Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 1 of 1
 [ 15 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Elsa-Far from the madding crowds! KNP revisited-Feb 2011
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:04 pm 
Online
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 9825
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Tomorrow at 6am sharp will see us once again departing for another of our much needed and looked forward to bi-annual trips to Kruger.
This time it will be with Martial, Tawny, Klystron and myself.

It seems strange not to have Jock along as per usual but she has opted to come out later in the year for our "other" trip and see the park with her Autumn cloak on. :D

We will be pretty much concentrated in the South of the park but hope to get a quick visit in to Olifants as this is a part that Tawny has not seen before.

I promise to send reports of our sightings through by SMS, but I will also try and log in now and then signal willing.

Please join us on our exciting journey!

_________________
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Far from the madding crowds! KNP revisited.
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:01 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:26 am
Posts: 672
Location: Hunter Valley, Australia
It has been tough knowing that I am "normally" in Kruger and spending time with my family, but instead I am here in Australia, struggling with temps of over 40 degrees.

Am very jealous of the wild dog sightings. That is something I am looking forward to in May. Enjoy the rest of your trip guys and look forward to seeing your experiences in the form of your trip report.

_________________
Cheers
Her Highness Jockelina


Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Far from the madding crowds! KNP revisited.
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:07 pm 
Online
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 9825
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Hi everyone,
just back from the park, and as always, with the accompanying withdrawal symptoms. :roll:
but we do have a less than 3 months to go before we are back again, so I guess I do not have too long to wait.

Thanks to Val for posting my reports, I was hoping to have a lot more but this trip seemed to be one of contrasts, some highs and a lot of searching through extremely thick bush with little reward but I do think we have had some very special sightings and pics which I hope to get sorted during the coming week.

_________________
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Far from the madding crowds! KNP revisited.
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:28 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:51 am
Posts: 104
Location: Durban
To the most wonderful in-laws - thank you for a wonderful trip. Can't believe it's all over already.
Can't wait to see the Photo's.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Far from the madding crowds! KNP revisited.
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:38 pm 
Online
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 9825
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Flutterby wrote:
Elsa where are you???
Here I am? :yaya:

Ok, lets get going with our first day, is everyone comfy? 8)

Just a little background info to kick off with.

When Jock decided not to come out in Feb this year as per usual, Tawny & Martial decided to join us. :D

We have a week's time share at a lodge just outside the Kruger Gate and then as Tawny had never been up North of the park before and Martial hadn't since he was a child I thought it would be nice to do some bookings up North and let them experience a bit of Kruger magic in those parts of the park.

Then with all bookings completed and deposits paid for nights in Mopani, Olifants, Talamati, & Croc Bridge, the axe fell in the form of Martial's boss who refused to give him more than 6 days leave at this time of year! :slap: :cry:
Anyway, nothing much we could do about it, so with heavy hearts I cancelled those bookings and made new bookings for just 2 nights after time share, 1 at Orpen and the final night at B & Dal giving us 9 nights in total.

Our first day is Feb 19th Entrance Kruger Gate

We didn't make it too early a start today as we all still recovering from the long journey up from Durban the day before plus Klystron had gone down with a nasty head cold and was feeling somewhat under the weather.

We decided to take the S3 River Road and drove along slowly enjoying just being back in the park.
The vegetation along here was incredibly thick and lush with brief glimpses of the river and as we peered into the depths knew we had our work cut out and it was not going to be easy spotting any animals. :?

A little way along a car stopped next to us and asked about the Yellow ribbon, so we met Forumite Mad Leopard and her SO Snakies.
After a nice little chat we carried on until someone else stopped us and told us about a Lion sighting on the S4, so naturally we took that road and a little way along came across a few cars stopped, but the mating pair of Lions was really quite deep in the bush and all we could see was a brief glimpse of a head, a tail or the flick of an ear so we decided to go back to the S3 and carry on.

Our first road block in the form of this little Chameleon who seemed to be giving us the evil eye!

ImageLarge

Then this Hamerkop who was busy catching something tasty.

ImageLarge

Next up a Baby Water Monitor at one of the little dips where the streams run across.

ImageLarge

Another slightly bigger Water Monitor!

