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 Post subject: Biyamiti Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 6:11 pm 
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:D Greetings from the bush

We have sent the animals on holiday over the last couple of days – that was the reason for no reports from my side. No actually I was just a little busy running around, but generally it has been a little quiet off late.

Friday and Saturday the Gomondwane pride has been lying out in the Vurhami River on the H5. Friday there were two (maybe more) cubs with four female. On the Gomondwane loop there were two males seen as well on Friday.

Most of the general game has been sighted in the area and that includes the three bigger ones of the Big 5. Leopard has been hiding in the long grass – no sightings in he last almost week now that I know of.

Birds of prey has still been good with our fish eagle pair at the camp being very busy. Martial has been spotted from the camp daily and the Tawny Eagles are also around. We have seen spotted and giant eagle owl on most of our evening drives as well.
Other night sightings on our drives have been porcupine, genet, white tailed mongoose and lion.

Our walks has been active with elephant and white rhino being the bigger sightings backed up by the small creatures making the bush interesting.

Just to close of and make every one jealous (including myself as I didn’t see it either): We had a sighting of a caracal on our evening drive two nights ago :mrgreen: . Rare for this area – my last sighting was four years ago.

Hope to get some pics and sightings on the way to school tomorrow.

Warm regards from the bush
:D

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 Post subject: Biyamiti Walk
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:07 pm 
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Greetings from Biyamiti :D

Things changed a bit from yesterday and instead of heading to school this morning I was walking the bush.

I was busy with my wake-up coffee at home when the territorial roaring started. :lotsocoffee:
The lion was just opposite the river right in front of the camp. I was going to walk somewhere else – but that changed my mind. I had it in my mind to walk from the camp and follow the lion, but I have tried that before and it usually does not work. So in the vehicle we got and drove to the Biyamiti Bridge on the S25. It was fairly cool and windy and I was not expecting a very pleasant walk. We saw buffalo dung on the way and plotted the spot – we would be heading back to camp pass that spot – walking the opposite side of the river.

There were some waterbuck in the river bed at the bridge as well as blacksmith plovers and Egyptian Geese. We headed into a slight breeze with the sun (just rising) in our backs.

About 50 meters into the walk we had a black rhino marking place (and another four through the walk). We picked up some buffalo spoor and dung from the previous night heading same direction as we were. Unfortunately the wind made bird sightings a little difficult.

A half a km from the vehicle we picked up a lion spoor – going opposite direction. We kept pushing forward, heard some elephant saw lots of crazy impala (rutting season has started).

Elias suddenly stopped and made way for us to see – a huge lion male was coming down the same pathway we were in. It was blinded by the sun and the wind was pushing moderately from his back. He had no clue that we were there. We watched him as he approached from about 50 meters. At 30 meters I could here my heart pounding – hey this was exciting!! 8) Elias sounded his usual alarm – a load click of the tongue. The lion stopped dead in its tracks and looked at us. We stared each other down for about 10 minutes (actually it was about 30 seconds). He left the scene with a leap and a roar.

The rest of the walk we had to be content with plants and a couple of birds including bateleur, fish and martial eagle flying overhead, but all in all another wonderful morning in the bush.

My wife had to do the school trip this morning. They found buffalo on the 4k’s, lion male at “Blazer-creek” just before Bume and rhino close to Crocodile Bridge. This afternoon’s trip was equally good with large herds of zebra and wildebeest closer to Croc Bridge, two rhino on S25 again and elephant closer to Biyamiti.

This afternoon there were a small group of buffalo in the riverbed just downstream from the camp and a white rhino drinking in front of the camp.

Now I’m heading out on an evening drive – hope to report on good sightings tomorrow.

Warm regards from the bush
:D

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 Post subject: Biyamiti Night drive
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 8:42 pm 
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:D
Greetings from Biyamiti.

I had the company of Michael, Kernith, Gavin and Cindy on the evening drive last night. They asked me about a certain impala that did some tree climbing north of the Biyamiti Weir and whether I thought the leopard will be around if we go there on a drive. Well to be honest I was tempted, but my head was set on going the opposite way :? . I figured the leopard would be full and probably sleeping it off somewhere – a morning trip that way might be more rewarding.

