Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 1 of 3
 [ 37 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: john 'n poppy slow start and a perfect sighting Aug 11
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:03 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:04 pm
Posts: 585
Location: Middle of England
Hi all,

I hope you will bare with me as I try to sort through some photos for my trip report.
I thought I would start my trip report with a few of my reflections of Kruger, my 4th trip.

Fellow Forumites:

I was lucky enough to meet several this trip either for a few minutes or hours, and all seemed lovely people and had that Kruger grin no matter what they had seen.(I am sorry if I have missed anyone):

susieb:my photography guru, danies:lovely to organise a meet after a year away, hugh:thanks for the book, GemmaT:definite uk spotter,carolv-hope your grandson saw his leopard, goafrica-which animal did you walk with,spaniel (I think) by dam near satara, bookie (I think) in a full range rover,bushcraft at satara, magic guarri: sorry-I will explain later and a couple with a super embellished yellow wing mirror who we met and saw was at lower sabie on the 1 or 2 August.

Good Roads:

H4-2 Croc bridge to Lower Sabie between the s28 and H5 - we saw 5 leopards in 3 days all close to the road.
S39 - a lovely road that follows the river even though we saw no cats on it we loved the feeling of it.

Bad Roads:

S100-yes you read correctly, we did this road 9 times over 6 nights at satara and saw no cats or hyenas at all.

The Worst:

The amount of people standing out of sunroofs.
The lack of lion sightings.
Being mugged......by vervets.
Sunset drive from Satara.
Leaving.

The Best:

People we met.
The leopard sightings.
and.........youll have to wait and see.

john

_________________
SAY NO TO HOTELS IN KRUGER NP...before its too late

Back again -Kruger - April 2014


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A slow start and a perfect sighting - 3 wks in KNP
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:25 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:04 pm
Posts: 585
Location: Middle of England
I am going to begin my report based on the camps we stayed at and photos will be added soon..honest.

Crocodile bridge - 31st July

We left our home in staffordshire around 12pm on the 30th july and eventually landed in joberg at 7am, car collected which was a Hyundi i35 (allegedly a 4x4) we began the drive to Kruger.
As soon as the sun rises and the smell of south africa drifts through the airvents, a smile begins to grow on my face. After a year of planning we are nearly there. We stop at milleys only to find most of it has burned down :shock: so its a top up of fuel and coffee and we are off. The closer we get to Kruger we begin to see the signs of our destination, vervets by the side of the road, a mongoose darts across the road and 'beware hippo' signs pop up.

At 1pm, after a quick food stop in malelane, we slowly drove down to malelane bridge, we stop here and get out, something I didnt know you shouldnt do untill later. Cameras were prepared and we stood quietly watching the crocodile absording the sun, herons poised at the edge of the water and swallows darting from the side of the bridge.

Oh *******, as I turn around I notice a huge bulge in the front tyre, on the drive in I had hit a brick in the road and this had obviousy done the damage! A wheel change was on the cards but not yet we were going in and nothing was stopping us.

We presented our information at the gate and all was done in less than 5 minutes, which for us is good but I am concerned that new visitors are not told about any of the rules, due to the fact that we saw so many people hanging out of cars etc. We also found a leaflet at lower sabie reception about the rules, would it not be a good idea to give this to people as they enter the park!!

From malelane we drove the S25 towards croc bridge, we saw very little but I put this down to the time and the fact that we were so tired. We booked into safari tent no. 4 and after rearranging our luggage, food and camping gear we sat down to Amurula and sausages.

Image

Image

Image

Image

you have to have at least one Impala photo, dont you?

( I thought I had changed the photos to the correct size but they seem a bit big! moderators...?)

_________________
SAY NO TO HOTELS IN KRUGER NP...before its too late

Back again -Kruger - April 2014


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A slow start and a perfect sighting - 3 wks in KNP
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:37 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:04 pm
Posts: 585
Location: Middle of England
Lower Sabie - 1st and 2nd August

After changing the wheel in super quick time...for me..we left Croc. Bridge for our trip to Lower Sabie. We had decided to goto the Hamilton Memorial and then back via the S21.

