Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 6 of 8
 [ 118 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Game Spotting/Travelling in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:19 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 7:27 pm
Posts: 224
Location: Somewhere
I prefer to leave camp first. Then drive to a gravel road to avoid all the "peak hour traffic" on the tarr road. Once I have reached my "desitny" and depending on the weather and time of the year, I will open all four windows and drive nice and slow. Looking, listening and smelling KNP. This works for me. Have had alot of good sightings this way!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Game Spotting/Travelling in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:32 pm 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
Posts: 40498
Location: Somerset West, Cape Town
:clap: This is a wonderful topic!! I have already learnt a few tips!

This is going to be of great benefit to not only the first time visitor, but to all of us.

Please continue to add your tips here guys!

_________________
Sawubona
Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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: 17915
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:

_________________
Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

"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  
 
 Post subject: Re: Game Spotting/Travelling in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:48 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 3:40 pm
Posts: 272
- If a leopard either about to cross the road or having just crossed the road suddenly goes to ground, don't drive to the point where you last saw it. Rather back off 30 meters and wait, when its ready, it will come out again.
- If you are the last car to leave a sighting that is still there (eg.a sleeping lion, leopard in a tree), make a note of the mileage, flag down the next approaching car and give them the exact distance to the sighting. This is good kudos and these things have a way of coming back to reward you.
- If the sighting was not still there, do not flag down the next approaching car - nobody wants to hear about the leopard they just missed.
- There is never nothing to see. The sooner you embrace birding, insecting, treeing, rocking, etc, the more fulfilling your experience.
- At an elephant sighting, give them their space and always make sure you have a forward escape route in case of a charge. This often means driving slightly ahead of the sighting and looking back.
- At a getout point (eg.hide, lookout), if you are the only car there, first switch off your engine, look and listen for 5 minutes before getting out.
- At a crowded sighting where its clear no-one is actually seeing anything, drive ahead of the pack for 30 meters and stop. That's normally where the animal re-appears. If it doesn't, gesticulate wildly and pretend to take photographs anyway; it drives the waiting pack bonkers.
- Keep binoculars and camera within easy reach in the car, if not around your neck.

_________________
We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: spotting tips
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:16 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:01 pm
Posts: 543
Location: 10,000 miles from where I'd like to be
Drive slow. The slower you drive, the more you'll see. I usually drive between 20-25 km's per hour.

Don't look for a specific animal, look for movement. As you're driving along rivers and dry riverbeds, make sure to pull into any overlooks. Sometimes you'll get to a waterhole and it will appear as if nothing is there. Stop for a minute and wait. I once stopped at the Nkaya Pan and saw only a giraffe drinking at the waterhole. After watching the giraffe for a moment, we spotted several lion laying in the shade.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: spotting tips
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 1:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:38 pm
Posts: 130
Location: Sydney and southern Africa
When you're looking for animals try forcing yourself to scan the bush from right to left, instead of left to right.

This is a trick I was taught in the army.

We learn to read from left to right, so when we're scanning our eyes tend to move in that direction.

If you force yourself to scan from right to left your eyes and brain are working harder (so the theory goes) and you;'re more likely to pick up movement or irregularities you might have missed.

Try it. I find it works sometimes.

Tony

(and as for Satara itself, get up early and head down the S100. You'll rarely be disappointed)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: spotting tips
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:06 am 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
Posts: 10446
Location: meandering between senility and menopause
FAC Member (2013)
Ossendryver :D I can pick up on your excitement.

I often go to Kruger alone, so I have to rely on other tactics. One pair of eyes driving a car can be pretty useless at time. I tend to pack a big flask of coffee and stop at waterholes and interesting looking places. I have often been very lucky, as I have seen animals that I would never have seen just driving down the road.

Some of those have been: a Lion coming to slake his thirst at a deserted waterhole near Maroela. I wondered why the area was so dead and devoid of life and was about to drive off after finishing my coffee. I was the only witness to this magnificent animal.