So down the 4k’s we went. 2 Km out of camp Michael spotted three rhino on the opposite bank. Just grazing happily. We heard lion roaring in the distance and I placed them towards Bume – where one was seen the morning.

Just before the Biyamiti bridge a guest told us of the lion male strolling down the road half a km other side of the bridge. Needless to say by the time we got there it was gone – off into the bushes. We kept on hoping the guest had his km wrong, but it was only 5km later that we put eyes on kitty, walking down the road close to Bume. He was a bit skittish and we lost him as he walked off into the bush.

At that very moment another male came pass the vehicle on a trod. We followed him as he slowed down and eventually pulled in next to him as he was walking. He started his roaring while walking confirming his dominance with every bellow 8) . He stopped on the Bume causeway to have a drink and then continued his walk roaring as he went. He suddenly stopped and turned around. As I switched off the vehicle we heard his mate answering his call. We followed him back to where the two of them met up – very affectionately - then they settled down beside the road and took a nap.

We left them there, and followed the route up the S26 – two rhino, mother and sub adult walking in the road. We had perfect views of their back sides for the next two km and witnessed the art of synchronized defecating. They eventually refused to go down into a dip in the road and we had to reverse away from them milling around in the road. They found a clearing in the bush and headed off in that direction just to be replaced by … two porcupines running in the road a few hundred metres further on.

This was absolutely amazing – we could get in next to the spiky “fellas” and had a good look at them. We left them with a remark of how they mate and stopped for a smoke break at the lookout over the Bume on the S108.

Further up the S108 we found a young spotted eagle owl in a tree next to the road and a couple more in the road. We had genet twice and a white tailed mongoose chasing after insects in the road. On the way back we had more owls, genets, we visited the two sleeping beauties, negotiated with some elephant herds and stopped for a bunny or two.

An old “dagga boy” crossed our path a km from camp – and we only needed leopard to complete the “Over rated Big Five story”. We watched the mud covered buffalo disappearing into the dark; concentrated on anything that looked like a spot for the next km and turned into camp to fill our tummies – so much excitement seriously works on your appetite! I had a disappointing night with the camera though and could only muster the two pics.

Image

Image

Warms regards from the bush
:D

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Berg & Dal Rest Camp: KNP


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 Post subject: Biyamiti sightings
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 9:14 pm 
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:D Greetings still from Biyamiti

The viewing around Biyamiti today was quite good today , with lion the only one missing out of the Big 5 list. Leopard at the end of the 18ks. The one from yesterday has gone – impala and all.

Buffalo, ellies and rhino down the 18k’s as well.

Crocodile Bridge way has been ellie day par excellence – herds of them; small ones, big ones young funny bulls and two major dads. One of the bulls must be close to a meter higher than Duke (unfortunately not with the same calibre tusks – but impressive nevertheless. We showed his size over a combi and packed up laughing when I arrived in my wife’s Corsa – so I just drove pass.
Image

The other one was a bit more “playful” – but was eventually content with just playing in his mud pool.
Image

At Gezanthombi dam just north of Crocodile Bridge I witnessed a standoff today. There were at lest 23 hippos looking for a spot on the beach. However the crowed on the beach seemed a little noisy.
Image

Image

Needless to say the crowed, consisting of probably a hundred white faced ducks, probably helped by the sun getting too warm, won the battle and the hippo retreated to the safety and tranquillity of their water home.
Image

Warm wishes till the next time
:D

DuQues - pitty about the beer, looking forward to what-ever - I hope!

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 Post subject: Biyamiti sightings
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:42 am 
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:D Greetings from Biyamiti

I had to attend meetings in Skukuza yesterday, so I headed out early morning on the 18k’s, hoping to see the leopard marked on our sightings board the previous afternoon. I did see impala and a number of eagles, but no leopard and none of the big 5 for that matter. At the Biyamiti windmill there were these three juvenile Bateleur sitting up in a tree, a mature Bateleur was flying by being shadowed by a Fish Eagle.
Image

At the weir there was a pair of Bateleur as well as giant king fisher, green back heron, grey heron and hammerkops.

