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 Post subject: Katydownunder & Francolin's Green Kruger - April/May '13
Unread postPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 7:43 pm 
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Location: Back "home"?!...........
29.04.

Now it was time again for yet another Kruger trip...

We entered the Kruger once again via the Phalaborwa gate and were already now pretty surprised how green the Park was.
Our first stop was Mopani Rest Camp for our first 4 nights, as we had changed our booking from Sirheni to here after the horrendous floods in February.

We hadn't stayed here for ages and were a little bit excited to be back again.

We stopped at the Nanzane Waterhole and got a lovely surprise a Brown-headed Parrot was sitting in one of the trees.

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Later we spotted some Ground Hornbills having a dust bath.

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And a little later we found a very shy Korhaan.

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At Mopani we moved into our home for the next nights with a lovely view over the waters of Pioneer Dam.

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We even had a visitor on the opposite shore of the dam.

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But around the bungalow there was even more to discover.

A Chin-spot Batis

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A Giant-plated Lizard

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A Long-billed Crombec

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And many more different Lizards

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Although it was already a bit late, we decide to go on an afternoon drive.
We were heading towards Mooiplaas Waterhole.
On the way we found a Double-banded Sandgrouse.

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And some Black-winged Stilts

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We had just reached the waterhole when a huge Buffalo herd arrived.
So wonderful with many calves.

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What a wonderful start into a new Kruger adventure...... 8)

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Visiting a green Kruger April/May- Katydownunder & Franc
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:24 am 
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Location: Back "home"?!...........
30.04.

We left Mopani early in the morning for a leisurely drive towards Letaba and back again.
A Francolin was doing some early-morning exercise at a small puddle close to the camp.

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Close to the road a Tawny Eagle was sitting on the ground and dozens of Crowned Plovers were going crazy and attacked the raptor.

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Then we saw some Zebras, I can never resist to take some photos of those pretty animals.

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And yet again, we made sure that a Chameleon was able to cross the road in safety.....
We saw too many of them as road kill on previous trips....

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A Lilac-breasted Roller, still haven't caught one in flight....

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Not long and we spotted three Ground Hornbills.

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They were very much interested in a heap of Elli poo.... :lol:

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To be continued....

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Visiting a green Kruger April/May- Katydownunder & Franc
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:23 pm 
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Location: Back "home"?!...........
30.04. Part 2

We stopped at Letaba bridge to see what might be in the water and to check the destructions of the big flood....
From the bridge we saw a Grey Heron.

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And a Spoonbill with a huge Croc.

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Coming closer to Letaba we drove all the small "loops" on the main road and found some beautiful Ellis having a bath.

Testing the temperature of the water

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Three beauties

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We had lunch at Letaba and later a coffee and a long chat at the restaurant with some friends.
What a wonderful way to spend the time in the Park.

Later on our way back we spotted a Magpie Shrike.

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A Yellow- billed Hornbill eating a green Insect of some sort.

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A Wattled Starling

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Shortly before we arrived at Mopani we decided to drive a little detour and visit Shipandani Bird Hide.
On the low water bridge we spotted some Black Crakes, very busily searching for food.

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Then we were delighted to discover that they were feeding two Chicks...

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A Hammerkop was very disappointed that we had obviously more interest in the Crake Chicks than in him...

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Another Zebra ;-)

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What a wonderful an enjoyable day....
We had a sundowner while watching the sun set at Mopani.

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Later after having our braai we felt somehow observed, grabbing the torch we discovered that a Genet was silently sitting there watching us, then I went inside to grab my camera, I was able to take just one photo, after that she just got up and left.....

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


Last edited by katydownunder on Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Visiting a green Kruger April/May- Katydownunder & Franc
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:17 pm 
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Location: Back "home"?!...........
01.05.

Today we were heading into the northern direction...
It was a misty morning, such a magical atmosphere.

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Guinea fowls were having a drink near the camp.

