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 Post subject: Southern Kruger Sightings : September 2005
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 3:58 pm 
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Location: Johannesburg
Returned from a short trip to Kruger yesterday. I usually visit the park in Dec/Jan, and visited in Jan and April this year. The landscape was very different from what I’m used to, and I have to admit, I still prefer the lush greenery of summer. But Kruger is Kruger :D , and always has something to offer. So despite the windy weather and dry and sometimes burnt veld, I still loved it.

Entered at Phabeni, and drove to Satara. Within my first 3 hours, I came across 4 of the big 5 (just missing rhino). The area between Phabeni and Skukuza is mostly burnt – some parts recovering from the April fires and others still smoking from last week’s fires. There are vast burnt areas – as pointed out by other forum members. But funnily enough, I spotted a lioness in the burnt area close to Phabeni, albeit from a distance.
LIT – the leopard was climbing down the tree close to Mantimahle on the H1-2.
Tons of buffalo and elephant, and many kudu sightings too throughout the trip. A few ground hornbill sightings, hyena, jackal and sable to name a few.

I also went on a morning bushwalk – I always look forward to it. Obviously it’s not about seeing big game, but the experience of being closer to nature – nothing quite beats the feeling of walking in pristine bush. I was also lucky enough to see a breeding herd of about 40 elephants on the walk. Thankfully, the wind was blowing in our favour!

The most rewarding drive (in terms of game) was the H4-1, with buffalo, elephant and kudu herds. And the greenness along the Sabie was a huge relief from the charred veld.

A short but wonderful trip – only problem is, now I’m stuck with a backlog of assignments and studying for Honours exams :( .


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 Post subject: Jumbo’s trip – September 2005
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 6:43 pm 
Hi guys.

We had a wonderful 4 night visit to Kruger last week – took my SOS – significant other’s sister.
We entered the park on Wednesday at Crocbride. The weather was overcast with clouds that promised rain – also perfect game viewing weather. Unfortunately we saw no rain during our stay.

En route from Crocbridge to Roodewal, our more exceptional sightings were:
Rhino, two times – one group near Crocbridge and a single one on the H-10
Cheetah – initially sat on top of a termite heap and then crossed the road. – on the H-10
Lions at a kill – they were unfortunately a bit hidden by some bushes so we could not see what they caught. – H1-3 between Tshokwane and Satara
Buffalo – H1-3 between Tshokwane and Satara
Ostriches on the H-10
Ground hornbills on the S39
Very relaxed klipspringers in the road at Nkumbe

Image

Had various elephant sightings. Most notable was that of two young bulls playing just north of Satara

Image


Our first night at Roodewal was truly memorable. Firstly, being completely alone in the camp, and secondly, the lions. There were two prides on opposite sides of the camp – east and west. Both prides were quite close and when they started talking we got it in stereo. This was unbelievable and something I will remember for a long time.

On Thursday we paid Olifants a visit – hamburger lunch
We did not see much – only left Roodewal at 09:30 and with the clouds gone it was boiling hot. Saw some elephant, rhino and had a lion sighting on our way back to Roodewal at the intersection of the H1-5 and S91.
The Olfants River has a little bit more water now than what it had on WTM’s photos – apparently the dams released some water – but it is still only a stream compared to other years.
Back at camp we were treated with elephants in the riverbed. Also saw bushbuck and were amused by the antics of the baboons. We also had a very good laugh at the vervets who it seems are permanent residents inside the camp.
On our second evening we had more energy and did a patrol of the perimeter fence. We were quite surprised to find elephant dung INSIDE the camp. :shock:

A few words on Roodewal:
Before even considering to pay R375 p/p for accommodation outside Kruger, rather take this camp for R1500 p/n – base rate is for 4 people. Having a camp all to yourself, for this price, is an absolute bargain. This was our second visit to Roodewal and I have to comment that it does seem the facilities were better maintained than how it was with the previous visit. The service is also very good.
The staff helped us to unload our vehicle and even prepared the dinner table by putting on a tablecloth. :thumbs_up:
The following photo says it all:

Image

On Friday we travelled south to Biyamiti. On the “topâ€Â


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:07 am 
Wild@Heart wrote:
I love how proud Klipspringers always stand ...


