Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 3 of 6
 [ 78 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:09 pm
Posts: 16
There's no difference between the main and secondary roads as far as the game is concerned. Every time you get behind the wheel it will be different. We always use a combination of red and yellow roads on our game drives.
In our experience, you're less likely to share a really good sighting with hoardes of other vehicles on a secondary road, some of the main roads can get very congested.
For leopards, we have seen them twice on night drives from Lower Sabie. The H4-1 between there and Skukuza is good for both leopards and lions but that's a case in point of a main road that is very busy.
Even if you're not lucky enough to see them on this trip, you will have a wonderful time. Enjoy!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:41 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:15 am
Posts: 39
Hi mariottisyd, and welcome to the forum!

Sightings really do depend on luck. On a trip to Kruger last month, we saw about an even number of animals on the tar roads and the gravel/dirt ones. The tar roads tended to have a lot more traffic, but our one and only leopard sighting was on one. On some dirt roads we were able to drive for 2 hours at a time without seeing a single car, so we really felt out in the middle of the bush--which was fantastic. Anyway, my advice is to do a mix of dirt and tar roads, and to ask people at your camp if they have any recommendations for good roads nearby. Other people working or staying there will probably know about recent sightings. You can also look at the sightings boards posted at the camps for ideas, although as you can see from reading this thread, there's some debate about how reliable the boards are. Still, they're fun to at least look at!

As for the night drives, we did one at Satara and one at Biyamiti, and both were very good. The really nice thing about the Biyamiti drive was that it was a smaller vehicle (10- instead of 20-seater), we got to stop along the way for sundowners , and the guide, Benjy (sp?), had lots of great commentary. From what I've heard, the night drives can vary quite a bit, depending on the guide you have and the number of animals you see. You might want to look at this thread on drives


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:22 pm 
Offline
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Honorary Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:42 pm
Posts: 17943
Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
In the south you will have more sightings, in the middle (Satara etc) you'll have more cats, and in the north you'll have quiet, but less sightings. So animals only? South.

But... My choice? North.

Do you want to see the big 5? It's possible in the north, just less likely. However the old rule is still valid, @ the right place, @ the right time...

If you want to see a little more though, like spectacular views, superb birding, while not being pestered by tourists and OSV's. Shingwedzi is a super camp, but I would take a few days in Punda as well, and go to Pafuri. Do some birding with Frank (one of the attendants of Pafuri picknik spot), visit Crooks Corner and so on.

_________________
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 8:45 pm 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
Posts: 41894
Location: Somerset West, Cape Town
For me.... Sweni Bird hide and the parking area just to the left of the hide. Great for pics!

_________________
Sawubona
Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:45 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 2:19 pm
Posts: 360
Location: NOT where I want to be!!
Hallo krs10a and welcome!

Water and Trees = ellie magnets, so where you find rivers and dams like around Shingwedzi with Kanniedood Dam and Letaba's Engelhard dam, where there is a constant supply of both, you will find ellies, and lots of them. Fortunately Shingwedzi is also very competitavely priced with accomodation and is a quieter camp, but nontheless beautiful! You can sometimes drive for houers without meeting other cars, so its a nice region to just sit and relax when spotting animals without too much disturbance from other traffic.

They also like the Mopani brush, so you are bound to find them between Letaba and Shingwedzi. You can check out the trip report of Ralfv of the "three musketeers go north" in the trip reports thread. There he describe the big breeding herds they encountered in and around Shingwedzi, and they also have quite a few big but very dorsile bulls up there. And when they are feeding at the river banks or at the Kanniedood dam they make for great viewing. :wink:

At Letaba we also walked literally right next to ellies (within 4 meters) at the fence, at the river's side of the footpath at sundown. Was an incredible experience when they give that deep rumble and you feel the low and deep soundwaves vibrate through your stomack and lungs. :shock: Very humbling experience being right next to something so big and powerful. Just always be very quiet when so near to them. Their sight aint good but the slightest sudden sound will spook them when you are that close to them.. You can also check the big five sighting maps link on the Sanparks homepage (near the bottom ) There they indicate the biggest concentrations of all the big 5.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 3:58 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:11 pm
Posts: 1607
Location: Back on earth.....
Hi BunnyHugger,

Although quite far from any camp, I love Sonop waterhole, situated along the H6 east from Satara. Maybe because I have special memories there....

