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 Post subject: Cees and SO’s KNP Trip Report : Jun/Jul 2006
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 9:05 pm 
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Visiting Phalaborwa for business, buying property to start a B&B, we must, of course, visit Kruger. The first four days with three short trips and from June 30 till July 3 for a stay in Shingwedzi Camp. Here our Trip Report.

June 26
We did a 1 ½ hour drive, just before closing time, at the Sable loop (S51). It was a very quiet drive, spotted some rare antelope (Impala) :lol: :whistle: , 2 Ellie’s and 500 metres from the Gate on the H9 we where just a minute late to see some Wild Dogs on a mission :cry: (what do they say about the right place and time????)

June 27
We had some free time and did a drive from 10h 40 lasting for about 4 ½ hours. We decided to take the H14, from the H9, to look for the resident Leopard at Shikumbu hill. Sadly she wasn't on the right side of the hill :evil: .After this disappointing moment we choose for the S131 East towards Letaba. Just near Shivhulani hill we saw some movement on the road in the far distance. Looking through our binoculars we saw two tall male Lions. When we came close by they decided to run into the bush and to disappear. Some 50 metres further on the road, where the bush was less dense, we discovered trees with White backed Vultures in it. Sadly to far away to take a decent picture of it (as it was of the Lions earlier) With no other sighting then a Bateleur male we took the S96 towards Shilawuri hill. Sadly enough also no Leopard on the right side of this hill :evil: . Because of the quietness we drove back towards Phalaborwa. Just before Rhidonda Pan we saw a Puffadder on the road. We just could save the life of this beautiful snake by flashing our headlights to an oncoming car because the driver saw a lot but no Puffie…. At the Rhidonda Pan we saw, as usual, some Zebra. Of course Ellie and Impala where all present during the drive today.

June 29
Time to drive to Letaba Camp. Entering the Park at 06h 15 we drove the H9 up and down. A very quiet day again with no cats but nevertheless some nice sightings along the road and in Letaba Camp. Up and down the road we saw Impala, Ellie, Zebra, some Steenbok, Giraffe, a Common or Grey Duiker and (fe)male Bateleurs. In Letaba Camp we had some nice Sunbird Sightings!! First a White-bellied?? one a and some time later a Scarlet-chested one. We also had a nice Crested barbet sighting but the latter decided to fly away every time I tried to take a decent picture…. :roll:

Soon more from our stay at Shingwedzi, about some lions and some pictures of some of the sightings.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 9:45 pm 
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Wild Dog evidence :roll:

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Saved Puffadder on the road

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Puffadder moving of the road

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 9:58 pm 
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Next set of pics. Taken in Letaba Camp.

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White-bellied sunbird ??? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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Scarlet-chested sunbird

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:33 pm 
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Next part of the Report.

June 30
Entering the park at 10 o’clock we decided to take the H9, H14 and the H1-6 to Shingwedzi. Within 10 minutes we spotted a herd of 7 Ellie with a baby on the H9. After the first Impala’s on the H9 and H14 it became very quiet with sightings. Again the resident Leopard at Shikumbu hill wasn't at home :cry: Some Raptors, Bateleur, Martial eagle :lol: and African fish-eagle, but not close enough for pictures. About 7 Km before the H1-6 we met 2 old dagga boys. Ignoring us they where busy with things they had to do :wink:
After a stop at Mopani :lotsocoffee: we continue our way towards Shingwedzi. Again a very quiet drive. Just South of the Nkokodzi we saw 2 Ellie bulls :) . After some Impala herds and a Bateleur sighting we where nearing Shingwedzi. I expected to see nothing more than the usually Ellie’s and Baboons in the last Km’s before Shingwedzi, when I hear my SO next to me say “Lion in the riverbed” ……….. Indeed (off course :roll: ) 2 Lionesses in the Shingwedzi riverbed about 10 Km before the Camp. Both ladies where well-fed and relaxed. We didn't see any sisters or male Lion.
After a while we continue to Shingwedzi where we arrived at 15h 00 . We reported ourselves to the Reception and received the key of bungalow B51 for the next three nights.
After unpacking we decided to stay the rest of the day in the camp and at 17h 30 the Braai was alighted. :lol: :lol: Diner, Coffee and Amarula called it a day…

