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T-bal's The return of the Cloggy Kruger highlights. KNP, July '14

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T-bal's The return of the Cloggy Kruger highlights. KNP, July '14

Unread postby t-bal » Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:54 pm

Hello Mites,

My school year is rapidly coming to a close as I have almost successfully finished my first year in my quest to become an Occupational Therapist. It has been an extremely busy year for me with lots of school work and challenging exams that had to be done. Luckily I had something fantastic to look forward to…

It has been just under two years since we (my parents, brother and me) have last visited the KNP and I have to say, it has felt soooo much longer! :roll: But I’m glad to announce that we will be visiting the park once more. :D In about three weeks’ time we will be entering the park once again. Prior to that we will already be in SA for a weak visiting some historical sights and two other game reserves.

We will be staying in five camps during our 15 day visit to the park. We will be spending our time in some more familiar camps: Pretoriuskop, Olifants and Lower Sabie. In all these camps we have been guaranteed perimeter view (at Olifants best River view) So I’m pretty excited about those prospects :D We will also be staying at Talamati and Biyamiti Bushveld camps. This will be our first visit at these two camps but they look and sound fantastic.

I have invested in an extra camera body and lens (Nikon D5200 and a nikkor 70-300) which will add nicely with my father’s equipment. (Nikon D3000, Sigma 150-500 and nikkor 18-55) Hopefully the animals will not be avoiding the lenses as much this time with two lenses going around.

We have a huge wish list with what we would like to see but in all honesty we are just glad to be going back. Hopefully you will join us on our ride through this amazing park.
TR: " The return of the Cloggy Kruger Highlights"

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Re: The return of the Cloggy Kruger highlights

Unread postby t-bal » Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:03 am

Well as my exam results keep getting better and better I caught myself more and more on these forums… :hmz: So I started looking through the pictures of our previous trip and have decided to post some highlights. Last time around we were very lucky :D
Our first awesome sighting (and a first for us) was a hyena den with some young pups.

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Later on in our trip we found 3 more hyena dens but one topped them all as we spend little over an hour with these magnificent animals.

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Hope you enjoy these highlights of our previous trip as there are more to follow…
TR: " The return of the Cloggy Kruger Highlights"

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Re: The return of the Cloggy Kruger highlights

Unread postby t-bal » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:12 pm

As you enjoyed them cute little pups so much I must share some cute little cubs with you guys as well :D (even though it isn’t a great picture :roll: ). There were two of these cuties running around and playing with mums tail. :lol: The mother left them alone for a short time as she went to the Sabie river for a drink.

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We saw a total of 9 leopards during our trip. Here’s another female which was laying 5 meters away from our car. 8) It was on the S65 so it was pretty quiet around this sighting as well.

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And a male leopard which was 10 meters away from the Lower Sabie bridge. During the night drive we could get a quiet look at him. During the day time you couldn’t even reach the H10 that’s how busy it was. :|

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Next time I will be sharing my favorite animal…
TR: " The return of the Cloggy Kruger Highlights"

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Re: The return of the Cloggy Kruger highlights

Unread postby t-bal » Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:21 am

School holidays have officially began for me, all I can do now is wait for my final results, With only 10 more sleeps until we leave towards South Africa :dance: it’s about time for some more highlights of our previous trip.
I have read that many people think they are lazy, boring and a bit of a disappointment. I how ether think they are gorgeous animals, very social, loving but also powerful and are true killing machines. This episode is all about my favorite animal, the African lion. 8)
During our last trip we saw 58 lions. I will be only showing a very select group of them, only the highlights! ( I promised myself that I would only post max 5 photo’s per animal but ones again I can’t keep to my own promises) :doh:

This male Lion was laying in the riverbed of the H4-1. It is the story what makes this picture special. We were watching the leopard cubs (this was a day later) We saw movement in the same tree they had been the day before. There were two adolescent elephants approaching the tree with a purpose like they could sense the cubs. The mother leopard was nowhere to be seen… All of a sudden some adult elephants where chasing two male lions away from the herd. The lions where skipping over the long weeds like impala. It was amazing to watch. So much action with 3 of “the Big 5”in about 500 meters of space. Once the elephants stopped harassing the lion they sat down to catch their breath.

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This lioness we spotted from a distance. We were the only car and she decided to walk towards us, lay down and call her cubs. Unfortunately they nether came but a great sighting none the less.

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We saw 7 lions near the Baobab tree on a kudu kill. Three cubs included. Our first ether lion cubs. One was a bit shy and walked up the bank and kept us in her/his sight.

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One morning leaving from Satara towards Olifants we came across this roadblock.

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On the S41 very close to the S100 we came across the famous mega pride. At least a part of it, it was about 15 lions strong. We followed a lioness towards them and ones we arrived they all came together and greeted her.

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More highlights to follow...
TR: " The return of the Cloggy Kruger Highlights"

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Re: The return of the Cloggy Kruger highlights

Unread postby t-bal » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:23 pm

Hello Mites

With our arrival at OT Airport getting ever closer (just 4 more days now) :D I’m already starting to prepare myself for our travel. That’s a real achievement for me considering I’m normally “the last minute king”. :roll: Clothes are all laid aside (waiting for mothers approva :doh: l) , camera gear is all packed and ready to go and I have already started to look which routes would be the best to take on our first day. We will be arriving probably at Crocodile Bridge Gate and are staying at Pretoriuskop.
Besides that I have somehow injured my back which means I’m sitting at home now for the last few days being bored senseless. :( Good preparation for our 10 hour flight. :thumbs_up: But considering I’m doing nothing wright now, what better way to pass my time than sharing some more highlights with you guys.
My next highlights are rather special ones. The best thing about these highlights is that we saw plenty of them. :D A lot more than we had expected before we arrived in the Kruger. Hopefully these guys are strengthening in numbers again but how I have read on these forums that is not the case. :( Here are some of our better pictures.

