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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:56 pm 
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:popcorn: The Night Drive when we saw the aardvark the Leopard cub in the tree and the big male Leopard,
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The next morning after the walk when we found the young female Leopard
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MY FAVOURITE:
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The mother leopard with her cub next to the Letaba River

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Sunset on Afternoon walk
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Lions on Sable Dam road
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Leopard at Sable Dam
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Plated lizzards
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Leoapard on S131
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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:01 pm 
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:popcorn:

Spotted Hyeana on same game drive as Lions, 2 Leopards and general game.
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The Male Lion, the night when we saw the cubs chasing after the Warthogs
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Next morning's walk, when we followed the White Rhino Bull for 3 km's
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When he lead us to the Giraffes
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Sunrise of the Wednesday morning, before our awesome Full Day Started...
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:popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:29 am 
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Location: 4 hours from KNP : South Africa
Wonderful photos Lourens. We saw leopard and cub about 3 weeks ago outside Letaba.


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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:39 am 
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Magnificent pictures of stunning sightings Lourens! Thanks for sharing! :clap: :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:16 am 
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Location: Arizona, United States
Lourens, I love your shots. Which camps are closest to the areas you are working as I'd like to keep track of your reports.
thanks again
Stan


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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:28 pm 
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:D The closest Camps to Phalaborwa Gate are Letaba and Shimuwini Bush camp, and we've got Sable Hide close to the gate. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:40 pm 
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:popcorn:

The Full Day walk, where we saw soooooo many animals!!!!
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On one of Morning walks, the Sjambok tree in flower (Cassia abbreviata)
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The morning walk where we had breakfast with the herd of Buffaloes
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Bateleur drying after the rain
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:popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:26 pm 
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Wonderful sightings Lourens :thumbs_up:

An action packed day it seems :clap: :clap: :clap:


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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:13 pm 
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Awesome to have breakfast with a herd of Buffaloes! :dance: :dance:

After the African Fish Eagle, the Bateleur is my most favourite raptor! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:25 pm 
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I'm alway so impressed that the guests on walks all dress in appropriate bush colors, backpacks and all. :)

Johan


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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:48 am 
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:D Sunday the 14th we had 4 walking groups that went out, and all over the groups had sightings of Rhino, Elephant, Buffalo, Giraffes, Kudus.

That evening the student group went on a Bush Braai as well, but I was security.

From the 16th of October I was helping the Bushveld Honorary Rangers moving stuff around to and at the new Mafunyane Overnight Eco Trail 2nd night campsite. It will hopefully open next year April.

The next morning I took a Morning drive out and had a beautiful Lion mating couple sighting, and of course also saw all the general stuff with rain that started pouring down after the drive. On the Mountain Bikes they saw Wild Dogs!!!

That evening I went on a Night drive and found other Lions close to where we saw the mating Lions in the morning, a big herd of Buffaloes, Giraffes, Elephants, Genets, Spotted Eagle Owl, Hippo,Steenbok and Duiker.

Friday the 19th of October we took a walk out with 6 guests, and we were once again lucky with all the sightings.

From a Charging Elephant Bull, Lions roaring, African Civet Cat running away, heard the trumpheting noise of Elephants, Giraffes standing watching us, Zebras vocalising as well, following 2 White Rhino's for about 400 metres, a few Buffalo Bulls and another herd of Elephants on the way back to the vehicle.

More to come.
:D

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:48 am 
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Location: Far South in South Africa.
Lourens
:sup: Wow, wow and wow... :sup:

:thanx: The reports, drives and walks and photos :whistle: :whistle: :whistle:

:mrgreen: I read from page one up to now. Stunning.....i'm speechless :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

:mrgreen: Thank you for everything :mrgreen:

:hmz: Wish i was younger :hmz: :P

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:39 pm 
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:D Good afternoon Forumites!!!

I've got sooooo much to share with you!!! All the Cuckoos,Violet Backed Starlings, Woodland Kingfishers, Wahlberg Eagles, Monotonous Larks, Paradise Flycatchers and the other Migratory Birds are back. The bush is very green, and the now the Baby- Impalas, Warthogs arrived as well!!!

