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 Post subject: Meerkitty- Kruger Report
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:48 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:06 pm
Posts: 1355
Location: Pietermaritzburg
From a curious warthog to a flooded camp: Kruger - 8 to 16 April 2011

Day 1 : Crocodile Bridge

Once more the adventure has started! No matter how many times we go the Kruger, this park always leaves us wanting more. With a couple unusual experiences it was certainly a great trip :thumbs_up:

Arriving just after midday, it was nice to see the Crocodile River with so much water and we were welcomed by a greener park :D After a quick lunch, all was set up, we decided to just relax and take in the kruger. Little did we know..... A while earlier a family of warthog had entered the camp. After being chased out, they triumphantly marched straight back in :hmz: There were a couple of sparrows on the ground before us, when suddenly these curious warthogs rushed in to see if there was any food. They were just a little close for comfort so we kept really still and hoped they would quickly move off. However, they had other ideas! The male, sauntered up to my mom...and well checked her toes out! Now, we were feeling a bit nervous as I had heard that warthogs can be dangerous. To our relief, they eventually walked off due to the disappointment of finding no food, and we were left in awe :shock: The rest of the day was nice and relaxing, until an army truck arrived at the gate after dark :hmz:

Day 2 - 6: Satara

We decided to leave Crocodile Bridge as the gates opened so we could make a long journey to Satara. The highlight was two pairing lions :thumbs_up: And the male had a interesting "mohawk" mane :lol: We also came across an immature Bateleur (I think) having some breakfast.

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Immature Bateleur? by Juslind, on Flickr

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Sabie River by Juslind, on Flickr

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Sabie River by Juslind, on Flickr

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Sabie River by Juslind, on Flickr

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Lion with a mohawk :) by Juslind, on Flickr


On arrival at satara, we discovered that we had two resident scops owls on our site, and those are one of my favourite owls :thumbs_up:

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Scops Owl by Juslind, on Flickr

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Resident Satara Scops owl by Juslind, on Flickr

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Satara Sunset by Juslind, on Flickr

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Satara Sunset by Juslind, on Flickr

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Satara Sunset by Juslind, on Flickr

The next day, bright and early, we headed off to nwanetsi picnic site. They had burnt the grass and the new grass made it look a bit like a golf course...so the prey were abundant Just in the one area, we saw zebra, impala, giraffe, kudu and wildebeest. And, the zera herd just kept on going! A little while later, we came across a lion and lioness. They were happily sleeping and the male even had his paws curled up under his head and his eyes closed. We decided to move on, and a couple of kms down the road we came across some more lions. It was a female and two cubs (but they were at least 10 - 12 months old already I think). It was quite funny because they were busy destroying a vacant warthog hole. You could only see the one cubs' bum and tail sticking out and the female had taken on a new colour of dark brown. They decided to abandon that task and we followed them for a while, when the older female suddenly crouched low. In the distance was about 3 or 4 wildebeest. We had lost sight of the other two lions so we just sat and watched as this one carefully placed her paws and crept up on the wildebeest. It certainly took some time! She would get up, and just as we thought she would make the attack, she would crouch low again. Eventually, she decided she was close enough and made the attack. However, the hunt was over quickly when something gave the lions away and the wildebeest scattered. Shame, the cubs were just learning. It was, however, the closest we have ever come to witnessing a hunt :dance:

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Lions raiding the warthog Hole by Juslind, on Flickr

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Stalking lioness by Juslind, on Flickr

The view from nwanstsi was amazing and then we made our way to the sweni hide. Here we saw an array of birds such as green backed heron, white faced ducks, jacanas and a crake.

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Sweni River (Vultures) by Juslind, on Flickr

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Algae croc by Juslind, on Flickr

The next day, we did a trip to timbivati. We saw a lot of bateleurs, a giant eagle owl and the usual buck etc. We also saw a leopard For the first time in 3 years...... It was far away just relaxing on the tree. The best part came later On our afternoon drive, we went to see if the leopard was still there but it had disappeared...we took a dirt road that lead us a a river. It was really overgrown and we could hardly see anything. We saw something moving but from my view it looked like a buck. As we drove off, I spotted the the "buck" has spots! haha I was so exited. The best thing was we were the only ones there and we watched as he marked his territory and crept along the ground....wow....I was speechless!

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Leopard by Juslind, on Flickr

Over the next few days, we made trips to Olifants and we drove back to nwanetsi (returning on the river road). It was a bit quiet on the sighting side, but it was still great to be in the bush :thumbs_up:

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Olifants River by Juslind, on Flickr

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Olifants River by Juslind, on Flickr

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Saddle-Billed Stork by Juslind, on Flickr

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Immature Bateleur? by Juslind, on Flickr

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Giraffe by Juslind, on Flickr

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Zebra by Juslind, on Flickr

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Zebra by Juslind, on Flickr

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Elephant by Juslind, on Flickr

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Nwanestsi river by Juslind, on Flickr

Day 7 - 9: Berg-en-dal

The time was edging on, on eventually we would have to leave. However, we had one more stop before we left :D
Once more, we left as the gates opended. We came acoss a lone hyena eating off a carcass. We assumed that it was an elephant, because it was really big! A while later, we had a comical scene as the heron used the hippo as its rest in the water :clap:

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Hyena by Juslind, on Flickr

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Handy Hippo by Juslind, on Flickr

We settled down at Berg-en-dal, and we were lucky to get a nice fence site :D However, later on we would realise that another site would have been better :shock: That afternoon, the clouds became dark and a nice thunderstorm started to brew. By dark, the rain just kept coming and coming. I stept out the caravan and discovered that there was a river flowing past! The water went up to my ankles and in the one area it went all the way up to my shins :shock: I had to evacuate mt tent and it felt like a water bed when I walked in. By the next morning, the water had drained away. It seemed that the camp spent the morning drying out (especially the tenters) :naughty:

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Flooded camp by Juslind, on Flickr

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Flooded camp by Juslind, on Flickr

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Flooded Tent by Juslind, on Flickr

The end of our holiday came and once more I was sad to leave :( However, I will definately be back soon!!


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