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
 [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: WendyA's (WendyA plays catch up!) KNP June 2012
Unread postPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 9:26 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator (2013)
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:25 pm
Posts: 559
I know I’m seriously far behind on trip reports and I have a confession to make … I’ve lost the notes I made of my June trip so will have to work completely from memory and hope my pictures remind me of where I was and what I was up to. Before I started looking at my photos I couldn’t even remember how long I’d gone for, nor where I’d stayed during that trip ... call it old age or blame it on excessive Kruger trips!

From July last year, I started my Kruger Sightings Book where I list the animals I spot, the roads I travel, the camps I stay at and the mites I meet, so hopefully the TRs that have to follow after this won’t be quite as trying on the old grey matter!

Let’s see … I’d booked a camping trip to Kruger (and I see from my photos that I was there 8 nights!). Elsa kindly contacted me and suggested that if I could get any extra time off of work, I come and join her, Klystron, Tawny and Martial who were staying at Ngwenya, before I ventured into Kruger. Obviously I made a plan, and managed to wangle a further day off work! I left Pretoria early on the morning of Thursday 31 May and made my way across the N4.

It was lovely to meet Elsa and Klystron again and to get to meet Martial and Tawny!

We spent most of the day on the stoep of their bungalow which overlooked the Crocodile River. Lots of animals visited the riverbed during the day and early evening including (from memory which is proving not so great at the moment …) impala, kudu, buffalo, giraffe and ellies.

Here’s a photo of the 5 of us just before we started on the sundowners …

Image

And here’s a photo of one of the sundowners …

Image

It was lovely catching up again and also hearing the stories of all their sightings – both in the park and from their stoep!

The following morning after we said our cheerios, it was in to the park for me and a long-ish drive up to Maroela.

Just as I entered at Croc Bridge I came across Mummy & baby giraffe …

Image

A quick stop at Gezantfombi where the hippos were soaking up the winter sun on the banks …

Image

The view at the dam just north of Tshokwane …

Image

Just around the bend I came across a giraffe standing dead still in the middle of the road …

Image

With their long necks I always wonder what it is they are seeing …

The ellies arrived at the dam for a communal bath …

Image

Some of them decided that if they really did have to wash they were going to make darn sure they were good and dirty first …

Image

I don’t think this little one was quite as new as the newbie I saw with my Mum on our October trip but he was very small …

Image

and still a little unsure about how his legs work …

Image

I love watching the ellies play in the water …

Image

Image

_________________
18-22 April - Camdeboo National Park
22-26 April - Karoo National Park


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: KNP June 2012 (WendyA plays catch up!)
Unread postPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 9:25 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator (2013)
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:25 pm
Posts: 559
I continued on … my next photos are of these lovely waterbuck …

Image

Image

They look so furry and cuddly!

Ah! I remember where this was … on the H7 not far from Maroela there was a hyena den

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I got to Maroela and set up camp right on the fence. The entire time I was setting up I could hear this kind of hissing-noise coming from the long grass on the other side of the fence. It was very bizarre. Someone has since told me it’s the sound civets make but I really don’t know how true that is, all I know is that I saw them on the other side of the fence once it got dark.

Image

Image

As it was June I knew it would be cold. I’d made a big pot of curry before leaving Pretoria and had a couple of plastic throwaway tubs of it in my freezer. I’d taken a tub out earlier during the day so it had defrosted. I heated it up in the kitchen then sat by my tent where I had a good fire going to keep me warm and devoured my curry. The monkey/badger proof bin next to my tent where I went to throw away the plastic tub proved really difficult for me to open … I ended up having to put the plastic tub on the floor and use TWO HANDS to open the darned thing.

Lying in my tent that night I heard the pitter patter of the honey badger’s feet around my tent and could not believe it when I got up the following morning to find the bin was open and my plastic curry pot licked clean … how do they do it???

