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 Post subject: Re: Lion
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:43 pm 
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Friedrich,
A few healthy Kgalagadi lions - end of April 2011


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 Post subject: Re: Lion
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:06 pm 
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Vlakvarkvrou & BB

Thanks!

That looks much better!

Glad to see they are in such good condition.
Makes me want to go and check them out soon, but no luck till next year...

God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten

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 Post subject: Re: Lions mostly seen in early morning, fact or myth
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:49 am 
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Location: Back where I belong....in my Beloved Kruger
To put my 2 sent worth and out of my experience being guide in Kruger mostly in the south we find the following.

It is a myth to say lions sleep on the tar roads during winter time(Mei,June,July,Aug and some years Sep) The tar roads get cold and for that we hardly find them in those month sleeping on the roads. We did tent to find them on gravel in winter month more early morning. Also if we do find them early morning(from gate open to about 0800) it was mostly just on the side of the road if it was on the tar. Now even this is percentage involved and would say 80% of the times these month when find sleeping or lying down. For these month as for them being active (walking, marking territory, hunting)we find that they normal did it in morning time on the roads as the grass are wet and they prefer the dyer paths of the roads. But then again we seen them 60% of our lions this time of year only after 09:00. Reason being that your general game only really start getting active from this time in these month and also concentrate more around water as there is less water in the veld. So the hunting habits change to hunting more during the day than night and also when your game start going to water. But there are exceptions to the rule as well.

For summer month(November, December, January, February, March and some extent April) We tend to find them 70% of the time early mornings(gate open to around 0700) on the roads sleeping as the tar is still quite hot from the day before. I just did experience this is Feb of this year as we find lions 11 times and only 1 of these sighting was after 1000. Also our sighting was when we were one of the first 15 vehicles or one of the last 15 before gates closing. As for being a guide the pattern seems to be the same as for finding lions on the roads. The lions that we did find past 1000 in summer was normally sleeping under the side of same bushes or trees and normally from 15m to 100m of the road. We hardly find any active lions past 10:00 or before 17h00 in summer. Also seem that morning time and late afternoon was our best chances of seeing them. But then again there are exceptions.

As for the rest of the month(sep,oct,april) it was 50/50 and normally the conditions or weather influence the sightings to same decree. If it was hot and dry, our sightings would be mostly be late morning/early evening close to water, cold and dry, mostly middle of the day also close to water, wet and cold…… any time of the day, and wet and hot mostly early morning late afternoon.

Now these are not facts and nor taken out of n book. This is what I experience doing 250 days a year from 2000-2007 and going to Kruger for 30years. For some people it is different and also luck play a big part in this.

Answer to the Question if it is Fact or myth of seeing more lions during the morning? The answer will be neither. Depend on temperature, conditions of veld, availability of game and 80% Luck!!! The other 20% is taken the factors in to account to improve your luck and you choices of road for the day!

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 Post subject: Re: Lions mostly seen in early morning, fact or myth
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:38 am 
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Location: Somerset West
Hi Dirk

Thank you for those interesting observations. We have taken note of them!

You are a very lucky guy to be right there, close to PKop!
This past Dec we had the loveliest encounters with an old lioness (she had serious scars/scratches down her left ribs) and her 3 cubs, plus a young lioness. We saw them daily, and always in the S7 road at about 5:00,
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but once they chose to spend all day on the rocks when it was cold and drizzling. Hope those cubs have grown up well -- their mom looked cheeky enough!

In summer, when it had rained at night, it was also very exciting to be one of the first cars on the gravel roads, to look for spoor of animal activities in the road during the night -- always exciting when you can track them down and find them -- still in the road!

I hope you don't race like some of those other guides around PK -- I have found out that if you see a speeding green safari vehicle, then just follow them like a vulture to the nearest lion or leopard sighting!

