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 Post subject: Central Kruger Sightings : Sept - Dec 2005
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 3:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:28 am
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Location: Johannesburg
Good afternoon all my fellow Krugerholics!

I've been back for a week allready but I've had a hectic time at work and this is the first time that I've had the chance to report back on my wonderful trip to Kruger. So without any further delays, here goes...

Sunday 4 September

Left Jhb very early, had breakfast at Belfast, through Nelspruit and entered Orpen at 12:20. It was hot, but not unbearable. Saw impalas and a huge kudu bull (and the cam!) at the watering hole just outside the camp. On the way to Satara where I had to get my little white paper to enter Balule, I came accross a couple of blouwildebeeste seeking shade from some very dry and thirsty looking trees. Also saw a tawny eagle on a nest, hippos and ellies playing in the Nsemani dam and giraffes. Up north, past Satara, there were vast areas that was burned, but here and there some small little green fingers were allready coming out of the earth. Saw another eagle, but couldn't make out if it was a tawny or wahlberg. A couple of warthogs in a great big hurry scurried along while a big baboon was just sitting there chewing on some twig. A very friendly Titus opened the gate at Balule late afternoon. Didn't go for a sunset drive, rather decided to put up my tent and waite for the camp hiena who didn't take too long to appear. Had all the intentions of building a fire, but was just too tired. Poured myself a glass of champagne to celebrate my first night in my favourite place and snacked on small stuff. It was a magical evening - saw fireflies, listened to the frogs and hippos, looked up to the most beautiful star filled sky. Went to bed very satisfied and content...

Monday 5 September

Left the camp as soon as the gate opened and took the S90 past Bangu dam. This is one of my favourite routes as I always see loads of animals. And they didn't let me down - giraffes, impalas, zebras, kudus, blouwildebeeste, ellies, an ostrich, waterbuck, bateleur, heard the cry of a fish eagle, buffalo. Had breakfast at Nwanetsi and first thought about taking the dreaded S100 just to prove a point, but in the end common sense prevailed... Made a nice fire that evening and had tjops/jacket potato. The resident hiena made his usual appearance, also heard some lions roar. A very strong wind came up and I feared that my little tent would take off at any moment!

Tuesday 6 September

Woke up to overcast conditions and held thumbs for rain for the very dry and thirsty earth. But nothing. Took the S92 to Olifants and then the S44 towards the viewing site. Saw impalas, ellies, waterbuck. Had a nice cup of coffee at the viewing site and saw a family of three klipspringers. Took the back road towards Letaba - giraffes, brown headed parot (beautiful!), a couple of martial eagles, njalas. At Engelhardt dam lots of ellies, zebras, warthogs. And then the sighting of all sightings on my sunset drive to Bangu dam. Two cheetahs lying about 30 metres from the road under a tree. They were very relaxed and flipped over occasionaly, UNTILL... Herd of impala were working there way towards the cheetahs and suddenly took notice, snorting and kicking up a fuss. One of the cheetahs jumped up and made a charge, but it wasn't a very serious attempt. He/she went back and slumped down beside its partner. MARVELOUS!!! If it wasn't for the fact that it was almost 6 o'clock, I could have stayed there forever. But the fun wasn't over yet. That evening the wind just got worse and worse and after a while I really couldn't take it anymore. Slept in my little jeep that night and decided to phone Orpen the next morning and ask if they have anything available at Tamboti for my last night as I didn't want to wake up with a stiff back again!

Wednesday 7 September

Went out for an early morning drive, again on the S90 towards Bangu dam and saw impalas, giraffes, kudus, zebras. Stayed at Bangu for a while, but didn't see much there. A game viewing vehicle also stopped and the guide told me that about 2km back towards Balule eight lions just crossed the path and were now lying underneath some bushes not far from the road, bellies very full. Turned my jeep around and went looking for my first lions. And there they were - rolling over with their white bellies sticking up in the air. It was great 'cause now I only needed to see rhino to tick of the big five! Went back to camp after a while, phoned Orpen who said there was space at Tamboti and started packing up. A couple of very naughty monkeys didn't make it very easy though - they non chalantly inspected all my bags while I was rolling up the tent and trying to clean the ground sheet. Luckily they didn't take anything! And then on the way to Tamboti, there they were - two rhinos (don't ask me know whether they were black of white 'cause for the life of me I can't remember now)!!! Saw another pride of lions on the H7 towards Orpen/Tamboti. Also came accross waterbuck, ellies, blouwildebeeste, impala, kudu, hippos at Nsemani, warthogs. The moment I drove into Tamboti, I fell in love with the place. It was my first time there and it's just absolutely wonderful! There's no way I'm going to Kruger again and not stay there! Took a little sunset drive and then saw a leopard!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, only for about 5 seconds before it dissapeared, but I did see it. Sat outside on the wooden deck of the tent that evening and just looked up at sky for hours, listening to all the sounds of the bush.

