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 Post subject: Dupacc Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo Sep'12
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:04 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Randparkridge, RSA
Picture the stereotypical Kruger Park tourists: his bright yellow shirt decorated with multicoloured toucans stretched tightly over his large beer belly, his Panama hat set firmly on his head, camera and long lens dangling around his neck; a light scarf cover her head, dark sunglasses in place against even the soft light inside the Park shop, bare shoulders already burned bright red by the fierce African sun.

But it was what he said that sparked the burning flame to go back to Kruger! He pushed the thick Havana cigar to one side of his mouth and, with the map in his hand, bellowed to his wife: “Darrrlin, shall we go to Skoo-ka-zoo or Say-ta-Ray to see them Tigers?”



Well. we did not see them tigers, but we did have a couple of SOTDE-moments! (SOTDE = Switch Off The Diesel Engine :D :D )

Early morning on the N4 towards KNP

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_________________
Dupacc

I will join in the song, because I know why I sing. Soli Deo Gloria

TR: Darrlin, lets go to Kruugha!
TR: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
TR: Impala Kisses and Banana Birds
KNP March 2014: Tamboti, Olifants, Lower Sabie


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:05 am 
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Location: Randparkridge, RSA
Day 1: Towards Pretoriuskop:

We entered Kruger via Phabeni and traveled along the S1, S65, H1-1 and S8 on our first day in the park. It was cold and there was a constant drizzle. Visibility was fair, and the veld was painted in most most beautiful soft shades of black burnt grass and bright green growth.

Within the first minute we saw our first animal: as expected a (wet) impi:

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Followed by a herd of wetiphants:

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And then, after only 17 minutes in the park, our first SOTDE-moment:

There were 8 young lions with a catch - we could not see whether it was a buffalo-calf or kudu. It must have been a recent kill because they were still very aggressive and noisy.

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to be continued ...

_________________
Dupacc

I will join in the song, because I know why I sing. Soli Deo Gloria

TR: Darrlin, lets go to Kruugha!
TR: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
TR: Impala Kisses and Banana Birds
KNP March 2014: Tamboti, Olifants, Lower Sabie


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:55 pm 
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Location: Randparkridge, RSA
After spending about 20 minutes at the lion sighting, we decided to move on on our planned route for the day.

The rain was still coming down in a gentle drizzle, the tiny droplets caressing the tender green grass sprouts. It was as if all the animals, birds and plants were thankful for this blessings from heaven.

The first raptor we saw, was this magnificent Martial Eagle

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We saw this wet kudu

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This wet Steenbok

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And the majestic Southern Ground Hornbill. We seem to be very lucky with these birds - we've seen them every day on every visit for the past 7 or 8 years.

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Then we came to our second SOTDE-moment:

A dog-like creature with powerful jaws were crushing the bones of its prey, and dozens of hungry, evil looking giant-sized birds were lurking close to the carcass of an impala. There were White-backed Vultures, one or two Lappet-faced Vultures and a beautiful White-headed Vulture, who maintained a royal distance from his lesser cousins. The Hyena was breaking the bones with a sound like the crack of thunder.

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I never knew Hyenas and Vultures could be this beautiful ...

to be continued

_________________
Dupacc

I will join in the song, because I know why I sing. Soli Deo Gloria

TR: Darrlin, lets go to Kruugha!
TR: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
TR: Impala Kisses and Banana Birds
KNP March 2014: Tamboti, Olifants, Lower Sabie


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:26 pm 
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There were two major role players for our next SOTDE-moment:

Mr Grumpyphant

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and Lady Buffmellow

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Mr Grumpyphant was busy with his daily oral hygiene procedures, using strips of bark to floss his maulers, alternating it with a twig that served as a tooth-pick. He seemed sort of at peace with his surroundings, but must have suffered from heartburn ... :twisted: :twisted:

Lady Buffmellow was leading her three travel companions (Toddler-buff, Teenage-buff and In-betweenbuff) at a relaxed pace on a path that would cross not even close to where Mr Grumpyphant was busy. She was so relaxed she even found time to pose for the photo above. The four Buffalo didn't really stop to graze, only occasionally taking a mouthful of grass.

But then ...

Before I could take photos of the three other buffalo in the group, the elephant decided to give charge.