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Impalas in the mist

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Delicate Spider web

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Misty Mooiplaas waterhole

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Curious Squirrel

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And in the same tree, as Snake Eagle

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Golden Orb Spider right beside the road

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Giraffe with Red-billed and Yellow-billed Oxpecker

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Shaking off the birdie

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Having a dustbath

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Roadblock

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Then we spotted some Juvenile Namaqua Doves

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At Tihongonyeni Waterhole we spotted some Jackals

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When they arrived the Egyptian Geese got very excited

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Then they were gone...





It was time to return back to the camp, as we planned to have a walk through the camp ...

To be continued....

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Visiting a green Kruger April/May- Katydownunder & Franc
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:54 pm 
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There is a signed walkway through the camp.....
After we had done it, be warned nothing you can do in flip flops :naughty: ...
But we liked it :D

At first we had a look at the pool, very nice, but it was definitely too cool to have a dip....

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Here we found a Dragonfly

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On our walk we found wonderful small sightings...

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View over Pioneer Dam

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Amazing view over the dam

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Baby Praying Mantins

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Back at out cottage, a Long-billed Crombec was inspecting our braai...

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To be continued....

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Visiting a green Kruger April/May- Katydownunder & Franc
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:06 pm 
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We stopped again at Shipandani to have a look at the Chicks again...

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Food...

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The Hippos were watching us...

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It was already pretty late and so we headed towards Mooiplaas waterhole once again.....
Along the way we observed a couple of very busy Dung beetles..

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At Mooiplass there was a huge herd of Zebras, so we stopped there and watched them.

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Some of them were chasing a couple of Warthogs

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Two of the Zebras had an argument, very interesting to watch.

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Then it was time to return back to the camp....
We had another braai and waited for the Genet :lol:
Of course she did not show up again...

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Visiting a green Kruger April/May- Katydownunder & Franc
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:57 am 
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02.05.

The sun slowly rises.
The break of a new day in Kruger.....

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We were driving towards Tihongonyeni once again, a wonderful stretch of road to drive from Mopani.
On the gravel road we found two Kori Bustards

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Egyptian Geese having fun...

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It may look as if this Raptor was chasing the LBR, in fact it was the other way round.
The Raptor was gone too quickly for me to ID....

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A male Namaqua Dove

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Two female Namaqua Doves

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Later an African Grey Hornbill tried to catch an Armoured Ground Cricket, but in the end the Cricket won and made a lucky escape into the long grass...

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Then we found a Juvenile Green-backed Heron on the road leading from Mopani towards Phalaborwa.

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Bad "hair" day?! :hmz:

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Now we were driving the road to Tihongonyeni the other way round.
And spotted some Tsessebes, unfortunately too far away for decent photos...

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At the waterhole there were still huge herds of Zebras....
Milk bar is opened...

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The little one has obviously put his/her face in the mud at the waterhole... :roll:

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And at the waterhole we saw our first ever White Stork.... YAY! :dance:

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On the way back to camp another Kori gave us a nice photo opportunity

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That afternoon we did not go for another drive.
Tomorrow we are moving to Satara for the next couple of nights and tonight we visited the restaurant.
We can highly recommend that!!!
It was a nice atmosphere, we sat outside, they put solar lamps on the tables and food was delicious.
Definitely the best we had in Kruger! :thumbs_up:

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


Last edited by katydownunder on Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Visiting a green Kruger April/May- Katydownunder & Franc
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:18 pm 
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Location: Back "home"?!...........
03.05.
Today we left Mopani to move to Satara for the next couple of nights...
Just after we had left the camp we met a huge Buffalo herd on the main road.

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And another Kori Bustard, it was amazing how many of these birds we saw this year...

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Black-winged Stilts and Egyptian Geese seen from Letaba High Water Bridge

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Beautiful Landscape south of Letaba

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Baby Hippo

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Huge Croc

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Terrapin

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Three-banded Plover

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Landscape near Olifants

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Of course you all know this...
The view from Olifants restaurant while we had lunch.

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We arrived at Satara, early afternoon, checked in and could not resist to go on a drive...

Brown Headed Kingfisher

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A tree full of Vultures

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Brown headed Parrot

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And then we watched a troop of Baboons in the late afternoon light

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It was so great to see him sit like that, quiet, only watching, as if he was enjoying the setting sun as much as we did....

