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 Post subject: At last it's time to go Kruger 2 - photo edition.
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:31 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:46 am
Posts: 1965
Location: Pretoria North
Oct 4, Day 1

We arrived to early to check in to our chalet at Orpen and went for a short drive. That was in the middle of the day and close to 38 degrees! So it was nice to sit in the air conditioned vehicle. Not a lot of action, the animals were doing there best finding shade and did not move at all.

We saw the usual suspects, but very special was giraffes right next to the road and the biggest kudu bull we've ever seen, almost 5 curls! He was amongst the bushes and no good photos.

First to welcome us in Kruger was this Giraffe and little one.

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Then we got the impies and I just love last years foal's little spikes.

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2 0'clock back at camp we could check in into charlet number 2. I must mention that from the first boom gate's attendants to the reception and shop assistants where all super friendly and help full. Since we did not have to make camp for this one night, we decided to take a quick rest, but end up sleeping the whole afternoon. When we woke up, it was to late to go for an afternoon drive and we just sat at the waterhole. Only impalas and lots of birds came to drink and I do love those 2 geese, they are 10 times more beautiful in real life than on the webcam.

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Skillie watching the water hole from the bench next to the fence.

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This little guy sat with us the whole afternoon, catching ants. I think its part of the Agama family, but not a Tree Agama, that has a more blue head. Maybe one of the mites can help with a ID?

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The power was of the whole afternoon and came on about 10min ago. That's why the Orpen cam was down on the website. That also meant there was no light at the waterhole - the main reason we chose to stay at Orpen for one night, to watch some of the waterhole action at night. But we had one visitor, could hear him first, breaking branches! Most of the people went to fence to look for the Ellie and he was huge! No one shined light directly on to him and he spend about half an hour grazing along the fence, about 7m away. Now that made it all worth while. At one stage we just watched him in the moonshine and this huge black statue came closer and closer, so close I stepped back involuntary. But he was peace full and ate a lot and a whole tree. Later he moved on the tar road and we could hear his feet, it was like sandpaper on the tar, where he stopped and ate another tree. I didn't take any pics, I was afraid that the flash would make him angry......

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Stop the MADNESS or Imagine RhiNOs!
Our natural heritage is being stolen from us one by one!
Make your voice heard and please support a Rhino Project!


Last edited by Super Mongoose on Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:39 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: At last it's time to go Kruger 2 - photo edition.
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:27 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:46 am
Posts: 1965
Location: Pretoria North
Oct 5, Day 2

We were up early and ready to go. How about that big YR (yellow ribbon), no one could miss it!

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On the H7 and just after the gate we started seeing the usual animals and100's of game drive vehicles! They were every where, mainly from Timbavati and the surrounding game farms. They played leapfrog with us and each other and was impossible to loose. Later visitors with caravans and trailers came chasing past us never to be seen again.

We saw this beautiful ostrich couple with there 13 chicks. I recon they are only a week old. It was still overcast and a blessing after the 40 plus heat from yesterday, but not really good light for pics.

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The wild dogs and cheetahs everybody was talking about, was not on the map for us. But we still saw a lot of everything else. One of the highlights was a Njala bull in the riverbed about 10 km from Orpen and I was wondering if this might be the same Bull from the webcam a few days ago?? He was close to the road, but I could not get a good photo as he was in the shade. None of game drives saw him, they all missed the Njala bull.

We saw a lot of Cape Vultures just sitting around in the trees.

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Other birds were also plenty including 2 Lesser Striped Swallows

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and a few Lilac Brested Rollers in trees right next to the road. Still overcast and not the best pics.

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Also a lot of steenbok close to the road, but why do they run when you want to take there pic? We also had Ellies and giraffes crossing the road, one of the Ellies was just half a foot away from an open game drive vehicle, sure they had to chance underwear......

When we arrived at Satara it was almost 9 o'clock (Skillie was not in a hurry) and we saw all the caravans and trailers chasing past us putting up camp next to the fence. There was not one spot open next to the fence, but after the heat wave from yesterday, we decided it was more important to get a descend tree. And we got the best tree possible, a bit close to the bathrooms, but we would have shade most of the day.

Our home for the next 9 days.

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This little guy, a Tree Agama, did not mind to share his tree with us.

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By 11 o'clock we were settled and went for pie and gravy at the cafeteria, best pie in a long time! This Crested Barbet came with us from Pretoria - just kidding.... but he was hoping for lunch. Our CB's at home will never get this close and this was a real treat. He came and sat on the fire hydrant right next to us.

