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 Post subject: S143 Tropic of Capricorn Loop
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:51 pm 
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During our visit in May we plan to travel this gravel road for the first time. Anyone that would like to share their experiences of this road? Thanks in advance!

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 Post subject: Re: S143 Tropic of Capricorn Loop
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:20 pm
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Location: peterborough uk
Always wanted to go on this road and managed it for the first time last Oct.
Traveled on it everyday while staying at Mopani and would highly recommend. :D:
saw plenty of general game but as soon as we got to Thongonyeni WH saw some great sightings including BBJ, Eland, Tsessebe, Roan and a contender for an up and coming tusker. :clap:
and as we turned onto the S50 at the eastern end of the S143 we also got to see Reedbuck.
Enjoy hope you have plenty of great sightings. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: S143 Tropic of Capricorn Loop
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:58 pm
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Location: Pietermaritzburg
Definitely my favourite road in that area!!!
Drove it two or three times in August last year and saw plenty of Tsessbe, one Eland and lots of zebra.
The waterhole is a great place to sit and eat rusks and drink coffee.
Always something to be seen.
Had great fun watching a hyena come down to the waterhole while the zebra were there and seeing how spooked they were.
Also watched vultures come down to drink.
And on the road saw a big male reedbuck as well!
Lots of potential!!!
Just be aware that the nearest toilets are at Mopani which is a bit of a drive!


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 Post subject: Re: S143 Tropic of Capricorn Loop
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:22 pm 
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One of my favourite roads in the park.
Early in the morning I usually start with the S50 and go via Mooiplaas and the Nshawu water holes to Tihongonyeni.
In my experience is the area around Tihongonyeni the best place in the park to see the Tsessebe and I have also seen the eland here.
Besides, zebra, warthog, wildebeest, kudu, elephant, kori bustards and other birds it is also a good place for black-backed jackals.
The area around Tihongonyeni is very open so you can see herds of animals coming from all directions and a lot of animals stay in the area.
For photography the water hole is a bit far away but if you're lucky they come closer on their way to the water hole.
The big advantage of the Mopani area is that it is very quiet people wise.
Last February it happened a few times that I saw no other car before 8.30 am.


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 Post subject: Re: S143 Tropic of Capricorn Loop
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:59 pm 
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Always worth a visit, though as someone said, a longish trip.
Also saw Tsessebe and the highlight was seeing Mandevu there in January(see the thread on "Big Tuskers". Sadly he has now passed away, so you will not get to see him, but there are plenty of other big tuskers in the area :D
Fantastic open places, and when I was there in Summer, the green grass was lush enough to attract a lot of herbivores.

Somehow this road always gets a mention in the many trip reports of which I read many.


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 Post subject: Re: S143 Tropic of Capricorn Loop
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:46 pm 
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Location: Kleinmond, Western Cape
I only travelled the S143 once (12 June 2009). We saw quite a lot of wildebeest and zebra near Thongonyeni and also some kudu, steenbok and tsessebe on the road. But the highlight was 2 cheetah on the S144 between the S143 and H1-6 junctions.

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 Post subject: Re: S143 Tropic of Capricorn Loop
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:16 pm 
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Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
We really enjoy this loop and have never not found lots to see. :D
Always Tsessebe, often Lions, huge Buff herds, plenty Ellies including some big tuskers and lots of general game.

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 Post subject: Re: S143 Tropic of Capricorn Loop
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:48 pm 
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Location: Durban, SA
We did this loop twice in one day.
Once in the morning our selves - where we saw BBJ and got stuck in a herd of possibly 200 buffalo - took about 45 mins to get through.
We then did it again on the sunset drive from Mopani which was a bit disappointing.
There has been a lot of rain and so game doesn't have to come to the water holes.

There was a sighting of a male lion near the Nshawu water holes and we saw quite a few impressive ellie's, but not much else.

It's a nice loop to do though and even the guide was surprised that we saw so little at the water hole!

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2013: Dates TBC - Three weeks from Durban to Addo, Mountain Zebra, Camdeboo, Karoo, Mokala & Golden Gate.


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 Post subject: Re: S143 Tropic of Capricorn Loop
Unread postPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 7:36 am 
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Thank you all for the responses and just as you have indicated this road is definitely worth exploring.
Amongst others, we saw earlier this month two secretary birds and two very healthy looking ostriches. Somehow these wild ostriches looked very different and so much happier than those you would see on commercial farms.
We hope to maybe see roan antelope when we visit again.

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 Post subject: Re: S143 Tropic of Capricorn Loop
Unread postPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 9:02 am 
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Hi Grantmissy!
The S143 is one of my most favourite roads. (That was hard to say, because I absolutely love every single spot in the KNP, north to south, east to west, A to Z!)
But this road does that extra something else to me, some mysterious factor...
Besides the great amount of animals and birds you are bound to see there, you will go through a few kilometer stretch of desolation, sparse bush, few birds, somewhat still, silent.
The atmosphere is like that there, desolation and loneliness. We've seen Tsessebe and ellies there, though.
Then you come to the Tsendze plains at the beginning of which is the Tihongonyeni waterhole.
Usually a variety of animals and birds all over the place.
But the vast space, wide, open, free.
Grassland.
Once we parked there and simply watched the plains with its own kind of silence.
On the horizon far, far off, dark cumulus clouds...
I better stop now before I write a story!
The S143 then enters through a few kilometers of Mopane shrub again and T-junction into the S50 with its alluvial plains.
Going both north or south from there is an experience of its own.
Waterholes, bird hide, lookout point.
You might spot four young male lions there...and we've had rhino, elephant and buffalo plus plenty more.
Tell you what:
Go live the S143 and S50 and come tell us about it!!!
(Before I carry on and on...!)


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 Post subject: Re: S143 Tropic of Capricorn Loop
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:05 am 
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Just two more animals that I have spotted on this road, Side Striped Jackal and Honey Badger. If you are in the area, this road is a must! :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: S143 Tropic of Capricorn Loop
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:10 pm 
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Location: Here...there, somewhere, where's my GPS?
Do you guys think it is possible to drive the S143 when staying at Olifants in July?

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 Post subject: Re: S143 Tropic of Capricorn Loop
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:28 am 
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Grantmissy wrote:
Hi Weltenman I think it might be a bit far. Time should be on your side when you decide to travel this route.



That is the way I see it as well...I guess our next trip we will have to stop at Mopanie to do the route... :D

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 Post subject: The Tropic Of Capricorn Loop - S143
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:59 pm 
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Location: johannesburg (but soon in Kruger)
I have driven the Tropic Of Capricorn numerous times and have seen only hyena and Tsessebe and one lion once on it over the years .

I've seen so many pictures of leopard and cheetah kills and roan antelope.
But who here has actually seen those or it is just those lucky people.


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 Post subject: Re: The Tropic Of Capricorn
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:46 pm 
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It always produced something intresting for us, we have seen on anumber of occasions Cheetah, Leopard and Elephant, Buffs (big herds) various antelope... one of my favourite drives 8)


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