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 Post subject: Anja Barnard- TR and photos-Dec 2010
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:57 pm 
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Hi every one

I have been wanting to write a trip report after our recent trip to Kruger from 16-22 December, but struggled with uploading the photos. I've never written one before but will try my best. I enjoy reading every bodies TR so decided to try one myself I'm still new to writing on the forum and hope that this is the right place to post a Kruger trip report. :doh: I'm also very Afrikaans, so please excuse my English and tenses :redface:


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 Post subject: Re: December TR and photos
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:25 pm 
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DAY 1 Thurs 16 Dec 2010

Like propably all of you, I'm also a Kruger addict and visit the park on avarage 5 times a year. Before this trip we were in the park in September for the long weekend with my parents, but I've been planning for this trip since June last year. At last the day arrived and we left home at about 4:45. (Overslept a bit) We met our two friends at Belfast Engen round about 6:30 and of we were to Phabeni :dance:

We arrived at the gate, very excited at about 8:30 and luckily the regular queues were already gone.

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We booked in with assistance of friendly staff and were of to Crocodile bridge via Skukuza and Lower Sabie for our first night. It was a bit cloudy. Our first animal, or should I say bird was a white-breasted cormorant. Our first real animal was a wharthog and then of course impies and a beautifull Bateleur, which is my favourite large bird. We found a black-bellied bustard right next to the road and then saw/heard something that I've never did before. The bird was making the strangest sound, almost as if he was having the hick-ups. I then read in my bird-guide that this was pretty normal and the sound it normally makes. :redface: :redface:

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I always enjoy this time of year going to the park for the thousands of impala babies and this year they did not disappoint. We went in at Nyamundwa dam with only a few hippos in the water. It started raining. I don't mind rain in the park due to sightings becoming bad but due to the fact that you can't see through the windows. Luckily it did not pour that hard. We only saw giraffes and a few zebbies and impies along the Phabeni road. We stopped at Lace Panic obviously. Beautiful as always with lots of birds. Saw barbels, a green-backed heron, malachite kingfisher, crocodile, no hippos and this guy:

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Also took a few nice photos of a goliath heron and jacanas (nice for what my cam can do :D )

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Our friends have never been to the Skukuza golf course so we quickly stopped there. Amazing how close to the animals you get:

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We stopped at Skukuza for a quick brunch and had the best toasted bacon and cheese samies ever.

We were of to Lower Sabie with not a lot of sightings on the H4-1. We found a few monkeys and this little one were enjoying lunch:

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Just before the high water bridge it started pouring heavily. We did not see any animals except for a monitor crossing the road. We stopped at Nkhuhlu quickly and went further. The rain stopped quickly thereafter. We found a breeding heard of ellies after the N'whatimirhi causeway and a few general sightings, impies birds etc thereafter. At Sunset, the resident hippos were around.

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Had a quick stop at LS to stock up on a few things and to check out the sightings board, since we could not decide whether to take the S28 or the tar road to CB. :hmz: We decided on the s28

Unfortunately my cam battery went down. Talking about going unprepared, I also forgot my yellow ribbon. We quickly drove over the bridge and saw a giant kingfisher. The tar road towards the S28 as well as the first part of the S28 were very quiet. At Nthandanyati, lots of water but no hippos. Still always pieceful to be there. The rest of S28 did not disappoint and we saw a lot of general game. Lots of zebbies, impies, the big ones, wildebeest, giraffes and :dance: white rhino.

Closer to the end... big herd of buffalo in the road, no camera. :wall: :big_eyes: But I then decided to relax and enjoy the sighting.

The Vurami was full of water, something that I can't remember seeing before. I thought about the lioness with 6 small cubs that we've seen there on the sand, now covered with water, about 3 years ago. Saw a lot of animals on the 4 kilometer before camp. It was so pieceful just before sunset with the Zebbies, wharthogs, wildebeeste, giraffes and impies moving around. The piece stoped just before camp when we had two zebbies fighting and kicking at each other. Seemed like a rather serious fight... no camera :wall: :wall:

Arriving at Croc bridge we booked into tent nr. 7 & 8 and looked forward to a braai and good night's sleep. Love these two tents. Although we did not see any cats (or dogs :lol: ) today it was great to be back in the park and looked forward to the next day. One or two hyenas were patrolling the fence while sitting around the fire having a glass of wine. Please excuse photo quality.

