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 Post subject: flying cheetah some Kruger impressions and pics Jun 11
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:28 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Hello forumites,

yesterday I came back from a 23 days trip to Kruger. Unfortunetely it wasn't all great as I was suffering from a very itching skin disease which gave me several sleepless nights. So my mood wasn't always the best as you may understand. I will not write a complete trip report as I don't want to talk about the bad moments but I also had several really rare and exciting sightings and also many more wonderful moments that I want to share with you. Those of you who were reading the updates of my sister will know that I had several cat sightings but these were not the highlights of the trip. So if you are waiting for many cat pics I have to dissapoint you as my cats were mostly far away (lions) or the sighting only lasted for a few seconds (leopards). But thank god there are many more creatures in Kruger who sometimes do the most amazing and interesting things...
I also want to say thank you for all the good wishes and greetings and the tips concerning the doggies, unfortunetely again I didn't find them :( But there will be a next time and I don't give up so easily..

For now I show you a pic of a Malachite who enjoyed a wonderful sunset with me at Shitlave :D

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 Post subject: Re: some Kruger impressions and pics
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:38 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Thank you Sharifa and Duke, Micetta and BushKrazy for your kind replies :clap: :thumbs_up:

Hyaenas played a big role during my trip as was lucky to come upon three dens (near Phabeni, near Skukuza and near Balule) and at the first two I could watch really little ones :dance: Today I want to show you some pics of the Phabeni cubs.
As you may know Hyaena babys often fight very hard against their siblings for the best chance of survival. Often one of them has to die because it doesn't get enough milk. And I also noticed that one of the cubs was much stronger and gave the second one a hard time before he also got his share. Of course my sympathies were with the smaller one :wink: Here are some pics:

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There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: some Kruger impressions and pics
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:08 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Thank you Samster, Michel, Micetta, Petra, Dan, Pumbaa, MG, Katja, Elzet, wildflowergirl, hoyle, Crested Barbet and melph for all your wonderful replies :clap: :clap: :clap: It's fantastic to get all these feedbacks :dance: :dance: Later in this thread I will show you that Hyaenas are still cute when they are a few month older :wink: And for the itching, it's much better now but still not totally gone.

As some of you already get curious about the special sightings I want to show you one today. I was driving from Satara southwards, it was in the middle of the day and it was getting hot. So I didn't expect too much but Kruger is full of surprises. Suddenly I heard a lot of noise coming from a tree and when I looked there also was a lot of movement. I saw a pair of mating Tawnys and while mating they were permanently calling :thumbs_up: Stopping the car and lifting the camera was one thing and as soon as I was ready the Eagles finished the mating. Here are the pics I got:

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More pics to come in a few minutes :whistle:

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There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: some Kruger impressions and pics
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:17 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Then I realized that the female had a prey, I think it was a Puffie. It was interesting to see that only the female was feeding while the male was watching her. Maybe he was too exhausted or just polite or simply more romantic than the female who started feeding a few seconds after the mating procedure :wink:
It was a fantastic and very memorable sighting for me and I felt very privileged that I could watch this :dance: :dance: Here are more pics:

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There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: some Kruger impressions and pics
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:18 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Burghausen, Germany
Thank you Sharifa and Duke, anne-marie, melph, Katja, MM (have send you a pm :wink: ), MG, Micetta, Rookie (we definetely have to arrange something!) and Pumbaa for all your wonderful replies, it really was an outstanding sighting :dance: :clap: :clap:

It's Monday today and as this is the traditional bird day on my sisters thread I thought I also present you some birdies from my recent trip :D Here we go:

Ground Hornbills (you will get some very special pics of them later on :whistle: ):

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Egyptian Goose at the landing:

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Scop's Owl of Satara:

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Crested Barbet, also taken at Satara:

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juvenile Bateleur:

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Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: some Kruger impressions and pics
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:49 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Thank you Micetta, anne-marie, melph, Chickadee, Katja, MM and Crested Barbet for all your wonderful support :clap: :dance: :clap: :dance: :clap:
For those of you who wait for the special Hornbill pics I have to tell you that you have to wait a bit longer as you may understand that I can't show you all my jewels in the first week :wink:
It was the second time I saw the Scop's Owl at Satara and it was just beside the car park with some people already watching her :D

