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 Post subject: BushFairy-Shimmering Days and Sparkling Nights-KNP Oct 2010
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:59 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Grahamstown, Eastern Cape
Hello all you lovely forumers! Image

I am not going to KNP for another 3 months (sadlyImage), BUT my parents are there at the moment and I am in constant contact with them! They have been to the park too many times to count and this year is the first year (since I was born) that they have abandoned me and taken friends from the USA instead Image
I have been itching to write a TR, so I'm going to do one on their behalf once they are back (with little updates along the way)

Their itinerary is:
2,3,4 - Lower Sabie
5,6,7,8 - Satara
9,10 - Biyamiti
and leaving the park on the 11

Anyway, after only two full days in the park their sightings have been fantastic and simply MAGICAL! So I've told my mom to keep a mini-journal and take lots of photo's (which is a given seeing as though they are both keen photographers) so that I can write a TR when they get back and share all the magic with you all!!

Here are just a few little highlights of their trip so far (only two days in....)
Image
- over 100 bird species ticked off
- a group of 8 big crocs feeding on a dead buff in the sabie river
- 12 wild dogs chasing three hyena
- over 55 lions in just two days
- giant eagle owls serenading each other along the salitjie road
- 2 porcupines scuffling around together
- 3 honey badgers together
- 4 big male lions calling and walking down the road together
- and my mommy was mock-charged by a cheeky little water monitor lizard in LS (which I found hilarious and she found extremely distressing!!) hahaha!!Image - sorry that's my wicked sense of humour, otherwise known as my alter ego, she comes out every now and again, especially when I'm extremely JEALOUS!!

..........and lots more!!

I will give you all little updates when I speak to them, but will turn it into a proper story once they are back! Image

Enjoy............ Image

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Study nature, Love nature, Stay close to nature. It will never fail you!


Last edited by BushFairy on Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Shimmering Days and Sparkling Nights - The Magic of KNP
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:14 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Grahamstown, Eastern Cape
Hello everyone!

Quick update: My parents are moving from LS to Satara today, but gloomy weather so not very good lighting for photo's! Have seen most of the usual species so far, but no leopard yet! Doing the S100, Gudzani Dam and H6 this afternoon, and it's starting to clear a bit, so things should hopefully improve!

Will let you all know this evening!

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Study nature, Love nature, Stay close to nature. It will never fail you!


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 Post subject: Re: Shimmering Days and Sparkling Nights - The Magic of KNP
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:47 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Grahamstown, Eastern Cape
QUICK LITTLE UPDATE: Image
They arrived at Satara at 12:30, and having driven all the way from LS had hoped that they would be able to check in....but were unsuccessful in their attempts....!!! Luckily today is rather cool so they didn't kick up too much of a fuss and decided to go and try out the S100 - drive up and then drive back and check in. They didn't expect to see much seeing as though it was the middle of the day!

Anyways, as luck would have it, they saw...... a leopard (no pics, apparently it was a young male in a tree with a kill next to the road, but he was obviously startled by them and darted down the tree and into the river bed before they could snap him up - they will look for him later); a beautiful pair of lions mating next to the road; LOTS of general game; and were able to tick off another 12 bird species - the river is apparently rather full for this time of the year so the birds and general game along the S100 are full up! They got back just after 2, checked into their perimeter chalets and are now heading out to do the S100/Gudzani drive AGAIN!

P.S. Thanks for joining us MIKE Image

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 Post subject: Re: Shimmering Days and Sparkling Nights - The Magic of KNP
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 6:01 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Grahamstown, Eastern Cape
NEXT UPDATE
They took the H6 - Gudzani - S100 - Satara option and saw the Big5 in about 45min which means a good leopard sighting at last! My moms mission this evening: to photograph as many Scops Owls as possible!!

P.S. she also got some great pics of Thick-tailed Bushbaby on their first night!!

Can't wait for this pics!!!!

Will let you all know what happens tomorrow
xx

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Study nature, Love nature, Stay close to nature. It will never fail you!


