Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 2 of 3
 [ 36 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:55 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 10:23 am
Posts: 906
DAY 5 CONTINUED ............

During our chat with Kaapsedraai, a few cars passed us and we were left last in what you would call an afternoon drive queue. Our expectations for the drive werent very high and so for the next 10 minutes my mom and I were chatting whilst my SO was spotting feathered friends.
Next moment he said "There's a buffalo." I looked over to my right but it was quite far in the distance, so it didn't really grab my attention.
Then he said "There's another buffalo." I still wasn't that interested.
Then he said "S@$#!£t there's a LION on top of the buffalo."

Image
IMG_0796 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0810 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0834 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Well now I was listening and looking :big_eyes: and it was COMING TOWARDS US :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: getting closer and closer. I could hear the distress calls of the buffalo and the grunting of the lions.
My adrenalin was now pumping and I was shaking with excitement. Was I really seeing this????????
I had to pinch myself to make sure it was real. It was real!!!!
We tried to flash down the car in front of us but no success and so wee were left on our own to watch this truly amazing spectacle.
I will stop writing and let the pictures tell the story.

Image
IMG_0859 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0211 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_5042 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0864 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0867 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0870 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0871 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0873 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0877 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0880 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0882 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_5035 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_5036 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:50 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:36 pm
Posts: 260
Location: London, but from Blaauwberg
I only wish we had heart rate monitors on. My ticker was going bananas! The scariest things was the differing views in the car. My vote was with the Lions, I'm not sure the other two in the car wanted to see Mr Buff go down. OMG,ag shame. versus take him down, take him down!

And the noise: Who knew how much noise these animals could make? The snarling from the Lions and desperate calls from the Daggaboys in reply.

_________________
To see a sunrise in KNP is to see magic.

Next trip is in the planning phase........


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:24 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 10:23 am
Posts: 906
DAY 5 CONTINUED ................

As sad and traumatic as this was, the stressed bellows of the buffalo were really pulling at the heart strings, I knew I would probably NEVER see this again. So I watched in awe as the hunt unfolded in front us, torn in two. However I didn't think the buffalo stood a chance as it seemed to have given up. I thought to myself, it's only a matter of time before the lions bring him down.

Image
IMG_5038 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0887 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

The chase continued and before we knew it the lions and the buffalos were right in the road 10 m in front of us. There were a total of 8 lionesses but they seemed quite inexperienced and slight uncoordinated. The lions persisted with the hunt and just when I had given up all hope for the buffalo, the two dagga boys grouped together and started fighting back. The injured one flung the lions off him like flies on a swatter while his companion continuously "stormed" the lions. For the first time I felt a glimmer of hope the buffalo. It amazed me how resilient they were being.

Image
IMG_0218 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr :cam:

Image
IMG_5047 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_5048 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0220 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr


The adults called in for re-inforcements but the help that arrived was a little less than what they expected. However these cubs were willing to show fighting spirit and that size didn't matter. They let out a few "roars" which sounded like meows to show their strength and power. They were ready to get stuck in and get dirty.

Image
IMG_0894 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0908 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0915 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0225 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0226 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

No success however and at this stage the lions looked exhausted. So they lay down and the standoff began, who was going to move first. Every now and then the lions would edge closer but the buffalo would charge back at them, sending the big cats scurrying.

Image
IMG_0921 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0929 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We took an opportunity in the action break to survey the damage done. The poor buffalo's tail was literally hanging by a thread. He must have been in some serious pain.

Image
IMG_0933 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We waited at the standoff for an hour but time was ticking by and the gates were closing soon :wall: :wall:
We waited for another half an hour but we had to start thinking about getting back, we were cutting it fine. We left the lions closely watching the buffalo, it was like a game of chess and patience combined, but wondering, almost hoping the buffalo would make it through the night.

Image
IMG_0945 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0949 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

A small part of me was secretly glad, as I am not sure the heart could watch anymore. I have watched it 1000 times in documentaries but it was quite something else watching it in real life. I didn't realise or anticipate how emotional it would be. At least this way I could tell myself that buffalo "made it".


