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Amazing things seen from/within Camp fences

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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Jock
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Hyaena in camp

Unread postby Jock » Mon Apr 04, 2005 7:04 am

A few years ago we went to a game reserve in KZN and stayed in a tent provided by the park. We were warned the Hyaena do come out at night and we were asked to put all food away. They even suggested we wash the dishes before going to bed. When we walked into the kitchen area, we could see what they were talking about. The fridge had a lock on it and was damaged by hyaena trying to get inside.

We had some fantastic sightings of the hyaena at night. The moment the lights went out, they would appear and start looking around for food. We made sure we all stayed together but I think they were looking for scraps that people leave them, they were not wanting to hurt us. I did not sleep much listening to them calling throughout the night. It is the most amazing sound, one of the best night calls of the African bush.

Unfortunately we fell victim to naughty monkeys who raided our camp while we were away one morning. They got into the sugar and coffee and made a terrible mess.
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Unread postby Tabs » Sat Apr 23, 2005 1:31 am

DinkyBird wrote:I am sure that newer members might be interested in this thread - I certainly never gave much thought to the fact that hyaena might visit inside the camp during the night....I am going to be a lot more alert when wandering about after dark :shock:


I am always alert when wandering at night in the parks (and at my age, I tend to wander a lot!) not only watching out for predators but also for venemous snakes.... no fencing will keep them out!

I once got 'lost' in the middle of the night after visiting the bathroom - as I left the bathroom there was a power cut, and my torch battery had died on me! It was pitch black, I lost my bearings completely and I could not even see the roadway clearly, never mind being able to see if there were any snakes around.

After slowly picking my way (in the wrong direction of course!) through the camp I was eventually rescued by a camp guard, with a nice big torch, who escorted me safely back.

I was far more worried about stepping on a puff-adder than of coming across a hyaena - or worse!

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Unread postby Stoffel » Mon May 02, 2005 3:59 pm

Years ago, when we still lived in Tzaneen, friends of us stayed in Letaba for a week. We joined them for the last weekend. Having a braai the Friday night, they informed us about a hyena in the camp the previous night. Staying in huts (without private ablutions) my friend's wife came back from the shower and heard something breathing like a dog behind her. She started running to their hut and lost her bra and panty in the process. This happened on the night before our arrival.

We were having quite a few beers around the fire that evening, and needless to say you all know what the effect of beer on the bladder is. I woke up not very long after going to bed and everything in the camp was quite. The idea of a possible hyena in the camp made me decide I am not going to walk to the ablutions. There was a stump of an dead lead wood tree next to our hut and I decided that will be the place to go and stand. I was sleeping in a PT pants. The natural thing is just to pull down the pants as far as possible so that you can do the necessary. I just started releasing (with that typical feeling of satisfaction) when I heard the breathing of a dog-like thing within a short distance behind me.

Letting go of the elastic of my PT pants, turning around and starting to run back to the door, was one action. Unfortunately I forgot to "turn off the tap" which was still running. The screen door slammed as I entered, everybody (wife and children) were woken - and I was totally wet and too scared to go to the ablutions to go and wash myself.

The next morning I got up early and went outside to go and show my wife where I stood and from which direction the dog-like breathing came. The evidence of my standing next to the tree stump was still there, but not a sign of a dog-like track in at least a 50 m radius.

I came to the conclusion it was all in my mind after hearing the stories the previous night. Nowadays we take our Porta-Potti with if we do not have our own toilet.