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We were lucky enough to spot a black rhino family as well. It was a female with her calf and a male (presumably the father). It was our first ether black rhino sighting.

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One more episode to come before we leave for South Africa...
TR: " The return of the Cloggy Kruger Highlights"

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Re: The return of the Cloggy Kruger highlights

Unread postby t-bal » Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:02 am

It’s about 3 and a half hours to go before we start our long travel towards South Africa. My parents and brother have gone to bed to rest up. My tactic is stay up, get tired and sleep as looooooong as possible on the plain witch should make the flight go a lot faster. :thumbs_up: It’s time for the final chapter of highlights from our previous trip. All these pictures were taken on the same day. We spotted ( quite literally ) 2 of them first thing in the morning on the H7 and the other 3 late afternoon on the S100. Hope you enjoy the pics.

First sighting:

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Second sighting:

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That where our main highlights of our previous trip. Now it’s nearly time to make some more highlights. Will be posting in little over 3 weeks’ time. Thanks again to everybody who replied.

Gr. T-bal.
TR: " The return of the Cloggy Kruger Highlights"

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Re: The return of the Cloggy Kruger highlights

Unread postby t-bal » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:07 pm

We have safely arrived back home in Holland after spending the last 3 weeks in South Africa. As I said before I will be sharing our story of the Kruger park with you guys.
We have had an amazing time with many new, familiar, breathtaking, cute and of course frightening sightings. I will be sorting the photos out in the upcoming few days. Luckily I took a pen and paper with me so I will have my facts wright. This will safe me a lot of time this time around. :lol:
TR: " The return of the Cloggy Kruger Highlights"

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Re: The return of the Cloggy Kruger highlights

Unread postby t-bal » Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:39 pm

It’s finally time to share a new chapter of highlights with you guys. I have sorted out all the photographs we had taken during our 2 week roundtrip through the Kruger national park. It was a lot of work because there are a lot of highlights I will be sharing.
Just as a reminder we stayed in the following camps:
- 2 nights at Pretoriuskop rest camp.
- 3 nights in Talamati bushveld camp.
- 2 nights at Olifants rest camp.
- 4 nights at Lower Sabie rest camp.
- 2 nights in Biyamiti bushveld camp.

How I already mentioned above, we have had many great sightings during our trip. I just would like to tell you that we did not make use of the ‘KrugerSightingsApp’ during our stay in the park. It might pop into one or two minds that we are chasing sightings because we could hardly believe ourselves how much luck we had on some days.
I do think that the “KrugerSightingsApp’ is a wonderful idea, but as al great things it has its pro’s and conns. I think it can be very useful for foreigners because it will give them a rough idea on which roads a lot of sightings get reported. We have used this app a few Months in advance. We recorded the sightings that where getting reported to give us an idea wich roads where hot at this moment of time. We used this information each night as an assistant to plan our routes for the next day. But as always we didn’t keep to these planned routes anyway.
One thing I have noticed during our two weeks in Kruger is the amount of speed offenders. :x It seemed to be much worse as two years before and I just can’t help to wonder if this sightings app is partly responsible for this. We passed on several occasions a still standing car where the people within he car where doing something with their phone. Only to be overtaken several minutes later by the same car traveling way to fast. Saying that, speeding is defiantly not the only concerning behavior we saw during our stay but more about that another time. It’s time to cut the practical information short and time to start our travel tale.

We have ordered an extra big bus so room enough for everybody to step on board. My father, mother, brother and me will pic you all up just outside Crocodile bridge gate around eleven o’clock. We thought that this should give us more than enough time to poodle towards Pretoriuskop. We start to drive up the H4-2 when we spot our first animal within the Kruger. As always it’s the usual animals that are waiting for us just outside the gate.

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We turn right onto the S28. It’s a road well known for its cat sightings. During our previous trips it has never really delivered for us, so hopefully we will have more luck this time around. We spot some impala, zebra, wildebeest, warthog and giraffes on this road before we notice something quite different. A pair of secretary birds walking over the plains in search of snakes.

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Once we reach the S137 turnoff we take it towards the S130. We drive towards Duke’s watering hole and back. We spot some elephants interacting with each other.

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Once on the S130 we head south again because we are thinking of taking some gravel roads to reach Pretoriuskop. We spot 5 southern ground hornbills. We are trying to see if they have some rings but all of a sudden the birds run towards our car. We quickly drive off before our tires get tested by these powerful beaks.
We drive up towards the S82 but as we nearly reach the end there is an ellie roadblock. Acar coming from the other directions manages to drive past but warns us that there are loads more around the corner with some young calf’s. Baring in mind that the car is fully loaded we turn around and head up the H4-2 where we spot some Ellies in the Sabie river and some buffalo next the road.

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Once we reach Lower Sabie we notice that we are really mistiming our route. We will have to head up towards Pretoriuskop via de tar roads and drive a bit faster (we were only doing about 25km/hour)

After our brake at Lower Sabie we drive up the H4-1. It is really busy, even more busy than 2 years ago. We decide to head down the S79 to just avoid the crowds for a bit. There are a few impalas and kudus barking and sprinting off. We drove around for a few minutes but no predator came in sight. Once back on the H4-1 we have a traffic jam just before Nkuhlu picnicspot. It’s on the bridge so there is no way to get past. Waiting our turn we see two lionesses.

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After taking our pictures and driving on we pull up to the next traffic jam just pas Nkuhlu. Apparently there is a leopard walking about down in the riverbed. The bush is very thick at this place so it is very difficult to spot the leopard. On one stage I do see movement down in the riverbed but I wasn’t entirely shore that it was a leopard. After losing sight of the movement we drive on because we need to reach Pretoriuskop on time.
We have a quick stop at Skukuza before drive on via the H1-1. Just before Transport dam there is a car with something lying next to it. The hyena den we saw 2 years ago is obviously still there. :dance: We took some shots of the 3 pups before we drove on again.