Last edited by SurfCindy on Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:23 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 10:23 am
Posts: 906
I am going to try and post a very short video with some live action. Excuse the commentary in the background but at this stage the excitement had taken over.



Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:02 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:36 pm
Posts: 260
Location: London, but from Blaauwberg
Thanks everyone for all your lovely comments throughout the TR. It's great that we get to share these once in a lifetime moments with others.

_________________
To see a sunrise in KNP is to see magic.

Next trip is in the planning phase........


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:59 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 10:23 am
Posts: 906
DAY 6

We finished our previous day with this beautiful moonlight sky.

Image
IMG_5060 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

and started our new day with this stunning sunrise.

Image
IMG_0247 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

But at 04:30 you can guess where we were........right at the gate waiting to investigate the "crime" scene. As soon as the gates opened, we were OUT. On the way we saw these lovely female kudus.

Image
IMG_0960 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

As well as a secretary bird resting in a tree. Not sure if this is a juvenile?

Image
IMG_0963 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

To the disappointment of some, no evidence was left by the hungry hunting lions, so whether the buffalo made it or not, I guess we will never know.

We continued on our way, ready for whatever the bush "threw" our way. We might have missed out on the lions feeding but this yellow billed kite wasn't shy showing us it's catch. (We think it is a spotted thick knee?) After all breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Image
IMG_0251 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0253 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_0256 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

A passing car sent the kite with it's food in tow, soaring into the tree. The speeding car had scared the kite :wall: :wall: and it was now very skittish. We were scared we weren't going to get see anything more. After it had spent ages scanning the area, making sure it was safe enough to continue feeding. It all looked good and so it started the plucking process.

Image
IMG_0997 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_1064 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_1080 (3) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

and the feeding began.

Image
IMG_1085 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Image
IMG_1099 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

So we got to see our "kill" for the day after all. We left the kite to eat in peace and continued with our morning drive in the direction of Mlondozi picnic spot for some breakfast. After filling our tummies with some yummy bacon and eggs cooked on the skottle, we headed back to camp. Before entering camp, we make a quick detour to Sunset dam. It would almost be rude not to! These lovely sightings were awaiting us.

A young hippo enjoying the cool morning temperatures before things get too hot.

Image
IMG_5155 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Diderik cuckoo singing it's morning song or perhaps waiting for food :hmz:

Image
IMG_1149 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

A white faced duck.

Image
IMG_1110 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

and this cute pearl spotted owlet.

Image
IMG_1157 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Another great morning in Kruger :dance: :dance:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:06 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 10:23 am
Posts: 906
DAY 6 CONTINUED ..........

We chilled out at camp for a while, just to catch our breaths after what had been a fantastic trip so far. Lower Sabie is one of my most favoured camps as it is so atmospheric. We sat on the deck and treated ourselves to an ice-cream whilst observing the activity in the river bed. Some great sightings have been seen here, but the river was quite quiet bar a few buffalo and the hippos in the water.
So after our refreshments and a bit of a rest, we decided to head out for a drive to see what action was waiting for us out there.

The first animals we saw was this young zebra feeding.

Image
IMG_1195 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We then hit a traffic jam and there was just a queue of cars. Only a cat could cause a jam of about 22 cars. We asked a standing car what they were looking at and the gentleman told us that a leopard had walked across the road but had disappeared into the bush about 15 minutes ago. Well last in the queue of cars, we didn't fancy our chances of seeing the leopard. We patiently waited for the cars to clear so we could get a move on when all of a sudden this head popped out right next to the car.

Image
IMG_5191 (2) by rcferreiras

Image
IMG_1202 by rcferreiras

Lady luck seemed to be with us once again. This beautiful elusive cat walked out right in front of OUR car, of all cars.

Image
IMG_5192 by rcferreiras

Image
IMG_5194 by rcferreiras

He crossed the road but it appeared to be injured and was limping. But just like that he once again disappeared.

Image
IMG_5195 by rcferreiras

Image
IMG_5196 (2) by rcferreiras

Another close sighting of a leopard :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

We carried on.
This elephant was crossing the river in the distance. A picture, I feel, truly symbolises Africa. Where else could you see this.

