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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:13 pm 
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Good evening to you all,

I’m so glad to say that the long weekend is almost finished. It has been quite disappointing how many people think Kruger rules are there to be broken and they can do just as they like, but on the lighter note, when all the rule breakers are in camp sleeping we have brilliant sightings.

Friday night we had a bush braai for five, started off very quiet but a beautiful pink, orange and yellow sunset with the full moon rising in between the colours like an artist’s paintbrush on a piece of paper. On arrival at the Bush Braai we evacuated 10 minutes after to go and look for the two hairy long canined men calling in the back ground. We found the two male lions about 1, 5 km from the bush braai site and then back to the food. As our stomachs got fuller they got closer and full moon and a lion roar is something you won’t forget any time soon. After a great meal and atmosphere we had to go back, but less than 700 metres from the site the two gentleman were cuddling in the long grass, the one ended up sitting on the other one’s head.

As guest we get our quiet nights too. The fourth of the fourth was one of those nights where you missed everything by split seconds. Last night on the sunset drive I missed luckily nothing but spotted a beautiful female leopard. Sneaky as leopards can only be she sneaked out of the road and into the long grass and then the rolling and licking and pamper as only girls can do. Then she vanished again into the bushes. The Mativihlungu leopard female has disappeared for a while but I’m glad to say she is still around only 3 km south from her famous spot. Tonight was the highlight of the week for drives, drove and drove and drove and a little more until I found Mr Glass eye and his young girlfriend doing their thing in the romantic moon. We waited and waited but not too long and then the lion and his lioness did the most romantic thing in the moonlight. Growling and complaining but in a few months’ time this pride will not only consist of eleven lions but hopefully 15.

So I eventually got to my actual story….last night I went to bed with a feeling of Ntandanyati in my bones. I woke up for the walk and straight to the bone feeling. Talking of bones the chill in the mornings go to one place only…bones. On my arrival at Ntandanyati I had to move my feeling spot somewhere else, because a pride of lions consisting of three males, three females and five cubs were fast asleep on the spot where I needed to park. Some sleeping a little more than the others, meaning the youngsters were not really sleeping at all and running all over the place. As the red ball of a sun pushed his head over those Lebombo Mountains, one female gave a call and of they all ran into the thickets. Due to the fact that men don’t normally take command of women, they slept on and I moved a little south. Had a brilliant walk but for so long I was tracking these cubs on foot, saw the tracks, saw the dads, but never saw them. Luckily now I know they are safe and as cute as can be.

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Martie
Lower Sabie Rest Camp
Kruger National Park


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Sightings
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:13 pm 
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On arrival back from a long holiday From Lower Sabie to Langebaan and back, I started off fairly good. On my trip to the Cape I’ve seen some of our other National Parks and realised once again that Kruger is just one of the many diamonds this country have. In Karoo National Park, I have seen the biggest puffadder ever and mating to make more big scaly creatures. In West Coast National Park, I realised that there is a place with nicer landscapes and in Agulhas National Park what silence is all about, but when I drove through those gates yesterday afternoon…there is just one place like home.

The H4-2 or better known as the N4 to Komatie just elephants and due to the fact that rutting season has started and lots of crazy impala males are running all over the roads trying to kill themselves for girls (wish human men were like that), you can find impalas around every corner. About 5 km from camp a spotted one in the big brown ivory tree next to the road, I did not see it but the traffic jam did. After driving for 7 hours, sitting in a traffic jam to see one spot of a leopard was not my cup of tea. At the bridge or causeway as some people prefer to it, a lion nicely on the sandbank enjoying the view of a herd of impala coming down to drink. At Sunset dam a buffalo or two and my least favourite baboon troop running around the dam like only South Africans can do on a hot summer day, fishing and having fun.

I arrived at work 15 minutes earlier as usual and just the smell and sounds fascinated me. The leopard roared the whole night in front of my house (wish she will go away – it is bad bad bad luck). On arrival at the walking area while Robert was still doing his introduction a leopard crossed the path I was standing on about 10 m in front of me. I was so shocked I couldn’t get it out to tell Robert. I was more amazed than the first day I saw a leopard. On the walk a huge elephant herd that eventually ended up moving away and we were stuck with two old bulls and their disgusting eat behaviour. The One a little closer than planned and then a nice cold drive back to camp.