Image

_________________
18-22 April - Camdeboo National Park
22-26 April - Karoo National Park


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: KNP June 2012 (WendyA plays catch up!)
Unread postPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 5:10 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator (2013)
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:25 pm
Posts: 559
The following morning just before reaching the H7 I found one of resident BBJs, who always seem to be there, in the middle of his “morning business” …

Image

On to the H7 where I came across Mummy and baby zebra …

Image

and Mr Brown Hooded Kingfisher …

Image

In the Timbavati river bed, a herd of ellies

Image

Including this one who Aat has just added to his Tusker site … say hello to MaTimba!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

_________________
18-22 April - Camdeboo National Park
22-26 April - Karoo National Park


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: KNP June 2012 (WendyA plays catch up!)
Unread postPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 1:39 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator (2013)
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:25 pm
Posts: 559
I have no idea where I drove that day after leaving MaTimba, but here are a few of my sightings …

a beautiful LBR …

Image

and a couple of young lads who were having a fight about something or another …

Image

I watched them for a while but they soon kissed and made up …

Image

An LBR flew on to the road in front of me …

Image

quickly snapped something up and flew off …

Image

An ostrich …

Image

more ellies

Image

Image

Image

an eagle-eyed vulture looking out to see if there was any scavenging to be done …

Image

and a crash of four unmentionables …

Image

Image

It had been another great day in the park. I got back to camp where loads of the lucky “weekend campers” had arrived. I don’t have a problem at all with “weekend campers” – in fact, I rather envy them; imagine being able to pack up and pop in to the park for one or two nights over a weekend – fantastic! What I do have a problem with is people who come into the park with their caravans, satellite dishes, widescreen TVs, etc, and feel the need to “share” whatever they are watching with the rest of the Kruger. That night it was rugby. I felt as if I was in a sports bar rather than Kruger where, instead of sitting back, reflecting on a magical day in the park and listening to Kruger’s night symphony, I was subjected to bl**dy rugby match commentators and the noise of the game.

_________________
18-22 April - Camdeboo National Park
22-26 April - Karoo National Park


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: KNP June 2012 (WendyA plays catch up!)
Unread postPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 10:20 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator (2013)
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:25 pm
Posts: 559
I decided I’d go and have my shower early and retire to my tent where I’d have no choice other than to sleep with ear-plugs.

I was just about to doze off when I remembered my Lays tube was in the car … there was no way in the world that if nature called during the night I was getting up and going to the loo with all the honey badgers around!

I went to open the car door but guess what??? Yep, it was locked and the keys were in the ignition. By this time the rugby match had finished and it was very dark in Maroela. I saw light shining from one caravan so went over to it in the hope of finding someone who was a car thief in their spare time!

It looked like I was in luck – okay, the guy was no car thief, but he did have a big box of tools. Unfortunately however, after trying for over half an hour, none of the windows were budging. The guy apologised and left; I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to get into the park early tomorrow, in fact, I might not get in at all. I was wondering how much it was going to cost me to get a locksmith to come out but then I remembered that the next day was Sunday … I might have to go a whole day without venturing into the park …

I decided I’d better go to the loo again … on entering the Ladies, there were a few ladies there drying their hair. The usual Kruger chat took place … “Hi, how are you?” they asked. I told them about the predicament I was in.

“Oh, no need to worry, go and see George, he’ll sort you out” one of them said.

“George?” I questioned, “who’s George?”.

“George, the guy who lives here; he’s the one who opens and closes the gate, cleans the bins, etc, he’ll be able to open your car for you …” they told me.

I got directions to where George lived … a light was on; I knocked on the door. George answered the door in what looked like long-johns! It was obvious I’d woken him up from a very deep sleep.

“Are you George?” I asked …

He nodded his head (and had a bewildered, half-asleep look on his face).

“Oh, thank goodness!” I exclaimed.

“I’ve locked my keys in my car and I need help to try and get the window down or the door open; one guy has already had a go, but to no avail; I met these ladies in the toilet who said you’d be able to help me …”

George looked at me, rather confused. He mumbled something and put his hand to his ear at the same time …

I put two and two together and came up with …… “I think George is trying to tell me he’s deaf and dumb”.

I slowed down, spoke much LOUDER, really pronouncing my words, hoping that he’d be able to lip-read, and doing all the actions that went with ...

“I ’ V E

L-O-C-K-E-D

M-Y

K-E-Y-S

I-N

M-Y

C-A-R

- C-A-N

Y-O-U

H-E-L-P

M-E ? ”

George continued to look at me - he looked even more confused now. He mumbled something again, but this time he did not put his hand to his ear … he continued mumbling and then I realised he was speaking to me in Shangaan!!!!!