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We drive straight on towards Pretoriuskop rest camp where we book in. We have a family chalet with perimeter view. We get settled and have some cool drinks before we head off towards bed. We enjoyed our first day thoroughly but will make sure that the upcoming days we don’t have to rush anymore.
Before I close of our first day back in the Kruger I will be sharing a sunset picture with you. I will try and start every episode with a Kruger sunrise and finish it off with a Kruger sunset.

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TR: " The return of the Cloggy Kruger Highlights"

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Re: The return of the Cloggy Kruger highlights

Unread postby t-bal » Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:30 pm

After a busy first day where we had to rush a bit we will be taking things way more steady from now on (at least that is the plan) At 5 minutes to 6AM we are driving towards the gate. Yes it will be like this every day because first thing in the morning the kitties are more active and we have had some amazing sightings at this time during our previous trip. Hopefully this time around these early awakenings will provide just as rewarding.
We drive out the gate and as always all the cars drive down de tar roads. We on the other hand prefer the little loops around Pretoriuskop. They are very scenic, quiet and have delivered us some good sightings. A perfect recipe in my books. :D We planned to take the S8 and S14 but after taking a wrong turning this plan fell very short. :doh: Except for seeing a duiker shoot off there were no animals in sight. We did capture a famous Kruger sunrise though.

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We decide to slowly head towards Skukuza were we will change driver. My father, brother and me will be doing all the driving so that this task doesn’t become to exhausting for one person. We take the H1-1 and stop at Shilthave dam but still no animals in sight.
Once back on the H1-1 we take the turning onto the S11 around the Napi Rocks. Still no success, I guess the animals are having a bit of a laying… :hmz:
We arrive at Transport dam. On the S66 driving down to the dam we spot 4 giraffes, 2 mothers with 2 young. One of the giraffes is very skittish and doesn't dare to cross, even though all the cars are giving it a lot of room. We take a picture of the other young one and carry on towards the dam.

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Once at the dam it is very quiet. It was a cold morning so we didn’t expect a lot of activity going on around the dams. We drive back towards the H1-1, all four giraffes are now together. The little one had obviously plucked up his/her courage and crossed the road.
Once we reach the H1-1/S66 junction I see four cars on our left behind each other. I obviously take a left back towards Pretoriuskop. I suddenly see that the cars aren’t parked but are following something which is walking on the road into our directions. I reverse the car back into the S66 and drive the other way towards Skukuza so that we stay in front of the animal (way in front so that the animal doesn’t feel threatened) . My father and brother just start clicking away. :cam:

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This big male was marking his territory :dance:

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He came back on the road and kept walking. There were only 5 cars initially (which is quite remarkable considering it’s a main road) but as it kept getting busier he eventually strolled of into the bush and quickly out of sight.

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All I can say it’s pure luck. It just shows you that even 15 seconds in the bush is a lot of time…

After that excitement we turned onto one of my favorite roads, the S65. We didn’t spot a lot on this road, probably because we were still with our minds driving alongside the leopard. :wink:
We reached the H11 where one car had stopped and was looking at a group of giraffes in the distant. We first wanted to drive on because we thought that we would get a much closer view of giraffes in the days to come. We suddenly stopped and reversed because we noticed something out the corner of our eyes. Two big males were lining each other up and were ready to go. :shock:

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The giraffes started to fight which was quite some spectacle to watch

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Once they had finished with no clear winner we drove straight towards Skukuza to have a break and change driver.
Once under way again we head up the H1-2, take the Maroela loop and come down the H12. There weren’t a lot of sightings but we did enjoy the scenery.

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Back on the H4-1 we drive west back towards Skukuza. We notice that a few cars are parked into one of them lay- by’s which gives one a better view of the river. Once we drove in there we noticed that there are a lot more cars there than we thought. Apparently there was a pride of lions. Looking through 2 car windows we saw one male just lying there. It was total chaos and people were actually getting out there cars. :naughty: We decided to leave this bunch and drive towards the next lay-by’s and hope that they would be visible from there.

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Several cars had the same idea but they immediately tuned around. The lions weren’t visible. We decided to wait for a while. Those lions surely must get sick and tired of all that commotion. After about 5 minutes we saw movement. A car with some Germans drove into the lay-by and wanted to turn around again. We stopped them and told them that we saw movement and thought that the pride of lions in the other lay-by might be coming into our direction. They decided to wait as well considering the chaos in the other lay-by. Barely a minute later two males, three females and five cubs came strolling down. They surrounded the two cars. :dance:

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The three females and one male carried on walking after a quick scan to see if we were a threat. They made a call and all the cubs and the other male stayed put. They all sat and laid down around our car.

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After five minutes we heard another call and all the cubs and male walked of. They crossed the H4-1 which created another minute of chaos.

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We just sat in the lay-by having a chat with the other car. I have nether seen someone so grateful as they were. :D It was an amazing experience.

Once back on our way again we drove towards Renosterkoppies via the H1-1 and S114. We saw an different sighting which was quite impressive. Six big kudu males were grazing together. They all had quite a set of horns on them.

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Some of you who followed my previous travel tale might remember that we were trying to find wild dogs around the koppies at Pretoriuskop two years ago. There was a den there but we didn’t have success. Around the Renosterkoppies there is also a wild dog den. SO we decided to try our luck once more (we have never seen wild dogs before). They had been spotted there yesterday and today according to the sightings-board. (which isn’t very reliable but you just never know :wink: ) We took the S22 so that we covered all angles of the koppies but no doggies in sight.
We carried on down the S114 and took the S23 loop. On the southern section there were three lionesses sleeping in the river bed. We took several pictures but they all aren’t that great. Here’s one lioness sleeping.

