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 Post subject: SurfCindy's Diagnosed a Kruger Addict. KNP, Dec. '13
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 10:23 am
Posts: 908
AFRICA

When you have acquired a taste for the dust,
and the scent of our first rain,
You're hooked for life on Africa,
and you'll not be right again,
Until you can watch the setting moon
and you can hear the jackals bark,
and know they are around you
waiting in the dark

When you long to see the elephants
or hear the coucal's call,
When the moonrise sets your blood on fire,
then you've been away too long.
It is time to cut the traces loose,
and let your heart go free,
Beyond that far horizon
Where your spirit yearns to be

Africa is waiting -come!
Since you have touched the open sky
and learned to love the rustling grass
and the wild fish eagle's cry.
You'll always hunger for the bush,
for the lion's rasping roar
To camp at last beneath the stars,
and to be at peace once more

~Author Unknown~


and with this in mind, my story of nine days in Kruger begins ......


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 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:44 pm 
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Posts: 908
Welcome on board everyone, nice to have you join me. Let's hope this trip brings us lots of great sightings, special memories and wonderful experiences.


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 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:46 pm 
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Location: London, but from Blaauwberg
Man oh man. I can hardly wait. Not long now until we're rock spotting in 'Oom Paul se Plaas'.

_________________
To see a sunrise in KNP is to see magic.

Next trip is in the planning phase........


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 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:15 pm 
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Location: London, but from Blaauwberg
Oh my days. The clock is going backwards. I so can't wait to be within the KNP soon.

_________________
To see a sunrise in KNP is to see magic.

Next trip is in the planning phase........


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 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:21 pm 
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DAY 1

After being in the air for over 12 hours, we finally touched down in Johannesburg after 10 pm. The plan was to get a good nights sleep so we could get an early start, but at 2 am we were still awake and bouncing off the walls with excitement. We needed our Kruger fix ASAP and so we gave into the battle of trying to sleep, packed the car, got on the road at 3:30 am and headed for Kruger.

We continued with tradition and stopped at Wimpy for breakfast. It's the small things you miss when you are away for so long and Wimpy is definitely in my "Top 10 things I miss the most about SA". After a delicious breakfast we pulled into the parking lot of The Grove, Spar. This is one of my favourite parts of the trip as I get to ooohhh and aaaahhh whilst marvelling at all those familiar products. We filled the trolley and headed for the tills. I was shocked at how expensive groceries have become but didn't dwell on it too much as I had my beloved boerewors, gem squash, yogi sip and simba chips amongst other good things.

We entered the park at Malelane gate

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IMG_0018 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Bets were placed on 1st sighting in Kruger. The rules exempted impalas, so giraffe, zebra and wildebeest made the list. It was fantastic to see the green lush scenery, smell the bush, hear those animal sounds and feel the baking sun. There is no place in the world that beats Kruger.

Our first animals to make an appearance, were indeed the giraffes, such graceful and elegant creatures.

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IMG_4386 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_4392 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

So that left zebras and wildebeest. Who was going to claim 2nd place. We saw fairly large herds of impalas with their nurseries of little ones, they are so cute.

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IMG_4406 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0093 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

As we headed up to Pretoriuskop we saw zebras.

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IMG_4407 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_4409 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

That made it 2 of the 3 ticked off the list, no wildebeest to be seen so I guess I came in last place and the first round of ice-creams were on me.

A lonely bull elephant was head deep in the bush, feeding. Our first of the BIG 5.

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IMG_4412 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We saw 2 baboons cleaning each other. One had a massive gash on the side of it's head. I wonder what happened :hmz:

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IMG_4415 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Quelea having a bath and drink in the dirt road.

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IMG_0111 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Just before we entered camp, I managed to take my first photos of a brown headed parrot.

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IMG_4427 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_4428 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_4429 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We checked into Pretoriuskop where it would be home sweet home for the next 2 nights.


Last edited by SurfCindy on Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:36 pm 
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DAY 1 CONTINUED .......

