Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 6 of 22
 [ 325 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 ... 22  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:27 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:10 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Boston, MA (but I miss Mozambique!!)
Forgive me, but I have to include a some more...I'll try to keep 'em short

--camping in Berg-en-dal, sitting around the braai one night and having my sister look wide-eyed at me and tell me there was a cat behind me (turns out, it was just a genet).

--camping in Maroela and having honeybadgers (and perhaps hyenas -we couldn't see the spoor well, the ground was rock hard and dry) knocking over trash cans, quarreling over scraps right next to the tent (and my head) and then prowling around the edge of the tent, sniffing.

--staring up at fish eagles being harrassed and suddenly hearing squeals and breaking branches...a whole herd of ellies stampeding towards us, my dad who was driving, couldn't see them from his angle and didn't drive off right away -the car behind us nearly drove into us. We pulled up the road a few meters and the ellies -all sizes- crashed down onto the road, ran across it and plunged down into the dry riverbed. I hate to think what might have happened had we stayed put!

--I took a wildlife management class in Kenya and had some close encounters too...
1. staying in an unfenced camp and having a herd of 1,000 (and yes it was 1,000 -we had conducted a population count of them earlier that day, not realizing that they were headed our direction) buffalo move through our camp at midnight until our guard, who apparently couldn't stand it anymore, decided to fire a warning shot in the air. By that time we were surrounded by buffalo and when the shot went off, it was as though the bush exploded around us! Huddled in our little tents, one of the girls began to have an asthma attack!

2. On the same trip, one evening a bunch of us girls decided to make one last trip to the bathroom -a pit toilet (I don't know why we felt we needed to use that instead of the bushes closer to camp), but we walked down the road a ways to the little building. There was no fence around the camp by the way. We stood around outside, waiting in line, and shining our flashlights around to make sure nothing was out there. We had seen zebra grazing not too far earlier on in the afternoon. Sure enough we saw eyes -and assumed that they were zebra- but they were bobbing in a very strange way. As they came closer I realize that they were hyenas. There was a gully that was located diagonal to the pit toilet and they climbed down in there and walked along it to get closer to us...every now and then you could see them raise their heads to check on their location in relation to us...it was eery! Needless to say, we got the girl out of the bathroom in a hurry and the rest of us used bushes nearer the camp!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:27 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:58 pm
Posts: 198
Location: NOT in KRUGER!!!
BethR wrote:
...when a lion locks eyes with you, you never forget it!

I agree. We were once the first to arrive at the place where a pair of mating lions was relaxing in the shade, not too far from the road. Every so often they would get up and do their thing, moving closer to our vehicle all the time as they did so. I have often watched mating lions in Kruger, but thought this male was even more aggressive than I understood them to be. He was lying with his huge head on his paws when all of a sudden he lifted his head and stared me right in the eye as if to say: "What the h*** are you doing there? I'm the boss here, move it!" His eyes were ice cold and it really sent shivers down my spine. :?

_________________
KRAZY about KRUGER!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 7:01 pm 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 7803
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Oh yes, there is nothing like a full blooded lion stare.
It cuts through all barriers and you know exactly what the big guy or gal is saying to you, once seen, never forgotten.
Brings your right down to size.

_________________
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

Kruger - May 24th - June 6th 2014.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:38 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:10 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Boston, MA (but I miss Mozambique!!)
macho mouse wrote:
BethR... what you doing girl? With experiences like that why you not here??



Believe me... I'd go back there in a heartbeat!!
Work and school keeping me busy for now...

Just one more to share with you...

This also happened in a park during my course ...
There were 36 of us in the class, divided up into 6 landcruisers and we had gone out into the park on last time that afternoon to see if we could spot any lion. The landcruisers were outfitted with radios so we could keep track of each other. Our landcruiser was stopped and we were enjoying a herd of zebra when one of the other vehicles radioed us to say they had seen a python next to the road. Seconds later they radioed saying it was approaching the vehicle, and then again, it had gone underneath and climbed up into the vehicle!!