Thursday 8 September

Woke up with a very heavy heart. Didn't want to go at all. But such is life, you've got to go through hard times to experience the sweat things. Not to worry, I've already started making plans for a next trip - very soon!!!


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 Post subject: Safrica`s Kruger trip 6th-14th September
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 1:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:02 pm
Posts: 245
Location: Germany (Bühl) - but dreaming of Africa!
Just came back from a lovely SA-Trip!
My Kruger-visit was wonderful!

Had lots of special sightings:

2 nights P´kop :
very burnt, but saw 1 Side-striped Jackal (couldn`t take a photo) , Brown Snake Eagle with Snake hanging down from it`s claws on a tree , 1 Hyaena at de Laporte Waterhole , 1 Reedbuck at Shitlhave Dam , Rhinos near Numbi Gate

2 nights Lower Sabie:
10 Lions at Transport Dam (bit further away though) , 4 Sable on Salitje Road coming to drink (very close!!) , 1 quick glimpse on a honey badger near Nkuhlu , Hyaena`s from Restaurant Deck at night

2 nights Balule:
1 honey badger on burnt veld on the s127 to timbavati (saw him quite long, but hard to photograph because he was moving around the whole time - looked very amusing!) - African Wildcat stalking through the grass near Satara/H1-3 (bad photo`s) - big Ellie herd at timbavati picnic spot - 4 lions at Ngotso Dam (quite far away) - 6 Lions near Bangu Dam (right next to/on the road!) - 1 Jackal running around near Bangu Dam, suddenly the Jackal was walking next to an African Wildcat (saw the cat only for a short moment, but could clearly identify it!) - Hyaena`s every night at Camp fence

2 nights Tamboti:
big Ellie herd with young ones (s100) , several Buffalo next to the road (s100) , 4 Lions (3 males!) quite close to the s 100 , Jackal near Tamboti , 2 Hyaenas near Tamboti , Rhinos (with young one) near Tamboti , 4 Lions (s100) next to the road ,
big ellie herd at Nsemani Dam , baby hippo (so cute) at Nsemani Dam


saw a lot of steenboks, slender mongooses
buffalo only on the s100 and between orpen/satara

i took a load of slides, maybe i can post some pics here as well in future

roads with lots of game where i.e. the s100(!), the s90 between balule and gudzani, the h10 (north lower sabie)


greetings from germany
can`t wait to return to kruger!

_________________
Jochen

KNP-trip No. 8: 2014!
30 November: Pretoriuskop
1-2 December: Lower Sabie
3-4 December: Satara
5-6 December: Balule
7-8 December: Letaba
9-10 December: Tamboti

1993, 1995, 1998, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2013. Next trip coming up!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:02 pm
Posts: 245
Location: Germany (Bühl) - but dreaming of Africa!
by the way, the things we saw near tamboti were all on the h7

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Jochen

KNP-trip No. 8: 2014!
30 November: Pretoriuskop
1-2 December: Lower Sabie
3-4 December: Satara
5-6 December: Balule
7-8 December: Letaba
9-10 December: Tamboti

1993, 1995, 1998, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2013. Next trip coming up!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:02 pm
Posts: 245
Location: Germany (Bühl) - but dreaming of Africa!
I liked Balule very much. was the best camp of my trip
we didn`t miss electricity at all, there`s enough light there

very nice atmosphere - just the 6 huts and the camping site, with the fence very close to the huts

my girlfriend and I liked to sit outside our hut (with a lantern) watching the stars and listening to the sounds of the night

hyaenes were giggling and playing right next to the fence -
it was fullmoon so we saw them very clearly even without our torch!
you didn`t see the fence in the dark, so it felt like the hyaenas were standing right next to you with nothing in between!
we heard a leopard (not far away) both nights too

_________________
Jochen

KNP-trip No. 8: 2014!
30 November: Pretoriuskop
1-2 December: Lower Sabie
3-4 December: Satara
5-6 December: Balule
7-8 December: Letaba
9-10 December: Tamboti

1993, 1995, 1998, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2013. Next trip coming up!


