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 Post subject: Son godin Whats hiding in the bush near Lower Sabie?April'12
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:34 pm 
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Day 1:

Our trip started on the 21 March when we left home around 5 am and arrived at Crocodile Bridge about 4 hours later. We immediately headed for Lower Sabie where we camped until the Sunday.

The camping area was not that full and after driving 3 times around we made our final decision on No 24. SO still wanted to move closer to a very shaded site, but we wasted too much time deciding and another couple started pitching their tent on the first spot we eyed. :whistle:

After finally settling in we had 4 days left to explore the Lower Sabie area. :dance: :dance: It was not our first time to this camp, but we normally camp at Berg en Dal and wanted a bit change to explore other areas we not that familiar to. LO enjoys a swim in the afternoon therefore we try to book at camps with swimming pools. Before the afternoon drive we first headed for the pool and around 3 pm on a drive towards Mlondozi Dam and back along Mlondozi road.

We had no luck on the first day spotting any felines, but had a few elephant encounters, baboon troops and the feathered one. The bushes were very dense and it was even difficult to see zebras moving in the long grass.

Elephants will always welcome you along the H4-2 towards Lower Sabie: Here is a mummy hiding the little one from us.

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Well in Kruger you will defintely have some quality family time and learn from others:

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And if you hungry a morsal is always closeby. Just need to toss and turn and then you can swallow it . A European roller knows how to master that trick.

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The feathered ones will never disappoint you, specially the colourful ones like this Southern Carmine bee-eater.

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A trip to Kruger is not completed without spotting the raptors. A juvenile bateleur was watching us from a tree top out side Lower Sabie.

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My previouse trip reportto KNP June 2011 Kruger trip Report

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Last edited by Son godin on Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Whats hiding in the bush near Lower Sabie?
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:30 pm 
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LindaS wrote:
Great start to your TR Son godin, with superb photos as well.

Pity that you ddn't see any kitties on your first day, but the Mother ellie with the baby is a lovely sighting, as were all the bird sightings!

Looking forward to your next instalment.



Thanks LindaS. Although we did miss out on cats the first day we had a few sightings the following days like these two that enjoyed there late afternoon.

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 Post subject: Re: Whats hiding in the bush near Lower Sabie?
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:48 pm 
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Day 1 continues:

On the way back home a kudu cross our path near the turn off to Mlondozi Dam. We took a quick drive to the lookout to view a very full dam. Our last stop was at Sunset dam. Far off it looked as if a croc was going for impala drinking water but then stopped right in front and drift lazily around.

Something moved a bit closer and we got a great sighting of a water monitor. It started moving towards the car and SO could only get one nice pic before it venture off to the other cars.

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Day 2:

The next morning started early again, but this time not mist our power station and instead a wonderful place where you can forget about traffic and the work place. To avoid the traffic we decided not to take Eloff street and headed south.

We were 2 minutes late and missed the leopard at the sausage tree. A car was parked there and try to show us where the leopard disappeard but he eventially gave up looking and we left as well not sure were the elusive leopard was hiding.

The day started off with a sighting of kudu grazing in a river bed along the S28. OK its not a leopard, but the mood was perfect with the early morning sun falling on the wet grass and kudu.

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Further along we had a quick glimpse of two spotted hyaenas crossing the road and then we arrived at monkey/baboon paradise, namely Ntandanyathi hide. The name refers to buffalo, but maybe now with all the name changes should be KayaImfene.

This little one was watching the entrance.

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To be continued.

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 Post subject: Re: Whats hiding in the bush near Lower Sabie?
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:49 pm 
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Day 2:

On the second day we decided to explore the southern area and then take a long drive to Renosterkoppies via Bume road.

The normal game was seen along the S28 like giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, impala and elephant. It was even difficult to spot the zebras in the long grass and we gave up on seeing any cheetah or lion. Near Mac's waterhole we spotted this magnificant elephant bull. It however did not want to show us its tusk and kept on eating with his bump towards us.

