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 Post subject: H14-Phalaborwa to Mopani
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:10 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Johannesburg
Guys,
I have 2 questions:

1. Has anyone travelled this road and seen anything great. We are arriving at phalaborwa on our way to Mopani and cant decide whether to take the H14 up to Mopani or H9 straight to Letaba then up to Mopani.
My gut says take the H14 because I have never been on it (something different) and probably less busier than the H9.

2. What are the road around Mopani like. I have never stayed at this camp and I have seen on other posts that the Shongololo loop is pretty bad with regards sightings. Are there any decent waterholes on shongololo loop or is it better to take "Tropic of Capricorn loop" for waterholes?

Thanks in advance
Cheers
Cuan
PS..Will def have my yellow ribbon on my drivers mirror when we are in the park from 25th April.

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 Post subject: Re: H14-Phalaborwa to Mopani
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:36 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:04 pm
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Either way can be disappointing in my recent experience! I quite like the H14 though - some great scenery if nothing else. Several good waterholes and views over water on the way up, and the low level crossing across the Letaba.

But it will be a matter of luck.

As for Mopani, we have had some great viewing trips near there - and a couple of very disappointing ones. The bottom end of the Shongololo loop is well worth doing with the two bird hides - but its then a long way round. I have been unlucky - but have a friend who swears by the trip.

I however have been very lucky on the \tropic road and the reed beds on the S50. Elephant, lion, jackal, rare antelope, oistrich, kori bustard etc. Not to forget large buffalo herds.

Richard


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 Post subject: Re: H14-Phalaborwa to Mopani
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:16 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:38 pm
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Location: Sydney and southern Africa
Game wise I reckon you'd be safer going via Letaba, although I agree with Richardharris (I loved you in , The Wild Geese, by the way) that scenery-wise it's a nice drive going the other way, particularly when you cross the river.

cheers

tony


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 Post subject: Re: H14-Phalaborwa to Mopani
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:53 am 
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Hi ......

Did the H14 last year and had some good Elephant sightings. Also some Hyena, Buffalo and the odd plains game. I would do this route instead of via Letaba - it is scenic and hey ... one never knows what is around the next corner.

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: H14-Phalaborwa to Mopani
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:51 pm 
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We took the H14 from Phalaborwa Gate to Mopani in early March this year and although we didn't see a lot of game we did see some nice big tuskers and birds.
We enjoyed the area around Mopani and surprisingly found lots of interesting sightings, altho we didnt do the Shongololo but most of the other roads around there. :D

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 Post subject: Re: H14-Phalaborwa to Mopani
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:10 pm
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Location: Johannesburg
are there any decent waterholes though on this road as it seems that there is only 1 or 2.
anything to stop and sit for awhile at a waterhole?
Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: H14-Phalaborwa to Mopani
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:54 pm
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I drove the H14 yesterday to Mopani.

Apart from the normal sightings we had a great sighting of Klipspringers and a magnificent bushbuck ram. Both north of the Letaba. The last section before the T junction was disappointing.

At Mopani my two favorites are the Nwanbapan area on the S144 and the Mooiplaas/Nshawudam area on the S 105. Have had some great sightings there including roan and tsessebe.(spelling)

Enjoy your stay and let’s hope lady luck smiles on you.


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 Post subject: Re: H14-Phalaborwa to Mopani
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:15 am 
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cuand -
Your best bet for waterholes on the H14 is Nandzana. Had some big elephants bulls there on my last visit. Stop for a while and see what the bush delivers. Good luck -

Also stop for a while at the bridge over the Letaba river - very relaxing!

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 Post subject: Re: H14-Phalaborwa to Mopani
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:10 pm
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Location: Johannesburg
Thanks norms.
Will do. will just have to travel really slowly and see what comes around.

Have any of you guys stayed at Mopani. The drives around the camp, other than shongololo loop, is there any great drives around the area?

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 Post subject: Re: H14-Phalaborwa to Mopani
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:13 pm 
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Hi cuand :D

We drove around in the area a bit. Your best bets should be the first 3km of the s49, the s50 past all the Nshawu waterholes, especially early morning / late afternoon. Also, the EASTERN part of the s143 (Tropic of Capricorn loop). The western part is usually not that good. This according to Michael who works at Mopnaie! Shongololo loop he says is a hit or miss road... I missed. Lions were around the Mooiplaas waterhole area, and the local guides working there suspect there is a lioness who gave birth in the area recently. Go try your luck :wink:
Do a sunset drive with Michael, it's worth it :D

Don't miss the Shipandane hide, it's awesome!

The H14 is a very scenic route, we did it on the 8th. Ther are indeed a few waterholes around, and the Letaba river crossing is awesome :)

We encountered buffs and elephants. Don't expect big 5 on the trip, but one never knows what the bush has when it comes to special sightings :dance:

Lasty, enjoy :D

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 Post subject: Re: H14-Phalaborwa to Mopani
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:23 pm 
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Just back from KNP

A cut from a prev post

" what a ZOO we experienced at S143, Tihongonyeni. About 2 months ago same for me. I think it is my favorite water hole in the area of Mopani. Like East Africa type bush safari.

Highlight, Eland {First for us}, Tsessebe, Buffalo, Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Elephant, {last time Ostrich}, No Impala or Giraffe {He He}, truly a site to remember."

Looking at the photos, in Feb it was very green. But give this waterhole a try. I was there around lunch time.

And Eland was very special. "Mads" say the same about the place.
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=31433&start=15

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 Post subject: Re: H14-Phalaborwa to Mopani
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:35 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:10 pm
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Location: Johannesburg
Guys, which one out of the 3 you have mentioned here would you reckon is the best to stop and have some sundowner drinks at. We celebrating our anniversary then and I want to treat the wife to something different?

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 Post subject: Re: H14-Phalaborwa to Mopani
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:40 pm 
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cuand, I travel the H14 regular & leopard, lion, elephant, wild dog, Rhino, etc is all on the road. The 20 k's before the Letaba river is WILD at the moment.

For a sundowner I suggest the Pionier dam from Mopani. Capricorn loop is fantastic for a drive & drinking time from 10 to 2 at Little Nshawu is bound to bring you lion. :thumbs_up:

Say Hi when coming through Phalaborwa. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: H14-Phalaborwa to Mopani
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:12 am 
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Scipio wrote:
cuand, I travel the H14 regular & leopard, lion, elephant, wild dog, Rhino, etc is all on the road. The 20 k's before the Letaba river is WILD at the moment.



Great I hope they all stay and wait for me :D

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 Post subject: Re: H14-Phalaborwa to Mopani
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:35 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:10 pm
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Location: Johannesburg
Scipio, will defintely say howzit. Are you based at the gate or where?
Will have a look out although we will be coming through phalaborwa around 11-12 so it'll be miday driving up to mopani.

Even if i see dung beetles or impala, it has made my drive worth while.

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