I agree W@H. But when they walk on a flat service, like the tar, it looks so awkward – it is quite obvious that their hooves were developed for other terrain.

My SO and I did not take many photos during this trip – we do so on some of our trips – merely sat back and enjoyed the sightings. My sister-in-law however, took almost 200 photos – won’t be fair to post them under my name, would it? :wink:

Here is a photo that I am probably going to be crucified for – will wait for the fine in the post. :shock:
As I mentioned, the vervets are permanent residents in Roodewal. On Thursday the temperature reached 36 according to our car’s thermostat. The vervets looked sooo pooped that I filled a stainless steel dish with ice-cold water and placed it outside for them and the birds to have a drink – I put it down quite a distance from where we were sitting.
What happened was very funny. They enjoyed the cold water but then noticed their reflection on the bottom of the stainless steel dish. Especially the one vervet sat there for a long time trying to catch the creature at the bottom of the dish.

Image

Image

What is your view on putting out water for the animals? Should giving water be classified as feeding?

Jumbo’s irrational rational: :?
BIG difference between water in a bowl and feeding bushbuck bread with the mouth.
Certain camps even have birdbaths and water features that are used by various animals.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:44 am 
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Jumbo wrote:
What is your view on putting out water for the animals? Should giving water be classified as feeding?


I see the vervets are still a nuisance at Roodewal :evil:
Jumbo if you put water out that is also classed as feeding :(
They are already there because of food :shock:
Now they are going to wait for people to give
them "Ice water" :lol:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 9:13 am 
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Hi Jumbo

I dont see this as feeding.
And as you mentioned these were resident vervets.
But i do believe that they can develop a habit for a
nice cold reflection and could come back for more.
I would have done the same thing

When in LS i had birds sitting on the braai and even one
the cameralens of SO. I didnt chase it away but waited to
make a pic. Am i guilty :?

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 9:27 am 
Eich, this is a difficult one. :?

Let me play devils advocate. :twisted:
Most of the bush camps have birdbaths. At Biyamiti we even had the Dikkop coming to drink, a few meters away from where we were sitting at the braai.
Granted, these birdbaths are indented for birds and not vervets that do become problem animals – the ones at Roodewal need to be constantly watched – got into our car and almost took it for a drive. But these vervets also have a lot of other sources of water in the camp – maybe not always ice-cold. :wink: But will a castle man only drink beer if it is ice-cold? What if the fridge broke and all the beer is warm and there is now other beer in sight? :hmz:
Another point is that the animals in Kruger are dependant on manmade waterholes for most of their needs.
Question, although maybe not completely relevant because it is not inside the fence, but never less interesting: Do the animals coming to drink at Satara’s waterhole associate the availability of water with the people standing at the other side of the fence?

Having said that, I recognise that I might have created a problem for the next visitors who use that specific dish. Snow-white might try to get hold of her magic mirror. :lol:


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 10:26 am 
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Sopkop, nê? Its 3-bean soup head for you missy, OK? :twisted:

OK, I was prompted to share my thoughs here, so here goes.

Feeding of any animal by visitors are prohibited. Thus giving them water is against the law too. The confusement enters the argument at what about bird baths in camps?

What about it? The bird baths are placed there by Kruger staff as is man made waterholes, of which many have been closed again after realising that it interferes unnaturally with animals' feeding patterns.

Thus we have two conditions here:
1. Only Kruger staff may place such feeding "containers" it seems.
2. Kruger staff also realised that in doing so, they might even cause problems and "cntrl z" the whole lot again.

An additional point IMHO enters the equation too:
3. Bird baths are there to give birders the opportunity to view birds. Birds cause minimum damage and are fairly harmless unless you try to bear hug a martial eagle or something. They will also just move on to the next waterhole when this one dries up.
Vervets on the other hand are clever customers and will easily loose their fear for man and can easily unleash hell in a camp. Like for instance breaking into accomodation or biting people. I also don't think that they will move on as easily as birds once the feeding stops.

