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 Post subject: Jumbo's Biyamiti visit : 13 Jan '07
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:31 pm 
I’m doing the photo part of this report a bit different (call it an experiment). To accommodate dial-up users, the pix I’m posting are small is size, thus if you click on the thumbnail you will get a pic that is just a tad larger than the thumbnail itself. I will however provide a link next to the photo that will show you the bigger size.

Due to unforeseen circumstances I had to spend the night of 13 Jan in Kruger alone. I was originally booked to stay in Crocodile Bridge but was able to change that at the last minute to Biyamiti thanks to Biyamiti’s new, and very kind, Hospitality Manager.

I entered the Park around noon at Croc Bridge. My first sighting, while on the bridge, was a massive crocodile. Unfortunately I was not fast enough to get a photo before it disappeared into the reeds. I was quite surprised to see such a big croc in the river while the water level was actually quite shallow.

While on the bridge I also took my best ever photo of an African Jacana and after that skilfully managed to delete it…..I should really read the camera manual sometime!!!

It was a terribly hot day and I opened all the windows of the car as I made my way to Biyamiti via the S25.
Due to the heat the sightings was few and in-between, mainly groups of impala, all bundling together in shady spots. The S25 was quiet so I opening myself a Savana and took the drive nice and slow, just enjoying the bush. It is wonderful to visit Kruger with somebody you can share everything with, but there is also something special about being alone.

On the S25 I found a group of baboons and managed to get this photo….Eish! (will rather not add this to the Caption Competition)

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On the S139, Biyamiti road, I spotted some White-fronted Bee-eaters. I sat with them for quite a while and managed to get quite a few out-of-focus shots of them flying. Luckily the ones on them not flying came out sort of ok.

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Near the camp I saw a buffalo and also found this old man.

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In Biyamiti I stayed in unit #9. It was great to be in this camp again….haven’t been able to visit it for quite a while.
As usual on hot days, I bought an extra bag of ice at reception. This is for the birdbath in front of the unit. The Blue waxbills and Bulbuls quickly discovered the cold water.

Early evening, just after I lit my fire, the lions started getting vocal in the riverbed, close to the camp. To me this is the ultimate Kruger…a wooden fire burning and the lions talking. They made my evening very special by sticking around and accompanying me with their sounds.

I was the first one out of the gate at 5am the next morning (not lekker to open and close that gate while you are alone with nobody around).

On the S139 I found the Water Thick-knee family at their usual spot. This is not too far from the camp, before Blinkwater waterhole, there is bridge over a side stream of the river and we have seen these Think-knees here for quite some time.

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Close to the Thick-knees I saw an African Wattled Lapwing chasing a Crowned Lapwing.

Also on the S139 I got to a spot where the Vervets were busy with their morning exercise. I switched of the car and sat there for quite some time, watching their manoeuvres.

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While sitting there, an array of other animals and birds also passed by. Two Woodland Kingfishers were showing of against each other. I also saw a female Violet-backed Starling. Unfortunately they were all too far of for my camera to get a nice shot.
A Leopard tortoise crossed the road in front of my car and headed into the bush.

Just after the tortoise, a bakkie came around the bend at a tremendous speed and had to swerve to avoid a collision with my stationary vehicle. The bakkie only came to a stop next to my vehicle, inside the bush. I was very angry and ask the driver where they were heading to (was not a SANParks vehicle). The driver told me that he was taking one of his passengers, a women, to work…she apparently works at Biyamiti.

After they sped off again, I suddenly remembered the tortoise…the bakkie went into the bush were the tortoise was. I franticly drove up and down looking for a squashed tortoise…lucky I found non.

With the atmosphere somewhat spoiled, I moved on. This Burchell’s Coucal, bathing in the morning sun, lifted my spirit again

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Also on the S139 a Lilac-breasted Roller is scanning the environment for breakfast.

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To be continued…the Biyamiti weir was rewarding as always.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:04 am 
My first sighting at the weir was that of two white rhinos. Every time I’ve been to this weir in the past year or so, I have seen rhino…are they tied to tree there or what? The only pix I could get of them were two huge bums in the bush. :roll:

A massive herd of buffalo came down to the riverbed. The banks and riverbed were covered with buffalo. Some buffalo were making their way towards the weir where there were a few pools of water dammed up….I had to get next to that weir! There was a vehicle before me and they just briefly stopped next to the weir and continued to go over. When I got to the weir the buffalo reached the water…and WOW what a sighting. I was eyelevel with the water and the buffalo was basically above me (lucky there was water between us).
Just when I switched of my car, ready to snap away at this amazing sight, I noticed that the car that has just gone over the weir, turned around and was now standing at the other side, waiting for me to go over. Ag no! I hate it when that happens! :roll: Now I have to do my happy-snapping fast. I took a few pics and started driving, then through yet another opening in the reed there were even more buffalo…eish! :? Feeling very guilty, I decided the people on the other side would have to wait a few seconds more. :redface:

Especially for WTM, I’m posting every angle of the buffalos I got :twisted:

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While taking pix of the buffalo, I also saw these Water Thick-knees.

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When I was over the weir I stopped at the other vehicle to apologize for keeping them up…luckily it seemed that they were more intrigued by the fact that I’m alone than upset about waiting. :?

After the weir I turned onto the S26…also one of my favourite roads. An oncoming vehicle stopped me and told me about a leopard a distance on. Apparently it was at one of those drain pipes under the road and they thought that it was after a warthog in the pipe. My principle has always been not to race after sightings, so I still took my drive nice and slow. I eventually got to the spot they described, but all that was left of the leopard was spoor. :cry: I switched of my car and at one stage heard something inside the pipe. I did however not have time to stay around…still had to get back to Maputo.
Eish!!! 4 years since my last leopard in Kruger…that is surreal :wall:

Just after turning onto the S113, I saw a huger water monitor lying on the low water bridge. I switched of the car, and little by little crept up to it till I was right next to it.

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Just after Afsaal I found this young Zebra. The mother constantly kept herself between it and the road. I was only able to get this one photo.

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My last sighting, just before Malelane Gate, was another white rhino having a siesta in the shade of a tree.

No cat sightings, but to me hearing lions at night, as I did in Biyamiti, is almost more special than seeing them. The buffalo sighting was a real WOW! 8)


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