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 Post subject: KNP-Junkee's Belated 2013 July TR to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:16 am
Posts: 113
Location: Pretoria
:D Hi fellow forumites :D

I haven't been on the forums enough lately and started getting back into it recently as I needed to fix the urge to get to the bush again. After our last trip in July 2013 I thought I would do a TR again and share my passion for wildlife and wildlife photography. I have also started a page on facebook with some of my collected wildlife photos over the years of visiting mostly Kruger - please feel free to like my page and share with all, the link is here below in my signature.

I have never taken photography too serious but really enjoyed capturing wildlife on camera, my wife is a part-time wedding and lifestyle photographer and we share the same passion, she got me into starting the page and now the craving for more has started......I am far from the pro's concerning the pics but I am progressively saving up for the equipment

Getting back to the TR, we were forced to stay at Hazyview again......really traumatic and stressfull .....so not!! :lol: Really a great setting next to the Sabie river with those luscious trees and misty weather of Hazyview. We had a very special guest joining us again, her name is Mecyla, she is my niece. Some of you might remember that she was the victim of a night adder bite at Berg-en-Dal ,in front of the restaurant, I recall posting it on the forums somewhere with some pics, nevertheless she had a great story to tell after that holiday and was ready for another great trip to Kruger full of adventures.
Day 1 coming soon......


Last edited by hilda on Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
Naming non-SANParks accommodation


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 Post subject: Re: Belated 2013 July TR to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:16 am
Posts: 113
Location: Pretoria
DAY 1

After arriving late on the Friday evening at more or less ten o'clock we arrived in the rain and decided not to set the clock for an early morning drive and just wake up with coffee, rusks and the smell and sounds of Hazyview, this brown-hooded kingfisher was first to greet us next to our unit, pic taken by my SO

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After a lazy morning we headed to Phabeni gate, by now the excitement was mounting and we had no troubles renewing our Wild Card and entrance went very smoothly, we took the S3 as we have had some great sightings on this road before, a nice drive with wonderful thickets of tamboti ,leadwoods and magnificent sycamore figs rich with birdlife. However, one cannot escape the sense of human encroachment across the Sabie river, which compromises the taste of wild Kruger. Nonetheless a great route to take early mornings. Our first animal who had an eye on us was this vervet monkey, look closely he literally only had one eye....but looked healthy and sharp!

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This dugga boy was accompanied by two more fellas and they were grazing and moving along the dry riverbed

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As long as the seed falls in good ground ( or tree for this matter) .......see if you can spot this plant next time on the S3

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The impala lilys always gives colour to the dry season

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Our next stop was lake panic where this croc was bathing in the sun, and some hippo activity like always, the commotion in the water was spectacular as the bulls defended their territories

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It was so nice to be back in Kruger and at Skukuza, a place with only good memories growing up and one bad memory of a night drive by a guide who surely did not have a passion for his job, but that does not compare to the good ones!! This black-headed oriole blended nicely with the Aloe Africanas in front of the reception( one can sound quite clever after using mr. google to ID plants, hope it is accurate)

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After some drinks and a meal we headed back on the S1 to Phabeni Gate, I love heading west at dawn in Kruger, you cannot see a thing but you can take in all the beauty of the sunsets. What a day to end off the 1st day back in the Park.

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Day 2 coming soon.....


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 Post subject: Re: Belated 2013 July TR to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:16 am
Posts: 113
Location: Pretoria
Day 2

Phabeni Gate again, but this 2nd in queue waiting for the gates to open, check-in went smooth again and we headed straight on the S1 towards Skukuza, then Lower-Sabie and back again

Our first animals for the day was a few buffalo crossing the road with a young male lion and two lionesses hot on their heels, it was still too dark for photos with only the vehicle's lights providing any visibility, but I do have a decent one just for the evidence, they disappeared into the dewy tall grass and we were left with the sounds and smells of the early morning Kruger awakening

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Then a few early morning and sunrise shots, this is my most favourite time in the Park

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SO spotted this white rhino

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Nice silhouette of this stork, was almost blind after that shot.....