I saw my first rhino, two of, just north of the S26 on the S114. They were very happy to graze their way into the bush. A little further I saw some Kudu, and then I realised I was going to be late if I continue game viewing.

Coming home the evening I decided to do the S26 Bume road. Not much for most of the trip. I turned up to Mpondo Dam to go and ponder on the facts of life. I was met by a herd of elephant swimming from the opposite bank, the sun setting behind them. The sounds were remarkable – splashing, swishing, rumbling, and trumpeting - and to add to the show the hippo joined in with his grunts. I left Mpondo rejuvenated (after a long day in meetings that is) and made my way down the S26.
Image

Image

Just south of Gayisenga I got a mating pair of lion in the road. I watched them for a while, witnessing bedroom procedures etc, leaving them behind as they dozed off again.
Image

Image

Image

The S25 was very busy with elephant once again, but all very calm. I was drifting back to the sunset at Mpondo from a little earlier when suddenly I saw this sleek creature crossing the road 500m from the camp - LEOPARD. I stopped there, spotlight on, shining into the thick bush. After about 10 seconds she turned around from where she was lying right next to the road under a tuff of grass – I only saw her then. Amazing the way they hide by just lying dead still. What an amazing creature. She hung around for another couple of seconds and disappeared into the bush. Too quick for a pic, but and incredible sighting – my day was made and the meetings long forgotten.

Today we had lion at the Mlambane Loop turn off on the S25 – two female – the rest probably somewhere close. A male leopard was walking his area at 14:00 at the S25 junction with our private road.

Warm regards till next time
:D

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 Post subject: Re: biyamiti
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 12:28 pm 
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Location: Denmark
Nicolette wrote:
Hi

Seems to me in all the 30 years I have been coming to the Park there are many areas I HAVE to visit. Where is Mpondo Dam? Scuse my ignorance

Nicki

It's on the S102 which connect the H5 (Randspruit Road) and S26 (Bume Road).

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:11 pm 
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Location: Kruger Park
:D
Hi Nicki - I am glad you made it to almost here – as I said you will be fine (But if you are worried it is a good reason to upgrade to a ML) – just take it slow through the dips.

Hi Kathy and Les – You should have seen the smile on Ezekiel’s face when I showed him his name on the forum – and of course explained the global posting of his name as well. Thank you very much for that – it does not go unnoticed.

Hi Nico – No it is not the same guy – Ezekiel started at Biyamiti some 14 years ago as a general worker (garden work) and excelled at everything he did. He is now my right hand and does an extremely good job of keeping our guests happy.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:13 pm 
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:D Greetings form Biyamiti

This is just a short note to put into writing the experience of Benjamin (our field guide) on a night drive two evenings ago.

About 11km out on the 18k’s one of the guests asked him to point out the Southern Cross to them. Benjamin duly did that and was still busy when something at the front of the vehicle caught his eye. It was a leopard that was sniffing the vehicle up and down. It looked at the vehicle from the front and stood up against the bull-bar to get a better view 8) – not that it could see much – the spots were on him. He then got down walked all round the vehicle from the passenger side and ended up at Benjamin’s door again. He then started walking down the road and they could follow him for about 10 minutes.

What a great experience – if not a little scary :shock: . That leopard has inspected some of the guest vehicles before as well – of course with all windows closed. On the evening drive the leopard was also constantly in the spotlight and therefore blinded by the light and seemed more interested by the outside smell of the vehicle than the inside.

Our guy on the 4k’s t-junction was also out last night on the drive – Benjamin caught him in the road as well.