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After the S28 we turned north on the H4-2 and left again just before Gomondwane waterhole. About 3 km after the turn I noticed two cars parked next to the road facing each other. Those experience to the park will be able to spot a lion/ other cat sighting from a distance. No order in the way the cars are parked and standing still for so long means lions. :dance: :dance: :dance: . We got two the first two spotters of the lions and according to them the lions are 1-3 meters from the road. This means if you do not stand on top of the car's roof you cannot see anything. Moving back and forth helped nothing and the first spotters stayed on one spot trying to explain. When I could finally move in position a large game driving vehichle came down the hill with a few cars behind them. Surprisingly how fast the news of lions spread with modern day technology. I was now facing the wrong and if we made a U-turn the others will just move in. The best option was to leave the lazy lions alone and give the others a chance to spot them. We will find our own sooner or later.

Bume road was rather quiet but it did not matter. We decided to skip Mpondo dam and to drove to Biyamiti weir. We are always pleased to see the vulnerable bird species such as the Southern Ground Hornbill. A group of about 3/4 was wandering around looking for insects.

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The weir was still closed and from there we took the Biyamiti loop. We were lucky to spot a African Harrier Hawk but it flew off so quickly resulting in no picture as proof. Other eagles spotted along the loop were a Brown snake eagle, Fish-eagle and I hope my ID is correct of an Osprey unless its a juvenile Fish-eagle. :?

Brown snake eagle:

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Osprey / Juv. Fish-eagle? :hmz:

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To be continued.

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 Post subject: Re: Whats hiding in the bush near Lower Sabie?
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:10 pm 
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Day 2: Biyamiti loop, Renosterkoppie, Lower Sabie and back to the lions.

Grey-headed Kingfisher seen along Biyamithi loop

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The leopards and wild dogs of Renosterkoppie area were all hiding and all we saw were impalas, zebra and giraffes. Back at Eloff street we stopped at N'watimhiri dam opposite the causeway and spotted a Hamerkop flying pass.

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Along the way we found a breeding herd of elephant.

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After lunch and a swim we headed south again to see if the lions we saw in morning, will show themselves.

Near Gomondwane waterhole elephants were crossing the road, with the younsters slightly scared to follow.

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Around 16h45 we arrived at the lions again and was the only car there. At first we stopped to early and then I saw movement in the grass. There were about 8 cubs and the youngest cubs were drinking milk. :dance: :dance: :D

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More stories of the lions to follow...

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 Post subject: Re: Whats hiding in the bush near Lower Sabie?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:09 pm 
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Puppy, Buglette, Tawny, Grantmissy, Heksie, Meandering Mouse, LindaS and Hilda,

Thanks for the interest in my TR and all the lovely compliments. The Grey-headed Kingfisher is a summer visitor and the first time I've ticked off one myself. One often see Brown hooded kingfishers or woodlands kingfishers, but after looking at the pic at home I realised it was not one of them. :lol:

The habits of lions can be very interesting and one often have the luck to find them again specially if you have seen them sleeping in the morning. This pride was apparently still there within the same area the next morning, but then we took another route.

Our afternoon sighting delivered lots of play between the smaller and larger cubs. There were 3 female (what we could see) and about 3 smaller and 4 larger cubs. The one lioness did not like our attention too much and moved off to the bushes behind.

I read an article on the tree climbing lions of Crocodile bridge in the Wild Magazine and think this crowd is definitely cousins of the tree climbers and will soon master the art.

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MMM my tummy is now full of LION milk

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OK kids, now that you are finished I want some peace and quiet time.

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Let me practice a bit my climbing skills. This one is not too high.

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We stayed there until 17h15 before driving back to camp. Why do you get the best sighting close to gate closure time and 23 km from camp. :hmz: :slap:

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 Post subject: Re: Whats hiding in the bush near Lower Sabie?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:30 pm 
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Hi,

My purrrrfect lion sighting is indeed one with lots of cubs. :dance: :dance: :dance: Thats why the next episode is more lion cubs.