Today I want to show you some pics that I love for various reasons. As you probably all know the right timing in taking pics in the bush can be very difficult. At the next two pics I was very lucky. The first pic shows an Impala ram who had a very charming way to show me that he didn't want his pic to be taken.. :D

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Then I saw this Mongoose on a sign post and thought it would jump down before I could take a pic. But this one decided to have a good morning stretch first :P

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And here are two atmospheric pics. The first one taken at the so called magic road (S110) in the early morning mist. There was a lot of fog especially in the BnD area in the morning and first I was a bit disappointed because I missed the sunrise, but now I think fog in Kruger can also be very enjoyable.. :wink:

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...and the other one on my personal magic road, the S50, in the late afternoon.. :D

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Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: some Kruger impressions and pics
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:36 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Burghausen, Germany
Thank you Micetta, anne-marie, Elzet, Pumbaa, MM, Katja, gwendolen, CB, MG and melph for all your replies, it is really overwhelming to get so much feedback here :dance: :dance: :clap: :clap: :thumbs_up:

I spent four nights in Shingwedzi, mainly because I love the S50 and the low level bridge behind the camp. One night the lions were roaring and the roars seemed to come from the tar road along the river. In the morning the whole camp was looking for the lions. The whole camp? NO!!! One car with a Yellow Ribbon was going for the little bridge and got the Jackpot. There wasn't much water beside the bridge but this day many fishes seemed to be there and so were the birds. They were all fishing very successful. I saw 2 Giant Kingfishers, 3 Pied Kingfishers, 1 Malachite, 2 Hamerkops, 1 Egret, 2 Saddle-billed and 1 Woolly and I could watch them from a very short distance and didn't have to move for other cars as usual on the bridge. It was fantastic and I didn't think about the lions for one second :wink: Here are some pics:

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Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: some Kruger impressions and pics
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:47 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Burghausen, Germany
Thank you vgstephens, Mgoddard, anne-marie, wildflowergirl, Tawny, Pumbaa, Micetta, Katja, Elsa, Salva, noel and melph for all your great replies :clap: :clap: :clap: I'm very impressed and happy to get so much feedback here :dance: :dance: :dance: :thumbs_up:

It seems many of you also love this bridge, maybe we should start a thread about the Shingwedzi causeway where everybody can share here/his best moments there :hmz:
Pumbaa: I spoke to some people about the lions and it seemed nobody saw them and there were no signs on the sighting board either!
Elsa: I also enjoyed to have met you, hope the rest of your trip went well :wink:

Here are some more pics from the bridge...

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Later this evening I show you some action pics from the bridge without birds :whistle:

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Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: some Kruger impressions and pics
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:00 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Burghausen, Germany
Thank you Micetta for your neverending support and welcome Bushbaby to the TR :clap: :dance: :thumbs_up: I can't give you any advice for October as I have never been to Tzendze, but I always had great sightings around Shingwedzi :D

And here are the promised action shots :P One of these mornings I spend on the bridge a troop of baboons came from the riverbed and headed for a tree on the other side of the bridge. They could have walked around the water but most of them decided to jump above the pool. Some of them made it, some of them got wet feet :roll: It was not easy to get the focus on the monkeys but the whole show was very entertaining and I hope the pics can show it...

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Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: some Kruger impressions and pics
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:45 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Thank you Val, I'm glad you like the monkeys :thumbs_up:

And here are promised birdies for this Monday, the pics are taken in different corners of the park :D


White-fronted Bee-Eater, always nice to see..

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Blacksmith Lapwing, a very brave bird..

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Starling, but which one :hmz:

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Burchell's Coucal, but obviously not too happy..

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Cape Turtle-Doves, not the most regular guests on the forum..