Things happened VERY quickly: within 2 seconds I had to

1) Start Isuzu
2) Engage gear
3) Try to focus 70-300 lense on Canon on action, zoom in and out
4) Press shutter button on camera
5) Check the rear-view mirror and perform other K53-checks
6) Release clutch of Isuzu
7) Reverse
8) Take photo, focus
9) Calm SO
10) Encourage Lady Buffmellow to run, run , RUN

I am sure that forumites will understand if the photos that follow are not of the best quality. But here they are anyhow

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Two seconds later and everything was peaceful again: Mr Grumpyphant picked up a new twig and Lady Buffmellow led her small group with dainty footsteps along their way.

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On a serious note: we wondered what caused the elephant to charge, since everything was really peaceful and the elephant actually seemed not bothered by the buffaloes at all until, without warning, he gave charge.
I am not an expert on animal behavior, but always thought that charges and confrontation usually occurs where there is competition for food or water among herbivores?? The elephant was grazing, and the buffaloes did not even came close to where he was feeding??

Anyway: be wary and alert when near elephant!!

to be continued...

_________________
Dupacc

I will join in the song, because I know why I sing. Soli Deo Gloria

TR: Darrlin, lets go to Kruugha!
TR: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
TR: Impala Kisses and Banana Birds
KNP March 2014: Tamboti, Olifants, Lower Sabie


Last edited by Dupacc on Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:09 pm 
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Location: Randparkridge, RSA
Well, after the excitement of our encounter with Mr Grumpyphant and Mrs Buffmellow, we continued on our merry way towards Pretoriuskop. I must admit that it was not easy to excercise the selfcontrol needed not to exceed the KNP speedlimits with all the adrenaline still rushing through my cholesterol-invested veins ...

Anyhow, it wasn't long before we were mesmerised by the tranquil beauty of Kruger once again.

For example:

This Blacksmith Lapwing was sitting on her nest right next to the road, even when it started to rain harder. She must have been soaking wet! I moved my vehicle closer. but she bravely just sat there - protecting her offspring. Truly amazing, courageous birds!!

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This Wildebeest reminded me of Jeremy Clarkson ... :whistle: :whistle:

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while this Grey Heron was happy to look for a meal in one of the many pools that has formed in the veld with all the rain

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We also saw this raptor that we struggle to ID... can Any Forumite be of assistance?

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At Pretoriuskop we booked into our BD2, the Isuzu lurking nearby, keeping a look-out for the now famous monkeys.

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Once we settled we reflected on one of the SOTDE-moments I intentionally did not report in sequence:

Yes, it was rhino, and we couldn't help wondering how long before the unmentionable... :cry: :cry:

This Bull looked sad

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but we could not hold back the tears when we saw the lady crying. Was she thinking about friends, or maybe relatives that were butchered by poachers??

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to be continued...

_________________
Dupacc

I will join in the song, because I know why I sing. Soli Deo Gloria

TR: Darrlin, lets go to Kruugha!
TR: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
TR: Impala Kisses and Banana Birds
KNP March 2014: Tamboti, Olifants, Lower Sabie


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:12 am 
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Day 2 of our visit to Kruger and we were full of anticipation for what the new day will bring. On Day 1 we had at least 4 SOTDE-moments. It was still raining but there was a promise of the sun breaking through later towards the afternoon.

Our destination was Berg-en Dal and we travelled along the H2-2, S20, H1-1, H4-1, H3, S120, and S110. We left Pretoriuskop at ± 8:30, reasoning that with the roads being wet and the tar cold, the animals (and especially the cats) will not necessarily be on the roads seeking a bit of warmth as they often are in winter. (In the past we’ve almost always found lions early in the morning in the road, even more so in the Satara – area).

Well, as I said, it was still raining and the roads were muddy. At one stage, after going through a pool of water, SO had a number of very small mud-specs on her face that blended perfectly with her freckled nose. (I promised I will not post a photo of that ...)

We think this was a Red-crested Korhaan, but since we could not clearly see the diagnostic white “V” we also considered it to be a Black-belllied Bustard. Sigh ... now we were not only confused with our raptors but with the other feathered friends as well. Will buying another little-book-for-the –novice-stiffneck help??

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There were lots of water in the veld and we were impressed with the insight these wetilopes displayed when dressing in their bathing suits with the nice stripes and markings in the tail-areas.

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Warthogs brought us our first SOTDE-moment for the day. Just look at this hairy beauty: according to The Safari Companion (brilliant book by Richard Estes), males can weigh up to 100 kg with tusks up to 60cm.

