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VicRob Trip Report Vicrob. Our three weeks in heaven! May'12

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saraf
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Re: Trip Report Vicrob.

Unread postby saraf » Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:12 pm

Certainly looks like a martial, but I really am no expert. You could try posting in the Birding forum for a certain id.

As for the hyena, that looks like the collars Scientific Services use to monitor individuals so I would assume there is a study on at the moment. I've done a quick search on the website and forum but I can't find anything mentioned.
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VicRob
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Re: Trip Report Vicrob.

Unread postby VicRob » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:23 am

With our tummies filled we headed to the S28 where our first stop was the Ntandanyathi Hide. We had visited here briefly last year with no luck so thought we would have another look. Today there was a few cars parked in the lot so we went in expectantly.

Walking through the door to the hide we were struck by the awesome sight of two huge eles, right opposite the hide. Of course eles are not exactly uncommon but it was just the sight of them looming so close when we walked in that took us by surprise, it felt like we had walked into a movie theatre and we could reach out and touch them. It was warming up out there and they were cooling down in the water and we felt so close, it was as if we were sharing their bathtime.
One soon left but the other one stayed and was having a great time splashing himself with mud and wading through the murky water. What a lovely sighting, sitting there in the hide while the ele was completely relaxed not knowing that he was the star attraction.


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Kruger 12 (12) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr

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Kruger 12 (14) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr

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Kruger 12 (13) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr

that muds feels sooo good

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Kruger 12 (16) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr
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threedogs
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Re: Trip Report Vicrob.

Unread postby threedogs » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:46 am

Re the collars: usually if a researcher is studying some aspect of a species whether it is behavioural, population dynamics etc they will collar one or more individuals to allow them to be (relatively) easy to locate on an ongoing basis. The collar worn by the hyena looks to be a standard radio collar which emits a signal and is picked up by the researcher's radio using an antenna (usually a hand held one). By moving the antenna around you can determine in which direction the individual is as the signal will be stronger/weaker relative to where you point your antenna. (sorry I am not explaining this very well - probably google radio telemetry for a proper explanation!) If a research project has good funding they can use an option these days of GPS collars which record the co-ordinates of the collared individual at set time intervals. Then the researcher can either use a vehicle or an aircraft to come within range of the animal to remotely download the info from the collar to a laptop. This is an excellent tool to record the movements and home ranges of animals over time.

Last year in KNP we saw a collared cheetah not far from Phalaborwa gate. It would be very interesting I think if more of the research going on in the park was explained on this site. But it does take time to maintain those sort of things and researcher's time is always limited.
Some people do not like to see animals collared but they are an invaluable tool and there are strict protocols which have to be followed when deciding when and how to collar an animal.

One of our most memorable wildlife viewing moments was in Etosha when we saw 'Donut' and 'Knobnose' and their large ellie herd which have been followed (by use of collars) and filmed for research and documentaries over many years. :thumbs_up:
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VicRob
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Re: Trip Report Vicrob.

Unread postby VicRob » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:48 am

As we drove out of the hide there were several more elephants strolling through the grass, they seemed to be everywhere .

This one stopped and posed so we could take a happy snap with the blue sky and mountain range in the background.

Just in case we forgot we are in Africa !!

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Kruger 12 (18) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr
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VicRob
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Re: Trip Report Vicrob. Our three weeks in heaven

Unread postby VicRob » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:04 am

After enjoying our special ellie morning we head to check out Dukes waterhole which we have heard people chatting about. Maybe a big pride of lions will be drinking there ? Or the elusive cheetahs from the area? It’s only our second full day in the park but we can always hope for kittys right.

Well no cat luck at the waterhole but instead a lovely collection of beasties along the approach road.

Along here were zebras, giraffe mother and baby, warthogs, impala and more eles, :D :D .

We sat here amongst them and enjoyed the scene around us for a long time, it was really nice, only one or two other cars came along, and it seems there is something very special about these ‘multiple’ sightings. Just love lots of animals together, maybe that could be another topic to discuss :think:


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Kruger 12 (19) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr

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Kruger 12 (20) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr
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VicRob
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Re: Trip Report Vicrob. Our three weeks in heaven

Unread postby VicRob » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:10 am

Check out this cutie with Mum :) :)

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Kruger 12 (26) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr

and with his buddy

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Kruger 12 (22) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr

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Kruger 12 (25) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr
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VicRob
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Re: Trip Report Vicrob. Our three weeks in heaven

Unread postby VicRob » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:14 am

Not too sure about these things on my head

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Kruger 12 (23) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr


Now let me just get this tree out of the way

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Kruger 12 (27) by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/79010640@N02/]
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VicRob
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Re: Trip Report Vicrob. Our three weeks in heaven

Unread postby VicRob » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:36 am

Just for you Threedogs :) :)

Small. medium and large

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IMG_5082 by thesandmans2012, on Flickr

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IMG_5081 by thesandmans2012, on Flickr
Last edited by VicRob on Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:16 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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VicRob
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Re: Trip Report Vicrob. Our three weeks in heaven

Unread postby VicRob » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:49 am

Thanks Hilda

A bit further along we came across a secretary bird between the road and a dam, well at least I think thats what it was !! Only our second one ever, the first was in Addo. Also a nice Kudu boy and a buffalo roadblock which held us up for a while. while our tummies were rumbling louder and louder.

