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 2
 [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Timbits Memories of.....Kruger - Oct '2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:36 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:30 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Award: Sighting of the Year - Predator (2012)
After spending 9 wonderful days in Kgalagadi, we were back in JNB and ready to start the second half of our vacation. Next stop – Kruger. :dance: :dance: :dance:

Our first visit to Kruger was in 2001, which was also our first self-drive safari. This is what we rented for that visit.

Image

One person asked us if we were planning on going up to Botswana. :lol: :lol: Back then, it was difficult for us to get information on South Africa and Kruger in particular. We didn’t know what to expect. I’m not sure we even knew there were chalets to rent. :redface: :slap:

We are not campers, because camping in our part of Canada means being eaten alive by mosquitoes and black flies which isn’t my idea of fun. This vehicle was outfitted with a lot of equipment that we had no idea what to do with. :hmz: It certainly was a learning experience.

Our last visit to Kruger was in September 2010. We had been back a few times since 2001, always in late August, early September. Our last day in 2010 was in Malelane and when we went out for the afternoon drive, we saw this.

Image

I think it was called Fire Storm. It would be interesting to see how the south looked after such a big burn.

One animal that we have yet to see is the African Wild Dog. One of these times we will see them. We’re :pray: :pray: :pray: that this is the time.

Friday September 07


We got in rather late last night but were up early and headed down to breakfast. We knew from previous experience that the breakfasts were substantial and tasty. We would need it because itwas going be a long day. We were packed and on the road by 9 am. Even though it was rush hour, we were on the N4 within about 15 minutes. I’ve made detailed notes on previous visits and Nighthawk2 is relatively comfortable driving on the opposite side of the road, so everything went well. Too bad it was overcast, cool and it rained all the way to Nelspruit. We pulled in to Malelane around 1:30 pm and by then it had warmed up to about 25 C, the rain had stopped but it was still overcast. We did all of our shopping and were at the gate by about 3:15 pm.
We checked in and were assigned the same hut that we’ve had every other time we’ve stayed here. Hut #5.

Image

Malelane is a great little camp, there are only 5 huts and about 15 camp sites. There is no pool, no restaurant and no shop, and usually, not many people. :thumbs_up:

WendyA had mentioned in one of her trip reports that she would be staying in Malelane at the same time that we were. We made a plan to get together. When we pulled into the camp, I noticed a tent that matched the description she had given me. After unpacking, I went over and introduced myself. We chatted for a bit and she pointed out a couple of giraffe just on the other side of the fence. I mentioned that I had never seen the camp so full. :shock:

Later, SO and I were in the communal kitchen preparing dinner and Eco-Junkie dropped by and introduced herself. E-J, it was great meeting you. This is so cool, here we are half way around the world and we’ve met 2 mites on our first day. E-J explained that the camp was full plus there were 2 extra people staying here who shouldn’t be. She gave us info on recent sightings which helped plan our drive for the next day.

WendyA dropped by after dinner and we had a nice chat and a lot of laughs over a few Savannas. What a wonderful start to the second half of our vacation.
:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Memories of.....Kruger - 2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:44 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:30 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Award: Sighting of the Year - Predator (2012)
Saturday September 08
We had more rain overnight and it was still drizzling in the morning. When we came out of our hut, we noticed this bird sitting under the lapa keeping dry. (I think it was a sand grouse).

Image

Smart bird if you ask me.

We left around 7 am, planning on going to Gardenia Hide. The road was closed, so we decided to go to Afsaal. As we pulled in, we looked over and there was WendyA getting out of her vehicle. We couldn’t have timed it better if we had tried. She told us that wild dogs had been reported at Pretoriuskop. Last night when we were in the communal kitchen, it seemed like everyone there was talking about their great sightings of wild dogs at Pkop (i.e.) ....so close to the car......, ....great photos...., ...watched for 20 minutes..... etc. We have to do laundry today. We had initially planned on going to Berg-en-dal, but we can just as easily go to P-kop. We may as well try to maximize our opportunities.