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 Post subject: Re: December TR and photos
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:33 pm 
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DAY 2 - Friday 17 December

The hyenas were calling the whole night and even continued through early daylight. They were actually keeping us out of sleep... not that I mind that kind of "keeping me out of sleep". We left CB at 5:30 only since we had to pack of every thing. We were sleeping in LS the next to nights. The first n2 kilometres, lots of zebbies, wharthogs, giraffes, impies and wildebeest again. Just after the S25 turn-off , we found a traffic jam. Last year December after leaving croc bridge early morning we found a pride of lions on the exact same spot and I could not help guessing that they were responsible for the traffic jam this morning again.




Indeed they were... :dance: :dance: :dance:

I could not get very nice photos though, but at least some proof. :cam:

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One of the lionesses had a collar around her neck.

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There were young males amoungst them. I wonder whether they could be some of those 6 very small cubs we've seen in the same area June 2008. We watched them for about 45 minutes and continued. On the Vurami bridge we found this rhino and great white heron.

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Also saw a hyeana walking at gezantfombi from the bridge. We decided to take the S28 again after the previous afternoon's good sightings with general game. Saw impalas and wharthogs and then found this guy relaxing in bath


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The rest of the S28, lots of zebbies and giraffes. This morning I had a fully charged camera... no buffalos close enough to take pictures. We found 2 large herds of buffalo on the S28 that morning but they were quite far. Also found saddle-billed stork and lots and lots of European rollers.

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We went to Nhlanganzwani and there's still no water. Found impies and a fish eagle. Between Hlanganzwani and Nthandanyati a very large elephant bull crossed the road. While watching the elephant crossing the road behind us, a white rhino crossed in front of us. :D Unfortunately, a bit difficult to get a picture of that.

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We decided to have coffee at Nthandanyati and see if the hippos were there this morning.

A few hippos were around and some impalas were considering having a drink, but decided against it. Felt very sorry for them, must be hard if drinking water is such a stressful event. A troop of baboons were less scared. I just love Nthandanyati. We had coffee and beskuit and left for Lower Sabie.

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Between the hide and the tar road, like the previous afternoon we saw nothing. Also on the tar road to LS just a few hippos in the river.

At Lower Sabie, we decided to park our friends' vehicle under a tree since we could not book in yet and wanted to have brunch at Mlondozi, tired of driving with two vehicles. Packed most of our luggage over to their car. :shock: :shock: It was very hot. No clouds, no rain that day. Just a very very hot sun shining. At the shop, a friend of Riaan working as a Safari guide from Croc bridge informed us about a black rhino sighting at the southern turn-off of the S82 Mativuhlungu road. We did not think that it 'll be there anymore and took the S29 to Mlondozi hoping to maybe find Will and Harry. But nothing. Saw birds and a few elephants in the distance.

At Mlondozi our friends fixed up a lovely brunch with the previous night's left over steak, bacon and cheese grillers, and mushrooms, tomato, eggs and muffins. :shock: Always pick up a kilo or 4 in Kruger.

There were a few ellies, waterbuck and giraffes around the dam. John, the staff member working there said that the cheetahs often come for a drink and lions are also often seen. This mother and baby were enjoying the sunshine and fresh summer grass.

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On our way back to Lower Sabie we only saw a few giraffes. Could not wait to arrive at camp and cool of in the swimming pool.

We booked in and enjoyed the swimming pool for an hour or so. At around 16:00 we took the H4-2 to take a chance on the black rhino seen and try our luck on lions on the S82.

On the Mativuhlungu bridge just before the S28 we found a car parked. I noticed the yellow ribbon on the mirror and decided to find out who these forum members were. It turned out to be Snakies and Madleopard. Nice to meet you guys. They informed us about a leopard often seen there from the bridge before gate closing time. We decided to leave. Saw African Green Pigeons and a breeding herd of ellies crossing the road.

