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 Post subject: Robbie A Photographic TR.. Mopani to Punda Maria.. Jan 2011
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:39 pm 
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I realise the purpose of a TR is to share one's experiences during a particular trip but since I am a photographer and not a writer, I have chosen to create my TR of my sightings in photographic form.. If there are any objections, please let me know..

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 Post subject: Re: Photographic TR.. Mopani to Punda Maria.. Jan 2011
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:15 pm 
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We entered the park at Phalaborwa after spending the previous night at a B&B trcommended by a forum member.. what a pleasure our hosts were..

It was late morning and I timed our drive up to Mopani to arrive after the ridiculous new check in time of 2pm..driving in the heat of the day at 40 deg when all the animals shelter in the shade.. Not much was seen on our drive up..

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After a painless check in we unpacked, the kids had a quick cooling down swim and my son discovered the nest of the Paradise Fly Catcher..

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Then off on a quick drive before the gates closed..

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The sunset wasn't that dramatic but still nice..

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 Post subject: Re: Photographic TR.. Mopani to Punda Maria.. Jan 2011
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:33 pm 
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From my images you might notice that I am primarily a birder so this is where my images take me..

Up early to leave at 4.30 the next morning.. headed for the S143..

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Then back to the camp to chill in the heat of the day..

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 Post subject: Re: Photographic TR.. Mopani to Punda Maria.. Jan 2011
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:29 am 
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Thank you everybody for your kind comments... they are much appreciated..

The afternoon trip we headed out on the S49 loop. Didn't see too much other than some ellies in the distance and the same herd of buffalo from the morning. Also spent some time following a Kori Bustard and allowing my SO to practice her photography skills capturing it.

Up early again the next morning and headed up the S142... WOW, the bush was thick all along this route and eventhough we were only doing about 10kmh, we saw very little. Quite a few cars came flying past us signifying to us that they were also a little bored of seeing nothing. I did manage one or two birds though.

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Returning to the camp to chill from the heat of the day. Thousands of Mopani worms all over so fired off a few shots at them.

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Later the afternoon (was gonna say when the heat subsided but it hadn't) we headed out to Mooiplaas watering hole for the rest of the afternoon..

Came across a large herd of Buffalo..

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Sunset again not too spectacular..

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 Post subject: Re: Photographic TR.. Mopani to Punda Maria.. Jan 2011
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:45 pm 
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Thank you Shafira and Duke.. :) :) :)

Attended the conservation talk by Brian Jones from the Mohololholo Rehab Centre the evening in the conerence hall at Mopani.. A very very interesting presentation... was blown away by the information about the distances that Vultures and Brown Hyenas travel..

They had a tame cheetah with some rehabilitated birds of prey.. the audience was allowed to stroke the cheetah after the presentation.. a great experience..

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My SO could unfortunately not walk without crutches to touch the cheetah so after most of the audience had left, the cheetah was brought to her.. how considerate of the guys..

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On returning to the chalet I looked up into the roof and captured this guy..

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 Post subject: Re: Photographic TR.. Mopani to Punda Maria.. Jan 2011
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:25 pm 
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You are all far too kind with your comments but I must say that it is a pleasure to me if someone enjoys looking at my work.. :) :) :)

To carry on, the next morning slept a little later so that we could pack up and be on our way up to Shingwedsi.. The drive not so far and to only book in after 2pm meant that we were gonna be driving through the heat of the day.. When we woke it was overcast so I was slightly relieved at this.. we were breakfasted, packed and on our way at about 7.30am. (yes, I know this is very late in Kruger terms)

We headed off past Mooiplaas and up on the S143.. as we proceeded up around the corner just past the Mooiplaas waterhole we were confronted by this massive elephant bull who was walking down the middle of the road at quite a speed... well reversing with a trailer at speed not so easy so did a risky U turn, hoping that there were no big holes in the curb of the road... it all happened so quickly that it must of been quite a sight for any onlooker (luckily there were none).. didn't have time to shoot any images either... anyway, eventually the ellie wandered off into the bush and I could turn around and start off on our trip again... shew!!!

Came across these guys on the way up..

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 Post subject: Re: Photographic TR.. Mopani to Punda Maria.. Jan 2011
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:43 pm 
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Came across the Saddle-Billed Stork on the hunt and literally 1 second after I fired the shutter, it was gone!!!

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The hippos were quite restful and not doing much but did occasionally give a snort and a yawn.. not facing me unfortunately..

