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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:36 pm 
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Sorry once again for the long delay! Work drowning me, literally! I am eager to go to KTP!

Going on with the sightings in H7, January 6th 2011, in a great trip to KNP. It was only the fourth day and it was unbelievable not only the amount but, above all, the diversity of animals we had already seen.

The next appearance in H7 were 6 (African) White-Backed Vultures. It was great to find this endangered species once again! It was the end of the day and there they were, watching the world from above a dead tree trunk, making it evidently clear why they are often seen as bad omen. Dark animals indeed! Fascinating animals in fact! And beautiful in their own way of being beautiful! One of them was in backlight, just a silhouette against a day going to end. I liked the pic.

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And then another one arrived. Gathering together for the night, or so it seems.

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And the silhouetted guy took a good look down. What could it be? No clue.

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And then there were two guys looking down.

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A third came. This was becoming a tree of vultures!

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It was hard because of the bad light, but we managed to get some close-ups. And we were only with Canon powershots. I am eager to see what I can do in KTP with my new Canon EOS with a telezoom.

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In the same tree with so many vultures, there were two Tawny Eagles. A very rich tree indeed. It was the end of the day, so, not much more than a silhouette, but I still think it is a worthwhile picture.

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Fortunately, this eagle shows stable populations, classified as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List. Even though it is not threatened globally, its range in southern Africa has been diminished due to persecution. It is locally Endangered in Namibia.

This species is distributed through most of Africa, in a small region in the Arabic Peninsula, a small spot in Iran, and in the Indian subcontinent. For a map, see http://maps.iucnredlist.org/map.html?id=106003532

This eagle generally prefers lightly-wooded savanna, but it also occurs in treeless grasslands, provided that there are pylons and alien trees to nest in. It is a resident bird, only locally nomadic, moving in search of local abundances of food, for instance, Red-billed Quelea colonies. This eagle is not only a predator, but also a scavenger, feeding on a wide variety of animals. Its usual strategy of hunting is to search for food from a perch, swooping down to catch a bird in flight or pounce on prey on the ground. It is also a regular behavior to scavenge roadkills, sometimes competing with vultures and Marabou storks at carcasses.

Some time before reaching Orpen, we had to stop again, increasing our risks of getting there late. We found a group of Warthogs, very brave guys, which came in our direction, distinctively threatening us. Quite funny scene to see, above all because they were still small Warthogs.

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The Common Warthog is fortunately not threatened, classified as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List, with stable populations. Not only is this species relatively widespread and abundant, but there are no major threats resulting in significant population decline. However, the species is very susceptible to drought and hunting, and this may result in local extinctions. But notice that they are highly dependent on protected areas, where they are common animals, but outside those areas they have often been exterminated by people, often through hunting them.

Its geographic distribution can be seen here: http://maps.iucnredlist.org/map.html?id=41768

It occupies a large part of sub-Saharan Africa. The overall number of warthog in Southern Africa has been estimated at about 250,000.

They form groups consisting either of sows and their piglets or bachelor groups. This group we saw in the way to Orpen was a bachelor group. Maybe that’s why they were so brave.

Warthogs use Aardvark and Porcupine burrows as dens, but they can also dig their own burrows if necessary. They use the forefeet and snouts for digging and then shovel the excess sand out of the burrow with their snouts.

They are grazers who spend most of the time looking for food. They can also eat succulent rhizomes.

They live from 12 to 15 years.

Before Orpen, we saw two herds that may be residents: (1) 32 Blue Wildebeests + 3 Burchell’s Zebra + Impalas (Aepyceros melampus); (2) Burchell’s Zebras, Blue Wildebeests, and Africa Buffalos (Syncerus caffer). Here, some pictures of the herds. Look at the nice Blue Wildebeest cubs. And the nice Blue Wildebeest butt, for the calendar!

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Finally, the landscape looked beautiful by the end of the day.

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It was not stressful…. (who could be stressed since so many nice animals!), but we reached Orpen just in time to check-in for Tamboti, and then go to the camp which would prove to be the most fantastic in the whole trip. Tamboti made us want wilderness camps forever!


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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:08 pm 
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What a variety of awesome sightings Charbel! Lots of beautiful Vulture pictures, the lovely Warthog family, Blue Wildebeest with babies plus a mommy and baby Zebra, with beautiful Buffalo in between! Fantastic! :clap: :clap:

I love your landscape picture! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:56 pm 
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hilda wrote:
What a variety of awesome sightings Charbel! Lots of beautiful Vulture pictures, the lovely Warthog family, Blue Wildebeest with babies plus a mommy and baby Zebra, with beautiful Buffalo in between! Fantastic! :clap: :clap:

I love your landscape picture! :thumbs_up:



Dear Hilda,
Thanks! I also love the landscape pictures, I took several of them during the trip.... I will post more such pics.
H7 was a very good road to us!