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Later day 2 continue with some ellies....

_________________
Stop the MADNESS or Imagine RhiNOs!
Our natural heritage is being stolen from us one by one!
Make your voice heard and please support a Rhino Project!


Last edited by Super Mongoose on Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: At last it's time to go Kruger 2 - photo edition.
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:33 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria North
Oct 5, Day 2 Continued

After lunch we drove to the dam and we saw this Zebra foal getting very hot. First I thought he was dying from the heat, but he would lift his head chase the flies with his tail.

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We saw this long neck right next to the road.

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At the dam we sat for two hours or more watching 2 young Ellie bulls playing in the water. They played like children, ruff housing, rolling and diving. We watched and envied, wished we could also be playing in the water right now, it was VERY hot, around 36/38 degrees.

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Also at the dam watching the Ellies in the water was some birds: a far away Fish Eagle, a Martial Eagle, Egyption Geese and 2 Water Thick-knees.

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I enlarged the Thick-knee and is a bit pixelated now, but for the mites to see. I only saw him after downloading.

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The same 2 Water Thick-knees in the bottom right hand corner of the pic.

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Day 2 will continue with some more Ellies......

_________________
Stop the MADNESS or Imagine RhiNOs!
Our natural heritage is being stolen from us one by one!
Make your voice heard and please support a Rhino Project!


Last edited by Super Mongoose on Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: At last it's time to go Kruger 2 - photo edition.
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:56 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria North
Hi to all the Mites again

It took me all day to finish the camping tips, that is why you are still waiting for day 2 to continue.

I posted it in a Camps and Roads, Satara Camping. It turned out be quite long, but there is short notes at the top for those in a hurry and our experiences and explanations that follow. Here is the link.

Satara Camping Tips

_________________
Stop the MADNESS or Imagine RhiNOs!
Our natural heritage is being stolen from us one by one!
Make your voice heard and please support a Rhino Project!


Last edited by Super Mongoose on Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: At last it's time to go Kruger 2 - photo edition.
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:23 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria North
Oct 5, Day 2 continued

Still at the dam and still a hive of activity.

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The young ellie bulls just kept going.

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This older bull tried to chase the impies, but they just ignored him.

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Then he decided the young bulls had enough fun and tried to brake it up.

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But they just played on as soon as old grumpy left.

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There was 'n mama hippo and tiny calf, she kept him away from the rest of the hippies.

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The young ellies bulls decided to listern to the old grumpy bull and got out of the water after hours of fun.

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Then they checked in with him and dusted them selfs a bit.

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_________________
Stop the MADNESS or Imagine RhiNOs!
Our natural heritage is being stolen from us one by one!
Make your voice heard and please support a Rhino Project!


Last edited by Super Mongoose on Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: At last it's time to go Kruger 2 - photo edition.
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:41 pm 
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It was quite busy on the bridge and everybody was trying to find the best spot to take their kiekies from. We drove to the other side of the dam where the cement rezevaur stands, but you cant see the dam at all. No other vehicles and we found these guys there all relaxed and peacefull and spent some time with them.

Two beautiful young kudu ladies.

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A Natal Spurfowl.

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Beautiful Burchell's Starling.

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A "happy to see us" Tree Squirrel.

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Another Natal Spurfowl.

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Vervet Monkeys just minding each other.

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And the Burchell's Starling showing off from another angle.

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Day 2 will continue, again...

_________________
Stop the MADNESS or Imagine RhiNOs!
Our natural heritage is being stolen from us one by one!
Make your voice heard and please support a Rhino Project!


Last edited by Super Mongoose on Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: At last it's time to go Kruger 2 - photo edition.
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:33 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria North
Oct 5, Day 2 continue

We drove to another dam and saw nothing, but decided to sit for a while. Skillie was scanning the far away bushes with the binocs, an impala over there and a vlakkie over here and LIONS! I thought he was joking. We were the only vehicle at the dam and enjoyed the far far away two lionesses.

But then they got up and walked closer.

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The one lion flopped down in a bit of shade.

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The other lion kept coming.

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She came to drink water right in front of us and we could not believe our luck.

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Then she was looking were the other lion was still laying in the shade.

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Then they both walked off into the bush.

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We could not believe our luck and only on our second day. It was still VERY HOT and that the lions got up at all was incredible. We sat a while longer hoping to see them again but they were gone.

This guy was wondering what all the fuss was about and waited patiently in the heat for his kiekie to be taken. The Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill is one of my favourite birds to photograph.

