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 Post subject: katydownunder KDU and Francolin- KNP April/May '12 (june'12)
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:46 pm 
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30.04.12

Well it was time for another trip to Kruger National Park.
We could choose well-known camps and this time included a, for us, new camp as well.
This year we were going to stay in Sirheni for the first time.
We arrived in Phalaborwa on Sunday and finally after some shopping in the morning we entered the park gate at 10:30 AM.

Our first sighting just after a couple of kilometres was a Saddle Billed Stork on a nest with two chicks.
We were delighted we had never seen that before.

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We nearly reached Masorini when we spotted a Klipspringer on the rocks near the exit of the Sable Dam Loop.
Always a lovely sighting.

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A little further along the road in Elli was having a drink from one of the concrete basins at a waterhole.

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We were coming closer to Letaba, when we were stopped by a traffic jam.
A huge Elli was slowly walking along the road having a huge queue of cars behind him and forcing the cars in front of him to reverse.
He was the king of the road...

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We arrived at Olifants Rest Camp, our home for the next two nights, around 2 PM.
We moved into bungalow #1, which is the closest to the restaurant, but with a beautiful view over the Olifants River.
Unpacking the car was done quickly, we had a cup of coffee enjoying the view and soon were on our way for a short afternoon drive.
The decision was easy, we took the S 44 along the river.
The view from the look out is one of our favourite in the Park.

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We then spotted a herd of very well camouflaged Kudus on the opposite bank of the river…

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By now it was time to return back to the camp again.
We were very happy to be back in Kruger yet again and decided that it was a good location to have dinner and some wine at the restaurant.
For all those who haven't been to Olifants yet, the outside seating area is the most beautiful I have ever seen, just have a look

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The interior of the restaurant

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A wonderful and of our first day of the trip. 8)

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


Last edited by katydownunder on Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:21 am, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KDU and Francolin- Kruger April/May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:03 pm 
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01.05.

The first thing in the morning, when I enjoyed nice cup of coffee outside, was a group of 7 Marabou Storks in the Olifants River.

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We then had a visitor, a Grey Lourie was sitting on the wire of the fence observing me.

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But we also enjoyed the other small visitors too…
This Squirrel had stolen some bread at the restaurant and was now happily munching his loot…

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Pale-winged Starlings were feeding on some pods in a tree close by

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We then left for a drive, we took the S93 to Letaba.
A really wonderful drive along the river and through a stretch of lovely forest.

....to be continued...

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


Last edited by katydownunder on Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KDU and Francolin- Kruger April/May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:16 pm 
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First sighting a baby Giraffe.

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Later a beautiful Impala ram

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And a little later a not lesser beautiful Waterbuck

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Von Weilligh’s Baobab

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Further along the way we spotted three Ground Hornbills….
So lovely!

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A Double-banded Plover

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And two Hadedas

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We had a nice lunch at the restaurant at Letaba and slowly made our way back to Olifants.
A sleepy Elli was having a drink.

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Back at the camp we observed a couple of Brown Headed Parrots close to our bungalow…
They also enjoyed the pods in the tree, like the Pale Winged Starling in the morning.
Very hard to take a decent pic :roll:

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Later that evening we ha our sundowner overlooking the Olifants river. :D

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Sunset at Olifants Rest Camp
I think the light in the outdoor kitchens look sooo nice….

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Bush TV 8)

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This was our last evening at Olifants, but we were so much looking forward to our next camp…
Sirheni!

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: KDU and Francolin- Kruger April/May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:20 am 
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02.05.

Farewell Olifants…..
It was wonderful that we once more had the small visitor before we finally left.

One of the always so entertaining Squirrels

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And a beautiful Jameson’s ? Firefinch who did not do me a favour and stayed behind the fence all the time before flying off again…

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But then it was time to leave, as we had quite a long drive up to Sirheni and of course we were excited, as we never stayed there before.

The drive up to Sirheni was quiet, but we saw a couple of Bee- Eaters.

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And huge herds of Zebras
They were even friendly enough to stand still for a photo, lol…

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A couple of times we saw Chameleons on the road, so we had to stop quite often to make sure that they safely reached the other side of the road.

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We arrived at Sirheni around 2pm and after a friendly welcome moved into our home for the next three nights, Cottage #1.

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The view from the stoep
Unfortunately without water.

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We decided that we rather stay in camp after the long drive and took a walk along the fence.

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The view to the dam from cottage #15

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Reception

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The communal freezer

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When we arrived back to our cottage we had a visitor at the fence, who was not at all amused when Francolin lit the braai….