When you approach Sonop, it looks quiet, but I dare you, stay there for 30 min, if you have time ofcourse..., I have seen buffalo, lion, warthog, impala, zebra and 2 elephants within 1 and a half hour.....amazing for a 'seemingly' quiet waterhole

My opinion is that the late afternoons are better for waterhole viewings than the early morning, I dont know why, its just a feeling I have, I never see much at waterhole in the early morning. Sonop unfortunatly doesnt have much shade....

A second, equal popular hide of mine, is the Sweni hide....the peace is unmatched. A good thing (and bad) about this hide is , its so far from main camps, and situated on an infamous road, so not too much visitors as is the case with Lake Panic...

Both Sweni and Sonop have the advantage that it is not too far from N'wanetsi, so in an case of emergency, its less than 8 km ..

Hope this is what you meant :wink:

Monné

_________________
Letaba 8 July, Shipandane 9 July, Shingwedzi 10 - 14 July :D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Leopards & Cheetas
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:27 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:58 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Pietermaritzburg
In the Park! :big_eyes: All over - no right or wrong answer. Luck is what it comes down to - right place at the right time. Although having said that take into consideration their terrains - Leopards are found more often in riverine areas like between Skukuza and Lower Sabie and along the S100, while Cheetah prefer grasslands / woodlands as they rely on their speed to catch prey. Good areas for cheetah are the S28 by Crocodile Bridge and the Satara region, although I haven't seen cheetah there! :redface:

Or just tune in to a Currie Cup game - Free State Cheetahs and Mpumulanga Leopards play most weekends in the winter!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Leopards & Cheetas
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:58 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:43 pm
Posts: 1500
Location: Sungulwane Hills Game Lodge, Hluhluwe
I agree with Shortcourse and Emily86, you just have to be in the right place at the right time.

As well as you need to know where to look and what their habits are, like a leopard would lie in a dense area at the base of a tree or a shady bush during the hottest part of the day where as a cheetah will be more in the open Savannah areas under a shady tree!

At Dawn you will find most of your predators walking around, but cheetah don't like to move a lot at night for fear of being killed by other stronger predators.

At dusk you will find your nocturnal creatures starting to awaken and you will have a very good chance of seeing Leopard!

But anyway enjoy your trip :D

_________________
Sustainability is not something we do in addition to..........., it is about the manner in which we do everything


Last edited by Mike1916 on Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Leopards & Cheetas
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:48 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:27 pm
Posts: 828
Location: Not in KNP.....
Like everyone said(almost everyone) its about being at the right time at the right place but you can improve your chances by knowing where they are mostly found.
The area around Skukuza has the highest concentration of leopards so try to do the roads there as much as possible, but it is in the south which means more cars bigger traffic jams and more idiotic behavior from unresponsible people. :evil:
The H10 and the roads arouns the Mlondozi picnic site are known to be cheetha territory and they have been sighted there on a regular basis.(Check the reports from Lower sabie and Mads TR) and the ofcourse the S100 :twisted: !!

But like said drive slowly and look at the sightings board in the camps. they give you an idea of what going on around the camps.

And then also try to do a sunset drive if possible, leopard are mostly nocturnal so your chances will increase.

I agree maby give a bit more of info on your trip.
Good luck

_________________
Ratpack Member.

The currents that shape our lives, flow from the attitudes we nurture everyday!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Leopards & Cheetas
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:21 pm 
Offline
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Honorary Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:42 pm
Posts: 17943
Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
Actually, if you look for the other treasures of the park, like the birds, you're more likely to find them.
I call cheetah 'ironed cats', due to the fact that if they lay down only that round little head is a bump on the floor. The rest is flat! No hips, no lungs.... At least so it seems...
Leopards seem to hang around in trees. Never seen that, poor things have a fear of heights I think.

