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 Post subject: Biyamiti Sightings
Unread postPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 4:22 pm
Posts: 117
Location: Kruger Park
:D Greetings from the bush

Nico, your picture will be give me nightmares all over again :wink: – brilliant, well done and thank you.

We are back in business after being out of office for a couple of days and “notworking” the rest.

We had some very good sightings of especially the big ones around the camp lately. The bush is starting to dry out quite quickly now and a lot of animals are coming down to drink in front of the camp. One can also feel the winter have arrived – yesterday the temp went down to 3ºC and this morning was worse at 2ºC – too cold for us Lowvelders.

Elephant and buffalo are spotted form the camp regularly in the last week or so and they are also very abundant on the S139 private road especially down the 18k’s.

Two nights ago we had a herd of buff on one side of the camp and ellies on the other and just as we thought it could not get better the lions started their vocal intimidation. 8) That went on for most of the night with both the buff and the elephant responding with load tension. We could not find the lion – they must have been somewhere in the river vegetation, but what a vocabulary they have.

I found the herd of buffalo on the 4k’s coming back from the school trip and stopped the little Corsa right in the middle of them all. I just like sitting in the herd with all the cows around me listening to the crunching of grass and the occasional grunt.
Image

I watched the ox-peckers finding all the holes in the armoury – ears, eyes and nostrils – and getting swiped with a floppy ear from time to time.
Image

On the 4k’s I got a family of banded mongooses that ran away as I approached. I stopped and switched off where they disappeared into the bush and waited. Not too long and the whole lot started peeking out of the bush – very curios they are.
Image

The 18k’s revealed some rhino, elephant and leopard in the afternoon. The rhino were in two groups of 5 each (a group at each of the windmills), leopard at 11km and elephant almost everywhere.

Last night was quieter with lion and hyaena in the distance and elephant in the river bed. Scops and pearl-spotted owlets were busy all night.

There was a small surprise waiting about 100m from the Biyamiti Bridge this morning – a female leopard with two cubs – about three months old. (Unfortunately I was not the one spotting them). This is getting very interesting as I thought some guests saw a mating pair at the bridge last week. It just looks as if the population is doing very well at the moment – cubs and young ones east and west of the camp.

Warm regards from the bush
:D

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Stephen Nel
Manager: Hospitality Services
Berg & Dal Rest Camp: KNP


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 Post subject: Biyamiti Sightings
Unread postPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 4:22 pm
Posts: 117
Location: Kruger Park
:D Greetings from Biyamiti

The buffalo and elephant population around the Biyamiti area seem to have picked up over the last couple of days. We had herds of both coming to drink in the river everyday – probably in response to a dryer bush. It was rather difficult this morning to miss all the buffalo chips in the road and the Corsa smelt like a cattle kraal :? . At least no one paid attention to that when I dropped Tarina off at school – it was too cold at 3.5ºC – no one sticking their noses out their vehicles.

Two evenings ago we had good fortune on our evening drive with two leopards crossing the road just 1km from camp on the 4k’s. One left his mark on the road before taking his time to wander off into the bush. Amazing how nonchalant they can be 8) .

The number of all kinds of mongooses on the roads is exceptional. It can be quite entertaining to sit and watch them for a while. I got a group of dwarf mongooses close to the camp this morning. Not so easy to take a pic though – they are very busy.
Image

On a trip to Skukuza yesterday I was driving on the H5 when I encountered a stationary vehicle on the road as I came around a corner - the guy flicked his vehicle’s lights and waved me down for some wild dog lying up in the long grass next to the road. I stopped and spent about 20 minutes with the seven dogs, all in very good condition, one with a radio collar. One came up to the vehicle and started smelling at the wheels and mud flaps. Later all of them joined in and started making a meal of the bakkie. Without trying to spoil it too much I banged the car door, but that did not deter them too much. When a tug of war started on the caravan plug and electric wire :shock: I decided to call it a day before I had to walk to Skukuza. It was lovely to have them that close, coming right up to the window looking at me with those brown eyes – radar scanners erect on the heads. No camera with me though – I think it has got something to do with Murphy?

For the rest of the trip I saw lots of elephant, rhino at a couple places, kudu, giraffe and duiker. This group of warthog was just checking the road manners of the motorway users. I pulled off so they could pass in peace.
Image

Image

Warm regards from the bush :D

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Stephen Nel
Manager: Hospitality Services
Berg & Dal Rest Camp: KNP


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2005 9:01 am
Posts: 20
Location: JHB SOUTH AFRICA
Excellent Steven,

My folks are with you for the weekend again, they got there yesterday and on their way to camp saw 2 leopards, one on the mpambane loop and another on the 18km stretch to camp about 7km out.