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:38 pm 
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2 Old Dagga boys....
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:43 pm 
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Shingwedziriverbedsisters 8) 8)

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:wink:
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Last edited by Cees on Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:47 pm 
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Location: Back where I belong: Phalaborwa
SistersoftheShingwedziriver :wink:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:53 pm 
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Shingwedzi Wildlife :wink:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:27 pm 
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July 1
Out of the camp at 6h15 up to Red Rocks via the H1-6 and the S52 .
(Why is this called the R52 in the 2005 issued honeyguide KNP-Map :?: :?: :?: )
As usual first some baboons and Impala on the access road between the H1-6 and Shingwedzi. After 1 Km we found ourselves behind 2 moving roadblocks :) And this continued almost all the way to the first S52 turnoff. We didn’t mind but to several others it did. They were probably on their way out of the park I guess, because they seemed to be in a great hurry :shock: The bulls took a bush-trip just before the S52 so everybody could pass them easily. (I see we totally forgot to take some pictures of the boys :redface: and that after following them for almost 2 Km……….)
After a very quiet start on the S52, with Impala, Doves, Starlings, Natal francolin, Red and Yellow billed hornbill, Lilac breasted and purple rollers, Swainson’s spurfowls and a lot of other birds, an oncoming car warned us about 3 Km before the other side of Red Rocks. The driver told us that there where some Lions on the right side of the road a couple of hundred metres further on. After we gave him our regards we drove on.
(We couldn’t miss the sighting because there where some other cars, but it is nice there are still a lot of people in the parks who will share their sightings with others.)
The sighting was great, despite the high grasses. 3 Lionesses with 3 cubs (about 7 months old/young) on a Buffalo kill; we don’t see that everyday in The Netherlands :wink:
We took a lot of photo’s but most of them are blurred by the high grasses.. (as I will show you later). Because it became busier we decided to leave the sighting and go further on the 52 towards Tsanga Lookout. We had some nice sightings of Vervet monkeys, a family group of Ellie’s ( far away but nevertheless nice) Baboons, a herd of Giraffe, a beautiful Crested barbet, a male Giraffe and a great Dwarf mongoose sighting on a rock under some bushes :D
80!! Metres from the Tsanga Lookout itself there where 2 Bulls on the left side of the road. They where very quietly grazing and browsing through the bush, luckily away from the Lookout because I needed a very quick “pit stop” :whistle:
After this, and having enjoyed the views, we drove back towards Kanniedood(nie) Dam via Red Rocks, the H1-6 and Shingwedzi. We saw a lot of small animals and some Impala, a Giraffe with Oxpecker and some Ellie. Nothing "special" at Red Rocks and also the H1-6 was quiet except at the Joao Waterhole. There was some Ellie in the riverbed, on the other side of the river and also on the right side of the road was some Ellie movement.
On the S134 and towards and from the Mashagadzi Water Hole we saw a male Steenbok (man, they are so quick, these little antelope’s) and Zebra. Sadly no sighting of the Big Tusker……
On the S50, up and down, it was busy with sightings. Two different sightings of Nyala!! Off course there where lots off Hippo, Crocs and many different Herons, Ducks, 1 Bull Ellie and Impala’s and even a African openbill.
Back for lunch at 13h00 we stayed in the camp till the Sunset Drive.
On the Sunset Drive we took the following roads: H1-7, Lamont Loop, S56 Mphongolo Loop, First turnoff towards the H1-7 back to Shingwedzi, the small loop on the left side, The S134 and the Airstrip at Shingwedzi 8)
Sightings where reasonable good, to start with a Ellie 5 metres outside Camp playing hide and seek :? Just before the turnoff to the H1-7 a Pearl spotted owl; very nice indeed. Near Gorra Water Hole, on the H1-7, my SO spotted 3 Southern ground hornbills in the Mphongolo riverbed. The rest of the drive turned out in a “male” :wink: drive. Several Ellie bulls, some dagga boys, Giraffe’s and Steenbok all male…… One off those nights :tongue: A very nice sighting was a Sharpe’s grysbok on our way back to Shingwedzi. To conclude the night drive the guide drove up and down along the Shingwedzi Airport :whistle: Runaway. Hundreds of Impala where gathered there, most of them laying down to ruminate.
To close the day we took our diner at the restaurant :) Well it was not one of my braai’s :wink: But it was OK. As always we ended the day with coffee and a good glass of “Amahoela”