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He then turned around and left the riverbed

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Later we sat outside, listening to a Giant Eagle Owl in the distance, enjoying the quietness of this camp…..

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: KDU and Francolin- Kruger April/May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:45 am 
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03.05.

We heard yesterday, that there is a pride of Lions in the area and that there had been sightings of Cheetahs at Babalala, so the decision was easy.
We took a drive up there before heading for Shingwedzi later in the morning for breakfast.
First sighting was a Pearl Spotted Owl, not really happy that we stopped to take some photos.

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Coming closer to the waterhole we were stopped by a beautiful big herd of Buffalos.

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Oh I just love those tiny Buffalo calves…

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We stopped for nearly 45 minutes and watched them crossing the gravel road…
Then we decided it was time to leave, we had just reached the tar road again, when we observed that some Zebras and Wildebeest were crossing the road.
But wait, not only Zebras and Wildebeest, but ROANS too…
We were excited our first sighting of these Antelopes ever…. :dance:

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So we turned around as they were obviously on the way to the waterhole…
We drove past the Picnic Spot to the waterhole and waited....
Then all of a sudden a SANPARKS vehicle was swiftly approaching the waterhole, they stopped and one of the guys jumped off the car with a spade in his hand running over to the waterhole to switch on a generator....
We simply could not believe our eyes, here were our first Roans ever, they were heading for the waterhole and now something like this happens :wall: :shock:

Well the Roans then ignored the waterhole and did not come for a drink, but they did not run away either. So we still had a nice sighting.....

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We were still following them, when I detected a movement in the bushes…
A Side Striped Jackal, wow another first for us.
He looked up, turned around and was gone in seconds, so only a bumshot of him :lol:

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But the Roans were still there…

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Then they disappeared into the thick bush and we decided that it was time to leave..



We did not drive too long when I discovered something running around near the main road…
I shouted Honey Badger and stopped, but as usual he was on a mission and running further and further away from the road ( I have to mention another first in Kruger for us…)

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A couple of kilometres on, we had to stop again.
Another Roan was lying underneath a little tree and resting.

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Later a beautiful Magpie Shrike
I love to hear them "sing"

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Coming closer to Shingwedzi we met some Ellis.
And on one occasion had a good laugh.
This Elli was on the way to the entrance of the Mphongolo Loop, were he discovered something lying on the ground. He stopped, he was obviously curious what that might be.
He reached out with his trunk to grab it, he lifted it up, watched it, discovered that is was nothing to eat, threw it away and the Speed Limit sign landed with a bang. :lol:

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At Shingwedzi we visited the Low Water Bridge, only to discover that there was nearly no water and therefore no birds, Crocs etc… :(
So we had a nice breakfast at the restaurant before heading back to Sirheni.

After such an eventful morning we once again decide to stay in camp in the afternoon.
So we took another walk through the camp.

Golden Orb

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Brown-hooded Kingfisher

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Coming closer to the den there were plenty of Waterbucks

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Well, then I knew why :lol:

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More of those really impressive males…

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Of course some Ellis

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And the always so entertaining Francolins

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Close to our cottage a couple of Buffalos were resting in the shade

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In the evening we sat outside, a Giant Eagle Owl was calling in the distance and the Geckos were feeding on the months and insects near the lamp.

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What a wonderful and eventful day… 8)

_________________
The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


Last edited by katydownunder on Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KDU and Francolin- Kruger April/May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:52 pm 
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04.05.

Staying at Sirheni gave us a brilliant opportunity to travel up to Punda for the first time in years….
We love the area up north but the drive from Shingwedzi and back had always been too far for us for a daytrip…..

So we left early in the morning. Our first sighting was a Jackal who was obviously very confused. Someone (we think a Cheetah) had pooped on the signpost. He could smell it but as hard as he was looking for it, he was not able to find it, lol….

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Little later a Burchell’s Coucal, only seconds before he dived deeper into the bush.

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A Vervet in a Fevertree, still a bit sleepy.

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Beautiful Martial Eagle, only a pity that he was a bit too far away for a decent pic….

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We took the Dzundwini Loop on the way up.
Here we were stopped by a roadblock…

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Spotted a Giant Eagle Owl

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A beautiful Nyala Male

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African Green Pigeons in a Fig Tree.

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Sharpe’s Grysbok

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We loved it…
Later on the Mahonie Loop we spotted Lion tracks, but no Lions, but another Sharpe’s Grysbok.

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A Duiker

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Another Nyala

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We had a late breakfast at Punda and soon were on our way back to Sirheni again.
It was great to be back at Punda, the camp was very busy, but we felt welcomed and everybody was very friendly.

