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 Post subject: Touareg's KNP adventure! July 2011
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:06 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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It has been 3 1/2 months since I came out the KTP with a huge smile on my face and peace in my soul. And tomorrow I hop on a plane with my wife son for a week in the Kruger. You have no idea how much I need this, with a fuel strike looming and IT systems failing, I need some re-alignment of the soul and attitude from :evil: to :D. My SO has agreed to accompany us on this trip as they have never been up close to the other species not found in the KTP. We are meeting up with her sister, husband and son at the airport in Nelspruit tomorrow, then off for a quick ( and I mean quick!) grocery shopping and into the park at Phabeni asap. Then on to Lake Panic to start the re-alignment process. I have already set the expectations at home in terms of exit times in the morning and as much time on the road during the day. I heard mumbles and grumbles of cold, too early and even the word "hardcore" :roll: came through. C'mon get with the program people "I only want to hear one click" :hmz: . We are doing this to the MAX!. Well OK I need to chill. Deap breaths and slow way down. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I have this digital photoframe on my desk with 100s of images, from the various parks I have visit in the last few years, that randomly appear and seems to take the stress out off stressfull times at work. I sneak off to my happy places in my mind in the KTP and KNP. Now hopefully I will be able to add a few more images once we get back. I have cleared 105 Gig on my laptop in anticipation of the new images. Lets do this!. All aboard..................

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[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Last edited by Touareg on Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Touareg's KNP adventure!
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:54 pm 
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So the day has arrived, we are checked in and ready to board. Team Touareg is ready for the challenge.

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KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


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 Post subject: Re: Touareg's KNP adventure!
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:37 pm 
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Hi all. We are back and our house sitters (in laws) have left. Yes I have been busy as anything at work and also working through 60 GB of images and no there is no TR bell yet :D. I will need a few more days before I start so please be patient. :wink:

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KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


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 Post subject: Re: Touareg's KNP adventure!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:29 am 
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Hi everybody. Thanks for being patient. I wasn’t aware that some people were keeping tabs on my return and expected feedback by means of a trip report (Tobieo and Micetta and now Flutterby!). You should all go and work for a enforcement agency…mmm maybe you are already part of the SAN Parks enforcement team.

So here we go. In summary a very nice trip with interesting sightings… :P

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KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


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 Post subject: Re: Touareg's KNP adventure!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:51 am 
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:D . The first episode is written up, but I need to get the images into Flickr this evening. Sheez! you are demanding :rtm:

"I, Touareg, commit to have the first episode published by the end of today." :thumbs_up:

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KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


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 Post subject: Re: Touareg's KNP adventure!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:01 pm 
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Ok Ok!! We left Cape Town on the one and only flight to Nelspruit Mpumalanga International on Saturday 9 July. To be sure we had a seat, I checked in online on Friday already and arriving at the gate found that one of the seats had been changed. This was annoying until we got on the plane and saw that instead of 3 seats next to each other there were only two. So a change in plane necessitated the change by a higher power.

The flight from Cape Town is around 2 hours 35 minutes which brought us to Nelspruit at 12:35. Having arrived, my sister in law, husband and son were already waiting for us as they driven up from Pretoria. I left SO (better known as “the One who must be obeyed”) and son to get the luggage and went to the car rental desk to collect my Hyundai IX35. I was told this is a nice vehicle as it is an upgrade in the Tucson. It is higher that a Corolla but with less packing place for suitcases of which we had 3. So hellos said, baggage collected, loaded and GPS programmed with Hazeyview, we were off. We stopped off in Hazeyview at the Super&%& to get our weeks groceries. I waited with the laden vehicles while the family, under strict instructions not to mess around and get this shopping thing done in no time, disappeared into the Saturday afternoon shopper crowd. One hour and several phone calls of “where the heck are you and what is taking so long? The team appeared out of the crowds with two heavily laden shopping trollies. Time was ticking by and the sky was closing up with clouds. There goes the light and my afternoon plans for Lake Panic. GRRRRR!!. We arrived at Phabeni gate without further incident and moods significantly improved. The gates were closed for day visitors as the quota had been reached, but as we were there for a week, we were welcomed into “heaven”.

Here is the plan: Skukuza 2 nights, Satara 2 nights, Lower Sabie 3 nights. We have to stay in the larger camps as we flew in and need access to the shops and facilities. Also trying to ease SO into the Kruger as we had already lost her as a passenger to the Kgalagadi. Here’s to hoping she will enjoy the Ellies and other Kruger critters more that those in KTP and want to return….often.