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 Post subject: Johann's weekend trip 17-19 Sep 05
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 8:29 am
Posts: 939
Location: Stuck in Gauteng
It’s been really hectic here at work, only now got some time to do this very long report.
My mother and grandfather went to KNP from 9 Sep till 21 Sep 2005. Spending 5 nights at Skukuza and 7 nights at Satara, doing the caravan thing.
Here’s just some of their highlights: Civet cat, early morning close to Skukuza 49 rhino in total, mixed black & white Serval, on the S3 by the S7 turn-off near P/kop 18 lions, 2 males were collared 3km from Satara 2 cheetah
6 sable on four different occasions
2 huge herd of buffalo, about 500+ and 300+
quite a lot hyenas
some jackal
lots of raptors nesting with little ones
lots of ground hornbills and some saddle-billed stork one reedbuck ewe
This does not include anything they might have seen the 3 days I joined them.

I got my father and sister to join me and we entered through Croc Bridge to go and visit the rest of the family on Sat 17 Sep. Saw some waterbuck even before entering feeding in the river. Spend about half an hour just looking at birds in the Croc Bridge parking while getting camera ready. Took the H4-2 to Lower Sabie. 15km from C/Bridge we find 2 mating lions. Rest of the way lots of impies, zebra, giraffe, kudu, wildebeest and birds.
From Lower Sabie we take the H10 to Tshokwane. Lots of zebra, wildebeest, some elephants, 2 white rhino, kudu, lots of waterbuck, 3 klipspringers. Male and female reedbuck and not very far from them what looked like a mountain reedbuck ewe. She lay in the shade looking at us and when I picked up the camera to take a photo she got up and ran away. Sure it was one though. 1 male lion about 400 meters from the Nkumbe lookout point. Nothing else too exciting the rest of the way to Satara. Join up with grandpa at Satara.
Quick afternoon drive down the H6 towards N’wanetsi and returning via the S100. Nothing too exciting, just 2 lions waiting for dinner to arrive at Sishangani wh. Green-backed Heron and small croc at the little drift where I saw first leopard on June trip. Finger-licking good spare-ribs for dinner.

Leave early next morning to Makhadzi picnic site via H1-4, H1-5 through Letaba. Ja, I know it’s a very long drive but none of my family members have ever seen the new picnic site, so I wanted to share it with them. Drive started uneventful, that was until we reached Ngotso dam. A male lion having a look out over the dam. Meet some people down the road warning us of some hyenas and lion up ahead. 5km’s down the road and there they are 5 adult hyenas and 2 little pups. Just around the bend, maybe 400m further lions, 1 male and 2 female, not too far from the road. 2km further – Leopard :!: :!: Lies down next to the road and gives me some time for a couple of pics. 4km on and a big lion male right next to the road. Very exciting 7km! :lol:
Quick pit stop at Letaba. Elephant right at the gate, man at the gate keeping him out :D See my first ever Red-headed Weaver and Kurrichane Thrush. Squirrels having a big mating session at the aloes by the restaurant.
Drive on to Makhadzi. Have a lovely breakfast. The guys there still remember me from June, had a chat then about the resident elephant bull. He hasn’t bothered them again, yet. On the road again back to Satara. First stop, Malopenyana wh where we find 2 ellies, 3 zebra and 2 Tsessebe drinking! From Letaba we take the S46, S93 on to Olifants. Just the usual ellies, impies and some Giraffe. Have a quick ice-cream at Olifants lookout. Red-winged Starling, Black Stork, Fish-eagle and Grey-headed Sparrow seen from here. From Olifants we take the S92 and then S90 down to Satara. All the usual grazers on this road. Special reports, Kori’s Bustard and Ostriches. Ostriches were very funny. We firstly saw about 20 males standing in one long row. About 1km further we find 17 females all bunched together. Very strange. Back at camp at about 15h30.
Now for the big surprise :!: It was my mom’s 50th birthday the week before and my parents 30th Anniversary 4 days before, so I organized a bush-braai with Frikkie and Arlien from Satara Restaurant. It was just us 5 family members on a sunset drive down the S100 :D (WTM) to N’wanetsi where we would have dinner and then drive back on the H6. Other than the excellent food, which there an abundance of, there were 4 other fantastic things to remember. Firstly on the S41 we found a Genet. My dad was quite pleased, his first ever sighting. A little bit further on my dad sees a lioness. Upon further inspection we can see about 8 of them crawling in the long grass. They are on the hunt :!: We sit and watch them for about 15 minutes but then something goes wrong and they give it up :x Lovely dinner at N’wanetsi. Had the best fish starter I think I’ve ever tasted, and yes, in the middle of Kruger. Food fit for a king. On the way back down the H6 we first spot an African Wildcat :!: haven’t seen one in years. Within the next km, a Porcupine :!: another long lost sighting. Other worthwhile sightings: white Rhino, ellies, 4 Ground Hornbill, Buffalo, Bushbuck and African Eagle Owl. Magnificent night.