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Unread postby Little1 » Sun May 15, 2005 7:24 am

The first night my girlfriend ever spent in Kruger was at Talamati a few years ago. When we entered our guest house that night there were 3 bats flying around in the kitchen and living room area. It took us a while but we were finally able to shoo them out the door. Definitely a comical sight - a couple of city slickers from America seemingly fighting for our lives. :wink:

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Unread postby Penny » Sun May 15, 2005 9:50 am

Many years ago we were staying in the Rudy Frankel cottage at Satara. It just so happened that the Curry cup final had been that afternoon and the Northern Transvaal team had been beaten by Natal (no Sharks in those days). An extraordinary amount of alcohol had been consumed in the name of celebrating the win and it was approximately 10 p.m. My husband was sitting at the table composing a poem in the visitor's book to commemorate the momentus victory and a friend of ours was finishing the last of the red wine in his glass when the next thing into the lounge bustled a mole with fangs bared. The pandemonium that ensued was hilarious to say the least - our friend declared the mole rabid as it attacked everything and everyone that tried to usher it out. At this stage the wives and children joined in the fray, shrieking instructions to the menfolk (from the safety of the lounge furniture). First they tried to stop its progress with the cane magazine rack and it promptly sank its fangs into that, then the broom was attacked. Eventually after 2 hours we managed to persuade our visitor to go back into the garden and everyone went to bed. The incident is still talked and laughed about to this day. In subsequent visits to the cottage the poem was admired by everyone in the visitors book but sadly with the burning down of the cottage recently I fear that it is now lost.
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Unread postby Loams » Sat May 21, 2005 12:25 pm

In Orpen camp there is a massive Lion spoor in the concrete of the number one hut. If I remember correctly there was other spoor as well, laid in the cement just to remind us we are in "their" territory. From pics that I saw on the Orpen cam just the other night, Lions were on their way to the Orpen fence. That was the one thing I missed when I was in Kruger in April. Didn't hear a Lion or Hyena call once. I love hearing that. I rate it higher than any sighting of either.
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Skukuza Bush Baby

Unread postby johan » Wed Jun 08, 2005 9:22 am

When we stayed in Skukuza last year (the 6-bed guest cottages close to the rail bridge and train restaurant) we were having dinner on the stoep when a bush baby came climbing down one of the supporting poles of the roof - it sat there staring at us for quite some time but when someone stood up it jumped down and hopped away to a nearby tree and disappeared in the tree. It's the closest I've ever been to one!

We also had a bushbuck in camp in Talamati a few weeks ago.

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Going through old posts

Unread postby christo » Wed Dec 14, 2005 9:24 am

I can remember the following seen in camps:
Punda Maria
Steenbok, warthog, Squirrel, 2 types of snake (Not identified), vervet monkeys

Shingwedzi
Civet, Squirrel, python, rock monitor

Mopani
Squirrel, water monitor

Letaba
Bushbuck, squirrel, slender mongoose, puffadder, chameleon

Olifants
Water monitor

Satara (scorpion valley)
Whitetailed mongoose, genet, rock monitor

Orpen
Baboon, black backed jackel, lesser bush baby

Skukuza
Water mongoose, water monitor, squirrels, vervet monkeys, baboons, warthog

Lower Sabie
Hyena, squirrels, vervet monkeys,

Crocodile Bridge
Vervet monkeys

Berg & Dal
More snakes than I would like to see, especially very agressive Naja Nivea in summer, baboons, vervets & squirrels. The only camp where Ive seen wilddog from my chalet.

Pretoriuskop
Impala, baboon, vervet, squirrels, bushbabies, warthog
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Unread postby Penny » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:28 pm

One morning, some years ago, we were staying in the accommodation behind the then camping ground and were awoken just after 5 a.m. to hear what sounded like someone banging two pairs of rubber slops together - it was in fact one of the gardeners and he was slapping two shoes together and trying to persuade the biggest bull elephant I have ever seen so close to climb back over the fence. He eventually casually merely lifted his legs and went back over - we were at this stage talking to one of the lady campers who had had the most horrendous night with this elephant chomping all the garden vegetation around the camping ground. Every time she opened the zip of the tent she realised that he was virtually outside and promptly closed it again. Whilst we were commisserating with her we heard the roar of a lion and to our utter astonishment saw a huge black maned lion run from behind the last row of tents past the Moffat cottage and disappear behind the small rondavels up to the left. At this time of the morning folk were just starting to stir and one gentleman came on to his verandah rubbing sleep from his eyes only to be shouted at to go back inside. By this time we had got into our vehicle and were following the lion so that we could inform the rangers where it was. When they eventually arrived they were as perplexed as we were as they had no dart guns and they said they would have to try and "herd" the lion out of the main camp entrance. It was of course a very real problem for the Parks authorities who we believe eventually managed to get the lion out through a side entrance after many hours. I have the most fantastic footage of the lion at one stage running between the huts but then I lost the plot and for the next half an hour filmed the interior of our vehicle with commentary on the whereabouts and actions of the lion!
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Unread postby naomi c » Mon Dec 19, 2005 1:57 pm

