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 Post subject: chirinda A whole lot of bum shots.. May 2012
Unread postPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 9:04 pm 
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I wondered about the title ……but “A whole lot of hindquarters photographs” or even “Tail-end pics” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. :D Of course ‘bum shots’ can also be poor quality photos, and I get first prize there.

Didn’t expect to be in Kruger again so soon, but I had the wonderful, short notice, opportunity of spending Friday night to Wednesday morning of the third weekend of April 2012 with friends at Ngwenya, and going in at Croc Bridge four days in a row, as a day visitor.

Being a guest, one has to go along with the host’s plans, and our first entry through Croc Bridge was not to be until later on Saturday. During the morning Greta and I had breakfast on the deck and saw a giant kingfisher, a monkey, 2 jacanas, a black crake, a goliath heron, hippo, pied wagtails, waterbuck, a greenbacked heron, 2 bateleurs flying and a dagga boy. We also saw a small herd of elephants crossing the river to forage on the south side. David had gone cycling around the complex and filmed a boomslang killing a lizard. Not a bad start to the weekend.

Our first critter, on the front door as we opened it

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The heron with an unusual hairstyle :D
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I saw something shining in the bush across the river and it turned out to be a hippo :D
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Mel, this one's for you :gflower:
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 Post subject: Re: A whole lot of bum shots ......
Unread postPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 7:01 pm 
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We finally entered the park after lunch and drove the tar road to Lower Sabie. It wasn’t long before we saw this little cutie, and her mom.
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A little further along a martial eagle was posing for us, although a little far away, while the warthogs showed that pigs do love to wallow in mud.
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As we neared the Sabie River the resident fish eagle was posing on a dead tree but refused to look our way, and a family of ellies was in the river. We crossed the bridge to have a looksee and found hippo and croc as well as buffalo and Egyptian geese.
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At Sunset Dam more hippo and crocs and woolly necked storks. The dam is still very full.
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One of the ‘crumb vulture’ brigade at Lower Sabie.
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On the way back to CB viewing was quiet, although we saw quite a few zebra and at one point two lions in a river bed to our left and a rhino to the right, but they were quite far away and not photo-worthy. So after a few more impala and wildes we went home.


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 Post subject: Re: A whole lot of bum shots ......
Unread postPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 2:11 am 
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Hi chirinda :D :D :D

You lucky ducky going on another Kruger visit :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

And what fabulous sightings you had just from your deck over breakfast :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

This one is the sighting of the day for me though :wink: :lol:
chirinda wrote:
Mel, this one's for you :gflower:
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I think it is a dwarf plated lizard? :hmz:

So looking forward to more of your "bum shots" :lol: :lol: :lol:

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March 2012
Kruger, Karoo, Addo


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 Post subject: Re: A whole lot of bum shots ......
Unread postPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 8:36 pm 
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Up bright and early Sunday morning :shock: and got ourselves to the gate by 10 to 6. Gorgeous colours to the sky on the way, but difficult to take pics in a moving vehicle. A few of the birds were still on the railings of the high-level bridge but still I didn’t manage to get a pic.

Nice to see large groups of impala in that open area just outside CB, and then the sun rose ….
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We decided to take a dirt road that morning, and about the first animals we saw were three lions, a black-maned male and two of his wives, but they had already crossed the road and I only got – well, a bum shot.
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Not long afterwards a mother rhino crossed ahead of us with a cute half-grown calf. I took a rather dark pic of cutie through a very smeary windscreen but decided rather to give you this one :D
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Just as she had crossed into the bush the mother laid a large land mine before moving off, and as I turned round I saw a third rhino behind us. I wondered if it was a possible suitor as he seemed to be searching for scent to follow. He approached the place the other two had crossed (plenty of scent there :D ) and followed them into the bush.
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Wow, what an exciting few minutes. :dance: :dance:

This coucal posed on such an interesting perch
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and then we saw
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which I thought might be a juvenile crowned eagle but the birds thread fundis identify it as a juvenile Martial eagle, so two Martials in two days.
Yay. :dance: :dance: :dance:

Then three more rhino, 6 giraffe, some zees and wildes
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another rhino – and another, then a kori bustard. Then a few long-tailed shrikes – I mean magpie shrikes – posed for yet another rear-end pic :D
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and then …. another rhino. Ho hum. Someone once said to me “Ya seen one rhino, ya seen ‘em all”, so I didn’t get pics of any more of them. :whistle:

Stay tuned for more .....


