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 1
 [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Toddy From cold UK to Impalas, Rhinos & tiny cubs Jan12
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:25 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:44 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Warlingham, UK
As I am now back in the cold UK and missing Kruger thought I would share some bits of my latest trip.
The best part about Kruger is you never know what is around the next corner but never in our wildest dreams would we have expected to see what we did on our last day in the park...but that will have to wait.

The trip started with an overnight stay in Hazyview as the SO had booked a walk with Elephants at the Elephant Sanctuary first. So after the excitement of an afternoon with ellies we were up early the next day and after a quick shop in Hazyview were on our way to Phabeni Gate. The first sight that greeted me as I entered the gate were the 4 police cars parked in the car park, at least we felt safe. Anyway the paper work was done the boom lifted and we were in. The first topic of debate was what was the first animal we would see, no prizes for the first correct answer but lets just say it had horns.

Our trip that day took us to Skukuza for a snack and some relief from the heat whereafter we headed down to Biyamiti for our first nights stay. One thing we don't often see are rhino however this trip definitely changed that as we ended up seeing plenty of rhino all week long. By the end of the first day we had already seen countless ellies too which we always love. The first night back in Kruger is always special, the braai always smells better and the meat is always tastier too and the anticipation of another day makes for an early night.

Image

_________________

4 - 7 March 2014 - Talamati
8- 11 March 2014 - Biyamiti


Can't Wait !!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: From cold UK to the world of Impala's, Rhinos and tiny c
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:44 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Warlingham, UK
The next morning saw us up at 4:00 and at the gate at 4:30. (ps if you stay at Biyamiti get the SO to read the notice on the gate telling her to open it herself in the morning :) ). Was only at 4:45 when a car drove up behind us and informed us of this. Anyway timing wasn't bad as it wasn't long before we saw these tall animals in the middle of the road on the S139.
Image

The rest of the morning was rather uneventful until we turned onto the H3 and came across a Hyaena family resting in the middle of the road. The excitement from that had barely died down when along the the S120 we came around the corner to this wonderful sight.

Image

The problem with seeing things like this is it is so difficult to continue as you just want to watch them for as long as you can as you realise that you don't see this everyday. Eventually though we realised we had to move on. Headed back to Biyamiti after a quivk coffee stop at Berg n' Dal and was greated with this sighting on the S110.
Image

All in all a great morning.

_________________

4 - 7 March 2014 - Talamati
8- 11 March 2014 - Biyamiti


Can't Wait !!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: From cold UK to the world of Impala's, Rhinos and tiny c
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:14 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:44 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Warlingham, UK
The afternoon drive was one of those special ones with lots of Rhino so I won't mention my route. We also managed to see a Leopard sleeping in a tree who decided when we got there that it was time to wake up and struggle down the tree. He really looked like a cat stuck in a tree moving backwards and forwards and up and down and finally managed to slid down the tree backwards while still hugging it. Very undignified.

Needless to say the highlight was coming around a bend and seeing two rhino's lying down in a huge water puddle. After spending a while there we carried on driving and about 400 metres later we came across a huge elephant walking up the road. He was definitely in musk as he was urinating all over his foot and had secretions from his glands. Needless to say I started reversing and figured if he carried on I would be going past the rhino sighting again but this time in reverse. Anyway as luck would have it he stopped and moved into the bush for a snack. I figured he was distracted enough and far enough in the bush that I would go past him slowly. Anyway as soon as I got level with him he decided I was an annoyance and suddenly swung his huge head around towards me and moved towards me. Now you hear of people panicking and stalling cars in this situation, however Hertz in their wisdom had giving me an automatic. So I wasn't going to stall but have you ever put your foot flat in an automatic...it makes a huge racket with high revs etc. but doesn't seem to move very quckly. So I had an angry ellie on one side, a screaming SO on the other side and a Honda CRV that wanted to see if it as built to withstand an ellie. Thankfully after what seemed an eternity the car realised I was actually accelarating and moved us forward towards safety leaving a bemused ellie. I still wonder how the ellie reacted to the rhinos further up the road as well as to all of the cars that were watching the rhinos. Anway we got away safely, no damage to human or ellie and enjoyed our last night at Biyamiti with another great tasting braai. Tomorrow was on towards Satara.