Image
IMG_1207 by rcferreiras

A journey of giraffes, also known as the sentinels of the bush, were peacefully feeding. It was the biggest journey we had seen so far on this trip. They really are such graceful, elegant creatures.

Image
IMG_5202 by rcferreiras

Image
IMG_5203 by rcferreiras

Even when scratching.

Image
IMG_5208 by rcferreiras

We had our second wild dog sighting albeit it quite far in the distance. These were the best pictures, I could get.

Image
IMG_5218 by rcferreiras

Image
IMG_5219 by rcferreiras

We had booked ourselves onto a bush braai that evening which would be a first for us and something we were really looking forward to. So we headed back in the direction of camp.

Our last sighting of the drive was of these elephants crossing the river. These huge grey masses emerged out the of the bush.

Image
IMG_5229 by rcferreiras

Image
IMG_5232 by rcferreiras

And started stomping, splishing and splashing across the river.

Image
IMG_5234 by rcferreiras

Image
IMG_1219 by rcferreiras

The noise was incredible to listen to but what surprised me even more, was the speed at which these giant mammals crossed.

Image
IMG_1231 by rcferreiras

Image
IMG_1236 by rcferreiras

Before I knew it, the adults and the little ones had crossed and were disappearing just as quick up the banks.

Image
IMG_5240 by rcferreiras

Image
IMG_5242 by rcferreiras

20 minutes later and it was like they hadn't even been there.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:07 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 10:23 am
Posts: 906
Before I move on, I just would like to share some video of our sightings we have had that day that I feel displays the behaviour a bit better than photos.







Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:30 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 10:23 am
Posts: 906
DAY 6 CONTINUED..........

At 16:45 we met our guide, Tsete and the rest of the party who were to join us on our bush BBQ, a lovely couple, Mandy (Bat8) and Neil and a german couple who joined last minute. We were delighted to be doing this BBQ as when we had checked in the previous day, we were told our BBQ was unconfirmed due to insufficient numbers and a few other technicalities.
Tsete explained to us that we would go for an hour and half drive before the BBQ, What an excellent guide. He stopped at rees and bushes and told us what and how animals used them, as well as facts on various birds, and animals great and small. His knowledge was brilliant and I learnt quite a few new things.

Elephants seemed to be the theme of the day and we found this mom and her you one.


Image
IMG_0283 by rcferreiras

Image
IMG_1246 by rcferreiras

The little elephant could not have been that old, it was still unstable on it's feet and was a bit unsure how to use this "trunk thing". I was quite surprised at how relaxed mom was being.

Image
IMG_1254 by rcferreiras

Image
IMG_1255 by rcferreiras

Image
IMG_1257 by rcferreiras

Image
IMG_1259 by rcferreiras

Our last sighting in the daylight was of this cute hyena cub.

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12131926916/ by rcferreiras

We arrived at our Bush BBQ location which was beautifully laid out for us.

Image
IMG_5275 by rcferreiras

Image
IMG_5278 by rcferreiras

We weren't too sure what to expect as it was our FIRST Bush BBQ but I would like to commend and thank Lower Sabie and it's staff on a wonderful bush experience. Definitely one of the highlights of our trip.

We were offered a three course meal which consisted of traditional African food, which tasted yummy. It 's been a while since I have had pap.

Image
IMG_5279 by rcferreiras

Image
IMG_0291 by rcferreiras

It was a perfectly calm, still, cloudless night, our first of the trip, and it couldn't have come at a better time. The sky was littered with beautiful, twinkling stars. It was great just to sit around a dinner table in the middle of the bush and chat about different people's sightings and passion for the bush and really just soak up the night atmosphere.

One lady in the group had spotted eyes during dinner but couldn't quite make it out and no one seemed to be panicked so it was soon forgotten about. It turned out that we had had an invited guest and were later told that it was in fact a hyena that had stood right behind us. :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: It had come to check out if we were the sharing type but the rangers quickly chased it away, making it very clear that it was not invited to this particular dinner party.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, so much so, that we have already booked ourselves onto another bush BBQ on our next visit in May (we are still looking for one more person to confirm, PM me if you are interested).