ImageLarge

Then we heard this lovely call and saw this Raptor who was sitting in the top of a big tree, which I first I thought was a Brown Snake Eagle but the call is different and sounds to me the call of the Dark Chanting Goshawk or maybe the Bat Hawk but I will put it to the experts and edit as needed. unless something has any ideas?

ImageLarge

ImageLarge



Please excuse the yakking during the clip! :roll:

Despite driving the entire length of the S3, back along the S1, a stop off for something cool to drink at the Nyamundwa Dam where not much was happening, a stop off in Skukuza to get medications for the sick one and then back to the lodge, I promise you these are pretty much all I have for that day! :huh:

But, never fear we do a bit better tomorrow! :tongue:

_________________
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Far from the madding crowds! KNP revisited.
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:49 pm 
Online
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 9825
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Pumbaa wrote:
was it just my imagination or was the bush this year extremely thick :huh:
A pity that you had to cancel all those nice camps :( but I think there will be another time where the Northern exploring will start again. :thumbs_up:
No, definitely not your imagination, I don't think I have ever seen it this thick and long before, sure its a result of the successive wet seasons they have had.
And the Northern exploring is going to be continuing in May! :dance:

Many thanks to Flutterby, Mi, Lionspoon, Katja, Mama fariu, LQ, sable, & Pumbaa for all your lovely comments.

Febuary 20th

Today we are up bright and early, well some of us not so bright :roll: and the sick SO decided a bit of a lie in would benefit him better. :wink:

In at gate opening, paper work done and we head off down the H11, which we soon learnt to avoid at this time of morning due to the hoards of taxis, buses and other vehicles that all tear off down this road towards Skukuza resulting in very little animals to be seen. :roll:
To give an example, the one day a particular car containing staff left the gate just ahead of us towards either Skukuza staff village or the camp itself and was back again before we had even got to the S1 junction! :shock:
We were driving at around 25 kph and hadn't really stopped long for anything, you work out his speed? :naughty:

But having said that, we did see numerous speed trapping being done on this particular stretch of road but all much later in the day. :?

Anyway, I digress, so we turned right onto the S1

It was cool, overcast and a very fine drizzle was falling from time to time.

About 2 kms along we came across a little family of Hyena with the den next to the road.

The one little one had found something very tasty lying in the road.

ImageLarge

and after a while of passing it from one to the other, it seems curiosity got the better of him and he decided the cars were far more interesting.
The Mom was lying to one side with a very full looking tummy.

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

We had planned on carrying on to the S65 and doing a route along there but then a OSV driver told us that there was a sighting of wild dogs back towards the S1/H11 junction, or that is what we understood from him and he shot off in that direction, so after a brief discussion we decided to do the same, but as we were going a lot slower we never did catch up with him or find the dogs! :hmz:

We then decided we may as well do our planned route but in reverse, so we carried on towards Skukuza and onto the H1-1

A little way along there we found a cute little Common Duiker who for once didn't "duik" but posed for a pic. :D

ImageLarge

Then a trio of Giraffe ambled along the road before heading off into the bush.

ImageLarge

We then turned onto the S114 and couldn't resist the common Magpie Shrike

ImageLarge

Then Martial and I both saw something on the side of the road but it disappeared around the corner and by the time we reached the spot it had disappeared into the long grass but on reflection of what we had seen we felt it could have been a Wild Dog. :doh:

A stop off at Renosterkoppies Dam for a snack and a cooling drink and watching the antics of a group of little Dwarf Mongooses in the distance but not much else.

Just after turning onto the Napi Road, H1-1 we were lucky enough to find a Lioness who was on a serious mission down the centre of the road.
So we slowly followed her and as she was clearing lactating hoped she was going to show us the hiding place of her cubs.

ImageLarge

but not to be, as after a km or so she stopped, had a widdle and then carried on into the grass where we eventually lost sight of her. but we had no doubt she was going to her cubs.

We then turned onto the S65

and a tree full of ? Swallows

ImageLarge

Then some of the absolutely stunning European Bee-eaters

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

and a beautiful Blue Pansy Butterfly

ImageLarge

As the River crossing some Terrapins doing a bit of relaxing and tanning!

ImageLarge

and then a young Impala who wasn't sure if it wanted to come and say hello or not?