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By now we saw a few Steenbokkies, but no pics. When you stop they look up, if you back up a bit or take to long to take there kiekie they run. Steenbokkies are my very favourite antelope and I just love seeing them. This was the first Steenbok that I could photograph. In April this year we only saw a few. Luckily there was plenty more to come on this trip.

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Day 2 to continue..... with some more beautiful ellies.

_________________
Stop the MADNESS or Imagine RhiNOs!
Our natural heritage is being stolen from us one by one!
Make your voice heard and please support a Rhino Project!


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 Post subject: Re: At last it's time to go Kruger 2 - photo edition.
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:41 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria North
Oct 5, Day 2 continue

After the lions we were on a high and headed back to camp, but had to drive past the dam. There were a lot of vehicles all just enjoying the late afternoon and some headed off to camp. There were zebra, water buck, impala, monkeys, birds, but it was time to go.

These impies were just enjoying the new green sprouts.

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This monkey were also eating the greens and I love the sun on his fur, thats why the backside shot was posted. Here they are so content with what they have and don't even think of begging or harassing the vehicles.

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Just as we pulled off leaving for camp, Skillie looked in the mirror and some ellies crossed the road behind us, then some more and more. It was a huge heard and they were coming to the water, we switched off again and enjoyed the ellie sunset show.

From the 100's of photos I've taken it was difficult to choose a only a few.

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Day 2, continue with rest of the ellies...

_________________
Stop the MADNESS or Imagine RhiNOs!
Our natural heritage is being stolen from us one by one!
Make your voice heard and please support a Rhino Project!


Last edited by Super Mongoose on Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: At last it's time to go Kruger 2 - photo edition.
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:31 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria North
Oct 5, Day 2, continue

Some of the ellies decided that it would be better in the middle of the dam, maybe to crowded on the bank. The big ellies walked through the water, but the little ones had to swim. It was amazing to watch how families cross the water together and some families stayed on the bank.

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I presume this will be the matriarch with the radio transmitter.

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This calf was still drinking from his mother and also had to swim across the dam.

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The ellies that stayed on the bank were taking a bath as well.

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The whole time this Fish Eagle was sitting in a tree above the ellies and as they left he went to eat a fish that washed up with all the ellies being in the water. Not a great pic, but interesting.

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Eventually we had to leave and this was the sunset looking back.

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Finally the end of day 2.

_________________
Stop the MADNESS or Imagine RhiNOs!
Our natural heritage is being stolen from us one by one!
Make your voice heard and please support a Rhino Project!


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 Post subject: Re: At last it's time to go Kruger 2 - photo edition.
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:01 pm 
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Location: Pretoria North
Hi Hilda, thanx for the nice reply!

Glad you like the ellies! They were awesome to watch!

Here is another pic of the same sunset, a toast on the Rhino e-book POACHED!, hope it ends up all over the world!

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_________________
Stop the MADNESS or Imagine RhiNOs!
Our natural heritage is being stolen from us one by one!
Make your voice heard and please support a Rhino Project!


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 Post subject: Re: At last it's time to go Kruger 2 - photo edition.
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:04 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 1965
Location: Pretoria North
Oct 6, Day 3

After hearing the lions roar and some jackal and hyaena last night around the braai, we were up early and left just after the rush. But Skillie had a sore throat the day before and this morning he was really feeling sick. We decided to go for a short drive and see how he feels later.

We saw this lady longneck with a nice morning glow right next to the road.

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Also up early were these ladies, a big flock of ostriches.

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This peaceful old ellie bull, not a great pic, but he has a broken off tusk, also eating right next to the road.

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We had to stop for this beautiful Liclac Brested Roller. I just love them, they paint the Kruger!

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At the Nsemani dam we found a pileup of vehicles on the bridge with people stretching their necks sterring at "binocs lions" (binocs lions is lions so far away you can only see them with a pair of binoculus": a big male, 2 lionesses and toddler size cubs. But on the other side of the dam – barely visible.

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The binocs lions was not for us and we drove to the Girivana waterhole. On the S40 we saw a lot of everything (when I say everything, that does not include the cats and dogs). We had to stop at a zebra crossing.

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At the Girivana waterhole here was a heard of impies at and birds of all feathers every where.

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The oxpeckers were hungry for breakfast and this impala was the perfect diner.

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The impala in the middle is pregnant and she had to go on her knees to drink water

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The birds enjoyed the morning sun at the waterhole.

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This beautiful Swainson's Spurfowl was catching insects.