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 Post subject: Re: A whole lot of bum shots ......
Unread postPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 7:53 pm 
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A bit further on we came across a small herd of zebra travelling in the same direction as we were. They were to our right, but crossed over the road
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They looked a little concerned as they moved further on
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and then we saw why
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Zebra on the left, cheetah to the right of the dead tree, on a ridge,
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and this cute little one on the lower left branch of the tree.
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We sat watching the scene for a while. Cheetah was lashing her tail around quite a lot and then started chirping, we were quite far away but could hear it clearly. Then she rolled on her back a couple of times and got up and moved towards us.
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And then she bounded across the road in front of the car and was gone. I actually don’t know whether it was a female, perhaps with youngsters nearby, or a male belonging to a coalition, but I’m sure the cheetah was making contact calls.


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 Post subject: Re: A whole lot of bum shots ......
Unread postPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 12:05 pm 
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A while later more zees ....

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And then ……..

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another cheetah. :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
The black behind his ears looks different to lions and leopards, or is it just the angle?

This scene also had more than one focal point. The tree to the right was full of yellow billed hornbills

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and there were two giraffe beyond the cheetah ….Everyone was conscious of the predator.

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What a morning :dance: :dance: :dance: and we hadn't even had breakfast yet.


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 Post subject: Re: A whole lot of bum shots ......
Unread postPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 9:01 pm 
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Thanks vinkie. :D

Here is another pic of giraffe before she had positioned herself to keep an eye on cheetah.

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Just loading more pics tonight to do another installment tomorrow. :D


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 Post subject: Re: A whole lot of bum shots ......
Unread postPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 9:30 pm 
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Nearing the river, fish eagle posed in a tree with a ready made picture frame, and ellies were seen in the river.
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No, this is not a rhino rubbing post in the bush, it’s one of the posts on the deck at Lower Sabie. Cute frog.

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We had breakfast there, and just as we were leaving I saw a white X-Trail with a yellow ribbon in the parking area. There was no time to go back and find the ‘mites, so I put a little note under the windscreen wiper “chirinda saw your YR :D “ and we left for Mlondozi dam. These ellies were in the river just below the bridge.

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Someone stopped and gave us directions to a LIT sighting, but we didn’t find it. We did find ostriches though

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and lots of cars and people at Mlondozi Dam, and the smell of delicious breakfasts wafting through the air. Two large ellies drinking, a saddlebill to the right below the dam wall :dance: , a woolly necked stork to the left, hippos in the water, and waterbuck and kudu on the far bank.

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The candelabra tree or tree euphorbia (Euphorbia cooperi) is the central tree in this picture.

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A pretty shape, but beware they are highly toxic, the latex raises blisters on the skin, causes excruciating pain if introduced into the eyes, and even honey made from the abundant nectar can cause a burning sensation in the throat which is made worse by drinking water. (Info taken from van Wyk and Palgrave tree books.)

Just before we left we found this wire tailed swallow on her nest above the basins in the ladies. Rather late in the summer to be still on the nest ???

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 Post subject: Re: A whole lot of bum shots ......
Unread postPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 3:02 pm 
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We had seen the two large ellies moving away from Mlondozi Dam and met up with them as they crossed the road ahead of us, not giving a second glance to the cars.

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My mother used to have a pair of grey trousers which I teased her and called her ‘ellie trousers’, and this bum shot reminds me of what she looked like from the back wearing those trousers – they were not very flattering. :D I have a good chuckle every time I see an ellie bum shot, and remember my Mom.

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As we passed the two, a third ellie was moving towards them and heading towards the dam. He was flapping his ears (presumably cooling off), but I only managed to get one pic with his ears slightly open. However I am certain it is the same ellie which WendyA saw a couple of months before. It was in the same area, and, like the other two, he was not showing signs of being aggressive.

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We drove on the S29 loop and arrived back at the river where young hippo were playing and goliath heron was scanning the rapids for lunch.

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On the main road again we headed back towards Croc Bridge. Three buffs were in the river, and then we came upon this lady with her passengers.

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I love watching oxpeckers moving their beaks through the host animal’s fur, searching for parasites. It reminds me of the way farm ducks eat their mash. :D

Stay tuned ...


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 Post subject: Re: A whole lot of bum shots ......
Unread postPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 9:25 pm 
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Hi Heksie, My Mom just laughed. :D She loved ellies.

The pics are now loaded, so ....

We rounded a bend and came upon a traffic jam of the type which can only mean “cat”. We had been scanning all the large trees hoping to find the other spotted one, and this traffic jam looked promising. A Big 5 day maybe?

