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Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

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charbel
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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby charbel » Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:50 pm

Dear Carol g, Barryels, Hilda, Cape of Storms, Trrrrp-trrrrrrrr

Thanks for the comments. What I love most is to take pics of the actions and behaviors, like those caring vulture mothers....

Just today I began planning with friends to come back to KNP in winter 2015... A long time to go, but the excitement already began....

Cheers
Charbel

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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby charbel » Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:49 am

Time for a new posting in the KNP TR. And one of the highest moments in the trip.
I've read that the Ratelpan Hide was not very active. But we cannot take such information as certain, because, you know, animals are dynamical systems. Calm places can be the greatest, if you're lucky. That day in the Ratelpan Hide, we were very lucky!

We saw there:
30 Hippos, 4 Yellow-Billed Storks (Mycteria ibis), Weavers nests, 2 Blacksmith Lapwings (Plovers), 1 Southern Red Bishop (Euplectes orix), 1 African Elephant, 1 African Spoonbill (Platalea alba), 1 Striped Skink (Trachylepis striata), and 1 Nile Crocodile.

Here is a first pic. My wife, Carol, in front of the hide, just before entering it.

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We had just entered the hide, taking our seats, and watching and photographing the hippos, when an Elephant appeared by the side of the hide... He was certainly around when we left our car...

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He moved into the pan...

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And started taking a bath, just in front of us, no more than some meters! It was amazing, we were breathless all the time, we couldn't believe such a beautiful and enticing scene was happening just before our eyes.

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He even laid down completely on his side...

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Finally, after some minutes, he finished his bath, stood up, and moved toward the middle of the pan.

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He stopped and focused on eating the grass in the pan.

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It seemed that the action was over.... Not at all... after a short time eating, the elephant....

..... we will come back soon with the next chapter in this Ratelpan tale...

Cheers
Charbel
Last edited by charbel on Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby Trrp-trrrrrrrr » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:16 am

Charbel,

Nice to see your wife. :dance:

Great :cam: of the Ellie bathing. 8) :clap: :clap:

:popcorn:
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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby Pumbaa » Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:37 pm

Ratelpan is one of our favourite hides, Charbel :dance: :dance: :dance:

Although never saw an ellie such close as you did there :big_eyes:

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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby charbel » Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:01 pm

Dear Trrrrp-trrrrr and Pumbaa,
Thanks for the comments. We are already planning to go back to KNP. And Ratelpan is a must go!!!! We passed there in the return again.... But no elephant this time... It would be a bit too lucky.... But we have seen this guy again... that's for the next chapters...

Cheers
Charbel

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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby hilda » Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:16 pm

Charbel, Ana and Pedro, your pictures of the Ellie having a bath are superb! :clap: :clap:
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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby charbel » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:58 pm

Hi Hilda
This was one of the best experiences in the trip... I am happy the pics kind of capture the magic of the moment. I also made a small movie. I am editing and will in some time from now post it...

Cheers
Charbel

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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby barryels » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:24 am

What an amazing ellie sighting and that at a bird hide of all places :clap: :clap:

Thanks for sharing :thumbs_up: .
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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby Super Mongoose » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:19 am

Hey Charbel!

I just love Ratelpan Hide, we always go there when in the area. And we always found some actions there, but not as big as your bathing Ellie! Great sighting!

Great photos of your special sighting!

Waiting for the rest! :popcorn: :popcorn:
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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby charbel » Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:19 pm

Hi SuperMongoose and Barryels
I cannot think about going to KNP and not visiting Ratelpan. I really don't understand why some sites say it is not a very active place... they should know better....
Sorry for taking long to post. I was moving from one flat to another. Incredible amount of work.
I will try to do postings today and tomorrw in the KNP and KTP TRs.

Cheers
Charbel

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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby Carol g » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:53 pm

Hi Chabel, nice to see the pic of my name sake, your wife, I enjoyed watching the Ellie bathing looks so nice.

Thanks for sharing :gflower:
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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby Super Mongoose » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:47 pm

We love sitting for hours at Ratelpan, can't wait for the rest of your Ratelpan story Charbel!
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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby charbel » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:00 am

Carol g wrote:Hi Chabel, nice to see the pic of my name sake, your wife, I enjoyed watching the Ellie bathing looks so nice.

Thanks for sharing :gflower:


Dear Carolg,
Yes, and she is a superb photographer, much better than myself. A pity she couldn't go to KTP with us in the trip this year. We have a small daughter....

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Charbel

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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby charbel » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:00 am

Super Mongoose wrote:We love sitting for hours at Ratelpan, can't wait for the rest of your Ratelpan story Charbel!


It deserves hours, we stayed something like 1 hour... we were lucky.
more action, soon to come....

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Charbel

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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby charbel » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:34 am

Here is the story in Ratelpan, continued...

After eating for a while, the elephant turned in the direction where some hippos were lying down for many minutes... He was not really interested in the hippos. They just happened to be in his way...

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No matter his intentions, the hippos immediately retreated to the water. At that point my wife, Carol, who always makes spirited comments (we missed her comments very much in KTP!), said that the lion may be the king of the savana, but the elephant is simply the owner. The hippos did not even think about facing him....

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You can see in the pic the hippos leaving, one after the other.

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As usual in such situations, they vocalized a lot. They certainly didn't like the displacement. And they are moody animals.

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Here they are immersing in the water....

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Finally, they got to the water, and stayed there.

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The elephant then stopped and calmly started eating the grass in the middle of the pan.

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Here are some close-ups of this beauty.

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He left then, going to the thick bush beyond the pan....

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It was not the last time we saw this elephant. He would give us another show later.... Wait for future postings!

Cheers
Charbel


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