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 Post subject: Pavlik88's Mapungubwe and Kruger Apr.' 07
Unread postPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 6:12 pm 
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Hi to all,

finally I found some time to share my trip report in more detail with you and also include some pictures from my great one month trip.
I will separate trip report to several parts.
So first goes tropic part with Mapungubwe and mighty Kruger.
enjoy Pavel

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 Post subject: One day in mapungubwe on April 7th 2007
Unread postPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 6:34 pm 
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Hi,

after we drove to Limpopo river and stayed at our friend nice farm we started to explore SANparks with Mupungubwe:

We started early morning from farm of friend and drove to main gate of the park.
At the gate is nice sign of the park saying also about being World heritage site.

Image
The board welcoming to Mapungubwe

We wanted to buy our Wild cards right here to use it from first day. Unfortunately they could not upload from machine our details to the card, so we paid regular day entrance fee. The visitor centre is nice and you can see the park is new.

While in park we turned left towards Confluence viewpoint. We were inside the park about one minute and had our first sighting. And a special welcome from Sanparks symbol male Kudu himself.

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The Kudu symbol of Sanparks

There was female with three youngsters also. What a welcome! We drove on gravel road with a lot of curves and saw couple herds or single impalas. Took short 4WD track (only few hundreds meters) to Nwatinugu waterhole. There was water, but no animals. We went on to Limpopo valley viewpoint.

Image
The view of Limpopo valey

There is nice view of Limpopo valley in distance and surrounding country. The weather was cloudy, but warm.

On the way to Confluence point we saw one more male kudu. There is one section of road going through rocks valley with sharp curves and steep descent and after that climb. There were Dassies on rocks and also group of baboons.

Image
Rock Dassie on the rock above road

Near the parking and picnic area were also franklins with blue head. To get to parking at Confluence point you need to drive again steep section of road. At the picnic site we had little snack. The facilities are new, so very nice and clean. I liked the natural feel of wooden benches, tables and shelters.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 7:24 pm 
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We took paved path to few lookout platforms on rock ridge. Bellow is Limpopo river and confluence point with Shashe river. We could see well into Botswana and Zimbabwe.
Image
Confluence point of Limpopo and Shashe

The platforms are great place to look at the river and trees around it. We could see on ground only some small rabbit like mammals. Also few eagles flew around in windy weather.
Image
Nice new platforms above Limpopo

We also went for Pinnacles lookout on the other side of parking place. Small pillars of sandstone are spreaded through valley lying bellow view site.
Image
Pinnacles in valley

There was group of baboons feeding on tree leaves directly under us.
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tasty leaves:-)

There was small antelope near road in the steep part directly bellow parking on our way down. I think it is Duiker. Can you confirm?
Image
Duiker??

Drove to Forest tree top walk near the river. The walk is about 3 meters above ground on wooden catwalk. It is great spot for bird lovers. A lot of birds are much closer compared to watching from ground. We did not see that much birds unfortunately.
Image
Tree top walk near Limpopo

At hide on the edge of river we saw more birds and few crocodiles lying on shore.
Image
View of Limpopo from hide

Image
Croc in Limpopo

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 7:36 pm 
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continued with West part of Mapungubwe

One remark. If I get an ID of animal wrong, please correct me :lol:

Went the same way back and exit the park to get to the second section near Limpopo forest. It is pity; it is not allowed to drive through park from East to west section. It would be for sure very interesting.
After entering park from Rhodes drift the country was different to other part of park. Here the terrain is flat and more open. We saw our first zebras in bush and also family of warthogs.
Image
Small warthogs

There were big walking birds on grass. I do not know what they are.
Image
ID please :shock:

We took forest drive towards the river. It was interesting to see big fence from wire along the river. It reminds me our own history with wire around our country while the communist government ruled the country. Hope the fence is not used now nor supplied with electricity.
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Big ugly fence near Limpopo river

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There were a lot of impalas around the river.

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We saw small red Bushbuck in forest near river.

Next stop was Maloutswa hide, so famous for animals. We had probably no luck and seen only Red billed hornbill. After about twenty minutes we got lucky. To water came thirsty male waterbuck.
Image
Drinking Waterbuck

We saw female waterbuck and our first really wild Wildebeest on the way out of the first national park in South Africa. Mapungubwe is nice introduction to nature and animals of Africa.
Image
Wild Wildebest (Blue or Black?)

We returned to the farm in the evening.
So this is my first day in any of SANParks. It was very exiting and promising for other great game parks.
Pavel

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 7:52 pm 
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Freda wrote:
Great report, Pavel :D
I think your duiker is a klipspringer and the big bird is a Kori Bustard.
Can't wait for the next episode.


Hi Freda,

thank you for the names and ID :clap:
Klipspringer really :D I thought about it, but was not sure.
It was the only time we seen this kind of antelope.
is the Kori Bustard the bigest walking in South Africa?
will try to do Kruger report soon.
Pavel

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 7:57 pm 
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Location: Marloth Park, South Africa
Kori Bustard is the heaviest bird that can fly.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 8:41 am 
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Freda , yes we (South Africans) all like to claim that the Kori Bustard is the largest flying bird however :-

On a radio program a short while ago Gerhard Verdoorn stated
that actualy the South American Condor actualy takes that distinction . His weight , wingspan and flying ability all exceed the Kori Bustard .

So we should actualy say the Kori Bustard is the largest of the primaraly ground habitat (as opposed to arboreal) flying bird .

Who can help with the term used to describe ground habitat birds - Ostrich , cassowary, emu , dodo , bustards , etc . ?

Oh , also the Wildebeest is Blue , Black version is Natal and Free State grassland species .


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:30 am 
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thanks for clarification on animal spieces 8)
the wildebeest I always mixed :redface:

I was ill few days, will try to prepare Kruger section of report soon!!
Pavel

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