After collecting our keys from reception, we made our way to the bungalow. What a beautiful location, right on the perimeter of the camp. Looks like someone beat us to our bungalow.

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IMG_4417 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

First task of the afternoon was to unpack our heavily loaded car. It's hard to believe that there was so much luggage for 3 people however, in our defense, a lot of it was Christmas presents for others. I left the unloading to Mom and SO whilst putting myself in charge of the unpacking and sorting out.

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IMG_4418 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

After severe lack of sleep and a very long drive, we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon in the camp and take in our beautiful surroundings. We did a bit of animal spotting around camp and found the following:

A warthog mowing the camp's lawn. I wonder if it gets paid for all its efforts :whistle:

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IMG_4435 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

A dung beetle going about its business.

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IMG_4438 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Helmeted guinea fowl. I just love the colouring of these birds.

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IMG_4402 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We had a lovely afternoon snooze before opening a bottle of wine and raising our glasses to a beautiful sunset and our first night in Kruger.

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IMG_0010 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We lit the fire and put some chicken on the braai. Oooohh those familiar favourite smells had me salivating. Even though it had been a while, SO tested himself to see if he still had his braai skills.

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IMG_0012 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

I can confirm he hadn't lost his touch one bit. We had a delicious dinner accompanied by a mixed salad and a tasty mielie.

All in all it was a fantastic first day but we had an early start the next morning so we turned in for the night. Wondering what the bush would hold for us the next day :hmz:


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 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:21 am 
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DAY 2

Our alarms had been set for 3:45. I love summer time when you get "extended hours" in the park. There was no need for alarms, we were all already up and getting ready to go.
Coffees made - CHECK
Ouma rusks packed - CHECK
Camera with fully charged battery - CHECK
Binoculars in the car - CHECK
Guide books at hand - CHECK
It was time to rock and roll. I had visions of us driving in the dark but was quite surprised by how light it was at 4:30. Unfortunately we due to the heavy cloud cover, we had no amazing African sunrise but after yesterday's welcoming temperature of 39 degrees, it was quite a relief to have slightly cooler temperatures. Besides it was great to just be able to smell the fresh vegetation and hear the bush waking up.
I love driving around Pretoriuskop, the rock formations add another fantastic facet to Kruger.

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IMG_0014 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

The migrant Woodlands Kingfisher had arrived. Their turquoise colouring is spectacular, especially when in flight and their call of Trrr - Trrrrrrrp could be heard everywhere.

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IMG_0140 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

This little broad billed weaver was a real busy body building it's nest, up and down and back and forth. We sat back and took a moment just to enjoy watching the behaviour of the weaver.

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IMG_0154 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We added to our list of little ones when we spotted the wildebeest with their young. Yay, 3rd proposed sighting had finally been spotted. I must admit, I was starting to feel the pressure of my attempted guess of "1st sighting in Kruger".

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IMG_4445 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

I was reminded of the different colouring between the adult wildebeest and the young ones.

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IMG_4441 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We made our way up to Stevenson Hamilton Memorial tablet. Along the way we saw these monitors soaking up the sun which was desperately trying to break through the clouds.

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IMG_4463 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

This guy was trying to cross the road.

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IMG_4456 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_4464 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

This cute klipspringer was on the lookout as usual.

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IMG_4459 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

After our breakfast stop at Skukuza Day visitors site, we went across the low water bridge where this marabou stork was awaiting us.

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IMG_4466 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_4467 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We decided to slowly head back to camp. During the drive we saw lots of general game, giraffe, impalas, zebras, elephant far in the distance (too far for a photo) as well as this steenbok.

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IMG_4479 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

and another one of the BIG 5, a lone buffalo accompanied by a hippo.

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IMG_4503 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We got back to camp, changed into our swimming costumes and went for a lovely, quick dip in the camp's rock pool. Plan for the afternoon was to have a late afternoon lunch braai, as we had booked ourselves onto a sunset drive giving us an extra opportunity to spot the elusive black rhino. My SO had been doing a lot of the work especially all the driving so I offered a helping hand and showed off my braai skills giving him the afternoon off.