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_________________
The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


Last edited by katydownunder on Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Visiting a green Kruger April/May- Katydownunder & Franc
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:07 pm 
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Location: Back "home"?!...........
04.05.

This morning we drove the S100.
Right on the first couple of kilometres we observed a Baboon slowly waking up and enjoying the first rays of sunshine...
The magic of a Kruger morning :-)

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A little further on two Ellis were on the way to the river...

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An Impala observed something that only he was able to see...

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We only drove a couple of kilometres and were stopped by a Kruger roadblock.....

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We had breakfast at Gudzani and from there headed north.
Once again we were stopped, but this time by a real traffic jam...
Soon we discovered the reason.
Lions....

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A second Lion appeared..

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This one was very much interested in the cars that we driving to and fro...

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Then it got boring...

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Spot the second Lion ;-)

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Francolins with a death wish...

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The road was blocked and so we changed plans and turned around to drive back to Satara via Sweni Bird Hide....
On one of the Low water Bridges we spotted two Water Monitors...

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A little later a Steenbok

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And hose beautiful Candelabra Trees

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While we stopped to take a pic of the trees, we saw a movement on the far side of the Low Water Bridge.....
A family of Warthogs appeared, so we switched off the engine and waited...

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We just love Warthogs and they had been pretty relaxed..



In the water close to the Low Water Bridge, a Egyptian Goose family.

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Before we headed back to Satara, we decide to visit Nsemani Dam. There is always something to see.
And indeed there was a troop of Baboon eating the greenies in the water.

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And drinking some water...

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White faced Ducks were not too happy about the presence of the Baboons...

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Grey Heron

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This Baboon was obviously not too keen to get wet feet....

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Just as we decided that it was time to leave, a beautiful breeding herd of Ellis arrived....

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The afternoon drive was short and much more quiet....

But we saw some Zebras and Giraffes in the wonderful late afternoon light....

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And just as we came back to Satara we found a great spot of a sunset pic....

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What a day in the bush......

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Visiting a green Kruger April/May- Katydownunder & Franc
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:26 pm 
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Location: Back "home"?!...........
05.05.

The morning started very exciting....
With the visit of two Honey Badger in the A circle....
I tried my best to follow the and take some photos, but they really were very fast

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This is actually my favourite shot

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Then we headed towards the S100 again.
Right in the beginning we spotted Brown-headed Parrots

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Then we met our group of Guinea-Fowls again.
They were very excited and sitting underneath a bush

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Then we suddenly knew why...
While we stopped there and watched the birds a Raptor suddenly appeared out of nowhere and caught one of the Fowls...

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Near Gudzani Dam we met a group of Kudus

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A Francolin

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One of those delicate Steenboks

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A Swainson's Spurfowl

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Love Waterbucks

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Crested Francolin

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No clue what kind of plant that is, but it's pretty

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Heron in hunting mode

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Then he gave up

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A very shy Burchell's Coucal

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And a not less shy Kudu lady...

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Saddle-billed Stork with youngsters near Gudzani

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Guinea Fowl feather in the water

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Grey-billed Hornbill trying to ignore us

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Monitor at Nsemani Dam

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The Blacksmith Plover wasn't amused and all the time screaming, which very much annoyed the Monitor

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Then we arrived back at the camp and this Lizard was awaiting us...

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Then we took a walk through the camp

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Back at the bungalow we had lots of birds to observe..

Feeding time

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Sleepy Grey Loerie

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In the afternoon we drove the S100 once again

Juvenile Bateleur

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The Vervets were enjoying the setting sun as well....

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Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Visiting a green Kruger April/May- Katydownunder & Franc
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:56 pm 
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Location: Back "home"?!...........
06.05.

Today was our last full day at Satara....
So our plan was to go and have a look for the Hyenas on the H6, we observed the Hyena den there last year May and thought that the den was still used this year too.
Just after we turned onto the H6 we sighted some Kudus.
Isn't this just a magnificent bull ?!

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Then we were lucky and "found" the Hyenas.
A youngster and Mom were resting in the first rays of the sunshine....