Image
IMG_0292 by rcferreiras

What a perfect way to end our last night in Lower Sabie AND another wonderful day in Kruger.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:56 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 10:23 am
Posts: 906
DAY 7

At 4:30 the car was packed, coffees were made, box of ouma rusks were within reach and we were parked at the gate. Today we were making our way up to the Satara area where we would be spending our last 3 nights with my brother.

We couldn't leave Lower Sabie without a last stop at Sunset Dam, a perfect location for the first cup of coffee and rusk for the day.
Again it was another overcast, cool, cloudy morning so we missed the magic of a Kruger sunrise. Oh well never mind, we got to this little feathered friend. Help with ID is needed. I have scoured my bird books and still can't quite place it. So bird experts, please help.

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12269712324/ by rcferreiras

The second most dangerous killer in Africa provided some morning entertainment. I am always amazed at how wide hippos can open their mouths.

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12269745694/ by rcferreiras

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12269842306/ by rcferreiras

A lovely fish eagle was perched nicely for a photo. In my opinion it's one of the most iconic bird sounds of Africa. It never ceases to send shivers down my spine.

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12269425043/ by rcferreiras

Just before leaving Sunset Dam we spotted a white-crowned lapwing.

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12269442213/ by rcferreiras

A diderik cuckoo. Their colouring is spectacular in the sunlight. Unfortunately we didn't quite get to see that this morning but still a good sighting none the less and worth a photo.

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12269710734/ by rcferreiras

A great birding morning so far and it continued on the way up. We spotted some white speckled boots, which could only belong to a martial eagle. However this one was a bit uncooperative and refused to show us it's front.

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12269423963/ by rcferreiras

The raptors were out and about we found this tawny eagle.

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12269423193/ by rcferreiras

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12269268435/ by rcferreiras

The game was somewhat lacking this morning and even the bird sightings started drying up. So we started looking for the tiny creatures of the bush and found this colony of hissing ants. Although individually they are tiny, when together, they can be quite a formidable force of fierce little things. The hissing sound they make is quite incredible.

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12269740644/ by rcferreiras

This poor burchell's coucal was all puffed up waiting for the sun to come out and warm it up.

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12269422823/ by rcferreiras

We stopped at Orpen Dam to stretch the legs. The algae in the dam was terrible and there was really nothing to see. So we got back in the car and continued on our way. Our morning continue to be dominated by our feathered two-legged friends. We saw our first black storks of the trip.

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12269722964/ by rcferreiras

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12269848406/ by rcferreiras

And not even 15 minutes down the road we saw their compatriots, the white stork.

Image
/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/63175689@N07/]rcferreiras

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12269267975/ by rcferreiras

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12269707984/ by rcferreiras

Our tummies were now rumbling so a good time to stop at Tshokwane for a late breakfast. As much as we love our birds, we hoped the afternoon would bring some game, and if we had to be fussy in choosing......BIG CATS!!!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:35 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 10:23 am
Posts: 906
DAY 7 CONTINUED .........

We left Tshokwane with our tummies full and happy. The sun had broken through the clouds and the further north we moved, the warmer it became. After what had started as a cool morning, it was turning out to be a scorcher of a day.
We had not even been back on the road for 30 minutes when we saw a flash of golden yellow/tan in front of us. Two female lions were crossing the road with all their cubs.



It happened so quickly, I didn't even have time to grab my camera in time for the crossing but I did manage to get these few shots of them making their way through the bush and taking a quick refreshing drink.

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12385326923/ by rcferreiras

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12385621874/ by rcferreiras

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12385324693/ by rcferreiras

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12385189935/ by rcferreiras

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12385170575/ by rcferreiras

Well it looked like the cats had delivered once again. With massive smiles on our faces, we continued on our way. It looks like we weren't the only ones feeling the heat. This buffalo looked like it had given itself a good mud bath to cool down.

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12385678314/ by rcferreiras

And his companions weren't quite done yet. They still needed a bit more time to wallow in the mud. They really seemed to be having a ball and it was great to see so many of them.