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Going to South Africa is coming home !!
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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:04 pm 
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Lionesses and cubs at Buffalo kill

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:10 pm 
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:hmz: Can somebody mow the lawn :?: :?:
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Going to South Africa is coming home !!
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Proud new member of the LIT-club since the early morning of 11-11-2007


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:27 pm 
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Dwarf Mongooses
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Going to South Africa is coming home !!
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Proud new member of the LIT-club since the early morning of 11-11-2007


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:32 pm 
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Giraffe with Oxpecker
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Nyala calf
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and mum
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Going to South Africa is coming home !!
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Proud new member of the LIT-club since the early morning of 11-11-2007


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:37 pm 
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:hmz: Hide and seek??????
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Pearl spotted owl
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Male Giraffe with Oxpecker
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Going to South Africa is coming home !!
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Proud new member of the LIT-club since the early morning of 11-11-2007


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:54 pm 
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July 2
The last whole day in Kruger, for now at least :cry: Because of the sightings board in front of the office the last couple of days, we decided to go North in the direction of Babalala Picnic Spot because of several Cheetah and Wild dogs sightings on the H1-7 before Babalala. Leaving the Camp at 6h15 we had a quiet start again. Maybe the cold nights are a reason for those quiet starts, I don’t know, but most of the times the first hour or so we saw not a lot. (or its was because we didn’t open our eyes enough at the early mornings) :redface: After some Impala sightings we saw our first Kudu sighting for this trip :) A young male, which quick disappeared when we stopped our car :cry:
About 4 Km before Boyela Water Hole we were stopped by an oncoming car. The driver told us he had seen some Lion about 1 Km further on in the high grasses……..
We thanked him and hoped for the best because the grass was high and brown :pray:

We were so lucky to spot them, 3 Lionesses :dance: :dance: We could only take 1 picture of them, which I will show you later…. They decided to lay down in the sun to warm up and the only thing we could see was every now and then a swinging tale or some ears :roll: All by all it was the third Lion sighting in 3 days, not bad for short trip :wink:
After this we saw, spoilt as we where, a lot of nothing, made a visit at the Picnic spot, and drove further North in the direction of Punda Maria. After some nice Burchell’s coucal and Lilac breasted roller sightings on the H13-1 and some Kudu, 2 female and one male, we made a short visit at Punda Maria Camp. "Nothing much" over there and back on our way to Shingwedzi. Sadly enough it was very quiet again. Off course the different landscapes and eco zones are nice to see and it is a challenge to determine the different grass, scrub and tree species along the roads.
After some Impala and zebra, at Boyela, we saw our first Ellie after 116 km of driving!!!!!!!! Who says the KNP is overpopulated by them :whistle: We came along the 3 Lionesses again. They were more visible then before and, therefore, there were much more cars which all had no plans to move :evil: , so we sadly couldn’t take any better photo’s as the one we took earlier :cry:
The last 25 Km we "only" saw Ellie, 3 bulls. The 3 Southern ground hornbills again were present in the Mphongolo riverbed near Gorra water hole. Because we saw them the day before we looked for them, otherwise one could easily past them without notice…
Only birdlife showed itself the last couple of Km’s to Shingwedzi, with some nice Hamerkop sightings in the Shingwedzi river at the low water bridge. The rest of our day we enjoyed the “wildlife” inside Shingwedzi Camp. At night off course the last braai with after that the Coffee and Amahoela with a huge goodbye fire…….
:cry:

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