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 Post subject: Re: Kruger: from south-to-north-and-back
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:49 pm 
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Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year & Sighting of the Year - Small Creatures and Insects (2013)
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:02 pm
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Location: Bellville, Cape Town
I started this TR on 10 Feb'13 and to be honest, was quite nervous as it was my first TR. It is now 26 pages later in counting and what really surprised me is that we hit the 5000 mark on visits! :dance:

I am truly humbled by the reaction and all the responses, comments, contributions and compliments - must add nominations for the kudu :D . Thank you to everyone and I trust that the information shared through this TR is adding the same value as I have gained from TR's by some of you in the past which enriched my trips to Kruger thus far. :dance:

On this 5000 mark - some flowers to everyone to express my appreciation :clap: . :gflower:
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_________________
Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger: from south-to-north-and-back
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:22 am 
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We have arrived at a very busy Shingwedzi with lots of day visitors around. Perhaps it will be appropriate at this stage to first share with you an experience from our first visit to Shingwedzi in Dec'11.

I have seen some wonderful pictures of crocodiles lying on the other side of the S135 causeway with mouths open and waiting for fish to jump in their mouths as the water flowing over the causeway. But when we arrived at the S135 causeway, the whole river was bone dry - no crocs, no fish, only a marabou or two.

Early the next morning I took a drive along the S50 towards the Kanniedood dam and bird hide, but the river was dry, even from the bird hide there was hardly water, just mud. Just before the bird hide there is a place under trees where one can park and I saw that there was some water, but lots of crocodiles in the water - never seen so many crocs together. They were all catching fish, lifting themselves out of the water and you can clearly hear how they splash in the water and jaws clapping and see fish flying. It was quite a sighting. Here are a few photos of this experience.

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While the crocs were feeding, this bird was flying in the air and seems to have caught a fish and feeding mid air. Could this be Yellow-billed kite?
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On the water edge, a Saddle-billed stork was also feeding and ...
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this African spoonbill.
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It was truly an amazing experience and the next morning I went back, hoping to see the crocs feeding again, but everything was quite, just here and there a croc swimming. With out Dec'12 trip, there was a lot more water in the Shingwedzi river and enjoyed some great sightings which will be shared next time... to be continued.

_________________
Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger: from south-to-north-and-back
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:48 pm 
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It is a hot day, the Shingwedzi camp extremely busy with day visitors looking for ice and buying refreshments at the shop next to the reception. We booked into our cottage FF4 for 2 nights. After we unpacked, rested a bit, it was time to explore - the first road was the S50 river road towards Kanniedood dam, but first this guy was walking right past our door and climb into the tree where he stayed until we came back from our drive. My girl wanted to put cutex on her nails :naughty: (do not ask me how I know it is a she... :hmz: )
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Just outside the camp as one reached the first trees, we spotted this beautiful Martial eagle
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It is a scenic drive through the trees and the river on the one side, but relatively quiet, though. Some Sharpe's grysbok was grazing and very relaxed.
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Another bird of prey, Wahlberg's eagle.
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Near the Kanniedood dam, we spotted this African darter.
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There was not much going on at the Kanniedood dam, nor the bird hide, just Egyptian geese having a meeting and these Yellow-billed egrets.
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On our way back, we had a sighting of this Buchbuck
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And this elephant coming to drink water.
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As we reached the back gate of the camp, we turned lright onto the S135 to see what was going on at the causeway. Some birdies coming up next... to be continued.