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At the S82 turn-off we saw a car standing still just a few metres on. We decided to first go and check. When we arrived, they started moving again. Saw nothing. They stopped again. We moved closer and then I saw movement behind a bush. Could only be buffalo or rhino. White rhino??? No at last. Black rhino. It was moving behind bushes. Could not take a photo :wall: But could definitely see that it was a black rhino. :dance: :dance:

On the S82 the bush was quite dense and we did not see much. Found this vulture

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The last 2-3 kilometres closer to Lower Sabie we found more life with lots of giraffes, zebras etc.

We arrived at camp 18:32 :shock: :shock: and stocked up on a few things at the shop. Enjoyed the beautiful sunset time on the deck.

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After lighting a fire, we cooled off in the pool and walked back along the fence. Saw a hyena, looked like a young one. The night sounds at LS is always the best.. (after Tamboti). Enjoyed a savannah / beer around the fire, dinner and after a shower... off to bed.


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 Post subject: Re: December TR and photos
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:19 pm 
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After a good night's rest, we left camp at 05:00. We planned to take the H4-1 via the H12 and H1-2 to Tshokwane.

At Sunset dam it seemed as if the animals and birds were still asleep. We watched the sun rising from the east and enjoyed the fresh air, hearing the African bush waking up.

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Between Sunset and the Nhwathimiri causeway turn-off we only saw a fish eagle, impalas and a
troop of baboons. At the Lubuye lubuye bridge we stopped for a while after hearing about a leopard being seen there often the passed days, but no luck.

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We took the Nhwathimiri causeway, but without any luck. We found a friendly guy on this road
telling us about a leopard kill he saw the previous day right before his car in the middle of the road, 10:00 in the morning. Apparantly happened close to the Nhwathimiri bridge on the tar road. :cry: :cry: Some people are so lucky :pray: :pray:

At Nkhuhlu,we stopped for coffee and beskuit and enjoyed the piece and quietness since we were
the only people there with the shop not yet open.

After Nkhuhlu, we found a bateleur, bushbuck and another troop of baboons, as well as these idiots...

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On the high water bridge-- some more baboons and hippos. Except for Nyala bulls once
and impalas, I've never seen anything else on the H12 and this time was no different.

On the H1-2 we found this monitor lizzard...

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There was more life closer to Manthimale dam with zebbies, waterbuck, impala etc. The impala
babies are just amazing..

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It was very quiet at Oliphants waterhole and found woolly-necked storks (I think, please correct me)
and steenbok at Leeupan.

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The rest of the road was also very quiet. We started feeling a bit depressed without any big five sightings. Siloweni dam was closed for cars, not sure why. :huh:

At Tshokwane, me and Riaan made brunch. We actually wanted to have brunch at Nhlanguleni, one of my favourite picnic sites, but determined that it will become too late. It was a bit cloudy that day and not as hot as the previous day.

We took the H10 back to Lower Sabie. Found impala, kudu and giraffe before the Orpen-dam turn-off.
At Orpen dam there was nothing but piece and quitness... which was enough.

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The next stop was obviously at Nkumbe... a lovely view especially in summer. Saw giraffes, zebbies, whathogs and ellies.

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The H10 felt as if we were in an elephant park. There was constantly elephants either closer or on the horizon. We found this very big herd close at the S128 (northen) turn-off.

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Also found an extremely big herd crossing the road after Muntshe. Never had so many elephant sightings ever before. About 3km after the Mlondozi dam turn-off we found a car parked. We could not see anything and asked them what they saw :huh: ..... lioness... they said "...she crossed the road and are now moving deeper in..." Damm... :sniper: If only those ellies crossing the road moved faster.... :tongue: But we saw her. She was now walking parallel with the road about 80 metres in untill she eventually disappeared.

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We were happy with our lion sighting and continued. On the Sabie bridge, we found the giant kingfisher again. The water looked very attractive and we could again not wait for the swimming pool.

