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 Post subject: Wildlife4ever goes Krugerpark Feb 2011
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:27 pm
Posts: 9
Location: The Netherlands
We have visited South Africa before, but never wrote a travel tale. So it’s time to contribute our travel tale to this lovely forum.

We left the Netherlands on Sunday 20 February, on a cold winterday. We had a very nice flight with KLM (as usual), and arrived before schedule. We rushed to pick up our bags and rental car. We rented our car with Budget and it was a very nice Honda CR-V with sunroof. The first night we slept in Johannesburg, and left the following morning to the Kruger park. We enjoyed the sun 8) and lovely temperatures. The trip went smooth.

Monday 21 February,

At about 12.00 PM we arrived at the Melelane gate, heading up for a night at Berg en Dal. After the check in, we drove only 200 meters into the park, and our first LIT (leopard in tree) is a fact :dance: . The leopard is about 50 meters from the road, but a good photo is hard to take when there are so many heat waves.

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When we arrived at Berg en Dal, we pitched up the tent. It’s very quiet at the campsite.

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It’s already 32 degrees , so it’s time to go to the swimming pool. When we were cooled off, we were ready for a late afternoon drive. We took the S-114, S-119 and the S-110 back, we saw a rhino, 10 zebra, 4 giraffe and some elephants. It’s good to be back in the Kruger park.
When the sun goes down, most people are heading up for bed. But for me a hole other world of beautiful animals break trough. In the summer months, at night thousands of insects wake up. With my macro lens and ring flash prepared, I am ready for the invasion :cam: .

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Last edited by Wildlife4ever-Mike on Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Wildlife4ever goes Krugerpark
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:02 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:27 pm
Posts: 9
Location: The Netherlands
CuriousCanadian wrote:
The second insect..is it a katydid? There is a member on another thread looking for an ID on a very green rather large insect....



I'm not a expert on insects, but according my field guide "insects of south Africa" it's a acacia Katydid.

Indeed we were very lucky with the Lit.


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 Post subject: Re: Wildlife4ever goes Krugerpark
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:19 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:27 pm
Posts: 9
Location: The Netherlands
john n poppy wrote:
Great to see pics of the smaller creatures...

what macro lens do you have? It works a treat.

cheers
john


John,

The lens I use for the small creatures is a Canon 100mm F:2.8 macro lens.
Together with my sigma ring flash, it's a great combination.


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 Post subject: Re: Wildlife4ever goes Krugerpark
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:27 pm
Posts: 9
Location: The Netherlands
Thank you all for the warm welcome to the forum. I will try to update my 2011 KNP trip, as regular as possible.


Tuesday 22 February,

We woke up early, and left Berg en Dal at 5.45. Today we were going to Lower Sabie, and will stay there for two nights. We first took the tar road and saw 3 rhino’s close to the road.

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We took the H-3, S-118, S-119 and the S-25. There are many rhino’s in this area, we saw a total of eight this morning. Last year we had our first Wild dogs at the S-25. We were very much hoping to see them again. The first part of the S-25 was quit, and the temperature was rising. Between the turnoff to Lukimbi Safari lodge and the Biyamiti bridge, we saw Wild Dog again :dance: . There were only 5 dogs, but we were the only car around :lol: .

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A little bit further at the Biyamiti bridge, we saw 2 lions and 2 cups. They were already lying in the shadow, unfortunately it was far away. But it’s always nice to see big cats.

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We traveled further via the S-108, and came up to a ellie crossing the water.

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We arrived at Lower Sabie around 11 am.


I will try to post the rest of the day, later tonight.


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 Post subject: Re: Wildlife4ever goes Krugerpark
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:20 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:27 pm
Posts: 9
Location: The Netherlands
Second episode Tuesday 22 February,

After spending some time at the swimming pool, we were up for a drive again. We decided to go to the south of Lower Sabie. At the afternoon drive, the temperature was still high. The grass in the area was tall, making wildlife viewing difficult. But driving around the Kruger park is always nice. First we went to the Lower Sabie bridge, were we saw the kingfisher and a Hamerkop fishing in the river.

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We took the S-28, S-137 and back to Lower Sabie. We stopped at the hide (Hippo’s far away) and at Duke waterhole. At Duke was a buffalo lying in the water to cool down. A little bit further there were rhino’s again. Along the S-137 there was a European roller close to the road. In the whole park there were many European rollers.

