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What did you see during or after the rain?

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Grantmissy
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Re: What do you do in Kruger when it Rain?

Unread postby Grantmissy » Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:55 pm

January 2013 we were in Letaba during the torrential downpour watching the river rising. We could not leave the house. It rained so much that the water came through the thatch roof in streams. During those conditions we could not do much but stay put and enjoy the rain as water is precious especially during the dry season. During softer rain the day before when we entered through the Phalaborwa gate we saw the largest herd of Buffalo between Letaba and the gate that we have ever seen. It was truly a great sighting.
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Re: What do you do in Kruger when it Rain?

Unread postby Dabchick » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:07 pm

I usually sulk because of having to drive around with closed windows, but drive around anyway; sticking to the tar roads mostly. (I can't stand staying in the bungalow ... when in the Kruger, one is supposed to be out on the roads, looking for sightings.)

Once, it was our second to last day when the rains arrived with meaning. It was coming down in buckets (way too heavy to enjoy game driving) and clearly was there to stay for a while; so we went home a day early (a bit heavy-hearted about the decision), but it turned out to be the right decision, as the next day the rain was much worse with floods and several accidents on the N4 (which I was glad to have missed out on).

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Re: What do you do in Kruger when it Rain?

Unread postby Grantmissy » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:25 pm

Bush Baptist wrote:It won't bother the crocs & hippos at waterholes.


Very true BB. Sunset Dam at Lower-Sabie is our favorite spot in Kruger when it rain. It is great to watch the rain falling over the dam whilst the hippo’s cavort :D
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Re: What do you do in Kruger when it Rain?

Unread postby lion queen » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:53 pm

isinkwe wrote:braai with an umbrella, don't like rain drops in my beer :D


Or drops on your chops??? :whistle:
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Re: What do you do in Kruger when it Rain?

Unread postby isinkwe » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:31 pm

lion queen wrote:Or drops on your chops??? :whistle:


Oh yes , Image That too :lol: :lol:
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Re: What do you do in Kruger when it Rain?

Unread postby Elsa » Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:56 am

We sat at Sunset dam on Monday in the pouring rain and watched as the water inched closer to the overflow pipe.
There were several storks around and other bird species who weren't in the least concerned about the rain.
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Re: What do you do in Kruger when it Rain?

Unread postby Grantmissy » Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:22 am

NetEk wrote: get wet
:lol:

When the rain falls over the Kruger veldt the Impalas always look extra shiny, especially when the raindrops glisten on their hides – almost as if they have been groomed for the rainy occasion - I find the Impalas looking their best during rainy weather. Nothing beats the smell of the Kruger veldt after a very hot summers day and a thunderstorm is starting to light up the sky.
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Re: What do you do in Kruger when it Rain?

Unread postby salamanda » Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:33 pm

Depends when its raining. If its early morning and its hard, we make tea and go back to bed - the only time we would ever not be up and out as soon as the gates open. Then we will go out at around eight. Soft rain - we're out as usual. We may sit at a waterhole and drink tea and take weird experimental pictures of whatever happens to be around.If it rains all day, we might spend a couple of hours in the middle of the day playing bananagram or reading on our beds and that might become our 'afternoon off' (we always have one where we just relax, bird in camp, walk etc.)

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Re: What do you do in Kruger when it Rain?

Unread postby Philip1 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:59 pm

Grantmissy wrote:Great sightings that you have had during the rainy weather Tent Dweller 8). That is what makes a Kruger visit so exciting as a person can have good/surprise sightings during all weather conditions :cam:


Could not answered it better Grantmissy!!! :great: :D
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Re: What do you do in Kruger when it Rain?

Unread postby cheetah2111 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:41 am

Of coarse rain isn't ideal, however it is always worth going out at gate opening time on a rainy morning, as some of the nocturnal animals stay out and about a bit longer! My parents love to retell the story of a rainy morning where they saw an Aardvark near Berg en Dal a few minutes after gate opening!
I also remember seeing civet and genet near Letaba on a rainy morning :thumbs_up:

Nothing better than a short thundershower in the middle of the day to cool things down 8)
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Re: What do you do in Kruger when it Rain?

Unread postby Bennievis » Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:20 pm

Love the building up of a thunderstorm in Kruger, thick black clouds overhead and the rumble and lightning that go with it.
That's the time I want to sit at a waterhole and watch the Impala jump with joy :thumbs_up:

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Re: What do you do in Kruger when it Rain?