We took the tar road up and stopped at Transport Dam, which was quiet. We continued on to Shitlhava and that was quiet too. We were in P-kop by noon, and headed straight for the laundry. Only one washer was available, so we were there until 3 pm. Even the woman who was doing laundr told us about her wonderful wild dog sighting. :evil: :evil:
2 campers came in shortly after us to use the outlets to charge their camera batteries. Unlike North American outlets that are live, these have a switch that must be turned on for power to flow. Just as we were leaving, we noticed that the switch was off for one of the outlets. We switched it on, but I’m guessing the person was left wondering why it seemed to take so long for the battery to charge. I’ve been fooled by those outlets more than once. :slap: :slap:

Just south of Jock private camp, we came across a huge buffalo herd. Here are a few of them.

Image

It was starting to get late, so we slowly pushed through the herd. After a few more quick stops for general game, we made it back to camp about 10 minutes before the gate closed.

Image

What’s with the weather? It rained until about 9 am this morning, then started slowly clearing up. It reached about 25 C today. We’ve seldom experienced rain or cool temperatures in Kruger. I guess it’s all part of climate change.

Our neighbours are a very nice couple from Bloemfontein. They came over after dinner and we had a lovely visit.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Memories of.....Kruger - 2012
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:33 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:30 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Award: Sighting of the Year - Predator (2012)
Sunday September 09
It was foggy/misty again this morning when we left, around 7 am. We headed up the tar to take an alternate route to Gardenia Hide. About 2 or 3 km from the hide, we found 6 vehicles stopped along the road. It was 3 male lions and 2 cubs lying in the grass.

Image

Image

Ooops – make that 4 male lions and 2 cubs. :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:
This guy was lying a bit of a distance away from the others.

Image

I’m sure there must be a story behind the scars and the fresh wound.
After a few minutes, a lioness showed up and led the cubs away.

Image

The males would look over occasionally but now that their baby-sitting duties were over, seemed rather disinterested. Mom and the kids played for awhile and then disappeared into the grass.

Image

We watched the males do nothing for about half an hour and then left. I'm always amazed at how people (us included) are quite content to sit and watch lions sleep....for hours :D

Yesterday when we were at Afsaal, the malted waffles with ice cream and syrup were awfully tempting, but we managed to resist. Well, one day later, they were still tempting. Oh what the heck, we’re on vacation, so we headed back to Afsaal. We ordered one (1) waffle, skipped the syrup and shared it. I’m happy to report that it was very good. :twisted:

We returned to the hut and Eco-Junkie dropped by for a few minutes. We had noticed that some roads were closed at one end, but then saw vehicles on those same roads at the other end. E-J took the time to explain it to us. It’s related to the floods in January – some small sections of some roads are still closed, but not the entire road. An example is the S25 – Crocodile River Road. It was still closed around Biyamiti, therefore signs were posted to stop people from trying to use it to get from Malelane to Crocodile Bridge. They would have to turn around after travelling some 25 km. Chances are that they wouldn’t be too happy with that.

Way back in 2005, we made our first visit to Kgalagadi. While staying at Grootkolk, we met the others that were staying in camp. They were 2 brothers and a sister, with the spouses. 2 of the couples were from South Africa, and we have kept in touch. We were meeting up with one of the couples and spending a week in the same camps. We got a text message just before lunch that they were at Malelane gate. They dropped in a little while later for refreshments. This is is so cool – meeting up with friends half way around the world. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

Later in the afternoon, we drove out to Berg-en-dal but it was rather quiet. Our friends were staying at P-kop, and we got a message from them that there was a lion kill at the end of the S113. That was too far for us. We headed up to Renoster Pan but there was a huge puddle in the middle of the road. The SUV coming towards us proved that it was too deep for our little car, so we turned around and headed back to camp. We came across this guy and watched him calmly munching away for a few minutes before heading home for our own dinner.

