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 Post subject: Re: Water, water everywhere - a July trip to the Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:30 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:28 pm
Posts: 253
Location: California
And a few more photos from Rooibosrand Dam

Some doves in the early morning light:

Image

A hippo in the dam:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Water, water everywhere - a July trip to the Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:42 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:28 pm
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Location: California
Yay page turned :)

19 July - Bateleur

We set out on what was becoming our favourite route in the area. The S52 via the river road to Red Rocks. Our plan was to have coffee at Red Rocks and then return the same way. The days started out fairly quietly. We stopped at the crossing over the Shingwedzi but it was quiet, except for the mozzies :tongue: :tongue:

On the way to Red Rocks we saw impala, nyala, kudu and ellies. We stopped and stretched our legs at Red Rocks. It is such a beautiful area.

After a coffee break, we headed back to camp for breakfast. On the way back we saw a fish eagle, but too far away for a :cam: . We came across a family of dwarf mongeese that had made their home in an old termite mound.

Image

Image

On the way back we also saw this small antelope that I think is a Sharpe's Grysbok
Image

Back at camp, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast of cereal and toast.

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 Post subject: Re: Water, water everywhere - a July trip to the Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:33 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:28 pm
Posts: 253
Location: California
19th July cont...

After breakfast we hung around camp watching the birds at the birdbath.

Some of our visitors were:

Image

and

Image

In the early afternoon, we walked to the hide in camp (without a camera). Suddenly there was a herd of ellies that appeared as if by magic. Mad dash back to the hut to get the camera and here are some of the photos:

Image

and

Image

finally:

Image

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better
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 Post subject: Re: Water, water everywhere - a July trip to the Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:41 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:28 pm
Posts: 253
Location: California
After the great ellie sighting from the hide, we headed back out to Red Rocks. We had a good drive. We saw giraffe, ellies, warthog, nyala, kudu, impala and a large group of ellies at Red Rocks.

One of the ellies - looks like an older one:
Image

and finally (and a bit out of order) a sunrise from this morning:

Image

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better
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 Post subject: Re: Water, water everywhere - a July trip to the Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:14 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:28 pm
Posts: 253
Location: California
20th July : Bateleur - Mopani

We headed out from Bateleur early in the morning. It was quiet through to Red Rocks with just a few impala. We stopped to stretch our legs and have some coffee. We heard an owl hooting, unfortunately we couldn't see it. After our coffee stop, we were on our way again, heading south on the tar (H1-6).

We came across a vehicle that was stopped. Hyena :dance: There was a den in a culvert under the road. There was one adult with a very small cub, but no photo was possible because she was hiding the cub as best she could, but we did get a photo of the adult.

Image

We continued south. Along the way we saw ellies, some general game and two huge saddlebill storks near Mopani. No photos, but a great sighting. We continued on to Mooiplaas for breakfast. On one of the river loops we saw some brown headed parrots.

Image

We stopped at Mooiplaas for a breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage and toast - by that time we were starving.

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better
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 Post subject: Re: Water, water everywhere - a July trip to the Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:29 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:28 pm
Posts: 253
Location: California
20th July continued...

After breakfast at Mooiplaas, we headed to Mopani to check in. We were a bit early so we did some laundry and had a milkshake at the restaurant. Just before 2pm, we got our key and unpacked the car. My son and I decided to stay in camp for the rest of the day.

For the afternoon drive, there was only one option for my SO - Tropic of Capricorn loop.

He saw some general game and some big ellies at Mooiplaas.

Photos from the afternoon:

Image

Image

and a birdy. not sure of the ID. I think it is a goshawk.

Image

Image

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better
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 Post subject: Re: Water, water everywhere - a July trip to the Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:22 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:28 pm
Posts: 253
Location: California
21st July - Mopani

The day way cloudy, cold and windy :cry:

We decided to do the Tropic of Capricorn loop and then back to camp for breakfast.

It started of fairly quietly. We saw a fish eagle in a tree next to the road. It appeared to be a nest, but the angle did not allow for a photo.

We continued on to the loop. it was quiet until Thongonyeni waterhole. It was quiet when we got there, but sat and had coffee for a bit. We noticed some movement in the distance. Slowly we saw some big antelope approaching. Eland :dance: :dance:

The very first time that we have seen eland in the Kruger park. There were also tsessebe. We noticed one antelope that kind of looked like a tsessebe, but was lighter in colour. A lichtensteins hartebeest :dance:
Another first.

A photo of the eland taken by our son.

Image
We also saw kori bustards, wildebeest, zebra and ostriches.

At Nshawu, we saw a Reedbuck.

We continued on to camp for breakfast.

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better
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 Post subject: Re: Water, water everywhere - a July trip to the Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:32 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:28 pm
Posts: 253
Location: California
21st July continued

In the afternoon, we did the Tropic of Capricorn loop again. This has always been the most productive loop for us, every time we have been to Mopani. We usually end up at Mooiplass waterhole with some big ellies in the late afternoon light.

