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 Post subject: Rookie2009 on honeymoon in Kruger March 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:31 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Hello lovely forumities, I'm glad to start a new TR after our 2010 adventure "Rookies in KnP". We married yesterday :k and will leave tomorrow evening from munich for South Africa and Mauritius. Our Plan is: 1 Day Berg en dal, 2 days in a tent in Lower Sabie, then 3,5 days walking through the bush in shindzela (just outside Orpen in the timbavati reserve) and 3 nights Satara where we will meet Magic Guarri :dance: :dance: Like in 2010 i have a long wish list of sightings, that we didn't find in the last two trips :D :

1) Black Rhino
2) Sables
3) Serval
4) Caracal
5) Secretary Bird

And of course we want to find all the other fantastic stuff like:

Image

Image

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More in three weeks.... :cam: :thumbs_up:

_________________
Honeymoon in Kruger
12.03.2012-22.03.2012
BergenDal, Lower Sabie, Satara, Shindzela Lodge
_______________________________
Michael


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 Post subject: Re: Rookies on honeymoon in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:57 pm 
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Back today from a very very rainy mauritius :(

Hope to load up my first pics and videos...this time i will start with our absolute highlight of the trip and the best sighting we had so far in all our trips.

One morning a pride of lions killed a buffalo close to the street and all the day lots of cars were around. So we decided to do a sunset drive and have them for us (and the other 10 guests) alone. When we arrived we saw two big males that chased away one smaller male from the buff and started eating. We could see lots of vultures and 4 other lions around the kill, had a fantastic sundowner, heard the hyaenas calling....as suddenly 3 rhinos came into the scenery......

_________________
Honeymoon in Kruger
12.03.2012-22.03.2012
BergenDal, Lower Sabie, Satara, Shindzela Lodge
_______________________________
Michael


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 Post subject: Re: Rookies on honeymoon in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:22 pm 
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Thank you dellac and norms for your kind replies and wishes :D

Let's start the TR with an introduction of the actors:




Fantastic stunning sunset:

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Our great guide Martin:

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The rhinos and vultures:

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The poor little male lion that was chased by the big lions:

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...and the big males with their kill:

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The video is still uploading, hope to finish it today....enjoy!!

_________________
Honeymoon in Kruger
12.03.2012-22.03.2012
BergenDal, Lower Sabie, Satara, Shindzela Lodge
_______________________________
Michael


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 Post subject: Re: Rookies on honeymoon in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:19 am 
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After many hours i managed to load up the video, really need some tutoring :redface:

Here we go - after chasing the poor young male away the two big lions dominated the scene and began to eat the buffalo. We heard lots of hyaenas and vultures around as three rhinos approached from the back. Martin told us they smelt that something must be wrong here, but could not see it until they stood 2 meters before the dead buffalo. They were not happy what they saw and decided to look out for the culprits....see what happened then:


_________________
Honeymoon in Kruger
12.03.2012-22.03.2012
BergenDal, Lower Sabie, Satara, Shindzela Lodge
_______________________________
Michael


Last edited by Rookie2009 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rookies on honeymoon in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:25 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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After sharing our best highlight of the trip i jump back to the beginning. It was our first time to enter via malelane and it was very comfortable. The drive vom Joburg was without any problems, grill utensilities, drinks & co were bought fast in the local malelane supermarket and at about 02.30 we arrived at malelane gate. A very friendly guy told us about the closed roads and that the sightings in the area are good at the moment :dance: We entered the park and made bets about the first animals - i was very optimistic and made a big leopard-bet :redface: , rookie-girl was for zebras.
Our plan was to do a bit of the s114 and the gravel roads around and drive to BnD via renosterpan on the tar road. The start was a bit quiet - it was about 35 degrees and the animals were not very active.