And sure enough, when we eventually got somewhere near to the tree, we saw this

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and this

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but which end was which? Too many leaves obscuring my view. :(

Eventually, after quite a wait, we moved nearer to the gap in the leaves and I managed to get this hasty pic before we were pressured to move on. Can you believe it - another bum shot :D :dance:

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It is a pity when people are not willing to share sightings but want to keep the best view to themselves and not move on when they have taken their photos. But I suppose that is human nature, especially in this “gimme, gimme” “me first” world. Not keeping to the Kruger rules either … :rtm:

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LIT didn’t turn a hair at all the cars and commotion just metres from his bedside …

Question: how do leopards manage to sleep on a branch without losing their balance and falling off? Or are they just lying awake with their eyes shut? :lol:

Our return to CB was quiet, just a few impala and zebra sightings, but as we approached the bridge to leave the park …

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As we watched from the bridge he moved his left leg back and forth several times as if he was doing his exercises, and then he moved aside and we managed to sneak past him up the slope.

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We didn’t wait to see, but I wondered what happens when an ellie approaches the gate. Do the gate staff close it, or go out and clap hands at him to try and turn him away?? Speaking to people later that evening they said they had also seen him, and that he had forded the river and had not crossed over on the bridge. That would really have been a serious road block. :shock:

Sunset from across the river

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 Post subject: Re: A whole lot of bum shots ......
Unread postPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 7:54 pm 
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:wall: :wall: :wall: Trying to post and messing up :doh:

Monday dawned cloudy and overcast and we went to Komatipoort for breakfast before going into the Park. :(

The first few Ks showed us the usual stuff, wildes, zees, giraffe and of course impala. Two woollynecked storks and a grey heron at Gezantfombi and then we took the S130. By that time it was trying to rain although it didn’t succeed until later.

Shortly after the turnoff we saw an emerald spotted wood dove and Burchells glossy starling, zees and a few giraffe and then two vultures on a nest

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Two more vultures on a tree and then another, darker vulture. The light was poor and pics haven’t been at all successful,

And then the best bum shots of the trip appeared before us.

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On the 2nd and 3rd pics the tails are even in sync :lol:

After them two ellies, one very large – I wonder if it was the same two that Melph and her dad saw, Didn’t get a decent pic of them though, it was in an area of thick bush. There was a tortoise which was also shifting, and then some more zebra - coming towards us this time.

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We drove on and saw something in a tree

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sitting on the nest …. That was another wow moment :dance: :dance: and right nearby another graceful giraffe

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yellow billed hornbills, another vulture, and then two more, and then ... :big_eyes: two rhino burst out of the bush to our right, jostling each other, crossed in front of us and roared off stage left. They were oblivious to us, more interested in their own scuffle. Wonder what that was all about. Much to quick to get a photo.

Pearl spotted owlet sat and posed so nicely for us but the light was terrible.

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We watched for a good couple of minutes, hearing the call as well, and then its companion flew from across the road and the two went off together out of our sight.

And so we came out onto the main road and saw a mongoose crossing the road, legs just a blur, warthog, giraffe, fish eagle and a bushbuck before we got to Lower Sabie. At the gate more warthogs and these magnificent tusks. Makes you think of a sargeant-major’s moustache … :D

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 Post subject: Re: A whole lot of bum shots ......
Unread postPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 8:57 pm 
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After tea we went to Sunset Dam for a looksee. It always surprises me to see these sleepy hippo and crocs so close together. Tum shots this time :D

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I was watching white storks in a tree when suddenly ellies appeared. 23 of them, from our right.

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In two or three minutes they had all drunk their fill, and they moved around the far end of the dam in groups and off into the bush.

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It fascinated me that several of the mothers stood ‘guarding’ their exit, ears spread out threateningly against the few cars across the water, demonstrating the protectiveness of elephant mothers for their little ones.

One mother came closer with two youngsters, along the left edge of the water, and drank. She had a broken right tusk and appeared to be collared. Perhaps the matriarch?

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What a sighting. :dance: :dance:

We left Sunset Dam, and just past the LS gate, no further than the camp boundary, had a road block – another herd coming up from the river, also with youngsters. It’s amazing how much more tolerant this herd was, the cars seemed quite close to them, and one mother just waited on the road to make sure the younger ones all crossed safely.

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The drive back to CB was quiet, zees, giraffe, impala, buff in Vutomi River and guineafowl at Gezantfombi turnoff. Also two waterbuck.

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Then Impala, wildebeeste, zees, and this chap ...