On the way back we stopped by a pond close to the road, where a lovely breeding herd of Ellis was having a bath.

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Then the matriarch gave a signal and all the Elis left.

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Only one Elli stayed..

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All the White-faced Ducks, were happy that they had "their" Pond back…

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Later we had to wait for a herd of Buffalos to cross the road.

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And a little further on a Tsessebe was standing in the middle of the road.

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And then went into the bushes on the side of the road.

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It was early afternoon when we were back at the camp.
We sat outside when Ammon (I hope it’s the right way to write his name..) the maintenance man came and told us that Lions had killed a Buffalo at the dam the previous nicht and that they were still there…
Of course we right away went to #15 to have a look.

On the way we met the Francolins again.

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And indeed by the time we arrived one of the male Lions was having a drink at the dam.

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The Lioness was still lying near the Carcass and nibbled from time to time.
There were loads and loads of crocs waiting to have a go as well. I bet she knew as soon as she would leave, the prey would be lost…

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And indeed soon one of the Crocs swiftly came closer and closer…

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We did not see how it ended, we went back to the cottage, we still had to pack all our stuff and prepare dinner.
Tomorrow we are moving to our next camp, Satara.

_________________
The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


Last edited by katydownunder on Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KDU and Francolin- Kruger April/May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:53 pm 
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05.05.

We were sad to leave Sirheni, but looking forward to be back to Satara too…
Shortly before we reached the main road again we spotted one of those delicate and so beautiful Steenboks.

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At one of the waterhole, we came upon yet another lovely and huge Buffalo herd.
And again there were quite a few babies …

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And a little further on an Elli having a drink.

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Apart from that the drive was really quiet.
We stopped at Letaba bridge and just before we got our of the car, we spotted this and decided that we rather stayed in car…

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And indeed a little later there were more Baboons.

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We arrived at Satara around 2.30pm and got a beautiful bungalow in the A circle.
After a quick coffee we left again and turned onto the infamous S100.
Here we spotted lots and lots of Impalas.

Doesn’t it look as if they were talking to each other ?!
“ Look here are more of the strange creatures and they are again taking photos….”

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Then we decided that it was time to return back to the camp.
Just after we had turned around we spotted three Ground Hornbills.

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Ok, I stopped counting just how many sunset and sunrise photos I have taken in my live, but I simply can not resist…

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That evening we had a beautiful full moon, it looked so great with all the lights in the other bungalows.

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Later we spotted some commotion on the opposite site of the circle.
I grabbed my camera and a torch and went over to have a look.
Some guests had left their food scraps in the small bin outside and a Honey Badger was now happily feasting…

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He then was no longer amused to see all the spectators, turned around growled, grabbed a piece of bone and left the scene.

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What an end of another wonderful bush-day!

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: KDU and Francolin- Kruger April/May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:58 pm 
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06.05.

Today we spotted a well camouflaged Duiker in the riverbed along the S100.

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And shortly before we reached the t-junction at the S100 we came upon a lovely breading herd of Ellis….
One of the youngsters loved to “sprinkle” himself with dust.

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We stopped shortly at Gudzani Dam.
I just love the huge Feever Trees there.

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Close to the dam there were a couple of Vultures in one of the trees…

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Our plan was to have breakfast at Nwanetsi before heading back to Satara.
On the way we spotted this little Croc at one of the Low Water Bridges.

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And another Zebra herd with a couple of Babies.

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While we had breakfast at the picnic spot we enjoyed watching all kinds of birds.
A Blue Waxbill.

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Chinspot Batis

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A Mocking Cliff-Chat

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Then we, of course, stopped at Sweni Bird Hide.
Here we found an Egyptian Goose having a nap.

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A Green-backed Heron hunting..

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Now the Goose was waking up.

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Egrets were sitting in one of the tree close to the hide.

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Breakfast for the Goose…

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The Green-backed Heron was no longer hunting…

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We were already on our way back to Satara, when we spotted a Slender Mongoose, kind enough to sit still long enough for a photo.

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Back at Satara I searched the Trees fro the little Scops Owl and was lucky enough to find her sleeping on a branch.

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Later that afternoon we drove the S100 again…
And yet again we spotted lots and lots of Impis .
Here with a Red-Billed Oxpecker.

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Always a lovely sighting, a troop of Baboons roaming the area for food.

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Near the end of the S100 a herd of Wildebeest was walking along the road, with this amazing sunset light in the background….

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Katja Boll told us about a Hyena den close to Satara and we made a plan to look for it the following morning….

