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
 [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Guinea Pig's Never say Never.... KNP, Feb. 2014
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:40 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 1737
Location: My business...
When we returned from KNP in 2010 we were pretty convinced we wouldn't be going there again for a very long time. Not because we were unhappy, because we just had the most awesome trip from top to bottom and back again you can imagine. :D

So we did Golden Gate in 2011 and Augrabies and KTP in 2012. After KTP I swore I'll NEVER go back to KNP because there's just no comparison. 2013 saw us skipping SA due to circumstances that led us to Cornwall and Wales. As promised to ourselves, we started planning our next KTP trip (which is booked already btw! :D), then KLM came up with a really good deal and things changed a little bit.....

We're flying in 20 days and guess where we're heading.....? KNP.... :lol:

Our trip will take us from Orpen Gate to Phalaborwa Gate and out at Orpen Gate again, with one night inside at Tamboti and the rest as Day visitors from Phalagat.

Why are we going back? H7 and the area around Mopani, especially Nwamba Pan. 8) Some of the best game viewing country you can imagine.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Never say Never.....
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:03 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 1737
Location: My business...
Just a week to go. 8)

As excitement mounts around this short visit we have of course started making the Wishlist. We're a bit blasé about Kruger by now :redface: , but we'll be with a couple who've never stayed INSIDE Kruger before. They've never seen or heard Hyena for example. They've never stayed in a tent before. :twisted:

We do have a few wishes. Duco has never seen Brown-headed Parrots, so we'll be searching Satara. We won't be staying there, but will pass through a couple of times. Our interest will mostly be in Birding which by all accounts, should be good this time of the year. You never know what migrants we may pick up. 8)

Mammals? On a day safari from Phalaborwa gate they saw 2 cheetah and a caracal before breakfast yesterday, so that would be nice. The Orpen wild dogs or pangolin would be nice. I still don't have Eland or Liechtenstein's on my Krugerlist, so hoping for Phalaborwa-Mopani. And of course my main bogey animal - a leopard. NOT sleeping in a tree. Not hiding in tall grass. NEXT to the vehicle. I must be the most unlucky person as far as they go. Well, except for the one forumite who's never seen a leopard in KTP! :lol: Wild dogs? Seen plenty. Just like seeing them again. Leopard? In all my years in parks, only 3. 2 in KNP, 1 in KTP. Oh and of course my BIG wish - Side-striped Jackal. It is becoming an obsession to see one of those.

Will we get what we wish for? Good question, but we'll tell you when we're back.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Never say Never.....
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:03 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 1737
Location: My business...
Making an early start since our flight leaves at 10:10, arriving tonight at 22:05. . :D

Since we still have to make our way to Vanderbijlpark, we organised a taxi to pick us up. A very reliable and decently priced company. I'm just not up to driving from OR Thambo after a long day and at night.

Picking up our Avanza tomorrow morning. Shopping to be done after that and at the same time getting used to the vehicle. Tomorrow night? Big Braai with lots of meat. :lol:

We'll be making an early start on Saturday to try and get to Orpen Gate in good time, while navigating the potholes between Lydenburg and Orighstad in daylight. Nothing to be done about that, just taking it easy.

I will be trying out the Latest Sightings - Kruger Android App and Facebook group for the first time as well. Been watching the tings on my phone for a couple of days. 8)

Now for the LONG day to get started...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Never say Never.....
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:48 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 1737
Location: My business...
We had an awesome trip even though it was so short. 8)
No lions or leopard but some pretty cool sightings none the less. I will update our travels as we work through the photos.

Day 1 saw us entering at Orpen and travelling up to Phalaborwa Gate. I have to be honest here and say I hate the new gate at Orpen. Ugly as sin. Didn't even bother to make a photo. :lol: Had no trouble renewing our Wild Cards though.

This critter at Orpen Camp was the first to be photographed:

Image

Image

Along the H7 after a thundershower, one of the tiniest zebbies I've ever seen:

Image

Lots of Southern Carmine Bee-eaters around:

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Never say Never.....
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:43 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 1737
Location: My business...
The monitor was remarkably co-operative. Couldn't pass up on the opportunity to grab some close-ups. Was fun for our gusts as well because they've never seen one. KNP newbies. 8)

On with the Trip Report...

The new gate at Orpen must be one of the most uninspiring we've ever seen. :lol: Ugly as sin! But the camp is still its old self. Friendly staff and clean with a well-stocked shop. We renewed our Wild Card and paid Daily Conservation fees for our guests - no trouble. The petrol station at the gate itself is very handy.

