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Wildlife in Camps

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Flutterby
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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread postby Flutterby » Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:32 pm

Just got back from Kruger on Sunday. We found this little chap sitting in a tree right above our braai area in Satara. He was there all day, but disappeared as soon as we lit the fire. Obviously not a smoker! :)

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This is the tame bushbuck at Timbavati
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Last year we stayed at Talamati and had a real problem with the baboons. One day I walked from the chalet to put something in the car and by the time I'd turned around 2 baboons were already inside. They took every gap they could get.
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Nimrod
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Cats and animals inside camps???

Unread postby Nimrod » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:17 pm

Has anyone ever seen a lion or leopard ect. inside a camp?? or anything else? besides bosbok and impala ofcourse

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Re: Cats inside camps???

Unread postby onewithnature » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:48 pm

I've heard stories of leopard on occasion, but never seen one in a camp. I don't know how I'd react if I did. :hmz:
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Re: Cats inside camps???

Unread postby Imberbe » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:50 pm

Hi Nimrod.

There is a few cases of especially leopard entering camps, most often via the tree route. These are some of the most dangerous situations you can have, since the situation can easily turn in to a tragedy.

But I must stress that this is an absolute exception, to the point where it always causes great uproar when it happens. This is also dealt with immediately in the most appropriate way for the specific situation. It is not left to sort itself out or accepted as being part of the nature experience.

Last year a leopard had to be shot in Tamboti camp, precisely in such a situation.

I have seen, and un-knowingly donated some meat to, a badger in Maroela camp. :roll:
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Re: Cats inside camps???

Unread postby onewithnature » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:14 pm

:thumbs_up: That honey badger is very resident there.

Imberbe, what is the best thing to do in the rare circumstance that one is faced with a leopard in camp at night? Stand still and back off slowly, or stay put and wait for him to leave, or ...?
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Re: Cats inside camps???

Unread postby Imberbe » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:27 pm

With a leopard you do the following, and in this specific sequence:

1. Pray
2. Avoid eye contact at all cost. This is seen as aggression.
3. If there is a chance that he thinks that you haven't seen him, just continue moving as if you haven't seen him, and move away from him.
4. If there is a direct confrontation, avoid eye contact and slowly back of, while still facing him.
5. If worst come to worst, fall to the ground rolling in to a ball and cover your head and neck with your arms, and your stomach with your legs. Lie still.
6. Pray

Eich ... :doh:
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Re: Cats inside camps???

Unread postby wacktazz » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:38 am

On a serious note, I have seen, with my own eyes, a Leopard in Skukuza in 2001, and on two occasions in PK.
The rule is that they are more scared of us than we of them. And that's a fact.
Otherwise I would not be sitting here typing this.
The one in Skz was about 30 metres or less from me, and we looked each other in the eyes....
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Re: Cats inside camps???

Unread postby angiek » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:42 am

Luckily never seen cats in camp, but few years ago while going out for the early morning drive we came across a hyena in Satara

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Re: Cats inside camps???

Unread postby Bushmom » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:17 am

Seen lion twice in Skukuza, but that was in the seventies. Hyenas were actually common in camps at one stage. Saw one in Skukuza about three years ago. Leopard spoor in Lower Sabie. Honey Badger in Skukuza.
Although Skukuza is not my favourite camp, we have had awesome in-camp sightings there through the years.
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Re: Cats inside camps???

Unread postby Rooies » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:31 am

A leopard, or or for that matter any other cat, will back off if it hears or sees you first. If you surprise or corner a leopard it will attack. A golden rule that I follow is to make a noise when approaching a hide or any place where there are no other people around, and where a leopard may be lurking. Let the leopard know that you are coming and it will back off.
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Re: Cats inside camps???

Unread postby Duke Ellieton » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:32 am

I don't know if they are more scared of us than we of them. In December we stayed for 3 nights at Grootkolk in the KTP.
This is an unfenced camp and we had leopard walk pass our chalet on 3 occasions barely a few meters away.
They were not the least bit interested in us and merely going to the waterhole for a drink.

I do think that most animals have a healthy respect for humans and on the game walks we did in KNP the lions we came across usually retreated as soon as they became aware of our presence.
The situation could be different if they felt threatened or had cubs

Methinks that at night it could be a different story or even if the leopard was injured and therefore handicapped with respect to hunting.
Remember a leopard attacking a guide on the Matjulu bridge a few years ago.
They were on a night drive and the guide thought it was a good idea to sit on the bridge for a smoke break :doh: :wall:

Did not feel scared at the time of seeing those leopards at Grootkolk but when you think about it afterwards you realise what a dangerous situation it could be.

On the dassie trail in the Augrabies we came across leopard spoor........you would not have a chance if a leopard decided to attack you on this trail.

Best chance to see a leopard form your patio - go to Grootkolk. We have also on 2 occasions seen lion on the other side of the fence at Biyamiti.

Early one morning saw a dead bushbuck in the toilet entrance in Nkulu picnic site :shock: - the attendant told us a leopard was dragging it to the toilet and was disturbed when he arrived at the picnic site.

In December 2010, we found a lioness and cubs in the toilet at Dikbaardskolk picnic site in the KTP. I did post pix of this in the arid parks forum
Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cats inside camps???

Unread postby ndloti » Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:18 am

The trailists at Metsi Metsi trail were treated to a lioness in the camp at lunch time,
A year or so ago a non active member of this forums close relative saw a leopard inside Skukuza late one night .
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Re: Cats inside camps???

Unread postby WillBen » Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:48 am

About 4 years ago (I think) we were visited by a hyena at LS. She came in the middle of the night and bit chunks out of our dustbin on our stoep (porch). She made so much noise that she woke us up, my SO was :pray: that it wasn't a leopard or baboon as we were in one of the luxury tents and we had left the bathroom flaps open :wall: .

We told the receptionists the next morning and they were pretty blase about the whole thing and said they called her "Spotty". I thought it was pretty ironic though that they had "Beware the Baboons" signs all over the place when there was a hyena running around at night!

:shock:

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Re: Cats inside camps???

Unread postby Wild Dreamer » Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:52 am

Eagle Owl! :lol:
Remember the civet paw marks next to your tent at Letaba last December? How excited we all were?

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Re: Cats inside camps???

Unread postby Flaxy » Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:28 pm

I've not seen big cats in camp, seen Civet at Tamboti on the deck of our tent, and last year on my bush walk we saw cheetah about 10metres away. It was amazing and I did not even think of any danger at the time, however the guide said that in all his 10 years of bush walks this was the first time he had seen cheetah - and he went for his rifle about 4 times!


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