A quick collection and assembly of camera gear, pit stop and we were in the park just after 14:00. For those that are interested in the equipment side, I will be using a Canon 1D MkIV with a Canon 500mm F4.0 and as backup and closer shots, a Canon 7D and Canon 70-200MkII. Matthew will be using a Canon 50D and 100-400mm but I hoped he will use the 400mm 5.6 I bought recently to help him get better quality shots. This lens doesn’t have image stabilisation, but the quality is better than that of the 100-400mm.

We took the S3 road where we had our first encounter with a small herd of elephants; saw a Woolly-necked stork, two Chacma baboons fighting and a Martial Eagle with a monitor lizard for dinner. (The quality of the images will pick up over the next few days.)

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By the times we joined the S1 we had had no time left for Lake Panic so we headed straight for Skukuza. Lake Panic would have to wait a day longer.

We checked in relatively quickly and found out two neighbouring bungalows. For tonight, restaurant food was on the menu. I apologise to Skukuza for saying this, but the food in the restaurant was horrendous. We ordered steaks, chicken and calamari between the six of us which was of very poor quality. I am not a fussy eater, but this was really bad and at the prices charged. R105 for a small steak and chips. Needless to say the restaurant as in previous visits was nearly empty. How about expanding the menu, upping the quality of the food and service, dropping the price of the food to a realistic amount and veiola you will have a full restaurant. That can’t be asking too much as the customers will be willing to part with their money for a good quality meal. Enough of that!. We had an early night in anticipation of the 06:00 exit from the gates.......tbc

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[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


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 Post subject: Re: Touareg's KNP adventure!
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:38 pm 
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Hi all. Thanks for jumping aboard. Norms, Lower Sabie restaurant was actually very nice and their Kruger Pizzas really tasted great.


Day one: Skukuza and surrounds.

As the team had already been briefed on behaviour and expectations of leaving the camps at gate opening times, the effort to rise them from their beds took much less effort that anticipated. Given that I was up before the alarms actually went off and with coffee in the mugs, was expecting cheery smiles when insisting that they get dressed. To my horror this was not the case and I had to resort to shock tactics. Not something I wanted to do, but hey, the schedule must be kept to. I had to put my cold hands under Matthews bed covers and on his bare back to get him going. Well it didn’t really work 100% so I wet my hands under the cold water tap and did it again for a second treatment. Squeals, laughter and “you wouldn’t dare” were some of the utterances. I did dare. :big_eyes: It worked like a charm and wasn’t required as a method of further persuasion on the subsequent mornings. After seeing the tactics employed to ensure timeliness even SO got with the program. :twisted: . So I like to believe. My team aside from me aren’t really morning people, which is a bit of a challenge.

So all loaded and parked at the gate 2nd in line I was reminded by my team that apparently I said that we had to leave early as there are long queues at the gate which were now absent. On top of this it was still dark at 06:00 am and defeated the object of seeing anything that wasn’t actually sprawled in the road. I had to concede on the second point and shifted the official departure times for the remaining morning to 06:30 am …latest! Win win for everybody.

The route for this morning H1-2, S83, S36, S34 - Breakfast at Tshokwane. We left promptly at 06:00 without further encouragement and peers through the dark with anticipation. A few cars passed us but as the roads split we had fewer and fewer followers. We stopped off at Mantimahle dam and watched the hippos wallowing around. It was also at this point where my snoring off the previous night became a topic. Now was it because off the sight off the hippos..mmm.

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Back on the road we stopped for the White-crested Helmet Shrike.

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Crested Francolin
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I like the S36 as I Am always on the lookout for the Sable Antelope and have so far always struck out. Not today. We came across a small herd of Sable but were battling to get a clear shot of the bull.

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We spent quite a bit of time with the herd but they just didn't want to come out into the open. After driving on a few kilometers a lone Hyena appeared on the right side of the road, walked to the water hole, had a quick drink and then walk off again. At least it was out in the open.

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A great start to the day. The mood in the IX35 was definitely an improvement on a few hours prior.

We were finding a large variety of animals on the S36. Here are some Giraffes, a lone Rhino having a rest in the distance and a Natal Spurfowl.

