hippos inside the dam and from all the waterbirds.

The darkness falls and from the dam the chorus of the frogs was to be heard and it was just indescribable how we felt this very first evening after a one year drought under the African stars. Okay it was nearly full moon so not so many stars to be seen but the moon, the atmosphere, the smells of the braai and the night sounds were just - sigh. Suddenly from behind the corner of our bungalow I noticed that also this year we had a dinner guest, the large-spotted genet welcomed us again. :dance:

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Now we were totally satisfied and it was time for the bed but we were also so excited that we hardly could sleep but somehow we were just too tired and drifted off into dreamland.

Saturday, 12. February 2011 – Berg-end-Dal

Needless to say that we already awoke prior to the alarm clock and after a hot coffee with the frog concert in the background on the verandah finally our first full day in the park started. Whenever staying at Berg-en-Dal Matjulu Waterhole is always our first drive, however, this year same was very quiet besides the obligatory impala road blocks. We also spotted a large number of foam frog nest whenever a remaining puddle appears.

On the crossing Matjulu and S110 another road blocker was already up our very first giraffe this year.

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He was definitely not willing in letting us pass. I also like the landscape in the background and the thickness of the bush surrounding him.

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At Matjulu nothing to be seen and whilst driving back Mr. Giraffe started to feed on a yummy green bush. He enjoyed his breakfast even with closed eyes.

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Our decision was to drive via the Steilberg road and then via the tar road to Afsaal and maybe try also the Voortrekker road.

The Steilberg option is always allowing great views into the landscape but unfortunately today it was still extreme cloudy and this impala landscape shot was the only one we took

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The number of Golden Orb Web spiders we saw this year was uncountable spread all over the park their artful built webs came across and gladly this one built her web so close to the road so that we could take a picture of Mrs. Spider herself

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Meanwhile also the birds woke up and we were already successful in spotting lilac breasted rollers, a hoopoe, even a crested barbet and not to mention the ever present woodland kingfishers.

This grey hornbill was the born poser and allows us some nice shots. Due to the yellow and red colour of its bill we renamed the bird into Kiba bird as Kiba means (= Kirsch-Banane = cherry – banana in English). Kiba is a famous juice mix here in Germany which will be offered as non alcoholic aperitif and served with ice. Due to the colour mix and due to the fact that the yellow billed hornbill is also known as Banana bird we named this bird now into Kiba bird.

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The yellow spots on the acacia were just too beautiful.

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Also this cute posing grey lourie deserved it to be photograph and how loud they greeted us again.

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A huge herd of zebras crossed our way with so many little ones in between of which the mothers were taking a special care

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and even this grey duiker did not hide but first crossed slowly the path in front of us suspiciously and whilst same reached the other side of the road only flew then.

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More and more banana birds appeared and were searching for their breakfast and in a bush we spotted this strange looking nest of which we think same must be a wasp nest although same looks abandoned

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Finally we reached the tar road and somewhere between the S118 turn offer and the road leading to Renosterpan it happened suddenly. As a welcome gesture the most powerful, the most beautiful and the fatest leopard we have even seen popped out of the bush.

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To be continued with more spotted pictures……..


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 Post subject: Re: Tales from under the Marula tree
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:07 pm 
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At this stage we were the only car whilst the leopard appeared and we already thought same will now cross the street and go on his way and had never been seen again but before this happened he indeed performed a real show. After he had finished his “small business” he looked first right, then left and strolled over the street

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A delivery van arrived from the other direction, however, noticed the leopard too and gladly stopped and enjoyed this sighting with us. Mr. Leopard sniffed in the high grass on the other side of the road and walked gladly in good visible position for us. :dance:

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Timon’s camera was running hot again and he took picture after picture. Who would not???? :tongue:

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He even looked us right in the eye

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And finally laid down between the delivery van and hanger and started to lick and later even started to chew on the bumper, maybe he thought he was a hyaena or was searching for something for the breakfast dessert :huh:

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Two more cars arrived and also had the pleasure to share this sighting with us

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But finally it must have been too much trouble around him and he decided to leave the scene and we had once more luck on this amazing day as he came into our direction and started to pose.

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Sorry about the amount of spotted pictures but as we could only took three pictures of a flewing leopard last year and one sighting without even a picture we just were so delighted for the performance of this one. :clap:

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A final pose and of he went again to the other side of the road

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not without looking around whether his audience is still watching him, did his “big business” on the other side of the road and was even saying with this picture “Guys, show is over, go home!” :tongue:

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And once more crossed the street and disappeared now for once and all in the high grass. Wow, what a magnificent sighting already on our first full day in the park. Needless to say that this one was hardly to top during the remaining 15 days and such a 10 minutes show will forever stay with us.

With more than high spirits we left, paid a visit to Renosterpan, however, same was quiet, checked the spot where we spotted last year the three black rhinos but also this one was deserted and stopped for a short break at Afsaal.

As it was Saturday it was already a crowd running around and it was hard for us to find a suitable parking lot in the shade. With an early ice cream we strolled around and even found the little scops owl in his/her sleeping tree

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and even found two extreme noisy banana birds in a tree near our car.

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As already mentioned earlier we decided to give the Voortrekker road a try but besides a couple of beautiful European rollers, lots of noisy starling and banana birds not much to be seen. :wink:

Although this leopard tortoise was just too nice posing that we could ignore it.

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A terrapin also wanted to be captured and lots of baboons were running around. After we reached half way we decided to turn around but before we did so a huge family of baboons kept us entertained and especially the youngsters put on a show for us (the second one on that morning!) and were jumping and playing with each other and hanging around


but soon they had other things to do and left one after the other not without stopping to take a drink from a nearby puddle.