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We quickly drove on towards Afsaal via the H2-2. Here we got some refreshments and changed driver once more. We drove up the H3 and travelled down the H1-1 towards Pretoriuskop considering it had been such a successful day. Just as we reached the Transport da turnoff there was a Hyena pup waiting for us again on the side of the road. They look so adorable. :D

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Once we drove on he/she got up and looked sadden to see us leave which was quite amusing. :lol: Especially considering it was lying on the other side of the road once we arrived, got up and laid wright next to our car.
Once on our way again we saw four cars parked on the side of the road. We couldn’t believe it… :roll:

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We drove on t Shilthave dam and enjoyed the sunset.

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We drove the loops around Pretoriuskop one more time before calling it a day. It was truly amazing. :D :D :D
TR: " The return of the Cloggy Kruger Highlights"

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Re: The return of the Cloggy Kruger highlights

Unread postby t-bal » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:12 pm

After having such an incredible day yesterday( :dance: ) we were really trying not to compare today with our successes of yesterday. We just want to enjoy our time in the park as much as possible.
Today we will be leaving Pretoriuskop and will be heading towards Talamati bushveld camp. It is the first time we will be staying at Talamati. In fact, it’s only the second time we will be staying in a bushveld camp. We have previously stayed at Sirheni and we absolutely loved it.
Previous trip we stayed at Satara and had cat sighting after cat sighting. Each sighting was kind of crowded though so we opted to stay at Talamati and Olifants to avoid the crowds this time. Before I start getting ahead of myself (again), we still have a journey to travel from Pretoriuskop towards Talamati.
We decide to travel down the S1 considering we have never driven down the full length of this road. To get there we travelled down the S7. We only used one camera today because we didn’t know if there was electricity in Talamati. About half way up the S7 we wanted to take a sunrise picture when I noticed that the battery was still in the charger, and my charger was sitting in my rucksack. My rucksack is in the boot of the car behind about 50 kg of luggage :doh: so we have to drive towards Phabeni gate so that I can grab the battery out of the boot. During our journey towards the gate I was thoroughly hoping that we didn’t see anything. :pray: :roll: We stopped at Albasini ruins were I grabbed the camera battery out of the boot.
After that slight detour we drove down the S1 were we saw a bull elephant happily grazing away.

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We decided to leave the S1 early and drive up the S4. We barely had made the turnoff when we had to park on the side of the road to let an car traveling from the opposite direction pass. The gentleman told us that there was a leopard on the right hand side of the road in the dry riverbed. :dance: He warned us that it was only visible from one spot. We thanked this kind man and drove towards the riverbed. :D There was no car in sight. We parked as instructed wright in the middle of the dry riverbed and started to scan. After at least five minutes of scanning the dry riverbed we jumped as 15 meters in front of us a yawning cat head popped up. Once it settled down again the cat was barely visible. We drove a few meters passed the riverbed and looked back. The cat was much better visible from this new angle. This female leopard wanted a good catnap and was yawning and stretching during this process. :D

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The leopard had a quick look at us before she decided to sleep on.

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We drove on once another car pulled up. We had spent at least 20 minutes alone with this beauty. We obviously told them were to look. We also told one more car that was heading down the S4, we were just returning the favor. :thumbs_up:
Once we reached the S3 we saw a tour guide looking at an elephant with a calf. We heard trumpeting so we kept our distance. :? The tour guide told us that the calf was trumpeting and that the mother was as cool as a cucumber. She also told us that lions had been sighted down this stretch but after traveling down the road for over half an hour she still didn’t have any success. :( Considering the amount of pressure these tour guides have, we told her about the leopard. We first checked the tour company though. We have seen some ridiculous behavior of one or two tour companies in the past. :evil: More about that another time...
The tour guide drove of down the S4 and we drove on down the S3. Within the minute a lion crossed the road. :shock: We felt a little guilty and thoroughly hoped that she had found the leopard considering she had been looking for more than 30 minutes for lions on this road.
It was a juvenile male who was calling for his pride. We followed the lion down the road for at least 15 minutes, once again all by ourselves. :dance:

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This male lion proved to us that they really don’t like water.

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After about 15 minutes another car pulled up behind us and the lion left the road. He was smelling all the surrounding bushes. We turned of our engine and the lion got really close.

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The lion kept calling but we heard no answer. After one last pose he headed of into the distance.

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Once we reached the H11 we drove towards Lake Panic. I have seen many pictures on the forums but strangely had never been there before. We arrived at Lake Panic and saw another car pull up behind us. It was de car that we stopped to tell them about the leopard. They were really grateful and told us that we had already made their day which was nice to see. :D
Once in the hide we took some scenic pictures and saw two hippos test each other’s strength in the distance.

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Once we stopped at Skukuza for a break and a driver change we drove down the H1-2 via the H4-1 and H12. On the H4-1 we saw a roadblock. There were two lionesses walking down the road into our direction.

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It got very busy so we decided to drive on. On the H1-2 we saw another roadblock. There was a leopard lying down in the grass. It had an impala hanging in a tree right next to the road. We did see the leopard and managed to get a picture. The fact is it’s a dark spot sticking out in the long grass. In fact you only would know it’s a leopard because I have just told you. We didn’t bother to try and get a good picture because of the crowds. We had already decided the previous night to try and reach Talamati as soon as possible so that we had time to have a late afternoon drive in the Talamati area.
After a break and driver change at Tschokwane we drove up the H1-3 were we saw plenty of activity at Kumana dam.
A couple of ellies slurping away.

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Some giraffes, warthogs, wildebeest and hippos with a baby.