We experienced such amazing sightings on the activities and will tell you all about it.

To take you back to the 19th of October when we had such an amazing walk, that night we had a Bush Braai and I went as security, normally quiet, without any real incidents, and without any real scary visitors.
On this day and the 20th we had our first good rains and that made that the bush turned real green. On the 22nd of October David and I did a walk with 3 guests and it started off with a Elephant Bull that unfortunately smelled us, and moved off. The pans in the bush were filled, and with Hippo tracks around, we were nice and alert until we had breakfast. After breakfast we found 3 Elephant Bulls on the way the car, and as we got to the tar road, where we parked the vehicle we found a herd of Buffaloes to our right. We viewed them and before any cars could came and drive pass, we jumped into our vehicle.

That night I was Bush Braai security again. On the 25th of October we did a walk from Shikumbu, and didn't find any of the hairy mammals, but heard Lions roar the whole morning long and saw some of the smaller creatures, and then left for my off days.

On the 30th of October after my 4 off days were done, we woke up early for a walk, where the guests never pitched up!!! That afternoon luckily they did for the afternoon walk, and this time walked on the Eastern side of Shikumbu and found a Giraffe running away quickly, a Elephant far in the distance, and due to time and light constraints, we couldn't walk to go and view him, and then we found a Spotted Eagle Owl nest in a fallen down Marula Tree. Wednesday the 31st of October Donavan and I did a walk behind Sable, and as usual started off quiet, but at the end we found a Herd of Buffaloes with some Impalas.

Friday the 2nd of November we walked from Shivhulani Koppies and there that morning we found the biggest journey of Giraffes I have seen in a very long time. Imagine what it looks like, walking through the bush, viewed a Elephant, the Elephant moved off, and down the slope into the stream, and started seeing Giraffe Necks and heads sticking out, 1,2,3,4,5,6.... Eventually when we got up to a open area to view them, with some Zebras around, we counted 20 Giraffes!!!!! All staring watching us!!! It was really the sighting of the day.
On the 3rd of November it was a bit of a quiet night drive, but at least saw Giraffes, Zebras, Impalas, Elephants.

The morning of the 4th it was definitely a walk with the Elephant Bulls, and when we got back to Shivhulani waterhole where walked from some Zebras were waiting for us.

That afternoon we helped Olifants Rest Camp out with a Afternoon walk and River walk the next morning. Was nice to walk in that area again!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:09 pm 
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:D Tuesday the 6th of November Johan and I made our way up to Masorini on the Night Drive where guests spotted the Lions in the morning. Eventually after we found lots of Elephant Bulls, Impalas, Spotted Eagle Owls, we found the 2 Male Lions and Lionness in the road. They were very relaxed with the vehicles and definitely 2 new males that took over the territory.

The Sunset walk on the 7th definitely had also a great sighting, it was a very tiny little Leopard tortoise feeding on a small vertebrae of a small animal, and was really nice to see it in real life and not only reading in books. We also saw Warthogs, Impalas and 2 Elephant Bulls.

On the 8th of November we had rain and went as security on the Bush Braai that night. From the 9th we became very busy, with less sleep, but the sightings were great!!! That night we had 2 vehicles Night Drive, and 2 vehicles Bush Braai. The next morning we had 3 walking groups and our group were lucky with a stunning White Rhino sighting. We started walking and found no animals, actually the Rhino's were our only animals we saw. And of course as the previous walks lots of Aardvark footprints and diggings into termite mounts. Eventually we found tracks of a herd of Buffaloes and after walking on it for a while, we suddenly heard a funny noise to our right. Definitely not Buffaloes. I started explaining the noise, and said it is a Rhino cow that's got a young calf and she just warned the Bull that is with them, because she will see him as a threat to the calf, and wragties, went into that direction and there we found the 3 of them!!!