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Unfortunately it was getting quieter and quieter and also hotter and hotter but still far away from the heat we had last year.

Only warthogs - how can I say “only” to my relatives -

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and plenty of starlings busy in digging in rhino middens joined us nearly the whole way back. Many of these flowers were to be found this year and even too beautiful not to be shown.

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To be continued………with even more cats small and huge


Last edited by Pumbaa on Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tales from under the Marula tree
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:17 pm 
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A bit time was still left and we drove back via the S118 and S114 and luckily close to the remaining puddles in the Mlambane river there the animals were a bit more active there. First we spotted sleeping in the midday heat two rhinos but too far away for a descent picture, watched a martial eagle whilst same was taking a bath in a remaining puddle and saw buffaloes and even a huge herd but also as the grass was too high on the places we could stop and the sightings were too far away the pictures we took were not that worthwhile to be shared. A wooly necked stork was stalking between the buffalo herd around and had to watch not to be overrun by them. At least we had a great time watching the whole scene. :thumbs_up:

Many of little bee-eaters, and European rollers

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and fork tailed drongos joined us and allowed some nice shots

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Shortly we finally got back to camp at nearly 2.00 o’clock in the afternoon a herd of elephants crossed our path which was this year a rare sighting or maybe the grass was just too high for these loudless grey giants.

However, these simultaneous double drinkers were just too cute

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and also this kudu female chewing on a blade of grass came across on a spot where the grass was not that high.

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It was a delight to escape the car at least for a couple of hours whilst we were staying in camp and just to relax on our verandah. After we also walked again a bit on the Rhino Trail which is another great plus of this camp and paid a visit to the dam and camp shop we were again on a short afternoon drive down to Matjulu.

However, as so often during this trip it was quiet some zebras and huge herds of impalas could be spotted but that was it.

A nice sighting we had directly at Matjulu as there were plenty of white fronted bee-eaters catching their dinner and it was fun to watch them.

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We made it back just in time and Timon lit the braai and I made myself again comfortable on our verandah for my holy half an hour until it got completely dark.

The minute we put our meat on the braai our dinner guest appeared right from the back of our bungalow. :lol:

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Gladly Timon had the camera ready and whilst I was holding the spot light he once more snapped away with one eye also on our meat.

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When we went to bed and closed our verandah door our spotted dinner guest came even closer and coiled itself up close to the braai directly on our verandah. Maybe if we had left the door open it would have joined us to spend the night with us in the bungalow.

Another thrilling day had just passed and needless to say one of the best first full days we ever had.

Sunday, 13. February 2001 – Berg-en-Dal – Crocodile Bridge

It took us endlessly today until we reached Crocodile Bridge although the distance is not that far but simply we saw so much and whenever being in the park time is running faster than during a day in the office. So I need to split the stories of this day in several installments. :tongue:

To start with the beginning - Whilst opening our verandah door I was already desperately disappointed as everything was wet and it was still raining. I only was thinking about any possible road closures which just had been re-opened again after the heavy rains in December and January and also in view to the fact that most likely we will not see that much animals. Gladly this myth could be proved to the contrary during our stay this year.

However, gladly whilst we were packing our car it nearly stopped raining and only drizzled slightly. As usual we first drove to Matjulu and whilst turning into the sand road my mood was immediately getting better whilst realizing that the rain did not cause any more damages to the already damaged enough roads and that no road closures will be done.

We indeed saw nothing not even a bird until we reached the crossing Matjulu / S110 as we got stuck in a traffic jam. A young male lion was lying right next to the street in the wet grass and was not that looking satisfied with himself.

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He was directly eying us as it was not looking as he had something else to do neither we had so it was once more time for us to sip at our coffee and tea and do some lion facial expression studies.

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As it was Sunday nearly all the cars which stayed at Berg end Dal had the same idea and it was a come and go at least carwise and as you can imagine Mr. Lion was doing nothing. Every time a car or safari vehicle arrived he was lifting his head looked from right to left and from left to right and returned into nearly sleeping modus.

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With this pictures I just wanted to show you how thick the grass was.

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If he would have lying deeper in the bush we never would had noticed him. His face turned once more into day dreaming modus

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and every time whilst a car driver started the engine he was on guard modus.

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We were already confident that he was not alone and whilst having a look more sharply into the grass and under the nearby bushes we counted at least 5 more lions. One of them was lying close to the one we studied but unfortunately this one was looking very weak and obviously was suffering under TB. :cry:

With mixed emotions after this sad sighting we concentrated ourselves again returning to watch the lion close to the road and to continue our studies.

Same can be described as vigilantly,

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as well as sleepy (not so difficult for a lion or for a cat itself)

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and suspiciously

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And he even proved that also male lions can be multitasking as one of his eyes was looking sleepy whilst the other one was looking scared. Many cars, after watching long enough the lions, drove further to Matjulu only to return back shortly and every time the lion watched after them only to close his eyes again and put his heavy head onto his paws.

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Due to the crowd the cars were causing at least the lion was a bit more active.

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After quite a while he was running out of expressions and he started again in repeating his repertoire.

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To be continued……


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 Post subject: Re: Tales from under the Marula tree
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:13 am 
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But finally he added more posing possibilities which vary from a nice portrait with an open mouth

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and ended inevitable with the obligatory yawning festival

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You only have to wait long enough after our experiences it will not take long until a lion will start to yawn and then I have to yawn too.

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Did you ever succeed to reach your nose with your tongue? :tongue:

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Sometimes these staring lion’s eyes do make the lion do look very grumpy.

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This sighting was reminding me of our 3 hours which we spent in February 2009 at Grootkolk with the two lions which we named Lincoln and Diego although this year the weather was not that good as it was still a bit drizzling.