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Memories of.....Kruger - 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:27 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:30 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Award: Sighting of the Year - Predator (2012)
Earlier in the day we had come across this. I need help with the ID.

Image

My guess is an juvenile African Harrier Hawk, only because of the acrobatics. This is one of those "bum shots" , but it should help in the ID.

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Memories of.....Kruger - 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:01 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:30 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Award: Sighting of the Year - Predator (2012)
Monday September 10
Lower Sabie was our next stop, so everything was packed up and we headed for the Gardenia Hide. We didn’t see the lions, but about half an hour after we left the area, we received a text message from WendyA that there were 1 or 2 male lions sleeping on the side of the road around James water hole. Oh well, we missed them, can’t win them all. :(

We wanted to follow-up on the text message that we had gotten from our friends late yesterday afternoon about the lion kill at the end of the S113. We knew it would be a long shot, but it was on our way to Lake Panic, so why not? But even closer, and still on our way, was Afsaal. :twisted: There was a nagging little voice in my head that had started yesterday and had been getting louder and louder. It sounded like “waffles, waffles”. :twisted: :twisted: Oh why not? We were stopping there anyway for a toilet break, and we hadn’t yet had breakfast...... It was only 1 waffle, with ice cream, but we shared it. :angel: (Note to self – must try to duplicate this at home.)

With the annoying little voice silenced, we continued up to the S113. Sure enough, at the end of the road, there were about 6 vehicles. We checked around to see where everyone was looking. Of course, everyone else was in a larger vehicle and had a height advantage. The grass was long, but we did manage to see a lioness and 2 or 3 cubs. The cubs were struggling, it was sandy and the terrain wasn’t flat. This was the best I could get.

Image

We continued on to Lake Panic, and the usual residents were there: a Goliath heron fishing,
Image

grey herons with very noisy chicks,

Image

terrapins, a crake, hippos in the distance, 3 bush buck, a few elephants, a pied kingfisher and a fish eagle way in the distance. I was too busy watching all the animals and birds that I forgot to take photos after a while.

We found a giant kingfisher on the Sabie River high water bridge.

Image

We headed towards Lower Sabie on the H4-1. A warthog was snuffling around,

Image

a male nyala hiding in the bush

Image

and then came across a few traffic jams. It was a very hot day - in the low 40’s and we didn’t have the patience to wait for what may or may not be a good sighting. We slowly pushed our way through and got some dirty looks. It was difficult getting around vehicles that were stopped all over the road. We did catch a glimpse of a lioness lying right beside the road. There may have been more around but we continued on.

At the second traffic jam, we waited about 10 minutes and someone came through from the opposite direction. He told us there was 1 leopard and 37 cars, the leopard was difficult to see, it was on the ground about 30 metres back from the road. We waited a little while longer and then just couldn’t take the heat anymore, so we again slowly made our way through. We never did find out where the leopard was. I got the feeling that most of the vehicles had stopped because everyone else had. I wonder if they ever did get to see the leopard? When sightings are that crowded, we usually don’t stick around. Previous experience has taught us that the crowded sightings oftern are not very good. :(

We checked in at Lower Sabie. We were in the tented camp – bush view. One year we splurged and stayed in a river view tent, but there was a tree right in front of the tent, so you really couldn’t see much. We decided the bush view ones were just as good and usually the birds that would come around were quite entertaining. We noticed that there really weren’t all that many birds this time.

