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Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby hilda » Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:51 pm

I'll have to agree with Pumbaa! People are feeding the Terrapins, that's why they come closer as soon as you stop to watch them. :evil:

Beautiful Crocodile pictures Charbel! :clap: :clap:
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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby charbel » Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:32 pm

Hi Pumbaa and Hilda,
Yes, it was what I thought. This is exactly the kind of thing we are discussing on the thread concerning the preservation of Kruger character. Check here: viewtopic.php?style=2&f=67&t=50103

Sanparks has to do something about preserving the wilderness feeling of the park. Otherwise, they will lose their most faithful visitor, those that come as frequently as they can to the park, exchanging them to day visitors who spoil a lot and leave little behind. It does not seem a good financial decision, let alone ecological!

If it is known that people feed the terrapins there, a scheme could be made for rangers to visit the pond from then to then, and also some kind of punishment, like a fee, should be applied to those people. They are probably spoiling the terrapins health for nothing....

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Charbel

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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:40 am

Fantastic terrapin pictures. You are right, fascinating little creatures. Quite feisty as well. I would not like to get my finger in the way. Maybe that should be a warning to feeding animals.

:popcorn:
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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby Trrp-trrrrrrrr » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:57 am

Charbel,

Caught up what amazing sightings and awesome pics. :clap: :clap:

:mrgreen: :cam: of the Olifants. :clap: :clap: ...Would love to be there again. :hmz:

Know that little stream well where the Terrapins are...So :( that they seem to be fed. :twisted:

Super pics of them though ...nice and close. :thumbs_up:

:popcorn:
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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby charbel » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:03 pm

Dear Trrrrp-trrrrr and Meandering mouse,
Surely a terrapin biting your finger is something you wouldn't like, Powerful jaws there.
Nice to know that the TR brings memories to you all. It certainly revives the whole trip for me, and that's so nice!

Cheers
Charbel

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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby charbel » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:00 pm

We were so entertained by the terrapins and their crocodile that we almost didin’t see the Nile or Water Monitor at the other side of the road. But he didn’t escape us.

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Besides the Nile Crocodile and Terrapins, we saw in S44 1 Swainson’s Spurfowl, some unidentified Swallows, 1 Red-Faced Mousebird (Urocolius indicus), 2 Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbills, 2 Fork-tailed Drongos (one juvenile), 1 Grey Go-Away Bird, Impalas, 1 female Red-Backed Shrike (Lanius collurio), 1 flying Bateleur, and 1 European Roller.

Here is a picture of one of the Drongos. Always amazing birds to see, despite being common, due to their flexible and well adapted behaviors.

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The Olifants viewpoint gave us some nice views of this mighty river, just before the Letaba River reaches it.

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And to the other side of the viewpont, a similarly astonishing view. It soothes our hearts, but afterwards makes us miss all that so much!

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And up there, the Bateleur kept sailing the skies. A lonely rider in the distance, or, in fact, a lonely glider.

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We reached then S93 and followed in the direction of Letaba, along the Letaba River. In this road, we saw a northern baobah and 1 Lilac-Breasted Roller, 1 African Fish Eagle, 2 White-Fronted Bee-Eaters (Merops bullockoides), 1 Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus), Impalas, 2 Grey Go-Away Birds, 1 Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath), Hippos and 2 Egyptian Geese.

Here is a general view of this nice baobah, followed by a pic of its trunk. Very marked by the vicissitudes of life.

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This was a beautiful Lilac-Breasted Roller, although the light was really not good that day.

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It was the first sighting of White-Fronted Bee-Eaters during the trip. Really nice birds.

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The highlight of S93 was, however, this most amazing Martial Eagle. First, a pic of the eagle within a general landscape view.

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And three closer views. I love this chest pattern!

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Finally, two lovely Egiptian Geese.

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Cheers
Charbel

Check also my Kgalagadi trip report: viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=72181

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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby Trrp-trrrrrrrr » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:06 am

Charbel,

What a lovely episode with super 8) :cam: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Great pics of the Martial Eagle :thumbs_up: ...Their eyes always look so mean to me. :hmz:

Thanks for sharing :popcorn:
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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:53 am

Gorgeous pictures, Charbel :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: I just love your tree and Martial Eagle. WOW and also that cheeky reptile of yours. :wink:

:popcorn:
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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby hilda » Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:12 pm

I love the close-up of the Monitor Charbel! Awesome bird sightings too! :dance: :dance:

Beautiful pictures of the river views too! Wow to your Martial Eagle pictures! Fantastic! :clap: :clap:

Egyptian Geese always look beautiful on a picture as well as in real life! :D
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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby Fotomaljohan » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:13 pm

Great photos of that magnificent martial eagle! That baobab is called "Von Weilligh's Baobab"! Named after the person who was responsible for the fencing of northern KNP bordering Mozambique.
I heve never seen Kruger so green (and wet)!
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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby Pumbaa » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:13 pm

WoW That Olifants river Looks extreme full especially having in mind the just shortly visited area there :big_eyes:

Stunning martial and lovely monitor shots on top :thumbs_up:

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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby charbel » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:13 pm

Dear Pumbaa, Fotomaljohan (welcome om board!), Hilda, Meandering Mouse and Trrp-trrrrrrr,
Sorry for taking so long to answer. There are times when work simply drowns me. I have been actively working on putting together a large ecology projects, gathering more than 15 labs. This means coming back to working with semi-arid environments, which I love!

Kruger was really very wet and green that summer, Fotomaljohan. I have read before the trip that animals are not so easy to spot during summer, because of the tall grass and the amount of water inside the savana. But we saw easily more than 100 animals per day, which is very good, and given the fact that we could see the baby animals and the migrating birds, I am really planning to come back in KNP during summer!

Pumbaa, it was astonishing to see the Olifants river so powerfully rolling down...

Martial Eagles are indeed special animals, with eyes that intently look at you. It was the only one we saw down in the ground during the trip.

Fotomaljohan, thanks for naming the Baobab to us!

Thanks also for the comments on the pics of the monitor. We did like them!

Next, a posting in the KTP TR!

Cheers
Charbel

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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby charbel » Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:01 am

We were close to Letaba, just had to follow S46 and then S94. The only sightings in S46 were a group of Elephants hiding between the trees and a group of Impalas with many youngs. There was also an unidentified flying eagle.

The Elephants were nice to find, particularly because they had little guys between them. We managed to take some pics although they often disappeared between the trees. In this pic, we can see part of the group. There were three young animals from different generations, and one of them was really very young.

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We captured here a frontal view of one of the young Elephants. A beautiful animal, indeed!

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Finally, a funny posture.

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One of the young Impalas crossing the road in front of us.

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In S94, we saw only 5 Giraffes. But it was great for the short stretch we followed in this road. They were resting under the trees, not moving much.

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A marvelous animal, always touching to see, coming closer to take a look at us.

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To finish this posting, a very close view of one of the Giraffes.

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Cheers
Charbel

Check also my KTP TR: viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=72181

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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby hilda » Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:30 pm

Wow Charbel! Stunning pictures of the Ellies and Giraffes! :clap: :clap:
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Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011

Unread postby Carol g » Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:21 pm

Charbel I've just caught up on your TR, such stunning pictures :clap: :clap:
Love the martial eagle, those Ellie's and giraffe, oh just everything :dance:

Thanks so much for sharing :gflower:
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