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12385368793/ by rcferreiras

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12385719394/ by rcferreiras

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12385265215/ by rcferreiras

That now meant we had seen 3 out of the BIG 5 (we had seen rhino earlier on in the day), so 2 more to go :pray: .It wasn't much later that we were able to record number 4. This elephant was calmly feeding, looking very relaxed and peaceful.

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12385123855/ by rcferreiras

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12385564004/ by rcferreiras

So only the elusive leopard was hiding from us. Whilst looking for this spotted cat, we found one of a different kind. A male lion who decided to take cover under a nice shady tree.

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12385635954/ by rcferreiras

The long grass made it tough to get a good photo but I didn't blame the poor guy. The temperature gage in the car read 37 degrees and things were getting a bit uncomfortable but we really wanted to see the leopard and so we carried on. I know Kruger is not necessarily about a checklist, yet I always feel a small sense of achievement when completing the BIG 5 of the bush. But while keeping a look out for them, I really do enjoy seeing the different and "little" sightings of the bush, such as

Wildebeest

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12385261105/ by rcferreiras

Steenbok

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12385183835/ by rcferreiras

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12385333073/ by rcferreiras

Now it might not be one of the BIG 5 but it is one of the BIG 6 birds.....some more Southern ground hornbill. We had seen plenty this trip but always nice to see more of these endangered birds.

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12385330633/ by rcferreiras

Well we had certainly given it our best shot but the leopard unfortunately did not show itself today. After a full day in the car, we stretched our legs, put our feet up and enjoyed the magic of Kruger that surrounded up, while catching up with my brother and his SO.

The sky looked eerily beautiful this particular evening.

Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63175689@N07/12385101675/ by rcferreiras


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:19 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 10:23 am
Posts: 906
DAY 8

It was a scorcher of a day. Gone were the overcast skies littered with thick white puffy clouds. Instead they had been replaced with beautiful blue skies with a bright yellow ball, known as the sun.

Today was family day and so we spent the day at my brother's place just chilling out. It began with a bit of a lie-in (our first one of the trip. Every other morning, we had been at the gates at 04:30 am) We had some coffee with a fry up breakfast on his stoep and just watched the game pass by. We saw wildebeest, impala, zebras and giraffe. Apparently two nights before we arrived, there was a mating lion couple who kept them awake, but had now moved on. Why oh why couldn't they wait :wall: :wall:

We did manage an afternoon drive, once the temperatures cooled down. Our first sighting was a journey of giraffe making their way down to the water to quench their thirst.

Image

Image

A lonely bull elephant was contently feeding. We dared to get as close as possible without annoying him and putting ourselves in danger

Image

He looked like he carried a lifetime of wisdom in his eyes, but certainly had some eyelashes which I know will leave some woman green with envy.

Image

Image

I just love all the wrinkles elephants have.

Image

This area had loads of buffalo and I couldn't resist getting a photo of this curious guy.

Image

Image

With the high water levels this year, we didn't see as many crocs as we usually do but this one wasn't shy or scared to show itself. Though the water in which it was living was disgusting and was filled with algae. Perhaps it's time for a move or were all the catfish in there too easy a meal and made it worth staying.

Image

Against the very green background it was great photographing zebras this trip. Not many of them have featured in my trip report due to being spoiled by all our other bush treats but these zebras were giving each other soooooooo much love, I couldn't resist taking their picture.

Image

Image

Image

Image

We had seen so many European rollers this trip and they were quickly becoming a firm favourite of mine. I love their colouring which gives them a washed out look.

Image

We finished our drive with this beautiful view of Kruger in the last light of the day. Just a breathtakingly beautiful place.

Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:32 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:36 pm
Posts: 260
Location: London, but from Blaauwberg
Thanks to everyone for sharing in our journey this far and making it so much fun. :gflower:

There is still a bit more to come, but we are nearing the end. :(

I hope we haven't lost anyone and everyone is still aboard.

_________________
To see a sunrise in KNP is to see magic.

Next trip is in the planning phase........