Our first animals was a group of noisy birds:

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The last times we spent our time in the park in september or october and it was all unbelieveable green und full of water. Next sighting was a nice interaction of a hamerkop and a monitor lizard in a puddle:

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After we entered the sand road S114 we found our first impies and it was beautiful to see so many youngsters:

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The group of impies seemed to be a little nervous, perhaps it was the lion tracks on the road that made them anxious:

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We had a look around, but didn't see any cats or other tracks, so we drove on to see a very common kruger sighting :D - always running in front of the car:

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I was very happy to see so many of my favourite birds in the park - the LBR's seemed to be everywhere:

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The scenery of the s114 was very beautiful and we enjoyed our first big 5 sighting with the hills in the background:

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After that a very cute impie flirting with me:

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There were many animals on the sand roads around, herd of impies, some buffs, rollers and a nice herd of zebras:

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Back at the tar road at about half past 4 we tried renosterpan, but nothing except many many potholes of the floods :( We decided to drive slowly to Berg en Dal as i saw a big brown animal 500 meters on the tar road in front of us. I told Rookie-Girl about the buff on the tar and she had a look through the binocs..."Does not look like a buff...has big horns - have never seen something like that before" :hmz: :hmz:

I had a look myself and :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: - there was a magnificient sable standing on the tar road to BnD in the afternoon heat. We took a few fast pics through the windscreen, because the shy animal moved off quick:

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I was sooo happy, it was a big dream of me to see sables in the park, but i never expected the in the BnD area. We had a closer look at the point where the animal went into the bush as another sable crossed the road in front of us :big_eyes: :

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It all went too fast to take good pics (and we were too nervous) but we could watch them another 10 minutes in the dense bush. A few other cars arrived and we told them about the sables but no one was interested :doh: :doh:

I think the two sables were the last of a bigger group that crossed the road. We did a very short video of the bigger one in the bush:




We couldn't believe our luck and drove happy back to the camp....anywhere on one of the many roads we drove in the 3,5 hours we had another great sighting - with a gap in the ear:

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That's all for episode one - had a lot of fun while posting and writing...hope you like it :D :D

Have a nice day....Michael & Nicole

_________________
Honeymoon in Kruger
12.03.2012-22.03.2012
BergenDal, Lower Sabie, Satara, Shindzela Lodge
_______________________________
Michael


Last edited by Rookie2009 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rookies on honeymoon in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:39 pm 
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Thank you all for the nice comments - yes the sables were on my wishlist :D

Unfortunately not much time today, so just a few lions-rhinos pics i didn't post till now:

Image

Image

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Image

_________________
Honeymoon in Kruger
12.03.2012-22.03.2012
BergenDal, Lower Sabie, Satara, Shindzela Lodge
_______________________________
Michael


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 Post subject: Re: Rookies on honeymoon in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:03 pm 
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After the sables went deeper in the bush and were not longer visble we continued our way to Berg en Dal. The sun went down and in the poor light we spotted our first buffalos:

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The first sundowner in the park is always something very special:

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We arrived at BnD just in time and had a quick look at the sightings board - the wild dogs were seen at matjulu this day and so we knew what way we would take the next day. The check in was very nice and quick and stephen nel reserved us unit 31 at the perimeter (thank you stephen!!) - a new bungalow that we loved. We had a lovely braii and went early to bed after the long day. The next morning we woke up very early and i was surprised how many bats were around in the morning dark. Left the camp at 05.30 and saw a nice marabou outside the gate before we drove into the matjulu loop in the search for doggies. The sky got darker and darker and suddenly one of the biggest thunderstorms started that we've ever seen. We had very mixed feelings with all the lightening around us and certainly we didn't see a single animal on our way. 15 minutes later the sun came out and we were on our way on the tar road. We had a sort discussion if she should try steilberg, but we continued on the tar road because we really saw nothing on matjulu loop.
The first animal we found there was this wet ellie:

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3 meters before our car he went into the bush - such a lovely big animal:

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A few other animal got out of the bush on the road:

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The impies enjoyed the morning sun....