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IMG_4512 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Whilst braaiing, I sat back and reflected on our mornings sightings. Even though we hadn't seen any big cats, I sometimes think it's the little things that make Kruger so special and entice us to return year after year after year.
However it would be nice to see some cats :whistle: .
What would our sunset drive produce and would we see our first black rhino??? :hmz:


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 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:38 pm 
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DAY 2 CONTINUED .........

We met Sipho, our guide for the sunset drive. The dark clouds didn't look very promising but we packed our optimism and hoped for the best.

We saw our first kudu.

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IMG_4488 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

The ever mischievous vervet monkey.

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IMG_4515 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

A cute warthog family

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IMG_4490 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Beautiful water buck

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IMG_0198 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

The light was fading quickly and the temperatures had dropped considerably. It was time to bring out the flask of amarula coffee. As I sorted myself out and got comfortable, carefully poured my coffee, Sipho suddenly came to a stop. Sjoe that was a close call, I almost ended up with precious liquid all over me. The cause for the sudden stop was a hyena den.

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IMG_0212 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0207 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0214 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0208 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

After spending some time at what I will say was a stinky den, watching the young cubs suckle, we moved on. The wind had picked up and the first rain drops were falling. I was losing hope of seeing any further good game. The bugs weren't deterred by the weather at all and continued to consistently fly into my face and body. They weren't quite the protein snacks I was looking for.
The rain was coming down a bit harder, Sipho started speeding up and I thought to myself he obviously wanted to get back to camp as much as I did. My thought was short lived as the vehicle came to a standstill and Sipho pointed to the long grass right next to the road. I strained my eyes "What is he looking at?" I asked myself when I spotted a mane within the grass. There was a male lion taking cover from the rain. Our first cat had made an appearance.

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IMG_0228 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0229 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

He was in no mood to do anything or move at all, so after we snapped a few shots (I did my best in the dark and long grass) we carried on. A few km's down the road, Sipho thought he could see a female lioness further up the road but he wasn't too sure in the rain. A male lion and now a female lioness, the adrenalin was pumping. As we got closer, Sipho realised it was in fact a huge male leopard and NOT a lioness. I managed a few quick pictures as he made his way across the road and into the bush.

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IMG_0238 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0235 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

The wind and rain were soon forgotten and the excitement of our brilliant sightings had taken over. I took some time to admire the beautiful moon to calm me down.

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IMG_0020 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_4530 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

The black rhino had escaped us once again but we didn't mind, after all it had been a BIG 5 day. We returned to camp, chuffed with the day's proceedings.


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 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:33 pm 
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Location: London, but from Blaauwberg
It was one of the best sunset drives we did. Sipho was brilliant and the sightings were fantastic. The next day was just as good ......... :whistle:

_________________
To see a sunrise in KNP is to see magic.

Next trip is in the planning phase........


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 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:12 am 
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DAY 3

We left camp at 4:30 and said good-bye to Pretoriuskop. We had thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The area had spoiled us with some great sightings. Today we were making our way to our new home, Skukuza, where we will be spending the next 2 nights. On our way out we passed the hyena den. One of the adults were out and about. We waited for a while but there was no sign of the cubs.

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IMG_4536 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

A loud clicking which caught my attention, belonged to this black bellied bustard. The noise they make is incredible and always catches me by surprise. I remember the first time I heard one, I spent ages trying to find the culprit but all I saw was a bird and then I saw it's beak move the same time I heard the clicking sound. Well my SO and I just looked at each other in surprise.

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IMG_0239 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

A single bull elephant was feeding. I had learnt the night before that an elephant passes 56% of its food intake. No wonder the roads are always littered with huge piles of elephant dung.

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IMG_0258 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

These hippos had already submerged themselves deep into the water.

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IMG_0244 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

And then I saw something new.............................................. MATING WOODLANDS KINGFISHERS :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: What a sighting!!!!