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 Post subject: Re: Shimmering Days and Sparkling Nights - The Magic of KNP
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:46 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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HelloOOoo moggiedog!! Great to have you here Image

SOME BACKGROUND INFO ON TOMORROWS ACTIVITIES
My parents have booked and paid for the Mananga 4 x 4 Adventure Trail (YAY!!). So, they'll be up and out of the camp by 5:30 and will start by driving along the S100 (like we do every single morning when we stay at Satara) and then check on the Gudzani Dam (this is our lucky spot cat spot, apart from the big cats, we've also seen serval and caracal there). By then it should be about 7am (the earliest you can start the 4x4 trail) so they will start from the eastern entrance - after much convincing by my dad, with weather forecast evidence he managed to convince the very kind Satara reception to allow him to book and pay this evening rather than driving all the way back to camp tomorrow morning to do it! Well done to the Satara staff, you guys are awesome!!!

Will let you all know if the MANANGA TRAIL is worth it or not by lunch time tomorrow!Image

P.S. my mommy has managed to photograph two scopsies so far on her evening mission!

Image

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Study nature, Love nature, Stay close to nature. It will never fail you!


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 Post subject: Re: Shimmering Days and Sparkling Nights - The Magic of KNP
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:38 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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TODAY'S UPDATE:
As you all know today was the day of the Mananga Trail.... but unfortunately, that only lasted about and hour and a half before it started raining (yes Shi, more rain today, just drizzle, but enough to ruin a trail). The rules clearly state that no matter how soft the rain is you are not allowed to be on the trail - LAME!! But anyways, the short time that they were on the trail was rewarding enough. They saw two martial eagles; two bull hippos having a serious tussle on land - they heard the loud roaring of the hippos and stopped because they got such a fright, apparently one was quite badly injured!; a cheetah (which was a bit far for good pics, but at least they saw one); some good rhino sightings and a mommy with a teeny-tiny baby and then good general game. The gloomy weather ruined good photo ops and sightings this morning, so they went back to camp to have breakfast and have a rest, luckily it started to clear up a bit after lunch. I'm sure you all know how lovely lighting is for photography after rain?? So this afternoon was great!! They sat with one of those huge 500+ herds of buffs moving across the road, with youngsters mucking around, etc. so they promised that this mornings poor photography was made up for this afternoon!! Tomorrows weather forecasts gloomy weather again so they are going up to Letaba to try their luck up that way and to show their US friends the elephant museum - my dad LOVES the place, he can spend like three hours there!! My mom is on her usual owl mission this evening so we will see what she can find!!

Have a lovely evening everyone!! Will give you some more updates tomorrow!!
xx

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Study nature, Love nature, Stay close to nature. It will never fail you!


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 Post subject: Re: Shimmering Days and Sparkling Nights - The Magic of KNP
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:12 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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TODAY'S UPDATE - FANTASTIC
Hello everyone!! So yesterday was a rather slow day and they spent most of the day in Letaba looking at the museum and birding in the actual camp!

BUT TODAY!!!!!!! :shock: They set out at first light to conquer the Timbavati (one of our favourite roads in the park!), as they hit the start of the road they saw two cheetah ambling off in the distance (no nice photo's :( ), they started to think that their luck was changing seeing as they the good photo ops had basically come to a standstill for two days! Anyway, after a bit of complaining by my daddy about how luck had definately abandoned them, they went around a corner to see three big male lions walking towards them. They spent some time photographing them, watching their interactions and listening to them calling and stating their dominance. Eventually the lions moved off and so did my parents. Now it was time for some great birding, pearlspotted owlet, redfronted tinkerbarbet, ground hornbills, brown-headed parrots, etc. (will give you all a better list once they are back :thumbs_up: ). Not long after the last three male lions they came across a pride of lions hunting at a waterhole. They did not spot the actual lions straight away, but rather stopped because they sensed something fishy by the behaviour of the zebra that were trying to have a sip or two of water. They stopped and then noticed the lionesses scattered around the waterhole. They spent a good amount of time watching the pride try and try again to catch breakfast, but to no avail and the lionesses eventually gave up and went to have a drink of water themselves.