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....not knowing what's waiting behind the next corner:

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2 kilometers before afsaal a few cars parked a the left side and had a look in different directions. We took the binocs...some zebras, some impalas, a rhino far away, many vultures and...a lot of lions on a kill they made in the night :dance: :

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Although the grass was so high we could easily spot them and counted 5 males and 1 female:

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Two of them were the most fattest lions we've ever seen :big_eyes: :

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It looked like they were limping, but their body was so full that they could hardly walk :D :

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We wondered that they were still active and not sleeping:

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All the males looked in great condition and the scenery was amazing - there were the lions, zebras, jackals, a rhino and impies on the big field and all the cars got perfect views:

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A nice guy that we met at matjulu waterhole drove to my window and said: "What a fantastic wild dog sighting this was on steilberg"! :doh: :big_eyes: :( - wrong decision :doh: We told him we took the tar road instead of steilberg and he guessed that the dogs are still there because they seemed to be stationary. So we drove the 15 kilometers back in order to check it out.....

That's all for today...nearly - luckily we had another nice rhino sighting anywhere this morning:

Image


Have a nice sunday......Michael & Nicole

_________________
Honeymoon in Kruger
12.03.2012-22.03.2012
BergenDal, Lower Sabie, Satara, Shindzela Lodge
_______________________________
Michael


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 Post subject: Re: Rookies on honeymoon in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:24 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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13.03.2012 In the search of the doggies...

After the nice tip of the gentleman we drove the 15 km back an tried the steilberg loop. Unfortunately the dogs seemed th have disappeared somewhere in the bush and we saw no animals on the whole loop. I wanted to see if there is something new at the lion kill and as we arrived there i wondered that there were still not much cars around. We got a few more nice pics of the scene:

Lions with zebras in the background:

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Then we found out that one of the males and the the female were a mating couple - the big guy tried his luck one time but his lady was too full :D

http://s1030.photobucket.com/albums/y36 ... C_5651.jpg


I have never seen five males and only one female, but they were a nice couple:

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After a few minutes she stood up and they went deeper into the grass:

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We decided to leave and drive north into skukuzza direction. Only 10 minutes later rookie girl spotted the something next to the road - he was only lying a few meters away, but the grass was very high :D :

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What a fantastic morning drive this was :dance: :dance: :dance:

We left the tar road into the S112/S114 where a nice ellie was waiting:

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SMILE PLEASE:

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The zebra herd had some very cute youngsters with:

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Then i found my very first klippspringer in the park :dance:

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It was now about 11.00 and the temperature was nearly 40 degrees - this old bull enjoyed the shade under the tree:

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On the S114 we spotted an bateleur circling over the gravel road and decided to stop. He waited untill the other car drove off and landed on the gravel road where he must have seen something so eat...

Landing:

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What a pretty bird:

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Some warthogs were also interested:

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Back on the tar road there was a nice giant kingfisher in the trees:

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....and this wildebeest gave us the opportunity to make a nice portrait:

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Then we had one of the scariest moments in our 10 days - after skukuzza a big herd of ellies wanted to cross the road and we stopped to make some nice pics:

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Cow with her youngsters:

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I'm bigger than you!!!!! :big_eyes:

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My trunk is soooo heavy:

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They all looked very relaxed untill something disturbed them in the bush and they decided to cross the road again. Suddenly we were surrounded by ellies and couldn't move forward or back - this was the only pic i could make:

Through the windscreen :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :

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Luckily the big boy passed us and i could have touched him (if i had been crazy :D ) through my window - that was the closest ellie experience we ever had and gave us a big big fright.