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And another wetiphant ... (and lady Buffmellow was not in sight). Did you see the hole in his ear?

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Then we saw something we’ve never seen in Kruger before: green stockings and yellow ear-rings! (African Wattled Lapwing – a first for us)

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Many consider the African Fish-Eagle to be the King of birds, the icon of Africa and Kruger. I dream of one day capturing one of these magnificent birds in action, plucking a catfish from the water...

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While my favourites are the African Fish-Eagle and the White-fronted Bee-eater, SO’s favourite is the Lilac-breasted Roller. (Yes, I know it is one of the most photographed birds, but the hug and the kiss I get every time SO sees one, makes posting this compulsory)

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We arrived at Berg-en-Dal at approx 15:30 giving us enough time for a “must do” when in this camp: a stroll along the fence! It was almost dark when we got back to our BA3U.
The Impala Lilies being almost as beautiful as SO

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And we were blessed to see these as well sometime, somewhere during the course of the day:

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The next morning we were booked for an Early Morning Drive... but that and other SOTDE-moments will be shared next time.

To be continued

_________________
Dupacc

I will join in the song, because I know why I sing. Soli Deo Gloria

TR: Darrlin, lets go to Kruugha!
TR: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
TR: Impala Kisses and Banana Birds
KNP March 2014: Tamboti, Olifants, Lower Sabie


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:27 am 
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Day 3 and me and SO were up really early in preparation for our EMD Early Morning Drive. We decided to go on this activity because, as devoted Forumites will know, Raymond reported some superb sightings from BnD. And since it was my birthday, this surely was the way to go.
It was still very dark and very quiet in the camp as we made our way to the assembly point where we met our guide, Muzi. A short while later we were joined by two more people who came all the way from Atlanta in the USA. We were very glad that it stopped raining and the weather was clearing nicely.

Perhaps we had to high an expectation of the drive, given that on our previous drive we saw a pride of lions with an unsuccessful attack on a buffalo, while on the drive before that we saw no less than seven different prides of lion, a leopard, African Wild Cat and more. So when it took a full 53 minutes before we saw our FIRST animal (or bird) of the drive – a lonely impala – even Muzi was disappointed.
However, though the roads were deserted, it was beautiful, and hey, we were in KNP!

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Then after 1 hour and 22 minutes, we saw two elephants. Muzi called this Mommyphant and her Youngsterphant a “breeding herd” and spent some 20 minutes sharing interesting facts about these gentle giants of the African bush before moving on.

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After about two hours on the road, we turned back to the camp, having seen very, very little in terms of game and birds. Muzi’s explanation was that because of the all the rain that fell during the couple of days prior, the animals moved away from their usual drinking spots and could get water near new grazing.

Then suddenly, while we were heading back to camp at an indicated speed of ± 35km/h, a Waterbuck decided to cross the road right in front of us. We were glad to see it and very glad we did not bump into it. After me observing K53 during our encounter with Mr Grumpyphant, I definitely will have to have a word with this unruly bunch about road safety ... why didn’t they go to a zebra-crossing???

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We arrived safely back in the camp and after a light breakfast, packed our stuff, heading for Lower Sabie. For those interested in the route we followed, it is as follows (for those not interested in this detail, please skip this and go to the next paragraph): S110, H3, H2, S114, S26, S108, S25, H4-2, S130, S137, S28.

On our way out of BnD, we saw this Black-collared Barbet. My good friend flipp (now residing in Australia) used to call them “Wildtuinvoëltjies”. (... how I wish you could be with us flipp and family!!)

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As we made our way to Lower Sabie, we saw a number of the usual, common sightings. However, after the EMD where we saw almost nothing, every bird and every animal was a celebration. (I realised it again this morning when driving to work in the morning traffic ...)

A lipstick hornbill
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Some rockyphants

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This animal with, given its name, what can only be tan-lines

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And a mudpala

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And Biyamithi was as magnificent as always

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But it was when we came around the next corner that we had a sighting that was one of the all-time highlights of not only this visit to Kruger, but of ALL our visits to Kruger.

To be continued ...