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

Back on the S1 we finally found an Elephant not yet a tusker but I think he has promise. :wink:

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

and a Red haired Warthog who was determined not to be left out of the forum pics with the ultimate "Bum shot"! :tongue:

ImageLarge

We decided to take the S4 and see if we could find the mating pair of Lions again and we did, along with a gaggle of cars, many of the occupants protruding mightily. :roll:

Even though they had moved to the opposite side of the road and a lot closer, they kept themselves tantalisingly behind some thick bushes, so we although we could see a bit more of them, not enough to produce a good enough pic. :(
We did sit with them for a good half hour in case and can confirm that they made a very handsome couple. :D

We made our way slowly back along the S3 River Road

stopping off to watch the various Dragonflies flitting around the little pools of water.

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

and another Warthog who was prepared to give us a better view!

ImageLarge

We then returned to the lodge and to see how the sick one was faring.

Later that day we packed our little cooler bag and left to spend a couple of hours at Lake Panic

At no stage on any of our visits there this trip did we see any Hippos, did hear them but I was wondering if the water level might have been just too deep for them around the hide?

Also fairly quiet bird wise for Lake Panic as well but always so nice to sit and wait for something to show itself.

Pied Wagtail investigating the dead log.

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

and who was then chased away very rudely by the Pied Kingfisher!

ImageLarge

We then spied a little Malachite Kingfisher with an early supper and I apologise for the quality of the pic.

ImageLarge

We heard a little splashing sound and peering over the ledge saw this Terrapin who was begging shamelessly, such a pity that it has come to this.

ImageLarge

The beautifully constructed nest of the Thick-billed Weaver

ImageLarge

And then in our closing time there Tawny whiled away the time with some lovely Tree portraits!

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

and that brings us to the end of our second day.

More with the highlight of our trip coming up in the next episode. :dance:

_________________
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Far from the madding crowds! KNP revisited.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:29 pm 
Online
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 9825
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Once more many many thanks for all the positive comments.
I do appreciate them all.

Now that the page has turned lets continue on.

Monday 21st Feb

We are up and at the gate at opening time and decide to face the F1 run towards Skukuza as our planned route is towards the S30.

Its quite misty today and makes for a pretty sunrise.

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

Then we a strange sight of a Water Thick-knee sitting next to the road and are concerned that it had been injured but thankfully it seemed to be OK.

ImageLarge

This Tawny Eagle was still all huddled up and looked like it had just woken.

ImageLarge

Next up was a family of Vervet Monkeys Giving us the eye!

ImageLarge

and Mom late for an appointment! :wink:

ImageLarge

Then shortly thereafter their cousins doing a bit of friendly morning grooming.

ImageLarge

So we eventually meandered our way towards the S30 which was in very good condition, in fact the best I have ever seen.

After not really seeing anything for a while despite stopping off in all the little river loops we saw some shapes in the road ahead, I glanced at them, my mind told me Impala and then suddenly my brain told me something different!!

Initially 4 Wild dogs :dance: something we all had on our wishlist.

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

And what pretty dogs they were too!



We slowly crept up to them and then followed them along the road as they seemed on a bit of a mission.
At that stage we were the only car there.

They sniffed here and there and eventually went off road up one of the dry river beds and lay down so we crossed, did a U turn and suddenly the road ahead was full of dogs all running around.

The rest of the pack had caught up but it seemed as if they couldn't find the original 4 and were all looking and sniffing but seemed unable to pick up a scent with some of them retracing their steps and getting quite frantic, then suddenly one of them started calling, a strange haunting call, nothing like we have heard before.

Within a few minutes the errant 4 appeared somewhat sheepishly out of the bush and joined the big pack, after a bit of initial greeting suddenly out of the blue, one of the dogs who I presume was the alpha male or female attacked the one dog, not a serious fight but certainly a lot of nipping, snapping and snarling and we assumed it was being disciplined for going off, maybe without permission!!

Afterwards all seemed to calm down and some lay down for a nap, others roamed here and there.
We tried to do a head count and there seemed to be in excess of 20 dogs altogether.

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

We stayed with them for over half and hour and then as other cars arrived, decided to let them have a good view so reluctantly left but all on a high. :dance:

We carried on and at one of the river crossing came across this tailless Water Monitor

ImageLarge

Not sure how it lost its tail other than a close encounter with a crocodile?