_________________
Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger: from south-to-north-and-back
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:11 pm 
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After exploring the S50 river road and heading back in the direction of the Shingwedzi camp's back gate, we turned right down toward the S135 causeway to see if there were any activities. A lonely elephant was approaching the causeway very slowly via the river as he was munching away. He appeared to be calm and minding his own business, but as he came closer, it appeared that he could be sick or something wrong when looking at his body. Later that afternoon he was seen opposite the restaurant we spent most of the day.
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I can recall a situation we had found ourselves in during our Dec'11 trip. We were approaching the S135 causeway from the H1-7 tar road's direction, a 4 km drive through mopani trees. As one approached the causeway you first have to go down a steep hill and then a sharp turn to the right with high sandbanks both sides. As we drove slowly around the bent, we had to urgently brake, put car in reverse and get out of there. :shock: Fortunately, there were no cars behind us :) . The reason was: a herd of large elephant was coming up the road and we nearly got too close for comfort, but luckily they were relatively calm and not agitated or frightened by our sudden presence. We kept on reversing with fast approaching elephants uphill hoping no cars were coming from behind. So we kept reversing and stopped hoping the ellies moved into the bushes. None of this sort, and they kept coming, so we reversed further and so the process repeated itself until we decided it was better to turn around and make the 6km detour back to camp. If the ellies were irritated by our sudden presence, it could have been quite scary or nasty event :hmz: .

We gave the lonely elephant its space and observed a Three-banded plover in the water busy taking a bath.
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A Marsh sandpiper was also looking for some food in the shallow water.
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We spent some time on the causeway and enjoyed the beautiful music of the Woodland kingfisher sitting on the branch above the water's edge.
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Earlier the day, whilst travelling from Punda Maria to Shingwedzi camp, we saw Saddle-billed stork, Woolly-necked stork and White stork together. Later the day, we were adding to the variety as a Marabou was grooming itself next to the causeway.
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With the Marobou th 4th stork sighting the day, the 5th one was sitting on the other side of the causeway, in the tree - Open-billed stork. The previous year I got my first Open-billed stork sighting from the a lookout point on the other side of Red Rocks and then again at Mpondo dam. It was one of my aims to get a nice close-up shot of these beautiful birds, which I managed to get. In my next post, I will share a nice close-up one.
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As it was getting late, we drove back to camp and one have a view from the causeway of this majestic Fever tree.
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The evening we were having supper at the restaurant and as had see what scary reptiles were walking around, we decided that we each need to have a torch. That large monitor we saw earlier might just once again cross our path and with those long nails, I rather prefer to be safe, let alone what other creepy crawlies might surprise us on this extremely hot day. It was another great day, although no predator sightings, we enjoyed the beauty of the scenery around and sighting we had enjoyed.

The next day, we were exploring the S56 Mphongolo and the R52 Red Rocks roads where we had some more great landscape and bird sightings...to be continued

_________________
Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger: from south-to-north-and-back
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:34 pm 
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We were not planning visiting Kruger this year, but this afternoon I picked up a fever....Kruger fever and I explored some options for Dec'13. Done some plans, possible route, cost analysis, etc and now it is decision time whether to go or to stay... :hmz: well...will sleep on it tonight first .... :whistle:

It is day 14 of 16 and 26 Dec'12. We were off to explore the S56 Mphongolo shorten route and then Red Rocks R52. The S56 was shy of animals, but did not disappoint on bird life. Besides the general game, it is a beautiful and scenic drive through the bush. We did spot some buffalos in the Shingwedzi river.
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We did spot some first timers like this African-green pigeon (Pappegaaiduif). At first we only got a quick glimpse of it and then we waited and waited. Our patience paid off as it appeared from behind another bush.
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On the other side of the road, this African hoopoe also made its presence known.
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As we made our way back via the short 3 km link road to the tar road, we spotted this Amur (Eastern red-footed) falcon. (please correct me if wrong). This was another first for us.
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Then another Martial eagle ...
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On our back via the tar road, some Lilac-breasted rollers were inviting us to take a photo...
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And just you are wondering if the Secretary birds only likes the Mopani grass lands, they will let you know that they also like it here near Shingwedzi. This one was resting a bit in the shade.
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So a most enjoyable drive via the S56 with a few first on the list to be ticked off for me. The next road we will be travelling is the R52 Red Rocks road which got its own surprises lined up :hmz: ... to be continued