That night we had 2 vehicles Night Drive and found Giraffes, Buffaloes, Elephants, and Lion!!!!

Sunday the 11th of November on the 12.4 km's walk we found lots of Elephants and White Rhino with her calf. That night the Bush Braai security- no visitors- no scary incidents changed. As the guests left and we busy packing tables and chairs away, and blowing out the laterns we suddenly heard this funny sound and me in the opposite corner just switched on my torch and clapped my hands to scare away whatever it is. I still think it was a Duiker, but while standing looking around in the dark bushes, a LEOPARD jumped out less than 10 metres from us, as if something was chasing him. He stopped looked at us, and came a step closer. All around the Leopard, as dark as it is suppose to be at night, but the Leopard bright and beautiful in the torch light. He wanted to come closer again, when I shouted at it, and luckily he decided to walk away, but must say, that night and the other night to come, was the fastest I saw our catering providers packing the bush braai stuff up.

The 12th David was security and after we saw Giraffes,Zebras, Baboons, Steenbok, Klipspringer and the same 3 Lions we saw before at Masorini, we enjoyed the supper in the bush with Lions calling in the distance from the Mopanie road where we found them earlier on.

Tuesday the 13th of November I of course went and look if I could find the Lions again on the Morning Drive, but no luck, only after I finished I got a message they are lying at Sable dam mating and when I went around the dam, we saw nothing!!!! We did found Elephants, Warthogs, Pearl Spotted Owl, Giraffes, Zebras and Baboons.

That night with our 33 pax Bush Braai, the Lions were about 60 metres from the Bush Braai and now and then of course heard the mating sound of Lions. Eventually when we were ready to go, Johan and I went outside to make sure it is safe for the guests to come out of the Bush Braai spot, when Johan suddenly jumped into vehicle and shouted at me, keep the guests inside, the Lions are behind the car!!!!!!!!!

Believe it or not, but they were!!!!!!!!!!! From behind the car, to between the 4 cars, and 10 metres behind the Toilet of the Bush Braai spot, ai we had such alot of sport with these 3 Lions, walking up and down, with the 33 guests and 3 guides standing all in one corner of the Bush Braai spot. Eventually David and Johan managed to scare the Lions off into the dark and we managed to get vehicle for vehicle loaded and guests safe. By that time the Bush Braai was packed up and we were ready to leave as well with the guests, with the Lions that came walking pass again and with them start roaring, maybe to say have a nice evening, and we just wanted to come and join you in peace????

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:54 pm 
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:D Wednesday the 14th of November I had another Morning Drive, but this time we were focusing on Birds. We saw the Ground Hornbills at Shikumbu, saw of course some Giraffes, Zebras, Elephant, Buffaloes, Impalas, Baboons as well.

Thursday morning on the walk we had a stunning sighting of 6 Elephant Bulls behind Masorini, and they pushed each other around and hitting tusks and with the wind in our favour they didn't know we were there!!!

That night we had 35 people going on Night Drive and Bush Braai and again the Lions were around the Bush Braai!!!!
Friday the 16th we walked from Ngwenyeni waterhole and found a Giraffe Carcass where the Lions were before and all the Vultures feeding on the left overs. On our way back after breakfast we found lots of Zebras and Impalas and Pearl Spotted Owl that caught something in the grass.

The Night Drive on the 16th was full of great sightings and was spread throughout the drive with no quiet moment!!! We found Zebras, Impalas, Herd of Buffaloes, herds of Elephants, and my 1st Impala baby for the season!!! On the way back to the gate after having Sundowners we found a White Rhino with her calf, more Elephants, Steenbok, more Zebras, Spotted Eagle Owl etc.

Saturday morning on the drive, we were again lucky!!! From all the general game, Buffaloes, Elephants and the 2 male Lions on the Mopanie Road, and ended with Giraffe at the gate. That afternoon we got a report of 2 Leopards on the tar road 6 km's from the gate, so we went out and found the 1 Female Leopard and went passed the Lions still sleeping in the same spot as the morning. So guys and ladies- around Phalaborwa Gate, there are lots and lots of animals!!!!!!