Image

_________________

4 - 7 March 2014 - Talamati
8- 11 March 2014 - Biyamiti


Can't Wait !!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: From cold UK to the world of Impala's, Rhinos and tiny c
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:58 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:44 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Warlingham, UK
Up and at the gate at 4:30am, we now know the drill and opened it ourselves. Although I generally plan a route the night before I always wonder if it’s the correct route, needless to say I had planned to turn right out of Biyamiti but this morning turned left instead. Went along the S25 and although uneventful was still a great drive with plenty of sightings of Impala’s just getting up ready for the hot day ahead. We turned down the S139 for the last 18km trek to Biyamiti to come across an elephant walking down the road. The elephant moved over and I was just about to continue when we spotted another elephant coming out of the bush in front of us. Then ended up having to reverse again as the rest of the 20-30 elephants soon followed. The highlight was the number of truly tiny little ellies which we can never get enough of.

Image

They finally moved off and we got back to camp and packed for our move to Satara. The drive up to Satara was long and hot, including a sligh respite at Tshokwane indulging in a boerewors roll (yum), but also provided plenty of sightings again, the highlight being rhino’s and ellies at the same waterhole. The number of rhino sightings was once again so amazing that we almost took them for granted. At one stage a car waved us down to show us a rhino under a bush far in the distance, they were very excited as it was the first rhino they had seen but we must have seemed rather blasé, however I did explain that although we really appreciated it we had seen so many rhino up close that day that one under a bush in the distance wasn’t quite the same.

We also saw a great Lion sighting just outside Tshokwane, a whole family settling down to lunch on the scraps of some dead animal. The cubs kept on trying to eat while dad was still busy which elicited some amazing lion growls and snarls. We finally reached Satara and checked into our perimeter bungalow and were delighted to see the huge herds of wildebeest and impalas from our front door.

As we didn’t have very long for an evening drive we decided to only drive along the H6 until Sonop Dam and back again. Coming back we hit a huge traffic jam just before the S100/H7 intersection as a pride of Lions was on the prowl at the intersection. It was absolute chaos with people overtaking and cutting each other off and driving into the bush; don’t they realise they are on holiday and should be relaxing. Although we got to see the Lions walking in the bush the occasion was somewhat spoiled by the behaviour of some of the other drivers. As cars had had made 3 lanes of traffic and completely blocked the whole road there was no way through with the result that we along most people got back to camp late albeit only a few minutes pulling in at 6:34pm. Another braai followed in which I once again got through a whole bag of wood. I always find that the wood never contains enough small pieces to make two fires so end up using a whole bag each time. Not very environmentally friendly.

_________________

4 - 7 March 2014 - Talamati
8- 11 March 2014 - Biyamiti


Can't Wait !!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: From cold UK to the world of Impala's, Rhinos and tiny c
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:27 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:44 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Warlingham, UK
Out first morning in Satara saw us at the gate at 4:35am, not good missing out on 5 minutes of game viewing. We headed on the tar H1-4 towards Olifants. This road always feels like real Africa to me with herds of animals on the open plains. After breakfast at Olifants we took the sand road S44 loop just behind Olifants and were a little sad to see that the terrapins at the small river are still obviously being fed as they all came out when I stopped the car. Headed back to Satara via Balule, giving Titus an imaginary wave and feeling a little down that we weren’t actually staying there this time.

The afternoon drive was also rather quiet and the highlight was actually the elephant at the fence near our bungalow when we got back. This was one of those days where not much was said and nature was just enjoyed so will just let the pictures tell the story.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

_________________

4 - 7 March 2014 - Talamati
8- 11 March 2014 - Biyamiti


Can't Wait !!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: From cold UK to the world of Impala's, Rhinos and tiny c
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:50 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:44 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Warlingham, UK
Our second morning in Satara once again saw us at the gate at 4:35am. Another elusive 5 minutes that we would never get back. This drive took us down the H7 towards Orpen. This road has been exciting, especially the times we stayed at Tamboti, however this particular morning game was in rather scarce supply. We had coffee at Orpen at a nice little coffee hut that we had never seen before and was served by one of the happiest faces I had seen. I don’t recall his name but he was singing along to a CD at the top of his voice at 7am in the morning. When he noticed our elation at his singing he wanted to know where we were, however I think he was slightly disappointed when he found out that, although we now lived in London, we were originally from Johannesburg and not from some far off obscure place. For the rest of the day though I had to put up with the SO humming the same tune that he had been singing and somehow it didn’t sound as good. As a compromise to keep her quiet I did promise to buy the same CD at the next camp shop which I promptly did back at Satara.

The trip back to Satara was visually very entertaining however once again sightings were limited. I cannot recall how many Lions we saw under trees which then turned out to be rocks. That afternoon drive however we were not to be denied and after seeing an elephant swimming at Nsemani Dam we then ended up on the S90 and saw these next two sightings within 100 metres of each other.

