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 Post subject: A Kruger Winter Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:53 pm 
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Hi everybody,

I know it is Spring already in South Africa, but I am still living on my memories of our trip to Kruger in July. Lots of non - interesting reasons why I didn't wrote a report earlier, but here it comes. We were in Kruger from 19 - 27 July and travelled all the way down from Punda Maria to Crocodile Bridge. We had a great time, had lots of wunderfull sightings and I really hope we will be back next May (before the Soccer Rush).
Ok today I'm going back to sunday, July 19th...... :dance: (I hope Flickr cooperates)

Margriet

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 Post subject: Re: A Kruger Winter Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:46 pm 
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Ok, Flickr worked, only I forgot how to handle it :redface: , but I found out again, so here are the pictures:

Sunday July 19th.

After having travelled for 2 weeks in SA (Cape Peninsula, Ceder Mountains, Magoebaskloof) we arrived in Kruger via Phalaborwa gate. Had a long way to go to Punda Maria. But what a great day it was, blue skies, beautyfull autumn colors and lots of animals.
We took the H9, after 6 km the H14 and H1 and H13 up north.

At the gate we were welcomed by a large amount of impala, and not much later 2 elefants near the road and 3 zebras at Ngwenyeni WH. We were really in the mood and saw this nice eagle (I'm not quite sure, is it a Brown Snake Eagle?)
Image
We drove on, saw more zebra, a giraf and lots of elefants in the dry Ngwenyeni River. And then this Giant Kingfisher on the Letaba River Bridge
Image

and on the other side a couple of lazy Hippos
Image

The Letaba River was just a small stream, we saw it a few days before at Tzaneen, where it was huge
Image
We drove further towards Mopani, where we wanted to stop for lunch while enjoying the autumn colors on our way
Image
Saw a large herd of buffalo, a herd of elefants and arrived at Mopani. Never been there before, what a great view they have there
Image


Ok I will be back after lunch with the after lunch trip. I will post this part first, so I can see if Flickr works :pray: .

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Looking forward to the Frontier, Garden route and Cape parks in may 2014


Kruger tripreport http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=37790


Last edited by margriet on Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A Kruger Winter Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:53 pm 
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Continuing the July 19th TR

We were not the only ones having lunch at Mopani, this Grey Go-away-bird had it as well:
Image

and there were lots of other little ones in the tree
Image

What a great spot Mopani is. I loved the reflections of the dead trees in the water
Image

We drove further and came along this herd of elephants, who clearly didn't want to see us
Image

and we had to wait for this one, which blocked the road
Image

We came along this Blacksmith Lapwing
Image

and near Boyela WH we were welcomed by 3 Girafs, who clearly did want to see us!
Image

Further on the road, about 6 kms north of Boyela WH we spotted far away a group of animals we didn't recognize, we hadn't seen them before. They turned out to be Roan antilopes! The photo isn't too clear, but because we later learned how lucky we were to have seen them (we have been told that people come to see the Roan year after year, but never get to spot one!), I like to show it:
Image

And the last picture of this day:
Image

Ok it was a long drive, but we enjoyed every minute of it. When we arrived at Punda Maria we checked in and booked a morning drive. After that we had a sundowner in front of our bungalow and had a nice dinner in the restaurant. A great first day it was!

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 Post subject: Re: A Kruger Winter Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:44 pm 
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July 20th

On monday we started with the morningdrive. It was only us with Betelgeuse en Martie. Very nice to meet forumites! It was a very cold morning and we were freezing under our blankets, despite our ski-underware 8) We didn't had much sightings, but we did have a great sunrise

just before sunrise
Image

and there he is
Image

and just after sunrise, the golden hour
Image

we had some nice bird sightings
the Brown-headed Parrot
Image

the Brown-hooded Kingfisher
Image

and a Crested Barbet watched by a squirrel :)
Image

This chewing elephant was one of the few mammals we saw
Image

After breakfast warmed us up, we left for Crooks Corner. We took the H13, the H1-8 and the S63, on return we took the S61 and S60, the last mentioned roads were really packed with buffalo, zebra, nyala etc.

