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 Post subject: ossendryver The Record Breaking Trip! (KNP)Sep '12
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:45 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:18 pm
Posts: 1539
Location: johannesburg (but soon in Kruger)
Hey all!

I'm pleased, for the 4th time this year, to start another trip report!!

I'm leaving late tomorrow morning for Skukuza, then on Friday to Satara for the weekend and on Monday to Skukuza again.

I hope you all come with me on my journey through this TR.


My wishlist:

1.The mega pride - I've recently heard just so much of how it is such a privilege to see these 20+ lions at once, that I just have to experience that!
2. Wild Dogs - I want to see the Skukuza pack, I've been tracking them this whole year and I have yet to see them.
3. A kill - I want to see a kill, from start to finish.

So those are my hopes and dreams this time around. Lets hope they come true!

Thanks all for following this TR


Last edited by ossendryver on Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The record breaking trip! (KNP)
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:33 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:18 pm
Posts: 1539
Location: johannesburg (but soon in Kruger)
Sad to be spending the last night of the trip.

But, what a Record breaking trip we had today!

Quick preview:
Today, 6 different lion sightings and 1 leopard.


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 Post subject: Re: The Record Breaking Trip! (KNP)
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:33 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:18 pm
Posts: 1539
Location: johannesburg (but soon in Kruger)
Day 1

Welcome aboard this Trip Report! I hope you enjoy reading about and seeing my sightings :D

Day one started off slow as for once we didn't leave home at 4:30am. We left at around 9:30am
But that was ok, we because we would be first outside that gates for the next 5 days!

That night we were spending at Skukuza, the next 3 nights at Satara camping, and the last night at Skukuza.

Once we got all the last things ready, we were off!

Finally at Phabeni gate we filled in all the forms, for once no problems doing so, and finally we could enter.

We arrived at the gate at around 4:40pm so we didn't have much time for game viewing, although we did still look of course!

It was more or less a quiet drive but a few kms before reaching skukuza we saw a magnificent herd of male Kudu.

They all jumped over the road at once. Sadly we missed that photo but they did pose afterwards.

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One later crossed to join the rest:

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All of them then walked off together
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It was now starting to get darker as the sun was setting, but the lighting was beautiful!

We saw a great spot to take a photo of the sun setting, as we took the photo an impala ran accross the road.
It looks like he is standing on one leg!

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Then it really became beautiful to watch.
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Sadly that brought Day 1 to an end.

I hope you enjoyed this short little drive.

Stay tuned for Day 2.


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 Post subject: Re: The Record Breaking Trip! (KNP)
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:30 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:18 pm
Posts: 1539
Location: johannesburg (but soon in Kruger)
Day 2 Part 1

Today it's finally time to officially start the trip!
And maybe break some personal records!

I have never seen a LIT (Leopard in Tree) before. I have seen probably 30 leopards in Kruger and not one has ever been a LIT. I don't believe they climb trees.


That night we were going to sleep in Satara so we wanted to get there early to get a good spot and start pitching up the tents.
Our route would be: H11, H4-1, H12, H1-2, H1-3 and camp.

Beautiful sunrise to start the day!
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We started out when all the animals were still tired and didn't have enough energy to run away from us as usual

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On the H4-1 we got to a troop of baboons that I don't think I have ever not seen. They are always there. I'm sure you all know the ones I'm talking about.

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Then there were to friends that just wanted to play but mom said no!

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Eventually they nagged enough and got to have some fun.

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We then crossed the H12 bridge and continued to tshokwane for some breakfast.

The drive was a bit slow but we saw some nice stuff.

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My favourite bird of all time:
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A dung beetle just rollin some dung:

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We got to tshokwane and had a delicious toasted cheese, while being attacked by the baboons, bushbuck, starlings and monkeys.
But it was pleasant otherwise.

Then we were off to Satara on the H1-3.
It was getting hot so I hoped to see some action at waterholes.

And my theory was right when we got to Kumana Dam!

My first record for the trip was broken!!
My first ever LIT!!!
But not as you expected it....

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LIT = Lion In Tree.

Still I have yet to see a Leopard in a tree.

But anyway, they were going nowhere so we decided to continue to Satara and set up camp.

We chose our spot because these starlings were everywhere around us:
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That's the end of Day 2 Part 1.

I hope you enjoyed the first broken personal record of the trip!
Stay tuned for the awesome afternoon drive with a sighting I will never forget...


