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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:43 pm 
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:D 2nd of August Friday morning on the walk- Walked and walked and walked, of course as always looking at the smaller things too, but it is always a bonus to find the bigger animals too. As we were busy loosing hope we heard the bulking noise of a Buffalo herd and eventually us sitting on a Termite Mount enjoying breakfast and right in front of us the Buffalo herd watching us.

On the Bush Braai drive we went up to Nandzana and luckily found the 2 Male Lions of that territory at the little bridge crossing the Ngwenyeni stream at Nandzana waterhole's entrance. After viewing the Lions and having Sundowners we had to turn back to be at the Bush Braai site 18:30 for dinner. We also found Zebras, Genet, and Buffaloes.

On the 3rd of August Donavan my boss eventually got married!!! So was busy with those arrangements and driving the guests down to the Olifants River for the ceremony on that day. It was really special and a real African kind of wedding theme, it was special!!!!

The next day's Morning Drive delivered a great sighting of 2 Elephant calves playing and pushing each other around right next to the road, and seen Zebras, Buffaloes, Impalas and Steenbok. That evening on the Bush Braai Drive we found Elephants, 2 African Wild Cat Sightings, Large Spotted Genet, Springhare, and the 3 young Lion cubs that survived of the original 7, and still alive currently, now only young lions and Giraffe at the gate. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:51 pm 
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:D Monday the 5th of August we had another Bush Braai and found Zebras and the 2 young Giraffes with really beautiful Sunset at Shikumbu- recall pictures, on our way to the bush braai site we found Elephants on the Sable loop.

The next day on the tar road to Nandzana we found 3 Wild dogs that chased the Impalas around at the entrance to the waterhole, and then they were in front of us, then behind us, and then disappeared in the bush. Had sundowners on the bridge with Elephants in the stream, and found Buffaloes, Genet, Black Backed Jackal, Lesser Bush Baby and Zebra on the S131 gravel road on our way back.

Our walk on the 7th weren't very productive and only seen Impalas and Steenbok. Thursday the 8th of August we had an American Family on a Full day drive and treated the kids by cooling down in the Letaba River close to Olifants, on a No Entry road, where I always went to, to relax while I was working in Olifants. We saw a few Lions, North of Satara, and a Rhino, lots of Elephants, Giraffes, all general game, Wild Dogs, Klipspringers and of course came back late in the dark and ended the drive with Hyeana and African Civet Cat.

:D

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:02 pm 
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:D Friday the 9th of August we walked between Masorini and Shikumbu, in that block and found Zebra, Steenbok, Impalas and 1 Elephant bull. 6.5 km's.

On our 11.5 Km's walk the next day which we did behind Masorini we found Steenbok, herd of Buffaloes also having breakfast on a termite mount while viewing the Buffs, Impalas and a group of Elephants, but the wind blew straight to the Elephants so they disappeared quickly after they smelled us.

On the Night Drive we drove the S131 gravel road, up to Nandzana, the Shikumbu road, Sable Loop and back and seen Elephants pushing each other around and hitting tusks at Ngwenyeni waterhole, Buffaloes at Nandzana waterhole, and back at where the Hyeana den usually was, we found a Wild Dog there, Side Striped Jackal at Masorini, and on the Sable loop road a African Civet Cat.

:D

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:09 pm 
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:D Another Full Day Game drive and drove down to Timbavati picnic site and back. Before Masorini we found a Caracal next to the road, the same Lions and Rhino as a few days before, many Buffaloes, lots of general game, Kudus, the other nice sighting we had was a Secretary with a snake and how it killed the snake on the Timbavati loop, and Saddlebilled Storks and Ground Hornbills.

Monday the 12th of August we found a Leopard walking in the road about 6 km's from the gate and on the Mopane road the clan of hyeanas with a fresh piece of Zebra meat, all this on our way to the walking area. On the walk we were following Rhino and after seeing Impalas, Steenbok and Zebras we found the Rhino bull, but unfortunately with the wind going towards the Rhino, and he ran away. The 2 ladies were a bit tired when we returned to the vehicle after walking 10.5 kilometres.

On the Night Drive drove all over but didn't see much, except the nice sighting of a Steenbok urinating and closing it with soil afterwards. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:18 pm 
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:D The next couple of days we didn't find much on the game drives 1 Elephant there and here, a herd of Buffaloes now and then, on the walks also not much, but the Bushbabies are always special!!! And then around the 22nd of August we have seen the Eland around Shikumbu quite regularly and now and then from the 23rd of August saw the Lions at Sable Dam.

Our Full Day drive we did on the 27th delivered many birds of prey- African Hawk Eagles, Bateleurs, Martial Eagle, Tawny Eagles, Brown Snake Eagle, Saddle Billed, Wolly Neck and Marabou Storks.

On the 29th of August found another old Rhino carcass, and Impalas. On the 31st of August recall the picture of the White Faced Owl on the Sable Loop road and found Leopard at Sable Dam with Spotted Eagle Owls.