The 18th of November I did the Night Drive and going around Sable Dam, looking for the Lions which people saw them there, we missed them and went up to Masorini, took the Shikumbu road and back on the tar road, we found all the general stuff, but this time no cats.

We had 2 Walking groups on the 19th and David and I walked next to the Tshutshi and had a stunning sighting of a Herd of Buffaloes and on the way back to the vehicle lots of Impalas and a Warthog.

Thursday morning on the 3 hour drive that became a 4 and half hour drive- and to mention one way up the tar road and same road back, we 4 of the Big 5!!
We started with Elephants close to the gate, Giraffes, and Buffalo Bulls close to Shikumbu, and pass Nandzana waterhole some more Elephants and Spotted Hyeana in the road. I had a report that morning, that the found Lions on this piece of road, so with me and 3 American Guests looking out very carefully for the Lions we only could see and hear the Baboons going mad, calling, calling and calling. We had coffee and rusks and on the way back where we saw the Hyeana and Baboons we spotted a Lionness lying in the distance next to a Apple Leaf Tree. A young male came to join her and after a while we left them. Just pass Nandzana, still amazed how we spotted the Lionness, here the 1 guest spotted a Leopard in a Apple Leaf tree, and not long after we watched it, she jumped down from the tree!!! 4 of the Big 5!! Somehow we couldn't even see 1 Zebra!!!!

That night on the Bush Braai drive we only found Zebras!!! hahahaha, and of course lots of Elephants, Buffalo Bulls, Warthog, Common Duiker, Genet, and after the dinner with only hearing Lions roaring far in the distance, we found a Giraffe on the way to the gate.

Yesterday morning 23rd November we found the 4 Lions before Ngobeni where we walked from, and eventually we left them, drove on, parked the vehicle, do the pre-briefing and started walking and whoola there we found on foot the 4 Lions making their way down to the water to drink after eating themselves full!!!

They saw us, and ran away very quickly!!! Further on the 11 km's walk we found Elephant, Buffalo Bulls and Zebras.

Ai and to end this report in style, hahaha, this morning on the walk we had awesome sightings, but also very very scary!! Do you guys know how it feels getting chased by 4 White Rhino's???
We started walking and eventually far in the distance spotted a Elephant Bull, and of course being on foot, we could walk there, so we did. Eventually had a stunning sighting and with more Elephant Trumpheting noise, not long after we left the Elephant Bull we found a herd of Buffaloes. It was then time for breakfast and while looking for a nice view and place to sit and enjoy breakfast we saw a huge herd of Elephants running away from us- smelled us and lots of more elephants down in the valley, so guess where we had breakfast, sitting on a termite mount viewing the Elephants. After eating we went closer to view them and we sat on a big high Termite Mount watching a part of the herd standing between the Mopanie Trees sleeping, and flapping their ears.

After a while we left them and walked back along the stream, where we had lots of buffalo tracks on the animal path we walked on, and suddenly, thanks to our Heavenly Father, a Redbilled Oxpecker made a quick noise, and if you know walking in the bush, that is one thing you always listen out for in the bush, and there behind a Lala Palm, and between some Mopane trees I saw a flicking of a ear. Rhino's!!!! We quickly walked around and as we walked along another animal path to view them with the wind in our favour, here the 1 Rhino came walking down the path, so we quickly reversed and crossed the stream, but so did they!!!! Luckily at this moment of time, we had a Termite Mount in our favour and the 1 White Rhino came walking through, with her young Calf, another Adult and then the 4th one, came walking straight through the stream towards us, and after say hey, hey, hey, hey, he luckily changed a bit direction. So we of course wanted to view them better and wanted to get to that big Termite Mount over
there, the Rhino's decided to run straight into our direction!!!! Luckily the rock throw stopped them for a while and gave us a chance to ran to safer ground!!!! What an unbelievable day of sightings and experiences were it!!! And not only this morning, but this last weeks!!!! :D

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