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More yawners followed and later he started to lick his paw with the claws outside. Having in mind what the claws of my small cats at home can harm I am one of the persons who must not be convinced that these claws are deadly weapons.

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Once more when staying at such a sighting although not much activities from the animals to be seen I do not understand the people in the cars that do only stop shortly having a look around and drive off immediately – this fact itself is not the matter but the fact that they then do talk loud or sometimes shout at each other and disturbing so the magic of the moment of the other people is making me angry. Gladly today they only drove off silently but later in my report I will tell you more about what I mean. :twisted:

I can only repeat myself when saying that we just stayed there, sipped at our coffee and tea and sighed from time to time and enjoyed the moment he allowed us to share with him also knowing that more to soon this magical moment will be over.

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Meanwhile the drizzle stopped totally but it remained still very misty and cloudy and now also one of the other lions lifted his head from under the dense bush.

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Obviously this was the signal for the lion to stand up and walk deeper into the bush and for us it was now the signal to continue our journey. This whole sighting lasted around half an hour and it was a more than fantastic start into the day.

Nevertheless we paid a short visit to Matjulu already knowing that there was nothing to be seen as all the other cars after they left the lion sighting came back immediately but you will never know what the bush will held in store for you. As already assumed there was nothing to be seen and so we decided today to take instead of the Steilberg route the S110 which was a wise decision.

The views in that area are always breathtaking especially on such a misty and cloudy wet morning and with an impala herd spread all over the place just awesome. :thumbs_up:

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Elephants came across and Swaison francolins were busy in running around until we reached the end of this sand road and turned into the H3 where we immediately got stuck again in a traffic jam the second time on this still very early morning, however, much to Timon’s delight now it was a LIT which kept us busy with our cameras for the next half an hour.

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Gladly meanwhile also the drizzle stopped completely and between the dark grey clouds the blue sky was from time to time visible.

Although the tree with the leopard was a bit far away the leopard itself was very good visible.

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Now it was time for us to widen our facial expression studies also to another cat species. This was obviously its favourite sleeping or resting position in the tree and I liked its posture very much. Head on one paw, the other leg and the long tail hanging as counter weight.

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We are always fascinated when watching our own cats sleeping at home in for us human quite an uncomfortable way but for the cats in the most fitting way ever.

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To be continued……


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 Post subject: Re: Tales from under the Marula tree
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:55 pm 
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@Anja - They will indeed come a bit later :tongue:

Watchful looks around from high above did vary with sleepy ones and yawners.

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As it was still quite a bit dark for pictures in which the leopard did move too much so a lot of them came out blurred but happily the digital photography can afford a lot of attempts and with a bit of luck some came out sharp enough. :dance:

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Together with the leopard we noticed some movement in the high grass below the tree where the leopard was lying and an impala ram came into sight but also noticed the leopard too and same was already barking frenetically.

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The leopard was looking from left to right and right to left which did not differ very much from the facial expressions of the lion only one hour earlier.

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And in between the head was also getting heavier and heavier and it started to snooze slightly after it intensively licked its fur just like the lion.

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The impala ram came closer and closer suspiciously eying the leopard whilst the leopard suspiciously eyed the impala ram.

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Knowing that the impala knew about its presence it started to relax more and more and finally the circus around was getting too much and finally it left the tree.

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During the whole sighting quite a lot of cars arrived and drove off and whilst the leopard now walked off into the direction back to the S110 from where we just came and a lot of cars followed it, however, we decided against that and drove a bit back the H3 as one of the other cars told us about a black rhino sighting directly at the tar road only a couple of kilometers further down but unfortunately we had somehow not the luck in finding same. :(

We both found that after such intensive facial studies on two different cats and due to the fact that this was already the second leopard after only the second full day we deserved an ice cream and were heading into the direction of Afsaal, however, had to stop for a lovely sighting of a huge elephant cow with its cute calf which was just too gorgeous with its small tusks

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feeding close to mom on the yummy bushes.

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Obviously this little calf was very hungry or the breakfast was just too delicious :thumbs_up:

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Both extensively nibbled on each and every bush or tree which came in the range of their trunks. After such intensive cat studies earlier that morning we enjoy their presence.

Before we reached finally Afsaal I could not resist in taking a picture of these wet spider webs which could be found everywhere in that area and for me they looked like a jewel necklace.

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The ice cream never tasted better this morning after such thrilling sightings already. Gladly these two yellow-billed hornbills did not beg for food but were extremely loud so Timon could once more not resist in taking pictures.

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We took the S113 and whenever in that area the Biyamiti loop. As it was already late morning and the sun meanwhile brightly shining, the temperatures got hotter and the animal sightings lesser.

A very well hidden impala – Just an impression for you how high the grass was this year. :tongue:

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A lovely sighting were the wrestling dwarf mongooses but the pictures came out not that good but we were able to take some lovely ones later during our trip which we will then share with you.

A European roller with the remains of a kill,

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everywhere brown-eyed beauties,

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even kudus and a lone elephant bull which scratched himself at a trunk of his favourite tree whilst feeding on the marulas which will prove that not only the Kruger lions but also the elephants (both were males!) are multitasking.

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Nevertheless we had a great time until we reached finally one of our favourite spots in that area, i.e. the Biyamiti weir. Gladly no cars were in sight so we could just stop and soaked in the moment and let the animals come and some of them came indeed.
:thumbs_up:
To be continued with our time at the Biyamiti weir……..


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 Post subject: Re: Tales from under the Marula tree
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:15 pm 
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Sorry for the long wait..... :cry:

First we noticed a hammerhead which had chosen the most convenient spot for fishing right at the spot where the water came down

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a bit farer away a Common sandpiper did the same.