On the 2nd of September on the walk we found another old Rhino carcass, and later on the walk a White Rhino with her calf. On the way back to the vehicle we seen Zebras and Impalas.
:D

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:25 pm 
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:D Our Morning Walk on the 4th of September we did down at the Olifants River and enjoyed breakfast with a group of Hippo's.

Our walk on the 5th was quite productive with walking about 6 km's and seen Steenbok, Impalas, Hyeana, Giraffes, Zebras, 4 Elephant Bulls and 3 White Rhino's. On the way there while driving we found also a White Rhino with her calf!!!

September the 6th we went passed the dead Hippo at Sable dam- recall picture and up to Nandzana where we found the young male lion- recall picture, which we also never after that seen again found him with Buffaloes and Elephants close to Nandzana waterhole. On the way back from Nandzana to Shikumbu we found 4 Wild Dogs running in the road. We made a turn at the dead Hippo again where we found a Caracal close to the Bush Braai site and on the way to the gate a African Civet Cat.
:D

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:34 pm 
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:D Saturday the 7th of September we found Giraffes and Kudus on the walk before I left on my off days and annual leave to do the ISO14001 Course at Potchefstroom.

Came back on the 14th and went on Olifants River Backpack Trail the 15th till the 18th of September 2013.

Sunday morning the 22nd we walked at Ngwenyeni waterhole and saw many animals!!! The special sighting was after breakfast while viewing Zebras and Buffaloes and as we started walking away a Leopard jumped up on the bank of the stream next to us and didn't have much split seconds to view him.

Our Bush Braai drive on the 23rd delivered BIG herd of Elephants and after the supper on the way back to the gate we found Sharpe's Grysbok, Common Duiker, Small Spotted Genet, and 2 Chameleons.

24th of September was a public holiday so I walked with Neville and what nice sightings we had!!! A elephant Bull that came walking to us, luckily we had a big Mopanie Tree that got pushed over and we could stand him off, but he just didn't want to leave, he kept on watching us, with his head held up high and ears spread open to look big and more impressive. Eventually after 5 minutes or longer he started eating again and we slowly backed off.

We also found 3 White Rhino's and Buffaloes and Steenbok.

:D

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:42 pm 
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:D During that time on the walks I was very lucky with Rhino sightings and like the walk on the 26th of September we found a White Rhino with her tiny little calf, stepped right over a Puffadder, David and I, and then the guest stopped us, and a Scrub Hare jumped out of the bush so did the Steenbok on our 8.5 km's walk.

The Night Drive on the 27th of September gave us some Elephant and Buffalo sightings at Nandzana, a stunning relaxed African Civet Cat sighting right next to the road, and one of the longest flying burning Shooting Stars I have seen that night.

Another Mountain Bike Trail we did on the 28th of September and as we turned away from the fence where we park the vehicle we found a Lionness. Of course she didn't stop and smile for a picture and disappeared between the Redbushwillow and Silver cluster leave trees. We loaded the bicycles off and I thought we will find the Lionness next to the fence while cycling, but didn't think it would turn out the way it did....

:D

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:55 pm 
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:D I cycled in front with David behind me and then the 2 guests. I don't know if you know the width of the gravel roads, but it must be around 8 metres??? And that is what was between me and the Lionness!!! As I got to the fence my eye caught the Zebras grazing the grass right next to the other side of the fence, before they saw me on the bicycle and turned and ran, and it was at that moment which I saw this big yellow thing lying right next to the fence of course on the INSIDE of the Park!!!! I just lifted my bicycle which was at that moment my only protection against the Lionness. She made a 360 degree turn,head over tail in the air, a growling noise and bolted off, even Sain Bolt wouldn't be able to beat her that day!!!!

David and the guests behind me saw what happened and just started laughing, I still think I would have done the same if I was in their shoes, but at that moment it is never funny.

Stopping here for now. Need to get ready and do some stuff before I go out on Night Drive.

Enjoy until later... :D

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:46 am 
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It's great to have you back posting on the Forum Lourens! :thumbs_up:

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through your "catch up" postings and looking at your superb photos.

So sad about that young male lion. :(

Let me also congratulate you on all of your exam successes, and I'm holding thumbs for you for the results you are waiting for, but as you are such a committed young man, I am sure that you will sail through.

Looking forward to more regular reports ...

:popcorn: :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:22 am 
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Well said Linda and well done Lourens! :clap:
We love reports from guides in Kruger! :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:12 am 
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:DSunday the 29th of September we departed on a Mphongolo Backpack Trail, but it was very windy and raining for the 1st 2 days of the trail, and got some flu which kept me sick for many days to come, but the trail was very nice, didn't see much, but what a stunning area around Shingwedzi!!!

Thursday 3rd of October on the Night Drive we found once again MANY Elephants at Sable Dam, while driving around in the dark found African Wild Cat and Large Spotted Genet. It is always nice to see these smaller nocturnal animals on the Night Drives, but as you can see, not guaranteed...