But I have spotted both! Just by driving around, looking the whole 360 degrees, which includes up, looking for movement. Could be a bird, Which!?, could be just a leaf, could be a flick of an ear. Cat?

Just drive slowly, and look at everything. Not just one thing, and you'll see far more... And enjoy yourself more. Don't set targets, let Kruger serve them...

_________________
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Leopards & Cheetas
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 12:21 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:11 pm
Posts: 1607
Location: Back on earth.....
Hi there :D

I would say all the above advice is quite valid..However, I also know you want more 'specific' info besides the @ the right time @ the right place explanation :wink:

Leopard: indeed it's probably one of the most elusive animals, and because of their special hiding techniques one can hardly pinpoint certain spots in Kruger to find them. However, generally they tend to appear more often close to (major) riversystems, thus riverine area's, altough not exclusive. I personally find Skukuza a good base to start from, and some people say the same about Shingwedzi, which I'm about to find out. I also want to particularly name the southern part of the s114 and s25 as a 'hotspot' but this is personal. The Berg-en-Dal area is also quite good, as is Lower-Sabie. Indeed, early morning & late afternoon increases your chances, as well as a sunset or night drive.

Cheetah: These are 'day-animals' and BB has already mentioned the best routes, which are IMHO the H7 (Orpen side), the H10, the s28 (bigtime!) and the H3. Dunno about north from personal experience, but some have mentioned the H1-7 between Shingwedzi and Punda :D

Yet again, try your luck and happy searching 8) Enjoy ALL wildlife so BTW :thumbs_up:

_________________
Letaba 8 July, Shipandane 9 July, Shingwedzi 10 - 14 July :D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: TIPS for Game Spotting/Travelling in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:37 am
Posts: 20
Location: Johannesburg
With acknowledgement to JenB for the idea

Like so many others active on the Forum I have been visiting Kruger for many years. I have had unbelievable trips and others, (but only long ago), where I've questioned why I bothered. Over the years I've come to realise that it's not just the Big Five - it's the total experience that makes Kruger so addictive to me.

Having gone through many of the responses to other Subjects on the Forum I realise that you may do things differently so my approach is not intended to cause any controversial reaction - please be positive. I hope that you will add your tips so that at the end of the day all who read the Posts can decide what suits their Game Viewing objective and the circumstances of their visit.
Who knows with all the collective experience you have we could end up with a useful guide of benefit to the rookie and more experienced visitor alike.

This is MY approach

- When travelling at the speed limit, for example moving between camps, with a clear road ahead I occupy centre road. This improves my chance of stopping in the event of animals suddenly coming onto the road. If oncoming traffic appears I immediately move left and slow down.
- Irrespective of my speed if I see animals in or on the side of the road I slow down and proceed with caution so that I can stop quickly in need.
This precaution has proved particularly appropriate when Impala are crossing - they follow the leader and don't stop for vehicles.
- On a leisurely game spotting drive travelling speed can be adjusted according to the number of occupants (and them being awake!) and how keen you are to see anything other than the obvious.
- If alone, you need to travel very slowly or otherwise depend on people in other vehicles to spot the game for you. I prefer the former but the choice is yours.
- Screaming Baboons and snorting Impala may indicate the presence of a predator - typically a Leopard. To detect those signs keep the radio off and windows open - again your choice.
- When taking an off-road detour, for example with a river view, don't just ride in look around and ride out. Park, switch the engine off and wait for a while. Sometimes that animal, not immediately in view will emerge when all is quiet.
- At water holes, especially in the winter dry season, don't just drive in look around and leave - sit a while, a few minutes can change everything.
- Back in camp keep your ears open - listen for others discussing their sightings and have a look at the board reflecting the day's Big Five. Neither guarantees their presence later - but use your judgement and you may be lucky!

