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 Post subject: Penny's Kruger Sightings : 30 March to 7 April 2006
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 12:23 pm 
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Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Just received from Penny:

Croc Bridge gate still closed and many dirt road impassable.
Rhino almost coming out of our ears!!
Got charged by an angry ellie yesterday.
Park unbelievably green and lush.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 5:50 pm 
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Just in from Penny:

7 lions today, but very hot and Croc Bridge still closed.

Wow, great sightings of lion, so lucky. :D

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 6:41 pm 
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Just chatted to Penny, and she is finding it frustrating to have to travel to Malelane Gate every day but having a great time none the less. Hoping the river will drop enough to allow access through Croc Bridge.
They saw 6 of the lions on the road down to Transport Dam and the 7th was on the S21.
Very few Buffalo sightings.

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Last edited by Elsa on Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:10 pm 
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Latest from Penny:

First vehicles starting to come over Croc Bridge.
Drove along the S25 and saw the Lukimbi Lion Pride on the road, and a couple of hundred Buffalo and Elephants.


They are certainly getting their fair share of lion sightings!!!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 2:44 pm 
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Penny reported:

No Leopard yet, :(
but charged by a male Lion yesterday. :shock:
Going on a night drive tonight.
Back home tomorrow.

Yet more lions!!! :roll:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 8:22 am 
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Looks like Penny got her wish, night drive report just in:


Male Leopard, 10 Rhino, Elephant and Lion.

Must have been a wonderful night drive. :lol:

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 Post subject: Kruger Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 12:46 pm 
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Location: Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal, SA
We have just returned from a short break (for us) and it was an eventful and good break for all.

It started on a bad note with a revolting drive up around Pongola as the people who were accompanying us did not have passports. The AA advised us to do the Pongola route but with hindsight we would have been far better off doing the Ermelo, Machaddorp route. There were 5 major road stoppages with in excess of a 25 minute wait at each one. We drove in through the Malelane gate absolutely exhausted and headed for Biyamiti. The Croc bridge gate was still flooded so we had no other choice and upon reaching Malelane were also told that the only road available to us to access Biyamiti was the Jock Road just before Afsaal. Encountered rhino, elephant and general game on the way in. Much too exhausted to do an evening drive so just lit the fire and checked the river bed. Stephen came along to say Hi and we had a nice chat. We then met Ollie and his family together with all their fellow travellers and chatted over a beer for half an hour.

The next day we opted for a morning drive and were to come back and pack for the day in the park as we could only check into timeshare at 16h00 (Ngwenya). Could not find the lion and were on our way home when we passed Ollie and crew on their way to Lower Sabie - they passed on the info that a grumpy elephant was up ahead. We did not take long before we encountered this youngster with a BIG attitude. We kept a respectful distance and realised we were going to have to sit it out. The next thing along came a vehicle who we think possibly thought we were being over cautious and he overtook us and drove straight towards the ellie. Well - what ensued was laughed about afterwards as it had a funny side to it - the elephant charged and this poor fellow was paralysed with fear - all he could do was put his hand on the hooter and slam the car into reverse - at that point we were now also forced to start reversing. This elephant toyed with us all for over an hour and we eventually had to phone Biyamit camp for assistance as it was now clear that we were not going to get back in time to check out at 9 a.m. The rest of the day was spent doing the Croc bridge to Lower Sabie to Skukuza route and then out the Malelane gate - plenty of elephant and rhino again and a very interesting sighting of a Martial eagle devouring a tortoise and being harrassed whilst doing so by a couple of Impala Rams.