This Ellie was feeding quite peacefully with his bum sticking out into the road until the car in front of us suddenly sped past giving the ellie a bit of a fright, causing it to whip around and flap its ears, so we stayed put! :whistle:

Not sure if he is trying to hide from us or staging an ambush!

ImageLarge

but in the end seemed to be peaceful enough and let us past without a glance.

ImageLarge

A huge herd of Impala

ImageLarge

This Impala was very interested in what we were talking about!

ImageLarge

and then found it quite amusing! :lol:

ImageLarge

How can a TR be without the ever present beautiful Lilac-breasted Roller

ImageLarge

We then took the S128 intending to take it right to the top but as the grass was even higher than our high clearance vehicle we decided against it and took the S129 across to the H10 instead.

We decided to have a look at the Orpen Dam as the last time we were there in June last year it was covered in water Lettuce, much better this time but still very much in evidence.

If you look carefully you can see the 3 Kudu who were grazing there on the other side of the dam. :wink:

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

After a much needed stop off at Tshokwane for some lunch we started on our homeward leg down the H1-2

Another Ellie just on the side of the road.

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

A stop off at Leeupan reveals a different scenario every time no matter if its the same time of year.
This time it seemed a lot drier than it had in previous years despite all the rain that had fallen and where there had been water Lillies previously, now there were white flowers.

ImageLarge

There was also an ellie there as well keeping an eye on things.

Some Crowned Plovers sensibly kept to the shadier spots.

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

It was quite sad to see Siloweni Dam closed permanently now but I guess if the water was causing problems for the animals then it had to be done.

A bit further down a Buffalo who looked at us as if we owed him a lot of money! 8)

ImageLarge

An Elephant Herd crossing

ImageLarge

and lastly a green lookingCrocodile at the low level bridge over the Sabie River.

ImageLarge

Klystron is still hard at work processing further wild dog video clips so I will post them as soon as he has finished.

_________________
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Far from the madding crowds! KNP revisited.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:53 pm 
Online
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 9825
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Thanks Katja and Lionspoon for the kind words and appreciation. :D

Her are the 2 video links for the Wild dogs, the first one being where the larger pack is looking for the others missing ones and the second one is once the 4 arrive and the discipline treatment on.





Enjoy!

_________________
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Far from the madding crowds! KNP revisited.
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:18 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:51 am
Posts: 104
Location: Durban
TR and Photo's are bringing back memories. Can't believe it's almost a month ago since we arrived for our weeks holiday. Can't wait for more..

Turn page turn


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Far from the madding crowds! KNP revisited.
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:58 pm 
Online
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 9825
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Ok, I give up, guess its going to have to be me to try and get this page turned! :roll:

We discovered a few pics that Martial took on our very first day as we travelled up from Croc Bridge that we had overlooked so I thought I'd just add them and then see if the page will turn. :whistle:

First up was the trees full of Vultures all around where the Ellie carcass was near Lower Sabie.
I promise this was only a small proportion of them, literally every tree was covered in them where ever we looked. :shock:

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

On the H4-1, we came across a small breeding herd of Ellies and this youngster gave us a nice display of how big and threatening he could make himself look and even had a big stick to make his case stronger. :D

ImageLarge

There was a car there with the driver sitting right out on the window sill right next to the ellies taking pics, how he thought he was going to get back inside, start the engine and pull off in a hurry if he had to, I have no idea, bottom line was, he wasn't going to be able to!
When I told him he was not supposed to be out like that, he indicated that he knew but didn't care, so we took his pic and hopefully he will be receiving a little note in the post. :P

Woodland Kingfisher in flight.

ImageLarge

Some serious Baboon grooming, we just loved the poses and expressions.

ImageLarge

White-fronted Bee-eaters in flight and at the nest.



Enjoy!

_________________
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Far from the madding crowds! KNP revisited.
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:33 am 
Online
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 9825
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Thanks so much LS, sure Martial will be very chuffed that most like his "blurd" as Micetta calls them! :wink: :lol:

Right, its onto the next day which despite driving quite a long distance really produced very sparse sightings! but I give you what we have.

Think the route today was along the S3 river road, to Phabeni Gate for a a pit stop, back and down the S3 Albasini Road, around the Shabeni loop, to Pretoriuskop for breakfast, then along the H1-1 Napi Road, S65 and back to the gate

First up is a Wood Sandpiper foraging for breakfast.