Does anybody remember the honeybadger(s?) in Orpen and Tamboti a few years ago? We were having a braai one night - steak in garlic sauce - and my husband put the extra garlic sauce on the dustbin right behind him. We never saw it coming, but the next moment there was a bang and a honeybadger were enjoying our garlic sauce! We all hastily retired to the veranda of our tent and were thrilled with our visitor until it decided that it want to join us there! Fortunately it had a change of mind halfway up the stairs!!
We also saw hayena inside Letaba and Shingwidzi on more than one occasion.

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Unread postby bucky » Tue Dec 20, 2005 7:57 pm

naomi c wrote:Does anybody remember the honeybadger(s?) in Orpen and Tamboti a few years ago?


YES :shock:
The 1 in tamboti was a horror , it came around to our tent while we where braaing , and also decided to start coming up the steps , I gave it my best he man show and it didnt even flinch and more like sized me up , needless to say I was the 1 that backed down , luckily it didnt come up the steps .
That thing looks like it can rip you into shreds .

Was once on a muskateers weekend up in orpen , and we had booked out a 6 bed cottage , after far to many beers we heard crashing and bashing from behind the huts , so armed with our torches in 1 hand , and beer in the other we casually went around the hut and looked at an elephant feeding on the other side of the fence .

During the evening we all woke up from a loud crack , to see the ellie right next to the hut :shock: .
In the morning we went to examine "the scene" to find elephant droppings right next to the back of the hut , and where we where casually wathing it the previous evening , we found that it was actually in the camp , and not the other side of the fence as expected , I suppose the ellie realised that a bunch of laughing and over indulged muskateers ment him no harm , so just left us be , wonder if he was looking for sips of castle near our hut :twisted:

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Unread postby DuQues » Wed Dec 21, 2005 10:31 am

bucky wrote:needless to say I was the 1 that backed down , luckily it didnt come up the steps .
That thing looks like it can rip you into shreds .

Have a look at their topic. It is a very good thing you backed off. HB's are the fiercest creatures on earth...
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Unread postby Oumie » Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:01 pm

15 years ago we stayed at Satara with a group of friends (used to be our annual get together just after Christmas), we had 4 bungalow's and it was my turn to make salads. After I cleaned and made the salads and making a fruit salad, I casually walked to the dustbin to turf all the peels and rubbish. When I opened the lid OUT jumped the Honey Badger :shock: Well I screamed and the Honeybadger growled and showed teeth, I ran one way and he/she ran the other way. Well everybody was nearly lying on the floor laughing :evil: After I calmed down they all started to laugh again, I had veggie peels and pips all over me and some lettuce leaves in my hair :redface:
Since then when we see a HB we all start to laugh about the incident :lol:
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Unread postby bucky » Fri Dec 23, 2005 7:49 am

Imagine this .
Take honey badger , scale it up to the size of a lion , can you
imagine the beast you would get .
It would solve the elephant problem , with these things running about taking them down .

I noticed while in tamboti that there where some honey badger sized traps in the camp , does anyone know if these where indeed to try capture the little rascal , so as to move him out the camp , before some poor muskateer got a "emasculating".

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Unread postby Penny » Fri Dec 23, 2005 5:06 pm

When ever we stay in Satara and have a fridge on an open verandah we make a point of turning it door to the wall when we go to bed as the honey badgers have even learnt how to open fridge doors! After being minus all our braai meat one night we have learned our lesson.
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