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

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

Unread postby anne-marie » Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:27 pm

me too... love the Hammerkop :clap:
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planing KTP janv/fev.2016

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

Unread postby Leanawel » Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:02 am

:D Yes Charbel, Kruger ellies are amazing giants, but most of them are a bit unfriendly, or even aggressive. And it is due to people behaviour towards them - unfortunately :cry:

Personally we had a few close encounters with ellies, despite the fact that we try not to come too close. A few years ago we were one of about eight cars going backwards on the Timbavati road - not a straight road :roll: - for about 2 km, with an aggressive ellie in front coming in full force. Afterwards we all had a good :lol: about it at the picnicspot, but it was a really scary experience :big_eyes:

I have great respect for these giants. In Addo the ellies are more peaceful and are ignoring the cars most of the time. :hmz:

Waiting patiently :popcorn:
Leana

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

Unread postby Cape of Storms » Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:04 am

Love your photos! I think that it is from a fight that he has the hole in the ear. But like all animals in Kruger each scar must be able to tell a heck of a story!

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

Unread postby charbel » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:23 pm

friends, thanks for the comments.
Leana, we basically had nice encounters with ellies in KNP. It was only one exception...

Cheers
Charbel

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

Unread postby Leanawel » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:49 pm

:D can't wait to hear :popcorn:

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

Unread postby Crested Val » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:58 pm

I am enjoying the very interesting information in each episode of your TR. :clap: :clap:
Also some very good photos. :thumbs_up:

We went to Kgalagadi last year for the first time, after going to Kruger for 35 years, so it was a big adventure for us. We loved every minute of our trip, and will definitely return there some day.
It is very different to Kruger, but has a beauty all of it's own. I'm sure you will love it, and of course you will see some different animals and birds as well. :thumbs_up:

I am looking forward to more from you. :popcorn:
Thinking of my beloved South Africa every day.

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

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:46 am

Fantastic report :thumbs_up:

Please, keep it coming.

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

Unread postby billyf » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:09 am

Really enjoying each episode - keep them coming :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
:popcorn: :popcorn:
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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 02, 2012 6:09 pm

Friends,
Thanks for the comments. I was updating also my travel blog with the last reports... now I'll come back to the TR here...
btw, here is the address of the travel blog:
http://viagenscharbelana.blogspot.com.br/

Crested Val, nice to receive your message on Kgalagadi. I am anticipating... still many months to pass until travel.. Oh anxiety!

As I am always responsible for planning the trips with my friends and family, I always feel responsible that they see the promised animals.... When we enter Kruger, I told them that I was not guaranteeing the sigthings. But in KNP it was easy, every day more than a 100 animals...

I see Kgalagadi is not like that, but from the TRs, I read people seeing chases and other fantastic things.... Anyway, I'll renew my caveat as we reach Twee Rivieren....

Cheers
Charbel


1 June 2013 - Twee Rivieren
2 June 2013 - Kieliekrankie
3-4 June 2013 - Kalahari Tented Camp
5 June 2013 - Twee Rivieren
6-8 June 2013 - Nossob
9 June 2013 - Gharagab
10 June 2013 - Grootkolk
11 June 2013 - Nossob
12 June 2013 - Twee Rivieren

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

Unread postby charbel » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:19 am

Going on with the TR: January 5th 2011

We woke up early in January 5th for our second full day in KNP. After breakfast in the camp restaurant we went to a stroll around Pretoriuskop, with its beautiful huts and interesting trees, like the sausage trees.

We didn’t take long, however, to follow the road to Skukuza, since we would change camp that day. We went up Napi Road (H1-1), a tar road, with a short detour through one of the loops around Pretoriuskop (S14). We saw just a weaver’s nest in the loop and followed Napi Road in the direction of Skukuza, the second camp in our trip.

In Napi Road, we saw up to the entrance to Shitlhave Dam: 1 Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), 1 Greater Blue-eared Starling (Lamprotornis chalybaeus), 1 Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis), 1 Cape Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia capicola) and 1 Harlequin Quail (Coturnix delegorguei). We were up to a great surprise when entering the short gravel road to Shitlhave Dam... a bit of suspense, please.

One thing that impressed us in Napi Road were the first trees with the bark eaten by elephants.