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After spending a long time at the waterhole we decided to go back to camp via the S12. We did not see that much on this road, but it's a lovely piece of bush to drive through.

We drove past this ellie who looked nice and friendly. We stopped and backed up to appreciate his good looks and to take a few snaps. Luckily Skillie knows not to stop right next to ellies. By now the ellie did not look that nice and friendly any more and crossed the road in a hurry right in front of us. Then as he reached the other side of the road he turned our way with flapping ears and gave a few aggressive steps, just to show us who's the boss. We had to back up quickly. Luckily he did nothing more than that.

This is the only pic I managed to take, I got such a fright!

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After we waited a while for the ellie to move of into the bush we could continue.
At last we found vlakkies! This must be Phumbaa and Vlakvarkvrou!

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We had to pass the Nsemani dam again and did not look left or right, there were still enough vehicles with enough people to spot everything we would not see.

Just before we turned on to the H1-4 that goes pass the camp we saw a whole heard of waterbuck and these two posed for a kiekie.

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This could be same Licac Brested Roller from earlier this morning, in the same tree.

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Back at camp Skillie went to rest a bit after taking medication. Luckily he would feel a lot better after waking up and we could enjoy the rest of the day.

Day 3, to continue

_________________
Stop the MADNESS or Imagine RhiNOs!
Our natural heritage is being stolen from us one by one!
Make your voice heard and please support a Rhino Project!


Last edited by Super Mongoose on Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: At last it's time to go Kruger 2 - photo edition.
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:48 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria North
Oct 6, Day 3, continue

Back at camp it was still early and I walked the camp.

I went to the fence on the campsite side and there was a nice tusker not too far away, walking from tree to tree scratching him self. His tusks are unevenly long and was full of mud, think he enjoyed the nearby waterhole. Difficult to take pics at the fence - since I'm so short, but I got a few.

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Then I went to look for the Grey-headed bush strike (Spookvoël) that kept calling me, but could not find him. I found the resident Scops-Owl at reception, he resides now in a new tree during the day right next to the ladies bathroom entrance.

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This sign posted by camp management made him easier to find.

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At the web cam waterhole in front of the resturant was more ellie action. Again it was difficult to take pics as I am shorter than the chain link part of the fence. I got a few kiekies that was good enough to post.

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In this pic you can see the webcam.

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In this pic you can see the chain link fence in my view.

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On this pics the steal cables, but nice ellies.

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This is the same ellies from the date and time on the webcam. Think I had the better view.

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Day 3, to continue

_________________
Stop the MADNESS or Imagine RhiNOs!
Our natural heritage is being stolen from us one by one!
Make your voice heard and please support a Rhino Project!


Last edited by Super Mongoose on Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: At last it's time to go Kruger 2 - photo edition.
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:36 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria North
Oct 6, Day 3, continue

We decided to drive the S100 since everyone saw lions, leopards, buffs and ellies on the road and at Gudzani dam mating lions this morning and would cheer us up after Skillie did not feel well this morning. It was around 12h30 and maybe to late and hot, but we had enough of sitting in camp.

We did not see much of anything. It's bone dry and the bit of grass here and there looks like ash. We saw a longneck, a few waterbuck and zebras at the Shibotwana waterhole, but I could not tell if there was water there or not.

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Near Nsasane waterhole, on the left hand side, about 5 meters from the road, we saw a dead lion!
How terrible! The lioness was lying very awkward with her head in the sun.

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No wait, she's not dead, she moved! After 10/15 minutes she turned over to another interesting position...

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She even kept an eye on us......really thought she was totally oblivious to us being there until I downloaded the photos and saw she opened her eye.

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Well, she never got up and we looked really hard for the rest of the family, but nothing.

We got these impies with oxpeckers huddled in the shade. I just love their spike horns.

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Then, it made my day! Our first bobbies! They too were hiding in a bit of shade of a tiny tree from the midday sun.

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Then this unexpected picture happend, just love it!

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At Gudzani dam there was nothing going on. The dam was almost empty. We saw it almost full in April. We sat a while, there was far away hippos and a far away saddle-billed stork.

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On the S41 on the way to N'wanetsi lookout point we only saw this lonely longneck with beautiful spots on his neck.

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N'wanetsi was as always a pleasure to stop at. It's awesome to look out over the vastness of Africa. I was hot and dry and the dam below looked so inviting with the 2 epyptian geese, except for a croc of two. There were 2 klipspringers on the rocks down river and a bateleur sitting in a tree also down river.

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The view from the lookout point.