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I will stop here for now as I wait for my brother in law to come into range of the walkie talkie to instruct him to turn onto the S34..........tbc

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KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


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 Post subject: Re: Touareg's KNP adventure!
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:21 pm 
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Thanks for your companionship on the trip. Micetta, as for my SO surrendering to the Kruger, it is still a bit early to tell. I will give you another episode today as I am on a plane to Jo'burg this evening and will only be able to have the next episode later in the week.

We made contact with my brother in law and directions were shared. Right turn onto S34. There were many Giraffes on this section as well as a variety of other species. Running down a tree was this Tree Squirrel who gave me the run around before settling on this log (very briefly). I managed two frames before i ran away.

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Another bird species that I haven't been able to get a proper shot of are the Emerald Spotted Wood Dove's as the seem to be solitary and always fly off when I stop to get their pics.

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Another regular who I would normally not stop for are the Yellow-billed Hornbills as there are so many. This one however was framed so nicely and the light fell just right that I had to stop, reverse and start shooting.

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Another part of the Hornbill family tree is the Red-billed Hornbill.

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We arrived at Tshokwane at around 11:00 was packed as usual. We found a table and set about firing up the "skittle" for bacon, eggs and sausages. What a great brunch. We decided to go past Orpen dam and then on to Skukuza to drop off those that needed a break from game viewing i.e the moms who wanted some sister time. At Orpen the light was fading behind the clouds as we watched the resident Hippo pod and their young ones going about their business.

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On to the tar road back to Skukuza, I caused a mayor road block when I stopped and spent some time shooting this Burchell's Coucal. It was hilarious to watch the people's face when they asked what we were watching and I answered "a bird". Oh!, well enjoy it :roll:

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We looped around the S83 and watched a troop of baboons searching for food. This guy fell asleep while in duty.

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A quick stop at Skukuza to drop off the ladies, pit stop for the rest and off we went to Lake Panic. The hide was full but a seat soon becomes available as not many people sit around in the hide for long periods of time.

Here is an African Darter on one of the closer more prominent perches.

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From across the lake a juvenile Fish Eagle flew boards us with a small Barbell in its talons. The ight was really bad now.

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A Great White Egret comes in to land. (Thnx for the id davejenny)

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The Pied Kingfishers were very active and here you can see two birds, each with their dinner.

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Another fairly common bird in the Kruger are the Fork-tailed Drongos.

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The Hippos of Lake Panic provide a lot of entertainment and photographic opportunities. I played around with this one one black and white.

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One of my favorite birds, the African Jacana were also present albeit in low light.

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Another species are the Grey Herons Herons who breed in the trees.

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And to say goodbye as we need to make gate closing, was this Hippo with the distinctive mark on it's lip.

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Tonight we were braaiing chicken and boerewors which would hopefully be batter than the previous evening's food.

tbc............

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[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Last edited by Touareg on Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Touareg's KNP adventure!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:51 pm 
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Day 3: Skukuza to Satara.

Today was moving day as we were driving up to Satara for 2 nights and I was really looking forward to the S100, Sweni hide and the Girivana waterhole. It wasn’t difficult to get every one going this moring, given the extra 30 minutes sleeping allowance. By 6:30 the wheels were turning and we promptly deposited the keys into the post box at the gate and left. The route for today was H4-1 then over the bridge and down the S30 to get to the Mlondozi picnic site for brunch. Further routes to be decided after we had eaten and assessed the remaining time before gate closing at Satara.

Nothing really noteworthy on the first stretch and then over the bridge. Always a beautiful view as the sun rises. I had never taken the S30 and was looking forward to what it had to offer. As usual I drive with the window down and the radio off, something that is not very popular as it was apparently cold. As there is “no reception” in the Kruger, the radio doesn’t work either :twisted: . Good quality chatting time for those awake enough or inclined to do so. We were rewarded first up with the squawking the pair of Brown Headed parrots which stayed around long enough for a few shots.

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They eventually departed and we had a good sighting of a Mongoose in a thorn bush and Southern White Crowned Shrike that posed beautifully in the early morning sun. What a stunning bird.

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A small herd of elephants crossed the road in a hurry to get to the water. Too quick for a pic but seeing a very small elephant is always a treat. We were then treated to the antics of a large group of Chacma Baboons and their families. There was one very small baby in the group and then about 4 slightly older and two a few months older. They provided us with loads of entertainment as the little one explored their surrounding like real kids would.

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They climbed and played until the alpha male decided it was time for them to move on.

