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 Post subject: pedro maia NLIT and other sightings - KNP August 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:20 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:26 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Lisboa, Portugal
It´s our last morning of our first (let´s hope not the last ) trip to the Kruger, we are on the S-1 heading to the Numbi Gate, a few km before turning left to the gravel road we see a couple of cars, I slow down, ask what´s there and a lady with binoculars tells me where should I look, while I stop the car my wife shouts "YES, LEOPPARD", but when I look to the right direction, my favourite predator, the one I wanted to see the most, just isn´t there anymore, all I can see is the remainings of the impala he was eating in the tree, I just missed it for a few seconds.

All I can do is take a few pictures and wait, we waited for nearly half an hour but the leoppard didn´t came back and we have a plane to catch in Nelspruit, we have to go.

I called this sighting a NLIT (No Leoppard In Tree), and although it was a bit frustrating it just can´t erase the fabulous time we spent in the Kruger, a trip I never thought I could make, we stayed for 4 nights there, we had a wonderful time, it was one of our best family vacation ever, it´s definitely the most spectacular place I ever been, we had great sightings, maybe not impresive for the standards of this forum but I still want to share those momments here because this forum and all the people who answered my questions and also those who´s posts I read (and I read the forum on a daily baisis since November) was absolutely decisive to the success of our trip.

This is the NLIT:

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(sorry for my English but it isn´t my language)


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 Post subject: Re: NLIT and other sightings - KNP August 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:26 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Lisboa, Portugal
Thanks for the comments :) .

My wife and my daughter got to have a glimpse of the leoppard climbing down the tree, only my son and I we weren´t lucky enough, but I can assure that it wasn´t a matter of will :lol: .

It was really a great family vacation, it was our first time in real Africa and it couldn´t have been a better introduction, we are an European urbanite family and the contrast to what we are used to couldn´t be bigger, for many people seeing for instance a zebra on the wild may not mean much but for us all those sightings were quite something.

And I start with some pictures of zebra because they are such beautiful animals but also because they reminded me of a tv show I used to watch in my childhood, I had it completely forgotten but seeing the zebra, the images of Daktari crossed my mind because of the zebra painting of the jeep that was an icon of that tv show, I don´t know if someone else remembers that.

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The first 2 of our 4 nights in the Kruger we stayed in Berg en Dal, it´s quite a nice campo, we stayed in a family cottage near the fence, very quiet and quite confortable.

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We had really nice sightings around Berg en Dal, like these magnificent Kudu bulls, I think they are pretty amazing.

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And of course our first sighting of an eli was quite an emotion for all of us, we definitely don´t have nothing like this at home :lol: .

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And then a family

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And 2 youngters practicing their fighting skills, it didn´t seem to be for real but it was quite fun to watch.

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Our first giraffe, also an amazing animal, my daughter said that girafees looked very... African :D .

I tend to aggree...

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 Post subject: Re: NLIT and other sightings - KNP August 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:26 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Lisboa, Portugal
I´m glad that some of you are following our trip, this first day was spent around Berg en Dal and we went to have lunch at Afsaal, these are some of the afternoon sightings:

A klipspringer, absolutely lovely, it was the only one we spotted during our trip

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Female kudu

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Our first predator, black-backed jackals, there were 3 of them but they never came close to our position so this was the clearest picture we could take

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Also our first sighting of blue wildebeest, use to see them beeing eaten in documentaries but these were ok :)

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Mongoose, dwarf I think, quite difficult to get them in good pictures, this was the best but still isn´t very good

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And some more girafee, they are quite photogenic

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 Post subject: Re: NLIT and other sightings - KNP August 2012
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:26 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Lisboa, Portugal
Thanks Sharifa, it was enough indeed.

In Berg en Dal we made a sunset drive (we also did one morning drive in Skukuza), although I prefer self driving it was a good experience, the only downside i would say it was our guide, I´m not going to say the name but we really didn´t like him, for the whole time since entering the car until leaving it we couldn´t even get a smile from him, maybe it wasn´t just his day.

First relevant sighting in the drive was this rhino, absolutely gorgeous (pity we weren´t able to get a better picture), we saw a few in the BeD area but this was the closest one and he was in the open.

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We were lucky enough to see a buffalo herd, we were told that herds are not that common in the south.

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Lovely beasts, wouldn´t like to find one in front of me without the protection of a car.

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Already in the dark we had some pleasant sightings, like a bushbaby and a couple of Hippo crossing the road, a few km from the nearest water source, but no picture of any of these, but we got a good night image of this hyena, the first we saw (they were 3 of them, one pregnant), hyenas are one of the favorites for me and for my daughter.

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 Post subject: Re: NLIT and other sightings - KNP August 2012
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:26 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Lisboa, Portugal
After 2 nights in BnD we moved to Skukuza, my idea was to go and have lunch in Lower Sabie, the Crocodile Bridge Road was closed so I followed the advise I got here in the forum and left the Park at Malelane and reentered in Crocodile Bridge.

On the way to malelane gate was this tree full with baboon

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Already on the other side, near Crocodile Bridge, this girafe

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And we got to see our leoppard :lol:

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I loved the desolated landscape in this part of the park, I think this picture with the resting wildebeast reflects it

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Curious juvenile

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And a lonely ellie, loved them

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One of the sightings I remember best, the ellies families

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And the only snake we saw during our stay in the park, an Olive Grass Snake according to the forum experts, seen from the Lower Sabie restaurant deck, my daughter, who spotted it, keeps saying it´s a black mamba :D .