Beautiful African Green Pigeons when stopping to look at the Olifants river.

Ground Hornbills killing a snake after stopping at a remote watehole.

I left a "park off" place once to return to camp, only to see an African Rock Python had started to cross the road close to me.

Elephant playing in the water close to Gardenia hide. It was very special because there was obviously some deep family communication beween them, a deep rumbling that I might have missed with a casual road side stopping.

Then there are the birds giving warning. On our last trip, we heard some Guinea Fowl making a terrible racket. The one was sitting in a tree looking very distessed. Other birds were joining in the alarm chorus.
Unfortunately we were on our way out and could not wait to see what the cause might have been, but I am fairly certain that it was a cat of sorts or a snake.

_________________
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: spotting tips
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:04 am 
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?
Let your periferal vision do the work. It's very good at it, and sees things your normal vision misses, especially movement.
The flick of a tail, a branch moving, things like that you can pick up. And then just stop, and wait a bit. It's often false alarm, but those times it isn't...

But don't go looking for the outlines/colours of say a lion! You'll maybe see a lion, but may disregard the pattern of a leopard is it's not brownish.

Good luck!

_________________
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: spotting tips
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:36 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:25 pm
Posts: 314
Location: Centurion
Very good tips here. I would just like to stress the importance of what Carolynn said regarding "put the engine off". Many people stop at a sighting and don't put the cars engine off. The engine noise and exhaust fumes irritates animals and will cause them to rather move off. Diesel vehicles are particularly noisy. So, switch off the engine, look, listen and enjoy. :thumbs_up:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: spotting tips
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:24 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 4:30 pm
Posts: 2357
Location: Helderberg
I have found that newcomers to the bush tend to look at trees and bushes, while military training taught me to look through trees and bushes. Its whats inside or behind or below that you are looking for.

I hope this makes sense :roll:

_________________
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: spotting tips
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 1:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:10 pm
Posts: 237
Location: Cumbria UK
Don't know how useful this will be but it helped me...I tend to wear sunglasses in bright weather but I found not wearing them and getting to good hat instead really helped me see animals more often. I think it was that the brown tint of the shades gave the animals extra camouflage!!
Gemma x

_________________
When I'm not in the Park, I'm thinking of it...
Bittersweet Return to Paradise TR - Aug 2011


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: spotting tips
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:34 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:02 am
Posts: 3092
Location: Perth, Western Australia
As others have said:

Look through the bush, not at it.
Don't wear polarising sunglasses - a lot of vehicle windows have a some form of polarisation and you can get a cross polarisation effect occurring which "blinds" you.
Look for movement, and,
Take your time.

_________________
“ Every year elephants were becoming scarcer and wilder south of the Zambezi, so that it had become impossible to make a living by hunting at all. ” FC Selous 1881


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: spotting tips
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:47 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: 9389
Location: In the shadow of Table Mountain
FAC Member (2012)
Some have been said before. Just shows they work.
1. Get out when the gates open and return when they close. Do other things around this, maybe at midday.
2. Look for water & drive near it.
3. Look in trees.
4. When you see something, do a 360 scan. Something that wants to eat it might be stalking.
5. When a buff herd crosses the road, wait 10 minutes for the lions. (Learnt this one recently and hope to do it in 3 weeks!)
6. Keep clear of mum & baby big & hairy.
7. Buy a bird book and enjoy it more. I have seen more leopards since looking for birds.
8. Look for traffic jams - the cats are there.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: spotting tips
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:10 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 4:49 pm
Posts: 679
Location: Busy planning my next trip
Stop and take note of the mood of herds (esp Impala, listen too for alarm snorts) instead of driving on past.

Are they relaxed and calm or are they nervous and alert. Be aware of any long held stares in one specific direction and try and see what they are looking so intensely at.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 118 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


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 Jurie van Vuuren at 12:26:03 Submitted by teddy_rsa at 14:19:08 Submitted by grannyb at 15:46:17 Submitted by grannyb at 22:32:14