Then we noticed a movement and a green backed heron landed directly on the weir wall.

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We never ever saw this bird before in Kruger but of course at other places so at least a half new tick. :thumbs_up:

A couple of Egyptian geese were feeding on the other side in a huge puddle between all the rocks. Obviously we disturbed them whilst having a nice bite.

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The grey backed heron also landed there and as it was again on Timon’s side of the car – I heard as so often during this trip the unmistakably everlasting click of his camera.

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However, after I thought he took hundreds of pictures I caught another movement and a water monitor appeared on the scene too – those claws look on such animals always scary -

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Same then swam through a small puddle

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directly to the place where the green backed heron shouted its lung out.

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The close occurrence of the water monitor scared, however, the green backed heron and same flew a bit higher only to shout from this spot again even louder although the water monitor already left.

With heavy hearts we left this idyllic spot but we were certain that this was definitely not the last visit here during this trip. As it was now again around noon and with the visit at the weir we drove already a detour we headed straight forward via the S114 and then S26 only to stop from time to time for short photographic stops as these terrapins cuddled together on a far too small rocks had to be captured

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and this lilac breasted roller posted just too extensive in eye level for Timon.

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Another elephant cow with her little offspring let us stop again

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until we finally reached via the S108 and H5 the tar road to Crocodile Bridge Camp. It was somehow 33 degrees hot and baking hot in the sun and the only thing which we wanted was just to enjoy the time until our afternoon drive on our verandah but until we could do that we got stuck again for the third time during this day in a traffic jam between the S130 and S28 turn off as a honeymoon couple squeezed themselves under a thick bush right behind the tar road to escape the crowd and heat whilst having a break from making little lions.

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It was meanwhile already a hot Sunday afternoon and most of the cars were on their way out of the park so no question that this spot was buzzing like a beehive.

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They both were so close that it was difficult to capture them as we still had the big lenses on

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or the high grass was blowing the moment we pressed the button in the foreground and we got a sharp picture of a beautiful blade of grass but the lions in the background came out blurred.

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Some pictures whilst even moving closer to them looked as if Timon laid down side by side with them in the grass.

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After quite a while she put him (the lion, not Timon) her bum right into his face to give him a broad hint as there was still something she expected from him to do and soon the job was done.

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To be continued………also with a couple of feathered friends


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 Post subject: Re: Tales from under the Marula tree
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:28 pm 
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Thanks A-J and oddesy always a pleasure to receive comments from you and of course to continue now. :dance: :dance: :dance:

He had an extreme blonde mane and a small wound on his nose but both looked very well fed and in an excellent shape. However, after such exhausting mission in the afternoon heat both were extreme tired.

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For me it was again a hard wrench on the back seat of the car with my camera in hand and attracted knees under my body. Only after a couple of minutes my feet were numb whilst I had to juggle with the camera as the back window was only to be opened halfway but what not to do to get some nice pictures. :tongue:

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Nevertheless we enjoyed the time they allowed us to spent with them moreover to the fact that cars were coming and going and both stayed extreme relaxed and did not bother. It was again such wonderful amazing sighting.

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Timon and I just snapped away and once more enjoyed simply the moment

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and tried to hold this moment and show it again on these pictures.

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On sightings like that I also grab one camera and try to photograph but normally I let Timon do this job only to interrupt him by giving commands. Whilst he is taking pictures I scan the area not to collide with some grey masses whilst we are deflected with another sighting. :whistle:

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After 20 minutes at this sighting – it was meanwhile 14.50 o’clock we had to break away as we were already overwhelmed with the day so far and just wanted to log off a bit from driving and taking in of all these impression. So relatively straight we drove on and found this one-tusked elephant bull in the thick vegetation.

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Unfortunately we only got this one picture so further completion about whether this might be a known one could not be done.

One further stop simply had to be done as these two from their back perspective were just too attractive and could not be overlooked.

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Finally we reached Crocodile Bridge, checking in was done as quickly as usual and with the key to No. 12 in my hands (here we stayed already during our very first stay there in 2005) and after a quick unloading of the car I was already sitting on our verandah with a brand new table and chairs preparing our salad for the evening’s braai, sipping at another well earned coffee whilst scanning the bush. Believe me or not only shortly a single warthog came to say hello from the other side of the fence. From somewhere under our bungalow a tiny snake appeared and before Timon was even able to grab his camera same was already gone like a flash in the bushes not before shortly spreading its hood so we could identify the snake as a spitting cobra (first for us!). :dance:

After downloading all our masses of pictures we took today we were again on a very short afternoon drive again. We could not leave out at least a small part of our favourite road the S28 and same presented itself in the best evening light.

It was a quiet afternoon drive, however, we enjoyed same very much and our beloved feathered friends were very busy in catching their dinner.

A bush shrike came across

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As well as many Swaison francolins appeared again and were running around and shouting like mad. Timon was even able to capture a picture of a yellow-billed hornbill playing with its dinner.

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We paid although we were already late a short visit at Gomondwane dam where we spotted this amazingly huge crocodile sunbathing in the fading sunlight

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A lovely sighting was also this baby grey hornbill sitting on the ground and waited to be fed by its parents.

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And this year already right in the beginning a crested barbet with a kill

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The last animal on that day was a European roller which obviously invaded the park this summer as they were so plentiful.

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The braai this evening was delicious as ever and together with the salad out of fresh vegetables really yummy. Whilst it got darker and darker Timon even tried to spot in the trees with his only recently bought spotlight and believe me or not with a loud scream a thick-tailed bushbaby (another first for us!) jumped from the branch Timon illuminated to another one and was no longer to be seen. We both looked at each other and already thought that we were gone totally mad but as we saw both the same thing we knew it was real. Sorry no picture of this lovely creature but you can believe me that from that day on we spotted always after dark into some trees in camp and another new animal indeed came across later but that is another story to be told a bit later in this report.