ImageLarge

Then somewhere along the S10 Shabeni Loop we found an intriguing little road that really led to nowhere and only once we took our rather large car down there did question the wisdom of it and for sure at the end of it one would definitely need a 4 x 4 vehicle to negotiate the turn up onto some rocks but the view was quite beautiful.

ImageLarge

and in front of us the massive Shabeni rock face.

ImageLarge

Carrying on we stop to admire some lovely flowers.

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

This Kudu thought she could hide from us but we can see you!

ImageLarge

After not seeing Rhino for so long we were thinking they must have put them all in safe keeping somewhere, (if only) then suddenly one right next to the road making use of his midden.

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

and he seemed to have a injury.
ImageLarge

Impala keeping Oom Paul company :D

ImageLarge

Then a pair of Pied Kingfishers fishing in tandem.

ImageLarge

Another beautiful Butterfly which I think is a Gaudy Commodore

ImageLarge

On another late afternoon visit to Lake Panic we were surprised to see a Woodland Kingfisherlooking as if it was about to start fishing....

ImageLarge

then all became clear when he started diving in, not to eat but to have a lovely bath and afterwards sat preening and getting all the feather back in place again for ages.

ImageLarge

Female Thick-billed Weaver at her nest.

ImageLarge

and to end this episode, a bird which I can't remember exactly what it was, skulking in the undergrowth, might be one of the Bulbuls?

ImageLarge

To be continued.........

_________________
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Far from the madding crowds! KNP revisited.
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:26 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
Wow Elsa, i just went through the whole TR. Amazing sightings. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: for the doggies. Seems you had an amazing time.

The pic of Shabeni hill - reminding me of 1 of my favourite little roads in the park.

:clap: :clap: :clap:

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Far from the madding crowds! KNP revisited.
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:43 pm 
Online
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 9825
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Many thanks for the wonderful comments and accompanying us along the way
Aat, Pumbaa, sable, Katja, Mauxie, LVB, Mi, wanda, :clap:

Lets move right along.

Today as I recall, we decided to take a trip down the S114, S21, up the H4-1 doing all the little loops, and then back to the Kruger Gate

First up was an obliging African Hoopoe

ImageLarge

but not for too long! :wink:

ImageLarge

Then this Marabou Stork though it better to perch precariously on a pole rather than in one of the numerous trees, but it did give us a uninterrupted view of him.

ImageLarge

A quick stop off in Skukuza and just inside the gate is the most beautiful tree, Holmskioldia tettensis or Parasol Flower Tree in full flower.

ImageLarge

I have attempted to grow one in a large pot but I am not having too much success.

Then we noticed there was a Sunbird I think it was a Marico taking full advantage of the lovely flowers.

ImageLarge

Carrying along on our journey we come across one of Tawny's favourite little animals the Dwarf Mongoose

ImageLarge

Just after turning onto the S114 was a very shy pair of mating Giraffe who were determined they did not want an audience and stood watching us while we watched them so we decided to give them their privacy and move on.

ImageLarge

A stop off at Renosterpan which was dead quiet but thankfully some Squirrels kept us amused as they frolicked around on the road.

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

Driving slowly along the S21 a lovely road and in surprisingly good condition with just the odd patches of corrugations.

We saw Ellie footprints almost constantly but believe it or not did not come across one single one the entire length of the road. :?

This African Hawk Eagle posed nicely for us but a pity the light was very harsh by this time so Klystron has done a nice crop and tweaked it for me.

ImageLarge

The clouds were becoming increasingly dark and when we got to the Nwatimhiri Waterhole thought the windmills made a nice scenery shot.

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

Shortly afterwards a pair of Double-banded Sandgrouse became our next subjects, always a rewarding sighting and a first for Tawny and Martial.

Male.
ImageLarge

ImageLarge

Female

ImageLarge

Pair together.

ImageLarge

Suddenly the sky was full of circling Vultures enjoying the thermals

ImageLarge

Grey Heron fishing in a puddle left from the rain.

ImageLarge

Popular Weaver Tree!

