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 Post subject: adw's September 2010 Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:38 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
This is my story for the period Thursday 9/9/2010 to Friday 17/9/2010.
I entered the Park via Malelane Gate. As I had a caravan in tow I stuck to the tar roads all the way to Satara. Near the Kwaggaspan Waterhole I came across a gaggle of cars looking at a cheetah which had just killed an impala. I could not get a good sighting position with my rig and made the decision to move on as I could not see a thing other than bush and grass and of course I could not reverse. The trip had no further unusual sightings and as I was towing I like to get to camp asap to try get a good camping spot.
The balance of this trip report is only going to cover exciting and unusual sightings and animal inter- reactions as I am sure you will not be interested in general game sightings.
Friday 10/9. On the S32 (Orpen Dam Road) I came across a nice tusker demolishing a acacia thorn bush. I must admit he spent a long time eating the bark, roots and leaves of this tree.
Here is a pic of this nice tusker.
Image

And this pic is after the bush tree has been demolished
Image

My next sighting to report on was a young female leopard near the Vutome Dam.
I have already posted a pic of her on anotherv thread but here is a different pic of her. She was a small leopard but had really big paws. Maybe she has a lot of growing to do.
Image

That basically were my sightings for the first day. However I did manage to get a pic of the Satara Scops Owlet.
Image

Thats all for now. More to follow later.

_________________
Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


Last edited by adw on Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: adw's September 2010 Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:30 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
First of all thank you to all those posting complimentary replies.
Saturday 11/9. Came across another ellie destroying a thorn bush this time on the Timbavati Road. They certainly enjoy these bushes. This pic I have titled "Getting to the root of the problem!"

Image

The next stop was at the Ratel Pan hide and was rewarded with a herd of elephant coming down to the river for a drink. The matriarch was not allowing the herd to play in the river but stopped only for a drink. A couple of minutes it became obvious when a young bull arrived showing off his assets. The matriarch wanted nothing to do with him.

Here is the Matriarch with some of her herd
Image


And here is his Lordship displaying his assets
Image

After the Timbavati Road I went back to camp and my afternoon drive took me onto the S36. Just past the Talamati turnoff I spotted a serval crossing the road. The Fortuner which was overtaking me at the time simply roared on. I dont think he even saw it cross the road. After searching the thick undergrowth I spotted the serval sitting on his haunches.

Image

The serval was off as soon as I photographed him/her. I then drove on to the Nwaswisontso road (S125) and right were the new bridge is crossing the river I came across a Leopard which walked along the river bank. I could only photograph it from the low level bridge as it walked away from me. Not a very good photo but here it is.

In fact its a lousy photo but hey its a leopard!
Image

Thats all for now

_________________
Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


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 Post subject: Re: adw's September 2010 Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:00 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
Once again thank you all for your comments.
Sunday 12/9. Drove along the N'waswisontso (S125) first thing in the morning which proved to be fairly quiet animal wise. However I did see a Steppe Buzzard and a Martial Eagle waiting for the thermals to gather.
I have posted a pic of the Martial which highlights his mighty talons.

Image

The S36 proved a bit more rewarding with a sighting of 3 lions next to the road. however being the third car in line photo oppurtunities were limited.
Here is a pic of a lioness.
Image
The male lion was in a bad way with sores on his back and a serious injury to his back leg. I wont post the photo of the male as it is sad to see the King in such poor condition.

A kilometre further on encountered a massive herd of buffalo at the Lugmag Dam. The herd was on the other side of the dam but was still an impressive sight.

Image

_________________
Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


Last edited by adw on Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: adw's September 2010 Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:21 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
Later I came across this elephant who thought it would be easier to stretch than to take one step forward. At the time this pose was quite humourus.
Image

My afternoon drive found me on the S90 and at the Bangu Waterhole there were several elephant bulls drinking including a nice looking tusker.
Image

Driving back to camp I saw 2 lioness being very cautious in moving off as a elephant herd walked towards them.
Here the 2 lioness.
Image

and this is who made them move.
Image

_________________
Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


Last edited by adw on Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: adw's September 2010 Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:41 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
And also on the S90 near the Gudzane Stream I came across this hippo out of water very late in the afternoon.
Image

I will post more tomorrow

_________________
Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


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 Post subject: Re: adw's September 2010 Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 3:30 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
Thank you everyone for your kind replies.
Monday 13/9. As I was first at the gate (arrived at gate 05h00 one hour before opening) I decided to try the S100. As I was approaching the S100 I saw a pride of lions on the Tar Road and they then moved on to the S100. They were on the prowl (about 8 of them). I looked in my rear view mirror and it looked like the whole of Satara was behind me. Extremely difficult to drive and photograph at the same time and the lions were not standing still. Low light and moving lions proved a difficult situation. However I stopped the car for a second to take one photo.
Image