See you at 5:00 on the S7 in December, with that pack of 8 wild dogs or my favourite lions....
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God bless,

Friedrich von Horsten

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 Post subject: Re: Lions mostly seen in early morning, fact or myth
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:38 pm 
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@ Dirk,

I found your observations very intresting. I guessed that will be other way around meaning that Lions in Winter are easily seen on tard roads. I study geography and I learned that Tar roads and Stones can save the energy of the Sun for a long time, that is the reason, why leopards or Lions are very often seen in Rocky Parts. Gravel and Sands can heat up quite quick, but they can´t save it for a long time.

I trust your observation, please don´t missunderstand me wrong, but I find it very intresting i had expectet the opposite.

Best regards malealea

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 Post subject: Re: Lions mostly seen in early morning, fact or myth
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:05 am 
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Location: Back where I belong....in my Beloved Kruger
Ok it seems I have to save myself here due to my comments/observations. :doh:

@Malealea and cheetah2111…… I don’t disagree with you at all.
I support the theory 100% that the tar roads hold temperature very well,
BUT!!. Go to Kruger in June July and at 0500 in the morning take you hand and put it down on the road and feel the tar.
You will feel it is extremely cold.
Take your self being in the bush.
It’s clear sky’s, humidity is only between 10-15%.
You are cold and you need a place to lay down.
Are you going to lay down in the middle of the tar road hoping for little bit of heat coming tar?
The road is open, humidity low and there is little breeze imagine now how it must feel on that road?
Would the best option not have been to find I nice thicket with no grass cover under is but at least leave to keep a little bit of the breeze out.
There are plenty of trees and even long grass around the thicket you choice.
Don’t you think it will be hotter in there compare to the open cold tar road?

The point is not to say any body is wrong nor right.
I am one of the strong believers of be prepared to see any thing any time of the day and I have.
I have seen leopard mating at 13h00 mid day on the Berg en Dal tar road with temperature hitting 38c for the day.
We actually stop at Malelane gate to feel the tarmac and you couldn't leave you hand on it for longer than 1sec.
Now these cats decided to lay flat down on the tar mated, lay for a anther 2min in the road and then move off.
It comes down to animals are unpredictable.
Comments on my above post was what I have observed.
Ask me when I am staying at Skukuza in June, July where I will drive for the day and I will say morning time up to Diospane, S65, h1-1, S112/S113 and then the S114 back to Skukuza for Breakfast, After Breakfast I will drive down to LS and Then Back and If I haven’t seen much will turn around again and go back as far to LS as time permits and back again.
That road pumps from 0900-16h00 in Winter.
You can drive up and down that road and every time will find something else, but there is now way in hell :naughty: I am going down there early morning and not to mention in an OSV.
You will freeze you butt of and temperature can drop to -1c along that river Winter time. :wall:

Then again ask the same Questions In Jan/Des or September/Oct and every time will be a different answer. Even now it is June, if you ask the same question as to where I will drive and probably will give you also different answer as conditions for this year is different.
The changes is there to see something but we had a lot of rain and it is still raining in some part.
The river is not quite busy as what they use to be previous years as there are more water around and animals for now still don’t need to concentrate around water yet.

Best is to test any theory is to go out and see for your self.
Book 20 days from one camp In June and then 20days from the same camp in Jan.
Go out and take notes as how you find you cats and what they are doing when you find them.
This way you will see how they react to different time of the year and what they prefer that time of the year. I have done that as being a guide mostly operating from Numbi, Phabeni and Kruger gate.
Did trips from Malelane, Phalaborwa ,croc bridge and Orpen but not as much as the other gates(or camps close to that gates).
Like I said in my previous post this is what I experience.
Hope you understand what I am trying to say and not question your theory. :thumbs_up:

@Friedrich von Hörsten….Yes I am very lucky and can see myself ever moving from Hazyview.
But I am currently working in Iraq and have been since 2007, not much to report of current pride activities in that area.
I do remember from my guiding days that from November to April it was almost a waste going in that area as die red grass gets so long, if you don’t find something in the road you don’t find it at all.
But I love PK as I love my antelope species :dance: and PK have some of the rear ones there on frequent basis(Lichtenstein’s Hartbees, Tsessebe, Sable and good number of Reedbuck and also n small group of Eland that can be seen from Shitlhave waterhole or from time to time on the Voortrekker road just before Ship mountain).
Lion We mostly find in the cooler month and mostly on the S7 where they are lying on the Shabeni koppies. From time to time did find them on the S1 and the Fayi loop.
As for staying on topic we didn’t see them much(not that I haven’t at all) on the tar road it self.
If we did find them they were normally walking or lying of the road where you almost can’t see them. We did find them many times sleeping on the S7 or the loop going around the Sabeni koppies it self.
As for me racing to get to sighting…… :sniper: not my cup of tee and normally like finding my own sighting, but if sightings are difficult and the hours are getting less then you have no choices as to go with the crowds. For oversee tourist it different then those of us living in SA or close to the park. 90% of them can’t come back en if it means seeing a lions ear or have to wait 45 min in a traffic jam :slap: to see them, then they don’t mind.
Us SAFFIEs tent to forget that same time and normally would fume like grazing when there are to many others around, my self included but my guest don’t care as long as they can say they saw Africa’s biggest cat in the wild. :thumbs_up:

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Have slept more than 350+ night in Kruger and more coming!!


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 Post subject: Re: Lion
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:56 pm 
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Location: Heart, mind and soul on an early morning drive close to Satara, unfortunately the body is in CPT!
In my 40 years of visiting Kruger, I have never seen as few lions as we have on our recent 21 day trip, we visited most camps and picnic spots from Croc Bridge to Crooks Corner!!! Probably just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. At least this lovely lady graced us with her presence....

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Lion
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:04 pm 
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Thanks for sharing such stunning pics, BB, Friedrich, VVV, SG, CPT! :clap: :clap:

And, CPT, I don't know ... lately, I've been struggling too, while the prides are definitely smaller than they once were. :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: Lion
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:26 am 
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Its quite amazing how trips vary from time to time with sightings, we have had very limited Lions sightings over the past few years and then this recent trip of nearly 21 days we saw Lion/Lions every single day, bar the first day. :D
Not all great photo opportunities but a sighting none the less.

I think KTP Lions manes would be better looking possibly due to the type of terrain they are in, Kruger Lions have the thorn bushes and lots of vegetation to contend with thereby tangling the manes more.
But that's just my theory!

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 Post subject: Re: Lion
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:37 am 
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Hi Elsa, Your theory makes sense and I'll agree with that but the Shingwedzi Lions have huge manes, havent seen a Lion lately in Shingwedzi so not 100% sure but keep on seeing the lioness.

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 Post subject: Re: Lion
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:20 pm 
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Unfortunately we didn't see any males in the Shingwedzi area this time but did have a fleeting glimpse of a female, just before the camp, hot footing it across the road in great haste for whatever reason we never did discover? :?

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 Post subject: Re: Lion
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:17 am 
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Some of Kruger's ugly and less healthy-looking lions :roll: :roll: :roll:

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Uploaded with ImageShack.us

:wink:

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:whistle:

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... and there is plenty more rejects where these came from :lol: :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Lion
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:53 pm 
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From Satara to Tshokwane, early morning and just after a first few stretches we met these two males in beautiful sunrise light.
Two males , one a bit younger then the other, no other cars around at that special moment, so we could drive in reverse almost back to Satara

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After being with them for about 30 minutes they left the road and disappeared in the high grass



Many other pictures of last en other trips:
My Wildlife Photography Site
http://www.awv-photography.com


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 Post subject: Re: Lion
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:05 pm 
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Superb photos, Aat! :clap: :clap: The yellow morning light enhances their tawny pelage, and elevates their eyes to a piercing citrine! Definitely worth reversing for ... :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Lion
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:20 pm 
Hello, Mlambane!

This lot on the river with your name this afternoon! :twisted:



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