ImageLarge

I think this is the water hole at the end of the S21

ImageLarge

We stopped for a very welcome brunch at Nkhulu and found it in much better nick than previously, no Monkeys at all, which always gives me a bit of a sad feeling somehow, as altho its nice to have a meal in peace I do know what has been their fate. :(

and dear mites, I swear that is about the extent of what we saw in almost an entire day of driving at 25kph with 4 pairs of eyes scanning!! :roll: :whistle:

but wait.... there's more, we are not done yet and still had a few more days to go. 8)

_________________
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Far from the madding crowds! KNP revisited.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:17 pm 
Online
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 9825
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Carrying on and another round of thanks to all who have posted and enjoyed the ride with us. :clap:

Today we leave our lodge bright and early and make our way to Orpen Camp where we were to spend the night but first a bit of a detour as Tawny has never been further north than Satara, in fact has never been to Satara and Martial, a long time ago.
so we decide to remedy that and first take a drive up to Olifants for lunch and then make our way back down to Orpen.

I recall we often used to see large flocks of Marabou Stork here but today only a few are standing on the rocks at the low level bridge over the Sabie River.

ImageLarge

Then at a lovely full Mazithi Dam someWater Buck and young take full advantage.

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

and then a little further on at Marheya WH (I think) a pair of Giraffe are "bumping heads or necks" nothing serious, think it was all in fun tho! :wink:

ImageLarge

ImageLarge



A little way past the S126 we saw the sad sight of a dead Ellie. :(

ImageLarge

We did report it when we got to Satara and they informed us that they knew about it and rangers were due to go out and check it out.
I did hear subsequently that it had died of natural causes possibly due to a virus of sorts and that samples had been sent away for analysing.

A stop off on the Olifants Bridge and the happier sight of a breeding herd of Elephants browsing on the one side and a Bull Ellie on the other side.

ImageLarge

Arriving at the restaurant area at Olifants we heard a loud thump and a little Squirrel fell from the top onto the wooden deck, thankfully without any harm done, had a couple more goes at clambering up the bricks without much luck so resorted to finding another way of getting where it wanted to





After a nice lunch spent gazing at that view we left for the downward part of the trip, first taking the S92 & 91 and a little drive over the low level bridge and then onto the S39 Timbavati Road.


[b]Male Kudu


ImageLarge

Some Wildebeest

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

A pit stop at the Timbavati Picnic Site and a quick look at a little Scops Owl sitting in the tree.

ImageLarge

Nearing Orpen this huge Spiders Nest containing literally dozens of spiders stretched from tree to tree.

ImageLarge

The view towards Orpen and out of the park.

ImageLarge

We were just about to pull away when I spotted a little bobbing back coming through the grass, first one Black-backed jackal which later became 7!!!

ImageLarge

Certainly the most I have ever seen together before.

Unfortunately it was impossible to get all in 1 photo but Klystron managed to capture some video clip.
Owing to the number of cars and large vehicle there some of them were a little nervous and reluctant to cross over!



And to end a Tawny Eagle

ImageLarge

_________________
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Far from the madding crowds! KNP revisited.
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:42 pm 
Online
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 9825
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Eliz Glad you are enjoying the ride, hope you have some of that biltong over for the next part!

Katja We saw lots of spiders nests, especially at this time of year but this one had the most occupants we had seen before.
Think I must try and find out what the final test results were on the Ellie carcass.

Pumbaa We just love that Olifants view as well. Tawny was most impressed and I think we have a real convert to the North now.

Aat Thanks Aat, I do appreciate your kind comments. :D

Sable I also never realised there was a Scops at Timbavati either but I guess they can be almost everywhere, the job is finding them in the trees? :wink: We were lucky and had it pointed out to us by some other folk there.

Today I am going to put on our final 2 days worth on as our sightings were really far and few in between considering how far we travelled and how hard we were looking! :roll:

Leaving Orpen Camp reasonably early, where we stayed in a family cottage, nice and spacious with a great view of the water hole and cam but certainly in need of a little TLC in places.

They obviously still have a problem with Honey Badgers, as the fridge had been placed in the one bedroom in front of the dressing table area, rendering it unusable, no problem for us as we were there for only the 1 night.
Fortunately it was a quiet running fridge as well. :wink:

Today we were on route to Berg & Dal for the night and we decided to take the S140 & 145 past Talamati, another camp we were supposed to have stayed at this trip! :(

Passing the Rabelais Hut we stopped and I was just relating a bit of Kruger history to Tawny & Martial when we thought why don't we go in and have a look around, something I have never done before.