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 Post subject: Re: KDU and Francolin- Kruger April/May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:21 pm 
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07.05.

As I already said, today we were searching for the Hyena den on that morning….
So we left the camp early in the morning and were not surprised at all, that obviously a lot of people had heard about the den and were heading the same direction….

And indeed we were lucky, the Hyenas were near the den and active.

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Well more of less :lol:

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The youngsters are just too cute….

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Sniffing..

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Unfortunately the smallest of the pups did not come out of the den, so we decided that we will return again in the afternoon.
We drove past Sweni, to Gudzani dam to have breakfast there.
On the way we were stopped by a Yellow-billed Hornbill.

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Later we spotted a Warthog.

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At Gudzani a huge herd of Zebras together with the Wildebeest were having a drink.

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Very dangerous, as there were some impressive Crocs around.

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Later on the gravel road north of Gudzani we had some lovely sightings as well…

Another Warthog.

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A Waterbuck youngster

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Wildebeests

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More Zebras

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Some really cute young Kudus

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Only a couple of metres further on we spotted a Lilac-breasted Roller with prey.

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He then tried to give the insect to his beloved, but it was just too windy and he failed…

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It was a kind of feathery morning…

Here a Swainson’s Francolin

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And later some Helmeted Guineafowls

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Back on the main road, we were stopped by a traffic jam caused by theses guys, lol…

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We were coming closer back to Satara and decided that it would be nice to drive to Nsemani Dam which was not too far away.
On the way we spotted three Ground Hornbills.
Such awesome birds….

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At the Dam a couple of Hippos were out of the water and grazing.

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We drove on the gravel road towards the waterhole, only to find a couple of very cute Waterbuck youngsters.

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Now it was time to return back to Satara.
Along the way, yet another youngster…
A baby Giraffe.

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We had light lunch and after that headed for a walk through the camp.

To be continued… :wink: :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: KDU and Francolin- Kruger April/May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:15 pm 
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07.05.

It was still quite early when we arrived back to the camp, so we thought it might be a nice idea to take a walk through the camp.
Satara has got some brand new recycling bins, we think it is a great idea and obviously other visitors thought so too, as we saw our neighbours walking to the bins frequently.

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Of course we met some Vervets......

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I do not know the name of that plant, but there was a sign that stated that the plant is poisonous…

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Fresh towels, such a typical scene…

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I can not understand how someone can be so stupid and leave a bag with rusks on the table of the kitchen, while loads and loads of signs warn you about the monkeys in the camp….
Well they loved it ;-)

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Red-billed Hornbill near the restaurant.

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For the first time we discovered the statue of a Rooikat in the little "forest" close to the restaurant…..

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View to the restaurant from the fence…

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By now it was time again for an afternoon drive and we had decided that we are heading to the Hyena den again.
We had not seen the smallest pup yet…

When we arrived at the den, we were the second car there and…. We were lucky the pup was leaving the den….

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Well I think your face need a clean up..

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Look there is a bird in that tree…

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I am hiding behind mum…

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Hey, I am cute too…


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Curious little fellow…

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Mum is watching us again…

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Another one needs to be cleaned…

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The pup and the twig…

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That darn twig, look I am dangerous…

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I am interested in you…. What are you doing there the whole time?

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100% cuteness factor…

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Now it was time for us to leave. It was already quite late and you never know what happens on the last couple of metres on the way back to the camp…..

And indeed, only a few couples of kilometres before we reached Satara, we spotted the sunset drive. The guide was very friendly and told us that they had spotted a Leopard in a Marula tree on the horizon…
And yes we saw him too, far away and no good photo opportunity, but still a Leopard…

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Another day in paradise…

Sorry for posting soooo many of the hyena pics :redface: , but they were just too cute… :wink: :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: KDU and Francolin- Kruger April/May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:30 pm 
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08.05.

That day was somehow quiet, but we had some nice sightings nevertheless, as the days in Kruger are never dull….
Our first sighting was a Woolly-necked Stork.

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We slowly drove the S100 to Nwanetsi, but not even the Impalas showed up.
But instead we spotted a Hammerkop near one of the Lowe Water Bridges.

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And a Brown- hooded Kingfisher.

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At Nwanetsi we walked up to the amphitheatre and enjoyed the view one last time, as it was our last full day at Satara before moving on to Shimuwini for our last couple of nights.

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Up there we spotted this curious Lizard.
Curious, or maybe he was just enjoying the sun… :wink:

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We left Nwanetsi and stopped once again at Sweni Bird Hide, of course we could not just drive past…

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These Hammerkops did not care that the Croc and us were around :lol:

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A beautiful Monitor was foraging around the hide.