Our Morning Walk on the Friday gave us a nice sighting of a Honey Badger running over the road on our way to the walking area, and once again lots of great sightings while being on foot- After walking for a while and finding lots of animal tracks we heard some movement of animals and not long after searching and scanning the rolling hills we saw the group of Zebras and to the left of them 2 White Rhino's. Of course the Zebras moved away from us, and we started following the Rhino's, up the slope, down the valley and then at a Termite Mount they came to a halt, and we decided to have breakfast on the top of the plateu area, viewing many Elephant Bulls in the distance to our right and infront of us, and the 2 Rhino's to our left. While enjoying this beautiful morning breakfast with the Elephants and Rhino's we spotted some Giraffes and Buffaloes walking next to the stream many 100 metres away from us, and stomachs pleased, we packed up and proceeded into the Buffaloes directions, where we then saw Kudu's to our right, and making their way into the opposite direction leading away from us. 2 Steenbok jumped up in front of us and ran to the left, with the Buffaloes next to the stream and after viewing the Duggaboys, we made our way back to the vehicle. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:28 am 
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:D Saturday evening we found many animals around Ngwenyeni waterhole which included Buffaloes, Elephants and Spotted Hyeana.

Monday the 7th the day was windy, and found Buffaloes, Elephants, Steenbok, Giraffes, Impalas, more Elephants and a herd of Buffaloes with breakfast on the morning walk. On our way back to the vehicle I suddenly saw this grey stick start moving in front of my feet, and was stoned shocked for the 1st few split seconds, before I made fast stepping movements into a backward direction. This HUGE Black Mamba, Donavan and I, estimated it at least 3.5 metres, at first lifted himself up into the air, watching me deep in my eyes, 10 to 1 thinking, come on step my tail and it is you and me today, and luckily then went down and sailed away from us :shock: Ai 2nd close encounter with venomous snakes in the last few walks during that time. Luckily still here to tell you about the experiences... 8)

The next evening we had a Night Drive with such amount of excellent sightings, I wish all our Drives could have been like this 1. We started off with 3 Wild Dogs running and sniffing around- recall pictures, and behind the Wild Dogs a herd of Buffaloes watching their movements closely, then later on some Giraffes, and at a waterhole more Buffaloes, Elephants and 2 Lionnesses. Eventually when we wanted to leave, we saw the big grey figures coming towards the waterhole, the Rhino's had to wait for the 2 Elephants to finish drinking and then it were their turn, what luck and great sightings hey??

We then proceeded and the rest of the drive found a African Civet Cat, Steenbok, and as I mentioned before these last few months we start seeing more Blue wildebeests and we found then close to the gate on our way back. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:39 am 
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:D Wednesday 9 October after making a turn at Sable Dam and found MANY Elephants we went passed Ngwenyeni Waterhole and back to the gate on the gravel road. This evening we had seen MANY Buffaloes and the 1st in a long time also seen MANY MANY Impalas. We once again found the Spotted Hyeana sub-adults at Ngwenyeni and on the S131 some Steenbok, Common Duiker and Small spotted Genet.

Since October our catering provider resigned, and have no Bush Braais anymore, until further notice :( .

Seems like the 6 hours game drive on the 11th of October was a bird drive- we have seen Greater Spotted Cuckoo's. Tawny Eagle, Lappet Faced Vulture, 4 x sightings of Ground Hornbills, Cori Bustard, Yellow Billed Kites, and the Purple Rollers at nest- recall picture.

The animals were Impalas, Kudus, Giraffes, Zebras, Spotted Hyeana, Buffaloes, Elephants, Hippo, Waterbuck and Steenbok.

I then spent some individual time with my girlfriend and she flew back to Austria on the 16th of October, where after I used the last few of my off days, preparing for my Biology Exam, which I wrote on the 21st.
The rain started falling from there onwards and got wet on the Night Drive on the 21st of October. We didn't see much that particular evening. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:51 am 
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:D Tuesday the 22nd another windy rainy day and on the 6 hours Morning Safari we found many Elephant Bulls, 4 x Herds of Buffaloes, Zebras, many Giraffes and Impalas, on our way to Letaba and back. That time we have seen much more animals on the gravel road (S131) towards Letaba than the tar road, so spent lots of time on my drives the next coming days around there.

Another Morning Safari and again Elephant Bulls but in the distance, 3 x herds of Buffaloes Zebras on our way to Letaba, and while enjoying breakfast at the Restaurant seen some Giraffes, Kudus, Waterbuck on the other side of the River.

I had the Olifants Head Guide interview on the 24th of October and know on the walk that morning they found another poached rhino, with Lions feeding, luckily the last up to so far... :(

The next morning went back to see if we could find Lions there, but only seen Spotted Hyeanas with their stomachs 110% full, and on the walk Elephants, Impalas, Kudus and Buffalo Bulls.

Saturday the 26th of October we walked here at the gate next to the Tshutshi stream, and the 1st half didn't see much, but after having breakfast on a little hill we found Impalas, Kudus, Warthogs, Zebras, Common Duiker next to the stream.
:D

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