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IMG_0271 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0279 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

After completing the deed, the male took off and returned with some food. Nothing like a romantic breakfast :lol:

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IMG_0285 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Either the female was ungrateful or unfortunately she dropped it, but she lost the food to the ground. So the male flew off and repeated the process. She managed to hold onto it second time round. The "love birds" allowed us this beautiful departing shot.

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IMG_0293 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We continued down the road towards Skukuza. Between the three of us, we were chatting excitedly about the unique experience we had just witnessed when we encountered another truly special sighting headed straight towards us.

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IMG_4600 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We did a quick 180 degree turnaround and followed the leopard down the road for at least a kilometre before she turned into the bush.

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IMG_0306 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0313 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Then made her way to a small mound where she sat for a few minutes.

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IMG_0321 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_4612 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

before she zig zagged back across the road, right in front of us. Continued walking to a tree which she leapt up into with amazing ease, and made herself comfortable.

Image
IMG_0343 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

WOW!!! What a brilliant morning so far. Could it and would it be topped in the afternoon?


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 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:40 pm 
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DAY 3 CONTINUED ..........

After the excitement from the morning's sightings, it was definitely time to stop for some food. We pulled into the parking lot of Afsaal which was already looking quite busy. I guess that is what happens in December. We rented our skottle and cooked a feast of patties, tomato onion and mushroom mix, scrambled eggs and toast accompanied by some good coffee and tea.

My mom, the chef, in action

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IMG_4638 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

The rest of the morning was spent observing our feathered friends.

One of the BIG 6 birds, a saddle billed stork. The colour on their beak is so contrasting and striking.

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IMG_0355 by rcferreiras, on Flickr
These endangered birds, another one of the BIG 6 birds, the southern ground hornbill, were looking for food.

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IMG_0360 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We got to Skukuza, checked in and were assigned a lovely bungalow along the river. The view was fantastic, the calm river banks, the calm flowing water and if I looked over my right shoulder, I could see the old Selati railway bridge. To put the cherry on the cake there was loads of birdlife in the camp.

This white-fronted bee-eater came to visit.

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IMG_0371 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

A cape glossy starling came to show us what they caught for lunch.

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IMG_0369 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We unpacked the car and got ourselves settled in. We used the opportunity to have a drink on our verandah while taking in our surroundings and just relax a bit. This is what they mean by pure bliss. However whilst putting your feet up is always good, the thought of what's out there lured us to once again go for that last afternoon drive.

We were treated to this pied kingfisher that posed nicely for us.

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IMG_0384 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Something big had been eaten.

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IMG_0385 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

A marabou in the water.

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IMG_0386 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

A shy buffalo.

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IMG_0049 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

After checking everything is okay, he came out the bush. We saw he had a massive gash on his side :hmz: Maybe there's a reason why he was a bit security conscious.

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IMG_0050 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

He was very skittish as he crossed the road and made sure his buddy went first.

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IMG_0053 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Our last sighting of what had been a brilliant day, was this elegant giraffe.

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IMG_0054 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

What a great day's sightings. We treated ourselves to a dinner at the new Ciao Selati restaurant. I was really impressed with the quality of the food. What a nice improvement to our previous experience there.

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IMG_0057 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0058 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

A perfect ending to celebrate a superb day.


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 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:44 pm 
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DAY 4

The clock struck 4:30 and we were once again out the gates of the camp. We found our 2nd hyena den of the trip and there were a few young ones out and about playing in the early morning sunlight.

Image
IMG_0397 by [url=http://ww
w.flickr.com/people/63175689@N07/]rcferreiras[/url], on Flickr

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IMG_0399 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

This adult was keeping supervision, making sure that playtime didn't get too serious and result in injuries.

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IMG_0412 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

It was time to go to work for this adult. They said their good-byes to the family and headed off in the sunlight to the office.

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IMG_4666 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

This little vervet monkey didn't want to say good-bye and so held onto mom for dear life.