Looking forward to another great bushbraai on friday.

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Martie
Lower Sabie Rest Camp
Kruger National Park


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:24 pm 
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Dear Friends,

This week was a fantastic week with some brilliant sightings all over the place. The longer I have been in Lower Sabie the more I realize that you on the right time at the right place or you not. On Wednesday morning it was the right time when a big male lion on the walk came stalking us through the long grass. It is one thing to see a lion, but if it is crouched down and moving through the grass like a ghost through town it just makes your heart go boom.

Anees Akbar wrote a poem about Nature. The first few lines go like this: Nature is mighty, Nature is strong, and Nature is usually always right, Nature is rarely ever wrong. Nature is beauty, Nature is moody, Nature is smart, and nature always has the greater part.

Every night leaving the camp you realise what he said is perfect. The famous baboon troop of Lower Sabie was there, Martie is doing a bush braai and they were there to entertain and open the grand show of last night. A lot of new birds are to be seen at the river on the sand banks. The night got dark sooner than planned and before we even knew it we had serval on the road and what a good sighting. At supper we had to chew faster than usual and every time I had one piece of salad leave in my mouth the rhino family and their domestic fight became part of our supper. They ran up and down next to us and the sounds were out of this world. Later on a black rhino made himself welcome and puffing and blowing he left. Stomachs full and on the move we found a miracle creature about 50 meters from the supper table. An Aardvark ran into a tree and out into the open so that we at last can have a brilliant sighting on one of these little ugly creatures. On arrival back at camp still on the edge of our seats, old beauty was sleeping in the street and later this big crocodile moved back to the water and the algae became a blanket around her as she vanished into the water.

What a brilliant night with brilliant people.

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Martie
Lower Sabie Rest Camp
Kruger National Park


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Sightings
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:32 pm 
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Good afternoon Friends,

This weekend was a fabulous leopard weekend, although my first sighting got messed up by 50 cars on the duke road and everyone parking against the flow and out of their cars, hanging out of their sunroofs like flowers in a pot!!

The south was brilliant the last few days for everyone except me, so this morning on the morning drive waiting in front of the gate to leave my eyes were not brown but white with big black question marks! The truck for some reason did not wanted to go east but west it did go. From sunset dam to the 4 km mark was nothing much just two dagga boys chilling out next to the road and then the sudden break for leopard number one! The rest of the morning was extremely long with birds, birds and more birds and then as we reached Lubye Lubye things changed again, with a nice leopard at the 2 km mark!! She played hide and seek and played games with the cars. Went to the causeway at the H10 and at the ranger's house another leopard crossed the road!! I must add I would never had said this in my life but that was just too much leopard for one day...just think of all the bad luck!!

Have a great summer day especially the guys from Cape Town!!

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Martie
Lower Sabie Rest Camp
Kruger National Park


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Sightings
Unread postPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 5:08 pm 
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Good day all,

Well the camp is very very quiet or so it feels now that the looong weekend has past. This daybreak I woke up very sleepy because for the last week we did not wake up early as usual. While sitting at the office and watching the day break because the two guests that was supposed to show up, didn’t, I realised how fortunate we are to live in such a peaceful place. Whilst doing some admin duties the two guests ran in and then I realised something was wrong with either their timing or their overslept. The second option was the right one.

As we left the camp the orange ball of fire lifted her head over the camp and there was this red glow over the peaceful camp. The Sabie River had a misty reddish colour with the sun reflecting on it and somewhere in the back of your head you feel as if you part of a painting, painted by a dreamer that wished for the peace in his back room in a busy city of pollution and dust. As we lifted the Toyotas nose to reach the north the three kings of our country was resting those big paws and made ready for their long sleep in the warm sun of today to come. These three lions crawled into my heart because of the one’s behaviour. He got this look in his eyes that he is looking at you, and you only, without turning his head, he is just looking into your eyes and then a surprising wink just before he looks away. It is almost as if he is flirting with your eyes and then just look away as if nothing happened, as a lover you once had and when you see him again there is no feelings at all.

