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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:03 pm 
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We have booked to do 9 days in the Kruger, this July staying at the following

Biyamiti x 2 nights
Satara x 1
Mopani x 2
Olifants x 2
Lower Sabie x 2

Obviously I understand game viewing is all about luck, but could anybody give me a steer as to the probability of seeing key animals in this time frame in this area. My key aims are for Wild Dog, Leopard, Nyala and Sable. My wife who hasn't been on safari before will be wanting to see pretty much anything esp the big 5.



Howzit Baz

I don't think the game is scarcer but the bush is thicker with more thorn thickets and less open grassland. However, there is a greater variety of game than on the savannah. A great place to see sable is around the Mzanzeni and Hlangulene Picnic spots. But I have seen them regularly in the top half of the park. Also have seen roan antelope recently between Mopani and Shingwedzi on the tar. Nyala you will find on the riverine roads at Letaba and Shingwedzi with relative ease. Leopards occur everywhere but any riverine habitat especially in early morning enhances your chances. Again on our last trip to Mopani we saw two on the way home from Shingwedzi on the tar road at dusk within about ten minutes of each. Both lying on the tar road enjoying the last rays of winter sun of the day. In the middle of nowhere, really not where you would "expect" to see leopards. Night drive at Olifants or Lower Sabie probably good for leopards. Check out the posting on Cheetah and Wilddogs for a detailed assesment of these carnivores. Lions are everywhere but I think that on the sand roads around the back of Satara (towards Mozambique) they are extremely populous, especially going towards Nwanedzi picnic spot. Good luck and let us know how your trip went when you get back.


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 Post subject: Best places/roads to spot predators
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:11 pm 
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The following results are based on the number of sightings posted under public sightings, therefore it will only give a good indication as to where best to view the predators.

I have made sure that no double sightings are present ( looked at time and date of photo etc ).

Lions - S100 or Crocodile Bridge
Leopard - Lower Sabie or Biyamiti or Timbavati
Cheetah - H3 or Transport Dam
Wild Dog - H3 or Crocodile Bridge

There are definately more places that they have been spotted, but these are the only posted sightings.

One strange thing I noticed is how little predators are sighted upward of Olifants. Are they just rare or are those people not posting or is there not much visitors as down south.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:36 pm 
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Predators in the North are a bit more difficult to spot, due to the vegetation. The bulk of the lion population is however more central & Southwards. Leopard are everywhere, but is always elusive.

Much fewer tourists visit the North, making sightings less frequent as well.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:13 pm 
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Sightings of the Big 5, Big 6 (=birds) as well as cheetah, Hyena, Nyala and wild dog. These sightings are a subset of the daily ranger patrol information collected using the CyberTracker (CT) System. And thus should be a little more accurate than sightings by visitors.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:06 pm 
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Hehe, nice wishlist!

Sounds like you have a nice trip lined up! Entering at Malelane on the day you travel down from JHB is a good idea for a bit of gate variety. I'm guessing that will be the only day you won't be entering as the gate opens? On all your other days (not travelling so far) this is probably the most essential point for good game viewing - my hubby and I have a motto - if you haven't seen it by 10am you probably aren't going to. It's a bit extreme, and not strictly true of course (cancelled easily by @ the right time, @ the right place :) ), but getting into the park as early as possible greatly increases your chances of good viewing.

The area around Pretoriuskop is pretty good for Sable so you're staying in a good area for that. I've never seen Sable from Phabeni gate, but have frequently between Numbi & Pretoriuskop on the various little loops around the kopjies there.

Both Numbi & Phabeni gates give you a good chance for wild dog - well, as good as you're going to get with these elusive canines! - and the Doispane road actually has a pack named after it.

I don't think I've ever seen cheetah from Phabeni gate (but have seen lion and leopard frequently - I'm sure you won't mind adding these to your list? :D. I have actually seen both cheetah and wilddog within minutes of the Numbi gate early one morning, hopefully the dream comes true for you too! Cheetah seem to like sitting on the stone road markers between Numbi & Malelane which is fortunate as they are surprisingly low down in the grass even when standing and pretty hard to see. Still, as you're aware, rather a rare and lucky sighting if you get it.