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IMG_0417 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

The day had started off with a beautiful sunrise showing promises of being a scorcher but the clouds rolled in quickly and soon it was over cast. There were no complaints from me, it made game viewing from the car far more comfortable.

We saw a trumpeter hornbill. The light was quite bad but I still photographed this lifer as proof.

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IMG_4704 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We saw more Southern ground hornbill. It is always great to see these big birds. Just look at the eyelashes on this one.

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IMG_0426 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Before we could continue with the day's proceedings, we had to wait for the traffic jam to clear. These baboons did not seem interested in moving and to be totally honest, we didn't mind at all. We were in no rush and they never fail to provide some entertainment.

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IMG_4719 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

With the help of my Bird ID book. I identified a white crowned lapwing. I cannot remember seeing one in Kruger before, so not sure if they are migratory birds, if they are uncommon or if I have just missed them in the past.

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IMG_4727 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We continued with the bird watching as the general game had somewhat dried up a bit. We spotted a vulture on the ground.

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IMG_4741 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

A European bee-eater couple. I learned that the males are monogamous but occasional bigamy has been encountered.

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IMG_0438 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

A crested francolin soaking up the little bit of heat from the sand, trying to warm itself up.

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IMG_0445 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We caught this European roller grabbing some breakfast.

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IMG_0455 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0454 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Our third BIG 6 bird, the martial eagle and one of my favourite raptors. I just love their speckled boots and beady eyes.

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IMG_4784 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We turned the corner to a perfect sighting of a leopard sunning itself on a rock.

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IMG_0485 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Our second fantastic sighting of this elusive cat in 4 days :big_eyes: The bush was spoiling us, and my addiction to Kruger was only growing. With sightings like this, I am going to be incureable.


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 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:40 pm 
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DAY 4 CONTINUED .........

We parked off and watched the leopard for a while. Occasionally it would lift it's head and have a look around but would soon go back to it's original position. Lazing on a rock looking cool, calm and collected with no care in the world.

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IMG_0488 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0491 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0492 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

Suddenly, in a blink of an eye, the leopard leaped off the rock and just like that, it was gone.

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IMG_4813 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We heard an impala bark a warning call. We waited at the sighting for 30 minutes to see some action but to no avail and so we decided to move on. We later heard that if we had stuck around for another 15 minutes, we would have seen the leopard hoist it's impala kill up the tree. :slap:
Oh well that's the nature of the bush.....right time and right place.

So after we continued on our way, we spotted our first marabou in a tree, all the others had been in the water.

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IMG_4817 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We saw cheetah in the far distance. I could just about make them out through my binoculars but too far for a photo. :doh:
A crocodile was :dance: taking some me time and catching a sun tan on the banks of the river.

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IMG_0502 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

This beautifully coloured lilac breasted roller called loudly from a tree nearby. There numbers seemed far less than previous visits in September and October time. I discovered it's because the females were sitting on their nests, so the numbers were in affect halved.

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IMG_4890 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

I managed to get a photo of this african fish eagle just before it took off. Without a doubt it must be one of the most iconic african sounds.

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IMG_0538 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

As we turned our attention from the fish eagle my SO spotted our second lifer of the trip....a pygmy kingfisher. He was so excited his smile would have gone right round his head if it wasn't for his ears.

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IMG_0534 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_4900 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We saw our first bush buck. Such stunning antelope with their distinct markings.

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IMG_0540 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

As we headed back to camp, we hit a road block. Three male lions in the middle of the road. They looked in top condition with beautiful dark manes.

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IMG_4909 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_4918 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_4920 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0578 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

After a while spent admiring them, one decided nap time was finished and it was time to get up. The other two followed shortly.

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IMG_0556 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0563 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0569 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0570 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0591 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

WOW they were just breath taking.

We had an earlier sighting of rhino, all we needed was elephant to make it a BIG 5 day.
Can you believe that all along the river, from Lower Sabie to Skukuza, we did not see one single elephant. Who would have thought :slap:
So we finished our day on 4 out of 5 but could not complain. The bush had been kind to us and had treated us to some awesome sightings.