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Lake panic had the usual suspects, best hide in Kruger imo

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A quick stop at Skukuza for some refills. The birds were really active around reception as the girls were busy with their make-overs , here's some decoration around Skukuza reception.....
Aloe Africana

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Impala lily

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blue waxbill

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hummingbirds

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We left the buzz of Skukuza to head towards Lower-Sabie in search of the elusive one :D .....always a good area to find them, I can recall one trip where we found 3 seperate sightings of leopards in the space of 30 minutes, that was unbelievable :big_eyes: . I guess that is why we keep coming back, we don't remember the trips with no sightings, we marvell at the sightings that are engraved in our hearts.
We did not see much the rest of the day, but I will share these pics....

The windows of the soul
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I like this shot, it is not always about zooming in
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No elusive one yet but at the end of the day we were definitely satisfied and were looking forward to an evening around the fire taking the days sightings in

Hazyview sunset over the sabie river
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Day 3 coming soon...... :whistle: (the best is yet to come :cam: )


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 Post subject: Re: Belated 2013 July TR to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:16 am
Posts: 113
Location: Pretoria
Day 3

After doing the awesome panoramic trip we decided to head for a late afternoon drive in at Phabeni Gate, S1 past the Nyamundwa dam, left on S4 dirt road, then left on S3 next to the Sabie river back towards Phabeni gate. This road has delivered great sightings for us in the past and we decided to enjoy every bit of it again, not a lot of sightings but being in Kruger beats any day in the office....enjoy!!

Martial eagle having some dinner, I love those yellow eyes
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Big bull causing some traffic delays
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Love the kudu bull, he was just a bit camera-shy
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Our last sighting of this drive were these giraffes approaching us straight on, they decided to dissapear in the bush about ten meters from our vehicle, very majestic the way they walk

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Day 4 was our best day with good reason, will try not to delay with the post too long....stay tuned, you will enjoy this one....... :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: Belated 2013 July TR to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:16 am
Posts: 113
Location: Pretoria
Day 4

Right, it is time for our best day of the trip. I will let the photos do the talking, we entered early at Phabeni Gate, it was still dark and we were in pursuit of the elusive one again. Just as we got to Nyamundwa dam we got to lions in the road, probably the same three we saw earlier in the week, they took off onto the enbankment and walked away into the bush

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I thought this was a really nice way to start the day just before sunrise
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Then a few cars looking to the right, I just saw the flash of a white tail and thought I would pass the cars and park a fair distance from where the cars were, then she passed right in front of us

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Wow we were stoked, she was so quick the cars behind us missed her, she was gone in a flash!! We haven't even seen an impala yet, and already lions and the elusive one!! Not taking the sunrise for granted at all!!

Then not even 100 metre down the road our third of the big five
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We got ellies and buffalo in the distance so we had the big five in the bag. I decided to take the S114 past Renosterkoppies and look what we found resting on the rocks

A big male spotted one
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He had a kill in a tree close by but his belly was too full to get up the tree again....haha
So he just flopped down again.
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The hyenas were in hot pursuit to scavenge but he was just not interested at all, I got these nice shots telling the story....

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Make sure you see the leopard on top of the rocks
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Then a clos-up of this guy, he was wearing his batlle-scars really well
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Second half of this day to follow soon......


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 Post subject: Re: Belated 2013 July TR to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:16 am
Posts: 113
Location: Pretoria
2nd part of Day 4................

I can't stop thinking about Kruger with this TR, i will have to book a quick trip for a weekend asap

Here we go.........

Ever-present steenbok
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Then a lifer for us, our first sighting of a white impala, wow this was turning out to be a real awesome day of diverse sightings.

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One of SO's favourites, because of their heart-shaped noses

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They should be part of the big six
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The sound of Africa
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Then a nice tusker
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This kudu family were on their way to cross the road after a drink in the river
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Just as we thought we've had one of our best days in Kruger, we got these guys near Nyamundwa dam again, full bellies and doing what lions do best.....rest

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These were some fine looking lions indeed
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The eyes of a predator is always catching our attention
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He looked straight into the camera this handsome "king-to-be"
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Then to finish this awesome day of, a white rhino and a fork-tailed drongo
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What a day we had, so fortunate to have sighting like these, well I'm off to go book accommodation, can't really contain the urge anymore :dance:

Our next day to come soon of a very special sighting for us indeed....