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 Post subject: Re: The Record Breaking Trip! (KNP)
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:02 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:18 pm
Posts: 1539
Location: johannesburg (but soon in Kruger)
Day 2 Part 2

After battling with our new tent which took all our energy away from us, since we put it up at a whopping 41 C, we still managed to find just enough energy to take out a refreshing cold, very cold drink.
The drink put us back into our Kruger Mood! You know what mood it is! A mood to take a drive!

So after setting up all those last small bits, finishing our drinks and relaxing a bit we were ready to take our first drive around Satara.

We quickly decided on a route.
hmmm, what road do you try first around satara??
S126? S39? H1-4?
No no no!

The S100!

On my Wishlist I wanted to see the Mega Pride, so that's the main reason we chose that road.

So our route: H1-3, S100, S41, S100, H1-3 and back for a nice lekker braai!

Let's Start!


We left to the S100,

First sighting was this beautiful Steenbokkie!
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It wasn't sunset yet, but the lighting was amazing!

And of course some Kudu:
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Then we got to the S41 T junction.
Turn Right or Left?

We chose Right towards the H6, but we didn't want to go all the way to the H6.
Anyway we were driving and driving and I suddenly look to the opposite side of the road to where I was sitting and I saw IT!
A brown colour lying under a bush, way on the other side of the river bed miles away. I looked up into the trees and I saw vultures.
I didn't know whether to shout stop or not.
We carried on driving and I thought to myself, what if it was.
So about 500m further I said "Stop! I think I saw a lion but a bit further back."
Anyway we got to the spot I saw it, I took out my binos and all I said was "It's a pleasure!"

It was such an awesome feeling to spot a male lion so far away and sleeping under a bush! Later at the sighting that feeling would go worse to us feeling sad.

Soon we spotted another male lion.
They both stood up and walked much closer to us (Very kind of them).
They then sat back down and relaxed.

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The reason our mood would go to being sad was what then happened.
The 1 male lion got up and walked behind this one bush and stopped.
We couldn't believe our eyes, but the lion stopped not randomly but started to eat.
We soon then realized what it was, it was a rhino. We could see that the rangers moved the bushes in front of it on purpose.
And thus the vultures all over.
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After realizing that it was a rhino we couldn't really stay that long as we all felt too terrible watching this.
I have seen 2 kills in my life and I enjoyed every second of the thrill of watching it, but this was different!



After we left this extremely rare sighting we headed back to camp.

On the way back we had beautiful bird sightings.

Of course one of my best, the Kori Bustard:
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After what felt like hours around the camp braai debating. We came to the conclusion that it's a Steppe Eagle. Please let me know what you think:
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The rest of the drive was quiet, but while inside the camp it wasn't!

I hope you enjoyed Day 2 Part 2

Stay tuned for what we saw while in the camp...


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 Post subject: Re: The Record Breaking Trip! (KNP)
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:29 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:18 pm
Posts: 1539
Location: johannesburg (but soon in Kruger)
Day 2 Part 3

So, most of you thought that when you get inside the camp after the gates are closed that thats it.
Not true at all!!

When we got back to camp, as the gates closed, after an exhausting drive I asked my parents to drop me off at the famous waterhole at satara while they got together with our cousins who were visiting South Africa (Reason we all went to Kruger) and got the braai ready.

While at the waterhole I saw:
1. 2 jackals.
2. 1 Hyena

That hyena I really wanted to see as I always check him on the cams.
I finally got my wish!!

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Then I hear the saddening words "Come and eat".
Saddening? Yeh!
It means I have to leave my webcam.

But in the end it was worth it!
It was worth it for 2 reasons.

1. The food was incredible.
2. While I was eating I looked around Circle C and I see it! The resident African Wild Cat!!
I was so excited!
I took out my phone to take a photo but it was gone.

After about 30 minutes I see it again! This time it was fatter.

I went closer with a torch, I realized that this one was a honey badger!

I followed it and it went into a bungalow and stole some nice salt and vinegar chips. Sadly I couldn't stop it. They are know to chase away lions. I'm not being attacked by one of those tonight thank you very much!

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After it ran off I went to go continue supper.
Suddenly my cousin said "Since when do you get domestic cats in Kruger?"
I looked around and it was the African Wild Cat again!
This time I wasn't going to let it run away.