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We had a quick swim today and went for a nap.

At about 16:15 we went for an afternoon drive. Decided on the S28, then right on the S137 pass Duke and back.

We first stopped at Sunset and watched the hippos. Very active this afternoon

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The tar road and S28 before Nthandanyati were rather quiet with a few impalas and birds. Still lovely to be in the bush, especially this time of day. We did not have time to stop at the hide. At Duke we found an elephant and a rhino closer to the tar road.

Back on the H4-2 -- some ellies and giraffes. Approaching the Mativuhlungu bridge we saw 3 cars standing... I wondered whether it could be the leopard Snakies and Mad Leopard were referring to the previous afternoon. We could not see anything and asked one of the cars.. Leopard!! :dance:

I used the binocs and eventually found it. It then moved a bit and was a bit more vissible. Not the best leopard sighting ever, but we were happy. :clap:

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We then had to go as we had little time before gate closing time. We found a hyena walking in
the road at the sausage trees.

Back at camp excited after our leopard sighting we went for a quick swim and started preparing our chicken "potjie". It was our friends' last night before leaving. :cry: Me and Riaan luckily still had 3 nights, each in Satara, Tamboti and Skukuza :dance: :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: December TR and photos
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:22 pm 
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DAY 4 – 19 December 2010

We left LS at about 05:45 and planned to have breakfast with our friends at Tshokwane, from where we would then go our separate ways. We decided to first drive to the Mativuhlungu bridge to see whether the leopard from the previous evening was not around.

On our way to the bridge, only impalas, hippos in the river and a fish eagle. We then arrived at the bridge and stayed there for a while, scanning the area with our binocs. Our friends, now driving with there own car informed us that they were going to Sunset dam quickly. Riaan also wanted to leave, but I insisted on staying for a little longer. After about 3-4 minutes I agreed to leaving. We were going back to LS’s side... About 300m, just around a corner we found our friends car and another car, standing still. They then signaled us to speed up. The leopard was now in the middle of the road, crossing........ Why did I want to wait? :wall: :wall: I felt so bad. :redface: According to our friends he was walking next to the road, sat down and also stood still for a long time in the road. The other car turned out to be Snakies and MadLeopard, they found the leopard. Managed to get only these pictures. :cam: I felt like crying. :cry: But at least we saw it. Would have been heartbreaking if we did not see it at all.

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We had a quick stop at Sunset and enjoyed the hippos one last time. We then took the H12 to Tshokwane. That day this road was very quiet.. Even the ellies from the day before, as big as they are, disappeared. It was quite cloudy this day. But we still enjoyed the scenery. The mountain is beautiful early morning... I’m always amazed by the lonely tree on the horizon, on the stretch after the S122 turn-off and the S128 turn-off. Has anybody ever noticed it??

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I should have actually zoomed out a bit more as the horizon without other big trees is much wider.


We also found a herd of ellies on this stretch and again listened to the funny sound of a black bellied korhaan. We stopped at Nkumbe and saw ostriches, giraffes and wharthogs. Between Nkumbe and Tshokwane it was quiet again, until 100m before Tshokwane where a herd of ellies crossed the road.

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We had a lovely breakfast / brunch at Tshokwane which we prepared ourself. Just love preparing breakfast at the picnic sites. We then had to say good buy to our friends as they were leaving the park through Kruger gate that day.

Me and Riaan were heading north to Satara with the H1-3. We saw ground horn bills and kudus and watched a “school” of baby impalas running up and down, fooling around. A warthog family with 4 kiddies also played between the impies. We found more ellies after Maziti. I always like to take the Nwaswitsontso loopie (s86), but that day... no luck on this road.

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At Kumana there were lots of bird activity (Please excuse my mention of all the bird sightings, but I’ve recently developed a like in bird watching) with grey herons, white-faced ducks, kolganse (white-fronted geese?), woodland kingfisher etc.

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On the road to Nkaya pan, we found a large herd of buffalo. We were happy to see them again and this time a bit closer... and my camera battery were charged... :clap: At the Sweni bridge, we found giraffes with one looking like it had some skin disease or something...