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I am not a Spider- lover, but Golden Orb Spiders always fascinate me.
I can never resist taking yet another photo…
Thank God for my 80-400mm zoom lens :whistle:

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On the way back close to Sonop Waterhole we spotted a couple of Dwarf Mongooses

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We used the afternoon to rearrange all our stuff….
But later that afternoon we left the camp for another drive along the S100

So lovely to spot such a relaxed group of Ellis 8)

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A little later we spotted a Gymnogene looking for dinner…

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It was time to return back to Satara.
While we had dinner we could hear Lions roaring nearby and they kept doing so nearly the whole night.
*BIGSIGH* what a wonderful sound…

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


Last edited by katydownunder on Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KDU and Francolin- Kruger April/May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:54 pm 
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09.05.08

Well we listened to the Lions nearly the whole night, so you can imagine that I was eager to leave the camp in the morning to have a look for them…
And indeed they were still there, just north of Satara, close to the campground, but unfortunately so far away in the high grass, that I was, by no means, able to see, let alone photograph them…
Moreover the road got busier and busier and so I decided to return back to the camp, as we still had some packing to do before leaving for Shimuwini.
On the way back I once again could not resist to take another photo of the magnificent sunrise….

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I stopped at reception and walked over to the fence.
A quite unusual sight, an empty restaurant at Satara. But it had a very special atmosphere…
Very quiet and peaceful.

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View from the fence over to the main road.

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View to the restaurant standing at the fence.

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Then it was time to say goodbye to Satara…
Once again we drove the S100, we had enough time to cover the distance to Shimuwini so we opted for the longer, more scenic route…

We stopped to watch the antics of some Baboon youngsters, always so entertaining.

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To be continued.....

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: KDU and Francolin- Kruger April/May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:48 pm 
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Further along the way a Francolin enjoying the sun.

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And later Mum with some really so cute chicks…

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Stop at Gudzani and then we took the gravel road heading north.
Here we spotted three Cheetahs, not far from the point where we spotted the Cheetah mum with three youngsters last year and we were wondering if these three here were the same. Still hanging around in the area…

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Different angle…

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Close to Gudzani waterhole we saw a lovely herd of Ellis crossing the road.

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And on the S90 Guineafowls with youngsters.

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And a Steenbok eating flowers.

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We had not reached Olifants yet, when we spotted three Ground Hornbills close to the road.

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The youngster..

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They then caught a Snake and the youngster consumed it greedily…
Still not sure which kind of Snake it was…

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Now our car was getting very interesting for them, they were all around us, watching the car and pecking, first the vehicle body and then the tires… :lol:



A fairly large croc seen from Olifants bridge.

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We stopped at the Olifants lookout for breakfast/lunch and some Vervets already awaited our arrival, lol…
This one here was sitting on the fence and it seemed to me he was almost watching the Elli having a drink down in the riverbed, as he was looking straight into that direction.

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Another quick toilet stop at Letaba, before heading straight towards Shimuwini.
We arrived around 3pm, were greeted with the broadest smile and a very friendly welcome back….
After that we moved into #10 with a nice view onto the river, Shine was there to visit us and in the evening we enjoyed a lovely braai with friends.

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What else could you ask for :wink:

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Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: KDU and Francolin- Kruger April/May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:28 pm 
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Thanx anne-marie and Pumbba 8)
Indeed anne-marie the Hornbill really struggled to swallow the Snake...
Ah yes the Francolin Chicks were really cute :D

These were the Cheetahs we saw last year, just a reminder ;-) ...

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 Post subject: Re: KDU and Francolin- Kruger April/May 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:17 pm 
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10.05.

We did not leave too early on that morning.
Just 4km after we had left the camp a Leopard crossed the narrow road right in front of us and disappeared into the bushes right away.

A really bad capture, I marked the position of the Leopard you have to look really, really hard :lol: :wall:

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The video shows the movement of the Leopard a little bit better, but still you can see how hard it is to spot him, although right beside the road….



We spotted some Hippos from the Low water Bridge over the Letaba

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Then we were stopped by a nice Buffalo Herd close to Nanzane waterhole.

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We stopped at Sable Hide, where an Elli enjoyed the water of the dam.

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On the way back to Shumuwini we found some Klipspringer at Shikumbu.

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And enjoyed watching the Baboons.

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Very sleepy

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Cute little Zebra

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The Hippos were still there and found some friends… :lol:

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To be continued.....

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Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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