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After both these amazing sightings in the camp I tried to explain to our foreign guests what a privilege it is to see these rare animals!
I have only seen African Wild Cats and honey badgers only once before this trip during my 8 years of going!
I got nowhere with them so I left it.


Off to bed.

Another amazing day happening on Day 3

Hope you enjoyed this entry.
Stay Tuned for more.


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 Post subject: Re: The Record Breaking Trip! (KNP)
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:39 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:18 pm
Posts: 1539
Location: johannesburg (but soon in Kruger)
Day 3

After a noisy, windy and hot first night in satara with barely any sleep it was finally time to get up and get ready for our drive.

Today we decided to try the S100 to look for the mega pride.

After a nice hot chocolate to wake us up, were finally out the gates.

We told our cousins our plan to look for the mega pride on the S100 and they agreed to follow us.

About 500m before the Junction with the S100 & the H7 there was a herd of elephants.
So both cars stopped, ours and my cousin's.

Our car left about a minute before them.

When we got to the junction we looked at the book and realized that Nsemani dam was close by. So we decided to go there quickly and then meet up back with the family on the S100.
This decision payed us back in 2 ways.

So after 7kms we finally got to the waterhole and sat for a few minutes.
Nothing much came down to drink, just the hippos.

My dad said: "You see that tree, we'll drive there and then do a U-turn.

That tree was probably 100m from where we were further a long the road.

We got there and we couldn't believe our eyes!
It couldn't be, but it was!

The Mega Pride!

We counted over 17 lions.

It was the most amazing experience

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We felt so bad as we couldn't call our cousins and tell them to come.

But...

That sighting was the first way it payed us off.

The second, someone in another car told us that our wheel had a puncture.
So if we would have gone on the long S100 we could have been in serious trouble. But instead something made us stay on the Tar and close to the camp!

It was a short drive, but surely was one we'll never forget.

So:
See a mega pride - Check
And another record broken - Most lions seen at one time.

Hope you enjoyed our morning drive

Stay tuned for our afternoon one.


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 Post subject: Re: The Record Breaking Trip! (KNP)
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:22 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:18 pm
Posts: 1539
Location: johannesburg (but soon in Kruger)
Day 3 Part 2

After that amazing early morning drive we had to head back to camp to get our tire fixed.
Sadly we lost one of the parts so my mom and I had to run around the whole camp trying to find another Toyota Avanza to see if they would lend us that part that we needed.

Finally after what felt like kilometers of running we found one.

He gladly helped us.

By the time we got back to the garage at Satara they had fixed the car....
So I had to run back to that guy and give him back that part.

We were really tired after that so we decided to have a nice breakfast and lunch and then go out in the afternoon.


When it was time to go out we decided to go back on the S100 to try again.

We saw nothing.

So we came to the S41 junction and we went to see if the lions were still there on that car carcass.
They were but I can't seem to find the photos of that :(.

On the way back we at least saw something.

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And then of course a nice sunset to end the day.

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I hope you Day 3.

Day 4 has a sighting that I have never seen in my life! And of course lots of others.
Finally I get to see it.

Stay Tuned....


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 Post subject: Re: The Record Breaking Trip! (KNP)
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:31 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:18 pm
Posts: 1539
Location: johannesburg (but soon in Kruger)
Day 4

What a great day!

We woke up early again and went out to do a short drive.
We went on the H1-3 to Kumana Dam and back.

It was a great drive towards the dam.

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Then at the dam we had the privilege of seeing a huge herd of buffalo coming down for an early morning drink.

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Then after about 20 minutes just watching them, we then decided to head back to camp.

Literally 100m from the buffaloes I looked into the river bed and I saw a yellow thing again.
This time I said stop immediately and didn't wait until 500m later like I did on day 2.
I looked through the Binos and it was a lioness.
Very very very injured.
Then we heard that the night before the huge herd of buffalo had attacked her.

It was such a sad site seeing her so injured and sore and alone.

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I told the ranger at Satara through my whatsapp group and they went to her immediately. Sadly they had to put her out of her misery as they could do anything else.
But I think it was better than letting her suffer.

We got back to camp and had a nice lunch.
Soon after we decided to go out again.

This trip all we have done are the roads south of satara. H1-3, S100, S41, H7. (We saw lions on all except for S100 :hmz: )
We decided to do something different. We decided to go North! :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

What a great decision.