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At the Nwanetsi river just before the bridge we found 2 cars, who apparently saw a lioness walking far in. We waited a while but could not see anything.

Satara must be one of my top 5 camps in Kruger and it always feel special to be there. We booked in, unpacked the car and went for a quick nap.

It was still cloudy / rainy, but we decided to go for an afternoon drive at about 15:45. We wanted to do the S100, but was tempted to rather go to Girivana. We took the H7 Orpen road. There were a lot of general game around the camp as well as on the Orpen road. At Nsemani we found waterbuck, impies etc.

We took the S12 to Girivana and found a white rhino and giraffes before the dam and some zebbies and wildebeest at the dam.

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We then took the S40 back to the tar road and realised there might be some time still to have a short drive on the S100. About 1km from Girivana a guy informed us about 2 lions right next to the road about 1km from there. We were very excited and scanned the area. After about 3km, we realised we were now close to the tar road and still no lions. We thought that either they moved or the guy fooled us. :huh: :sniper: But then around the corner we found 2 cars about 150m from the tar road, close to the dam. It was a mating couple. They just laid there for about 20-30 minutes. It was a bit rainy and we had to close the windows. But we waited. Eventually the male stood up and walked towards the tar road. He stood and waited close to the road, but our view was now blocked by other cars. Eventually she also moved and they did it :redface: :roll: :wink: ....... Unfortunately, I could not get a photo. We eventually found the male walking on the tar road and the female also joined. What a lovely sighting it was...

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Unfortunately some stupid people involved again...

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We stayed with them until 18:15 and then had to leave for camp.
At camp this is what the Satara sightings board looked like for 19 December 2010 . Amazing!!

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We stocked up on a few things at the shop and then started the fire. What a lovely atmosphere this camp has at night. We took a walk along the fence to the webcam waterhole. Though we did not see any animals we saw something very special... hundreds of fireflies flying over the bush on the other side of the fence... This was so special. Tried to take a picture, but did not manage. After dinner we went to bed. When I closed my eyes, I just saw lions... lions... lions. Had a great afternoon!!! :P


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 Post subject: Re: December TR and photos
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:08 pm 
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DAY 5 Monday, 20 DEC 2010

We left Satara at 04:40 and went straight for the S100. The area produced a lot of general sightings, especially around camp... the usual wildebeest, zebras and giraffes. We watched a beautiful sunrise on the S100 and just had general sightings. Yet again, the impala babies fascinated me. Also saw this beautiful zebbie and his mom.

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We had nice sightings of the “beertjie-bokke” (waterbuck) and giraffes and a lone buffalo. Had coffee and beskuit at the river view-point loopie thingie, close to Nsasane where we had on 2 occasions before seen leopard, but no luck that day. But we enjoyed listening to a woodlands kingfisher... just love their call. :lol:

We went to Gudzani dam, where we only found impala, hippos and a fish eagle and enjoyed the wonderful view.

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We continued on the S41 north and just around the first corner found this guy. :popcorn:

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The road was very busy with general game and we had nice sightings of wildebeest, giraffes, zebra, waterbuck, elephants, kudus and warthogs. We found a herd of giraffes which seemed very alert. They all stood still, peeking into the same direction for a long time as if they were looking more to the ground at something that bugged them. But we could not see anything.

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The S90 pass Mavumbye also just produced general sightings. We found 2 male lions at Mavumbye in March last year, but no lions that day. At the end of the road.. a very large herd of buffaloes but they were quite far. We returned to Satara for diesel as we neglected to fill up the previous afternoon and 04:40 in the morning they're obviously still closed. :redface:

We took the H1-4 towards Oliphants as we were informed of two lion sightings on the road and wanted to check out the Oliphants river after the rain. Found the buffaloes again, some rhinos, elephants, jackal and general game along the road, but no lions. It was very hot again that day,with lions probably laying flat under the trees sleeping.

The olifants river was amazing. The area where we found the lions laying last September was now covered by water. Saw a yellow-billed stork.