For our late afternoon game drive, we went to the Mlondozi picnic site. These were the highlights along the way:
Crocodile

Image

Pied kingfisher

Image

Temperatures were starting to drop :thumbs_up: and the wind was picking up which may (or may not) have accounted for the lack of sightings. We had good bird sightings at Lake Panic and also saw general game so it was another good day in Kruger. :thumbs_up:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Memories of.....Kruger - 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:38 am 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:43 pm
Posts: 4340
Location: 133 days to go!
Timbits,

your id of the juvenile African harrier hawk is correct :thumbs_up:

Love the little cub and the kingfisher - Sigh :clap: :clap: :clap:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Memories of.....Kruger - 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:08 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:30 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Award: Sighting of the Year - Predator (2012)
Tuesday September 11
Another overcast day with no “WOW” sightings on the ground so we kept an eye out for the birds. There still wasn't the abundance that we’ve become accustomed to, but every time one spots a Martial Eagle, it’s special.

Image

We came across this hippo that had a nap attack:

Image

A sacred ibis and a jacana that were trying to ignore each other

Image

A great egret and a white breasted cormorant leaving their calling card:

Image

Image

We returned to our tent for lunch, and this interesting little one decided to join us. Can anyone provide an id?

Image

Later in the afternoon, we decided to check out the hyena den that Vlakvarkvrou had told us about that was on the Gomondwane Loop. We found it without too much trouble. The 3 cars that had stopped there kind of gave it away. There were 2 adults and 3 pups running around. As we watched and waited, more adults appeared, coming in from different directions. It reminded me of a typical suburban scene in the late afternoon. All the adults are returning home after a long day at work/hunting, and the kids are ecstatic because mom/dad are home so they’re jumping all over them. The nanny is relieved that someone else can now take care of the kids. The adults are happy to see each other and talk about their day. As more adults arrived, more pups popped out of the burrows. The pups ranged in age from about 8 – 14 weeks. We counted a total of 6 adults and 7 pups. We were enjoying the scene so much that we lost track of time, but we did made it back to camp with about 10 minutes to spare.

Image

One thing that has always puzzled me is when returning to camp in the late afternoon (within half an hour of gate closing time), we always encounter at least one vehicle going in the other direction. Where are these people going? The next camp is more than half an hour away. If they were to turn around right after we meet them, they would make it back to camp before the gate closes, but they are obviously on their way somewhere.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Memories of.....Kruger - 2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:51 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:30 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Award: Sighting of the Year - Predator (2012)
Wednesday September 12
In one of mgoddard’s trip reports, she had recommended a seafood restaurant in Komatipoort. We decided that today would be the day to check it out. We invited our friends to join us. They had had some pretty good sightings earlier and 2 more sets of eyes would be most helpful.

Not far from Lower Sabie camp were 2 vehicles stopped on the side of the road. We asked what they had seen.

Image

Well, that’s a pretty good start to the day!

We were on the S28, continuing on towards Croc Bridge, Next up:

Image

Image

This beautiful kitty entertained us for almost 45 minutes. There were only 4 or 5 vehicles around. The cat was very calm and relaxed, walking down the middle of the road for probably close to half a kilometre, with everyone following behind. There was a service road marker on the right hand side. It went over to investigate, first tasting it,

Image

and then finding it to its liking, jumped on top. It looked around for a bit, jumped down on the other side, scratched at the ground a bit, and then slowly ambled down the No Entry road. The message we got was “that’s all folks, see you later. I know you can’t follow me down here, so....ciao”. What a wonderful sighting!

We came across more general game on our way to Croc Bridge:
A lone youngster:

Image

Another youngster with mom very close by

Image

A giraffe family
Image

In the foreground (not shown in the photo) was a very stark reminder of the reality of Kruger – a rhino skeleton.

We also came across a male lion in the distance, dining on something, but too far away for a photo.

It was close to noon so we left the park and went in to Komatipoort. We found the restaurant without any problem and were among the first ones there for lunch. It started filling up after we ordered. Lunch was delicious. We picked up a few things in town before heading back into the park.

It was close to 4 pm when we went back to the hyena den. One nanny was out, then another came in “from the fields”, and 3 of the pups popped out.