Monday report to follow a little bit later. Just have to see to some work first :D Pics will follow next week I think.

_________________
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
Albert Einstein

Latest lifers from Kruger NP:
Black Coucal Centropus grillii Swartvleiloerie
Flappet Lark Mirafra rufocinnamomea Laeveldklappertjie


Last edited by Johann on Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 8:29 am
Posts: 939
Location: Stuck in Gauteng
bert wrote:
Johan, dont believe a word. You were stuck in Gauteng and adding another chapter to the new edition of Johans Dreams.

Otherwise, if this were true i would break down and :cry:
And run for cover to the Groendakkies


Just one quick pic for Bert's sake :twisted:

Image

PS I've got another 2 nights at Satara this weekend :twisted:

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
Albert Einstein

Latest lifers from Kruger NP:
Black Coucal Centropus grillii Swartvleiloerie
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 2:08 pm 
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DuQues wrote:
Johann wrote:
I wish I could but I can't. I would have to use words that the site would not like.
A sentence would look like this '$% squirrel $% then @# on female *& squirrel ...%^&' etc. It just won't work :lol:

You could use graphics...
You did take photo's I presume?


No, sorry DQ. I promised myself when I bought my new camera that it will never used for porn of any kind. Not even the squirrel kind :lol:

Here's the rest of my report. Sorry it took so long but I had a few new PC's to install this morning.

Monday 19 Sep 05

Take the H7 to Orpen and then turn on to the S36 down to Muzandzeni and then further down to Nhlanguleni. All the usual suspects show their faces. Ellies, impies, lots of kudu, warthogs, zebra, wildebeest and giraffe. Just before Ngwenyeni dam we see a lone lioness, not too much bothered to even look at us. Also some White-backed and Lappet-faced Vultures in the vicinity. Don’t see any other felines around though. Have breakfast at Nhlanguleni with some zebra kicking up some dust at the waterhole there, joined by some impies a few minutes later. Rest of the family sees a Brown-headed Parrot when yours truly run to the gents for a quick pit stop :( The attendant, can’t remember his name know tells me that Muzandzeni had some problems earlier in the morning with a pride of lions moving through the picnic site. Should have made my pit stop even earlier :D
Leave Nhlanguleni for Skukuza, we’re exiting at Kruger Gate. Reach Lugmag Dam, nothing too exciting, just the resident waterbuck and some zebra and wildebeest. Hit the road again. 200m further and there they are. The big reason why I wanted to drive on this horrible corrugated road. Sable :!: 8 of them. One big bull, 4 cows and 3 young ones if memory serves me right. That just made the weekend even more special. Got some pics but they’re not that great. These shy creatures stayed in between the trees and never gave me clear shot.
1km down the road and from the left a Common Duiker rushes in front of my car, luckily the ABS does its job and I miss the little bugger. Still give him some choice words for running across the road like that and continue on my way. In the next km I notice that Grandpa’s car is not behind me anymore. So I stop and wait. They are all excited when they reach me and want to know if I’m fast asleep :?: When the Duiker ran into the veldt a Cheetah, on the right, jumped down from the anthill it was resting on and gave chase after the Duiker. Well, Bert will be happy to hear that I completely missed that :evil: Next time I will stop if something runs across the road like that and see Why?
The rest of the way to Skukuza seems rather boring after all that, even though we see lot of game. Mentionable: 4 Ground Hornbill and 2 Bushbuck.
Visit the shop at Skukuza quickly and then on to Lake Panic before the ice-cream melts. Isn’t Lake Panic just wonderful :?: The following were all around us, eating, drinking, sleeping, playing, you name it. Giraffe, Elephant, 30+ Hippos out of the water and more in, some crocs swimming around, 2 turtles and some black crakes eating algae of their skin :lol: , Grey Heron, Black-collared Barbets, Pied Kingfisher, Water Dikkop, Spotted Dikkop, 3 African Darters, African Jacana, White-faced Ducks, 5 Bushbuck rams, 3 ewes and a little baby. There were more birds but didn’t have time to ID more.
Time to leave and get home :cry: Arrive home in Kempton Park at 19h30, tired but feeling fantastic :dance:

Will put one or two pics up later this afternoon if time permits otherwise only next week.