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We made a u-turn after the bridge and took the S39 pass Roodewal. Had general sightings, a kori bustard and saddle-billed stork.

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About 6km before Piet Brobler dam, a guy stopped us and informed us about lions close the the Ratelpan hide. :dance: He mentioned that they were lying flat in grass and that there might not be cars anymore. :roll:
The dam was quite full with nice sightings of hippos and crocs closer to the hide. We drove very slowly after the hide and then found a car 300m before the Ratelpan windmill. They were looking at this. (sorry for quality)

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We stayed with the lions for about 20 minutes and continued to Timbavati where we had a quick snack. The guy staying / working there, Noel, is always an interesting guy to chat to. I asked him about the resident leopard, staying on the koppie at the picnic site who apparently killed one of the resident mother bushbuck in February, which he had told me about in March last year. He told me that he doesn’t see the leopard anymore but that the lions are often seen from the site. This picnic site is always neat and clean. We were there just after the morning rush and all the tables and chairs where already neatly arranged and cleaned.

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We went back to the lions to see if there wasn’t any movement yet but they were still just laying. We took the S40 to Girivana and found this at the dam...

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The S12 was quiet as well as the H7 towards Orpen. We booked in at Orpen around 15:00 and were of to Tamboti, tent # 14. This is what the view is like form the braai. Saw these footprints in the riverbed, but sure they are hyena.

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We didn’t take an afternoon drive as we booked a late night drive. We took a walk around camp and started a fire and enjoyed a glass of wine. Enjoyed the sunset with all the birds finding a place to sleep and settling down A hyena patrolled the fence. The neighbours informed us about a Honey Badger at their tent but it disappeared. After the braai we prepared for our drive and waited at the ablution, very excited. :dance:

Raymond (I think) from Orpen picked us up at 20:30 and off we were. Approaching the gate, we found it open, but Raymond closed it before we left. I wondered what could have slipped in there whilst he was picking us up, having a few announcements, waiting for the last people etc, the gate standing open for at least 10 minutes. :shock: :shock: :twisted:

We found a lot of general game at the tar-road T-junction and a family of jackal with very small pups. :o We took the tar road towards Satara. Had some nocturnal animals including genets, bushbabies, and a white-tailed mongoose. We then saw lots of eyes in the road.... :dance:

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They turned out to be this... :dance: :dance:

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We could not determine how many there were but Raymond said they are a pack of about 22 dogs, splitting now and then. Amazing to see them at night.

We continued and found hyenas and this “undertaker” ...

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We made a u-turn and found the doggies again. They looked very relaxed and not on the hunt. Raymond mentioned that they rather hunt at dusk and dawn.

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This sighting made the drive worthwhile. Only had another hyena sighting before arriving at camp.
It was a full moon and we sat at the braai area enjoying the moonlight over the river, listening to the fairy-necked – and Mozambique night-jars.. Lovely to here the 2 types together. Often the case at Tambotie... Slept with all the tent flaps open, being able to see what’s going on around the tent in the moonlight... awesome.



:clap: :clap:


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 Post subject: Re: December TR and photos
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:55 am 
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Day 6 Tues, 21 Dec 2010

We left Tambotie at 04:45 and headed towards Satara. We were hoping to see the wild dogs again and also some lions. We used the H7 to get to Satara and it was rainy. Did not see much. Close to where we’ve seen the wild dogs the previous evening on the night drive, a car was parked. They claimed to have seen wild dogs deeper in the bush, harassing a wildebeest. The wildebeest we could see, but not any wild dog. :cry:

After a while we left and stopped at Bobbejaankrans for coffee. Always so peaceful there, but I do not always trust the silence and peace... Often feel like something’s watching me from somewhere in the bush. :shock: :shock: :twisted: :twisted: :wink:

Like I said the rest of the road was quiet. We stopped at Satara for breakfast before heading for Skukuzu where we had slept the last night. I had the best pie and gravy at Satara in years. :thumbs_up: :clap:

Took the H1-3 to Skukuza. Just before the Nwanetsi bridge we found a traffic jam. We waited our turn, but a huge tourist bus did not move for about 15mins. :sniper: :evil: So we decided to pass as we could see the male lion is lying flat in the grass. This road was also quiet with sightings of kudu, giraffes and general game. We heard about lions on the S125 Nwaswitsontso loop and drove a few kilometres along the road, but no luck. We decided to make a u-turn back to the tar road and found some... carmine bea eaters?