Warm regards till the next time. :D

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 5:42 pm 
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What kind of snake is this seen between cottages 2 and 3 on our recent trip on 22nd April? It was interesting watching the birds and squirrels chasing it into the bush.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 1:09 am 
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Hi kathy sa
The snake in your photo is a puff adder and by the length of the tail would guess it to be a male. Good sighting

I would not like to meet him at night while on foot in a camp , as the puff adder is known to be a lazy snake and not get out your way although they usually make a hiss or puffing sound as a warning before striking

Quote from Snakes versus Man (Johan Marais) (isbn 0 86954 267 2) " Though comparatively slow-moving, this bad tempered and excitable snake can strike suddenly and swiftly."

Hope this helps

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 Post subject: Puffy at Biyamiti
Unread postPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 10:00 am 
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:D Greetings from a cold and windy Biyamiti

I have never attempted playing with balloons and puff adders at the same time, so I can not vouch for that Jumbo, but I have seen them strike and it is like lightning. :shock:

Thanks for the ID PS, indeed it is a puffy (Bitis arietans) and indeed as was stated is a swift and dangerous snake when stricking It accounts for 60% of all snake bites in the region and although only a small portion of the bites prove fatal it is responsible for the most fatalities – usually because of kidney failure and other complications due to excessive swelling. The cytotoxic (attacking body tissue rather than the nerve system) venom is injected usually into the lower leg area with 12-18 mm long fangs. Not a nice snake to play with at all.

When you listen to the birds and squirrels with their alarm calls one can usually find snakes and owls fairly easily. Thanks for the photo Kathy
:D

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 Post subject: Biyamiti Sightings
Unread postPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 11:50 am 
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:D Greetings from a cool sunny Biyamiti

Overnight there has been a little bit of drizzle, just enough to bind the dust o the roads.

On our evening drive last night we had a problem with the battery not being able to keep the spotlights on. Benjamin called back to camp for help and we quickly took a new battery out to the vehicle. 15 min later the vehicle was looking like a Christmas tree again – a good drive they had after that, seeing lion, spotted and giant eagle owls, genet and more of the small things.

This morning’s trip to school was good with the impalas running all over the how. One has to be very careful and watch out for the rams chasing each other around.

We saw two lion males next to the road about 12km from camp, just dozing off – typical lazy kings. It was the Bume males that have moved a couple of km east from my last spot a week ago.


We had an elephant bull using a tree to get rid of a nasty itch, quite calm for a guy in musth. He watched us with one eye while he was busy pushing a marula tree around as if it was a twig.
Image

Some more elephant – females with young were also in attendance on the road and we also saw a rather funny looking one with tusks pointing in opposite directions.
Image

Image

Closer to Crocodile Bridge we had herds of wildebeest and zebra, vultures waiting for thermals to start their day. On the damp road one could see spoor of all kinds of animals, rhino, elephant, hyena, lion, and buffalo (besides the dung).
Image

On the way back the road was alive with mongooses, banded, dwarf and slender. The dwarf mongooses have been extremely plentiful. Always good fun to sit and watch them. The lion was still at the same spot, just more into the bush. I also encountered a duiker ram on the road, but it was not in the mood for a photo – so off he went.

By the time I got back to camp I also had Bateleur, Fish Eagle, Egyptian Geese and a truckload full of smaller birds as well. Just another splendid trip to school.

Also see Biyamiti’s next quiz coming up.

Warm regards from the bush :D

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 Post subject: Cat & Owl
Unread postPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 12:50 pm 
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:D Hi Kathy

The magic of nature and its predators are the fact that they are opportunist making sure that they survive. Generally a Spotted Eagle Owl will go for the easiest prey that it can find. Should your cat present that “easy prey” to the owl – yes it will take it. I am not too sure how much of the warning instinct is left in domestic cats. The size of the cat would probably not present too much of a problem for the owl, but the fact that it is a predator against predator might swing it back in favour of the cat – depending on the alertness of your cats.

Hope this helps :D

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 Post subject: Moving on
Unread postPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 12:57 pm 
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:D We have moved on to a new month - Biyamiti Sightings - May 2006 and will now post our sightings as monthly subjects.

Warm regards :D

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 3:02 pm 
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
Just in case, this topic is continued here. I'm locking this topic to prevent mis posting. :lol:

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