Image

Image

Image

This Lions sighting was somewhat spoiled however by two vehicles that decided to do some bundu bashing and go off road so that they could park up right next to the Lions. Once again you have wonder about some people. I did take pics of them so should add them to the Gallery of Shame!

On the drive back to camp along the S100 which I always call Lion road we came across another 3 Lions sitting right next to the road. Time wasn’t on our side though so we couldn’t watch them for very long and had to head back to camp, but all in all a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon drive on our last day at Satara.

_________________

4 - 7 March 2014 - Talamati
8- 11 March 2014 - Biyamiti


Can't Wait !!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: From cold UK to the world of Impala's, Rhinos and tiny c
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:08 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:44 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Warlingham, UK
Our last Satara morning saw us at the gate at.... yes you guessed it, 4:35am again. No matter how hard we tried we could never get there at 4:30am. As it was still very dark when we left we drove past a whole pride of Lions with cubs etc. that were just outside Satara at the small bridge over the dry river without seeing them. This morning it was down the S100 with very little luck and then around and up the H6. On the H6 we popped down the sand road to have a look at Sonop Dam and look what we found drinking water.
Image

Sightings are always far more special to us if we actually found them first as opposed to coming around the corner to a traffic jam at a sighting. This was the 1st Lion that we actually saw first on this trip. We spent some time watching him until he went and got comfortable under a tree. Then headed back to Satara to pack, first making sure to avoid this little fellow in the road, and leave for Lower Sabie. Image
Going over the bridge just outside Satara saw what we had missed earlier in the morning. The pride along with the cubs. The cubs were on one side of the road while the rest of the pride we sleeping on the other.
Image

As we had to check out we couldn’t spend too long watching but I do think it was the quickest we have ever packed the car to get going and before long we were back outside camp at the cubs again. This time though they were out for the count so we started on our journey towards Lower Sabie.

One interesting part of this journey was coming across a termite mound with the flying ants hatching and as they were flying out a bateleur and a few other birds were just sitting and catching them as they popped out. It was very entertaining to watch. Stopped at Tshokwane for a rest and a bite to eat and then made one of my best decisions on the trip...decided to go to Lower Sabie via the H1-2 and Skukuza as opposed to via Muntshe. It was about 11:10am and about 32 degree and blazing sunshine and about 2 km after leaving Tshokwane I saw something crossing the road about 300m in front of us. The temptation to speed up their was resisted although I do think I accelerated ever so slightly to come across this magnificent animal that had just crossed in front of us.
Image

We watched him for a minute or so and then he was gone, just as quick as he had appeared. 30 seconds earlier or later and we would not have seen him. Continued our trip down to Skukuza and my wife took what I consider to be one of our best pics across the Sabie River. Based on where I was sitting in the driver’s seat and where he was I never did get to see this croc in real life though and only saw him on the camera.
Image

Another unusual sight on the way to Lower Sabie from Skukuza was this hippo who decided that the best place to be in the middle of a hot day was out of the water and snacking.
Image

_________________

4 - 7 March 2014 - Talamati
8- 11 March 2014 - Biyamiti


Can't Wait !!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: From cold UK to the world of Impala's, Rhinos and tiny c
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:37 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:44 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Warlingham, UK
Checked into our River View tents and was so happy with the view and the hippo’s in the river opposite our tent that we could have easily just stayed there for the rest of our trip, but the road outside was beckoning. The afternoon/evening drive was another what I call rhino drive. We were incredibly lucky and must have seen about 5 different rhino sightings. However that same day we also heard the news about rhino’s that had been poached in the Lower Sabie area the previous night. Every time we saw a rhino we battled to imagine what kind of human being could want to kill it and cut off its horn no matter what the reward. We were lucky to see plenty of families of rhino’s with little ones but once again it was always with mixed feelings thinking about how safe they actually were.
Image

Image

Out first morning out of Lower Sabie and we were at the gate at 4:35am once again. Not sure how we always managed to be 5 minutes late no matter how good our intentions were. Anyway the early morning drive once again consisted of plenty of rhino sightings, more than likely the same ones from the previous night too. It was a quite a relief to see some of the little ones again. On the drive back to Lower Sabie we came across a cheetah lying down under a tree. When we returned to the same spot later in the afternoon it was still there and we assumed it was a pregnant cheetah as it looked rather fat. Only on studying the photo’s later did we see two telltale signs that this was definitely not a female, never mind pregnant. :)