Cheers
Charbel


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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:31 pm 
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WILD DOGS! Gorgeous charbel simply exquisite! :) ......... I see your still keeping the suspense? I see you said you'd visit kruger again in 2015 because your having or had a daughter? Ive got to tell you I took my eldest camping in the kruger for the first time when she was 2 weeks old and she adore the kruger today if you just mention the word she's the first one in the car lol hope you have a ball with your daughter when you go :)

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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:04 pm 
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:big_eyes: Stunning Bird, Wildebeest, Buff, Zebra, My favourite..Warthogs and awesome scenery :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:19 pm 
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Sheenaugh-Lee wrote:
WILD DOGS! Gorgeous charbel simply exquisite! :) ......... I see your still keeping the suspense? I see you said you'd visit kruger again in 2015 because your having or had a daughter? Ive got to tell you I took my eldest camping in the kruger for the first time when she was 2 weeks old and she adore the kruger today if you just mention the word she's the first one in the car lol hope you have a ball with your daughter when you go :)


Dear Sheenaugh-Lee, it is great to read your message. Our daughter was born in May (first one, probably single one) and is now 9 months old. We still had doubts about taking her to Kruger with us in 2015, when she will be 2 to 2.5 years old. Your message about how your daughter went there when she was 2 weeks old really counts for our plan!

About the suspense, we reached Orpen in time, but with a very short interval to check-in and still go to Tamboti.

Cheers
Charbel


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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:20 pm 
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Philip1 wrote:
:big_eyes: Stunning Bird, Wildebeest, Buff, Zebra, My favourite..Warthogs and awesome scenery :clap: :clap:


Dear Philip,
Thanks! I will definitely post more of my many pictures of scenery...

Cheers
Charbel


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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:35 pm 
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charbel wrote:
Sheenaugh-Lee wrote:
WILD DOGS! Gorgeous charbel simply exquisite! :) ......... I see your still keeping the suspense? I see you said you'd visit kruger again in 2015 because your having or had a daughter? Ive got to tell you I took my eldest camping in the kruger for the first time when she was 2 weeks old and she adore the kruger today if you just mention the word she's the first one in the car lol hope you have a ball with your daughter when you go :)


Dear Sheenaugh-Lee, it is great to read your message. Our daughter was born in May (first one, probably single one) and is now 9 months old. We still had doubts about taking her to Kruger with us in 2015, when she will be 2 to 2.5 years old. Your message about how your daughter went there when she was 2 weeks old really counts for our plan!

About the suspense, we reached Orpen in time, but with a very short interval to check-in and still go to Tamboti.

Cheers
Charbel


Hey charbel

Congrats :) glad i could help if you'd like some usefull tips on travelling in the kruger with an infant give me a PM ive got plenty to share anytime

have a great evening

ciou :)

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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:59 pm 
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A very eventful day charbel :thumbs_up:

Lovely wild dogs and close up too :dance:

Love the vulture tree and the wildebeest with their little ones enjoying a roll in the mud :)

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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:25 pm 
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Sharifa wrote:
A very eventful day charbel :thumbs_up:

Lovely wild dogs and close up too :dance:

Love the vulture tree and the wildebeest with their little ones enjoying a roll in the mud :)


Thanks, Sharifa, yes, the vulture tree was really something.

The day almost ending, just the short road to Tamboti.... Next day would begin with a walk in the savannah... at 4AM.

Cheers
Charbel


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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:38 pm 
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charbel wrote:
Next day would begin with a walk in the savannah... at 4AM.


Can't wait to read all about it Charbel! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:01 am 
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Going back to the TR, at January 6th we had only to go to Tamboti. Only one sighting in the way, an unidentified hornbill, and that was good, because we had no time for stopping… Even so, we in fact got to Tamboti late, after the time to close the gate, and the gate was open.

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We came to the conclusion that the gate was not really closed, what added to the experience of sleeping in the tent. We felt like we will feel next June in wilderness camps in KTP, with no fences. We went to the bathroom (no bathroom inside the tents) in the middle of the night looking carefully for possible hyenas within the camp. This added, indeed, to the excitement.

Here are some pictures of the tent and us! In the second, Carol, my wife, and me, in the third, Pedro and Carol.

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If you never stayed at these tents, I strongly recommend. They are close to the fences, you can even be lucky to have some extra sightings through them. And you are in a tent, more integrated, closer to the environment. You can really hear the hyenas outside the camp. Don’t think twice, sleep there!

This is the tent in the morning and the nice way to the tent:

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Here is our list of sightings in Tamboti:

1 Natal Francolin (Pternistes natalensis), 1 Tree Squirrel (Paraxerus Cepapi), 1 Honey Badger (Mellivora capensis) and 1 European Roller.

Here is a picture of the Natal Francolin.

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The Honey Badger was not photographed by us, but gave us an excited night. He was below the tent. We noticed that there was something there, and got out of the tent to take a look. Suddenly we saw the Honey Badger running from below the tent. He turned the garbage upside down and disappeared.


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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:20 pm 
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Tamboti is a fantastic camp charbel! We have often stayed there, but in the tents further on with a shower and loo, the works. I'm too scared to go out at night! I would have closed the gate if I were you, but maybe you are not as scared as I am! :redface:

Awesome picture of the Natal Francolin! :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:44 pm 
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Hi Hilda,
We were very curious about going out in the camp at night, at least me and Pedro... But to close the gate might be a good idea, it simply didn't occur to us. It is a great camp, next time I will be with my daughter, so probably not staying there....

Hey, I am very glad to see I got a kudu!

All the best
Charbel


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 Post subject: Re: Report of our first trip to Kruger - 3-14 January 2011
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:45 am 
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Hey charbel

Great pics of Tamboti my moms been their a few times and told me of its beauty its the first time im getting to see it via your pics THANKS it looks stunning :)

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