All started well the windows were open the cold air and dust drifted around the car and the sounds of the bush were close to follow. Our first sighting was forumite 'Ollie' he pulled over next to us as we were looking at a vulture and shared with us his sightings, this was their drive out of the park, their end and our beginning.

In the road a far distance away we saw something small but cat like cross the road :) as we got close it was clear that this was a young serval, and not one but two unfortuanatly they dissapeared as quick as they had appeared and only one shot was taken that looked like anything else than grass. Wow I thought this is going to be one great trip :roll:

Image

On our way to the memorial we saw a small bird of prey(Identification please), side striped jackals and I had vowed to take more scenic shots this time so here it is.

Image

Image

Image

Arriving at the memorial I was utterly disgusted, there was toilet roll everywhere, litter and wet patches on the floor where people...sorry to say men...had urinated in the car park. We spent no time at all here and we left quickly, our Kruger experience had dipped a lot. I did wounder whether a bin would be an idea?

I would like to say on a positive note that we saw and picked up alot less litter this year than last but the amount of toilet paper was very dissapointing :(

_________________
SAY NO TO HOTELS IN KRUGER NP...before its too late

Back again -Kruger - April 2014


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A slow start and a perfect sighting - 3 wks in KNP
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:00 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:04 pm
Posts: 585
Location: Middle of England
We soon met another forumite who had a fantastic yellow embellished wing mirror cover (floriscathy i think) putting my yellow ribbon to shame.

Image

Close to the H4-1 we came across our favourite birds, the ground hornbills we watched these characters until another car arrived and we left them with the hornbill family. We had a first for us aswell a Black Rhino, not the best sighting as it was very shy but a first non the less.

Image

Image
We then pitched our tent and headed up the S29 around the S128, mlondozi and back. Nothing exciting but it was nice to be out in Kruger and we saw very few other cars.

Image

Image

_________________
SAY NO TO HOTELS IN KRUGER NP...before its too late

Back again -Kruger - April 2014


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A slow start and a perfect sighting - 3 wks in KNP
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:12 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:04 pm
Posts: 585
Location: Middle of England
We awoke early, got ourselves ready, filled the flask with hot water, cleaned our teeth and arrived at the gate 3rd in line. As we waited a white car went upto the gate and was let out, the car went right at speed and then a few minutes later when speeding past the gate, left! :hmz:

I started to moan but the gates opened and we were out. We headed up the H4-1 and it was still very dark so it wasnt until a few kms that we had good light. We made our way along keeping an eye out on both sides but mainly from behind as so many cars were overtaking us at what seemed rediculous speeds :evil:

We came across a troop of baboons awaking from the night in the trees and watched as the little ones harassed the older ones as if to say 'come on lets go'.

Image

We were just about to pull off when the same white car went shooting past us again at super high speed (I had remembered the reg. from the gate, as I was jealous they were getting out early), it was only just dusk and visibility was not good, my SO said it could be anti-poachers so again I cleared my thoughts and carried on.

As you can see this drive was not going well and just after we passed the causeway we started to get cars coming the other way, mainly with caravans or trailers.....how had they got here so fast, non seemed to be looking for animals they were just on a mission and then....

we arrived 15 minutes late for a wild dog kill close to skukuza, the impala carcass was right by the road, 15 minutes.....You normally dont know you were 15 mins or 5 mins late for a good sighting but when you do :doh: . Amazingly enough we had seen not one of the big 5 on our journey to skukuza.

We were meeting forumite danies at skukuza but had just enough time to nip into lake panic before. We couldnt believe how many fish eagles were there, sorry no good photos but we had a nice time for 30minutes.