_________________
Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger: from south-to-north-and-back
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:24 pm 
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We were off onto the R52 Red Rocks road and wondered what this road will deliver. The previous year, it was very quiet, but let see. Started off with a mongoose and enjoyed watching them for a while.
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Then a colourful visitor - Diderik cuckoo
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But it was not all birdies, we also got a Zebra crossing... the road....
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A km or two before we reached the Red Rocks area, out of the bush on the righthand side suddenly appeared 5 Wild dogs. We could not believe our eyes and was stunned. Never did we expect any wild dogs in this area, but they entertained us a bit by standing still and some were doing their business. I managed to get these few pics. It seemed as if they were coming from a kill as their hair were blood stained. We were so thrilled with this unexpected surprise. :dance:
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The 5 Wild dogs then took off in the direction of the river and disappeared as quickly as they had appeared. We continued and so excited we reached Red Rocks.
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We did not do the 22 km loop further down and took the short cut over the river back in the direction of the tar road to look at the Red Rocks area from the lookout point.

But, this was not all, we had some more excitement coming up...which will be shared with the next posting :hmz:

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Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger: from south-to-north-and-back
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:21 pm 
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It was still the morning of our 14th day, 26 Dec'12, and had done the Mphongolo loop and the Red Rocks R52 road taking the short cut via the 2 km link towards the H1-6 tar road. On our way some more birdies caught our eyes and it was click-time again.

Crested barbet (Kuifkophoutkapper)
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African grey hornbill managed to get a snack from the road.
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I was not sure if this Crested francolin (Bospatrys) was trying to tell us something, but he knew something... :hmz:
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When we reached the tar road and wanted to turn left back towards the camp, we saw the road full of cars approaching us. In front of them - 7 wild dogs running in the road in our direction. It was the same pack we saw a few minutes earlier and they were running through the river towards the road. We only saw 5 earlier and now there were 7. So, I turned right and was waiting for them to pass and followed them for a bout a good 4 km before they disappeared in the bush again. Here are some more wild dog photos...
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Marking their territory
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...and off they went again.
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We turned around and headed back to camp as we were getting hungry and in need of refreshments. The 16 km road back was by no means boring and enjoyed some interesting sightings along the way to be shared next...to be continued.

_________________
Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger: from south-to-north-and-back
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:36 pm 
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After following the wild dogs on the intersection of H52 and H1-6 and turned around heading back to camp, we were on the lookout for the hyena den that a number of sources had made reference to. We could not find it, but got a few giraffe in stead.

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A km or two before Joao waterhole we saw something walking across the road and as we drove closer, it was Mr Hoohoooo. Here we stopped and then on the right hand side we spotted another hyena that was lying down with a little one. As soon as she spotted the other hyena walking across the road, she got up and chased him away. He turned around and walked back in the direction of the river. What was quite unusual is the colour of the hyena's skin as it was unusually light in complexion. Here are a few pics to tell the story:

The one walking across the road
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The female with little one
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She stood up to chase him away
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The little one was taking evasive action
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Then the male, I assume, turned around and went back from where he was coming from ...'head down'
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After the doggies, it was another eventful sighting that we enjoyed. On our way back we stopped to se what was taking place in the river where some waterbuck were relaxing.
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Close to the camp, I saw this tree in a distance on the riverbank which was quite unique. Not sure of the name, but I guess with the recent flood, it would have probably been washed away.
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Late morning we arrived back at the camp and time for some refreshments and a bit of rest as it was quite an eventful morning on the S56, R52 and H1-6. The afternoon it was time for the S50 river road and the S135 causeway again. So, it is was time for more birdies...king, open, grey, spotted, thrush ...to give some hints - coming up. :thumbs_up:

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Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger: from south-to-north-and-back
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:54 pm 
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After an afternoon nap it was time to explore again the other side of the Shingwedzi camp. Must add that SO and little one did took a swin in the pool to cool down a bit. We recall last year when the two of them were also in the pool and when my little one looked towards the fence, a large elephant was standing there looking at them. I can just imagine the blue pool of water that looked so inviting, but he cannot get to it. :hmz: It was a great sighting from the pool side, though.