Also on the viewing menu this morning a Blue Waxbill.

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We continued on the road until it crossed the tar road. Here we saw a large number of Vultures in the air and nearly as many on the ground. They were on the wrong side of the road to et any decent images. We were informed by an oncoming car that two hyenas had crossed the road with the remains of a carcass. The vultures were obviously following the hyenas and moving into the distance. At least we know there was action and certainly a road we would be back on during our 3 night stay in Lower Sabie. We unpacked at the Mlondozi picnic site and fired up the gas cooker. Bacon, eggs and sausages again. Yipee!. I could tell that this wasn’t going to be accepted by the mothers in our party who where looking for something more healthy. It soon became evident that we had company. A male Vervet monkey with a lot off attitude was challenging us for the right to our breakfast. We stood our ground and he put up a huge fuss. I can imagine him doing this to some people who then back off and allow him to take his pickings because they are afraid of him. We also collected a branch that we held close by in case he tried again. He did and we used the branch as a scare tactic. He kept his distance and we were allowed to finish our lunch.

We set off on the S112 which was very burnt on the one side of the road. Here we encountered Mountain Reed Buck, some Zebras in the distance and a few single bull elephants.

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It was midday ad not a lot was moving. We skipped Orpen dam today and headed up the S37 to get to Sweni hide for an afternoon shoot from the hide.....tbc

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KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


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 Post subject: Re: Touareg's KNP adventure!
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:04 pm 
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Apologies for the delay in posting and thanks for sticking around. We were at last on our way to the Sweni hide, something I had been very excited about since my first visit the previous year. The road was very quiet and with a full stomach and two animal spotters staring at the inside of their eyelids, spotting anything that wasn’t obvious was a challenge. But before we get there, I need your help with this bird.

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Just before we turned off to the hide we saw a group off about 6 Giraffe, most of then covered in Oxpeckers. This must have been the Giraffe spa. :lol: .

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When we stopped at the hide there were no other vehicles in the parking areas. A nice change to Lake Panic. We entered cautiously and did a quick inspection for the slimies :) . Nothing to report to the ladies. I love Sweni as the hide is roomy and you never know what’s going to turn up. The water level in front off the hide was very low but there was some water, but to the right the water was deeper and a resident pod of Hippos provided some entertainment during the quiet moments. There were also a few big crocs to the right sunbathing on the banks of the large pool. Having read other reports regarding snakes in hides, I always do a quick scan just in case. The water and surrounding mud in front of the hide drew a Burchell’s Coucal, Brown Headed Kingfisher, Pied Wagtails, a Juvenile and adult Jacana and some weavers. Overhead two Vultures circled, but didn’t make our wish come true to come and drink.

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We sat and watched as a very nervous herd of Kudu came for a drink.

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While they were busy a small herd of Elephants came down the hill on the right to drink from the larger pool. Spot the one with the whole in the trunk. We watch as it used the trunk by pulling the muscles together. Although it looked very painful, it seemed to be functioning OK. We we speculating as to what could have caused this cut to the trunk. Anyone seem something lie this before?

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In the herd was a very young elephant that displayed the exuberance of youth and approached the two very large crocs lying on the bank. It obviously thought that the crocs did not belong and made a big fuss and mock charged the one croc. As the croc rose to avoid the confrontation the young elephant put up a cry that caused the rest of the herd to startle and voice their opinion.

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I guess the young elephant was duly reprimanded for causing an unnecessary disturbance.

We finally drew ourselves away to move on for a pitstop and then the S100. A road that I ad only heard off but one that I would surely visit on every occasion I had in future.

On the was to the S100 I spotted this juvenile Gymnogene circling and was then fortunate to see it land on a clear branch. I jumped around in the tree moving from branch to branch and then flew off.

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About 1km from the S100 turnoff a car stopped us and informed us of 2 lions lying next to the road. We couldn’t miss it as there was a small roadblock and a vehicles with not intent of moving soon. A camper van took up most of the view so we left.

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Just as we hit the tar road again, I had to stop for this Lilac Breasted Roller catching the last of the day's sunlight.

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The S100 proved to be 100% uneventful and we made the gate opening time with 30 minutes to spare. Check in here was as always efficient and friendly. Our two families shared one of the larger units with 2 bedrooms and two bathrooms. It was nice to be together. Everyone was tired from the long hours on the road, but we had time during dinner to reflect on an interesting day. Cats aside, the Parrots, Baboon babies, Elephant and the croc and the Gymnogene being my highlights of the day.