Sunday morning saw us in residence at No. 83 on the river front at Ngwenya and another early start into the Park through the Malelane gate as the Croc bridge river was still flowing very strongly. Down the S21 where we saw very little except for 1 lioness just before the tar. Champagne breakfast (as is the norm for breakfast cookouts at Nkhulu) and then on to Skukuza. The afternoon run saw us heading down the tar towards Malelane and on a whim I decreed that I would like to pop my nose in to Transport Dam. What a fortutious decision as we encountered 6 lion 1 km down the H1-1. They were right next to the road and it was a grand sighting. We then back tracked to the H3. We were so thrilled at our sighting that we decided to flash the first couple of cars that were heading into the Park to share it with them as even though it was late in the afternoon it was close enough to the H3 to warrant stopping off. What a joke they were speeding past us at such rates (we believe in excess of 80 kms) that they were not only incapable of stopping but were totally disinterested - siiiggghhhhh their loss but it makes me really sad.

Whilst on this note and before I continue I must confess to being absolutely shocked at the road kill numbers we encountered - by the end of 8 days this was the tally -

11 Snakes - one of them a beautiful mature Puff adder and
another Schlegels beaked blind snake
1 mongoose
1 squirrel
4 birds (small)
1 plate lizard
1 guinea fowl
2 mice (unidentified).

The speed that folk were driving was frightening and we even encountered someone on the S25 standing through the sunroof of a Mercedes doing in excess of 60 kms on a road that was in pretty bad shape because of the rain!

Moving on to the rest of the trip. We had rhino coming out of our ears and were to finish with a final tally of over 40 rhino in 8 days which is great!

More lion sightings on Mon and then on Tuesday we came in on the S25 after entering Malelane and encountered the Lukimbi pride right on the road. Close encounters of an elephant kind left us very wary of these huge beasts and one opinion from a fellow traveller alongside us at an elephant hold-up was that not even the revving of engines and slapping the sides of the vehicle was having much effect.

On Wednesday morning we came across a mating pair on the Crocodile bridge road after we had finally ventured in over the causeway despite not having a 4 by 4. We stopped fairly far back but it did not take long for a major roadblock to ensue. We eventually realised that when one or two cars made a gap we would have to take it or never get to eat breakfast. We stopped at least 5 metres from the male and the female was on the road half a metre from the car on the other side. The male took a violent dislike to our vehicle and first growled at us and then charged us. Adrenalin flowed in our car and we left the sighting quite shaken. Car problems at Mlondosi picnic site on the road going down the hill left us stranded in the boiling hot sun and not one person stopped to ask if they could help us! We luckily had 2 bars of cellphone signal and were able to phone the emergency number - that was not such a good move and nothing came of it despite several calls. Eventually our Volkwagen Manager at the workshop in Durban talked us through putting the Slave cylinder rod back in - nightmare stuff!

The nightdrive produced our leopard and we left the Park on an absolute high.

A great trip - with so many highs and a couple of lows. The highs were really high. Malelane was not easy in the mornings and written permits having to be written out and long queues every morning. The beaucratic red tape was lightened by Vusi's smiling face every morning and instant recognition.

I hope you all enjoy reading my report despite it being on the long side and by the way the trip home was even worse that the one going up - it took 12 hours and the aircon packed up in the bus.

Kgalagadi in September so lots to look forward to.

_________________
NO BAIL - JAIL AND NO TRADE IN RHINO HORN EVER!
NO TO BUILDING OF HOTELS IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
26.09.14 - 03.10.14 Burchells Bush Lodge
03.10.14 - 10.10.14 Ngwenya Lodge
The addiction is fed once again


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 3:26 pm 
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Location: Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal, SA
Indeed Ollie had the requisite yellow ribbon on his car. In fact tis the only one I saw the whole trip.

Forgot to publish final viewing figures

42 rhino
22 lion
Over 1000 buffalo
Over 200 elephant
1 leopard

I wonder why the Home page has not published the fact that the Croc bridge gate was finally opened again on Thursday for traffic. I felt really sorry for the folk who had to go round to Malelane every day!