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 Post subject: Re: Photographic TR.. Mopani to Punda Maria.. Jan 2011
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:08 pm 
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It really is so kind of you all reading/looking at my TR and leaving your positive comments.. it really is appreciated..

On the subject of the saddle-billed stork, I saw several during this trip and have always managed to see them whenever I visit KNP.. I know they are endangered but I have always wondered why...

Well we arrived at my favourite "large" camp in the park... I'm sure plenty of you recognise this image..

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Well no afternoon would be complete if I didn't cross the low bridge at least a few times to watch the crocs lying with their mouths open and the water pouring through their jawfulls of teeth so that any fish would just be snapped up, nor the opportunistic herons, hamerkops and other avian varieties... I have many images from previous trips so didn't shoot to many on this trip...

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 Post subject: Re: Photographic TR.. Mopani to Punda Maria.. Jan 2011
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:12 pm 
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A few more from the bridge..

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 Post subject: Re: Photographic TR.. Mopani to Punda Maria.. Jan 2011
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:31 pm 
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Up early to leave the camp at 4.30am.. will tell you it's tradition to get to the gate about 15-20 mins early and then to have a quick cuppa coffee and rusk to get us on our way.. (am sure many have similar traditions)

Headed south on the tar road and then hung right on the first dirt road to red rocks.. early morning delivered no predators like we were hoping for and the first hour was reasonably quiet.. a few impala, zebra and waterbuck but left us with some thoughts as to why we left our comfy beds.. haha..

First image of the day was the Eagle Owl.. It was pretty far away so the 500mm plus 1.4X TC was employed and still had to make a large crop.. sorry for the poor quality..

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Some of the morning sightings..

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Red Rocks..

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 Post subject: Re: Photographic TR.. Mopani to Punda Maria.. Jan 2011
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:36 pm 
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Image

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 Post subject: Re: Photographic TR.. Mopani to Punda Maria.. Jan 2011
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:40 pm 
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A rather tatty looking European Roller?
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Returning to camp I could not believe my eyes... I go to the Park to get away fron civilization... no TV, no radio, no outside world... but low and behold, just a few chalets from me, a guest had brought his own entertainment.. ie TV and Satellite Dish... new use for the braai.. satellite dish holder??

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 Post subject: Re: Photographic TR.. Mopani to Punda Maria.. Jan 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:39 pm 
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Eugene123 - thank you.. glad you enjoy my images..

Flutterby - thank you for your kind comments..

Bushbaby30 - never realised there were so many of you... :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I use a Sony A900 and a Sony A500. Lenses vary according to the situation but mainly 500mm F4.5, 70-200mm F2.8, 70-400 F4.5/5.6, 24-70mm F2.8.

The afternoon drive was quite nice.. the dirt road from the camp down to Kanniedood dam.. firstly a snake across the road that seem to be waiting to ambush it's prey..

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The snake lay still for about 20 mins then is a flash of speed turned around and sped off..

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All the normal animals along the route, Impala, waterbuck, baboons... and then hiding half way up the embankment, this little guy..

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 Post subject: Re: Photographic TR.. Mopani to Punda Maria.. Jan 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:46 pm 
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Back at the low level bridge..

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The crocs waiting for their easy meal..

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 Post subject: Re: Photographic TR.. Mopani to Punda Maria.. Jan 2011
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:57 pm 
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Katja - Not a puffadder but a python

Duke - Was very strange behaviour from the python, for it to lie so absolutely still for so long, it's back arched in the shape of a triangle and then to just move off like that..

fee - what is it that you need help with?

Crested Barbet - you not the only one who would like to be back there!!!

Anne-Marie - maybe the road was warming the snake!! :)

Flutterby - the bridge is just outside Shingwedzi camp..

Well to carry on my TR, we left the next morning..our next stop would be Sirheni, another favourite of ours.... we proceeded up the tar road and had hardly gone over the main bridge just outside Shingwedzi when we saw some movement in the undergrowth.. low and behold, 2 male lions.. couldn't really get any decent shots due to the vegetation.. this the best one..

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Wasn't too long before some cars had gathered and the lions got a bit agitated at the normal crazy behaviour of idiots at a lion sighting. The lions stood up and wandered into the thick undergrowth..

Heading up the road we came across a herd of elephants grazing next to the road and one large female standing across the road. A group of cars had gathered and the idiots had alighted from their cars to get a better look..

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Wasn't long after and a parks vehicle arrived, revved their engine, got the elephant to move and weaved through the traffic jam.. not a word to them about their behaviour...

Stopped at Babalala picnic spot.. was a bit early so noone else there buy we enjoyed our coffee and rusks...

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