_________________
Dupacc

I will join in the song, because I know why I sing. Soli Deo Gloria

TR: Darrlin, lets go to Kruugha!
TR: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
TR: Impala Kisses and Banana Birds
KNP March 2014: Tamboti, Olifants, Lower Sabie


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:26 pm 
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Day 3 part 2

Let me explain why this SOTDE-moment was such a special sighting for us: I’ve been privileged to have visited KNP for more than 32 years now and have literally travelled thousands of kilometres in the Park. I have covered all the routes notorious for seeing African Wild Dogs, but only once before during all of these years did we see them painted doggies. This happened more than eight years ago (now remember, that was after already 24 years of visiting Kruger).

The previous sighting was near Letaba late one afternoon, when we stopped on the bridge where one is allowed to get out of your vehicle. There were quite a lot of cars already parked with excited people all over the bridge. The reason? A pack of African Wild Dogs down in the riverbed! Drama started when a herd of elephant crossed the road, and all of us moved more towards the one side of the bridge, further away from the elephants, still wanting to see more of the doggies. What we did not know at that stage, was that there was also a kudu towards the other side of the bridge, furthest away from the side where the elephants were. The AWD suddenly decided to give chase, and came storming up towards the road AND SOME OF THEM TURNED ONTO THE BRIDGE!! And there we were: legally outside our vehicles, but with AWD surrounding our cars, and elephant blocking us in . Fortunately they decided to join the rest of the pack going after the kudu after a couple of minutes and we could safely get back to our cars. As I said, this happened more than eight years ago, and I did not have a DSLR camera back then...

So when we came around the corner and found some untamed canines, we were ecstatic! This time they were near! This time they were not running! This time my camera was ready!

I gave SO a hug and started snapping ...

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After visiting the park for more than 30 years (often up to 3 visits per annum), I finally had photos of AWDs.

There were only four other vehicles at the sighting and we only left after 20 minutes or so when another vehicle arrived, making space for them to also be blessed ...

After that special SOTDE-moment we saw many birdies and animals. We also saw a YR and could give Barryels and Hilda directions to where they could find the painted ones.

Our next SOTDE-moment was this group of langkeelperde (wordplay based on their Afrikaans name), included one with a stumpy tail. The rest of the group were very curious and many of them came sniffing at the rear-side of the poor longthroat-stumpy-tail-horse.

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We also once again saw a majestic Martial Eagle.

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We were told that at there were puppies a this den. Perhaps they fled when they heard our vehicle approaching? Mom-hyena was relaxing under a tree. This is the best shot I could get.

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For us an ostrich is not a regular sighting in Kruger

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We arrived at Lower Sabie late that afternoon and spent the rest of the day relaxing and listening to Hippos grunting, splashing and playing, their symphony interrupted by the occasional call of the Fish Eagles.

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Somehow we were very much at peace, even if we had not YET seen the “Tigers” we came looking for, little knowing that the very next day we would see more than the expected tigers and be blessed with another sighting that absolutely took our breath away ...

To be continued ...

_________________
Dupacc

I will join in the song, because I know why I sing. Soli Deo Gloria

TR: Darrlin, lets go to Kruugha!
TR: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
TR: Impala Kisses and Banana Birds
KNP March 2014: Tamboti, Olifants, Lower Sabie


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:12 pm 
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Day 4 part 1

Just before 6am on day 4 of our visit and we were on our way – all bright eyed and bushy tail!

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After a quick hello to our grunting members of the Hippo-symphony, it was off on our route for the day. We wanted to go North towards Tshokwane and then back again along the S29, H4-1, S30, H10, S32, S35, H1-2, H12 and S21.

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At Sunset dam we saw the usual fauna and flora as well as a YR: it was Riaanf31 and SurfCindy.

We then decided to first go south on the H4-2 because my sister (who called me the previous night for my birthday) made me promise that we would stop at a specific tree approx 5km from LS and send her regards to the leopard that stays there. Oops sorry, “Tiger” that stays there. We stopped at what we believe was that tree and started looking for “them Tigers”.

I don’t know what made me look at the road straight ahead, but I am so glad I did, because this is what we saw:

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I drove nearer and was in time for the next lioness crossing the road

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It was pure magic sitting there, the only vehicle, and just in absolute silence adore the Queens of the African bush. Even the click of the camera was a rude intrusion into the beauty of the moment.


I could end this episode right here, but we saw so much more!!! So let’s continue.