The way up was rather quiet, but we did see this family of Ground Hornbills, I love those birds, they have just such an amazing appearance
Image

Image

Again we loved the landscape, especially all the Baobabs. I like this picture, a Baobab in black, white and blue
Image

On the S63 there was a little traffic jam. It took us a while before we spotted the cheetah's people were looking at, but through binoculars they were really nice. See peeping Tom between the trees

Image

and cropped:
Image

And after that we arrived at Crooks Corner. What a beautiful place that is and again lots of water over there!
Image

This croc decided to go for a swim, but most of them were just lazy lying down
Image

After that we had lunch at Pafuri, where we really had to defend our food against the monkeys!
The Crested Guineafowl was also present
Image

And a bit further on the road these Waterbucks
Image

We drove back on the H1, there was not much to do, beside some elephants organizing another roadblock :( and 2 elephants at Klopperfonteindrif
Image

Along the S60 this Martial Eagle enjoying the last sun of the day
Image

And then just before Punda another traffic jam. I saw lion a bit further away until Jan pointed me at the lion who was almost too close to see. A beautiful young male
Image

It was a great sighting to end this trip with.
We had another good meal in the restaurant. Really a good place, small and they serve good food!

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 Post subject: Re: A Kruger Winter Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:41 pm 
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Hi all,

Thanks again for all the comments.
Today I will post the third day of our trip.

Reynhardt: my camera is quite an 'old' one, I bought it in 2005. I think it was one of the first dslr camera's. It is a Olympus 300 with 14-45mm and 40-150 mm lenses http://www.dcviews.com/reviews/Olympus-E300/Olympus-E300-review.htm.
It is a good camera, but for wildlife photography I would like to have a larger zoom lens. Unfortunately the new Olympus zoom lens (70-300mm) I wanted to buy isn't compatible, so maybe I will look for another camera.

Ok, I will start uploading.........

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 Post subject: Re: A Kruger Winter Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:08 pm 
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July 21th

Today we will drive to Shingwedzi, not too far, so we have plenty of time to start the day with the S99 loop. It is a sunny day and on our way we see Steenbok, an African Fisheagle, impala en then we meet this fellow. I think this Njala looks amazing. Give him a briefcase and I can imagine him as a civil servant!

Image
and oops... an other car on the road?!

A bit further on the road we saw (I think) Sharpe's Grysbok. I don't think I have ever seen one before.

Image

Image

and then another Njala
Image

And again we are very much enjoying the landscape
Image

we came along this fellow in the morning sun.
Image

We also saw a large herd of buffalo, but the pictures are not worth showing. I think I didn't connect this year with the buffalo. No nice pictures and can you imagine: later in our holidays, in Hluhluwe- Umfolozi (3 minutes after arriving!!!), a buffalo came running into our car, leaving us with a considerably damaged (rent a) car :huh: . I mean then there was a connection, but obviously not the one I imagined.

Back in Punda we learned that we had missed a lion near the road, but when we left for Shingwedzi she was so nice to come and meet us
Image

On our way to Babalala we saw some steenbok, warthog and buffalo, but overall it was very quiet.
At Babalala there were plenty of Yellow-billed Hornbills
Image

and this Laughing Dove tempted me to take his picture
Image

We took the S 56 and S57 and then the H1-7 again. At Boyela we saw some zebras and elephants and later on this Pearl Spotted Owl
Image

and then this conjoined twins! :shock:
Image

ok, it was just a normal Giraf
Image

And there WE are, between the lines, on the bridge over the Shingwedzi River (river???, :( )
Image

We checked in at Shingwedzi and decided to go to the Kanniedooddam. Fortunately there was water!
Image

We saw a Great Egret floating by, it appeared to stand on a hippo. I will try later if I can upload a video, it is really funny to see it floating.

A bit further on the road this Hippo family
Image

and to end the day: some large and some small legs
Image

this cute little elephant
Image

We had a great day again :dance:

And tomorrow, we will see our first albino...........

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 Post subject: Re: A Kruger Winter Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:47 pm 
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Hi all,

Once again, thanks for the comments.
There will be a 2 week break in my report because I'm so lucky to go to New England (USA) the next 11 days. My husband has to attend a workshop for 2 days in Boston and before that we will make a New England-trip :dance:

So for now I will give you a preview of day 4 of our Kruger trip and I will continue when I'm back!