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Back in the camp it was time to prepare :cam: for the smaller creatures.
Tonight they were giving us a great concert. The sounds they are making are marvelous.

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Sundowner Moth.
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Leaf Katydid.
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 Post subject: Re: Wildlife4ever goes Krugerpark
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:27 pm
Posts: 9
Location: The Netherlands
kesheshe wrote:
All i can say is your macro shoots are fantastic. :clap: :clap: :clap:

i also have a 100 f2.8 with twin flash unit - i hope you could answer the following for me:

Were they all hand held shoots?
What F stop did you adopt?
What distance where you on average?
What ISO?
Was your EV balanced?
Did you have shutter speed on auto or did you adjust?




kesheshe,

When I bought the macro lens I searched the internet, and tried out several things.
For me it worked out the best, when I put the camera on manual, and let the flash balance the exposure. I always start with the camera on 1/250th, ISO 100. With F-13 you will get a good depth of field, just play with your F stop. Your flash will always balance your exposure. If you want to under or over exposure your picture, you have to adjust your flash.
All the pictures are taken hand held, and on auto focus. At night I use a torch, for the Auto focus to lock on.

A ring flash will give you good results. but for those not having a ring flash, a normal flash will work out fine as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Wildlife4ever goes Krugerpark
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:45 pm 
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Posts: 9
Location: The Netherlands
Wednesday 23 February,

It had been raining during the night. We were at the gate a few minutes before opening. There were five cars in front of us. We were planning to go to Skukuza. After the gate opened, all cars in front of us and behind us turned left in the direction of Crocodile Bridge. We turned right to Skukuza, keeping us wondering why all cars turned left. Did they know something?
We took the H4-1, there were two hyena’s walking on the tar road.

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We decided to take the S-21. It was a quit drive with some kudu’s and giraffes, until we came up to lions laying on the road :clap: . It were 2 lionesses with 3 large cups. We stayed with them for almost 2 hours. The first other car arrived after one hour, but it only stayed there for a few minutes. So most of the time we were the only car around. I think that’s one of the advantageous of being in the park in February, it is very quiet in the park compared to July. After a while the lions decided to climb up onto the rocks.

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Just before we left, a safari vehicle arrived. He radioed the position of the lions to the other safari vehicles. When driving further on the S-21, we saw a lot of safari vehicles rushing towards the lions. One of the safari vehicles stopped us to ask for the position of the lions, and pointed us the direction to a cheetah on the H3. We decided to have a look there. So after the S-21 we took the S-112 and the H3 to Skukuza. We saw a lot of animals, like ellies, wildebeest and zebra.

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We also found the cheetah. It was lying far away from the road, but on a sand hill making it easy to spot.

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We had breakfast at Skukuza. Whow :big_eyes: that chanced after our last visit in July. After Skukuza we decided to go to the Lake Panic hide, where we stayed till noon. It was already getting hot, and that was probably the reason why it was quiet at the hide. It is always nice to see the kingfishers flying around and catching fish.

The way back I will post later, where we saw Wild Dogs again :dance: .


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 Post subject: Re: Wildlife4ever goes Krugerpark
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:27 pm
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Location: The Netherlands
Part 2 - Wednesday 23 February,

It was quiet at the Lake Panic hide, so we decided to go back early. On our way back to Lower Sabie we stopped at the upper bridge near Skukuza. On the bridge there were a couple of baboons sitting on the railing.

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We took the S30 and the S29 to Lower Sabie. Until the Gabeni water hole it seems to be a quiet drive. But when we came up to the water hole, we saw a group of 12 Wild Dogs lying under the trees.

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From time to time they came up to shake the fleas off, or to defecate. We stayed with them for about 3 hours, but it seems that they were not preparing to move. So we decided to go back to Lower Sabie. At Loskop Mafotini water hole we saw a large group of baboons sitting in the riverbed.

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On our way back we stopped at the Mlondozi lookout. It’s amazing to see how different the view from the lookout is compared to the winter. In winter the Mlondozi dam is completely dry, but during our visit the dam was entirely full. At the S-29 we saw some ellies, 2 rhino’s and dung beetles. The beetles were busy with rolling dung into beautiful balls.

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Last edited by Wildlife4ever-Mike on Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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