Once again, it was quiet, but we saw the eland at Thongonyeni.

We also saw tsessbe, zebra, warthog, ellies, ostriches (about 30 of them) and we think a hawk harrier (no photo though :cry: )

Some photos from the day:

Image


Image


Image

Image

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better
Albert Einstein

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 Post subject: Re: Water, water everywhere - a July trip to the Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:58 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:28 pm
Posts: 253
Location: California
Thongonyeni with the Lictenstein's Hartebeest and the tsessebe. The lichtensteins is on the left. this was taken by our son using a small point & shoot, so a bit far, but a :cam: none the less.

Image

We were told by someone in camp that there used to be about 8 Lichtensteins but that the rest were killed by lion. There is apparently another herd up closer to Shingwedzi.

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better
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 Post subject: Re: Water, water everywhere - a July trip to the Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:13 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:28 pm
Posts: 253
Location: California
22 July - Mopani

We woke up to a misty morning, our first of the trip. Once again we set out for the Tropic of Capricorn loop.

At Bowerkop we saw this

Image

Windmills in the mist...

It was fairly quiet until Thongonyeni. We saw a pearl spotted owlet, but no :cam: . At Thongonyeni we saw secretary birds, kori bustards, eland :thumbs_up: and wildebeest. Photography was a bit challenging because of the low light, but here are some of the birds:

Image

Image

After Thongonyeni, we continued on the ToC loop. We came across a lovely ellie who was having a good scratch against a dead tree :lol:

Image

We continued on to Mooiplaas picnic site for breakfast - bacon, egg, sausage, toast.... mmmmmm

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better
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 Post subject: Re: Water, water everywhere - a July trip to the Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:18 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:28 pm
Posts: 253
Location: California
After breakfast, we headed back to camp. They seemed to be doing a bit of controlled burning in the area and we could smell the smoke. At camp we relaxed. Just in front of our hut we saw

Image

Not sure on the ID, but we think it is a plated lizard. It had it's home under some rocks and scurried underneath them whenever we moved quickly.

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better
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 Post subject: Re: Water, water everywhere - a July trip to the Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:28 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:28 pm
Posts: 253
Location: California
22nd cont...

In the afternoon we headed out on the Tropic of Capricorn loop for the last time. At the little pull out near N'wambu pan, we came across some very fresh leopard prints. We hung around for a bit in the hope that we may see the animal who made them but no such luck.

We continued on to Thongonyeni. There we saw a black-backed jackal, running away as usual.

Image

and some lovely ellies, who were enjoying the water..

Image

We continued on to Mooiplaas water hole where we sat and waited for the ellies to come and drink...
(more ellie pics, but we love them)

Image

and finally in the golden light...

Image

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better
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 Post subject: Re: Water, water everywhere - a July trip to the Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:25 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:28 pm
Posts: 253
Location: California
23rd July - Mopani to Letaba via Phalaborwa

First up: the sunset from no 49 at Mopani the night before:

Image

Today we were moving camps. We had decided to go via Phalaborwa to top up with groceries, so we took the H14 past Shimuwini.

The day started quietly (again), but we came across a group of about 12 male buffalo that were slowly making their way to or from some water.

Image

We also saw some ellies, giraffe and impala.

Somewhere along the way our son took a picture of the Mopani veld with his little point and shoot.

I love the colours

Image

We got to the gate at about 10 am. Formalities were quick and we went into Phalaborwa armed with our shopping list.

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better
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 Post subject: Re: Water, water everywhere - a July trip to the Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:36 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:28 pm
Posts: 253
Location: California
23rd cont..

After the quick shop at Woolies, and the obligatory meat pie, we returned to the park. Gate formalities were quick and we were soon on our way. We stopped at Masorini for a "comfort break" and to have some coffee. It was about noon.

After a short break, we headed towards Letaba on the main tar road. The road was not too busy and shortly after Masorini, we saw something next to the road - a leopard :dance: :dance: Finally a cat!!!!!

It was a male who seemed to be marking his territory. He also seemed to be annoyed that his tail was following him :tongue:

He crossed the road in front of us and carried on marking his territory. He disappeared behind a termite mound so we stopped and waited to see if he would show himself again. Unfortunately he did not. By this time we had been joined by another couple of cars - but the leopard was gone. We were the only car that got to see him - right place, right time.

We did manage to get some :cam:

Image

After not seeing any cats for the past week, we were thrilled to see him and carried on to Letaba on a high.

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better
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 Post subject: Re: Water, water everywhere - a July trip to the Kruger.
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:41 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:28 pm
Posts: 253
Location: California
We checked into Letaba and settled into our accommodation. We had a great view of the river. We saw a bateleur and vultures in the river bed along with egyptian geese, giraffe and impala. We saw a big tusker across the other side of the river and actually managed to get a :cam:

Image

We went on a short afternoon drive towards Engelhard. We saw impala and ellies. Back to camp for a braai and a celebratory drink (or 2).

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