_________________
NO BAIL - JAIL AND NO TRADE IN RHINO HORN EVER!
NO TO BUILDING OF HOTELS IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
26.09.14 - 03.10.14 Burchells Bush Lodge
03.10.14 - 10.10.14 Ngwenya Lodge
The addiction is fed once again


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 3:54 pm 
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Location: Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal, SA
Yes Salva HUP is one of the best places to see both white and black rhino. Interestingly enough I have never seen a black rhino in Kruger itself but have seen one on Thornybush Game Reserve and once in HUP. They are extremely secretive and shy animals and very difficult to spot. HUP is only 3 hours drive for us but somehow we still prefer KNP although we have of course spent many happy days in HUP over the years.

In years gone by (22 years ago) we were hard pushed to see the "Big Five" simply because there were not that many rhino in KNP but of course that has been turned around by HUP re-populating KNP from their Reserve. Now it is not uncommon to see 5 and more rhino together in the Park.

BTW for those of you who might be interested we saw the leopard on a nightdrive from Croc Bridge gate. Great field guide who has taken us out before on drives - his name is Bhillie and he has a keen sense of humour.

_________________
NO BAIL - JAIL AND NO TRADE IN RHINO HORN EVER!
NO TO BUILDING OF HOTELS IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
26.09.14 - 03.10.14 Burchells Bush Lodge
03.10.14 - 10.10.14 Ngwenya Lodge
The addiction is fed once again


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 5:32 pm 
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Location: Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal, SA
Yes very unusual sightings as in the blind snake that was a road kill as they normally live underground, a martial eagle eating a tortoise and being challenged by Impala and an unknown bird couple (male and female) that were escorting their chicks across the road, we think it was a member of the quail family but are not sure. The chicks walked in the shade cast by the parents as the road was so hot and it was an extremely slow process. Also saw an elephant that appeared to be drunk and its legs crossed over each other - we were told by our field guide that he was playing. We had an incredible experience which we filmed on the Malelane road when we came upon a dwarf mongoose all on its own in the middle of the road - we were very concerned for its safety so parked alongside so that no other cars could run it over. It squeeked and called and then the mother came cautiously along and eventually ran onto the road and grabbed it by the scruff of its neck and belted to the safety of the grass on the side of the road - fascinating viewing. Believe me it is not just about the Big 5 although most folk want to hear about your sightings of them. We are just as fascinated with the small stuff. One afternoon we witnessed a fight on the lawn behind our timeshare between two Egyptian geese who were so vicious grabbing and twisting at each others throats that they were bleeding - all over some female who wandered off half way through and showed no further interest in them. We eventually turned the hose on them when we realised that (excuse the pun) it was water off a ducks back and eventually separated them with a broom! We could not stand the horrific noise they were making any longer. Captured it all on video so we had a good laugh at that when we watched it this afternoon.

_________________
NO BAIL - JAIL AND NO TRADE IN RHINO HORN EVER!
NO TO BUILDING OF HOTELS IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
26.09.14 - 03.10.14 Burchells Bush Lodge
03.10.14 - 10.10.14 Ngwenya Lodge
The addiction is fed once again


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:54 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 875
Location: Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal, SA
Pics posted at:

http://za.msnusers.com/Kruger-April2006

Sorry that they are not wonderful but I borrowed my daughters camera and you just about need a degree to operate it. The leopard ones did not come out at all - insufficient light and yet the video I took came out perfectly!

Enjoy

_________________
NO BAIL - JAIL AND NO TRADE IN RHINO HORN EVER!
NO TO BUILDING OF HOTELS IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
26.09.14 - 03.10.14 Burchells Bush Lodge
03.10.14 - 10.10.14 Ngwenya Lodge
The addiction is fed once again


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 6:11 pm 
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Knees? Midget Macho Mouse? :lol:

Some nice lion pics, Penny. I really like this one:
Image


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 4:00 pm 
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Thanks for the report and pics, Penny. The twins think this one should be in Nature can be funny
Image

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Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow them. Louisa May Alcott


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