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We also saw a bunch of kudu ladies. One of them was less camera shy than the rest of her kind.

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We drove down the S125, S36 and S145 before we reached Talamati. We saw plenty of general game but it was a tiring day and we were glad to be able to get rid of our luggage and settle in.
We got told at Kumana dam that there were lions on a buffalo kill on the S126. We didn’t drive down this road on our way to Talamati because as I already said, we wanted to arrive there as soon as possible. My mother and brother were too tired and decided to sit this afternoon drive out. My dad also confessed after our little trip that he nearly decided not to come as well. We drove out on the S145 and up the S36. We were traveling the maximum speed because in July the gates close at 17:30. With only lions in our mind ( I know, a bad idea in the Kruger…) we are driving down the S36 and after only 3 km’s I spot something lying in the road. I tell my dad to stop because I’m looking at a wild dog. :shock:

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We couldn’t believe it and pulled up really close considering it was so relaxed.

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We were really glad to see wild dogs for the first time. But we knew that wild dogs aren’t solitary animals so we were scanning the area for others. We thought that if it was alone it might be guarding a den but as it got up and walked along the car 3 other doggies got up and had a very quick play fight. We were so chocked about these sudden arrivals that we didn’t manage to capture the play fight. The dogs laid back down in the grass.

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Another car pulled up and we told them about the wild dogs. They were barely visible whiles they were lying down. They were really grateful but the doggies kept their heads low. Once the car drove off again the doggies came more active and started running about.

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The four of them started to run up the road but quickly settled down again.

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The dogs where scenting and showing dominance to each other. Sorry about the bad filming but it was our first attempt. :roll:

[video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3V0Wjlp_A8[/video]

They settle down once again

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They gave us one last look before they head off into the sunset.

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We had just spent over an hour with these animals and most of the time where alone with them. :dance: :dance: :dance: It was our first wild dog sighting and it was amazing. :D

We decide to drive straight back to Talamati were de elephants are grazing in the big open plains. They provide us with a great sunset picture.

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It is now time to call it a day and spill the news to my mother and brother
TR: " The return of the Cloggy Kruger Highlights"

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Re: The return of the Cloggy Kruger highlights

Unread postby t-bal » Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:46 pm

After we had told my mother and brother about the wild dog sighting we had decided to drive strait towards the S36 and drive this road once more in the late afternoon. We want to see if the doggies are still around. My brother also stated that night that he would never skip a single drive again. :lol:
We leave the gate once again at 6am and take a left towards the S36. The car that had left before us had stopped about half way down the S145. I see a spotted hyena :dance: who is in a bit of a rush. We manage to get a picture.

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The hyena quickly runs out of sight and we carry on with our journey. Once we reach the S36 we take a left towards the S126. The same car had stopped once again about 2km from where we saw the doggies yesterday. We start to get really excited... We pull up and see a female and male lion lying on the road. :dance:

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We will be spending the next hour and 45 minutes with this mating pair. Just us and the other car. (and yes, there will be a lot of pictures coming :tongue: )
We see the male approaching the female and expect them to do the deed. Suddenly the female attacks the male and they have a quick and brutal fight :shock: . It only lasted 3 seconds or so. This vicious outburst caught us all by surprise but we did manage to get one picture.

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The female settled down and the male started to show some strange behavior what we couldn’t really place. It looked a bit like he was showing of how big and powerful he was.

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Here’s a video of the males behavior

[video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR_dwxgl8Tk[/video]

After the fight the female didn’t go anywhere near the male and kept a safe distant. It reminded me of a child who had misbehaved and knew it was in trouble. :lol:

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The male walked of and the lioness eventually followed.

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The lions settled down again.

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The male lion started to scent the surrounding bushes.

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Once the male lion was done scenting it walked further along the road. The female watched him for a while before she got up and followed him once more.

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Once the female was following the male, he stopped and looked around so that the female could catch up with him. But each time the male stopped and looked at her she decided to stop and stand her ground. She really didn’t want to go anywhere near the male.
After the male had decided to take another break the female did get much closer to him (about 5 meters) They both laid down a bit deeper into the bushes. The male approached the female once again and we thought that there might be another fight coming. Eventually the male turned around again and walked even further into the bushes.
Even though they were still both clearly visible we decided to drive on. We had spent 1 hour and 45 minutes with these lions, with only ourselves and one other car. :dance: (Saying that the other car left after about an hour) We had followed the lions down the road for 1,6 km which was quite extraordinary considering not one other car pulled up. We decided to leave them in peace. :D

Once on our way again we reached the S126 turnoff. We were driving down the S126 for about 2kms when we see 4 cars parked. I looked out to the right and see in a distant tree something that looked out of place. I stopped the car and see that it is a leopard in one of the big trees. :dance: I grab the camera but the leopard which was sitting up straight shot down the tree and out of sight.
Little did I know that my brother and mother who were sitting at the back had a big bush in there way and didn’t see the leopard. :| First the dogs and know this!!! :lol: They were only joking of course but it still gives them something to complain about each time the topic leopard comes up for the years to come… :roll:

Driving further down the S126 we see some zebras and a few duikers. We are still looking out for the lions on the buffalo kill but considering that had happened at least 2 days ago we thought that we might see the skull of the buffalo and that would be it.
About 4 km’s from the H1-3 junction we see a few cars parked up and they are all looking to our right. Right in an open spot there are 4 male lions lying beside a dead buffalo. :D There are also a lot of vultures and at least 5 black backed jackals strolling about.

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The pore buffalo never had a chance against so much power. The jackals obviously already had a good meal as well because they all flopped down.