I can’t believe the ladies in the loo didn’t tell me that he couldn’t speak/understand English!!! :redface: :redface: :redface:

_________________
18-22 April - Camdeboo National Park
22-26 April - Karoo National Park


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: KNP June 2012 (WendyA plays catch up!)
Unread postPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 5:49 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator (2013)
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:25 pm
Posts: 559
Anyway, long story short, George got a piece of wire, some string and a screwdriver and followed me to my car but alas, he couldn’t get in either.

I didn’t sleep much that night – how was I going to get in to my car? I then had a brainwave … I’d bumped into VannieWP, a forumite from Cape Town, earlier that day. He was staying in Maroela – he’d driven up in his Landy; surely he’d have some tools and would be able to break into my car.

As soon as I heard footsteps other than the honey badgers’ in Maroela, I was up. I felt a bit like a stalker sitting there staring intently at VannieWPs tent but as soon as I saw movement, I was over there like a shot. Unfortunately, however, VannieWP told me he didn’t have any tools with him so couldn’t help me …

Walking back to my tent I saw a couple of dodgy-looking characters making their way back from the mens’ loo(!!!) – surely they’d be able to help.

Sure enough, not 5 minutes later and my car door was open – HURRAH!!! I thanked them profusely – in fact, I may have overdone it with the hugging (!) - and I gave them a bottle of Amarula for their trouble.

_________________
18-22 April - Camdeboo National Park
22-26 April - Karoo National Park


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: KNP June 2012 (WendyA plays catch up!)
Unread postPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 5:50 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator (2013)
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:25 pm
Posts: 559
On the H7 that morning was a nice big herd of buffalo …

Image

Image

Image

Again, I have no idea where I drove the rest of the day, but here are some of my photos:-

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I do remember that on the way back that afternoon there were quite a few cars stopped at one of the bridges on the H7. There was an impala carcass in the tree … no sign of the leopard though. Oh well, I’d check it out in the morning …

_________________
18-22 April - Camdeboo National Park
22-26 April - Karoo National Park


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: KNP June 2012 (WendyA plays catch up!)
Unread postPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 5:35 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator (2013)
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:25 pm
Posts: 559
Leaving Maroela that morning I came across a couple of giraffe who I thought looked lovely in the morning light …

Image

The resident BBJ … pretty much a guaranteed sighting!

Image

I continued slowly along the H7, quite a few cars were overtaking me … I figured they were all on their way to the bridge to see if the leopard had reappeared …

Hmmm … maybe I should take the Rabelais Loop and give the bridge and possible leopard sighting/guaranteed traffic jam a miss …???

Or should I just continue on the H7 and if there were a load of cars on the bridge, carry on …..

The 2nd option won. I continued on. As I approached the bridge, there wasn’t another car in sight. Oh well …

But of course, I couldn’t help but stop and have a look … and what did I see …

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I was there a good 10-15 minutes before another car came by; and sat there for nearly an hour watching the leopard devouring his kill before going down the tree and disappearing into the bush – awesome!

_________________
18-22 April - Camdeboo National Park
22-26 April - Karoo National Park


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: KNP June 2012 (WendyA plays catch up!)
Unread postPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 7:37 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator (2013)
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:25 pm
Posts: 559
Further along on the H7, another large herd of buffalo …

I love the way they just stop and stare …

Image

and sniff the air …

Image

It looks like these impala remembered where water used to be …

Image

This wildebeest came down to the dried up water hole as well …

Image

I think maybe he was planning a bath as when he saw there was no water, he settled for a dust bath …

Image

Further on and some lovely zebbies …

Image

I took the S100 … and what did I find …

Image

Not great shots - this was what I sat and looked at for a long time …

Image

Image

But I wasn’t in a rush … I sat back and chilled.

_________________
18-22 April - Camdeboo National Park
22-26 April - Karoo National Park


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: KNP June 2012 (WendyA plays catch up!)
Unread postPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 8:03 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator (2013)
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:25 pm
Posts: 559
Every now and then a head would turn …

Image

Then finally, some movement …

Image

Image

Image

But only to move a couple of feet before sitting down again. I did manage to get a couple of shots of one of the boys who seemed to look straight at me!

Image

Image

I see I had a quick loo stop at Satara before heading back to Maroela

Image

Here are some of my sightings on the way back to Maroela …

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

_________________
18-22 April - Camdeboo National Park
22-26 April - Karoo National Park


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: KNP June 2012 (WendyA plays catch up!)
Unread postPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 5:33 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator (2013)
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:25 pm
Posts: 559
I remember when I came across a couple of ground hornbills on the H7 – an adult and juvenile. The adult was intent on tapping away at something in the grass – the tap-tap-tapping noise was really loud …

Image

Image

Image

It then lifted its head and had a grip on ….. a leopard tortoise!