_________________
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
Albert Einstein

Latest lifers from Kruger NP:
Black Coucal Centropus grillii Swartvleiloerie
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 2:53 pm 
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Location: At work longing for the outdoors!
Salva wrote:
Red it with kruger map next to me. Where exactly is "lake panic"?

Salva


Lake Panic (bird hide) is on the S42 to Skukuza Nursery!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 12:32 pm 
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Finally I can add some pics to my report. Couldn't find the report for a while, I got lost with the moves being made.

Heron seen with fish late afternoon on S42 from N'wanetsi just before turning onto the S100. Need some help with ID please :?:
ImageImage

Crocodile seen at same spot as Heron. Rhino family early morning on the way to Olifants.
ImageImage

Male lion seen at Ngotso Dam. Red-breasted Swallow :?:
ImageImage

Zebra and Elephant drinking at Malopenyana wh, north of Letaba
ImageImage

Giant Eagle-Owl on sunset drive :?: And a Sable at Lugmag Dam, specially for W@H
ImageImage

Bushbuck and African Darter at Lake Panic
ImageImage

Lake Panic always a fantastic spot for taking photos.

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
Albert Einstein

Latest lifers from Kruger NP:
Black Coucal Centropus grillii Swartvleiloerie
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 12:57 pm 
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Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
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Location: Chasing down the rarities
green-backed heron.

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Latest Lifer(s): White-winged Flufftail, Dickinson's Kestrel, Senegal Coucal, Three-banded Courser, African Broadbill, Thrush Nightingale, Rufous-bellied Heron.

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman


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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 1:02 pm 
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A lovely pic of a Verreux's Egle owl formerly known as Giant EO. And yes, red-breasted swallow.

Where did you see the owl?

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656
Latest Lifer(s): White-winged Flufftail, Dickinson's Kestrel, Senegal Coucal, Three-banded Courser, African Broadbill, Thrush Nightingale, Rufous-bellied Heron.

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 1:13 pm 
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wildtuinman wrote:
A lovely pic of a Verreux's Egle owl formerly known as Giant EO. And yes, red-breasted swallow.

Where did you see the owl?


On the S100 :lol: about 5km in, on a sunset drive. Need to learn the new names I see.

Thought as much on the Green-backed Heron, just needed confirmation.

Thanx WTM

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
Albert Einstein

Latest lifers from Kruger NP:
Black Coucal Centropus grillii Swartvleiloerie
Flappet Lark Mirafra rufocinnamomea Laeveldklappertjie


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 Post subject: Re: Safrica`s Kruger trip 6th-14th September
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:02 pm
Posts: 245
Location: Germany (Bühl) - but dreaming of Africa!
Had lots of special sightings:

2 nights P/kop :
very burnt, but saw 1 Side-striped Jackal (couldn`t take a photo) , Brown Snake Eagle with Snake hanging down from it`s claws on a tree , 1 Hyaena at de Laporte Waterhole , 1 Reedbuck at Shitlhave Dam , Rhinos near Numbi Gate

2 nights Lower Sabie:
10 Lions at Transport Dam (bit further away though) , 4 Sable on Salitje Road coming to drink (very close!!) , 1 quick glimpse on a honey badger near Nkuhlu , Hyaena`s from Restaurant Deck at night

2 nights Balule:
1 honey badger on burnt veld on the s127 to timbavati (saw him quite long, but hard to photograph because he was moving around the whole time - looked very amusing!) - African Wildcat stalking through the grass near Satara/H1-3 (bad photo`s) - big Ellie herd at timbavati picnic spot - 4 lions at Ngotso Dam (quite far away) - 6 Lions near Bangu Dam (right next to/on the road!) - 1 Jackal running around near Bangu Dam, suddenly the Jackal was walking next to an African Wildcat (saw the cat only for a short moment, but could clearly identify it!) - Hyaena`s every night at Camp fence

2 nights Tamboti:
big Ellie herd with young ones (s100) , several Buffalo next to the road (s100) , 4 Lions (3 males!) quite close to the s 100 , Jackal near Tamboti , 2 Hyaenas near Tamboti , Rhinos (with young one) near Tamboti , 4 Lions (s100) next to the road ,
big ellie herd at Nsemani Dam , baby hippo (so cute) at Nsemani Dam


greetings from germany

_________________
Jochen

KNP-trip No. 8: 2014!
30 November: Pretoriuskop
1-2 December: Lower Sabie
3-4 December: Satara
5-6 December: Balule
7-8 December: Letaba
9-10 December: Tamboti

1993, 1995, 1998, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2013. Next trip coming up!


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