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One jackal run passed the carcass (top left of the picture) and left the scene

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It was already much later than anticipated because of the amount of sighting we once again had. (not that I’m complaining :lol: ) We decided to drive on towards Satara because of a much needed bathroom break. But we haven’t even reached the H1-3 before we see 2 male cheetahs strolling along. :D

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Not believing our luck we drive on because the roads bends to the right. Here we manage to take a few more pictures before we lose them in the long grass. It looked like they were looking for food.

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Once we have reached Satara we just realized that we had seen all 3 of the big cats on the S126 during our morning drive. Our feelings of this road had dramatically changed during the last few hours. :)
We’ll have some lunch at Satara before we decided to drive back to Talamati.
We drive up the H1-4, up the S90 and took a turn onto the S41. It was a very hot day so all the animals we did manage to see are near the water.
Here are some ellies and zebras at Gudzani east

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The scenery of Gudzani dam where the usual crocs are baking in the sun.

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We then drive down the famous S100. We managed to see plenty of general game including this giraffe family

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And also 2 baking hippos down in the riverbed.

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Once back at Satara we change driver once again and drive down the H7 where not a lot is going on. We drive up and down the S36 but the doggies had (as we expected) got up and left. We drive straight towards Talamati as we decided to call it a day. No sunset picture today but we did manage to get a few pictures from the hide within Talamati.

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We start the braai and have a few drinks before we call it a night. We agreed on one thing, we once again had been very lucky :D :D :D
TR: " The return of the Cloggy Kruger Highlights"

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Re: The return of the Cloggy Kruger highlights

Unread postby t-bal » Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:16 pm

Even considering the success of yesterday we still decide to travel the other way today. Meaning we will be taking the S145 towards Orpen gate. Not only are we driving the other way, we also are leaving a little bit later today.
On our way we don’t see any cars so we know that we have the road to ourselves once again. It is a very chilly morning and there are no predators nor prey in sight. The first thing we spot are 2 Sanparks vehicles parked about half way down the S145. Obviously doing some fieldwork we wave and drive on.
As the S145 is coming to an end we spot the first animals today. Five kudu ladies wondering in formation. We take a picture and drive on.

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We reach the H7 and drive towards Orpen for a coffee. We drive down the H7 which once again is unusually quiet. We do manage to see 3 Kori Bustards strolling along.

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We take the turnoff of the S12 and drive towards Girvana watering hole. Here we see something very peculiar. There’s a dead impala lying on the water’s edge. It looks totally untouched and there’s no predator in sight. It might have died of old age or maybe a snake bite?? We had no other solutions. :hmz:

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We drive on down the S40 and back down the H7. Here we take a left turn onto the S36. The idea is that we have brunch back at Talamati. The next sighting is still back on the H7 where we see the usual bunch of hippos at Nsemani dam.

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Driving down the S36 wee see some duikers and steenbokkies shooting away. Also some squirrels running along the road. All these animals are so hard to capture considering the speed they travel at. Once we reach Shimangwaneni dam there are several cars parked up. We first thought that they decided to sit it out as it was a quiet day. We picked our slot when the car next to us said that there are 2 lionesses between the bushes on the far bank. :shock:

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We stay around for about 15 minutes when we see 2 other lionesses strolling down the far bank.

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Not exactly nominees for picture of the month but confirmation that we saw them. :lol: We drive on down towards the S145 before we reach Talamati where we have our breakfast.
Once our bellies are filled again we drive out towards the S36. We are going to have a look at the dam to see if the lionesses are more in the open now. We arrive at the dam. The lions are gone but they have been replaced by some buffalos and vultures.

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We drive on back to Girvana watering hole. We want to have a look if there is some action going on around the dead impala. Once we arrive at Girvana we see what we already expected to see. Non the less, it is still a nice surprise. We will sit here for at least an hour. :D

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There are at least a hundred vultures surrounding the carcass. They were all fighting to get a good feed.

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More and more vultures kept flying in which entertained us, considering that each vulture started a new fight.

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One vulture managed to grab a big piece of meat which caused a stampede.

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On the other side of the road some vultures where drying there wings after they had a good feed and wash.

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Some others were still devouring the carcass.

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The monopoly of the impala carcass fell out of the white back vultures hands when the big guns started to arrive. 8)
This lappet faced vulture wasn’t afraid to throw his wait about

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Nor was this cape vulture

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The other vultures decided to walk off and started to clean and dry themselves.

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Not your everyday roadblock…

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Once all the vultures where done this is what was left off the impala

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After this impressive sight we drive straight on towards Satara for another brake and drivers change.
We drive down the H1-3 and turn off onto the S126. The 4 male lions have disappeared but there is still one BBJ running around.

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We also spot some mongooses running around a dead tree trunk

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Our drive down the S126 and the S36 is a quiet one. We don’t see a lot of game and the ones we do spot are in the distant or playing hide-and-seek behind some bushes. How ether, once we reach the S145 my mother spots a side-striped jackal. :dance: We do have a picture but it’s not very clear because the light was fading fast and the jackal was in the long grass.( My lion picture at the dam is even much better :lol: )
Once on our way again we didn’t see much else. We took a sunset picture at the Talamati turnoff before we called it a night.

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TR: " The return of the Cloggy Kruger Highlights"

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Re: The return of the Cloggy Kruger highlights

Unread postby t-bal » Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:10 am

Day 6 off our 14 day adventure has arrived. We will be leaving Talamati today and will be heading towards Olifants. We are really excited about staying at Olifants once again but we are also sad to leave Talamati. It was our first ever stay at Talamati and we enjoyed it thoroughly. Everything about the camp was great, location, bungalows, remoteness and the view around the camp.
At 6AM we let ourselves out the camp gates at start to drive towards the S36. Our plan is to get at Olifants as quick as possible so that we can dump our luggage and settle in. We don’t like to drive around for long periods of times whiles we are fully loaded.
We are about halfway down the S145 when we decide to try and take a few sunrise pictures.