Tomorrow we were going back down the S100 to Sweni. The ladies had decided it was sister time and that they would spend the day in the camp so it would be a boys day out. I am sure the fact that my SO would have a day of not being beaten up by the 500mm lens had been a contributing factor. In the excitement of tracking birds I have been known to whack my passenger on the head with the lens. All in the heat of the moment :redface: ......tbc

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KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


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 Post subject: Re: Touareg's KNP adventure!
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:30 pm 
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Its great to have so many formites on board. I hope not to disappoint with this episode :wink: .

Being in Satara we expected a visit from the local rubbish collectors aka Honey Badgers who tip the one after the other dust bins looking for an easy snack. Not to be and we rose to an overcast morning. The ladies decided to stay in camp to catch up and chat and the guys loaded the vehicles and set out for the day with empty flash cards and loaded batteries. The general plan was to head down the S100 and then onto Sweni hide and then on to N'wanetsi for a well deserved breakfast/brunch of...you guessed it bacon, eggs and sausages.

it started to rain lightly as we turned on to the S100 with the sun just being able to peak out for a sunrise welcome.

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A little further on a few cars were parked. A lioness was lying in the rain and 3 young cubs were just walking away from her into the tall grass. A little head popped up behind mom and a little cub climbed up not mom to get off the wet ground. We sat and waited for the rain to pass and the sun provide some better light.

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There were at least two other lionesses in the grass where the cubs walked and this one made a brief appearance.

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I am not sure how long we sat with the lions, but when the last lioness disappeared into the grass we continued to Sweni. The journey there was uneventful and once again when we arrived we were the only ones.

The hippos were more visible today provided some opportunities for a few pics.

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Then a herd of Waterbuck arrived. I love these animals as they are so photogenic.

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I only saw this small croc after we returned from the Kruger.

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These beautiful young Waterbuck provided great images.

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Look at those beautiful teeth :D

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We also had a visit from a herd of Kudu and also a herd of Zebras.

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There were also a few big crocs where the Ele encounter took place the previous day.

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Another reptilian visitor was this monitor. Not sure of the exact name.

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An so we left to go and enjoy a delayed breakfast......tbc. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Touareg's KNP adventure!
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:06 pm 
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Something I learned was that you could hire a gas bottle and “skottel” for around R19 at specific picnic spots. Definitely something I will be doing in August we I pop back for a quick 5 day visit. Its all part of the therapy recommended to reduce withdrawal symptoms. :thumbs_up: . Well my doctor says so!

Anyway, we left and headed down the S100. A quick stop to shoot a XX woodpecker and a nice close-up of a Giraffe.

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Up ahead a number of cars parked again. Great! The lions were still there. This time, a lone lioness and no less than 7 cubs. Unfortunately they were not all visible at the same time as they would be sleeping and then walking over to mom, have a quick suckle and then fall asleep in the shade again. I loved the interaction and the visible affection shown by the mom to her offspring.

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I was unsure if they all belonged to her as she was quite aggressive towards two of the youngsters who wanted to suckle.

After sitting with her for an hour or so, we decided to move and make a quick turn at Girivana for the rest of the remaining afternoon. A great decision. :dance: . We arrived at Girivana only having to had stopped a few times for the Warthogs, elephants and occasional bird. The waterhole was deserted with the exception of a few Elephants having a drink from the tank at the back and a single bull enjoying a drink from the cement waterhole.

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I drove around to the parking spot under the tree and settled down for a relaxing afternoon. As we sat and watched the muddy mess below which is a waterhole when it rains, a Fish Eagle came swooping down and landed just outside the mud. It just sat there and looked around. Now what? I took the binos and scanned the mud. In the muddy patch there was a hole with water in water in of about 50cm. In the hole were about 4 barbell and next to the hole in the mud another Barbell which had already died.

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The Fish Eagle reluctantly walked into the mud and then stood and watched. Probably working out what to do. We were hoping and praying that the bird would fly towards us, so we could at least get some decent shots. We were ready!. Camera settings checked and lenses pointed. The light was fading and so were our chances of decent light. Eventually the Fish Eagle took off and so did the shutters on our cameras. The bird landed on the dead fish, plucked it out the mud and flew directly towards us and landed. Here it sat and ate the muddy fish. Result!!.