This morning they got 2 more leopards together on the biyimiti bridge on the way to Crocodile Bridge, probably the same two you saw on the night drive? They watched them for 30min playing in the river bed and one of them caught a fowl of some sort they couldn't identify it.

They still had seen Buffalo the last time i spoke to them however I’m sure they not complaining after all the luck they have had with the leopards down there.


Enjoy the bush and say hi to my folks for me

From a crispy cold JHB!!! :(


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 Post subject: Leopards
Unread postPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 4:10 pm 
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Posts: 117
Location: Kruger Park
:D Hi Webb

I saw the pin on the sightings board this afternoon - we have just added another 2 spotted kitties - one on H5 and one on S25 to Malelane. 8)

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Stephen Nel
Manager: Hospitality Services
Berg & Dal Rest Camp: KNP


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 Post subject: Biyamiti Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 4:22 pm
Posts: 117
Location: Kruger Park
:D
Greetings from the bush

This is just a short note, before I leave the office, just to keep you updated.

We ended up yesterday being surrounded by leopard:
• 2 at the Biyamiti bridge
• 1 on the H5 – was seen on the night drive as well.
• 1 on the S25 to Malelane
• 1 on S114 to Skukuza

The ellies are pushing to dethrone impala s the most predominant mammal around – only one bull having a bit of fun with guests on the way to Crocodile Bridge.

The 18k’s had two groups of rhino again yesterday – 4 at Blinkwater and 6 at Biyamiti windmills.

We have a mating pair of lion at Blinkwater as well – I will try and see if it is Tom, Dick & Harry that are back.

With the brown headed parrots in the background I say goodbye.

With warms regards
:D

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Stephen Nel
Manager: Hospitality Services
Berg & Dal Rest Camp: KNP


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 Post subject: Biyamiti Sightings
Unread postPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 11:40 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 4:22 pm
Posts: 117
Location: Kruger Park
:D Greetings from the bush

On Saturday I set out to find the lions (mating pair) on the18kms hoping for Tom, Dick and Harry, no such luck, I could not even find the mating pair. However in the last two nights we have been surrounded by predators of all kinds, and vocal ones too. The lion started in the early hours of Monday morning continuing right through to 06:00. Then all went quiet and no one saw any off them.

Last night the lion were active again from about 17:00 and kept going until after midnight, they sounded a bit farther than the previous night though. A very brave leopard put his voice on air at about 21:00 and called about 5 times as he made his way round the camp and into the river bed.

That was all after a leopard sighting on the S25 yesterday afternoon, ellies all around and buffalo on the 18k's. Just to top yesterdays sightings - the hammerkop nest about 4km out on the 18k's has got a new tenant, a 4 meter long African Rock Python :? . He is enjoying the late afternoon sun.

This morning started out with a lot of fresh buff pies in the road – they were no where to be seen though. At one stage I thought we were the Gorillas in the Mist, it was quite heavy and some places visibility was down to about 30 meters. Interesting to see the elephants appearing out of the white like that.

About 3 km from the Biyamiti Bridge down the S25 the two Bume males were lying next to the road. It was still a bit dark and time was limited so I did not take a pic. Coming back they were a km further east down the road but slightly obscured by the vegetation.

Between the Bume and Blazer there were two white rhino having royal time with the still lush green grass. One could here them squashing and plucking the grass. They were very calm and not even a noisy diesel that came along could trouble them.
Image

The trip was rounded off with a couple of vultures, lots of dwarf mongooses, plains game and a couple of duiker.

Warm regards from a sunny bushveld.
:D

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Stephen Nel
Manager: Hospitality Services
Berg & Dal Rest Camp: KNP


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:18 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Posts: 3757
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)
Hi Stephen:

Your reports always make me so :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :D

It was great to meet you and I really enjoyed my stay at Biyamiti, even tho I missed out on seeing any leopards there — clearly bad timing, given how many you've seen since! It really can be hard to see "through" that thick vegetation from a small car, but I saw plenty despite that. I'll never forget that purple-crested lourie that dive-bombed me right outside my bungalow — and me without my carmera :roll: But what a beautiful bird! I remind myself that you can't photograph everything and it can also be nice to have special memories that aren't photos :wink:

I know now why people find Biyamiti so special: It has an ambiance that is very different from any other KNP camp I've stayed at, more like visiting a friend's private camp — the welcome is so warm and personal. You definitely have a very special group there! My best to Ezekiel, Jerry and Benjy!

I do envy those lucky enough to visit you annually or even more frequently, which just isn't possible for me :( But I'll be hoping to return soon.

Thanks to you all for making my visit so memorable!


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 Post subject: Out of office
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 4:22 pm
Posts: 117
Location: Kruger Park
:D Greetings from Biyamiti

Please accept my apology for not looking after my “cyber-guestsâ€

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Stephen Nel
Manager: Hospitality Services
Berg & Dal Rest Camp: KNP


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