RichardJ, Pumbaa, Cheetah2111, Yusuf, hilda, LindaS, Foxy, vinkie, Heksie,

:thanx: for joining me on my short trip to KNP, your love of kitties and all your wonderful comments.

Yusuf,

Its a pity you are losing out. I make use of photobucket to download so its strange that its blank on your PC. Did you try opening at work, because normally companies place a block on photobucket or other media networks.

Heksie,

I agree with you, thats why I am about 4 times per year in either KNP / KTP :thumbs_up:

Some more pics of the cubs (learning the art of climbing)

A cub ready for the attack on a sibling / cousin
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Lets try. Its better to jump from here.

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I made it. :dance: :dance: :dance:

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Can I eat it grrrrr!

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Don't get yourself into too much mishief. :naughty:

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 Post subject: Re: Whats hiding in the bush near Lower Sabie?
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:14 pm 
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Day 3: Lower Sabie to Lake Panic via H4-1

We haven't been to Lake Panic hide for more than 3 years and decided it will be a worthwhile visit while we not too far from Skukuza.

The first part of the trip was fairly quiet and we had no luck to spot the leopard seen the previous day near Sunset dam or the one near the S21 turn-off that was photograph by Kruger sightings 2 days back. At the N'watimhiri causeway we had a great sighting of a Saddlebilled stork fishing showing off its excellent skills against a Black-headed heron.

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We could easily have stayed there for another our but had to move on to avoid blocking the causeway for other track.

A hamerkop also joined in and pied kingfishers were dive-bombing into the pool on the other side.

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Back onto Eloff street my eye caught these two hooded vultures in a tree.

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A family of dwarf mongoose were plaing next to the road and even resulted in a game-driving vehcle to stop next to us and explaining to his guest the behaviour of these small critters. The day was maybe quiet in terms of cats but always enough to see and enjoy.

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To be continued

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 Post subject: Re: Whats hiding in the bush near Lower Sabie?
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:02 pm 
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Leeukos, hilda, RichardJ, Meandering Mouse, Foxy, tent dwellar and Pumbaa,

Thanks for your wonderful comments and interest in my TR. I hope you all will enjoy my next installment with all the shots taken at Lake Panic.

In my opinion it was maybe not a good choice to visit Lake Panic early in the morning with the sunlight direct on the hide, but no matter the time there is always something interesting happening. This time it were ducklings and Jacanas that kept us entertained.

Some identifications welcome to the following pics. Even the ducks got me confused. :tongue:

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Baby Black Crake

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Pied Kingfisher

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White faced ducks with a brown face and ducklings

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African Jacana takes a shower on top of a hippo.

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Dragon fly

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 Post subject: Re: Whats hiding in the bush near Lower Sabie?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:58 pm 
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Heksie, Hilda, Meandering Mouse, Pumbaa, cheetahlady and vinkie,

Thanks for the wonderful comments. We had a wonderful time at Lake Panic birding, but also had a sighting of an elephant at the back of the hide and hippos. There were more than one brood of ducklings and at one point the one mother duck chased away the other brood from her own. The kingfishers were not that active and far off we heard fish-eagles calling, but none came in for a pic.

My SO uses a Canon 20D for all his photos and a 120 - 400mm Sigma lense. LO again uses a Fugifilm camera with a 30x build in zoom lense. This camera is great for close-up shots and Panoramic photography.

The light footed Jacanas are amazing to watch moving over the lilies. I was hoping they also had chicks, but could not find any. I've seen a pic before of a little one hiding under daddy's wings and would love to see it myself but no luck this time.

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After Lake Panic it was back to Lower Sabie. A tall horse posing for a :cam: near Mlondozi dam

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Snake Eagle watching out for prey.