To be continued with another Valentine’s Day in Paradise…….


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 Post subject: Re: Tales from under the Marula tree
Unread postPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 12:50 am 
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Monday, 14. February 2011 – Crocodile Bridge


After a good’s nice rest after this very long day on the road the day before we were ready and full of beans again moreover after we peacefully sipped at a hot and strong coffee whilst noticing the bush awaking.

Just after we left camp on the tar road a large herd or better to say a couple of smaller impala herds formed a huge one came across. You noticed as far as the eye could watch impalas and even more impalas – It was amazing.

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We turned into our favourite road, the S28, and just enjoyed to be back there again.

Suddenly we nearly stumbled across a very well hidden elephant in the thick vegetation. A couple of warthogs also popped out of the high grass and also a white rhino and another elephant, however, far in the distance only.

As always on this road the magpie shrike were flying again high and low and it was hard to capture them, however, all in all it was a quiet drive until abruptly two smaller hyaenas came into sight inspecting carefully the road.

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Also on this picture you can see how long the grass right beside the road was so if the hyaenas were lying somewhere in the grass we never would have noticed them.

An elephant bull which we saw already a couple of times during different holidays on this road was feeding gently on a bush close to the road but a lady in a Golf was obviously in a hurry and drove closer to him and even closer so that he obviously was feeling not that comfortable anymore and showed her who the boss is on that part of the street.

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It felt like ages when he lost interest and let her slip away. He decided that he had horrified enough at this early morning and started feeding again – As already said we knew him only as a calm giant and the minute the Golf disappeared he converted again into this gentle giant again.

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Further down the street plenty of zebra herds were crisscrossing the street, the zebras which just crossed the street from left to right decided that on the other side of the road the grass tasted far more better and returned from where they just came

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and same happened to the herd which just came from the other side.

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We stayed with them for quite a while and just enjoyed the moment and their morning business.

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Birds were again plentiful, and this little chap simply must have been captured by Timon. Although I am lost here with the ID. Any ideas???

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After a long drought during the first three days we now finally found a very sleepy white rhino close to the road

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and as we both are great rhino lovers we could not help and let our fingers pressed the buttons without stopping.

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Only the ears of the rhino were moving every time the cameras clicked.

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He was still so sleepy and just wanted to nap on, however, a car full of young people arrived and soon each of them were sitting on the windows and taking pictures. Although they all were not that loud they unfortunately chased the rhino up and same was now standing a bit lost as he just wanted to sleep a bit longer.

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All in all we stayed quite a while with the rhino but it was once more time to carry on.

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The naughty glossy starlings were around everywhere and also this lovely steenbok could be spotted but same looked as if it was playing duiker and only allowed us this only shot.

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Also Duke’s waterhole was quiet this day only a pair of Egyptian goose could be found there.

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The whole morning the sun was shining but suddenly a huge grey clouds appeared and a typical savannah shower came down and as only to stop as suddenly as it appeared and the sun was shining as before. A bit surprised we were when we turned into the tar road leading to Lower Sabie camp as there were plenty of grass cutters in action and after the rain shower they must soaked to the skin. Not far from them a huge elephant herd all of them also very wet blocked the street until all of them reach the other side and walked straight to the river.

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We also found a very well hidden buffalo in the high grass and miserably looking – because of the wetness – a yellow-billed kite and a small leopard tortoise until we reached Sunset dam for only a small visit. The ground was very muddy, however, the stints

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and the three banded plovers were busy in running around and searching for food.

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After a short break to stretch the legs a bit at Lower Sabie and after some shopping and - Micetta already knew which is coming – a yummy ice cream whilst admiring the view from the restaurant deck we were back on the road and decided to drive the S128 which we normally decide when in that area.

The whole road was invaded by European rollers, believe me or not but on each bush we found one. It was amazing and as you can imagine Timon took nearly a picture of each and every roller on that road and so it took us endlessly to drive forward. One of the pictures he took is one of my personal Top Ten pictures we took during this holiday – An European roller sitting in a basket made out of apple-leaves – Sigh!

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Whilst photographing along a safari vehicle stopped us and told us about a couple of lions further down at the crossing with the S129 which were about to leave, however, as much as we searched we were today unable to found them. Later on we met another car on the S129 and they told us that the lions walked right on the street followed by them until they disappeared into the bush. We were not that disappointed not to have found them as we already had some nice lion sightings during this holiday.

However, we found instead giraffes, also typical for that road, plenty of vultures and from time to time elephant bulls.

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In a bush we spotted a black coucal – at least I think so - (the first new bird for us) with a kill – Sorry for the bad quality but the sighting was a bit far away.

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On the H10 we found another huge elephant herd with an extreme cute baby between them, however, same was nearly invisible in the high grass. From time to time we could spot its small trunk and same was busy in never loosing the contact to mum.

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We observed them quite a while and one time the little one was very brave and went away from mum at least a couple of steps to greet very proudly with its small trunk one of its aunts.

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How we loved such tender moments between such giants.

To be continued……….


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 Post subject: Re: Tales from under the Marula tree
Unread postPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 2:17 pm 
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Another wonderful episode thanks Pumbaa, with regards to the birds:

Pumbaa wrote:
. . .

Birds were again plentiful, and this little chap simply must have been captured by Timon. Although I am lost here with the ID. Any ideas???