We saw an albino-impala! Amazing!
Image

and caught a Baboon in a very intimate moment :redface: :wink:

Image

See you all in November!
Margriet

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 Post subject: Re: A Kruger Winter Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:18 pm 
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Hi all,

I'm back from the USA, we had a great trip. Lots of autumn colors over there. So that was, after Kruger, the second time this year. And now back in Belgium, I am enjoying autumn here. :)
Not much animals though, except for lots of squirls. I was looking forward to see moose and with some luck a black bear, but it wasn't to be.

Thanks again for your comments.
And AWB: I love to see the animals in there environment, it is so special, so I often try to make pictures of both, or make the mix.

Ok, I will start uploading day 4, hope to post it today or tomorrow.

Margriet

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 Post subject: Re: A Kruger Winter Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:35 pm 
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Hi all,

With a bit of a delay: day 4

July 22

Again a wonderful blue sky. We decided to take the S50 to Mopani for lunch and then the H1-6 to Letaba. A day full of baboons and elefants

The elefants already came back from there morningbath in the Kanniedooddam

Image

and the one that stayed behind appeared huge in backlight

Image

Then we came across a group of impala with an albino between them.

Image'

and at the other site of the road (you can see by the light) these two in the morningsun

Image

Then 3 times in a row there were large groups of baboons in the loops near the Shingwedzi river, doing all the things one does in the morning:

fitness

Image

having breakfast at a quiet spot

Image

gossiping

Image

and of course another sort of morningfitness :redface:

Image

the last one sitting near the Nyawutsiskuiling, what a beautiful spot!

Image

We saw many tracks in the sand

Image

and this African Fish-eagle on the look-out

Image

We went up to the Shibavantsengele-uitkyk and could see the elefants far below

Image

and this Red-crested Korhaan near the road

Image

This Ellie came a bit close
Image

We saw our first Wildebeest far away in the field, and these Kudu a lot closer

Image

Then at Mooiplaas WH our first Ostrich

Image

and 2 Zebras
Image

After that we reached Mopani and had an early lunch at the terrace. I love it there. What a view they have!

Image

I will continue later today. Last week I didn't notice that I was logged out at one moment, so when I wanted to submit the report, it disappeared! :evil:
So forewarned is forearmed: I will now post the morning!

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 Post subject: Re: A Kruger Winter Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:41 pm 
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July 22 the afternoon

After lunch we first drove to the Pioneerdam, there wasn't much to see, except for some turtles and a hippo near the bridge to the Shipandaniskuiling

Image

At the riverloop south of Mopani we saw 6 girafs, it was really nice to be able to look one in the eyes!

Image

Image

On our way south we saw lots of elefants; here is a large herd at Malopenyana WH

Image

I really love the little ones:

Image

When we arrived at Letaba we got a very nice bungalow, just near the fence and the restaurant

Image

A good restaurant with a very enthusiastic waitress! We enjoyed our dinner and breakfast there.

and the sunset was beautiful again!

Image

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 Post subject: Re: A Kruger Winter Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 5:30 pm 
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July 23

A sunny sky again. We decided to drive to the Longwe-uitsig before breakfast. There weren't much animals on (or near) the road. Except for this beautiful Waterbok

Image

Here is a shot from the Longwe lookout, you can see the Engelhard dam

Image

and this is a picture from the bridge over the Letaba river

Image

Back at camp there was at least this cute bosbok

Image

We had breakfast at the restaurant. Futsi, the waitress was her own cheerful self.
She told us that Futsi in her language means 'girl again'. She had a big laugh when we said to her that in Dutch Futsi (foetsie) means 'disappeared'. :D

After breakfast we drove to the place where we saw an elefant carcass the evening before (no pictures, empty battery :( ))
Lots of vultures were trying to get their part of it. There must be some sort of pecking order, because several vultures were waiting (on the left) for their turn.

Image

I think this one is a Lappet-faced Vulture

Image

the wings are huge!

Image

After a hundred pictures or so :redface: we drove on and saw elefants at Nhlanganini

Image

nice dead wood

Image

and a herd of buffalo. This one was the first who allowed me to take his picture!

Image

We saw this Bateleur
Image

and reached the Elefants river. There were lots of Hippos again

Image

and this Blouaap

Image

We enjoyed the N'wamanzi-uitsig

Image

and drove to Olifants, where we had lunch at the terrace of our bungalow (88).