Chatting to people in other cars can often be really helpful - if you've seen something interesting don't be shy to flag another car down to tell them, and with any luck they'll be able to tell you about something interesting they've seen in the direction you're travelling. This used to be normal Park ettiquette, but sadly seems to be a tradition which is slipping away.

The brown hyaena would be very fortunate indeed, have you thought about booking a sunset/sunrise drive from the gates maybe on a couple of evenings? It is best to book these in advance as they only go if there are enough people so it's good to let them know there is interest.

Good luck with your quest! Please come back and post a trip report and let us know how it all goes 8)

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:42 pm 
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Have you read through the more recent posts in the Animals forum? Those should give you some good spots. You might also try a search of the Trip Reports. I personally saw sable on the S30 Salitjie Road last May, and several other forumites have also been lucky. And I saw a cheetah about 1km north of Croc Bridge. Others recommend the H10, the S65 and the H5 as good cheetah spots, but I saw little there. Recent trip reports and the specific animals threads are your best bet for recent sightings.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:13 pm 
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Enjoy your holiday, you will have a wonderful time.:lol:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:06 pm 
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This should do nicely, Donn1nger_69. Mine is about 4 cms wide, and approx. 80 cms long:
Image


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:48 pm 
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Hi all,

I also certainly agree that it is all about right time right place, aswell as the season, (rainfall), the vegetation and the time of travelling

My modest opinion is the folowing

Elephant: Do we really need to dicuss it?? Simply Everywhere, (huge groups north)

Buffalo: Everywhere, but less around Olifants and Mopanie (again huge groups [300-400] north)

Rhino: The s110, around Pretoriuskop, and the whole length of the s3

Lion: s100,actually all roads in a 10km radius of Satara, s112-s114 up to Renosterkoppies

Leopard: all riverine areas, but my experience is that they occur in large numbers round Skukuza, and the H4-1 to Lower Sabie

Cheetah: Definitely the H7 from Orpen to Bobbejaankrans, especially EARLY in the moring, and sometimes Transport dam.

Wild Dog: Only saw them a few times [and heared and read others' opinions] , so difficult to say, but I would say the H4-2 from Crocodile Bridge up to Gomondwane waterhole, aswell as the S1 and the H3, especially around Afsaal picnic spot.

I think that when you are going for the predators, you should consentrate south, up to Balule. But if you are out for a overall bush experience, dont skip the north, its less trafficed, and more private.

Again this is my experience and modest opinion

Monné

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Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:07 pm 
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For cheetah the H10, especially the mlondozi dam area, should be added!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:00 am 
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Another factor to consider is the type of soil and grass.
Most grazers love the "soetveld", the sweetveld, which ends at about Olifants.

The lions love grazers and will follow this prey.
If you get an eco map when at Kruger, it is easy to pick up on the sweet veld areas.
Satara area, known for lions, is sweetveld.

Leopard and Wilddog are happy with Impies and smaller prey. These are both browsers and grazers and are found in sweetveld and bushveld.

I think it does correspond very closely to the sighting trends.

Naturally, then there is the exeption :wink:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:37 pm 
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The bird hide near Letaba (forget the name), the back road up to Shingwedzi (will take you down the river road to the camp), the Mahonie loop around Punda, and of course Parfuri. Just for starters!

Richard


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:40 pm 
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Matambeni hide near Letaba is stunning for waterbirds, crocs hippos, elephant and often buffs. Keep your eyes peeled on the roads there too. My dad saw his first leopard in nearly 50 years of going to Kruger there. He has now seen a few more.

Tip, Jaco. If you are not into birds, buy a book (recommend SASOL) and swat them up before you go. It will double your enjoyment.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:12 am 
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Nobody's mentioned the best road in the North. The S56 from just north of Shingwedzi along the Mpholongo River to Babalala


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:28 pm 
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There's no difference between the main and secondary roads as far as the game is concerned. Every time you get behind the wheel it will be different. We always use a combination of red and yellow roads on our game drives.
In our experience, you're less likely to share a really good sighting with hoardes of other vehicles on a secondary road, some of the main roads can get very congested.
For leopards, we have seen them twice on night drives from Lower Sabie. The H4-1 between there and Skukuza is good for both leopards and lions but that's a case in point of a main road that is very busy.
Even if you're not lucky enough to see them on this trip, you will have a wonderful time. Enjoy!


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