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Kumana and Maziti was quiet . Just after Maziti up to Tshokwane herds of general game were enjoying the fresh grass after the rains on the plains. Saw hundreds of impies there. We had a quick stop at Tshokwane and took the H1-2 to Skukuza. Leeupan and Olifantsdrinkgat were also quiet. At the orpen rotse we found klipspringer: :D

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When we passed the first Marula turn-off, Riaan said we should have taken that road as I was driving. After the leopard incident at Mativuhlungu, I obeyed and made a u-turn and took the Marula loop, as it is actually also one of my favourite roads. Thank goodness I did, :pray: :pray: because just after crossing the Mutlumuvi river, 2 cars were parked with 2 male lions lying close to the road. Could not get good photos through the grass and they were facing away from the road

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We watched them for a few minutes and decided to come and check on them later before gate closing time.

The Sand river was flowing strong. We booked in at Skukuza into a safari tent and had a quick power nap. We stocked up on a few things at the shop and decided to drive to Transport dam before checking on the lions on the Marula loop. We did not see much before arriving at the boulders at the Malelane turn-off where we found 3 klipspringers.

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About 1km after the S65 turn-off we found 3 cars. We could not see anything, so we asked them what they were looking at. Cheetah! :dance: We struggled to find it but eventually we did. They were quite far in on a hill on the other side of a river-thingie, but they were in the open. Could not get nice photos but at least some proof...

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At Transport dam is was very quiet with lots of water. We headed back and had a last peek at the cheetahs.
We headed back to look for the Marula lions. On our way there we did not see much. We decided to take the Marula loop from the southern turn-off just after the Sand river, although we found the lions earlier that day about 1,5 km from the Northern turn-off.

We found impalas and about 1km from our turn-off we found 2 cars and saw one male lion close to the road. It must be a different one from the two we found earlier since it’s about 4km away in less than 4 hours on 30’c +, I don’t know. :doh: We asked the cars coming from the Northern side whether they’d seen 2 male lions close to the Mutlumuvi river, but nothing. Also not good pictures of this oak.

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We watched it for a few minutes and decided to rather return back to camp as time started to run out. On the Sand river we found this vulture drinking water.


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It was lovely to watch the sunset over the Selati train bridge from the Sabie low water bridge.


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Back at camp we had a lovely braai. The hyenas patrolling the fence at Skukuza are much more cheecky and less scared and careful then the ones at other camps. I was sitting right next to the fence as the braai at the tent is directly next to the fence, and at one stage one was passing stopped and sniffed right before me, almost as if he was smelling my feet. :redface: :shock: :tongue: This was unfortunately our last night.


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 Post subject: Re: December TR and photos
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:35 pm 
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DAY 7, Wed 22 Dec ‘10

We woke up very early and was at the gate at 04:30 with our coffee flask only. We decided to try our luck with the Marula lions again. Just after we turned left on the Sabie river road, we found a hyena. On the Sabie river bridge we found a croc as well as a maraboe stork and pied kingfisher.

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We watched the beautiful sunrise and found vultures just after turning on the Marula loop.

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We looked for the lions and maybe some leopards, but no luck. Still the bush, so early on the Marula loop is beautiful and it constantly look / feels like there must be something somewhere. Don’t know how to describe, but the bush looked promising. We drove a few kilometres back down the tar road along the Sand river. Found a bigish herd of buffaloes, kudu, bushbuck and baboons. We made a u-turn to take the H12 to the H4-1. We had coffee on a loopie just after turning on the Salitje road as we’ve seen leopard and the area in August last year, but no luck. A troop of baboons entertained us on the high water bridge: (... waiting for his drink at the bar...?) :tongue:

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On our way to Skukuza we saw general game and watched ox-peckers eating on impalas... I took a picture of the LION’s Mc DONALDS sign... :lol: :lol: :tongue:

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We decided to have a visit at Lake Panic. On the gravel road, just after turning right at Lake Panic, we saw the biggest black mamba ever crossing the road, quarter of body and head lifted from the ground. :evil: :evil: :evil: Euew.. To quick for a :cam: . The usual Jacanas, 2 goliath herons etc. were present. We watched a thick-billed weaver (i think) building or fiddling or doing something with his nest.