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After it had eaten it flew to away from us and into a low thorn bush. I drove us around and managed a few shots.

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The bird eventually took off at as a herd a elephants approached.

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What an a great experience!. As the clouds were rolling in and the sky was turning black, we drove back slowly towards Satara. I stopped a few times to try and captured the fantastic contrast of the dark sky and beautiful trees.

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We passed a few vehicles looking for a leopard and cub that had apparently crossed the road. They would have to wait as we were just going to make the gate closing times.

Back in camp we made a fire and had a great meal with the family. Tomorrow we were moving on to Lower Sabie for the last 3 nights. ….tbc

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 Post subject: Re: Touareg's KNP adventure!
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:17 pm 
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Thanks for the compliments and corrections on wrong id all. I realized I needed to step up the reports as in just over a week I will be back in Kruger. So here is our day 5 of 8.

The previous evening I got online as usual to check the weather forecast and it had not changed in the last few days to say RAIN!. And it did. When we woke up it was drizzling and the sky was grey. Yuck! We packed up quickly and even saw a mouse scurrying from behind the fridge into a tiny hole in the skirting board. Big eyes and shock :big_eyes: from the moms. :D.

We hit the road down the S100....absolutely nothing. Down the S41....nothing. And when I say nothing, I mean nothing but the rain. It felt like winter in the Cape. We stopped at N'wanetsi picnic spot for a pitstop and then down the H6. Apart front the the very occasional Rooibok we stopped for this Gabar having a bath in the road and made the most of the sighting.

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We turned south down the H1-3 and it still rained. On the way down we passed a herd of Wildebeest.

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There was also a huge herd, 100 plus, buffalo near the S86. I recall seeing a large group in this area previously. As it was raining very hard and into my side of the vehicle, couldn't get a shot.

At the Mazithi dam we stopped briefly and saw tis mom and her many offspring.

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On to Tshokwane. The place was heaving in the rain. Everyone trying to get under the central roofed area. We hung around for a while to wait for a table to clear and set about making our brunch in the hope of actually being able to fill up the two teenager boys. Not possible. Everyone satisfied we headed down the H10 towards Lower Sabie. A few kilometers in we saw this White Rhino. I am trying some Black and White images.

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We scared this Yellow-billed Hornbill.

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Also on the viewing menu was a small herd of Giraffe with this one the smallest of the group.

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I thought this image was very touching. Two Arrow head marked Babblers keeping warm in the rain. The one has its wing over the other.

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We took a detour down the S128 and again it was consistent in showing nothing except this Coucal. Is it a worthwhile road to travel if you have a choice?

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About 8km from the Lower Sabie bridge we hit a road block, the size of which is enough to put you off from ever going back to the Kruger. And all this for two lions in the grass a 100 meters away.

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They didn't do much and except sit around and then have a brief play. One of the two was blind in it's left eye. Notice the grey glazed coloration.

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The behavior of one individual in particular was shocking. When others told him and his kids to get back in their vehicle he was verbally abusive. The fact is if the lion comes towards the car it is not going to take the largest prey i.e. him, but one of his kids. Please stay at home if this is your behavior. Every single other person there thought this was unacceptable. What makes this acceptable to you?

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After this episode I decided to leave before the circus grew even larger. We checked in, unpacked and quickly set off to Sunset dam for a few last shots.

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A typical shot you will get if you a patient.

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Also around the dam was this African Wattled Lapwing

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and a few Water Thicknees

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It was the fading light and the fact that the gates were closing that forced us back to Lower Sabie. An interesting day in the rain.......tbc

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


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 Post subject: Re: Touareg's KNP adventure!
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:35 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Welcome to the new arrivals to this report :thumbs_up: This is going to have to be a long one as I nned to finish this report asap.

We woke up to a day that promised to be sunny and warm. The moms decided on a sisters day in camp, again and the men set off. Route for today S29, H10, S128, S30, and back down the H4-1.

First up I saw this Shrike with r in its beak. Upon closer inspection it turned out to be a rodent of sorts. A first for me to see what these guys eat.

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We also saw a Black Backed Jackal jogging in the road ahead but didn't allow us to take any pics. Back down the tar road I saw a few stunning birds. Here is the Golden-breasted Bunting

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The Yellow Throated Longclaw.

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African Grey Hornbill

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We turned off on the S28 and saw this Christmas tree of Vultures.