And this was the view :)

Image


Ok, I will be back later with our after - lunch drive.

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 Post subject: Re: A Kruger Winter Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:21 pm 
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July 23rd

After lunch we took de S44, but before that we went to the lookout in the camp

Image

Except for 7 Giraffes there wasn't an animal on the road! But there was the landscape again! Here is the Olifants lookout, with the red rocks

Image

S44, S93 ......... nothing on the road only a few Go-away birds in the tree (I'm glad they were there and didn't go away :D )

Image

Back at Olifants we decided to take the S92 to the river, maybe, with some luck ....
And fortunately there were elefants in the river

Image

A pair of Kori Bustards passed by, but didn't want me to take their picture.
And just before sunset: 3 Zebras

Image

Back at Olifants we had dinner in the cafetaria (the restaurant was still closed). What a disappointment that was. A very long waitingtime after we ordered, then the wrong meals were served, no drinks etc. :evil:

And then after dinner suddenly the wind was up and we had a real storm that night. It was really great hearing the wind blow around the bungalow on the hill!!

Tomorrow we will go to Satara. Another great day, with lots of sightings.
I will try to start uploading this week.

Margriet

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 Post subject: Re: A Kruger Winter Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:57 pm 
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july 24th

NO sun :huh: and still storming!

After our last night experience in the cafetaria we decided to have breakfast on the way. We took the S9, S90 and S89 and had our yoghurts at Goedgegun WH. Then took the H1-4 and S127 to Timbavati (lunch) and continued via the S40 and H7 to Satara.

Great day with lots of animals.

Starting with some elefants, running in the storm, near the turn to S92
Image

and then impala walking along the road (usually they are crossing the road)

Image

and nearby an African Fisheagle

Image

What a beautiful spot is the bridge near Balule!! We saw 4 Fisheagles, a Giant Kingfisher

Image

and a large group of impala.

Image

Further on the road a Giraffe and our first Rhino, running so fast, I couldn't capture it on the photo :?

Image.

At Goedgegun WH we saw giraffe, zebra and waterbuck and back at the H1-4
these cute baby giraffe and its mother

Image

Image

Near one of the Ngotso WH's a Lilac-breasted Roller, which was trying to straighten its feathers

Image

but did not manage due to the storm

Image

And a little further on the road our second and third Rhino!

Image

and next to them zebra and wildebeest

Image

On the S127 a very large group of impala. I think they used the group to hide for the storm

Image

and cropped:

Image

Just before Timbavati we met this guy

Image

We had a very stormy lunch at Timbavati. We really had to hold on to everything we tried to put on the table :roll:
But it was a very nice spot with impala and bushbuck walking around us.

I will upload the afterlunch part later today!

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 Post subject: Re: A Kruger Winter Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:15 am 
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july 24th afternoon

After lunch we drove to the Ratelpan hide and saw a pied kingfisher

Image

and this sitting :o white stork, which wasn't bothered at all by the crocs!

Image

From the hide we had a great look at the Timbavati river

Image

Near the Ratelpan WH we saw this 'fairy tree'

Image

We drove south via the S40 and saw several steenbok

Image

and some large termite hills

Image

There were lots of impala and Waterbuck at Nsemanidam and it became rather busy along the H7 towards Satara

First these warthogs
Image

then zebra

Image

and a Kori Bustard

Image

and finally a family of giraffes

Image

After having checked in at Satara we took the H6, S41 and S100 loop, saw lots of wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, impala, buffalo and found this little mongoose at Sonop WH :)

Image

and elefants on the road

Image

Then finally, first time this year in KNP a leopard walking along the road, which we had to share with a dozen or so other cars, so it isn't my best picture, but it shows our first LOG!

Image

Further on the road another traffic jam, supposedly people were watching lions, well not for us this time. We didn't see anything and had to hurry back to Satara to be in camp on time.
And this time we had a nice buffet dinner in the restaurant!

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 Post subject: Re: A Kruger Winter Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:12 am 
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Hi all,

Thanks for the comments!
I'm rather busy at the moment and will try to upload the 7th day next friday.
I am a bit confused: I just discovered what we missed at the morningdrive at Satara that day: I made a picture of a hyena far away in the field, but by cropping it tonight I discovered a lion and her cub just behind the hyena!!! :shock: :? :shock:


Image

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