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We drive down the S36 where we see a kudu bull happily grazing along the side of the road. We try and get a clear mugshot but as always the kudu just turns his backside towards us. :roll:

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Once we reach the S126 turnoff we take it and drive down towards the H1-3. Unlike two days ago (all the big cats) we don’t manage to find anything on this road. Just once again reminds and shows us the diversity of the Kruger park. We reach the H1-3 and drive up towards Satara. We decide to take the H6 as we don’t want to reach Olifants before check in time. After traveling a few km down the H6 we stop as we see a martial eagle ( I think) sitting in a tree. The perfect opportunity for a scenery shot.

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As we start to reach Sonop watering hole we start to get extra vigilant. We saw on the sightingsboard at Satara that everyday wild dogs had been spotted in this area. We don’t realy take the sightingsboard seriously but yet we always find ourselves staring at them in the camps. :hmz: Anyway! you never know. As we approach the turnoff the car in front of us stops. We have a look and see a spotted hyena. :dance:

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After our initial excitement we realized that most likely someone doesn’t know the difference between a hyena and a wild dog. Seen I during a previous trip as well when somebodt put the yellow dot on the board and shew us a hyena pic.. Anyway the hyena gets up and start to walk towards another hyena.

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We keep an eye on the hyenas when suddenly one starts to call out. We managed to video it (sorry about the quality) where you can clearly see that the hyenas call out into the ground, unlike lions wo call out into the sky.

[video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sr7aGiJDihM[/video]

After the call both hyenas stood up and run away. We carried on with our journey.

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We stopped at N’wanetsi picnic spot to stretch our legs. We walked up to the view point where there were banded mongooses blocking our way. As soon as we came closer than 3 meters they bolted off. Once at the view point a woman pointed us something quite funny out. A small crocodile managed to capture a fish. A stork was trying all the tricks in the book to mislead the croc and steal its catch considering the croc hadn’t swallowed the fish yet. The stork even grabbed a stick and tried to swap it with the fish. The croc didn’t bite though. :lol:

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Once on our way again we drive up the southern section of the S41 and take the S100. Even though we didn’t manage to spot a lot on both roads I still always enjoy driving down the S100. Great views and I love all the little loops that gives one a view over the river. We reach Satara quite early and decide to have brunch.
Once are bellies are full we drive up the H1-4 all the way up towards Olifants, we do have some interesting stops on the way…
Our first stop (and drive) is because two male ostriches are chasing each other. It was very interesting, and also quite funny too watch. One male was chasing the other male whiles they were both running. Occasionally they would stop and show of their feathers, or sometimes it looked like they stopped to catch their breath. :lol: We followed them for almost a km before we drove on as the chasing ostrich wasn’t gaining ground.

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Just a few meters further along we spot a load of vultures and some BBJ. We couldn’t see the kill or the culprits though…

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It’s not like the show we got yesterday so we drive on. We spot some of the general game before we see a few cars parked. We drive up and see a male lion guarding a buffalo kill only 5 meters from the road. :dance:

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It was a very hot day and the only shade he had was from a tiny leafless bush. This poor guy was really struggling in the heat. We wondered why he was still here considering the kill was basically finished.

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It was like he understood us because he all of a sudden stood up.

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We did witness some rule braking though at this sighting. :naughty: I understood why the lady did this but it was still madness with a lion no further than 10 meters away. A leopard tortoise was trying to cross the road wright near the lion where all the cars were parked. Obviously all the cars arriving spotted the lion and tried to get as close as possible. With their eyes entirely focused on the lion the leopard tortoise was in danger of being run over. So a woman got out her car, picked it up, and placed the tortoise on the other side of the road. I couldn’t believe it. :shock:
With the tortoise and the woman safely back where they belong we decided to drive on as we had got our pictures.
Our final stop on the H1-4 is a majestic one.

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We get out of our car and soak up the view from the bridge, My parents and brother still trying to spot some game.

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As it is coming up to two o’clock we decide to drive to camp and check in. We take the gravel roads where we manage to spot three elephants, one of them is a tiny calf hiding behind it’s mother and the bushes.

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We are a bit edgy with such atiny calf so we drive on and arrive at Olifants. We see that the camp is under construction but this didn’t affect our stay. We did want to book our first ever bushwalk at Olifants as I had read many great comments about the walks at Olifant. Sadly there was no room left. :( We get our keys and drive to our two bungalows, with best river view. 8)

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We didn’t drive out that afternoon as it seemed silly to leave such a great view. There was only one thing missing.

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We did have a noisy neighbor though that just not keep his mouth shut. :naughty:

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He turned into a bit of a showoff after a little while.

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We sat for the rest of the afternoon just enjoying the view. As the sun went down the Olifants river got a nice shine. I can’t think of a better way to call it a night… :thumbs_up:

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TR: " The return of the Cloggy Kruger Highlights"

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Re: The return of the Cloggy Kruger highlights

Unread postby t-bal » Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:09 pm

Wright, after an delay, I have sorted my photobucket problems out, we are on our way again! :D

After having an peaceful afternoon within the camp fences yesterday we have another early start today as we found ourselves waiting in front of the gates at 05:40 hours. :shock: :? :doh: A combination off excitement and bad timing. :lol: Once the gates finally opened at 6 o’clock we drive straight down the H8 and decide to take the turnoff towards the H1-5.
We were pleasantly surprised that all the cars behind us did not overtake us. We often have witnessed cars speeding first thing in the morning. We think they are trying to find a pride of lions still lying on the road or something special like that. Prime example is Satara. People racing each other to get down the S100 first. :evil: Luckily all the residents a Olifants today are true nature lovers. :thumbs_up:
Just before the junction we stop to take a sunrise picture (all the cars behind us thought that we spotted something) :lol:

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We decided to take the H1-5 as we expected that everybody would drive down the H1-4 towards the buffalo kill. We turned off to the right and everybody ( a couple off cars) behind us went left.
We were looking primarily at the river expecting to spot the animals on that side off the road. Suddenly my mother shouts Stooop!!!! I hit the brakes rather violently, what? Leopard!!! Go back!! We quickly turn around. There’s a leopard on the side off the road walking away from us. :dance: She was very shy and didn’t want to come anywhere near us. We manage to get some (blurry) pictures.
We thought that the leopard was heading towards the H8 so we drive back towards the camp. We find a bit off an open spot just past the H1-5 junction, so we park the car there and wait. A few minutes later the leopard crosses the open spot. :D

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We drive the car 10 meters forward over a hill and turn the engine off so that we don’t spook the leopard. This works as the leopard crosses the road in front of us. :dance:

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We quickly lose the leopard out of sight in between the thick bush. Quickly after losing her we hear some impala barking which means they had spotted the leopard as well. We knew that the sighting wouldn’t get any better so we decide to drive on back towards the H1-5. We did try and point the leopard out to a few passing cars but we will the only ones fortunate enough to actually spot the lady leopard. Some good judgment. 8)
Once we were driving down the H1-5 again we quickly spotted a few cars parked, yet again another roadblock. This one is impressive because of the numbers. The buffalos kept coming. They all stopped on the road so that they could have a good look at us, and we at them. Some less patient buffalo kept pushing the ones in front of them which caused a stampede on more than one occasion. :lol:

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There was one Sanparks vehicle who decided that he wasn’t going to wait until the buffalo had crossed and decided to push his way through. Animals have the right away! :naughty: It ruined the sighting for everybody so we carried on as well.
We nearly reached Letaba once we saw a giraffe suckling in the distance.

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Once we reach Letaba we stop and decide to drive towards Engelhart dam. We drive up to the dam and to the viewpoint (what a nightmare that road)

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Once we are safely back down again we spot 3 Kori bustards. There really close to the road and caused a bit of a traffic jam.

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We decide to take the S46 and the S44 towards Olifants so that we can have lunch there. This was certainly entertaining… :roll:
We are driving down the S46 when the car in front of us stops to take some pictures of elephants. I’m going to have a bit of a rant here because it annoys me .... (use your imagination….)
The car in front of us stops right next to the elephants who are no further away than 10 meters. I know that it depends on the elephants and in what mood it is, but they always say keep 50 meters between you and the elephants, just to be safe. How ether this bloke doesn’t keep his distance and to make it even more annoying he parks his car in the middle of this very narrow sand road. Which means we can’t go anywhere and could potentially be sitting ducks. :x The bloke in the van sits here for five minutes before he finally drives on. By this time the elephants are getting annoyed. We don’t stop and slowly drive passed them.
The van takes a small layby so we quickly pass him. Guess what? A dead end… We obviously had taken a loop which wasn’t on a map nor signposted. We take the circle and drive back where we came from….
Guess now what? Another car parked right next to the already annoyed elephants in the middle of the road :x happily taking pictures. All of a sudden a maturing bull (already much taller than any car in Kruger) starts trumpeting and the car drives on. We follow them but then the car stops again (for him in a safe distance) to take more pictures, leaving us stuck right next to the elephant. :evil: The elephant bull decides to charge us so we step on the accelerator. Luckily just before this charge the car in front of us started to drive again so we could make a safe exit but non the less a very close call. :pray:
Like at the buffalo roadblock this once again is another example of people not respecting the animals. They are not keeping a safe distance nor bearing in mind that there are other people in the park as well. If people feel they have to park right next to an animal (in there comfort zone) that’s their (in my opinion, stupid) choice. But! Don’t park in the middle of the road leaving other cars vulnerable, it clearly states that you have to leave space at sightings so that other cars have the opportunity to pass bye, especially around dangerous game like elephants. :rtm: People must respect the animals!!! More examples to follow! Only not as dangerous once. I feel so strongly about this because if people keep to the rules this wouldnt off happend.

After that scare and frustration we were really considering to drive back to camp ASAP. But we really wanted to drive pass van Wellingtons Baobab so we did. Still a pretty sight though! :D

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We decide to drive straight back to camp . We do spot another bull ellie, only this one is on its best behavior. Not that I’m blaming the breeding herd with its maturing bull. They definitely had it spot on too claim their private space :thumbs_up: , they just picked on the wrong car. :( Here’s the bull elephant happily slurping away.

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We don’t see much on the tar roads and we safely arrive back at camp. We decide to sit the entire afternoon on our deck. It seemed silly not to enjoy the view and we definitely had enough close and personal sightings for one day.
We did see plenty of game though from our bungalow. We had some visitors inside the camp
I think it’s a weaver, help?

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And our noisy neighbor.

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As things were heating up inside camp :lol: we kept our eye out over the water. Here we managed to spot elephants, giraffe, waterbuck, kudu, hippo, crocodil, impale, fish eagle and vultures.

Elephant parade crossing the Olifants.

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As the elephants disappeared into the bush so did the sun. It concludes an eventfull and, our last day at Olifants.
TR: " The return of the Cloggy Kruger Highlights"

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Re: The return of the Cloggy Kruger highlights

Unread postby t-bal » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:36 pm

Unlike my previous post I just can’t remember for the life off me on what road I was when we spotted these animals. :whistle: That’s why I have decided to just stick them all together and get it over and done with. :wink: What I do remember is that in 14 days’ time we spotted 91 of them. :dance: Yes there might be some doubles counts but we really think there are barely none. We were very glad indeed that we managed to spot so many of them with this horrible war going on. :( I’m not going to say any more, I’ll just let the pictures tell the story this time around. Enjoy! :D

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TR: " The return of the Cloggy Kruger Highlights"


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