We arrived reasonably late in the day and were met by some thundershowers on our way to Satara.

Usually they're gone in a flash but this Steenbokkie happily did his business offering us a photo opportunity:

Image

Happy to find some Ground Hornbills for our guests:

Image

Just outside Satara we found a large number of White Stork:

Image

Ag and why not... Couldn't find the Scops owl next to reception, but these guys were hanging all over the tree:

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Never say Never.....
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:44 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 1737
Location: My business...
Thank you! 8)

The thundershowers didn't bother at all, the humidity AFTER the showers did. :lol:

Good thing we weren't travelling at his pace...we still had to make our way to Phalaborwa Gate! :lol:

Image

We had an amazing trip as far as elephants go. We saw some REALLY big ones. Made things very interesting in the car though. One of our guests watched way too many You Tube videos before we left and scared herself silly of elephants. Took a long time to convince her they're mostly gentle giants. :lol:

Number 1 close to Satara on the H1-4:

Image

And then Ngodzi blocked our way between Olifants and Letaba. You'll notice we were rather far from him... :lol: DuQues had to shoot at 400mm! It did get better later on as you'll notice by the closeness of the elephants to the car.

Image

A buffalo along the S69:

Image

We were very amused at the interaction between these birds. The Helmetshrikes did NOT like the Tawny in their tree.

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Never say Never.....
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:53 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 1737
Location: My business...
Thanks everybody! 8)

Onto Phalaborwa....

Some Klipspringertjies on the way to Sable Dam.

Image

A good spot by one of our guests in the shrubs next to the parking spot by the hide - a Greater Spotted Cuckoo:

Image

And a Sabota Lark not wanting to move from next to the car... Proud of this photo - I had to make it because Duco was on the wrong side of the car. 8)

Image

Of course the Klipdassies said hello too:

Image

We arrived at the gate with 7 minutes to spare. :lol: We spent the next 2 nights with friends at our favorite accommodation in Phalaborwa. Day 2 would see us doing a Safari into the park...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Never say Never.....
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:36 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 1737
Location: My business...
Safari in the Park, first time in many years that I didn't have to drive or worry about times and distances myself. :D The day would take us up the H14 to Mopani, Tropic of Capricorn, down the H1-6 and Letaba back to Phalaborwa.

First up Mr Elephant:

Image

A clan of hyenas:

Image

With this cutie pie:

Image

We were stopped by some very excited people standing next to the road. Two Wild Dogs, one a lactating female according to them, had just gone off the road under some bushes. We found them but what a mission to get some kind of photograph. :lol: These ladies were NOT co-operating. Our guide made some enquiries: "One of them is the pregnant Alpha female of a new pack what separated from the Phalaborwa pack not so long ago. According to Grant (of EWT) She is a bit early with her pregnancy. "Normally" (but what is normal after a separation ) this will happen during Winter or early Winter."

Luckily we were in a high vehicle or we wouldn't have seen them at all. Most important - if you're at a sighting - SHARE! Tell others what you're looking at.

Image

Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Never say Never.....
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:47 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 1737
Location: My business...
Some feathered friends:

Double-banded Sandgrouse

Image

European Roller

Image

This one was quite extraordinary. 8) I've never seen so many Golden Orb spiders in the Park, some of them very large. The same guest that was terrified of elephants is probably even a little more terrified of spiders. She spotted this and first thought it was a butterfly or moth...not quite. She was terribly upset, mostly because we were all laughing with tears rolling down our cheeks at her reaction. Luckily the bird managed to free itself before she got out of the vehicle to free it! :lol: She couldn't stop talking about it and got rather grumpy at us because we told her "Be happy it didn't decide to have a nibble at the bird...!"

Image

Wire-tailed Swallow

Image

Not sure what this is but another birdie...

Image

Southern Carmine Bee-eater

Image

One of a few Kori Bustards we were lucky to find:

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Never say Never.....
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 5:39 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 1737
Location: My business...
Those spiders? No thanks. :lol: Brrrrr...

DuQues loves small things. :D

All these were made at Mooiplaas:

Image

Image

Image

And one at the Tropic of Capricorn stones:

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Never say Never.....
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 5:46 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 1737
Location: My business...
Tihongonyeni Waterhole and the whole S143 Tropic of Capricorn Loop. One of our favorite roads in the whole of Kruger. 8)
Pictures don't do this place justice, but let me try anyway:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Never say Never.....
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:07 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 1737
Location: My business...
Thanks for all the good feedback. 8) We enjoy making a record of what we see with our pictures and if others enjoy them - even better.