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 Post subject: Re: NLIT and other sightings - KNP August 2012
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:26 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Lisboa, Portugal
Where´s Wally?

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 Post subject: Re: NLIT and other sightings - KNP August 2012
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:26 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Lisboa, Portugal
And here´s Wally, the first lion we saw in the park, a huge lion head but this one was quite far, we had to zoom the pictures in the camera to confirm he was there:

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 Post subject: Re: NLIT and other sightings - KNP August 2012
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:27 pm 
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Location: Lisboa, Portugal
The "John Holmes was overrated award"

Only a few km after leaving Lower Sabie on our way to Skukuza was this traffic jam, due to this gentle giant who was moving slowly, on his pace in the same direction we were going, the peolple from that car coming towards the Ellie started moving backwards, I bet they weren´t feeling very confortable...

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But there was no problem, after a while he just stoped, moved to the ditch and strarted browsing and was totaly indiferent to the cars passing by him.

It was the biggest Ellie I ever saw.

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The next day, more or less in the same place, there he was again, and he was really impressive :big_eyes:

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I don´t know if he can be considered a tusker, but he sure was...

Massive :twisted: :twisted:

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I just hope he could find his SO because it was clear that he needed to relieve some tensions :mrgreen: :mrgreen: .

Sorry folks, couldn´t resist...


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 Post subject: Re: NLIT and other sightings - KNP August 2012
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:26 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Lisboa, Portugal
Morning drive from Skukuza, we found out that there are japanese traveling in Kruger just like in all touristic destinations in the world, same of them wearing their masks, maybe they were afraid that the air was too clean, I had several previous experiences with groups of japanese and they tend to be noisy but not this time, just one of them spent the whole time standing even when the car was moving but no problem.

Nice guide in this drive, first thing she took us to this lioness in the river bank, still not very close but closer than Wally :) .

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A good start for a very productive day.


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 Post subject: Re: NLIT and other sightings - KNP August 2012
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:49 pm 
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Location: Lisboa, Portugal
It was also a very cold morning, but with these colours who cares?

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 Post subject: Re: NLIT and other sightings - KNP August 2012
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:26 pm
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Location: Lisboa, Portugal
Following our morning drive, we saw this fellow, the only one we saw of his kind, if I´m not mistaken is a steenbok

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Pumbaa was there as well

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And this young baboon, loved his expression

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And Hippos, I love Hippos

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This guys must have an agitated life with lots of fights, their body is just covered with scars

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 Post subject: Re: NLIT and other sightings - KNP August 2012
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:26 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Lisboa, Portugal
To finish the morning drive a few birds, I´m not a birder but there are some lovely ones in Kruger, it was imposible not to take pictures of some of them.

Helmeted Guineafowl

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This one I don´t know the name, can someone help me with it´s ÍD?

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A pair of White Back Vultures, I think, just beautiful

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I love to see big trees with big birds on top of them, like this African Fish Eagle

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And this Grey Heron (I think)

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But if we zoom the picture we can see that he´s not alone

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 Post subject: Re: NLIT and other sightings - KNP August 2012
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:50 pm 
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Awesome sunset pictures, Pedro :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

you captured as well the baboon lovely - I love the colour of their eyes :dance: Thanks also for the many hippos :dance:

Your unknown bird is a hadedah ibis and the buck you saw is a female bushbuck 8)

Please show us more of your memories :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: NLIT and other sightings - KNP August 2012
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:26 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Lisboa, Portugal
Three Ladies

That day, which would be our last full day in the park, I had to decide where to go, we wanted to try and see predators from a closer range, one option was to go to Tshokwane and all the way up to Satara, but to do that we should have gone first thing in the morning, but after the morning drive we still had to have breakfast in Skukuza, we had time enough to go to Satara and return but not enough time to drive the S100.

The other option was to drive the H4-1 again, have lunch at Lower Sabie and return, we decided to go for this one, the H4-1 seemed to be productive (the day before there was a leopard few km out of Lower Sabie, we just couldn´t see it, there were many cars, only one women standing out of her car´s rooftop was saying she was seeing it and we didn´t have time to wait and even if we had an open rooftop we wouldn´t do the same).

It was a great decision, only a few km after the intersection with the H1-2 there they were, 3 gorgeous lionesses resting in the shadow just by the road, on our side of the road.

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We only had to wait for a couple of minutes to get a good spot to get a close look at them and stayed there for a while, you can imagine the emotion of our first close sighting of the biggest predator in the park.

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One of the was wounded in the thigh but didn´t seemed to be serious.

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I don´t need to say it was the highlight of the trip so far...


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 Post subject: Re: NLIT and other sightings - KNP August 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:26 pm
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Location: Lisboa, Portugal
The swaggering bully

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Just another lazy Kruger day

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Uh-oh, here comes trouble

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Ellie: What are these stupid hippos doing in my beach?

Hippos: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Ellie: I´m going to show them who´s the Boss here

Hippos: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Ellie: Can´t you see I´m flapping my ears? Watch out, I´m mean

Hippos: Who does this guy think he is? Get lost dude…

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Ellie: You´re lucky that I´m in a good mood, I go away but only because I feel like going away…

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Still just another lazy Kruger day


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