Image

The adult regurgitated for the pups and they started to roll around in it, but didn’t eat. Can anyone explain why? We were all surprised at that behaviour.

There were only 3 vehicles there, then a couple in a light blue Bantam pulled up beside us. Next thing you know, he’s smack dab in front of everyone. :big_eyes: It was hot, so everyone had their windows down. You could hear everyone starting to mutter/complain about this guy. He probably didn’t realize it, but there was an adult behind a bush, about 3 – 4 metres away from him. He finally got the hint that people were not impressed with his antics, but instead of backing out the way he came in, he proceeded to turn around so he ended up facing everyone. :sniper: It was a rather cramped spot so it wasn’t a graceful 3-point turn. The guy’s wife was trying to apologize for the jerk’s behaviour. It was quite obvious that she was embarrassed. We left shortly afterward. It was a shame that a great sighting was tainted by stupid behaviour. :evil: :evil: :evil:
We had plenty of time so it was a leisurely drive back to camp. A few kilometres from the hyena den by a mud wallow, we saw at least 2 lions but again too far for a photo. We also saw a few more elephants and some buffalo on the other side of the river, in the distance. We even saw a rhino that day, so it ended up being a Big Five day with the cheetah as the icing on the cake. :dance: :clap:
We met a couple on the road who said they had seen 5 leopards, 7 cheetah and a bunch of other stuff that day. That may be, but were they quality sightings??? To be honest, I don’t care what others saw. We had great sighting and we were able to enjoy them with good friends. What more could one ask for?
:dance: :dance:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Memories of.....Kruger - 2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:32 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:30 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Award: Sighting of the Year - Predator (2012)
Thursday September 13
The first thing that we saw this morning was a rhino, but it was so far in the distance that we didn’t stop. Not far from there, one vehicle was backing up. We asked “Another rhino”. The answer was a quick “No – cheetah – 4”, and they were gone. Sure enough, there were 4 cheetah only about 50 – 60 metres off the road, and moving away from us. They were a lot closer than the rhino, but not close enough for photos.

We stopped for a toilet break at Nkuhlu. The buff pies were tempting but since we had had one yesterday, we thought it best to pass today. THAT doesn’t happen often – passing up a buff pie. :whistle:

North of Nkuhlu we found a young male nyala trying to hide behind a tree.

Image

The rest of the family was nearby but the vegetation was too thick to get any good photos.
We headed up to the high water bridge. There were a lot of cars on the bridge.

Image

That can only mean one thing:

Image

Image

Image

It was a good decision to investigate. The leopard was walking south. All the vehicles were trying to follow it down the H4-1 – except us. We were on our way to Skukuza . A kuier had been arranged for 10 am in Skukuza and we were invited. We all spoke English but would they understand us? Apparently, we have an accent....... :whistle: :whistle: And all along, I thought it was everyone else who had the accent :D :D

It was :bcool: meeting up with Vlakvarkvrou, her daughter Sekhmet, VVV’s friend Esther, Barryels and Hilda and WendyA. Our friends also dropped by. We all swapped stories, advice and had a lot of good laughs. All too soon it was over. It was great meeting up with everyone and hopefully we will meet again. I’ve unashamedly stolen the photo that Vlakvarkvrou posted in Barryel’s trip report.
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=65750&start=285
I forgot my camera in the car. :slap:

Image

Barryels and VVV: Hope you don’t mind. :gflower:
Seated are Hilda and Barryels. In the back: Timbits, Nighthawk2, WendyA, Vlakwrkvrou and Sekhmet.
Compared to the traffic on the bridge earlier this morning, I love the peacefulness of Lake Panic where we spent some time.

Image

Later, we made our way down to De Laporte waterhole where we saw 3 elephants playing in the water on the other side of the road.
I like this photo because it shows how easily something as big as an elephant can magically disappear (top left corner).

Image

One always has to stop at Sunset Dam before heading back to camp.