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The road got more and more busy and so we decided to turn around and drive towards Orpen.
We spotted another Squirrel, eating the same "fruits" like the Parrots the day before...
Can someone probably tell me what they are ?

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Shortly after Satara we spotted a Jackal in the high grass.

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A huge Croc at Nsemani Dam

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Those White faced Ducks showed us their backs for the whole time that I tried to take a photo..

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I am watching you...

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Rutting season and these two Impala Rams were busy fighting...

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A Tawny Eagle scanning the area

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African Hoopoe

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We had a lovely coffee at Orpen, did some shopping and headed back towards Satara....

On our way back we were stopped by some Baboons...
Always great to see the little ones riding.

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At Nsemani we saw a couple of Woolly- necked Storks

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Then this Stork landed nearly on the poor Grey Heron, that got really upset, as he just caught a fish :lol: :roll:

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White-faced Ducks observing the Croc now...

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Back at Satara our bungalow was again surrounded by all kinds of birds...

He had just stolen a Rusk from one of the neighbours

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Red-billed Hornbill

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A very sneaky Starling

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Then we took one last walk through the camp....

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Then we took a last drive on the S100

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Mom and the kids...

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Sunset on the S100

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On the way back to the camp....

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Our last evening at Satara.....
Tomorrow we are off to a new adventure, Boulders for the first time ever 8) :dance:

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Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Visiting a green Kruger April/May- Katydownunder & Franc
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:23 pm 
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Beautiful light on the hyaenas and they even did not move whilst taking the video :big_eyes:

Love your Kudu bull, the little zebra on the road and the wooly necked storks :clap: :clap: :clap:

and BTW here is the couple building the nest

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Sorry for highjacking your report with my picture :redface:


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 Post subject: Re: Visiting a green Kruger April/May- Katydownunder & Franc
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:06 pm 
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Location: Back "home"?!...........
Ok, I have to share a kind of a blond-moment.... :redface: :roll: :doh: :wall: :lol:

Early morning at Satara...
Not really awake and wrong setting on the camera, plus NOT switching off the flash produces such a pic,lol....
Felt a bit sorry for the poor cats afterwards....
Halloween!

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 Post subject: Re: Visiting a green Kruger April/May- Katydownunder & Franc
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:46 am 
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Location: Back "home"?!...........
07.05.

Today we left Satara for a new adventure...
This is our first time that were going to stay at Boulders and excitement was huge... :dance:

Only a couple of kilometres out of Satara we met some friendly Ellis..

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A soon after that a Kori Bustard

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A Burchell's Coucal

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Guinea Fowls with chicks

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And a curious Warthog

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On the banks of the Olifants we spotted some Hippos with an adorable youngster, so small...

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Unfortunately most of the times were not able to drive the small loops leading closer to the river as nearly all of them were still full of debris (no trash, but lots of wood, sand and stones) and big trees after the floods in the bginning of the year....So sad to see that so many of the huge trees are gone, but still so glad to see that a lot of them are still there..

A Tawny-flanked Prinia

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We had breakfast on the Letaba bridge before heading towards Mopani.
Along the way we spotted some more Ellis.

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To be continued....

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The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Visiting a green Kruger April/May- Katydownunder & Franc
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:21 am 
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Location: Back "home"?!...........
About half the way between Letaba and Mopani we spotted something on the side of the road..

A Hyena, we slowly drove closer..
And soon discovered that there was not just one Hyena, but 4 very curious youngsters

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Sleepy eyes...

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Then they all went back into the higher grass and it was time for us to leave...

We checked in at Mopani for Boulders and soon were on our way again.
Near Shipandani we checked the Black Crake nest once again and were sad to see that obviously there was only one chick left.....
No matter how hard we looked, whenever one of the parents arrived with some food only one chick appeared. :cry:

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After what seemed an endless drive we reached Boulders ....
What an awesome place..

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The braai area

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An Elli having a drink while we watched him from our deck

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The main building

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The view over to the waterhole

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Sunset/ sundowners at boulders

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We are here just for one night, tomorrow we are moving to Shimuwini for our last three nights before heading home again....

_________________
The Trip of a lifetime....
Our KTP Adventures November 2010


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