Just outside the back gate, we turned left down to the S135 causeway. The same birdies were there as the previous day, but we had a special visitor, Mr Croc.
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On the other side, this Marabou was in grooming mode...
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Then I was entertained by this Pied Kingfisher...love to share the acrobatics with you...
First, it was grooming itself...
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It was time to get food...
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But a highlight for me was this Open-billed stork I was hoping to get up close and personal with. He was down from the tree where he was sitting the day before. The timing was perfect to get these shots in...
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So another magnificent time was enjoyed on the causeway. We decided to do a slow drive down the S50 again towards the bird hide and Kanniedood dam....coming up next...to be continued - someone taking a taxi, spotty, something orange and some bush friends.

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Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger: from south-to-north-and-back
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:22 pm 
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Before driving down the S50 to the bird hide and Kanniedood dam, need to say goodbye to the Open-billed stork.
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Along the river road we again enjoyed a great variety of bird and animal life. But there is one tree that is unusual and everyone been down this road might recognise this tree - pity I do not know the name of this tree.
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At one of the view sites, we saw these bushbuck grazing and really calm allowing us to take a few pics.
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Then further down the road, some birdies... first up this Emerald-spotted dove (Groenvlekduif) - love the sound they are making. :whistle:
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This Kurrichane thrush (Rooibeklyster) was busy catching a worm.
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It was not just birdies entertaining us along this beautiful river road, but also this tree squirrels saying hello to us.
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At the bird hide, some Egyptian geese were arriving for their afternoon meeting.
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At Kanniedood dam, this Grey heron was enjoying a taxi-ride on the hippos which provided us with much laughter as he was just hopping from one hippo to another...as if he was in charge. Or was the hippos enjoying the ticklish feeling as the heron was walking on their backs :hmz: .
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On our way back, we saw some White-faced ducks (Nonnetjies eende) flying past.
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It was great afternoon drive again and time to head back to camp before gate closing. The next day, it was time to head back down south with next stop at Letaba camp for 1 night. But on our way there, we had again some wonderful surprises...which I will only share in the next posting....

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Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger: from south-to-north-and-back
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:45 pm 
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And so, day 15 of 16 arrived. It was 27 Dec'12 and we were leaving Shingwedzi for 1 night at Letaba camp. As we drove along the 2 km tar road from the camp towards the H1-6, we said good bye to some Marabou that were gathering in the Shingwedzi river.
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A km or two down the H1-6, we saw a few birds of prey circling the air. This Tawny eagle was one of them. Then we also saw another Tawny eagle on the tar road in front of us. It looks like a relative young one.
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We passed the R52 intersection and got a roadblock. Yes, it was same wild dogs we had seen the previous morning, but this time there were only 4 of the 7. They were relaxing in the road. In the bushes, some zebra were grazing which were quite weary of the wild dogs. At one stage, the wild dogs all ganged up and chased into the bushes after what it appeared to be a young zebra, but then they returned back to the tar road. It was quite a sight to see how they ganged up to hunt. We were actually glad that the zebra got away as it is one thing we do not want to experience - a live kill.

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Further down the road we saw this White-winged widow, another first for us. I guess, I need to make a list of al the bird sightings seen on this trip which I will do at the end of the TR. It will set the scene for our next planned trip in Dec'13 which will be 13 days long... :hmz:

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We did a stop at Mopani camp where we said hello to some friends we had seen at Satara and entertained us with a delicious 'potjie' (black pot bredie). They stayed at Satara in the last bungalow on the perimeter and they had the unfortunate experience by leaving the bakkie window open with some of the children sweets in it and Mr Honey Badger had a feast it it.