This giraffe (or as we call them “langkeelperd”) was very curious, coming closer to the Isuzu and staring at us. I am sure many mites have photos like this:

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Just before starting to write this episode, I spoke to some of my colleagues here at Nature Conservation and Ecology at Unisa, showing them the photo. They are of the opinion that it could be a mongoose that bit of this African Pied Wagtail’s foot, or it could have been caught in a crack in a piece cement on something like the bridge near LS. I guess only the bird knows what and when it happened ...

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This shy little Steenbok was very cute

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No photo-album of a visit to KNP will be complete without at least one photo of a Banana Bird (the cousin of the Lipstick Hornbill). The “banana bird” is a special bird that got its name from its love for bananas. This resulted in its beak growing into the shape of a banana. (The “banana bird” is of course a Yellowbilled Hornbill, - not Coereba Flaveola. It was flipp’s one daughter who started calling it a “piesangneusvoël” – banana nose bird – many years ago).

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We also saw this member of the Unisa Graduation Congregation (a Goliath Heron)

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Near the Lubyelubye-bridge is a tree where we always have a SOTDE-moment. This time we saw this African Green-Pigeon and a Knysna Turaco, playing hide-and-seek, peeping at us from behind a leave, hoping we could not see it.

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One of SO’s favourites is the imbabala (indigenous Zulu name for the Bushbuck)

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While one of my favourite antelopes is the kudu (some day I will have horns ...)

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Our next SOTDE-moment was when we saw this Brown-hooded Kingfisher. I never knew it also sport built-in goggles for diving into water (as visible on the first photo)??

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To be continued ...

_________________
Dupacc

I will join in the song, because I know why I sing. Soli Deo Gloria

TR: Darrlin, lets go to Kruugha!
TR: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
TR: Impala Kisses and Banana Birds
KNP March 2014: Tamboti, Olifants, Lower Sabie


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:59 am 
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norms wrote:
Dupacc - Just caught up on your last few postings - Wow - I am so pleased you managed to get photos of the Wild Dogs - :thumbs_up:

Your early morning lionesses all to yourselves - priceless!!

The Turaco you photographed is a Purple-crested Turaco

:popcorn:


Thanks for the kind words and thank you so much for pointing out our wrong ID of the Turaco. Much appreciated. :D :D :D

(True to my occupation at an university, I immediately went to my Birdie-books and went looking for distinguishing features between the Knysna Turaco and the Purple-crested Turaco. I really learned a lot- thanks once again!!)

_________________
Dupacc

I will join in the song, because I know why I sing. Soli Deo Gloria

TR: Darrlin, lets go to Kruugha!
TR: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
TR: Impala Kisses and Banana Birds
KNP March 2014: Tamboti, Olifants, Lower Sabie


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:10 pm 
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Day 4 part 2

(Disclaimer: in this episode I make mention of people speaking in a foreign accent. This must be seen in the context and the style and tone I use in this report. I do not and will never ridicule or humiliate any tourist. I am very sure that my use of the English language and my accent is far from perfect, since it also is not my first language)

We were travelling down the S30 when we saw a smallish car parked very skew in the road. As we came near, a pretty lady started to wave frantically. She was wearing a white bikini-top that contrasted starkly with her olive-coloured skin. But it was what she said that with a foreign accent that mesmerised us.

She smiled brilliantly and said: “looook, right therrrre, two lady leeee-hon wifff baby leeee-hon, they just crossss the streeeeeet.....”
I interpreted it as “look right there, two lionesses with cubs just crossed the road”. We looked really hard but this is the best I could capture on camera.

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We could not see the cubs and after a while continued on our way, next destination Mlondozi.

A magnificent Fish Eagle was the reason for our next SOTDE-moment.

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This elephant was really enjoying himself. He uprooted the tree and then started to feast on the roots, squashing them to pulp with tusks and trunk before munching them with the juices and sap dripping.

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The monkeys at Mlondozi are really becoming a problem. They would jump onto the table right where people are eating and grab food. This is one of the little rascals.

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Travelling towards Tshokwane, it was round about 12:15 when once again a lady with a foreign accent urged us to stop. She said: “we thiiink weee saw theeee caaaaat”

After a few seconds we saw it: A SERVAL!!! It was moving around gingerly, bustling with energy, jumping up and down. The slight breeze that made waves in the tall grass didn’t make it any easier to get a reasonable photo.