Image

The leopard tortoise was shaken about …

Image

but then the ground hornbill decided to give up, dropped the tortoise and crossed the road, followed by the juvenile ... I often wonder whether the tortoise survived …

Image

Image

_________________
18-22 April - Camdeboo National Park
22-26 April - Karoo National Park


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: KNP June 2012 (WendyA plays catch up!)
Unread postPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 7:34 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator (2013)
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:25 pm
Posts: 559
I was all packed up and ready to move camps … I left Maroela around 7am.

My first shots of the day are of ANOTHER large herd of buffalo …

At first they just seemed to be grazing peacefully …

Image

Then they started to move …

Image

Image

and crossed the road (check out the flies …)

Image

I couldn’t resist this guy who looked as if he was ready to go to a masked ball …

Image

I remember these ostriches on the H7 … they were pecking away in the grass then one of them looked up (as you can see in the next photo)

Image

Image

I’m not sure what she saw but she somehow alerted the others and they quickly gathered together …

Image

Image

Image

then headed in the opposite direction. I got my binoculars out and scanned the long grass – there was no way I was going to be able to see whatever it was that had caught their attention though. I can only speculate …

_________________
18-22 April - Camdeboo National Park
22-26 April - Karoo National Park


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: KNP June 2012 (WendyA plays catch up!)
Unread postPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 7:31 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator (2013)
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:25 pm
Posts: 559
Other sightings that day on my way to Berg en Dal:-

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I got to Berg en Dal where I’d camped once before on an organised trip back in 2007. This was the first time there on my own though. I got myself a good spot, set up camp, lit a fire, sat down and called The Dog Lady, aka Jeannie, who I’d met during my April trip at Lower Sabie, and who was staying at Lower Sabie once again.

Now, all my friends (and a lot of you mites!!!) are forever saying to me “Kruger AGAIN???” but at least I only have a 4 hour drive ahead of me … The Dog Lady lives in AUSTRALIA!!!

_________________
18-22 April - Camdeboo National Park
22-26 April - Karoo National Park


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: KNP June 2012 (WendyA plays catch up!)
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:30 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator (2013)
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:25 pm
Posts: 559
As I was in Berg en Dal and Jeannie was in in Lower Sabie, we arranged to meet up at the Stevenson Hamilton Memorial.

My photos that morning on my trip to the Memorial are mostly of birds …

Image

Image


Image

Image

Image

What a girl would do for eyelashes like these …

Image

Image

I found four young Mr Majestics together …

Image

Then I met up with Jeannie! It was great catching up again. We decided to “alight from our vehicles at our own risk” and go to the lookout point at the back of the big rock.

I must admit to never having been there before … well, I am on my own in Kruger most of the time, and I don’t think that even my zapper would help me if there was a lion, leopard, ellie, rhino, buffalo or goodness knows what there!!!

Even though I had company this time, I still got my zapper out and plugged it in, ready to fight off whatever may be waiting for us behind the rock! Jeanie couldn’t believe her eyes … “You’d get arrested in Australia if you had one of those on you, mate!” she exclaimed!

Image

At one point I went back to the car for something, leaving The Dog Lady with my zapper. I nearly wet myself when a couple of francolins I hadn’t seen moved in the bush next to me!

_________________
18-22 April - Camdeboo National Park
22-26 April - Karoo National Park


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: KNP June 2012 (WendyA plays catch up!)
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:17 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator (2013)
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:25 pm
Posts: 559
Jeannie had never been to Transport Dam so we decided we’d head that way.

At Klipspringerkoppies we found a couple of klippies on the koppies!

Image

At Transport dam we were lucky enough to witness a herd of ellies make their way down into the water .

Two of them put on a real show for us splashing about and smashing their tusks together …

Image


Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

It was amazing watching and listening to them!

_________________
18-22 April - Camdeboo National Park
22-26 April - Karoo National Park


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ndloti and 7 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 rodandginge at 14:21:55 Submitted by avidspotter at 20:54:11 Submitted by bushwackedblonde at 12:44:49 Submitted by Leanawel at 10:12:27