Next episode "Lower Sabie" comming soon...enjoy it :D

_________________
Honeymoon in Kruger
12.03.2012-22.03.2012
BergenDal, Lower Sabie, Satara, Shindzela Lodge
_______________________________
Michael


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 Post subject: Re: Rookies on honeymoon in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:36 pm 
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Lower Sabie

After we escaped from the ellies in the last episode we arrived in the afternoon at lower sabie and decided to drive the S82. It was our first time we drove this gravel road and i've read that it can be very quiet, but there should be a black rhino around. This time it was really quiet, but we found a nice roadblock of an ellie:

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Luckily he moved off after 10 minutes:

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Back on the tar roads we had a few minutes left to see whats around sunset dam. There were a few cars looking into the dense bush and i asked them what they are looking at :hmz: :"A leopard just crossed the road and moved into the bush was the answer we didn't want to hear :D . Certainly we didn't find it , but the scenery with the hippos around was beautiful:

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The hippos started to get active and out of the water:

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The sun was setting and i started to get magic :

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Sunset dam offers one of the best oppurtunities to take poster-pics:

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We got into the camp not a minute to early, checked in and booked s sunset drive for the next day. It was our third time in Lower Sabie, but the first time we tried a safari tent - and we loved it :dance: :dance: Had a nice braii while watching some geckos and listening to all the hippos around. The next day we planned to go south and back via the S28 as we wanted to find the famous cheetahs around LS. The last two times we had not much luck around this camp, maybe this time?? :hmz: :hmz:

We woke up and decided to try the tar road south first. Two vultures awaited the tourists just outside the gate:

Image


It was a beautiful morning with not much game around, but we had a ver nice sighting of two fish eagles calling each other - sorry for the poor video quality, it was too early for me :D :D :redface: :



The next hour H2-2 - S28 pruduced...nothing, only a lonely rhino was lying anywhere around:

Image


Back on the tar road we wanted to try the loops north of lower sabie, but a view meters from the bridge we had a fantastic sighting of about 500 buffalos crossing the sabie river and the road in front of us - it was one of the highlights of our trip being so close to the nervous herd with a lot of youngsters in it:

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Is it save to cross the road? - i love this expression in their eyes:

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They started to cross:

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As we were in the first row and nearly no cars around we managed to do a nice video:




Don't touch my calf!!!!

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Time for the bulls:

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Sitting up:

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There were a few collared cows in the herd:

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And at the end four massive males were crossing the road - really impressive, but just able to do "Muuuuuh" :D :

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It was one of the biggest herds i ever saw in kruger and as the last one crossed the road we waited a few minutes to see if lions are following them, but nothing happened. So we drove off - nothern direction "Muntshe loop"....

_________________
Honeymoon in Kruger
12.03.2012-22.03.2012
BergenDal, Lower Sabie, Satara, Shindzela Lodge
_______________________________
Michael


Last edited by Rookie2009 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rookies on honeymoon in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:03 am 
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H10 and Munthse loop

After our nice sighting of the buffalo herd we decided to head north and do the H10 and munthse loop - always a hotspot for cheetahs, but todays we had the most sad sighting of all our trips on this loop.

We crossed the bridge over the sabie river and found a very nice family of egyptian (?) gooses:

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We looked out for some kingfishers and spotted a pair of them fishing :dance: The actor:

Mr. Pied Kingfisher:

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And he gave us a very good show - let the pics tell the story:

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Unfortunately it was a misshit, but the next attempt was more successful:

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Wet but happy kingfisher:

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We left the kingfisher and drove north on the H10 tar road, where it was time for some smaller creatures - the milipedes are all around in march:

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Do you know how to know if it's a male or a female??? We learnt it on a guided walk: If you touch them with a stick, the males move off while the females are curling :D :D


One of our biggest wishes was to see abig snake and seconds later a 1,5 meter black snake crossed the road...unfortunately very very fast so we just got one pic through the windscreen:

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The grass in the area is very high and we didn't see animals for the next kilometers. Just before Munthse loop we spotted a nice ellie herd:

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We drove into the munthse loop, a small gravel road around the muntshe with some nice birds. I think you can't drive really fast here - high grass all around, spotting is difficult. So we couldn't believe what we found in the middle of the loop:

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First we hoped that a predator killed the jackal, but from the other side it was clear that this beautiful animal was killed by a road cowboy :( :wall: - will this never stop???