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This lovely LBR then added more colour to our day

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We had many special moments on our way to Tshokwane via Orpen Dam, and when we arrived there it was buzzing with excitement amongst the staff: about 3 minutes prior to us stopping there, they had their first sighting of the regular visiting Yellow-billed Kite. I have witnessed the Kite catching a Starling on our previous visit.

At Silolweni we had a SOTDE-moment watching this Hamerkop

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While we were watching the Hamerkop, a Dwarf mongoose appeared from nowhere, rushed up to a nest of a Lapwing and grabbed a little chicken. The Lapwing launched attack on attack, diving down onto the running predator, but the mongoose just ran back into the thick undergrowth. It happened so quickly I didn’t even get half a chance to try to take a photo.

Soon after this incident I started to feel unwell (is there such a word??) and we headed straight back to LS. I do however want to share three more photos taken during this 40km/h dash back to LS

The first being this Jockey training for the upcoming Durban July Handicap Horserace

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The second this giraffe that I think is the tallest I have ever seen. (I am just under 2m tall, but this fella must be at least 3.25 times my height!!)

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And the last photo for this episode: a Bush Chicken that almost became a Flat Chicken when it ran into the road, right in front of an approaching SANParks vehicle

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My next episode will cover our last day in Kruger – a day when we were once again stunned with extraordinary sightings, including a “Tiger”.

To be continued...

_________________
Dupacc

I will join in the song, because I know why I sing. Soli Deo Gloria

TR: Darrlin, lets go to Kruugha!
TR: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
TR: Impala Kisses and Banana Birds
KNP March 2014: Tamboti, Olifants, Lower Sabie


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:45 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 217
Location: Randparkridge, RSA
Day 5: The finale

We were once again out onto the roads early on our final day in KNP. We wanted to spend at least 2 hours before eating breakfast and grabbing our stuff back in camp in order to be out by 10:00. Routes travelled included H4-2, S29., H10, S28, S137,S107, H4-1.

On our way to “Leopard tree” (where we saw the lions the previous morning), we saw beautiful birdies, such as this Red-crested Korhaan

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And this Kori Bustard

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But we were still without a sighting of “them Tigers”

That was until we slowly drove up to a group of about five cars that were blocking the road. As I drove nearer the excitement of anticipating that it would be it, grew.

Then we saw something: Could it be??? , Was it????. What, - it is moving!!!

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We still could not see the leopard very clearly and as I tried to get a clearer sighting, an elderly gentleman with a grey beard and sun-weathered face gave me some of the soundest advice ever. He calmly moved his vehicle away and waved me closer. He said: “Take my spot son, park here. I am done. Just wait and be patient. You will see it”. He then moved off.


We finally got our Tiger near Skoo-ka- Zoo. We saw our leopard.

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After the leopard disappeared in the thick undergrowth next to the river, we slowly drove off, feeling content and thankful towards our Creator.

We only saw one more animal close enough for a reasonable picture.

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It was almost as if the animals respected our deep emotions and all kept some distance from the sedately moving double-cab.

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We just drank in the beauty of the life-sustaining Sabie river

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And we couldn’t help but wondering which sightings and special moments will play out next time we travel on the S28

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We reflected on all the SOTDE-moments we had:
- The lions with a kill, 17 minutes after entering,
- The white-headed vulture
- The grumpy elephant and buffalo interaction
- The entire EMD
- The crying rhinos
- The hyenas
- The lapwing in the rain
- The Fish Eagles
- The birdies
- The forumites we met
- The African Wild Dogs
- The Serval
- The Leopard
- Etc
- Etc

And now while writing this final episode of this specific TR, I can think of so many more!!!

For example a brief sighting of one like this somewhere, some place during our 5 days of bliss (yes it is a Black One)

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The very last animal we saw, was very close to the road. And just because it is the most common of all, didn’t make it less special!!!

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Now I can end this TR with a poem about the majestic splendour of Kruger, or a witty, funny quote. But since I’ve ended all the episodes with
“to be continued”
I will use the same phrase, because we have this in place, a confirmation for Dr CP du P------- and SO of Randparkridge, for May 2013.

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With fond regards to all my Forumite-friends.

Soli Deo Gloria

To be continued....

_________________
Dupacc

I will join in the song, because I know why I sing. Soli Deo Gloria

TR: Darrlin, lets go to Kruugha!
TR: Looking for them Tigers near Skoo-Ka-Zoo
TR: Impala Kisses and Banana Birds
KNP March 2014: Tamboti, Olifants, Lower Sabie


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