Our timing visiting Mopani was excellent as we were in time to attend a presentation given by Moholoholo. It was really great to see the size of some of the birds of prey i.e. Bateleur and also cheetah. I want to add that the service at the restaurant was excellent, from the coffee, the food, and the tasteful way in presenting it - unlike the other restaurants we had experienced in Kruger. It was just different. :thumbs_up:

On this note, we were off to Letaba camp where other friends that travelled with their caravan from Cape Town were awaiting us. Coming up next, some sightings in the Letaba area with another first birdy sighting for me....coming up . :hmz:

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Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger: from south-to-north-and-back
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:57 pm 
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We left Mopani and paid a quick visit to Pioneer dam and Shipandani hides with all the regulars present.
Then we were off on the H1-6 tar-road towards Letaba. The road was relatively quiet with some general game around. We reached the Letaba river bridge and we did a quick leg stretch. My in-laws spotted some familiar faces of visitors also on the bridge from years gone by. It is just amazing when and where one sometimes meet old friends or colleagues.
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While they were catching up on how life were treating them, I spotted another first for me - a Com duck (Knobbel eend). It was a bit far, but managed to get this one (I guess, it will go on my list of sighting for next trip to get a nice close-up - wonder if he has heard about Lake Panic :hmz: )
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On the other side of the bridge, these tsessebe came down for some water. There were about 5 of them together and glad to see them in this region.
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We arrived at the camp and booked in at unit FQ6 which got a beautiful view of the Letaba river. The resident Grey hornbill welcomed us and made us feel at home.
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From the camp we enjoyed some great sightings such as this elephant walking all along the river and entertained us by its presence.
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We also spotted a nice Bateleur and gave us a great flying display.
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After the morning's excitement of wild dogs, yellow-billed kite and visit to Mopani, it was time to take a quick siesta so we could be fresh for the afternoon drive. Friends of ours from Cape Town were also at Letaba and it was great spending some time with them. Next up, some sightings from the afternoon drive...to be continued.

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Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger: from south-to-north-and-back
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:13 pm 
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It is the afternoon of day 15 of 16 and everyone was taking it easy at he camp. We had our midday rest and we caught up with our friends from Cape Town. My friend and I took an afternoon drive along the S69 loop, H9, s96 and back on the S131. We spotted a few raptors and some ellies here and there and some buffs, but the drive was fairly quiet with not much of excitement. The only sighting worth sharing was this Red-crested korhaan (Boskohaan) (please correct if wrong)
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We did pay a visit to the Elephant museum and must add - a definite must do for anyone visiting Letaba. Here is a photo of the tusker - Shingwedzi from the museum.
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We had a great evening braai with friends whilst enjoying the view of the river and the activity it produced.
The next morning, SO and myself did an early morning drive to the Mingerhout dam via the S47. The sightings board indicated that there is a resident leopard along the river and we wanted to see if we can spot it. Off we went, but no leopard in sight. It is a beautiful road to drive with trees and views of the river.

Arriving at Mingerhout dam, we spotted some hippos on the other side of the wall.
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We took the Letaba river road back to camp as we had never driven it before and stopped at one of the little rivers with these terrapins rushing towards the car. It was quite an interesting experience. Just wonder why they did this. :hmz: We felt that we were under attack by the ninja turtles....Image

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Further down the road we spotted this Steenbok.
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Arriving back at the camp, get the car packed to head down to Satara for another night - our last one in the park. As we were leaving our unit, this Bushbuck was saying good bye to us.
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On this note we were off down the H1-5 tar road towards Satara. We recall Dec'11 we had a sightings of a Mozambican spitting cobra crossing our road, but this year no snakes or sacry stuff, but was entertained by a great show at Ngotso North waterhole...to be continued.

Here is a pic of the Mozambican spitting cobra from our trip in Dec'11.
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Next up...a show at Ngotso North waterhole.

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Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger: from south-to-north-and-back
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:50 pm 
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Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year & Sighting of the Year - Small Creatures and Insects (2013)
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Location: Bellville, Cape Town
It is 27 Dec'12 and we were on our way to our last camp, Satara for 1 night. But before we could leave Kruger Park the next day at about noonish, we first had to enjoy still a bucket full of great sightings. Here is the first of the last ...