Image

We left Danies who it was great to catch up with and travelled the H1-2 and then H10 back to lower sabie we had seen one rhino and a few ellis. I hate to admit I was a little down and so we booked a sunset drive...that will tip the odds in our favour but also gave us chance to have a shower as may be the smell was tipping the animals off we were coming :tongue:

Image

Image

Image

_________________
SAY NO TO HOTELS IN KRUGER NP...before its too late

Back again -Kruger - April 2014


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A slow start and a perfect sighting - 3 wks in KNP
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:43 pm 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 7860
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
DrPhil wrote:
Was that Rhino injured? It looks like an open wound just behind its front leg? Could it have been a bad shot by a poacher? :hmz:
Bloody lesions on Black Rhino are a natural phenomenon caused by worm like parasites carried by flies which feed on the skins, resulting in open, weeping sores on the forequarters, usually the shoulders and neck regions.

Pity you missed the dogs John! :doh:
but a great pic of the Darter with the fish. :thumbs_up:

_________________
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

Kruger - May 24th - June 6th 2014.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A slow start and a perfect sighting - 3 wks in KNP
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:18 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:04 pm
Posts: 585
Location: Middle of England
Sunset Drive...a dissapointment

We arrived at 4.40pm ready to leave at 5.00pm, at 4.55pm it was clear we were not going yet as the guide was still sitting in the footwell of the vehicle next to us, eventually she came and explained we were waiting for a family of 5 who were going to be late.....15 minutes late. So at about 5.20ish we set off up the H4-1, just passed the dam there were two leopards one on the floor and one in the tree, we stopped next to other cars for about 2 minutes :wall: , not only was the light poor due to our 20 minute late start but I only managed a couple of shots before we were off, to see lions up the road apparently!!

Image

On the way we stopped for ellis, Mr blackie again and just before the causeway 2 lions.

Image

On the way back towards lower sabie we stopped to listen to the noises of the bush.....vvvvvrrrroooooommmmm, yep it was the white vehicle from before, it pulled upto the vehicle ' were going to Nelspruit do you want anything?' our guide said no and the car sped off....!!
I had a feeling this car was following me..... :big_eyes:

So we got back to the leopard tree to find no leopards but a couple of hyenas, we would come back the guide said....so off we went again seeing another rhino, a few hippos but it was clear we were looking for buffs to complete the big 5. We didnt see any and as we got to lower sabie at 7.40 I was expecting to go to see if the leopards were there, but no it was a thankyou and in we went.

To say I was annoyed is an under statement, we had seen nice animals but had not had any time to enjoy them, we may as well have had a zoo trip. I am sorry to moan but a bad drive is as expensive as a good drive, exept theres no tip :evil:

_________________
SAY NO TO HOTELS IN KRUGER NP...before its too late

Back again -Kruger - April 2014


Last edited by john n poppy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A slow start and a perfect sighting - 3 wks in KNP
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:40 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:04 pm
Posts: 585
Location: Middle of England
Satara - 3/4th August

We travelled upto satara hoping our luck was going to change, unfortuanatly it didnt on the cat front and we spent 2 days looking at all the other animals and we started to settle into this new pace of life. With some lovely moments watching the big and small that Kruger had to offer.

We did have a hire car with a very rattley rear number plate, we were ready to rip it off when SO came up with the idea of using a dish washing spongey held in place with rubber bands....and it worked the rattling was gone :dance: ....maybe that is what was scaring off the cats.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

_________________
SAY NO TO HOTELS IN KRUGER NP...before its too late

Back again -Kruger - April 2014


Last edited by john n poppy on Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A slow start and a perfect sighting - 3 wks in KNP
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:42 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:04 pm
Posts: 585
Location: Middle of England
Balule 5/6th Aug

It was to be our first stay in Balule and we were looking forward to it alot, we left satara knowing we would back soon and headed up the S90,we were out as soonas the gates opened and by the time we turned off up the S90 we were all alone...Kruger bliss.

We were happy to see 3 BBJ's returning from their night of hunting or scavenging.

Image

and we were lucky enough to get a nice sunrise shot with giraffes in the background.