That same morning we were lucky enough to come across a second cheetah sighting, on the same road, but about 10km away from the first one. This was 3 cheetahs that were on the hunt for some impala however the impala were well aware of them and scattered before they could get close.
Image

We had a very long afternoon drive as it was our last afternoon in the park and were lucky enough to see more rhino, buffalo, plenty of ellies and 1 solitary male lion, so 4 of the big 5 on our last night.
Image

We were a bit sad pulling into camp for our last night but at that stage had no idea what we were in store for the next day. Our last night in the park we also decided not to braai and to see what the restaurant was like.
The best part about LS restaurant is undoubtedly the view on the deck but I must say I was pleasantly surprised by my mixed grill which was braaied on an open fire and was divine.

_________________

4 - 7 March 2014 - Talamati
8- 11 March 2014 - Biyamiti


Can't Wait !!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: From cold UK to the world of Impala's, Rhinos and tiny c
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:08 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:44 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Warlingham, UK
The last morning we were up and at the gate..at 4:35 again. We figured we would have a drive until about 9am and then go back and pack as usual. Off we went and once again it wasn’t very long before we came across some rhino..great start to the last morning. Popped off onto a dirt road when suddenly the wife shouted stop. Stopped and reversed ever so slightly and sitting on the side of the road was a huge male lion. How she actually saw it I will never know as the road had a bend and it was not in your natural line of vision but once again a great sighting...our very own lion.

Further along around the corner came across a rhino family with the cutest little rhino with a little stump for a horn. Just opposite them was an elephant and we waited until the rhino walked in line so that we could get two of the big 5 in one shot.

Image

Carried on driving past huge herds of zebras, wildebeest and impalas which also added to the morning. Rounded a bend to find a few cars in the road ahead and on the side we saw two more rhino. I then spotted what I thought was a jackal on the opposite side of the road. How bad are my eyes..as we got closer we could see that it wasn’t a jackal but was the tiniest lion cub you could imagine. What followed is extremely difficult to put into words but a lioness appeared looking very distressed. She had about 2 cubs around her and then she headed across the road towards the rhino with the cubs in tow. That’s when we realised there was already a cub across the road right next to the rhino. For the next 20 minutes or so we watched the lioness trying to round up her cubs that seemed intent on stalking and playing with the rhino. They would sort of creep up and meow at the rhino (they were too young to growl or roar). The rhino who obviously couldn’t see so well were trying to sniff these little things out. At one stage the lioness got some cubs into a bush and the rhino approached her and the bush we she let out a loud nasty growl. I have heard lions roar in the past but this was the first time I heard a mean growl and both of the rhino actually jumped backwards at the growl. Eventually mom seemed to find all of her little ones (5 in total) and she picked one of them up and walked off and the others bounded along after her. The wife and I have to admit that after numerous visits to the park over many years this has to count amongst one of our greatest sighting ever. Naturally we took plenty of photos which I won’t bore you with but will share a few below. My only regret is perhaps not catching this incident on video but it is forever etched in my memory.

Image
Image
Image
Image

The next few are the cubs investigating what rhinos are.

Image
Image
Image

showing some sense finally and running away

Image

and mom comiing to the rescue

Image

_________________

4 - 7 March 2014 - Talamati
8- 11 March 2014 - Biyamiti


Can't Wait !!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: From cold UK to the world of Impala's, Rhinos and tiny c
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:28 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:44 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Warlingham, UK
Whew, after that we were literally shaking with excitement and didn’t mind having to drive back to camp to pack up. Our exit gate was Paul Kruger so we still had a fair trip from Lower Sabie along the river. I remember passing the road signs where the speed limit reduces to 30 because of Ground Hornbills and the previous day I even remarked to the wife that I didn’t see the point as I couldn’t see Ground Hornbills’ and I didn’t realise that they were so territorial. Well guess what just happened to prove me wrong at the exact spot.

Image

Further along the road we also caught sight of this kudu in what was to be our last major sighting.

Image

A few more warthogs along the road as well as some last few impalas waving goodbye and before we knew it we were at Paul Kruger gate and had to say farewell to Kruger with a tear in the eye until next time.
:cry:

_________________

4 - 7 March 2014 - Talamati
8- 11 March 2014 - Biyamiti


Can't Wait !!!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 10 posts ] 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: kite and 3 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 steffi at 17:07:37 Submitted by sarafl at 21:46:00 Submitted by Kokkewiet at 17:19:31 Submitted by Foxy at 22:34:51