Well Forumites those are my initial thoughts. Please criticise constructively where necessary and add your contributions - it can only be of benefit to the overall Kruger Park experience for all who choose to participate.

With Thanks - Dave

_________________
[i]A Bird in the "BUSH" is worth two ANYWHERE ELSE![/i]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Game Spotting/Travelling in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:53 pm 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Funniest/Best Forumite Name (2013)
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:38 pm
Posts: 9630
Location: In the shadow of Table Mountain
FAC Member (2012)
Vultures in dead trees are usually roosting, vultures in green trees are usually waiting for a predator to move off a kill.
Manage the heat. Drive with the windows open and listen.
Do all the little loops and roads to waterholes. Often you are rewarded.
Ask people what they are looking at, politely of course. If you are not a birder - you are unfortunately only half a NP enthusiast - slowly drive off without spoiling the sighting, and showing your disappointment.
At impala herds, look around for other species.
If you see something good on the left, also look on the right (and vice versa) often there are more on the other side of the road.
If you see people 'waiting for lions' either in grass or having walked into the bush, drive on, don't waste your time.
If 'it' is 200 metres off the road, drive on, chances are you will see 'it' closer.

_________________
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Game Spotting/Travelling in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:42 am 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 18065
Location: Johannesburg - where they cut down trees and name streets after them.
Don't feel the stress of chasing after the big ones.
Take a look at other things like the colour of the grass, the trees, the insects, the birds. Have you ever noticed how much more beautiful any tree is in nature compared to those in the garden?
Drive slowly and appreciate the different rock formations or the path a river has carved in years gone by. Try and imagine what happened over time for it to look the way it does today.
Don't just sit in camp during the heat of the day, sit under a tree and look around for other sightings like two dung beetles jostling for the same dung ball, stick insects, different grasshoppers, spiders, butterflies. If there is absolutely no life around, look at the flowers. The tiniest ones are usually those with the most detail.
You will be amazed what awesome sightings you have by sitting quietly looking at the little things and while doing that, the leopard with cubs, the honey badger or snake will reveal it's self. One can only see "nothing" if you have your eyes wide shut.
Once you learn to appreciate the small things, any walk in a place like the Botanical gardens or even your own garden becomes a major African safari. :wink:

_________________
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Game Spotting/Travelling in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:24 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:13 pm
Posts: 4688
Location: Centurion, ZA
I usually will be the first to leave camp but will have a waterhole in mind that I want to get to and then will spend about an hour or two at the waterhole.

This has proved to be very successful for me at places like Klopperfontein dam, Renosterkoppies dam, Muhlambadvube dam, Ngirvana, Rooibosrandt and Mantimahle to name a few.

Agree with you all about stopping, looking and listening. We stop for just about anything and I remember my first leopard sighting (those were the days in the seventies when I was of the opinion that it was nigh impossible to see a leopard in the daytime and it was our third trip to KNP).

We were on the S114 and had stopped to look at a tortoise and were parked off for about 10 minutes when a leopard emerged out of the bushes and walked pass our car - yes I was gobsmacked :big_eyes: :shock:

Have also had amazing sightings in the heat of the day, on the road and in camp, so agree with you Jen about not just sitting in camp. The hides at Biyamiti and Bateleur can be very productive in the afternoons as can the river frontage at Letaba, Olifants, Skukuza and Lower Sabie. Once saw a pride of lions polish off a wildebeest from the hide at Biyamiti.

David, we have stopped a number of times because we could here impala snorting - must have your windows open and radio off like you say - and have found a predator in the vicinity.

If you see a hyena at the base of a tree scan the tree carefully, twice we have found a leopard hidden amongst the foliage in this way.

BB, many people are half out of the window at a sighting little realising what is on the other side of the road - like you say look on the other side.

Happy spotting forumites.

_________________
NO TO TRADE IN RHINO HORNS


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 78 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by swartj at 19:10:55 Submitted by Stampajane at 21:07:12 Submitted by bobbyroger747 at 17:30:58 Submitted by Scottm at 02:21:18