We weren't too far off and hurried over to the spot. Though we weren't supposed to alight from the vehicle, everyone was milling around and the interns and prof had the hood of the car open and were trying to coax the python out. It was no use...it was winter and cool out, that python was enjoying the warmth of the engine and just coiled around in there tighter!

Pretty soon the rest of our gang arrived. The terrain was so flat that tourists could see all the traffic from a distance and hurried on over thinking we'd seen something good. They stopped and got out too...we had quite a crowd milling around the landcruiser! Finally a vehicle of park rangers drove up, they stopped and got out too. They were armed with large rifles, but of course they wouldn't do much for a python wrapped around an engine. Yet another vehicle pulled up, and this time it was a CNN camera team who brought out their cameras and started filming it all!! It was so funny...students, tourists, rangers and cameramen all milling about in the middle of the wilderness!

In the midst of all this confusion, a lone elephant bull started to meander our way, he was curious and came closer. People hurried to their cars and one by one, the vehicles drove off -including us- leaving the unfortunate students and their landrover still with the python in it. The students had climbed back into the landcruiser and I have a great photo of the elephant and the students and prof in the vehicle -sizing each other up!

Well, the elephant moved off and finally the rangers told them to drive the vehicle back on to camp. Needless to say, we parked it nice and far from our campground and the next day, around noon, the python slithered out from under the car and into the bush...he must have been about 10 ft or so.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 7:32 am 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
Posts: 10427
Location: meandering between senility and menopause
FAC Member (2013)
Wow BethR, what an experience.
Must have been really something to witness.
I wonder how often snakes do get into car engines? They certainly do like the warmth. I have heard of a couple of incidents when this has happened.
The closest I have experienced a snake/vehicle, was when a Mozambican Spitting Cobra came at us while we were in an open vehicle.
They have a reputation for aggresiveness.
I have also nearly stepped on a baby Boomslang, but nothing like the "Python circus"

_________________
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:55 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:58 pm
Posts: 198
Location: NOT in KRUGER!!!
BethR wrote:
They were armed with large rifles, but of course they wouldn't do much for a python wrapped around an engine.

Great story, BethR! Would love to see that pic too!

I witnessed a similar incident in 1996, but 'fortunately' for this car owner, it was inside a camp (Lower Sabie) and not out in the bush! The car was parked in the little parking area next to the old restaurant (which serves as parking space for the finch-nests now).

A big snake (I don't know what kind) was also coiled around the engine of this car. The driver didn't know where he could have picked up the snake(s). The snake was very big and the Rangers thought there were two snakes at one stage. When I arrived, they had already removed the dashboard of the car to try and get to it (them), but weren't very successful. People were crowded around the car. Unfortunately we had to leave camp and could not stay for the outcome. Hope the snake(s) made it!

_________________
KRAZY about KRUGER!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 7:43 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 2:37 pm
Posts: 35
I was 22 (30 years ago) when my husband and I spent a week in the park with two babies (my daugther was only about 8 months old). We were driving a new car, but for some reason one of the rear door windows kept on falling open and my husband had to prop it closed with a screwdriver.

I used to be a very nervous type and have always been very (abnormally) fearful of elephants. The window problem made me very skittish as my daughter was on the back seat. This fear seemed to infect my husband as well and at some point the car stalled and he couldn't get it started. We had been driving all day and seen very little and he said that I had to get out of the car to push it so that he could jumpstart it. There was a dip in the road ahead so there was a nice little downhill for this. He told me there were no animals around anyway, so it was safe.