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I thought a long time if i should post this pics, but i think this belongs to kruger these days and you can't post always nice sightings - unfortunately.

We drove back to LS with sad feelings...

Next episode: Ellie encounters....

_________________
Honeymoon in Kruger
12.03.2012-22.03.2012
BergenDal, Lower Sabie, Satara, Shindzela Lodge
_______________________________
Michael


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 Post subject: Re: Rookies on honeymoon in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:31 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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So sad about the Jackal :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

stunningly captured aerial display. 8)

if the snake was moving very fast, it was possibly a black mamba. They almost levitate they are so quick.

:popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Rookies on honeymoon in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 11:02 am 
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This is a man's world

After the very sad sighting with the road kill of the jackal we had about 2 hours left and decided to trie the H4-1 untill N'watimhiri and Mhlupheka waterhole and back to camp.

The first sighting we had near LS was this nice giraffe bull posing for us:

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Hello my lovely friend:

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We drove over the bridge of the sabie and spotted some ellies cooling down:

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Sunset dam's always good for some ugly storks :D :

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There was not much around untill we reached nwatimhiri where we had a great sighting of two saddled billed storks next to some tortoises:

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Such a pretty guy:

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This bird did a funny dance to impress the tortoises :D :

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We turned left into the s21 and stopped at Mhlupeka where we watched an ellie for half an hour that gave us a great show:

There he is:

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The lonely bull enjoyed the grass and seemed to be very relaxed:

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Doing the ellie dance for us:

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...and spraying water all around the place:

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Some more cars arrived and suddenly we couldn't move back and for any more...unfortunately the ellie decided to leave the waterhole and went straight in our direction - at one moment he was so close that rookie girl could touch him :big_eyes: :

Without much zoom:

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Out of the window:

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Luckily he seemed to know that we were fiendly rookies and without any ear flapping or aggressions he left the place and we took a deep deep breath :pray: :whistle: .

After that action we decided to drive back to camp. On the way we had some nice sightings:

Go away bird:

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Some nice impies:

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And the fantastic scenery at the other side of the sabie - hundreds of animals...impies, zebras, wildebeests....

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Smiling hippo at sunset dam:

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And just before the camp - another ellie herd crossing the road close to us:

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Youngsters playing:

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And then it was time for the boss - this is a man's world (nor for childrens eyes):

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On the other side of the herd was a little car between all the ellies - and the driver did not look very delighted :D :D :

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Next episode: Sunset drive at lower sabie

_________________
Honeymoon in Kruger
12.03.2012-22.03.2012
BergenDal, Lower Sabie, Satara, Shindzela Lodge
_______________________________
Michael


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 Post subject: Re: Rookies on honeymoon in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 1:44 pm 
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Thanks for all your comments :clap: :clap:

I've uploaded two videos of the ellies near lower sabie - look at the youngster at the end of the video cleaning the park :D



And then the big bull - really amazing :big_eyes:



Enjoy it........

_________________
Honeymoon in Kruger
12.03.2012-22.03.2012
BergenDal, Lower Sabie, Satara, Shindzela Lodge
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Michael


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 Post subject: Re: Rookies on honeymoon in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 11:19 pm 
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Lower Sabie and Sunset Drive

After all the ellies we needed a break and drove into our camp. It was the first time we booked a safari tent and we really loved it :dance: :

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We chilled around and had still one hour left before our sunset drive so we decided to drive a little bit around the camp inorthern direction. Our first sighting there was this nice snake eagle:

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Mr. Kudu thought he can pose for Germany's next topmodel - i think he has high chances :D :

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We enjoyed the birding with all the rollers around:

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A nice bee eater:

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Then we turned around and crossed the sabie river where this croc took a sun bath:

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The last 15 minutes before the drive we stayed at sunset dam - and it was really worth it :D There was a small group of hippos with some youngsters around - some enjoyed the sun and others seemed to sleep:

Watching you..