When we arrived at the walking area, it was a splendid warm mid-summer morning in the middle of autumn with absolutely no dew on the grass just dust. The impala’s snort with the thousands of birds in the background makes your heart go soft although you have to be as tough as a lioness with two cubs behind you in a battle with a clang of hyena and not like old boots, because old boots break and guides are not allowed to break at all. The walk itself was fairly quiet just a black back jackal and zebra. Later in the walk five old elephant bulls appeared over the Lebombo Mountains and came into sight.

Breakfast was great in the Mlondozi stream, on our way back me and the guest changed from humans to ostriches with feathers in our hair and then off back to camp. Another hot day like today will be death to the plants before winter.

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Martie
Lower Sabie Rest Camp
Kruger National Park


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 5:06 pm 
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Good Sunday afternoon to you all,

First things first….our hard-hitting hippo did not make Sunday the 6th, this afternoon it was a float. At least now Beauty and her family can nibble nicely on their Sunday lunch. Once again I’m jumping my story.

On Friday evening we had a bush braai fairly quiet but at least on our way back we got a very enjoyable genet and Beauty on her favourite sleeping spot in the road in front of sunset dam. Last night I did a sunset drive for a change and before 17h30 we were just short of the spotted one to fill up the big 5. We found something strange on our return at sunset dam, once again Mrs Beauty in all her greatness caught and ate a terrapin and I must add on it wasn’t a small terrapin. Amazing how she just broke the poor sunset dam comrade into two separate pieces, with just one bite. It is Crazy in what manner in this place life can just end with one senseless snap.

In Lower Sabie we have dry walking areas and wet walking areas. That basically means we change according to the seasons and the wetness of an area. This morning just for a change I went to walk somewhere I haven’t walked for months. Unfortunately the road to this walking area is even hard for a baboon and this baboon will have to do use a walking stick. For this experience being more in the air than on the seat of the vehicle it ended up being a great experience. After the 5 S-curve motions the vehicle made through bushes and around rocks, the light of the vehicles fell onto a gigantic leopard. Normally when you surprise leopards like we did they will run off some distance and fall down flat as if a Vietnamese soldier that has just been spotted and tried hiding away from bullets. This leopard continued marking his territory then rolled in his own urine to spread the deodorant even more and then just sat there looking at us as if we were some national wonder he has not seen yet. After a while stood up and walked on the road until he found his next exit into the bushes.

You all know my myth about leopards being bad luck, but for once this might be wrong. This little spotted creature ended up bringing me double luck. Just on our arrival at the walking area, about another 600 meters before the parking area a big fat female black rhino came walking out. Two minutes later a male followed. This was by far one of the sightings I will never forget and if I do please hit me, maybe it will fall into my head again. The female, that was a lot like the person that like her so very much, was moody, grumpy and spirited, came walking closer and closer the male followed and then the sudden charge to the vehicle. It is fun when one black rhino charge you but the feeling that appears in your head, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, colon and pancreas is a feeling of sudden stop working. The only word I could get in was “foetsek” when the female turned towards the vehicle’s door. Then as grumpy as grumpy could be she chased the male off as if he did something wrong, but then on the other hand he probably said her arse looks big when she charge or something in that line and she just wanted to show him who is the boss in that relationship.

The walk itself was fairly quiet but had a brilliant elephants sighting off about 25, drinking water and a youngster about a month old that ran all around splashing away and eventually ran around a tree just to be cute and stupid.

Amazing day! With a bit of luck this will be an amazing week to follow.

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Martie
Lower Sabie Rest Camp
Kruger National Park


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 4:16 pm 
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Dear Friends,

The last few mornings you could see it is becoming winter. The Lebombo Mountains and all the valleys have this warm thick misty blanket over them. The sun also rises much later and it is amazing how quickly the days fly pass if it is winter. Our sunset drives are a real hit the last two weeks and although everyone complains about our routes, we still see the good stuff. Last night I took the famous Voortrekker Street (if you live in South Africa you will know the town without a main street named Voortrekker Street is not in South Africa), started off with a whole sunset dam’s crocodiles in front of us. Two water monitors were busy mating on the sign and two big kudu bulls were enjoying the tasty cream soda coloured water.