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and a first docile Bee-Eater that sat still for a more than one shot.

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The rest of the road was very quiet and before we knew it we were on the bridge over the S12. There was a single Saddle-Bill Stork in the water below the bridge. Some tough light, but we managed a few shots off the bridge in between the railings.

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Down the H4-1 I turned off on the S79 and managed shot of the Black Backed puffback.

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And a the White-Fronted Bee-eater in the midst off hunting for his lunch.

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Back on the tar road I caught a glimpse off this Brown-Hooded Kingfisher

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While waiting for the Kingfisher to move into the open a squawking sound in the thorn tree above us caught my attention. A Brown-headed Parrot had landed and was splitting the actual thorns and eating whatever was inside. Who knew?

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We stopped off at Sunset dam and got a good look at the Hippos out of water.

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A Pied Kingfisher made an appearance and I was lucky enough that it hovered at close range and we got off a few shots.

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Back at Lower Sabie we got stuck into brunch, checked the ladies were still OK and headed out as soon as we could. Route: H4-2, S28 (Ntandanyathi hide) S137, S130, back to LS via H4-2.

As it was midday there was nothing much to report until we got to the hide, where a kind lady pointed out a Puffadder in from off the hide.

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Then a gentlemen walked in and asked if we had seen the Cheetah...uhh...NO!...and we were gone.

A mini/maxi roadblock looking at/for the Cheetah. The Cheetah was on one side of the road and a herd of Rooibok on the other side. Where we going to see a kill?

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The Cheetah eventually made a charge and a few off us set off in the general direction it had disappeared. Nothing. We drove back and found the Cheetah again walking around, looking for the Rooibok.

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We were very pleased to have seen a Cheetah. My first in the Kruger in 4 visits.

On the way back we bumped into two Rhinos standing very still in the rush.

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Another great tree.

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We stopped briefly on the bridge to shoot the Giant Kingfisher.

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And finally a last shot of the day at Sunset dam a Yellow-billed Stork.

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Dinner was Kruger Pizzas at the restaurant...fantastic! We fell asleep to the sound off the hippos in the river...fantastic :dance: .......tbc

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


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 Post subject: Re: Touareg's KNP adventure!
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:59 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Somerset West
Day 7 had arrived :cry: Our last full day in Kruger before flying back to Cape Town tomorrow. Todat we were a full crew again as the moms decided to join us. We headed off towards Crocodile bridge, but decided to first turn left over the bridge and do the S29 loop first and then drive down to Crocodile Bridge. The S28 was very quiet today with the exception of a Shrike which had caught a frog for breakfast. It sat directly into the sun so no images possible. Back on the tar road we hadn't gone far when SO calmly announced "lions". What? where? Stop, reverse and there in the long grass were two lions facing away from us. A distant roar caught their interest and the headed off into the bush towards the call

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A little way further I got this image of a Impala Ram covered in a number of Oxpeckers. Here I got my first Yellow-billed Oxpecker.

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Not far from there in a tree, these two beauties. A male and female Bateleur, sitting very relaxed in the early morning sun busy grooming.

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Back on the bridge over the Sabie, a Wire-tailed Swallow (I think).

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We turned left towards CB and stopped somewhere to get this Pearl Spotted Owlet. It was once again far away and not very keen on getting shot so it took off. I really hope to get some decent shots of these beauties in the near future.

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We had to stop for a large herd of Zebra crossing the road and in the herd were some young animals.

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We arrived at CB, a quick pitstop, coffee and rusks and we were off again. This time up the S28 to stop off at the N'tandanyathi bird hide. The area was very burnt and not much to be seen. At the hide we saw this python. Not something my SO enjoys seeing and as she had already returned to the car missed the initial sighting.

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My son decided that his mom had to see this :twisted: . He walked to the car and excitedly announced that a family of rabbits was in front of the hide and left. Unsure, my wife decided this was a sighting not to be missed. We watched her reaction with great amusement when she saw it was a snake.

On the opposite bank a monitor lizard made its appearance and proceeded to dig around in the ground looking for food and then moving on again.

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A group of onlookers.

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On the way back to camp we got to see this White-fronted Bee-eater.

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We got back to camp and scared up a quick lunch and we were ready to head out again soon after....tbc later today.

_________________
[b] Another day in paradise.

KTP: 09 Dec 2012 - 18 Dec 2012


Last edited by Touareg on Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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