Unread postby MATTHYS » Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:23 pm

You just might see me jump with joy too, Bennievis :D !
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Re: What do you do in Kruger when it Rain?

Unread postby saraf » Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:00 pm

I love just sitting on the stoep, watching the rain. I find it calming.
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Weather Impacts on Game Viewing

Unread postby ctm7943 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:07 pm

Today we (2 adults) are preparing to pack for our 1st trip (LS,Sku,Satara) to SA (in 5 days). I decided to check the weather, since we were told that the weather can be unpredictable in Sept. I have no idea of how light or heavy it rains in SA (could be sprinkles to heavy down pour?)
From the forecast, it appears we will encounter "the rains" while in the park.

Does the rain & overcast conditions impact animal behavior?
- We were planning to check out the various water holes/dams etc. along the way on whatever routes we drove (after a look at camp boards, talk to people).
1) Does rain effect the animals need to visit the water holes?
2) Does the early morning & late evening as "best times for game driving" still hold true, even if it is overcast/raining?

- We read a lot of comments about lions etc on the roads early in the morning (especially in the winter). In particular, at Satara we were hoping to see this there. I read they do this because the roads provide warmth.
3) Are early morning roadside lion encounters less likely when it is raining?

- If indeed we do encounter heavy rains, we will keep our rental sedan off of the gravel/dirt roads. There are a couple of gravel roads that we are hoping to check out (S28, S137 etc.).
4) Maybe a silly question: Is it worth it to drive around during heavy rains or just stay in camp.
5) If we encounter a totally miserable day, what would you recommend as an alternative to a self drive game drive?

- For the open vehicle game drives, just in case we get wet, we have packed rain cover (ponchos) and plastic bags for wet clothes.
6) We have pre-paid for sunset game drives at all 3 camps. Do they still go out at the appointed time, regardless of the weather?

- According to recent postings, bug/mossie activity has been low/non-existant. We have packed Deet, Meds & plan to purchase spray at the park.
7) Does this activity significantly increase, once the rains begin?

Sorry for the long post. Our excitement and anticipation is building (started planning 9 months ago). :dance: Just trying to find out what we can do to make the best of it, if we do not find ideal weather.

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Re: Weather Impacts on Game Viewing

Unread postby Friedrich von Hörsten » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:34 pm

Hi CTM7943

So glad you are on your way to Kruger!
Firstly, September is usually hot and dry in the bush of South Africa, with lots of animal activity at waterholes.
If you check weather stations like yr.no and check Skukuza -- for the next 10 days there is NO cloud cover, NO rain predicted, only SUNNY, HOT weather, as in 35 degrees Celsius most days...

Which means... get up early when the gates open to see predators (in active mode), since lions don't like moving around (too much) in the heat, and rather rest in a shady spot... can't say the same for cheetahs or leopards, they walk around any time of day to hunt etc.

You should see LOTS of animals drinking at waterholes or rivers, from early morning, and later in the afternoon again...

If it rains a lot -- most animals don't come to waterholes to drink since there is water everywhere for a few days -- same experience in Hwange NP in Zimbabwe 2 years ago -- hardly any elephants for 2 days during and after rains, but once it dried up, saw up to 700 elephants at a waterhole in one afternoon!

You are coming an awfully long way to see animals -- look for them even if it rains! During heavy downpours most animals huddle under bushes for shelter, but predators will be much more active on rainy, overcast days than on boiling hot sunny days... so keep looking! You see fascinating things in the rain -- tortoises come to drink puddles on the tar road -- the rain never lasts that long, and when it clears up, you will see stunning scenes with dark stormy clouds and golden sunlight breaking through etc.!

Most gravel roads in Kruger are just that -- solid gravel! With an ordinary sedan vehicle you can comfortably drive on them during or after normal showers. When it rains heavily, Sanparks officials will close roads that are too slippery or dangerous, so just go for it! If you get stuck, every second vehicle is a SUV or 4x4, so somebody will help you out of trouble. The dirt roads that are worst in the rain, are cotton soil, usually black earth (mostly in the north in the Mopani country).

September would be one of the best times for mozzies -- very dry. The heat will bring existing ones out, but numbers usually only get high later in the wet months.

I don't know about night drives in the rain, but I guess that is highly unlikely -- our summer rains haven't really started in that part of the country.

Do let us know how your holiday trip went!

God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten

Ps. At Satara, we saw 2 cheetah brothers catch an impala on the tar road that leads to Nwanedzi picnic spot (H5?), and they are seen there regularly -- just check Latest Sightings Kruger Park on Facebook!
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