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Back at the tent, we quickly packed up and had breakfast at the cafeteria while watching a buffalo in the river reeds. The bats were not there, and were also no there on the 16’th when we entered the park. Saw that there’s a topic on this on the KNP forum.

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We were sadly of to Malelane gate. It was quiet hot. About 3 km’s after turning on the H3 we found 2 cars, claiming that they’ve seen a lioness walking. We waited a while and scanned the area, but nothing. Just after Kwaggaspan, we found a white rhino and her calf. So cute.

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Just after the rhino sighting, we found a traffic jam. There was a male lion sleeping in the grass under a tree. Could only see some skin at times, so we decided to move on, since there was the usual idiots irritating us at the scene.

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Had a quick wee at Afsaal and headed for Malelane. We found 4 white rhinos just before the gate... a nice last sighting before leaving the park.. I hate the feeling of going through the gates.

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But we were happy with a relatively successful trip. Had the big five with lots of lions, stunning ellie sightings, rhinos with calves, lots of buffs.... and the not so nice leopard sighting. Also had the doggies on the night drive, cheetah sighting and lovely general sighting with interesting birds and bird calls (black-bellied bustard), a python and black mamba, zebras fighting and met Snakies, Madleopard and Sharifa and Duke.

Thanx for reading and enjoy your trips. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: December TR and photos
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:03 pm 
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Anja Barnard wrote:
DAY 4 – 19 December 2010

We left LS at about 05:45 and planned to have breakfast with our friends at Tshokwane, from where we would then go our separate ways. We decided to first drive to the Mativuhlungu bridge to see whether the leopard from the previous evening was not around.

On our way to the bridge, only impalas, hippos in the river and a fish eagle. We then arrived at the bridge and stayed there for a while, scanning the area with our binocs. Our friends, now driving with there own car informed us that they were going to Sunset dam quickly. Riaan also wanted to leave, but I insisted on staying for a little longer. After about 3-4 minutes I agreed to leaving. We were going back to LS’s side... About 300m, just around a corner we found our friends car and another car, standing still. They then signaled us to speed up. The leopard was now in the middle of the road, crossing........ Why did I want to wait? :wall: :wall: I felt so bad. :redface: According to our friends he was walking next to the road, sat down and also stood still for a long time in the road. The other car turned out to be Snakies and MadLeopard, they found the leopard. Managed to get only these pictures. :cam: I felt like crying. :cry: But at least we saw it. Would have been heartbreaking if we did not see it at all. :P



This weekend, we had a lot more luck with the Mativuhlungu leopard. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

On Sunday morning (20 March 2011) we left Lower Sabie at 5:30 and decided to take the s128 and salitje road, but thought that we will first try our luck with the mativuhlungu leopard. We knew our chances were 0% but went there any way. On our way there, several cars rushed pass us. When approaching the bridge (windows open) I heared the guinefowls "going mad" and as I looked down the river, I saw it walking and it disappeared within a few seconds. We couldn't believe our luck, but were disappointed as it was again just a quick glimpse. We decided to wait a while too see if it wouldn't appear again...

Another car arrived, who turned out to be Collin W and family / friends. We waited and again we thought our chances of seeing it was zero... Wrong again. It suddenly appeared in the road. We couldn't believe our luck. He walked on the road and headed for the "predikant" at the s28 turn-off. He then jumped up and laid there for about 15-20mins. It was only the 2 cars for quite a while before other cars arrived. After a while, he jumped off, walked on the s28 and layed down in the grass next to the road. Please excuse photo quality, but here they are.

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