For those we maybe don't know the history of it,
It was the original entrance gate to the central region on to the old Orpen road to the east of the N'wamatsatsa Drift.
Named after the original farm on which the gate was situated.

This gate was replaced in 1954 by the Orpen Gate, when, due to and with thanks to the Orpen donation of farms, the western boundary was moved further westward. The original hut was renovated and is used as an information centre.

Very informative it is, and pretty dusty which had me sneezing! :wink:

And times have certainly changed! :wink:

Klystron shot this little video clip of the inside, plus some Ground Hornbill and Squirrel along the road.



Carrying on, another little Squirrel with a snack.

ImageLarge

and the ever present Helmeted Guinea fowl

ImageLarge

A view of the Lugmag Dam on the S36 not too much activity there but a pretty view.

ImageLarge

We stopped off in Skukuza and for those who have not yet seen the new Conference Centre where the cricket dinner was held.

ImageLarge

Carrying on down the H3 we found this little cheeky who decided he did not want us to hang around, but we took his pic anyway! :naughty:

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

Just before B & D a couple of Marabou Storks with a good vantage point!

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

Arriving at B & D we went to the shop for a few odds and ends while Klystron checked us in.

I had done a request a couple of weeks prior, my first choice was taken and had been told we would be in #78 I think it was, but we were already in the car and on our way by the time I realised we had been issued with # 1. instead :hmz:
Anyway I hoped it would be one with a bit of view, which is what I had asked for but unfortunately not to be and we looked into bushes. :?
By this time we were all rather tired and really didn't feel like traipsing all the way back to reception and fighting the issue so we settled into our #1 cottage instead.
If it had been for more than 1 night I definitely would have made the effort.

Another chalet that needs some TLC I'm afraid, the aircons were so noisy it impossible to sleep and was better to switch them off and open the windows, consequently we were woken with Lions roaring and quite close. so maybe a good thing. :tongue:

We had decided to do a final drive of down the S110 and along the S25 on our way out but decided it might be best if we try and find the source of the roaring so took the Majulu Loop and a little way along the S110 hit pay dirt but it seemed as if every single person in the camp had the same idea and a traffic jam of note ensued, :shock:
well I guess not as bad as it can get in high season but it was the weekend.

We crept forward in a sort of queue and unfortunately 2 large vehicles with camping equipment on top had decided to totally hog the sighting, parking diagonally next to each other in the road largely blocking off the single male Lion who was lying the grass a little way into the bush.

We could get a brief glimpse as we passed, stopped, took a few not wonderful pics and moved on but he did give us a good session of roaring but unfortunately it was when we did not have him in sight so just stuck the camera out of the window and recorded that.

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

The red part is the cars parked diagonally that we had to try and shoot over, any small sedans would not have been so lucky. :roll:



We then decided we would move on before we got the car dented as people were starting to get annoyed and tempers were flaring as the women drivers in the 2 cars occupying prime spot refused to move an inch to give anyone else a look in.
So sad when there is this selfish attitude.

Carrying on down the S110 a breeding herd crossed the road in front of us and we saw they had a tiny little baby among them.

ImageLarge

ImageLarge

By this time it was getting quite late, so we decided to abandon our plans of the S25 due to the long drive back home ahead of us and to appease me did the S121 & 114 as a last ditch effort to find something else but dead quiet all the way. :doh:

Then suddenly the Malelane gate loomed in front and my heart sank as it usually does but a part of me is left behind and I will be going back in a little over 7 weeks to reunite with it again.

So a strange trip by all accounts, lots of driving with not too much reward, no Caracal kittens this time!! :wink:
but hey the Wild dogs were on the list and those we did find and I think whatever one sees and does is a bonus and we have to remember how lucky we are to be able to visit this paradise, long may it live. :D

Thanks to all who have taken the ride with us, to Martial and Tawny for the photo taking, to Klystron for the video footage and for getting the pics ready for posting and Martial and Klystron for driving us around. :clap: :clap: :dance: :dance:

_________________
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 15 posts ] 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Nkulu and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by kcilliers at 08:02:30 Submitted by Anonymous at 08:32:50 Submitted by LesleyWilson at 07:55:14 Submitted by avidspotter at 15:34:36