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juvenile Gabar Goshawk, the first one for me :dance: :dance:

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Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: some Kruger impressions and pics
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:55 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Burghausen, Germany
We all know that Impalas are the most common mammals in Kruger and many people don't even take a closer look at them. So I thought it's time to make a post only about these beautiful antelopes :lol: The following pics show Impalas in different situations..


This gentleman seemed to have a very serious adventure:

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this herd was alert because of a leopard near by:

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already during their youth the males have to test their strength:

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this ram was busy to keep his harem together:

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and the last one demonstrated his mobility! Could you do that :lol:

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Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: some Kruger impressions and pics
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:06 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Thank you carolv, Sharifa and Duke and anne-marie for your great support :dance: :clap: :thumbs_up:

And here we go: Friday, 20.05.2011 ...a day full of excitement

I left Pretoriuskop as soon as the gate opened and did the Shabeni loop first. It was a misty morning and you didn't see much and suddenly I found myself in the middle of a big herd of Elephants. It was hard to say how many of them were around but I could hear them all around me. I felt reliefed when I was back on the tar road and made a quick visit to Shitlave to say good-bye to this special place. After a road block caused by 3 Rhinos I had my first great sighting of the day. A Dark Chanting Goshawk was sitting on a tree beside the road and just as I wanted to stop he was diving into a thicket and killed a little bird :shock: His prey was yellow and I think it could have been a Canary :hmz: I watched the raptor for 5 minutes while he was feeding then he dropped the uneatable part of the kill and flew away. The light was not perfect for photography but the sighting was stunning :dance: Here are the best pics I got:

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Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: some Kruger impressions and pics
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:05 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Thank you cheetah, anne-marie, Micetta, melph and Katja for all your feedback, it's very much appreciated :dance: :clap: :dance: ..but I think you don't mind if I quickly go on with the ride :D

I headed on and of course didn't miss to visit Transport but there was not much to be seen this day. Ok, I didn't have too much time anyway and a short tome later I passed Skukuza when another car stopped me. 'There are some lions on the Maroela loop. There also are several cars so you can't miss them'. Lions with several cars...that was not what I wanted!! So I stayed on the tar road and soon 3 Ground Hornbills walked towards me. They were feeding on little seeds and it was amazing to see how they used their big bills to get to the seeds. Then a car stopped beside me, the driver took some pics and then he headed on and nearly chased the Hornbills from the road :shock: 2 minutes later I noticed that another car stood 20 meters behind me, but why didn't they come closer? Then I saw there was a snake beside their car!! I drove back and the driver told me that they were watching the Puff Adder when a car (the one who nearly chased the Hornbills away) drove straight over it :big_eyes: :naughty: :wall: What a shame!!! Then I realized that the Hornbills were slowly walking towards the dead snake. This could get interesting. I got out of the way of the Hornbills and waited......

Here are some pics of the Hornbills before the Puffie got involved:

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WARNING:
the next installment is not for very sensitive viewers!!

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Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: some Kruger impressions and pics
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:46 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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It seems that Hornbills have bad eyesight as there was no reaction until the first one was nearly 2 meters in front of the snake. Then he started to pick up some pieces that were lying around as if he wanted to clean the road :shock: When this was done he walked towards the snake and much to quick for me he was going for her neck. Then he looked at the dead snake and opened the dead body with his bill. Then he pulled out what could be the intestines but I'm not sure. It was interesting to see that the first Hornbill defended the carcass against his companions without problems. During feeding he only icked out small pieces of the snake and swallowed them like seeds. Soon a juvenile Fish Eagle perched on a tree nearby but didn't come down. Maybe he was afraid of the Hornbills and could you blame him??? Soon the cars got more and I decided to leave as long it was possible to save time and to give other people the chance to have a view at this amazing sighting.
Maybe my 6th sense told me that there are other great sightings to come :D


Here are some pics of the Hornbills with the unfortunate Puffie:

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I can imagine that some of you don't like the pics but if you like them I have some more :wink:

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Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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 Post subject: Re: some Kruger impressions and pics
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:43 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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For those who are interested here are some extra pics:

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With the next installments we are heading on as it's still a long way to Letaba.. :wink:

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There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.


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