Not far from camp a bunch of buffalo finding their way out of the reeds and into the bushes for night life. At Lubye Lubye there was an animal congregation. At first there was a troop of baboons, some more serious than others. The big males were viewing the sunset in the west while their women made sure that their attire for night time was perfect and without fleas. The youngsters were playing and testing each other’s skills up and down the rocks. Behind them in the distance were elephants coming closer for some sun-downers and a bush buck made him-self out of the way of the irritating baboon children.

Firstly we thought this was amazing but the actual highlight of this moment was around the corner. You can never rely on baboons and while we were watching our family members, one male baboon made a scene, but none of them showed any interest in what he was saying. Only now I know what he was really trying to say. Around the corner came four big buffalo bulls and as we pass them it was more than just four buffalos but in the corner of my eye a view I won’t forget. Mash and his brother are back, haven’t seen these two male lions in months. They were not very successful in hunting but they continue the hunt into the thickets. When Mash walked over the road he gave me a look, a look not the way Mr Flirty would do it, but more like…I know you…look. Amazing how they grew since I arrived at Lower Sabie.

At our leg stretch we were accompanied by 2 rhinos and 4 buffalos. The rest of the night was fairly quiet but just before our arrival I saw a civet. This civet was fairly young but such a nice and bright coat. Tonight I will be doing a late night drive hopefully my dreams come true.

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Martie
Lower Sabie Rest Camp
Kruger National Park


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Sightings
Unread postPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 10:11 am 
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Good morning everyone,

Weird weather this morning at Lower Sabie, the wind is cold but the clouds are moving in from our neighbours and the sun is every now and then sticking out her head to see what we up to. Well we as in me has been on some excursions to Crocodile bridge the last few morning to go help out with some walks there and first morning back and I had a great morning.

These days you don’t leave Lower Sabie before checking Sunset Dam, this place is like the arena for the kitty cats and every day they come out for a play. Well nothing that side this morning but between the camp and the bridge/causeway I got a quick surprise. Two male lions sleeping next to the road, but the funny part of my whole morning drive is that if anyone drive out of Lower Sabie and come back in the afternoon claiming that the lions in the park are less or they are dying out or some excuse that you want to blame Kruger Park for I will laugh at you in your face because of the following... Whilst sitting at these lions the gate opened. The nice person I am, waited with my spotlight for the cars to show them and then I will leave. Sadly one car stopped and the rest of Lower Sabie just drove past as if there were nothing there. My guest was so confuse about this and could not understand how nobody stopped for lions 2 meters away from their cars. You could see them clearly and beautifully but the rush to get out of camp and see the predators on the road was just too big of a deal for the early birds.

There are a few reasons why I always drive north early mornings, firstly you will be alone on the road you choose, secondly you have the most beautiful African sunrise and thirdly there is no fighting for sightings if it do occur. But the main reason is the wind through the long red grass like a lady running through a grey building city with a red dress. This red-grass plains are just spectacular but with the red sun rising over it, it is just far more beautiful, even the rhinos will sometimes pause in their eating behaviour look up and just stare into the fields as if they’ve never seen it before. The ostrich males will stop and bring up their heads and get the lady ostrich with the sun behind her.

Spectacular how I missed cheetah at mativihlungu when I came back!!

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Martie
Lower Sabie Rest Camp
Kruger National Park


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:06 pm 
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I’m back in the bush after a few city days. The weather in Kruger is far better than anywhere else in this country and as we speak the lions are seconding it. First day back and so be it on foot and full of our horny creatures. The second activity even better with another walk and this I have to tell you…

Started walking and found fresh cheetah tracks, cheetah tracks are normally very tricky tracks and a lot of farmers will kill cheetah because they confuse it with hyena tracks. Irving was still telling the guest about the cheetah tracks when a big saddle-billed stork flew past with a fish eagle adding on the sound track and a giant eagle owl waiting to warm up in the rising sun. So amazed by my surroundings I suddenly spotted rhinos. We have protocol if it comes to telling the first rifle, but so amazed about the large mammals I blurred it out as loud as possible. I got a bit of a look and a speech from Mr in front but oops.