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 Post subject: Re: Belated 2013 July TR to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:37 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:16 am
Posts: 113
Location: Pretoria
I haven't had the time to book another trip as I am in Cape Town for work for the next two weeks, rest of my TR photos are on my desktop pc in Pretoria, so I will have to keep you up for some time with that

Thanks for all the great comments

tedredrum you are right I think they ate a dozen of ellies by the looks of it hahaha :lol:

Kaapsedraai can you imagine the footage that will go around and the things being said in those moments of absolute chaos at a rare and special sighting :D . I think the Gopro cameras that are out will do the job if you want to get started, you sound like the perfect candidate for the first video. I would have loved to see that moment captured on your face at those sightings haha. I can just think back of the footage that we could have captured from our vehicle...and I am smiling big time now!!

Thanks hilda, although the white impala was quite far off, it was a lifer for us, we only saw the rest of the impalas afterwards on the photos. Just comes to show why white lions struggle to survive in the wild

Wild about cats thank you for the comments. You will enjoy our next days sightings, just hang in there you won't be dissapointed

Cape of Storms thank you yes the white impala was really special to us as well. Wish I could be there now but Cape Town has to do for the next two weeks.....

trrrp-trrrrrrrr thanks again for all the great comments, hang in there a special sighting is on the way

Thanks Meandering Mouse, my SO got the steenbok, the light was just perfect with some slight overcast conditions to get that exposure right

barryels thank you, I think they were fed for the rest of that week looking at some of them, even the latecomers and youngsters were filled up nicely, if I remember correctly they were about 9, so they must have feasted on something quite large

I got us a Canon 5d MII recently and a lens that is perfect for my wife's photography, I can't wait for our next trip as I will make a quick stop at Outdoorphoto's lens rentals then I can advance in this passion that I have, so hopefully a lot more TR's to come in future.

Thank you Pumbaa I am also looking forward at capturing more landscapes

Enjoy the rest of your week, I will post the last day of this trip as soon as I am back in Pretoria

I


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 Post subject: Re: Belated 2013 July TR to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:16 am
Posts: 113
Location: Pretoria
Hi everyone

I am back in Pretoria after a quick two weeks in Cape Town, did manage to visit Table Mountain National Park for the first time ever and enjoyed every second of it, the scenery is just out of this world

Back to this TR, I apologise for the delay.......

Sammyv Yes that white impala was probably our pick of the trip, a lifer for me!!! :dance:

Thank you Pikkie

Dassiedelight welcome aboard, thank you for the nice comments on my pics, stay tuned there is more to come soon

Last days photos coming soon......you won't be dissapointed


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 Post subject: Re: Belated 2013 July TR to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:16 am
Posts: 113
Location: Pretoria
Day 5 (last day)

Ok guys here is our last day of the trip, we entered at Phabeni again. First action were these two young bulls having a full go at each, they threw the kitchen-zink at each other for about 20 minutes before they let us pass.....typical teenagers lol

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Next up was this hyena family close to Lake panic

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Outside Skukuza gate these gentleman settled some differences in a very mature manner, unlike the ellie bulls earlier

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These kingfishers were fishing opposite each other on the bridge

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Here we decided to go straight to Tshokwane and not the gravel road behind the Sabie river as planned initially, look what we found!!!

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This was the icing on the cake for our trip, they were active as well so we got to see more than those big ears lol. After a great lunch at Tshokwane we headed back past the doggies to find this amazing sighting

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It was a massive bull walking straight towards us, then he showed us some magic, I had the long lens on so could not get the full shot in. He almost got two feet off the ground like his cousins up north

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Just marvellous!!

Thanks to each and everyone following and commenting on this TR, I need a well-deserved break after this TR, and what better place than Shingwedzi with a rented 200-400 f4.5-5.6 L IS lens with my 5D MII :dance:

We are leaving early tomorrow morning, looking forward to more photography with new gear, first-time to SHingwedzi, time out with family in the Park and off course lots of TR material....

I will post some pics of my trip tp Cape Towns National Park when we return... :lol:


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