It was then rhino session, with my mom saying that they saw rhino every three minutes for the next hour (but she apparently exaggerated a bot - according to my dad - but only slightly!!) :lol: Once they finished the Timbavati with lovely general game sightings too, they decided that it was time to head back to camp - but not without driving up and down the S100 first (standard issue in our family) - WHAT A CLEVER DECISION. They found a male leopard lying in the reeds next to a patch of water in the river bed with some unaware impala ambling down towards it. So they stayed and they watched and they enjoyed!! The impala finally made their way down to the water, and they leopard (as in the case of the lions) tried and tried again to catch one, but apparently it had an injured left paw, this was an amazing photographic opportunity and my mom says that she got some of the best leopard photo's she has ever taken (YAY!! CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THEM!!).

So another great day in paradise, I can't wait to hear what they see this afternoon, apparently it's another S100-Gudzani-H6 day!!!

Will let you all know again soon
xx

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Study nature, Love nature, Stay close to nature. It will never fail you!


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 Post subject: Re: Shimmering Days and Sparkling Nights - The Magic of KNP
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:12 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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NEXT UPDATE
Young leopard in tree [LIT] about 12km from Satara just after lunch :D

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 Post subject: Re: Shimmering Days and Sparkling Nights - The Magic of KNP
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:26 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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FORGOT TO TELL YOU ALL!
I forgot to tell you all that of their many rhino sighting four were Black Rhino :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Shimmering Days and Sparkling Nights - The Magic of KNP
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:41 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Grahamstown, Eastern Cape
Micetta wrote:
Only two leopards and only 4 black rhinos :naughty: :tongue:

:lol: :lol: :lol:

@ Bushbuddies - you have your doubts, I have my doubts too!! haha!! just jokes, I doubt my parents would put me through all this trauma for nothing!! I'm also anxious to see those pics :wink:

@ Theuns - :lol: :lol: :lol: Thanks for making me feel better, then worse, then slightly better again!! :lol: :lol: :lol: Thanks for popping around, great to have you here!!

@ fee - Thanks for the support fee, you're an angel!! I will get the proper TR going as soon as they are back (I'm going home next weekend to get the evidence :tongue: )

@ Katja - Thanks for your continued support :thumbs_up:

@ p@m - haha!! I'm sure if your daughter feels the same way that I do about Kruger then she would happily write a TR (we daughters get photo's and credit out of the deal, it's awesome!!)

------------------------------------------------------------------

Today was their last full day and well.....it was awesome (again :roll: ), but this one is going to be a surprise!! I will write the TR as soon as I get a chance after collecting the "evidence" next weekend :tongue:

So, you all know that I've been in intense pain (haha!), so I decided to take a break and went to Addo Elephant National Park for the day! (was up by 5:30am to get to the gate on time!). Wasn't a particularly great day - LOTS of wind, but I had some decent sightings (no predators though), but great birds!! Here are one or two pics to keep you all going till the real deal starts :thumbs_up:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

THANKS AGAIN TO EVERYONE FOR THEIR LOVELY COMMENTS
xx

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Study nature, Love nature, Stay close to nature. It will never fail you!


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 Post subject: Re: Shimmering Days and Sparkling Nights - The Magic of KNP
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:36 am 
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Award: Quiz Whiz of the Year (2013)
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Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
Catching up here, BF. Entertaining indeed: amazing cheetah-lion-leopard-rhino sightings - yep, can't wait for pics! :dance: :dance:
BTW, if that's what you call keeping us busy until the "real deal", I can't wait for the real deal!! Absolutely love the blue cranes and bokmakierie :clap: :clap: :clap:

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EVERYBODY'S TR!
TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