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and another bum shot … :D

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We took the S25 for a short distance and turned down to Hippo Pool which provided a goliath heron and two African black ducks as well as hippo in the growing gloom. The usual stuff on the way back to the main road as well as another rhino. It was almost dark when we got to the gate, the cloud helping it to get dark earlier, and just after we got ‘home’ to Ngwenya, it started to rain softly, and continued all night. :dance: Love the soft sound of rain on the thatched roof. :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: A whole lot of bum shots ......
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:41 pm 
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Tuesday, our last day and we woke up to rain. It continued until about 10 am which scuppered all ideas I had of going for an early birding walk. :( However, when the rain stopped I wandered a short distance and saw some nice birds - a grey headed bush shrike, a blue waxbill together with, I think, a redbilled firefinch (a first for me), a grey loerie, goliath heron, crested barbet, cutthroat finches, bronze mannikins, black headed oriole and two purple crested loeries.

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Across the river four ground hornbills were striding along foraging as they went. A bit far away for my little camera. :redface:

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Two saddlebills walked along the sand, this one didn’t seem concerned about passing Mr Croc …

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We eventually entered the Park after 12 and drove to Skukuza. It was a lean day, sightings-wise, and remained cloudy and cool all day. Not even much at Sunset Dam as we passed, other than the regular crocs and hippo on the bank.

This was, perhaps, more of a bird day than mammal. We came upon a white fronted bee eater, so pretty and so difficult to photograph in the still-cloudy afternoon. But we hadn’t travelled far when we came across several more and they posed nicely for us. They were hunting, leaving the perch to grab their prey and returning to devour it.

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We crossed the Sabie high level bridge just to see if there was anything, but all we found was a white bakkie on the bridge with both occupants out of the vehicle … :naughty: :rtm:

Continuing up a near empty Eloff Street we were rewarded with the highlight of the afternoon at a tiny, nearly dry, pan where Mr Saddlebill had caught himself a fish. (One last bum shot :D )

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We watched for some time until he eventually swallowed it, and you could see the lump travel down his neck. :D :dance: :dance: I wonder if the fish was still wriggling after he had swallowed it? :lol:

We arrived at Skukuza to find the power off. We were too late for the braai lunch and nothing could be prepared in the café, so we had to make do with what I felt was over-priced food which was not up to standard. I am ashamed that overseas visitors are offered this kind of service, especially as they are not so likely to have the facilities to make their own lunches. Home made padkos for me next time. This cartoon on a tour operator's vehicle amused me.

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On the way back to CB we came across baboons ...

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I just missed the pic of this fellow having his tail groomed to the tip – right up in the air.

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A closer view of two ground hornbills which crossed the road ahead of us

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And a quiet drive back to the gate included more baboons, buffalo, impala, two bushbuck, giraffe, wildebeeste, zebra and one last rhino.

The Ngwenya road is being upgraded and with no space to make a proper detour, you cross and re-cross the road, driving along short lengths of very narrow diversion, complete with corrugations, which hug the farmland and crop fields. A bit hairy when a truck or bus is approaching. That day, after the rain, we were able to add some ‘status symbol’ mud to the car. :D

One last evening of listening to the hippo in the river and one last morning of the Egyptian geese waking us with their raucous calls…… :( :(


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 Post subject: Re: A whole lot of bum shots ......
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:41 pm 
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Seriously, folks, it was one very quiet day. In fact if it was the first day I had ever been in Kruger I would really have wondered what all the fuss was about. The only Big 5 we saw was one rhino and two buffs. Not even an ellie all day. (Not to say that rhino and buffs are not worthwhile - they just aren't cats :D )

There was one spark of excitement, a small road block before LS going back, where people said there was a leopard in a deep ditch full of bushes between the road and the river, but we didn’t have time to sit for half an hour in case we saw the flick of an ear. Everyone was jostling for position and you couldn’t see much anyway. It probably crossed the road after we had gone round the first corner. :lol:

The ground hornbills was the last pic I took and that was between Nkulu and LS. And I take millions of pictures. I was travelling with friends, remember, and so I couldn’t stop whenever I wanted to, but we didn’t see anything special that they wanted to stop for.

The highlight of the day was probably the tour operator’s back window. I loved it too, MM and vinkie. Poor cheetah’s expression. :D :D No, seriously, Mr Saddlebill was the highlight of the day, and yes, Pumbaa, it was a huge fish for him to swallow. Gret said it was a barbel.

Sorry Mel and hilda, wish I could give you one but there was no parting gift, well except for Mr S. Maybe lion was lurking behind a bush and stuck his tongue out, with fingers in his ears, after we drove past. :tongue:

The firefinch and the waxbill were lovely. I stood completely still and they were just a couple of metres from my feet. (And I still battled to get decent pics :redface: ) Yes, blue waxbills are very cute little birds, LQ, not many birds with that lovely colouring, one of my favourite colour combinations.

Thank you, one and all who read this TR, and for your comments. Hope you enjoyed the bum shots. :D

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