The lions were now moving into the bush and as there were 'dozens' of vehicles I decided to move on.
Eventually I ended up at Lugmag Dam and was entertained by the elephants. Four bulls were playing in the middle of the dam when a breeding herd of elephants arrived at the dam wall for a drink. The bulls decided this was a good time to go chat up the ladies. In the photo you can see the bulls extending their trunks to 'chat' to the ladies.
Image

Again the matriarch was having none of the bulls attention and led her herd off. A couple of the bulls followed the herd and the matriarch turned around and with loud trumpeting charged the bulls. The bulls decided it was more fun to go back and play in the water.
My afternoon drive took me to the S90 were I photographed a pair of zebra mutually scratching each others back.
Image

I also came across several ostriches on my trip and their is no doubt in my mind there are more ostriches in this area than there ever was.
Image

_________________
Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


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 Post subject: Re: adw's September 2010 Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 3:54 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
My final sighting for the day were several white rhino's on the S90 and H1-4.
Here is the one I saw on the S90.
Image

Tuesday 14/9. The morning drive proved relatively quiet with only general game sighted. At the Vutome dam a lone buffalo bull arrived for a drink as I waited under the tree on the dam wall. He was very skittish and I had to drive around the dam wall (on the road of course) to get a photo of him.
Image

I had done a fair amount of driving so I was pleased to come across a pride of lions early on my afternoon frive on the S41 (Gudzane Road). I stayed with these 2 males from 14hoo to 17h15. They hardly moved. ( The rest of the pride was on the opposite side of the road and surprisingly there were never more than 6 cars around.)
Brotherly love.
Image

and here is one in an very unroyal pose.
Image

I will continue my report this evening and a big thank you for all your replies.

_________________
Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


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 Post subject: Re: adw's September 2010 Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:44 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
Thanks A-M and Micetta. In response to your question of what I did this whole time was to wait for the perfect lion picture. That is I wanted to photograph the Lion yawn showing off their teeth and palate. And guess what. They did not yawn once!
Fortunately I had my flask of tea and packet of rusks to see me through the afternoon. I can tell you I was pleased to get to the toilet at Satara just before closing time. Phew!!!

_________________
Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


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 Post subject: Re: adw's September 2010 Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:13 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
Thursday 16/9. I decided to try the S100 as I was again first at the gate. Halfway on the S100 I came across a single male lion. As he was a good 100 or so metres in it is not a good enough pic to post.
Later in the morning found me again at the Vutome dam. A couple of giraffe came down to drink. Interestingly when each giraffe drang the other acted as sentry.
Image

After completing the Vutome road I drove the Nwaswisontso road which proved to be rather quiet. I then decided to drive down to Tshokwane for a wors roll and on the way came across a traffic jam. Leopard in the tree. Well camouflaged and after taking a photo to prove I had seen my third leopard I decided I did not want to be part of this major traffic jam. (The photo is not worthwhile posting). I threaded my way through the traffic jam and decided to try the small S86 loop. This proved to be a good decision. I have travelled this road many,many,many times and have never seen any cat on this road. Halfway (approx 2 km's) in I came across a mating pair of lions.
I was the only car around. I managed to get right up to them without them moving off. The male was extremely aggressive and kept growling at me. I dont mind admitting I was nervous as I had switched the car off and as a result the electric windows do not work. I dared not put my head out of the window as I felt it was too risky. He kept growling at me the whole time. I still managed to get a number of photo's before another vehicle arrived and the lions moved off into the river bed.
Image
And here is another pic
Image

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Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


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 Post subject: Re: adw's September 2010 Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:49 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
Thanks Katja. Yes I suppose I did disturb them.
And now for my final full day in the park.
Friday 17/9.
I tried the H1-4 first thing in the morning and found it rather quiet. I decided to double back and try the S37 (Trichardt Road). This Tawney Eagle was photographed near the Sweni Bird Hide. Excuse the background but it was an overcast day.
Image

After about 12kms on the S37 I came across this magnificent animal with his recent buffalo kill.
Image
To me this looked like an oppurtunistic kill as the lion was not eating his kill nor did he attempt to but just guarded the kill from the lurking scavengers.

After a while I moved on and came across these 2 ellies crossing my path.
Image

Later on the S35 I came across the elephant who had pushed the tree over in my report for the 11/9. This time he was grazing. Here he is with a bushel in his mouth.

Image

After breakfast at Tshokwane I tried the S34 (the road right next to Tshokwane)
I came across this large elephant with a deformed ear and large eyes.
Image

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Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


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 Post subject: Re: adw's September 2010 Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:56 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
This is my last photo for my trip. It was an elephant charge not to be forgotten!
Image

The cheeky thing. Came with a trumpet and all.
Finally I would like to thank all of you who posted replies. It was really great interacting with you on cyberspace. Long Live Kruger!

_________________
Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


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 Post subject: Re: adw's September 2010 Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:25 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
Thank you all for your compliments. I really enjoyed reliving my trip with you all and cannot wait for November when I go to Satara again.

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Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


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