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The lovely painting on the back wall of the lookout point.

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We took the H6 back to the H1-3 and saw very little of anything.

We did see this Purple Roller, his beak open trying to cool down.

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On the H1-3 we saw a few longnecks, but this one stood out with his dark sports on his face.

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Almost back at camp we found the resident young kudus and this one wanted to pose for us.

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We were back at 16h30 and decided to rest and have supper before we go out on the night drive at 20h00. I decided not to take photos as the light would be terrible and I wanted to enjoy the experience and rather tell the story.

30min before the night drive would start everybody had to meet in front of reception. I was in charge of a spotlight and that was great. Our guide explained that there are 3 colors of eye shine at night: green for antelope, red for buffs and hippos, yellow for the cats. We would only stop for red and yellow. First we saw BBJ's and hippos. Then we came across lions on the hunt. We followed them for a short while up close and could see the yellow of their eyes. Then we saw a small spotted genet, first for me. We changed direction and saw plenty of spotties onward. Then I spotted an AWC right next to the road (a wild one, to far form camp) hunting, that was nice, a fist for me and Skillie. After more Spotties and BBJ's, a couple of buffs crossed the road in a hurry and to our amazement a lioness behind them, then another one! The buffs got away, but it didn't look like a full on attack by the lions. They walked next to the road for a while, then there was the roar from other lions somewhere and they turned in that direction and disappeared. On the way back we saw another genet, this time the large spotted genet. We drove back to camp seeing more buffs and ellies and something representing a leopard of civet, but it was gone so quick, no second changes here. We got back late around 10h45, but it was worth it!

The end of day 3.

(Not the best photography) Somewhere, sometime during the 11 days we saw this seen, 3 of the big five in one shot. The Lion is on the left of the ellie's ear..........only saw it today!!

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_________________
Stop the MADNESS or Imagine RhiNOs!
Our natural heritage is being stolen from us one by one!
Make your voice heard and please support a Rhino Project!


Last edited by Super Mongoose on Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: At last it's time to go Kruger 2 - photo edition.
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:20 pm 
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Some where, Some time

Some where at some point during our trip we saw this guy. He had an wound to his right leg and a few on his face. Maybe he was injured by another rhino or worse, poachers. He was grazing peacefully and paid no attention to our presence. He walked very slowly and it was had to tell if he was in any discomfort. The ox peckers were doing their job by keeping the leg wound clean. He had a million flies on him and was in need of a mud bath!

I did report the sighting to the rangers who had some concerns. They downloaded my photos and would search for him the next day.

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_________________
Stop the MADNESS or Imagine RhiNOs!
Our natural heritage is being stolen from us one by one!
Make your voice heard and please support a Rhino Project!


Last edited by Super Mongoose on Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: At last it's time to go Kruger 2 - photo edition.
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:01 pm 
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Location: Pretoria North
Oct 7, Day 4

I got up early and had coffee at the fence where I met a french couple. Joining us where two spotties (spotted hyena) marching up and down looking for scraps and I explained why people should not feed them (they did not feed them, but asked why the spotties were patrolling the fence). They asked a lot of questions and it was nice to people that want to know everything. While we were sitting there, one of the spotties went after a blues (blue wildebeest) and chased him for a 100m or more. I let Skillie sleep in after the rough day he dad yesterday and when he got up he was feeling fighting fit for another day in Kruger.

We decided to go south to Tshokwane. We saw a lot of everything, except for cats and dogs.We ran into a YR (yellow ribbon) mite mgoddard and she's been in the park for a month!

Early morning this nice tusky ellie crossed the road right in front of us. I was so nervous and only remembered to take a picture once he was on the other side road. He was super calm and did not even look in our direction.

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Not to far from the ellie a few dagga boys were working the land.

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At Nkaya Pan there were a lot of mid morning action and vlakkies every where. They were coming and going in all directions. We've never seen so many vlakkies at one time. We sat there with another vehicle a long ..... long time, who we found out the next day was YR mite Moggy Minder.

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The vlakkies would carefully try to drink the clean water.

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And then take a nice old mud bath!

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This one got his belly massaged by this a rock.....

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and these two were just testing each other.

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The impies also enjoyed their morning out at the pan.

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Eventually we had to leave if we ever wanted to get to Tshokwane.

Day 4, to continue...

_________________
Stop the MADNESS or Imagine RhiNOs!
Our natural heritage is being stolen from us one by one!
Make your voice heard and please support a Rhino Project!


Last edited by Super Mongoose on Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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