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:49 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 10:23 am
Posts: 906
DAY 9

I woke up with a sadness this morning as I realised today would be our last fully day in the park. We always seem to wait so long for a holiday and then in the blink of the eye it is almost over. So with that in mind, we wanted to make sure that we were making full use of our last day and so at 04:30 we were back out on the road again. It looked like it was going to be another very very hot day as the temperature gage in the car already read 24 degrees and the sun was quickly rising. We made a quick stop at Sonop but all we found was an empty waterhole, so we turned around and continued our drive.

The sun was glaring and it was partially blinding our view, which made spotting very difficult but as usual my SO's super human eyes saw spots.

Spots that belonged to three beautiful cheetah's relaxing in the early morning light perfectly in view on a mound. The camera's quickly came into action. With the sun and light in completely the wrong spot, we didn't get the greatest photos but it was fantastic just to watch these three gorgeous slender cats.

Image

After sniffing and smelling each other and the ground, one decided this wasn't quite the right spot and so moved off.

Image

Then there were two. The second cheetah thought this could be a good idea and decided to follow.

Image

Then there was one. Who was a bit reluctant to give up his comfortable spot but didn't want to be left on his own, so eventually got up and joined the other two.

Image

Though, he did keep looking back as if to say "do I really have to go? Look it's really a comfy spot on the mound".

Image

After they had moved off and we could no longer see them in the long grass, we too moved on.
Sadly we later read that a cheetah was found dead in the road presumably by a speeding car near Sonop. I can't help but think it's one of these. Very upsetting, when an animal loses it's life due to humans disobeying rules. :rtm:

By now the sun was already baking and the temps were climbing. We saw this beautiful swainson's francolin basking in the sun.

Image

Image

It was almost as if these two giraffes knew that hydration was going to be key and topped themselves up with some liquid.

Image

Image

Image

I saw my first ever comb duck. I just love their unique looking bill and the sparkly shiny coloured feathers in the sunlight.

Image

I am not sure if this male was catching a sun tan or if he was just showing off in front of the female but made for great watching.

Image

Some competition soon arrived on the scene and there was a bit of a squabble. The female wanted to make sure she had a good viewing spot to see who the victor would be and perhaps a new mate.

Image

Image

From the little birds to the BIGGEST bird, the first ostriches of the trip.

Image

Image

Image

What a great start to the last day. It looks like Kruger wasn't quite finished with spoiling us.... not yet!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:15 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 10:23 am
Posts: 906
DAY 9 CONTINUED .......

After a tasty breakfast stop at N'wanetsi, we headed towards the infamous S100. Despite our previous visits and driving up and down the road on numerous occasions, we are yet to see a cat. Instead we get to hear about how some people see the BIG 5 and more on 1 drive. Would this visit be different :hmz:
So with our fingers crossed and hoping for our luck to change, we headed to the S100.
Our first sighting was of this beautiful carmine bee-eater. Even though it was a bit early for them, I was so hoping I would get to see one this trip. So I was really chuffed when we spotted this one.

Image

It was to be our one and only one this trip. After photos had been taken, we carried on. Our second visitor was this lappet faced vulture soaking up the rays and drying its wings out.

Image

Image

Image

Staying with the theme of feathered friends, it looked like many of them had come out to wish us a farewell. We saw these two kori bustards hiding from the sun in the shade of the tree. The heat was a bit too much for them.

Image

We came across these two tawny eagles. They were posing nicely for us.

Image

Against a blue blue sky, I took a moment to just enjoy this sighting and thought to myself, what magnificent birds.

Image

Image

Image

Our last birds of the drive, were these Egyptian geese. I have always seen them next to the water or on the water but I don't think I have ever seen them drinking water or feeding.

Image

Image

Image

Once again the cats had eluded us on the S100. We would have to wait and try our luck on the next trip.....who knows maybe next time we will get to see a cat on the S100 :pray:

Just before arriving back to the house, we came across the 3 cheetahs we had seen earlier that morning. They had found themselves a nice, cool, shady spot under a tree to chill out, relax and catch a snooze.

Image

Image

Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 36 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by rodandginge at 22:49:35 Submitted by Ellies at 21:12:23 Submitted by stu at 23:56:04 Submitted by stu at 23:45:32