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Memories of.....Kruger - 2012
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:03 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:30 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Award: Sighting of the Year - Predator (2012)
Friday September 14
We were packed and on the road to Satara by 6:30 am. There was a light drizzle falling and it was cool and breezy. We made the obligatory stop at Sunset Dam but it was quiet. Just over the bridge, we caught a fleeting glimpse of a leopard crossing the road.

We came across two mature kudu bulls and I managed to get a photo of one of them. He looks like he's holding his breath trying to puff up his chest to look even more impressive :lol:

Image

With the weather being less than ideal, it was rather quiet. We stopped at Tshokwane and while we were debating whether or not to have a kudu roll, our friends pulled in. They were also changing camps today. SO and I decided to share a roll, (we're eating our way around Kruger :roll: ) and just as we were finishing up, a couple came in and told us that there was a leopard just up the road, and then lions a bit further on. Off we went in search of the elusive kitty cats. We found nothing. There were 3 possible reasons:
1. The people who told us about the sightings just wanted our seats so they made up the story
2. We got the location wrong
3. The animals moved off

The reason doesn’t really matter - the end result was the same. We didn’t find the cats.

It was too early to check in to Satara so we decided to take a drive down the S100. 4 years ago, we came across a major traffic jam. This was the reason

Image

While one of the females was busy scraping the bones clean, the male was in a contemplative mood

Image

2 years ago, we saw this – same spot so I’m assuming they’re from the same animal

Image

This time, we saw lots and lots and lots of these

Image

as well as zebra, wildebeest and impala. I don’t ever remember seeing so many waterbuck. Lots of prey animals but no predators.

We returned to Satara to check in and were greeted by the resident Bennett’s woodpecker.

Image

The highlight of the afternoon was seeing a yellow ribbon. It was Wildlife4ever-Roy. Nice to meet him. He wasn’t having much luck that afternoon either.

Rain, rain, go away......where are those wild dogs????? :(


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Memories of.....Kruger - 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:39 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:30 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Award: Sighting of the Year - Predator (2012)
Saturday September 15
Yesterday was an average day for sightings so we were hoping for better luck today.

The drizzle this morning could be considered a blessing in disguise because it kept the dust on the gravel roads to a minimum. About 3 km from the end of the S100 we found 2 male lions in the long grass, one was asleep, but the other was looking around.

Image

About 3 km down the S41, we came across a leopard. It was very nervous and I’m guessing the rain had something to do with that. It quickly crossed the road and disappeared into the bush. This shot is just to prove that we did see it.

Image

We’ve often seen a leopard within a 3 km radius of the S100 and S41.

We ended up at Nsemani Dam where we saw an elephant resting his trunk on his tusk.

Image

He walked into the water and appeared to be drinking by mouth, but after awhile he did start using his trunk.

Image

Later in the day, some people claimed to have seen the “Super Pride” on the S100, close to where we saw the 2 males earlier this morning.

We drove the S100 again in the afternoon, but our luck had run out. The vervets weren’t co-operating:

Image

Even the impala didn’t want to have anything to do with us.

Image

The only reason the zebra was facing in our direction is that it was using the dead branch to relieve an itch.

Image

We did manage to see a few ground hornbills

Image

We saw another martial eagle – I think that’s 3 so far, but it was too overcast for a decent photo. We also saw our first coucal, crested barbet and blue waxbills. The birds that we usually see have been conspicuous by their absence.

Back at camp, I amused myself by trying to take photos of the resident thieves. This was the only one who sat still long enough to get a shot.

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Memories of.....Kruger - 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:21 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:30 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Award: Sighting of the Year - Predator (2012)
Sunday September 16
The day started off cold and raining – again. :( Not what we had come to expect in Kruger in September – but there also wasn't was anything we could do about it. :evil:

We headed up to the high water bridge at Olifants that had been under water in the January flood. It was hard to image the amount of water that must have passed through. There was still evidence of the destruction in a lot of places – masses of trees, roots and rocks piled on the side banks or caught in the trees that are still standing, entire sections of the tar road torn away and heavy equipment removing the debris. It boggles the mind. This is what one side of the river looked like today.