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 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:52 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 10:23 am
Posts: 908
DAY 5

Five days into our trip, just over half way, and we had not seen one single YR besides our own. Where were all these mites hiding :naughty: We decided to do the Marula loop as a morning drive. Then head back to camp to pack up before we move to our new home, and one of my favourite camps, Lower Sabie, where we would spend the next two nights.
About 30 minutes into the drive, a kind gentleman stopped and told us about a wild dog sighting. He said we might not see the two dogs as they had moved off into the bush. We thanked him and moved on in hope of spotting them but didn't bank on it as knew full well how quickly the bush can change. So we stopped for feathered friends of all kinds, dwarf mongoose in the road. Boy are those little guys lightning quick when suddenly something came darting out the bush......lo and behold it was two wild dogs.

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IMG_0604 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0609 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0621 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

They seemed quite unsettled, constantly weaving from the left side to to the right side of the road, looking around. We saw what they were looking for, when a third one came into view and then a forth, fifth and sixth. They came in one by one and soon there were a total of nine dogs and the greeting frenzy began.

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IMG_0162 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

They looked so happy and excited to see each other. It was such a special moment to witness.
After the dogs had reunited with each other, we followed them down the road for a few km's, when all of a sudden the leader flopped down and the rest followed suit. They obviously had had enough of running around and it was time to catch some beauty sleep.

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IMG_0175 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0658 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0672 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0680 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0681 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0682 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

What a great start to the day. We got back to camp, very happy with the morning so far. With a spring in all of our steps we packed the car, had some breakfast and planned our route to Lower Sabie. We couldn't leave without a detour to one of the best places in Kruger, Lake Panic.

A lovely sighting of the African jacana walking on water.

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IMG_4979 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

A black crake looking for some breakfast.

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IMG_0728 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

A thick billed weaver hiding in the reeds.

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IMG_0698 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

A green-backed heron chilling out on the edge of the water.

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IMG_0745 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

The resident goliath heron was no where to be seen but still a very worthwhile stop. It's amazing how peaceful it is, sitting in the hide just watching nature unfold in front of you. If I could, I would have spent the whole day but we had to get a move on and so left Lake Panic and continued on our way along the river to Lower Sabie.
Our drive was filled with impalas, giraffe, a lilac breasted roller, woodland kingfishers, european rollers and an elephant family crossing the road

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IMG_0209 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

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IMG_0778 (2) by rcferreiras, on Flickr

heading off into the bush to feed.

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IMG_0752 by rcferreiras, on Flickr

We arrived at camp, checked in and unpacked our goodies into our river bungalow.
Ah time to sit back, put the feet up and reminisce about what fabulous sightings we had experienced and seen so far.


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 Post subject: Re: Diagnosed a Kruger Addict
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 10:23 am
Posts: 908
DAY CONTINUED ............

All the early morning starts were beginning to catch up us and so spent a nice relaxing afternoon in camp. We were so chilled out, we even contemplated not going out for a drive. :redface: The thought, however, of perhaps missing out on something was too great and so we all piled into the car and went out for a late 2.5 hour drive. We crossed the bridge and took a look back at camp, the view is just stunning!!!
We arrived at the H10 intersection and my SO turned left onto the Old Tshokwane road (S128). A little voice in my head said "no you are going the wrong way" and so asked my SO if we could rather take the Mlondozi Road (S29). He sort of rolled his eyes at me but gave in and turned around to continue onto the S29. We saw our first yellow ribbon :dance: and had the pleasure of meeting of Kaapsedraai 8) We had a bit of a chat about his sightings along the road, he said they had seen some general game but nothing much else. My SO glanced over at me and had this "I told you so" look on his face. So we asked ourselves do we turn around and go down the other road or do we carry on. We decided to carry on and boy oh boy :big_eyes: :big_eyes: Not even 10 minutes later, you will never guess what happened...... :twisted: I get giddy even now as I think about it.

PS: The next episode is NOT for the faint hearted :naughty:


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