Image

We saw many of them in KNP, as a testimony to the elephants’ capacity to change the landscape. Indeed, elephants are well known as ecosystem engineers in the African savannah, that is, they rebuild the landscape altering the conditions of living of many other species. Sometimes this can be even critical to the environment and to other creatures. This is one of the reasons why a large elephant population, as we have in KNP now (more than 13,000 elephants), leads to worries. Culling is a very controversial solution (see Van Aarde, R. et al. Culling and the dynamics of the Kruger National Park African Elephant population. Animal Conservation (1999) 2:287-294). Personally, I am against it, even though I certainly understand how difficult this management riddle is. If the idea of making another transfrontier park combining KNP and parks in Mozambique becomes reality, a great deal of the problem might be solved. Anyway, this is a case that shows how tricky is conservation if national parks become the only or even the main option, as it is becoming throughout the world.

The picture below shows a Greater Blue-eared Starling.

Image

I think it was the only time we saw this bird in the trip, which is not threatened by extinction and forages in trees and on the ground. That’s what he was probably doing in the tar road, looking for food, which can be insects, fruits and small invertebrates (such as those yummy dung beetles so abundant in KNP roads).

So, we entered Shitlhave Dam road… and, suddenly, I hear Pedro shout. There he is, a lion (Panthera leo) walking towards us, visibly annoyed by several cars following him. He looked like an old male, who was woken up by all those people. We saw many lions afterwards without so many people annoying them, up north in the park. But at that highly visited point, he simply looked pissed off. Then, he suddenly stopped and turned towards a car. Oops, what would he do, we considered amazed by the scene. But he simply went round himself, like a small cat, and laid down to try to sleep. Yes, this guy was sleepy. Not surprising, male lions sleep up to 20 hours per day! But it was difficult to sleep with so many people around. So, he came by our car, passed just besides me (as one of the pictures show) and disappeared among the trees, trying to find a spot to take his nap in peace. Wow, that was something… We made jokes that he was a trained lion that escaped from a circus… but it was just jokes… this is the kind of amazing situation that KNP offers us. Here is the sequence of pictures.

This lion was really surrounded by cars.

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Here he is turning back… Will he do something with the people in the car? No, just going round to sleep as if he was a small cat… obviously, nothing of the sort!

Image

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He was still annoyed. A new solution had to be found: go away of all these people!

Image

Then he just came in our direction and passed just besides me, when I took the third picture below, with the window down, surely.

Image

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And then he went away.

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We were blown away, but continued to be attentive to other animals. We saw in the road and the dam: 1 Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea), 2 Egyptian Geese (Alopochen aegyptiaca), 1 Reed Cormorant (Phalacrocorax africanus), 1 Blacksmith Lapwing (Plover) (Vanellus armatus), 6 White-Faced Ducks (Dendrocygna viduata).

Finally, here is a view of Shitlhave Dam.

Image

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

Unread postby Leanawel » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:20 am

Thanks Charbel - poor lion really looks tired and with all the people and cars around him :big_eyes: But then why did he not went around a bush for the day :hmz: Maybe he likes all the attention :?

The photos are really stunning and so are all the detail. :clap:

Waiting :popcorn:

Leana

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

Unread postby Sharifa » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:53 pm

The lion seemed to enjoy all the attention :) :thumbs_up:

He walked quite close to you. Lovely pics :clap: :clap: :clap:

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

Unread postby lion queen » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:23 pm

Poor lion!!!...........but you got some very nice photos and a lovely story to tell others.......... :clap: :clap: :clap:
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charbel
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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby charbel » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:26 pm

Dear Leana and Sharifa,
Yes, he just passed by me... Well, I am not sure he enjoyed the attention. I guess he was sleeping in the road in the early morning and cars began to appear and accumulate around him. He kind of seemed so sleepy that tried to stay there instead of moving until he gave up... Anyway, the KNP animals are certainly acquainted with people around, specially in the south part of the park....

Lion Queen! Yes, he gave us a wonderful story!

all the best
Charbel


1 June 2013 - Twee Rivieren
2 June 2013 - Kieliekrankie
3-4 June 2013 - Kalahari Tented Camp
5 June 2013 - Twee Rivieren
6-8 June 2013 - Nossob
9 June 2013 - Gharagab
10 June 2013 - Grootkolk
11 June 2013 - Nossob
12 June 2013 - Twee Rivieren

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

Unread postby charbel » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:27 pm

Ah,we noticed he was a healhy lion, with his black mane....

Cheers
Charbel


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