Image

On the way back to Satara we caught a glimpse of what may have been a side striped jackal – or not. It may have been a very soggy black backed jackal but there is no photo evidence, so we’ll never know. I can live with "possible side striped jackal". :whistle:

We had been told that 2 lionesses were seen on the Sweni road yesterday, so we decided to give it a try. It is a gravel road and with all the rain that we had, there were a lot of very muddy and slippery sections. We were lucky we didn`t get stuck, but we also didn`t see anything – probably due to the fact that we were concentrating more on the driving conditions. I didn't relish the idea of possibly having to get out to push.

We came back along the Orpen – Satara road and that was quiet too.

We did see a few helmeted guineafowl

Image

A buffalo with a look that I can only describe as a sneer

Image

The weather was starting to clear up and there was a rainbow.

Image

Maybe our luck was about to change???? It was still early so we decided to give the S100 another try. Halfway along, we were told that there were 2 lions, 5 km away. It turned out to be the 2 mating lions that we had seen yesterday, still in the same place, near the end of the road. As expected, there were a lot of cars there. I managed to get this shot, which I really like. To me, the male is saying something like “Don’t mess with us - she's mine. I just scared away the ellie, YOU are small potatoes”.

Image

Image

It was getting late, so we turned around and started heading back. We saw a couple that we had spoken to a few times on the road. They asked if we had seen the cheetah about 10 km back. We hadn’t. Obviously, they were having a better day than we were.

We had uninvited guests after dinner – one with attitude. It's not polite to stick your tongue out!
Image

Image

And the resident honey badger showed up a little later
Image

AWC and....... please :rtm: !!!

That is the reason why we try to remember to put EVERYTHING in the covered trash bins. That is not the way I want to see a honey badger.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Memories of.....Kruger - 2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:55 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:30 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Award: Sighting of the Year - Predator (2012)
Monday September 17
We found the mating pair of lions from yesterday, plus another male lion hanging around. It wasn’t a good sighting at all – the lions were quite far away from the road, there was a lot of vegetation in the way and we just caught a glimpse of the female. We were stopped by someone who was “looking for the mating pair of lions, I got the info from Facebook, where are they?” A lot of people have voiced their (strong) opinion on this topic so I will leave it at that. :whistle:
On the way back to camp, we noticed some blue waxbills on the side of the road. We stopped to watch, tried to take photos, and then noticed not far away were 2 swainsons spurfowl digging in the loose sand. They were using their wings to toss the sand over themselves, rubbing their heads in the sand and generally trying to wiggle their bellies deeper into the sand. I’m guessing that they were trying to make a nest. Whatever, it was quite interesting to watch.

Image

We found this guy along the side of the road.

Image

As well as this ellie

Image

During the afternoon game drive, we came across the same saddlebill stork that we had seen in the morning.

Image

We saw a lot of general game too – zebra, waterbuck, wildebeest and impala. We also saw 3 buffalo that were relatively close to camp. They were probably stragglers from the huge herd that we had seen a few days ago.

This grey heron was drying it’s wings

Image

Back at camp, we found the Scops owl and took a photo.

Image

We were walking around looking for other birds and heard it call and then heard an answer call. We went back, and found another Scops in the tree not more than 4 metres away.

Image

Back at our hut, I saw a slender mongoose run across the road and under a large cactus. I followed it and found the rest of the family. Here’s one of them.

Image

I could sit and watch them for hours.

a crested barbet was making sure the braii was clean

Image

And an African hoopoe that had me making a fool of myself trying to get a photo.