To summarize everything: If Kruger staff created artificial feeding areas, then so be it. There was perhaps a good reason for it. As for visitors. Don't do it!

As for feeding animals/birds at home: It is a different story and I don't feel like debating it here right now.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:55 am 
Pew WTM, I’m sure you feel much better now that you got that of your chicken breast. :twisted: :lol:
BTW, you made some valid points.
I’m sure out of my posts that you can see that I also not 100% sure that it was the right thing to do. :?
BUT
Another question: At Biyamiti they also now have a troop of vervets that enter the camp – they are luckily not as “tameâ€Â


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 12:32 pm 
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[quote="Jumbo"]Pew WTM, I’m sure you feel much better now that you got that of your chicken breast. :twisted: :lol:
BTW, you made some valid points.
I’m sure out of my posts that you can see that I also not 100% sure that it was the right thing to do. :?
BUT
Another question: At Biyamiti they also now have a troop of vervets that enter the camp – they are luckily not as “tameâ€Â

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:23 pm 
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At Bateleur the resident Leopard sometimes wanders around camp. I wont feed it :wink:

Let me put it this way. I am qualified nature guide in Holland
One of the first things we learn. If you dont get nature to the people they might not learn to love and respect it.For eg this means that kids should be allowed to climb in trees and break branches. You must feel and taste nature so to speak. If i stretch this topic to Kruger i certainly feel that halftame vervets, birds etc. can not be avoided. And please dont kid yourselve. I have been in a few african counties and baboons, vervets and other primates are always present. If you dont feed they will find it! In Tsavo I have seen baboons cleaning up a kitchen in a cabin within minutes. Cupboards included. In Etosha the beggars at night are the jackals (going for BRAAI leftovers)

And Kruger Management is partly the blame for this behaviour. The camps are a feast for birds, due to the flowers, trees and different water supplies. This was done for the tourists, but a side effect is that is attracts wildlife . One of the worst things in my mind are the great picnicspots and the use of skottels. To a monkey or bird this is winning the big one in the national lottery.Did i forgot the braai at the campsite and trowing of the leftovers over the fence to enjoy the hyena prowling. A habit enjoyed by campers for many many years. I have witnessed this at two campsites during my trip of 11 days.

In conclusion. Keep all food to yourselve, get rid of the skottels and clean up immediatly after you have eaten.
In short, i wont encourage this behaviour but its a much, much greater sin to speed

Send in the bricks, I am ready

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 6:24 pm 
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bert wrote:

In conclusion. Keep all food to yourselve, get rid of the skottels and clean up immediatly after you have eaten.
In short, i wont encourage this behaviour but its a much, much greater sin to speed

Send in the bricks, I am ready


No bricks, I agree with you whole post.

But I agree with WTM on this. If SANP places a tree or a birdbath, that's ok. They are supposed to know what they are up to. Even if their efforts are found wrong at some later stage, they are there to fix it. If you, Mr Joe Soap feed/water animals, you are not there to undo it when it is found to be the wrong thing. You are also not around to accept liability when a child gets bitten...

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 Post subject: Jacov's Kruger trip - 16 - 19 Sept '05
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:18 pm 
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First sightings report is in:

Quote:
LIT!!


I actually got it twice!

As mentioned in the G'morning thread, they arrived safely at Malelane Gate at 11:30.

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Last edited by DinkyBird on Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:37 pm 
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Jaco says he saw the LIT from the main road from Malelane, about 6km from camp.

EDIT: To help DQ understand the situation a bit clearer....
the word on has been replaced by the word from.

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Last edited by DinkyBird on Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:05 pm 
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Just got a call from Jaco... eating lunch now... camp all set up and organised! Got a nice spot next to the fence :lol:

They are all extremely excited abuot the LIT!! Was NOT in the road but about 200m's in... peacefully lying on a branch!

Also lots of other game, giraffe next to the road, kudu's at the fence etc.
Weather is excellent!

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