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 Post subject: Re: Shimmering Days and Sparkling Nights - The Magic of KNP
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:45 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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GREAT NEWS!!
My mommy is an angel and has put all the pics and her "diary" on a flashstick and has found a lift from home to Grahamstown - SO I WILL HAVE EVERYTHING BY TOMORROW OR THURSDAY!! YAY YAY YAY!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Shimmering Days and Sparkling Nights - The Magic of KNP
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 5:16 pm 
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BF, just came across your very promising TR!!!
Can not wait for the photo's and script! :thumbs_up: :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: Shimmering Days and Sparkling Nights - The Magic of KNP
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:17 am 
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DAY 1 and 2 - Home to Lydenberg

With everything all packed up and the alarm set for 3am my parents phoned to say goodnight with great excitement and anticipation for their 2 week KNP adventure... With various trademark stops along the way (such as biltong in a town in the FS, Milly's, etc.) they set off for their long journey to Lydenberg where friends have a private reserve. They would be spending two nights there before picking up their friends from the US in Nelspruit, doing some final shopping and setting off to Lower Sabie for 3 nights. I thought I'd share one or two pics of all the little critters that come and have breakfast and dinner at the camp in the reserve. The bushbaby has a family in the big tree surrounded by the deck and comes to collect food to feed them! So cute!! I know it’s not SANParks, but I had to share the pics!!

Coming in for supper!
Image
The piece of banana fell off the feeding spikes, of course my mom was happy to oblige and picked it up!
Image
One very happy bushbaby....
Image

Image

Birds having their daily fruit for breakfast....
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Image

Image

I WILL BE BACK TOMORROW EVENING WITH THEIR FIRST DAY IN THE PARK, STILL TRYING TO SORT THROUGH PICS (and find time to do some work too, exams are just around the corner :shock: )

xx

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 Post subject: Re: Shimmering Days and Sparkling Nights - The Magic of KNP
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:08 pm 
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DAY 1 - PART 1: Croc Bridge to Lower Sabie

I’m sure I don’t need to attempt to explain that fluttering feeling of excitement when you enter KNP. To me it’s like a long distance relationship where you’ve been away from your loved one for a while and he (or she) steps off the airplane - you have a strange feeling of incredible anticipation yet at the same time there is the feeling of nostalgia and you feel instantly at peace...

After entering through Crocodile Bridge, everyone placed their bets as to what species they would see first.... Unfortunately the conditions weren’t too great for photography – it was grey and gloomy :( )
Mommy – Impala (playing it safe)
Daddy – Leopard (optimist :roll:)
Tyler (US friend) – Lion (men always seem to gang together, the first one guesses a cat, so the next feels that he should too 8) )
Terry (US friend) – Zebra (this didn’t surprise me much)

But, they were all wrong, VERY WRONG!
Their first sighting was two porcupine who were sprinting through the veld (pardon the pics, but it was hazy and still a bit dark and they were really running fast!)

Image

Their next sighting was of two hyena with a buffalo skull! I wish I knew the story behind these pics and so did my parents, but interesting none the less :)

Image

Image

Dark and hazy, but some of the most beautiful scenary in the world!
Image

The sun eventually decided to be a sport and come out and play!.... and then so did the animals :wink:

Image

They then found their first good sighting of lions (they had seen 3 females earlier on, but they were a bit far away). They found this rather interesting (as do I), they sighting was of four big lions with one lioness :hmz:
1st lion and lioness
Image
2nd lion
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3rd lion - this was a rather scary looking one - I really wouldn't like to come across him in a dark alley!
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4th lion
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By now it was HOT and it was time to check into Lower Sabie....
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SO NOW IT WAS TIME FOR A NAP, EVEN THE SQUIRRELS WERE TOO HOT TO BE OUT AND ABOUT :D
Image

Other sightings that morning:
- 3 honey badgers scuffling around together
- 2 lionesses together
- a pride of lions in the Sabie River bed
- 1 side-striped jackal (we've never seen them this far south before!)

COMING UP, THE BUFF/CROC FEAST.... AND WILD DOGS!

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Study nature, Love nature, Stay close to nature. It will never fail you!


Last edited by BushFairy on Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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