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Soooo tired:

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One of the youngsters got a bit too close to a mom protecting their calf....

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...and then it all went very fast - mummy "jumped" up and chased the youngster away :big_eyes:

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I couldn't believe how fast hippos can be :D

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Mum and we were very happy (the youngster not) and we started our sunset drive. We've done two drives in 2010 before in LS where we haven't seen much and were a bit disappointed that martie wasn't our guide :( .

The guide decided to drive south, first in a no entry road and then we should try the s28 and the dirt roads beside. There were no cat's sightings this day around LS and so we tried to find the smaller things - but i didn't start small :D :

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After the ellies we found a nice rhino group somewhere:

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After that we had a couple of kori bustards and the last pic before it got dark was this big marabou:

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The rest of the drive was very yquiet, we tried one dirt road after the other, found some impies and some hippos that got out of the sabie and enjoyed the clear sky with lots of stars. Just at the end of the S28 our guide got excited and stepped on the gas :pray: :hmz:

There was a porcupine in the road and we all got a nice view on it as it rolled itself up next to the street. It was our first porcupine in kruger :dance: and another point on our wishlist - unfortunately we've got no pic but a video:



We've seen no cats, but what a fantastic end of the drive....enjoy it :D

_________________
Honeymoon in Kruger
12.03.2012-22.03.2012
BergenDal, Lower Sabie, Satara, Shindzela Lodge
_______________________________
Michael


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 Post subject: Re: Rookies on honeymoon in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 4:57 pm 
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Cats in perfect light

This day we had to leave lower sabie with mixed feelings. We had a sad sighting of the das jackal and didn't find cheetahs around LS again - but we had the fantastic sighting of the porcupine. I think it will never be my favourite camp :hmz:

Today we had a very long drive to do as we had to check in at the shindzela lodge situated in the timbavati reserve at 14.00 . So we had to be at orpen gate around 11.30 to be in time. As usual on such days when you have not much time we had fantastic sightings. The plan was to try the H4-1 ia Skukuzza and then north.

We left camp at opening time and were the only car heading north. 500 meters later we had our first sighting - a female hyaena that was in bad shape:

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Her ears were gnawed off and she had small wounds all over her body:

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Around afsaal there was the usual gang hanging around, playing and doing nonsense:

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Too lazy to go:

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Cool youngster:

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It was funny to look at the youngsters playing around:

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After the road was clear we moved on and spotted a nice bushbuck posing for us:

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Then it was hyaena time again - that one was in a hurry:

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Running past the window:

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At the bridge over the sabie river a nice giant kingfisher waited for the catch of the day:

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Just beautiful:

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1 kilometer before the S36 i spotted another 2 hyaenas in the road - one was lying on the side and one in the grass. We were the only car around and as we got nearer, we noticed that it were not hyaenas :dance: :dance: :

Mr. Teddy and his brother were lying next to our car in the golden morning light:

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The two brothers were about 5-7 years old and in their best days:

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We could watch them for about 20 minutes with no other car around and my dream of lions next to the car in perfect light all for ourself came true :dance: :dance: :

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One of them got up then and went deeper into the bush while the other one slowly got awake - very slow:

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He got up, yawned and enjoyed the warm morning sun:

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2 meters next to our car - lion live is sooooo hard :dance: :

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Who says only kalahari lions have black manes?????

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Two other cars arrived and he decided to join his brother :

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Lion love:

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A few minutes later we could only see the ears of them and a traffic jam started to built up - little did they know what they missed :D It was one of our best lion sightings untill now and a great start into the day.

Next episode: All roads closed at the s36 :hmz: :hmz:

_________________
Honeymoon in Kruger
12.03.2012-22.03.2012
BergenDal, Lower Sabie, Satara, Shindzela Lodge
_______________________________
Michael


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