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 Post subject: Sightings around Punda
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 5:53 pm 
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Saw two seperate leopards on the Mahonie loop on the same day in Nov this year.
The first one was in the late afternoon in a tree (quite a young one).
Second one at night on the night drive
(The resident male i think).
Saw a female lion the same afternoon on the loop and a pride of six the next morning close to the Punda Maria gate.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:24 pm 
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We didn't but the night drives on each side of the one I did saw Leopard with the first night being a particularly good sighting .
We missed every time at Punda and Shingwedzi and at Shimuwini a leopard female and youngster were seen at all times of the day (by other people of course!!!) between the camp and the start of the loop up to 4kms from camp but usually only 2 kms from camp.
We had to wait till Biyamiti for 2 great sightings (one was excellent even if I say it myself) so folks will have to wait at least a month for me to get there in my report!!...at the slow pace I'm going at the moment!!

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:41 am 
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Boulder wrote
Quote:
Well done Yves for reporting and SEEING the Punda cats and I'm sure you saw them without the prerequisite H4-1/2 and S100 traffic jams!!

Boulder you are so correct. The first young leopard in the tree we spotted ourselves. We watched her for 45 mins before we had to leave as it was getting dark.
Image
The female lion a bit further on i spotted myself and again only one car approached as we where leaving. We told them about the young female in the tree just down the road but they missed it (we spoke to them at the restaurant that night). The pride of lions the next morning where all to ourselves. We approached the waterhole near the entrance gate and we could hear the distress call of the impala near the water. We switched the car off and two mins later they appeared from a gully. The female watched the impala and then suddenly gave a half harted chase, giving up after 200m. Again nobody else was around to witness the sighting.
Image


Last edited by Yves on Thu Feb 08, 2007 3:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:13 pm 
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I must say we did not see any lion or leopard around Punda Maria although we drove the Mahonie Loop completely three times.
We did hear lions roaring when we were in our tent at night though, such a fantastic sound!

Tent number 5 at Punda has an AMAZING view, it is elevated up high.
We loved it.
And the food in the restaurant is very good, especially the bobotie and the breakfasts.
The store could use better and more frequent stocking though.
Overall we liked Punda a lot even though sightings were a little scarce.
Did see a huge herd of buffalo on the loop, and lots of birds.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 7:26 am 
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Almost all the spots in Punda has shade... It is difficult to say which spot is the best. Just drive in there and pick the best spot for you. Thats the beauty of Punda, it is never too busy... Any left over spot will be great. I always prefer camping next to the fence though.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 7:31 am 
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Maybe I can add this... as you drive into the camping area, go towards the birdhide, it is very close to the ablution block and on the fence... That is a favourite spot of mine... So if my tent doesn't stand there next to the hide then you can take that spot with pleasure. :lol:


With a strong light you see quite alot at the waterhole @ night. And its not too far back to your tent from there. :wink:


Last edited by wildtuinman on Fri Apr 20, 2007 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 5:38 pm 
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Muldooy,
Don't know if this helps but I believe that Safari Tent #4 is the most private, or at least the furthest away -- although all you have between you and the outside is some canvas, and sound does carry, I know :wink:
I'm attaching some #4 tent photos.
mja
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 6:12 pm 
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I would say #4 has the most privacy,
#3 is great but has sewerage pipes,
#2 has the best view (my favourite), but you can't go wrong with any of them :D


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:57 pm 
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Hi Kingfisha.
Cant see the waterhole from the tents
There is one near the perimeter at the camping area .
And a great birdhide built next to the perimeter.

But very close on the Mahonie loop you have a waterhole.

but the view from the tents are great and when sitting on your deck you wont see the neighbours.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:51 am 
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Agreed! The less luxury and stock in the shop, the less people! :wink: Just the recipe for peace and quiet.