Image

We were always amazed at how many kori bustards we saw, especially what looked like mums and 2 youngsters, we must have seen at least 14 in an hour.

Image

Before we left for SA I had been watching a forum blog where they had seen young cubs and mum on the S90 and I hoped we might get lucky. We spotted a figure on the road ahead and the adrenalin began to flow, wheres the cameras, are all the windows down.....as we got close it was a single female lioness, she did look like she had big nipples (Im not a proffessional but you know what I mean :whistle: ) and she was definitly on her way some where, we took some shots and then she dissapeared into the grass.

At this point we were both very happy, there is something about having your own sighting, one you found, experienced and bid fairwell without having altered the behaviour in any way. :lol:

Image

Image

We arrived at balule and the guard let us pitch our tent before leaving to book in at oliphants.

_________________
SAY NO TO HOTELS IN KRUGER NP...before its too late

Back again -Kruger - April 2014


Last edited by john n poppy on Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A slow start and a perfect sighting - 3 wks in KNP
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:52 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:04 pm
Posts: 585
Location: Middle of England
We took a steady drive to Oliphants, and once there we enjoyed a breakfast and the view. We walked around the camp hoping to see a forumite who we thought was there and also for exercise. We did find a group of vervets who had found a full fridge that had not been locked or turned to the wall, they didnt just smash and grab, they took their time and even sat at the table while enjoying the spoils.

Image

Image

We stopped on the bridge and watched a group of ellis cross the river, before heading back to camp.

Image

_________________
SAY NO TO HOTELS IN KRUGER NP...before its too late

Back again -Kruger - April 2014


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A slow start and a perfect sighting - 3 wks in KNP
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:07 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:04 pm
Posts: 585
Location: Middle of England
we saw lots of birds and animals in balule.

Hyena, elliphants, vervets and we were third out of the gate in the morning, behind 2 scrub hares that had found a bit of shelter in the camp.

Lots of birds visited the water baths under the taps and as I showered my SO pulled up a chair and sat with camera waiting for the blue waxbills (her favourite bird) to come to the water from the bush next to it. After 20 mins I arrived and SO got up to get ready for a shower, I sat on the chair with camera and before SO was ready..........

Image

I made the mistake of showing her the photo .... :rtm: ....to say she wasnt too happy was an underestimate.

Here are a couple more photos from camp.

Image

Image

_________________
SAY NO TO HOTELS IN KRUGER NP...before its too late

Back again -Kruger - April 2014


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A slow start and a perfect sighting - 3 wks in KNP
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:42 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:04 pm
Posts: 585
Location: Middle of England
Our first night in balule was quiet on the number of people front, only 4 camp sites were full, one had a tent but no people came until the second night!! :hmz:

I am also amazed at how many people bring kids with bikes, and so obvious, not even hidden. Here, satara and berg-en-dahl all had kids on bikes and very blatent, bikes just left next to trees right by the roads. Does no one enforce this rule :rtm:

Anyway, our slow morning with only a few hyenas and no wild dogs as hoped left us a little down and so at 12.30pm we decided to go for another drive. We had just crossed the tar road on the dirt road to timbavati, the S39 when I spotteda tell tale shape...liones!! we slowed and put it into reverse.

Image

Image

She was coming our way, we checked the grass paths and moved into position, slowly 3 more lionesses came into view, one was definitly the boss and looked seriously hard ( I think SO may have had a little pee but she denies it :wink: )

We were so transfixed on her and the window button that we hearly didnt see the others......

Image

Image

Image

Image

They all slowly crossed the road and lay down behind a fallen branch, not 3 metres from the road, by now there were 3 cars. Believe it or not one car actually drove through the lions as they crossed the road, took a glance and drove off :roll:

Last to cross the road was the daddy, he was a while before he arrived, something we had seen with other prides last year.

