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Tips on where/how to spot wildlife.

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Johan N
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Re: spotting tips

Unread postby Johan N » Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:36 am

Very good tips here. I would just like to stress the importance of what Carolynn said regarding "put the engine off". Many people stop at a sighting and don't put the cars engine off. The engine noise and exhaust fumes irritates animals and will cause them to rather move off. Diesel vehicles are particularly noisy. So, switch off the engine, look, listen and enjoy. :thumbs_up:

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Re: spotting tips

Unread postby billyf » Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:24 am

I have found that newcomers to the bush tend to look at trees and bushes, while military training taught me to look through trees and bushes. Its whats inside or behind or below that you are looking for.

I hope this makes sense :roll:
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Re: spotting tips

Unread postby Gemma T » Sun Apr 05, 2009 1:32 pm

Don't know how useful this will be but it helped me...I tend to wear sunglasses in bright weather but I found not wearing them and getting to good hat instead really helped me see animals more often. I think it was that the brown tint of the shades gave the animals extra camouflage!!
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Re: spotting tips

Unread postby Timepilot » Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:34 am

As others have said:

Look through the bush, not at it.
Don't wear polarising sunglasses - a lot of vehicle windows have a some form of polarisation and you can get a cross polarisation effect occurring which "blinds" you.
Look for movement, and,
Take your time.
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Re: spotting tips

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:47 pm

Some have been said before. Just shows they work.
1. Get out when the gates open and return when they close. Do other things around this, maybe at midday.
2. Look for water & drive near it.
3. Look in trees.
4. When you see something, do a 360 scan. Something that wants to eat it might be stalking.
5. When a buff herd crosses the road, wait 10 minutes for the lions. (Learnt this one recently and hope to do it in 3 weeks!)
6. Keep clear of mum & baby big & hairy.
7. Buy a bird book and enjoy it more. I have seen more leopards since looking for birds.
8. Look for traffic jams - the cats are there.
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Re: spotting tips

Unread postby GlenD » Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:10 pm

Stop and take note of the mood of herds (esp Impala, listen too for alarm snorts) instead of driving on past.

Are they relaxed and calm or are they nervous and alert. Be aware of any long held stares in one specific direction and try and see what they are looking so intensely at.

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Re: spotting tips

Unread postby GlenD » Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:18 pm

Scan the skies as well, a large number of circling vultures could indicate the presence of a kill.

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Re: Tips for spotting leopard in Kruger

Unread postby Gemma T » Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:38 pm

We've been really lucky in getting sightings of leopards - we saw 13 on our last trip. To be honest a lot of the time getting sightings is to do with getting tip offs as to where they have been seen recently. We are always at the gate well before it opens and often we have been given great tips about where people have seen things the day before etc. In fact those early morning conversations have led to great sightings and also some long standing friendships!!

The area around Satara has also been very good to us, especially around N'wanetsi. We saw 5 leopards in one day around there last August.

Another hint I have heard about and has paid off for my Dad is if someone says you've just missed a leopard - but it's gone. It's sometimes worth while hanging around for a bit as they can come back!!

A willingness to wait within sight of a kill for a long time will also often reward you with a sighting. We stayed in a layby by the side of the H4-1 for 6 hours last August and we rewarded by seeing a leopard cub playing around the base of tree where the kill was. The cub was really playful and almost teasing us. We saw it several times over the hours and were eventually forced away by an overwhelming need to go to the loo!!!
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Re: Tips for spotting leopard in Kruger

Unread postby Elsa » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:29 am

I agree with 2 of the above postings,

Luck does play a big part, as do tip offs and also the tip about once you have viewed the Leopard, hang around for a while, we have had some of our best sightings of them the second time around, sit quietly and they often retrace their steps and reappear almost in the same place or a little further away but still viewable.

Some say early morning or evening is the best time but we had a super sighting in the middle of a scorching hot day in Feb!


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Re: Tips for spotting leopard in Kruger

Unread postby issi » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:17 am

Leopards are territorial, so I marked the areas on my map were the people on the forum saw leopards. It actually work, when we get to the certain area, we drive very slow and look in, under all trees. We saw leopards on 5 consecutive day and all in areas marked on my map in 2009. 2 of the sightings, we saw on our own!

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Re: Tips for spotting leopard in Kruger

Unread postby saraf » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:46 pm

Take a good look up and down the dried up gullies and spruits when the road passes them.

Listen out for the alarm calls of other animals, baboons especially.
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Re: Tips to find Wild Dog

Unread postby Sprocky » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:35 pm

My tip is to watch your rear view mirrors. :shock:

I went in for a few minutes one Saturday morning after buying a Burger.
I sat at the Ngwenyeni water hole, not much going on, so I started with my hammy.
Once my hands were covered in dripping sauce my eye caught movement in my mirror...there they were, four dogs walking past the car to the water! :big_eyes:
Well that was the end of my burger.
Once my hands were clean and my shirt slightly tasty, I managed to take photo's, I spent about an hour with them while they protected the two Impala that they had killed from the vultures. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Where are the Cats of Kruger?

Unread postby cheetah2111 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:54 pm

Hi Wild :)

The best times of day for cats are at the coolest times of day. So in the mornings and later in the afternoon 8)
The best camp for me has always been Satara :D But people have their luck in different areas :thumbs_up:

Although cheetah can be seen anywhere in the Park, their best areas are the open grasslands on the Eastern side of Kruger. The S28, S29, H10, H1-1 are some of the best cheetah roads. By contrast, the Wild Dogs prefer the veld in the West. The H3, S25, H4-1, S114, H7 are some of the best wild dog roads :thumbs_up:

Lions are found anywhere where there is lots of prey! Satara is said by many to be the best camp for them. Lower Sabie, Croc Bridge, Skukuza and Orpen/Tamboti/Maroela are also very good.

Leopards are all over the Park but there are many in the South! Also the Southern leopards are less skittish so allow themselves to be seen. The area between Lower Sabie and Skukuza has the most leopards. Malalane area also has plenty!
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Re: Tips on where/how to spot wildlife.

Unread postby garrow » Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:26 pm

The photo showing the Nahpe loop on the H1-1 is good for cheetah, the s28 from croc bridge to lower sabie, the h10 from lower sabie to Tshokwane.

Image

Wild dog can be found around the Skukuza area, Pretoriuskop area, Malelane area, Crocodile bridge area, the s1 phabeni tar road, between the sabie and sand river bridges on the H1-2 and in the vicinity of renosterkoppies dam.

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Grantmissy
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Re: Tips on where/how to spot wildlife.

Unread postby Grantmissy » Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:37 pm

My tip would be to avoid driving faster than 30 km per hour on the tar roads or 20 to 25 km per hour on the gravel roads. The allowed 50 km and 40 km are much too fast - a person misses plenty at those speeds.
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