Referring to the "outdated" meat, I read in another topic yesterday (I think it was for Shingwedzi) that the expiry date on the meat is for fresh meat. When it arrives (in February for example) in the camp, it is frozen. This way the expiry date is actually invalid and the meat will be fine. Just for future reference - in case you leave the meat at home.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:35 pm 
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Just curious here, but I don't remember there being a "formal" picnic spot at Parfuri on my first KNP visit back in 1984 —
certainly no place where you could cook???
I have some pix from that trip of what I believe is now the "formal" Parfuri picnic spot and all it was then was a relatively clear area — with far too many baboons about for me to wish to get out of my car! :roll:
But perhaps this was another spot and I missed the actual picnic spot in 1984??

One thing's certain, there was NO access to Crook's Corner in 1984, the road to the east of the "connector" road between the south and north parts of the S63 was closed for security reasons.
I don't recall seeing any other cars during the time I spent exploring that magical area, and very few animals (just baboons and nyala), but the fevertrees and especially the baobabs were unforgettable!
I'm not sure whether it was possible for visitors to cross the Luvuhuvu or use the Parfuri gate during that time (may have been restricted to military use?) ... does anyone know?
I also think that most of the S64 was closed/restricted at that time.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:28 pm 
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Hi Arks
Our first trip was 1987 and there was a picnic spot then.
Almost as it is now though no gas braais.
They had a large log slowly burning in the centre and the attendant would break off some red hot embers so you could cook on the large communal braai.
And yes, there were a lot more monkeys around, mostly vervet.
But they still made off with our loaf!

Crooks corner was not open though you could drive around to the crossing point.
I don't remember the Parfuri gate being either open or closed.

The bit I miss is the nyala drive side.
The dirt track carried on for quite a lot further than it does now and had several more view points overlooking the river.
I live in hope that these may be reopened one day.

One of my strongest memories of that time is thinking how dead the mopane area looked - it was April.
And how in November 18 months later I was amazed how the dead trees had come back to life!

Richard


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:45 pm 
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Interesting, Richard. I wonder whether anyone can comment on earlier in the 1980s? And when I was there in November 1984, most of the Nyala Drive (S64) was definitely closed :(


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:48 pm 
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Quote:
Interesting, Richard. I wonder whether anyone can comment on earlier in the 1980s? And when I was there in November 1984, most of the Nyala Drive (S64) was definitely closed


Arks, the first time we went up to Pafuri was in the late 1960's and there was a picnic site there where one could get out of the car but no facilities that I can remember. I think Crook's Corner was accessible then too, but my memory is not too good !


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:20 am 
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Hi elpaco
It seems that the advice you have received up to now is spot-on. It is a good idea to choose one day and leave quite early from Punda. Take the road up to Pafuri for a breakfast while making a list of the wonderful birds you will identify. This is about a 50 km drive.
After that you can take a slow drive to Crooks corner (leisurely hours drive if you take it very slow along the Levuvhu River) and coming back past Pafuri you have to go on the S64 towards Thulamela. Here you will see more birds including the trumpeter Hornbill!

A great sundowner drive is on the Mahonie Loop which goes 'around' the Punda Maria camp. Another productive drive is the H13-1 towards the lookout at Dzundzwini hill (on the S 58). Don't miss the Fever tree forest! (Am not sure on which road it is....?)

Another lovely day trip is out to Babalala picnic spot to the south with a few waterholes on the road (H1-7) and the little gravel roads and the Mphongolo Loop past Sirheni camp.

These northern parts are very special because the vegetation is so different and you need to look for Nyala, Eland, Roan, Sharps Grysbok and wilddog. (have never seen wilddog in this area, but they are there...)

If you are a birder - well, there is no better place to go. Look for Purple-crested Louries,Wattle-eyed Flycatcher, Narina Trogon, Orange-breasted Bush-shrike, Pel's fishing owl etc.

ENJOY and remember to give us a report on your trip. I will be there in August as well - and cannot wait!


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