Image

We enjoyed them for a good 15 minutes until a lady in another car in fuscia pink leant out of the car for a better pic.. :sniper: ....all the adults jumped up and ran to the bush line while the cubs all took of in a different direction, only returning 5 minutes later but far off and hidden in grass. I was tempted to feed the lady to the lions :hmz: This is our last good photo, as you can see super alert, before they turned and dissapeared.

Image

Kruger can be awe inspiring at times.... :thumbs_up:

_________________
SAY NO TO HOTELS IN KRUGER NP...before its too late

Back again -Kruger - April 2014


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A slow start and a perfect sighting - 3 wks in KNP
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:33 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:04 pm
Posts: 585
Location: Middle of England
Letaba 7/8 Aug

We enjoy letaba, the great view from the restaurant area, the number of elliphants and the quietness of the roads.

We also enjoy the number of birds and animals you can see in and from the camp grounds.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Even the birds thought it was cold...

Image

Any one seen the film 'The Birds'.....

Image

This elli was eating branches next to and on the fence, it was amazingly calm as a small group of people watched and photographed.

Image

Image

_________________
SAY NO TO HOTELS IN KRUGER NP...before its too late

Back again -Kruger - April 2014


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A slow start and a perfect sighting - 3 wks in KNP
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:40 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:04 pm
Posts: 585
Location: Middle of England
For one trip we drove to phalaborwa and stocked up on food etc :tongue:

Image

On the way we saw some lovely Klipspringers

Image

Image

Image

Later we drove to the lookout in hope of seeing cheetah that had been spotted there but we got nothing but a nice vulture.

Image

The second day we drove upto the tsendze loop and then to makhadzi picnic spot. On our way we saw a couple of honey badgers but we werent quick enough for photos. We also saw a large heard of buffalo heading towards the Malopenyana wter hole, so we got ahead of them to find a police car, a hyena running off and 2 hippos :hmz: We thought one of the hippos was dead.

Image

but as the buffs arrived they got up and seemed to join the heard, SO was so happy they were with friends but just as we thought all was good they turned around and lay in the grass under the windmill. We left them to go to the picnic spot and on return they were nowhere to be seen...I hope they were ok. :pray:

Image

Image

Later on we found a couple of hyena pups a km outside letaba....they were so cute but photos were not :slap:

Image

_________________
SAY NO TO HOTELS IN KRUGER NP...before its too late

Back again -Kruger - April 2014


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A slow start and a perfect sighting - 3 wks in KNP
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:08 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:04 pm
Posts: 585
Location: Middle of England
Satara 9/10/11/12 August

We drove from letaba to satara and decided to go down the main tar road, our first sighting was near oliphants were a small group of ellis were having a dust bath.

Image

We arrived at satara after having been ambushed by two teenage ellis, who were hiding in the bush, as we arrived they ran out trumpeting and then turned around and went back in as we drove on. We stopped and waited for the next car and yes on que out they came only this time one ran into a small tree and left the other one on his own. After realising he was on his own his trumpeting stopped and he looked like he didnt know what to do and seemed to decide to hide in a small bush :D

We pitched up and then drove to the sweni hide where we stayed for about an hour after finding an impala had died in the mud. (we visited it over the next 3 days but nothing had found it or could get to it, if any one knows what happened I would love to know.)

Image

Image

Back via the S6 we went to Nsemani dam and then on to Girivana wish we were devastated to find dry!!! :big_eyes: this was our favourite relaxing spot last year, so after a few mins we drove of down the S40. Some cars were parked up and pointed out a leopard with kill, it was far off but we watched it feed and relax for nearly an hour.

Image

Before gate closing I persuaded SO to have a last minute drive up the S100...nothing but

Image

Image

_________________
SAY NO TO HOTELS IN KRUGER NP...before its too late

Back again -Kruger - April 2014


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 37 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Meandering Mouse, RhymeZA and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by Jurie van Vuuren at 12:26:03 Submitted by grannyb at 21:31:45 Submitted by ShapeShifter at 09:52:27 Submitted by gfrfoster at 16:57:01