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Juvenile Red-backed Shrike

however, the stints Slight correction if you don't mind, this is a Common Sandpiper, look at the white going slightly round the upper wing. :thumbs_up:

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Just love these hooded Vultures


In a bush we spotted a black coucal – at least I think so - (the first new bird for us) with a kill – Sorry for the bad quality but the sighting was a bit far away. Black Coucal indeed and I'm very :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Tales from under the Marula tree
Unread postPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 1:37 am 
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Gladly only one picture does not want as I did but finally :dance: :dance: :dance:

We simply enjoyed the time we spent on that road, also with the changing weather from sunshine, over clouds to rain and the whole time also a strong wind was blowing. On a small pond on the H10 we spotted an African fish eagle which we already quite often saw at this point during our previous visits, however, the whole scene was unfortunately a bit too far away..

Another highlight was a playful family of warthogs which members were very relaxed and allowed us some nice shots as we often saw from them only their tails disappearing in the high grass before we even got a picture.

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The little ones out of this family were very active and especially two of them were chasing each other around.

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The adults were only interested in feeding, however, when the three little piglets wanted the closeness of Mum she let them suckle.

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Especially this cheek to cheek or better to say nose to nose picture reflected their good mood during the whole time we spent with them

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Meanwhile it started to rain again, however, this chap did not bother at all.

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For us it was time to stretch the legs again and therefore we spent some time at Mlondozi picnic spot where we enjoyed the view and chatted with some other visitors whilst simply enjoying the breathtaking view with some dramatic clouds in the background, accompanied with the noise of the grunting hippos. Sigh!

As empty as the roads in this area were as packed with people this picnic spot was and after we talked enough we were back in the car to pay another visit to Sunset dam but before we reached it another family of warthogs, this time with 5 piglets, crossed our path.

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The whole drive back to the High water bridge crossing the Sabie river plenty of Carmine bee eaters could be spotted but unfortunately all a bit far away for decent pictures, however, this cute juvenile roller was willing to pose and it was once more time for Timon to click on.

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Whilst reaching Sunset dam another heavy rain shower came down and soon the whole area was immediately enfolded by wet mist.

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Gladly very soon the rain stopped and it cleared up drastically and the sunshine came back and stayed the whole remaining day. As we were meanwhile nearly the whole day on the road we decided to drive back to Crocodile Bridge via the tar. On our drive back we came across the same hidden buffaloes which we already spotted earlier this morning, more elephants, still wet from the rain,

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plenty of helmeted guinea-fowl families were now busy in running around and searching for food but all of them were too busy in stopping to let us take a picture of them, however, this cute fluffy Barn (European) swallow had enough time and let us photograph it.

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The remaining drive was quiet besides one lone lioness which was lying extreme close to the road and did not look that good. She was very thin and was breathing very heavily with her nares wide open. We felt indeed very sorry for her and drove off very quickly as we do not want to pollute the air around her with the exhaust emission of our car. I remember that we came across that spot again two day later and I can report that she was no longer there. Hopefully a good sign that she at least could recover from whatever weakened her.

I always cannot imagine why the time always is passing by so quickly when we are in the park but it was again afternoon until we could sit again for at least 2 hours on our verandah and relax from driving. Today no spitting cobra paid a visit but a lovely warthog mother with her four nearly grown piglets were feeding on the huge meadow in the middle of the camp.

As it was again a bit too late for an excessive afternoon drive we decided to give the S25 another try. We were not long on that road when we found again something new, it was definitely not the huge herd of wildebeests with plenty of calves between them, no it were the amount of cattle egrets and their white feathers which attracted us, as we never saw these egrets in the park before.

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Of course we had the pleasure of seeing them before in Europe but here and between the many legs of the wildebeests it was indeed a lovely sighting.


Whilst the wildebeest calves were relaxing on the ground the adults were feeding.

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Soon a lot of cars stopped behind us and looked a bit puzzled why we stopped for the wildebeests and moreover for “ordinary” birds but we enjoyed the sighting tremendously as we never saw these two different animals before together. Gladly some cars stayed also a bit longer but most of them drove on.

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At least this muddy chap was worthwhile to be captured, as they were also very close to the street our cameras started once more to glow again.

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More and more egrets landed and also the same amount took off so it was a busy taking off and landing all around.

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As it was nearly time to return we drove a bit further and soon more and more animals could be spotted as always when the gate closing time comes nearer.

Giraffes and zebras were feeding everywhere, the glossy starlings and doves were also active again

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and not to forget the amount of impalas which meanwhile could be found everywhere.

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With heavy hearts we turned around and drove back to camp as this was already our last night in Crocodile Bridge which is always a very special place for us. We crowned our stay at that camp with these evening impressions and we stayed there as long as possible and enjoyed the view but the clock was ticking down.

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Just when we returned from drive our neighbor from the bungalow next to us gave us signs with his hand to be quiet and then he showed us the culprit – a huge elephant bull was feeding extreme close to the fence at a marula tree close to bungalow No. 9. It was as if a wave of commotion was running through the camp as nearly all people were on their feet and strolled during an evening walk to the fence to admire the elephant bull. Needless to say that Mr. elephant was very relaxed and did not bother about the masses of people around him. It was amazing to have such a giant so close to the camp.

All in all it was another fantastic day in Paradise although the spectacular sightings which we had during the last three years on Valentine’s day stayed away, however, this is definitely no complain as we had already two fantastic days with stunning leopard sightings and other magnificent stuff that a quieter day in between is quite okay but what to say a day in Kruger is always a special day at least for us who cannot visit the park that often.

We finished this lovely day with another braai and a glass of wine on our verandah whilst we still could guess the silhouette of the huge elephant at the fence. We wished this evening could have lasted forever.

to be continued with the proof that also rainy days can be very productive in paradise……..