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Memories of.....Kruger - 2012
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:26 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:30 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Award: Sighting of the Year - Predator (2012)
Tuesday September 18
Finally, a clear and dry day – just as we were leaving Satara for Tamboti. The bush was still wet, as was this Burchell’s coucal

Image

Sightings today included a blacksmith lapwing

Image

Zebra and giraffe together

Image

As well as other general game.

The sightings board at Orpen had indicated wild dogs about 8 km from camp on the tar road.
We checked in to our tent at Tamboti

Image

and decided to take the S106. We saw a small family of elephants. At the end of the road we returned to camp via the tar. About 5 or 6 km from the western end of the S106, we came across a few cars that had stopped. O.M.G. There were 2 wild dogs lying on the side of the road. They got up and started walking towards us. :cam: :thumbs_up: :clap: :dance: :D
They were very relaxed and checked out each car, almost as if they were encouraging everyone to take photos. They were only about a metre away from our car. WOW!!!!! :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

Image

Image

Image

We finally got to see wild dogs. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: There weren’t many vehicles around so everyone was well behaved. No one was driving off-road or parked across the road blocking others. It was all so civilized. We stayed until about 5:45 pm. We weren’t all that far from Tamboti so we knew we would make the gate with plenty of time to spare.

Honey badgers were by a few times during the night. There were 3 people staying in the tent next to us, and of them had pitched a small tent on the deck. The HB seemed to spend a lot of time over there. Badgers squeak and grunt/purr as they wander around. :hmz: We also heard hyenas during the night and a nightjar early in the morning. :D The sound of the nightjar is just so special to me. I can't describe it but it seems to be announcing the start of a beautiful and wonderful day....at 3:30 am. :roll:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Memories of.....Kruger - 2012
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:19 am 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:09 pm
Posts: 3722
Location: Pretoria, SA
FAC Member (2013)
Award: Newcomer of the Year (2012)
Timbits wrote:
barryels wrote:
Hi Timbits,

Just love all the birdie and owl pic's :clap: .
Yes it is quite funny how the saddle-billed stork with its pienk feet and knees, waits for something to happen on its "knees" bend backwards :hmz: .
Thanks for sharing :thumbs_up:


barryels:
My bird book tells me that it's a female saddle billed stork. The yellow eye gives it away. I wonder if the male also has pink toes :hmz: :hmz:


Her is the ID according to Roberts Multimedia Timbits

IDENTIFICATION: ca 150 cm, ca 7 kg; wingspan ca 2.7 m. Sexes alike, female slightly smaller. Ad: Head and neck black, glossed purple or green. Back, anterior scapulars, rump and upper tail coverts white; posterior scapulars and tail black, glossed green. Marginal and primary coverts white, latter with greyish tips and inner webs; remainder of upper wing coverts black, glossed green. Flight feathers white. Marginal underwing coverts and axillaries white, remainder of underwing black. Underparts white. Sometimes has small (45-50 mm diam) round or oval-shaped patch of dark red skin exposed in middle of breast. Bill long, slightly recurved, with distal half (ca 150 mm) deep red, middle third (ca 100 mm) black, and basal fifth (ca 60 mm) covered with deep red fleshy lappet, extending back to eye. Above red lappet is a bright yellow lappet (forming 'saddle'), edged with tiny black feathers. Pair of small, yellow, sometimes red, pendant wattles (15-35 mm) at base of bill. Eyes brown in male, pale yellow in female; bare skin around eyes red. Legs and feet blackish to greyish green, with pinkish-red tibiotarsal joints and toes. Imm: As ad, but duller, grey where ad black; bill dull red and black; saddle becomes dull yellow in second year.

In plain English, the male has brown eyes and pale yellow in the female.

Great doggie sighting :clap:

Thanks for sharing :thumbs_up:

_________________
Always be humble and understanding


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 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 teddy_rsa at 16:10:29 Submitted by BevAnn at 17:42:22 Submitted by Stampajane at 19:19:11 Submitted by Bornais Christine at 14:38:56