Got some feedback on 3 photos that I'd like to share:
1. The eagle mobbed by the shrikes seems to be a Wahlbergs.
2. The "dragonflies" in order that the photos were posted are
Black-tailed Skimmer (Nesciothemis farinosa)
Teneral male Banded Groundling (Brachythemis leucosticta)

After doing the Tropic of Capricorn Loop it is kind of mandatory to stop at the line on the road. Remember this is a legal get-out point.

Image

Image

We had lunch at Mopani. The restaurant and shop are good but somehow I never feel inspired to make photos in Mopani. The camp has no personality, seems clinical. But that's just personal opinion.

Another upcoming tusker awaited us at the t-crossing into Mopani - Madzopfurini:

Image

Image

These two youngsters were testing each others' strength:

Image

If you know the highwater brigde at Letaba you'll know where the camp is on this picture 8) :

Image

With a curious local:

Image

And close to Letaba along the river road:

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Never say Never.....
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:45 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 1737
Location: My business...
:D Yip! The North will always be our favorite part of the Park.

Still in the Letaba Riverbed - a crocodile. We didn't see that many big ones this time and it seemed to us that there were overall less of them around.

Image

Some slow moving traffic again:

Image

On our way towards Phalaborwa:

Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Never say Never.....
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:25 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 1737
Location: My business...
Day 3 saw us entering at Phalaborwa Gate and traveling back to Orpen but staying at Tamboti Tented Camp in budget tents. At the gate there were a couple of cars waiting already, which I did find a bit odd for it being in the middle of the week. Barely inside, there was a traffic jam. What it was, we don't know, it was already off the road. We assume leopard, could've been the cheetah that are around as well. Nobody bothered to tell us what it was, and in that situation, I simply leave. I refuse to become part of a traffic jam in the HOPE of seeing something in the veld. :lol: Because of this, we were at the right place at the right time on the S47 Mingerhout Loop later that morning. Something red flashed across the road. It was a "What the HELL was that moment??" Inched closer and on our right, looked right into the face of a Caracal... We were in shock, so much so that none of us managed to get a photo. It sat looking at the road for a few seconds and leapt off like only a cat does. One of the most magical sightings I've ever had in KNP. 18 years of waiting finally over.

Now for the rest. 8) This elephant was our first photographic model of the morning:

Image

Black-chested Snake-eagle in flight:

Image

At Olifants the rain caught up with us again. The idea was to have luch there as the restaurant was supposed to be open still - I printed the list of dates provided by Sanparks! - but they were closed. I know they reopened a day later but they were definitely closed a day earlier than planned when we were there. We moved on to Timbavati Picnic Spot for a skottelbrekkie. 8)

On the S44:

Image

Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Never say Never.....
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:01 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 1737
Location: My business...
We weren't bothered at all, Kaapsedraai! :lol: Skottelbrekkie is always good. 8)

Waterbuck bumshot:

Image

Ostriches trying to impress a female:

Image

The Timbavati Scops Owl:

Image

It was great talking to Noel Ngwenya again. 8) He's been at Timbavati for so long! We managed to arrive as people were leaving so had the place almost to ourselves. As we were leaving a tour group arrived. Sightings were near to impossible in the area because of very tall grass and we were in an Avanza...

Stopped at Bobbejaankrans to stretch legs and for the first time I can remember, actually saw baboons there. :lol:

Image

Checked in at Orpen for Tamboti and were greeted by the only sign of lions we had on this trip:

Image

Tamboti sunset:

Image

After dinner our guest arrived. 8) These monsters are WAY to clever. DuQues actually slammed down the lid of the rubbish bin. It was certainly closed. This honeybadger simply got onto his back paws and nudged it open. 3 times in a row. He/she wasn't aggressive at all, although we did keep our distance.

Image

Image

When everybody had gone to sleep we walked around the camp with a LED flashlight and did manage to see nightjars sitting on the road. We heard 2 different kinds calling but which we saw? Your guess is as good as mine. :lol: It was just fun walking around after dark.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Flip&Elmien, hilda, tent dweller and 2 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 Sebakwe at 08:45:56 Submitted by Trrp-trrrrrrrr at 07:40:09 Submitted by Trrp-trrrrrrrr at 07:41:43 Submitted by speed66 at 13:42:58