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Catching a ride with mom.

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 Post subject: Re: Whats hiding in the bush near Lower Sabie?
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:57 pm 
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Hi Buglette, Foxy, Pumbaa, barryels, hilda and Rookie2009,

Thanks for your interest in my report and all the fantastic compliments. Its just a joy to share my short trip to Kruger.

Day 4:

On the last day we ventured north, first allong the S128 and the the H10 up to Tshokwane. During the first part of the journey we had several sighting of white rhino, but missed out on the leopard that decided to cross the road just after we passed another vehicle.

We stopped at Nkumbe Viewsite and Orpen dam before turning south again. Orpen dam lookout is maybe not ideal for photographer but a great place to relax with a cup of coffee and breakfast.

After Orpen the road twist along the N'waswitsontso river where we spotted elephant, vultures, bateleurs, bee-eaters and rollers.

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 Post subject: Re: Whats hiding in the bush near Lower Sabie?
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:45 pm 
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barryels, hilda, heksie, Meandering Mouse, vinkie, vlakvarkvrou, cheetah2111, Pumbaa,

Its great to receive so many compliments from you and that you also enjoyed all the pics from birdies to cats.

The rest of the monring were fairly quiet in terms of the Big 5, but we had some great sightings of raptors taking off as the air started to heat.

Male Bateleur in flight

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Lappetfaced Vulture

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Secratary bird

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European Bee-eater

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Any one for a ride?

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Hold on your horses

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 Post subject: Re: Whats hiding in the bush near Lower Sabie?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 8:47 pm 
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Vlakvarkvrou, RichardJ, Pumbaa, Hilda, barryels, Heksie, Morkel777 and john n poppy,

Thanks for all your lovely comments on the pics. The bateleur is on of our favourite raptors and great to watch when its soaring in the sky with limited wing movement, besides turning like a acrobat.

Its always great if one can see lions and leopards, but birding can be just as rewarding. I've seen many lions before, but were lucky to spot certain birds for the frst time like the Grey-headed kingfisher. There are still many others on my wish list so I hope next time to share it with you.

After Tshokwane we headed south, but could not turn off on some of the gravel roads due to road closure after the January floods. The road over the Sand river was still closed as well and we took the H12 up to the Sabie river and then left down the Salitje road (S30).

Along the way we saw more elephant, giraffe and ducks. It was getting hot and we spotted a giraffe that was quencing its thirst when we crossed a low level bridge.

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Lovely Carmine Bee-eater posing for a pic just befoe we arrived back at the camp.

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In the afternoon we had sightings of elephant and lion from the camp

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Two lions came to drink, but we were just too late to get a good pic before they disappeared into the bush. (Look at the shady spot in a clearing in the middle of the pic to spot the lion. :lol: )

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Last edited by Son godin on Tue May 01, 2012 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Whats hiding in the bush near Lower Sabie?
Unread postPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 7:51 pm 
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Afternoon drive Day 4:

After the poor lion sigthing and knowing that tomorrow is our last day we headed down the H4-2 to see if we are lucky to spot the leopard near Sunset dam seen the previous day or other cats spotted by visitors along the S21. We drove until the first waterhole along the S21 and parked there for the afternoon watching a troop of baboons, impalas and a warthog and birds.

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Around 5 pm we decided to head back to camp and by luck some-one ask us if we did not spot the lions 2 km down the road. :slap: No we didn't and even with limited time left we headed south west meeting up with these two kitties. :dance: :dance: :dance:

Mr Handsome and his Lady

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We were the only car there and the lions were very relax. The lioness then walked to Mr Handsome for some attention.

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Come-on dear the kids are not here prrrrrrr

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Don't invite me twice.

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To be continued on next page. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Whats hiding in the bush near Lower Sabie?
Unread postPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 4:25 pm 
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Late afternoon Lion sighting along the S21:

A few more pics were taken before we left the two lovebirds on their own.

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