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 Post subject: Re: Tales from under the Marula tree
Unread postPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 3:11 pm 
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Tuesday, 15 February, 2011 - Crocodile Bridge - Biyamiti

Whilst sipping our coffee on our verandah and watching the day break we got into sentimental mood again, because we have to leave our favourite camp again – not that we were not looking forward to our stay at Biyamiti (our favourite bush camp), it’s simply because with each camp you have to leave the end of the holidays is coming nearer and nearer and the longer you stay in the park the faster the time passes by.

Anyway we had to carry on and packed everything together and left once more with heavy hearts Crocodile Bridge. Today very heavy rain clouds were still active in changing from drizzling into pouring and the other way round so photographing was not easy today because it was still extreme dark and grey.

Once more our favourite road, the S28 was a must this morning although due to the rain same was as quiet as never before.

Huge herds of impalas were having breakfast and in between some “immovable rocks” came into sight

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Then indeed the whole road was quiet besides of the everlasting helmeted guinea fowls and yellow- and red-billed hornbills until we reached a part between Mac’s waterhole and the turn off to the S107 as a still very sleepy and today also very wet King was lying right beside the road.

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After a quick morning stretcher – like my female cat at home is always doing before it is time for her breakfast –

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he stood up and moved to bit further. For us it was time again to continue our lion facial expression studies.

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Rain drops came down the whole morning and also the King did some mane shaking to get rid of the wetness at least a bit.

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A safari vehicle from the close Shishangani Lodge arrived and shared this sighting with us. No other car arrived the whole 20 minutes this sighting lasted and once more it paid more than off to be the first car out of the gate. Our huge friend therefore decided to look for a spot a bit farer away from the road.

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And like my male cat at home – he loves to play with his paws (and only with his paws not with anything else!) in water and after a while his legs also starts to wet and his fur began to curl – also his giant cousin’s mane started to curl on that wet and windy morning.

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Before he laid down again he looked from right to left and left to right and also to the back and also we got our look out of his cute face.

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He was very alert when looking around, however,

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like it is always with lions he got tired and his eyes started to close again. As if it was not dark enough already on that early morning it was still getting darker and darker and therefore we were indeed very thankful that he did not move that often as otherwise the pictures would have came out blurred.

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As he stared a couple of times in one direction, I finally followed his gaze and soon discovered another male lion squeezed under a small bush to keep at least a bit dry. Unfortunately one of his eyes was blind but this disability was only making him more friendly and charming.

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Our looks changed from the one to the other and finally a third one, another male emerged from under the bush were Mr. Ol’ Blue Eye was lying and stood up and joined the one lying in the open and consequently in the rain. The greeting ritual between both had to be done extensively, not as if only a couple of meters separated them, it was as if you met again an old friend who you lost out of sight for years.

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As much as we loved the tender moments between the small elephant calf and his/her mother and aunt yesterday, as much we loved this lovely and fond interaction between the feline giants in the
park.

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The following picture is also one of my favourites we took during this trip not because of the picture it was because of the glances the two friends or even brothers were throwing to the third one.

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Maybe he was feeling lonesome under his bush as only after a couple of minutes he stood up and joined the other two males.

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As you can imagine the whole greeting ritual repeated even more copiously. Wet manes had to be shacken to be a bit drier when getting kissed, or licked or even nose rubbed.

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We often watched such behavior between the many male lions we saw already during our several trips to South Africa but never between three extreme good looking and very well fed males and moreover we never had the privilege in getting pictures as they were always too quick in doing same or we far to slow with the handling of our cameras to get decent pictures.

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But today on such a rainy, misty, cold and windy morning we had already one of our highlights of the day and also of our holidays with the sighting of these beautiful lions. A short while all three formed a ball out of their huge bodies. One of them was yawning, the other one roll on his back and the other one was simply day dreaming.

After twenty minutes which passed by for us far too soon one after the other stood up and walked deeper into the bush and farer away from the road. Meanwhile we were already the only car and just enjoyed the quietness and the time we were allowed to spend with them.

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The one male which occupied this spot first left as last one and with a final yawner he slowly stood up in lion style and followed the other two. They were still very good visible from the road although meanwhile far away and we just waited a bit longer for the arrival of another car so that we can make them aware of them.

But as no car arrived we also left them as we still had a long way to travel and nobody know which might comes across around the next corner.

Our spirits and mood were high after such a gorgeous sighting and also the rain could not bother us on that wonderful morning. I remember that we met last year also on the S28 Giraffe (also a forum member) and she told us about three male lions they saw on nearly the same spot as we saw them now. Last year we did not have the honour in finding them but this year we finally met them.

Furthermore I also remember of the male lion coalition formed out of six male lions which took place near Crocodile Bridge camp in January this year and was soooo green about all the amazing pictures and I also recall having seen amongst the pictures one with a blind eye so for me it was clear that we today met at least half of them. Our day was made already today.

Further on we came across this totally wet and friendly grey giant

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and on the turn off into the S137 a huge herd of impalas was running around, some of them even practice some high jumps in showing their lust for life. Obviously the cooler weather made them even more active as they normally are.

The remaining drive until we reached Sunset dam was more than quiet besides this busy blacksmith plover digging in the mud for food

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and this obviously having a bad hair day African fish eagle – Maybe you can see the rain drop which just fall down from its bill whilst Timon pressed the button.