I had no choice so I got out. Suddenly animals appeared as from nowhere. There were giraffe, a jackal, zebra, vervet monkey and impala. I was very nervous and decided to get it over with so I started pushing the car. As it started it seemed to shoot away ahead of me leaving me standing in the road alone. I was scared out of my wits! I ran towards the car. As I got inside my husband was screaming with laughter. He said that he had never known that I was so strong. Then as we drove around the corner a pride of lion were feeding on a zebra kill. We were quite close when the car stalled. Just as well I didn't know that when I had to get out and push. On the upside, we saw more animals in that short while than we had all day.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 12:45 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 3:25 am
Posts: 101
Location: On the Congo River estuary...
Another story involving my SO.
We were at Orpen, and took the Rabelais dam T/off. As it turns left downhill to the "old hut", our wheel cover raced off ahead of the car, went exit left, and stopped against a rock, about 5 m off the road.
The area was generally open, except for large, scattered rocks.
We scanned the area carefully, and decided to jump out to get our wheel cover! So my SO, open passenger door - (cover was luckily on her side) At the speed of a world record sprint - the cover was retrieved. We proceeded for about ten minutes, turned back at Talamati road, and passed the spot where the cover had been. There, sitting pretty, on the Rock, was a lioness, who looked like she might possibly have been woken from her beauty sleep!!??
Well, i was never forgiven... and we realised just why you cannot take chances in KNP.

_________________
"Some are Guilty, but we are all Responsible"

KNP: 03 Jan to 12 Jan 14 (Berg n Dal, PKop, Croc Bridge)
KNP 10 May to 17 May 2013 (Malelane, Satara, Skukuza)
KNP 16 July to 26 July 14 (Croc Bridge, Tamboti, L Sabie )


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Strange, unusual, unknown wildlife noises
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:29 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:45 am
Posts: 58
Location: Belgium
I don't know if this topic is in the good section?

Strange, unusual, unknown wildlife noises, dit it you surprise, scares or laugh ?

South Africa (Kruger NP)

We do a night drives in an open véhicule.
The ranger stop the headlights and te motor.
We are close to a water point.
10 min later ...The feels well in awakening, the eyes examining the near horizon ...We heard the 1st roaring : Lions!!! Lions!!!
To 5 m at the véhicule 6 lions are there.
Unbelievable wild scene . My heart bang so hard and I put a lot of steam on the objective photos.
-----------
We are in the sanitary common (the corner of the men and women are separated.) ...
After a saving shower, we heard an awful scream
I am on the right corner, My husband on the left ...50 m separates us ...Together but Even as 2 ***..
We look who can the first step forward to rejoin the bungalow???
The cry repeat power and I can’t identify the animal that pricks an of these angers
This small game (testing for our nerves) enough lasted
15 min in those cases it is long!!!
Then comes the strategy of the 1,2,3 one rushes ...We took our legs to our necks ...
We never saw what kind of animal it was

_________________
African Proverb "Do not flee from a roaring lion towards a crouching lion"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 3:16 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:00 pm
Posts: 19
Location: New Zealand
My first night alone in the bush was spent at a newly built camp not far from Crooks Corner in the far north of the Kruger Park. The camp was only about a km from the Limpopo river, and Zimbabwe.
Not long after dark a leopard had a go at some baboons who were sitting in a tree very close to the camp. The resulting noise form the baboons, and the grunts of the frustrated leopards almost made me jump through the thatch of the roof.
The baaboons continued ot scream, and the leopard to saw-saw for a while after. When they finally quietened down I could hear native drums beating from accross the river. I thought natives only beat drums in Tarzan movies. I listenned to them with some aprehension for much of the night, wondering they were caling together a raiding party, or simply having an all night rave up, though the music was somewhat repetitive.
The next day I ran into the ranger of the region, who told me the Zim villagers on the Limpopo beat drums at night to keep elephants out of their crops.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:00 pm
Posts: 19
Location: New Zealand
Another hair raising experience was while driving at night in Kriger, something most tourists don't do of course. However as I was staying at the camp in the Makuleke concession it was a bit different rule wise. I'd left the Rangers house by the Luvhuvu river and was returning to the camp at around 10 pm. Part of the the trip was on the tar road, but the second part was on a sand road off limits to tourists, and bordered on each side by trees. Whe driving down this road I was thinking that nothing was darker than the gap between the trees that marked the road, when I found something that was darker, an elephants behind. Unlike most elephants in the day time he wasn't overly hasty about moving off the road, and I didn't fancy the idea of trying to reverse at speed on reversing lights, so I had to follow along with him at the limit of my headlight visibility. Where there is one elephant there are often others, and the headlights made the surrounding trees seem even darker. Eventully he plodded off the trail, and I drove by, half expecting him to step out onto me as I passed.
Back at the camp I only had to walk about 20 meters by the light of a two cell torch with dim batteries to get to my tented hut. Interesng night, but the last I stayed somewhere after dark while visiting.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:19 pm 
I was leaning over the wall at the Oliphants viewing platform trying to get a really good shot of an ellie that was just below. My forearm came into contact with the electric fence. That made my hair stand on end. Luckily, it wasn't a digital camera as it would probably have fried it.