At one of the river beds on the way to Ngotso were two reedbuck busy having a nice time eating the grass.
It's always nice to see them.

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And then we got rewarded with a sighting I have never seen before in 8 years of visiting kruger!!
My first ever leopard in tree!!

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Then it got down after 10 minutes and we watched it walk towards the road.

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It suddenly disappeared into thin air!!

We waited and waited and I suddenly looked on the other side of the road and there it was!
It must have crossed under the road.
Leopards these days.

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We then followed him for another 20 minutes and watched him go up another tree.
This time a bit further.

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He then settled in so we left.

We went to the Timbavati Picnic spot for a short drinks brake and we saw 3 male lions but you could only see their ears. So we didn't take any nice photos to share.

On the way back to Satara from the Picnic site we saw a cute vulture nest.
The mom was feeding the chick

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Then back onto the H7 we were able to take some nice scenery photos.

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Some more vultures

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We had a nice and relaxing afternoon with Elize, a person who I have gotten to know well through the sightings group and she is lucky enough to live in Letaba.

We also booked a night drive which was very rewarding.

A Giant Eagle Owl
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And then we got the Sweni Lion Pride on the S126

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Shame, the male was very, very injured and was limping terribly.
A sad day for lions that day was.

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But the sightings still made up for it.

Especially an African Wild Cat

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So today was another great day for breaking records!

1. Big 5 in 40 minutes
2. Leopard in tree!
3. 3 Lion sightings in 1 day.

I hope you enjoyed this day.

Stay tuned to even more broken records and unbelievable sightings on day 5!
You don't want to miss it!


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 Post subject: Re: The Record Breaking Trip! (KNP)
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:05 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:18 pm
Posts: 1539
Location: johannesburg (but soon in Kruger)
Day 5

Today was sadly our last full day in Kruger

After having such amazing sightings this was quite a bummer to think that the next day we would be home.

And what's a trip to Kruger with out taking advantage of the Murphy's Law?

I woke up early as usual and then I woke up my parents.
This time I new that the morning drive would be successful as my dad said "Go with out me, I'm really tired."

To be honest I hate it when people decide not to come with as it's not as much fun and in this case we wouldn't have great photos.
On the other hand the sightings are always great.

We decided to do the H1-3, S126, S36, H7 and back to camp for breakfast and to pack up.

We thought we might do this route as we saw the Sweni lion pride on the night drive the night before and that we might catch a glimpse of them again in the morning.

Our first sighting for the day:

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This made our day as the very injured male from the night drive wasn't limping at all this morning.

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Poor quality as I had to take it off the camcorder.
But at least our theory was valid :) We caught more than a glimpse

Then about a few seconds on the S126 we saw my dad's favourite animal.
Hyena.

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The rest of the trip was very quiet as it got hotter.

Then when got back to camp we had a nice breakfast and sadly finished packing up.

We thought that the hyena might still be at the Sweni Waterhole for my dad.
It wasn't
But out second lion sighting for the day was.

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But what happened next was an experience we all will never ever forget.

At the waterhole was a huge herd of elephants.
Suddenly they all stopped drinking and started running towards us.
Wasn't a charge but just their daily route.

But the sight of having a herd of 100+ elephants running towards you is quite unbelievable.

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Then we had to make our way back.

At Kumana dam was our 3rd lion sighting far off. But we weren't even looking at them. We were looking at the leopard who was under a tree about 50m from them.

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We could see the lions and the leopard at the same time!
Again taken from video camera.

We then continued and when we got to Mazithi Dam, yip you guessed it. Our 4th lion sighting for the day.

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Where are they?
Zoom in 400X

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We had apparently just missed them attempting to hunt a zebra.

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We then got to Skukuza and went on a drive with Outlook Safaris.
It was absolutely beautiful.

We did the H11, H4-1, H12,H1-2.

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For once we were actually the car to spot a lion.
I'm usually the 100th person there.

And yes, our 5th lion sighting for the day.

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She was the mother of 3 cubs we found 500m further.
Our 6th lion sighting for the day.

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We then started to head back to camp.

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Giant Eagle Owl

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And a beautiful sunset to end our trip.

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Records broken for the day:
1. Big 5 in 17 minutes (Lion & Leopard at same place)
2. 6 lion sightings in 1 day.
3. Biggest herd I have ever seen

Sadly the next day wasn't too exciting.

I hope you all enjoyed my trip report.


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