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To be continued with the show of the feathered Kings at Sunset dam………


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 Post subject: Re: Tales from under the Marula tree
Unread postPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 3:17 pm 
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Thanks so much for your wonderful, warm and always encouraging comments. I promise that I will return to give you individual comments as soon as time permits again. :redface:

So far many, many thanks to Bushbuddies, Micetta, Elsa, wanderw, Tobieo, Rookie2009, cheetah2111, Anja, Magic Guarri, Lionspoon, Elzet, Sharifa & Duke, Kamadejo, Crested Barbet, wildflowergirl, anne catherine, ColWD, Flutterby, buffalo_soldier, Bushbaby30 and KTF hooked. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

You are right thanks to digital photography that allows to change the DIN number permanently so even rainy pictures have their very own charm and as it was nearly daily raining during this trip we were indeed very thankful to “play” with our cameras in that way. :thumbs_up:

I am indeed sure that these three males were part of the coalition of 6 of which we all read here in January. It was fantastic to spot such dark mane lions also in Kruger and you are right such a powerful animal can be so gentle to each other too. Unfortunately our lion facial studies have been done with them this year, however, that does not mean that we did not saw more lions but such close ups are over. :roll:

Also the next installment will prove that taking pictures in the rain will produce some nice shots. So let’s walk together over to Sunset dam in the rain. :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: Tales from under the Marula tree
Unread postPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 1:17 am 
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To be honest we did not expect to see much at Sunset dam, as it was still raining heavily but the kingfishers were entertaining us tremendously with their fishing show that we even forget that we wanted to pay a short visit at Lower Sabie camp as nature was calling meanwhile heavily.

First a pair of Giant Kingfisher could immediately be spotted on the rusty pontoon, however, the pontoon is not such a photogenic object so that I will later show you the pictures of them from a nearby small bleak bush.

However, first this mentioned bleak bush was occupied by two pied kingfisher (I suppose also a couple)

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Please do not forget that it still was pouring with rain and we indeed had some difficulties in keeping our lenses dry so we took a few quick shots and then tried to dry the lens without glazing same too much and then the same procedure started again.

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Occasionally both pied kingfisher tried to catch a fish it definitely took only a few seconds and finally the male was successful. What amazingly fast fishers they are!

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It took some time until he eventually gulped the small fish. Both did some further attempts and were also successful and we also started to think how many of these small fishes a pied kingfisher can devour until they are completely full. We came to the conclusion that they can eat an uncountable number and that will be still not enough.

On this picture you can see very good how the rain rolls off from the chest coat of this little chap.

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Far too soon both flew off and this was the signal for us to pay a quick visit to Lower Sabie as we also needed some food from the shop for our stay at Biyamiti and also our daily ice cream dose rate has to be satisfied but the whole time we spent there we were in mind still at Sunset Dam. Hardly the ice cream was eaten but still licking our lips we jumped back into the car and drove the couple of meters back to Sunset dam.

The pied kingfishers were gone but gladly the pair of the Giants now took over their place on the bush and needless to say that we parked as close as possible to them and started to snap away as so often. Unfortunately both showed us in the beginning only their back, however,

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the bad hair day still continued that day. Not only the rain was awkward that day but also the wind was not a pleasure and both rain and wind came from the direction over the water so whenever you opened the car window everything got wet immediately.

And also the lens got wet and has to be dried after only a few shots. Timon tried to turn the car a bit around and with a bit rolling here and there he managed to park the car that way that the front window got most of the rain and we could at least take pictures without getting soaked.

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Gladly we had the dam nearly to ourselves as most of the cars obviously decided to stay in camp as long as the rain will last or were already back from their morning drive. As we still had plenty of time we decided to still stay as long as the birds are willing to pose. Why hurrying from one sighting to another when we just found one?


We were totally happy where we were that day as in the last years all kind of kingfishers stayed away from us (okay, besides the woodlands) and today they offered themselves willingly as model. Why should we look for something else?

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The bad hair day turned meanwhile into a Mohican hairdo. Besides the heavy rain you can imagine how fun we had with these lovely feathered kings.

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Both of the Giants were also very successful in catching fishes that day but unfortunately we never got the shot with their catch. From time to time they also shacked their feathers as earlier that morning the lion did to get rid of the wetness.

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The male was sitting on a lower branch and consequently the female still only presenting her back on an upper branch and both were eying each other constantly – To get both on one picture was indeed not that easy.

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They also showed us their fluffy side and Mrs. Kingfisher was indeed not that happy with all the rain as she started to spread slightly her wings to keep at least the rest of her body dry.

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I do not know how long we stayed already with them we just took shot after shot and we even did not realize that it started to get brighter and nearly stopped raining. Finally both landed on the same branch and flew off at the same time.

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Time for us to change again our position as we already realized from the corner of our eyes whilst having the cameras clued on them some pinkish colours and now we turned towards these pinkish feathers which belonged to a beautiful yellow billed stork which spread its wings on a picturesque broken dead branch and you can guess it again - Timon pounced immediate on to this new willingly attitudinizing victim.

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It was as if the pinkish colour effected the rain to stop as it was dry the minute we started to snap away on this bird and it got brighter and brighter.

This beautiful bird was the born poser and it did pose indeed like a Champion with always new poses to satisfy a photographer’s heart especially with the spread wings and the nearly pulled up leg.

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I must confess that I am not a fan of the colour pink which you predominantly can find on baby girl’s cloths but such a strong pink as you can see on the feathers of this bird is simply perfect and mind-blowing especially with all the green in the background.

Meanwhile also the dark grey sky turned into a light grey sky and more and more particular clouds could be extinguished. Consequently it started immediately to get extreme hot and humid like in a sauna.

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The yellow-billed stork obviously determined its feathers on the wings as dried up enough,

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however, only to spread same again after a couple of seconds. Apparently a couple of rain drops were still left in its plumage.

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To be continued…..


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Submitted by Jurie van Vuuren at 12:26:03 Submitted by grannyb at 18:43:20 Submitted by vinkie at 19:33:11 Submitted by grannyb at 14:18:33