Top
  
 
 Post subject: You're in a right mess now...
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:24 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:22 pm
Posts: 90
Location: Shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grindstone...
Have you ever had an experience in Kruger and thought that you were never going to get out of it?

On our last trip (2 weeks ago) we sneaked up for a long weekend. I was scheduled to host a series of seminars on the Monday morning in Nelspruit, so the Thursday night before we shot up to BnD and pitched the tent. It was stunning, and best of all it was cool and overcast (always a plus when camping in summer) the weather changed, or according to the locals, reverted to type and it began to rain on Sunday night. And it rained...and rained!

Our trusty tent held and it was delicious sleeping with the sound of the rain falling. Early Monday we went for our last drive before packing up, and headed for Renosterpan. The little spruit and drift had had quite a bit of water flowing over it all weekend but this morning it had grown. It was much wider but didn't look terribly deep. What an underestimation!!!

We headed through it, and all kudos to the SO, he just kept powering through, but my little 4x4 was underwater up to the side mirrors . All I could think about was that my boss was going to kill me, dead, if I didn't get to the seminars on time. Once through, I heaved a sigh of relief, until I realised we had to go back the way we came.

Thankfully we got the right line again and got through with only the loss of a number plate - but boy was I a bundle of nerves. We were rewarded with a sighting of a serval playing on the sand road in the rain.

My last nerve was trod upon by my 5 year old daughter, roaring with laughter - shouting "Do it again, Daddy, let's swim again!"

I made the seminars but not before I slipped in the mud with my work clothes so alls well that ends well.

What's your story?

_________________
Not all who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:15 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 12:06 am
Posts: 1755
Location: the Netherlands
Quite a story Bushbaby! And glad that you got out of it. Alive! But, assuming that we have to take this literally, why did you keep driving until the water reached the side mirrors? If you don't mind me saying so, I think this is a textbook example of irresponsible behaviour! And with a 5-yr old on board?
I'm sorry... no Kudos from me. Not to mention a serval!

Seriously, you were damn lucky! There was a post, I think by WTM, several months ago about a Landrover (?) being washed off the road in Kruger. Can't find the post right now, but I do remember those people weren't so lucky.

Apart from everything else: shouldn't that road have been closed?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:56 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:22 pm
Posts: 90
Location: Shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grindstone...
Jose, if I had known I promise you I would never have taken the risk!

However, in our defense, the water was not moving and was only a few metres wide, the drift is there only to stop a deep ditch forming from the flow of rain water and the area is virtually flat.

Text book 4x4ing says that at any body of water that needs to be traversed, you should get out of the vehicle and test the depth with a measure (normally a long stick). As this was not an option (and we had been down the road about 6 times that weekend) the only way to go is forward once you are in that depth of water. To stop and reverse, you run the risk of flooding the engine (with water) and being stuck in the middle. My SO's response to the situation was the correct one. I am grateful that he was driving as I don't think I would have been so calm and clear headed. His vast experience took over and he did the second best thing he could. (First choice would have been to not cross)

We are fortunate that not a drop of water entered the car and that I am still employed. Definitely a guardian angel travelling with us that day.

_________________
Not all who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 325 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 ... 22  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


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 Jurie van Vuuren at 12:26:03 Submitted by grannyb at 20:42:52 Submitted by bushwackedblonde at 19:41:54 Submitted by woodsy at 07:34:20