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Kruger 12 (28) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr

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Kruger 12 (30) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr


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Kruger 12 (31) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr
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VicRob
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Re: Trip Report Vicrob. Our three weeks in heaven

Unread postby VicRob » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:22 pm

Thanks everyone.

Somewhere this morning we also had sighted a nice group of five rhino, the biggest group we had ever seen, only ever sighted loners before, although I have seen some photos of big groups on this forum.

Unfortunately only one was standing up !

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Kruger 12 (35) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr
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VicRob
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Re: Trip Report Vicrob. Our three weeks in heaven

Unread postby VicRob » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:34 pm

We had lunch at Crocodile Bridge, a rather simple pack of sammies, not very exciting meals today I know.
Anyway they were fresh and tasted ok.

There always seems to be some kind of wildlife here, love those tree agamas with the blue heads.
What a camouflage :big_eyes:
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Kruger 12 (32) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr



Not long after this we had some quality time with more rhino, a lone fella this time, very excited, this was our third rhino sighting for the day. We had him all to ourselves and sat watching him from the other side of the waterhole for ages.
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Kruger 12 (33) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr

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Kruger 12 (34) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr
Last edited by VicRob on Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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VicRob
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Re: Trip Report Vicrob. Our three weeks in heaven

Unread postby VicRob » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:35 am

Back on the S28, we came across a car pulled over and began the usual process of scanning to see what they were looking at, concerned though because all the occupants seemed to be using binoculars, not a good sign......then they turned to us and spoke those longed for words.....’leopard in a tree’. :D

Our bodies twisted every which way on the seats as we tried desperately to find the darn thing, determined not to give up, then we saw it, a good half a kilometre away and only visible through the binos, but there it was, a lump on a branch. :lol:

We could see the telltale signs, spots, long elegant tail and legs dangling. Watched it for about thirty seconds while hurriedly handing the binoculars back and forth, then suddenly it stood up on the branch, no doubts now! But in the same time we had taken to find it, down the tree it came and disappeared forever into the grass....sighh. At least it was a kitty kat.

More than happy with what we have seen so far today, lots of lovely sightings, big and small.
Oh yes we also saw a snake cross in front of us on the S28, it moved to fast to get a pic but it was quite gorgeous in color. The brightest of bright greens, stunning.

Some cuties having a close up meeting on the roadside.
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Kruger 12 (36) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr
Last edited by VicRob on Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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VicRob
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Re: Trip Report Vicrob. Our three weeks in heaven

Unread postby VicRob » Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:12 pm

Last sighting for the day. BetterI go get some zzzzzs before I get any more animals mixed up :roll:

On the way back to Skuks there were the usual elephant herds crossing as they headed to the river for their evening sundowners. We sat and watched [not that we had a choice] as a quite large group crossed. Just as they all got to the other side, one decided that some of these cars were just a bit too close to their family. Oh dear, minor chaos ensued as he/she suddenly turned to the right and started heading towards the vehicles, she did not seem too angry but the ears were wide and the trunk was swinging so reversing lights came on everywhere as the procession of cars did the backwards hike along the road. Would all these cars be fined for arriving late back to camp!


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Kruger 12 (37) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr

wait for me mum
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Kruger 12 (38) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr

everybody back
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Kruger 12 (40) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr

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Kruger 12 (39) by thesandmans2012, on Flickr
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VicRob
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Re: Trip Report Vicrob. Our three weeks in heaven

Unread postby VicRob » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:14 am

So today is our last full day at Skukuza camp so we decide to head down to Pretoriuskop, an area we have never been to, and likely won’t get back to on this trip, once we start heading north tomorrow.

As usual we are in the front couple of cars waiting patiently to get out the gate but we started to wonder if there was any point, what with all the supply trucks, staff buses and so on tearing off through the gate before us. If there were any kitty kats warming themselves on the tar road this morning they would be scared off and well gone by time we get out there. :x :x This we found a little frustrating.

Anyway despite this it turned out we had an amaaaazing drive, once we got on to the the H1-1 to PK. :D :D

We managed to be the very first car along that road this morning and oh boy was it great. What did we see.......??.
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Selling up in Australia to spend more time in the best place on earth......Kruger

VicRob
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:58 am
Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Re: Trip Report Vicrob. Our three weeks in heaven

Unread postby VicRob » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:43 pm

Sorry Threedogs had to do a quick bit of resizing :?


First sighting on this road and heading straight for us :D :D :D :D

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kruger12-3 065 by thesandmans2012, on Flickr

:D :D :D

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kruger12-3 071 by thesandmans2012, on Flickr
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