We stopped on the Olifants river bridge for a leg stretch and then moved on when we reached the first waterhole, Ngotso North, where there were a few cars standing. We drove closer and enjoyed this beautiful giraffe water drinking show. The area was full of impies, zebra and giraffe.

One always wanted to see how a giraffe drinks water and we had this opportunity right close to the road. It is just amazing how they bend their legs to get to the water.
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Then after they had soaked up a bucket full of water and lift their long heads, a spay of water follows in the lifting action.
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We were really entertained by these giraffes drinking water.
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Seems the two were communicating - just hope they did not say something funny about us taking pictures of them :hmz:
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After this giraffe show, we drove further down the tar road where we had an interesting sighting of an African Harrier-hawk attack...but that in the next posting - to be continued

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Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: Kruger: from south-to-north-and-back
Unread postPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 12:33 pm 
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Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year & Sighting of the Year - Small Creatures and Insects (2013)
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Location: Bellville, Cape Town
We left the Ngotso North waterhole and drove further down the H1-4 tar road towards Satara. Our friends from Cape Town were also on their way to Satara to stay a few days there with their caravan and had sent us a sms of a special sighting closer to Satara. They left before us from Letaba that morning as we first did the Mingerhout dam drive, so they were feeding us with what is happening down the road.

But before we could get to the special sighting we stopped next to a small herd of elephants. What was interesting, the little one was lying in the grass and we thought he had collapsed. After a few minutes, he got up and the herd slowly moved on. I looked at the elephants' behaviour and they were all relaxed while the little one was lying, so I guess it was a good sign and when he got up, it confirmed it for me. Here are a few pics...
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Further down the road, we spotted this African Harrier-hawk in a tree.
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Then he flew up and sit on top of the tree...but there was another smaller black bird in the same tree...
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The smaller black bird flew up and attached the African Harrier-hawk forcing the AHH to rather take off...love the facial expression :shock: Does anyone perhaps recognise the black bird? - good id challenge perhaps? :hmz: :hmz:
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I managed to crop the flight action of the African Harrier-hawk...and one could see, he was really challenged and had no choice.
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After this action, we got the spot where the special sighting was, but unfortunately, the leopard was a bit far from the road. We still managed to get this shot in.
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So, an action packed trip from Letaba to Satara on the H1-4 tar road came to an end as we went to book in so long so we do not have to wait in a queue at 14h00. We went for a midday lunch at the restaurant. It was an extremely hot day and the restaurant extremely busy and waited a bit, enjoying the view. Unfortunately, a problem at the restaurant occurred impacting the service which had made a lot of visitors angry including us. Without elaborating on the detail, after our in-laws got their food and we still waiting a very long time, we decided to leave and spoke to the manager. She nearly had a nervous breakdown due to the challenges she had to face. We actually felt sorry for her as one could understand her situation, of which one was that she was new. Nevertheless, I guess that of all the camp restaurants we had visited, Satara had every time scored the lowest over the years. Nevertheless, it remains a popular camp to stay and hope the management had ironed out the service issues.

As we were about to climb into our car, my little girl picked up a diamond gold ring right next to car in the parking lot. We went back to reception and handed it in as someone might have or will be looking for it. The lady at reception took it and say thank you and that was it. I was a bit concerned in the manner they dealt with this, so I enquired if they are not going to put it in a lost & found register and want our details when she said no and will just keep it there. I had an experience of losing my 15-85 mm Canon lens at one of the hides and after enquiring at the camps, no one had handed it in. I still wonder if the lady, whose ring it was managed to get it back via the Satara reception and what the correct procedure for them is when someone handed in some valuable items. :hmz:

On this hot and cold note, we settled in at BD2V unit with perimeter view and took a midday rest. Later the afternoon, we had some good sightings again, but it was the night at the camp that got me really excited, but that to be shared with next posting...to be continued.

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Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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