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 Post subject: S33 Vutomi Road.
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:02 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
In Jan 2007 I traveled this road a couple of times and found it to be very scenic and had good sightings of elephant, rhino, and buffalo as well as the normal browsers / grazers such as impala, kudu ,giraffe, zebra etc. I did not see any of the cats as I did not get there early.
I was staying at Satara and getting there early is a bit of a problem because of the distance involved.
On my next trip in Nov 07 I intend leaving Satara at 04h30 and drive straight to the S33 as I think this road has great potential for lions and leopards.
Do any of the forumites have good experiences on this road?


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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:46 am 
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Have seen lion there once (But I do not drive this road frequently).

Saw Leopard between Lugmagdam and Nhlanguleni on the S36 (+- 3 km's off S33)

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:16 pm 
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Have had very good sightings of buffalo and elephant on this road snd agrre that it is very scenic and has good potential for predator sightings but have not seen any.

We usually drive to the Jones dam are from Skukuza hoping to see sable and then take this road but like you have not been there early in the morning.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:50 pm 
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Saving those that do not know where the S33 is some time:
Almost between Nhanguleni and Tshokwane picknicspot, about 35 km under Satara. It does not start at Tshokwane, that's the S34, but the road above that.

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 Post subject: Re: S33 Vutomi Road.
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:11 pm 
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I came across this young male Leopard on a rock in the Nwaswisontso riverbed where it crosses the Vutomi Road. He was very relaxed and stayed on that rock for 57 minutes ( the time difference between my first and last photo). For most of that time I had him all to myself. When I arrived at the causeway there was already one car there before they moved off after about 15 minutes. Needless to say I took numerous photos of this cat as he slept / groomed himself.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: S33 Vutomi Road.
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:03 pm 
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What a fantastic sighting adw and great pic. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: S33 Vutomi Road.
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:40 pm 
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Beautiful photo, adw :clap: :clap: :clap:

I have not done the Vutomi road very often, but I do enjoy it. I find it rather scenic, a pleasure to travel, regardless of sightings.

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 Post subject: Re: S33 Vutomi Road.
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:08 pm 
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Thank you for your kind comments Elsa, Okie and MM.
MM, I agree with the comments on this road, plus the Vutomi Dam is also a hotspot for general game and Elephants that come down to drink and play in the water.
One of my favourite drives.

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 Post subject: Re: S33 Vutomi Road.
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:55 pm 
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I was in the park two weeks ago (late October 2011) and I decided to try this road in my effort to get to Jones' Dam to look for Sable.
It had been 43 degrees Celsius the day before and the morning seemed to be getting hotter and hotter again.
I saw lots of interesting stuff on the way and then came upon a lion kill right at the Vutomi Dam.
Best lion sighting I have had in ages!
I sat with them for hours and then drove up to Lugmag Dam, found the Sable and a pair of Martial Eagles and then returned to the lions and sat with them for a few more hours.
Having just attended a Raptor Identification Course in Letaba, I wanted to photograph the Vultures on the Buffalo carcass.
No Vultures arrived in all the hours I sat there!
It really isn't like all the wildlife documentaries show it at all!
I was supposed to drive home on that day but stayed over at Pretoriuskop for another night due to this worthwhile delay.
As stated by somebody else in here, this must be one of the most remote points in the park in terms of getting to it early in the morning.
Skukuza and Satara are the two accommodation options, but it will probably take you two hours to get their from either of these camps.


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 Post subject: Re: S33 Vutomi Road.
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:09 am 
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About 2 years ago to the day, I heard of wild dog at Vutomi dam.
I got there just in time, because the 24 dogs milled around for a minute or 2 and them sped off - gone.

My last doggie sighting in Kruger and my 6th trip in succession seeing them.

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 Post subject: Re: S33 Vutomi Road.
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:52 am 
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If you want solitude i.e. private sightings without the whole of Satara and the Orpen day visitors then the s33 is a great place to be!

In a recent trip we came across a pride of 21 lions that had downed a giraffe at the Vutomi dam.
Three lionesses lying in the road about 6km in from the tar.
A young leopardess hunting a scrub hare as well as a male leopard seeking refuge in a sausage tree, next to the road, during a rainy morning...

Despite these the road is always littered with tracks of lion, leopard and hyena...

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 Post subject: Re: S33 Vutomi Road.
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:37 am 
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I once spent around 8 hours parked in the shade at the edge of the dam wall , had 3 seperate sightings of leopard , a total of 4 seen .

This one relaxing about 5 metres from the car .

Image

Also at least 3 elephant herds , one group about 5 metres from the car .

Image

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 Post subject: Re: S33 Vutomi Road.
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:51 am 
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Brilliant sightings Ndloti :D

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 Post subject: Re: S33 Vutomi Road.
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:25 pm 
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Hi Ndloti, the male leopard I referred to earlier is the same male that you had in the road :D

Image

:thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: S33 Vutomi Road.
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:25 pm 
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Wonderful pics of Vutomi, was there last week ...
but no cats turned up in the 30 seconds I waited.
Great area and nice in several seasons.
Indeed, following a nice drive thru on the way from Tamboti to south I will now relent and book Skukuza or Satara (next trip) just so I can get at this area at the earliest possible time of day.
Do remember, forumites, that the Hamilton Lodges vehicles visit this area too so you're unlikely to beat them to a fresh kill of a morning.
The big downside of the S33 and other nearby roads (especially the S36) is they are in shocking condition and have been for the last year or so.
Very nastily corrugated and any number of sightings ruined as the poor bird / animal's ears get battered by the racket of tyres juddering to a stop.
The vibration for any poor creatures making their home close by must be dreadful.
But for that, Talamati would work as the access camp.
Vutomi and Lugmag dams are still intact (end Oct11), but are earmarked for being drained according to the Park Maps.


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