I don’t know if it was the fact that I’ve been in the city for a week but I was so amazed by the sounds and the surroundings that I would now and then get a real Mr Bean look on my face. On our return to the vehicle I spotted fresh lion tracks and before I could even say anything Irving turned around and pushed my head down into the grass, people behind me mimicking my movement. Irving showed me in the direction of some spike thorns and he said he can see some breathing, where he was pointing I could not see nothing and then the big male lions tail flicked up about 15 m from us. I dived into the ground like a meerkat running away from a hawk, because I then knew this was far too close for comfort. A few minutes later the big male lion lifted his head and then I realised the female, much closer, saw us and ran off, he then followed.

Last night I had one of those miracle drives in the eyes of anyone other than myself. Saw pretty much all the fat and lazy once before Nwatimhiri and then the bad luck started, I stopped for some statue impalas and then the statues started snorting and then the big male leopard came walking through the crowd as if they were cheering the beast. How unlucky can you be, but then the black storks made my evening. On the Nwathimhiri Bridge I got another surprise with another two leopards stalking a buffalo. Eventually the buffalo made his appearance and a leopard ran like only a leopard can run. Then the male left the female like only an angry man can do. She tried to keep up but did not succeed. Poor girl, what women will do just for a little bit of love and attention? The rest of the night was full of hippos and buffalos and close to a camp an angry elephant that gave me nonsense on a Saturday evening.

Just a word of advice, people walking in the dark moments of Lower Sabie, please be alert and carry a torch, if you see anything out of place or character inform us a.s.a.p and not three days later.

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Martie
Lower Sabie Rest Camp
Kruger National Park


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Sightings
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:32 pm 
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Dear friends,
This morning while leaving the camp the sunglasses were the first on our eyes. Not so much for the sun because she only arrived closer to seven and departure is just after five, but the moon was so bright and shiny you felt like covering your eyes. Just after the ranger’s house I could see in the moonlight a tile flicking in the grass. Got there to find Nafasi there with her spots and eye lashes prettier than ever but as scared and skittish as could be, this female leopard has become part of the camp since May. Arriving at our final destination…couldn’t arrive and had to drive around the two male lions in the road. These two male lions also have a story and the story goes as the one cannot see so well these days and it often happen that Jicho with his one eye come and stalks us confusing us with other prey. Whilst doing the pre-trip briefing another two males were roaring in the distance, the baboons in the tree behind us had a mating session and as we started walking on the tracks of man-eating beasts the sun rise was just beyond miraculous.

A while into the walk we found a very puzzling rhino named Gonga, either he was lost or he just couldn’t make up his mind in which direction he actually would like to go. Breakfast was first east then west then north and so he eventually just vanished into the bushes. On our way back we found a half-eaten impala with lion tracks but apparently some guest saw a cheetah eating it earlier, the lions must have chased it away.

When we got closer to camp an elephant and just to fill up my day a beautiful group of old buffalo bulls and although the weather is a bit windy recently it has been wonderful days in Kruger.

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Martie
Lower Sabie Rest Camp
Kruger National Park


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Sightings
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:28 pm 
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Dear Friends,
Well another day, another good sightings day!! Every afternoon I go to sunset dam before my activities just to get a feel of nature and calmness. Yesterday afternoon I got the total opposite with my neighbours that couldn’t keep the holes in their faces shut for two seconds. This afternoon it was too overwhelming that I had to sit for 2 minutes just to get my breath back. Everyone that knows me will know I have a history with a female baboon at Sunset Dam, lately she is very sick and can barely walk, I don’t know if she was in a fight with another or maybe Nafasi the leopard. So every time I see the witch I will stop next to her and give her the Rambo look, not for sympathy but plain to tell her who is boss. Whilst still looking at her on the right side of the road, a big crocodile grabbed an impala into the water and had a quick late lunch or shall I say high tea, it was so quickly finish you couldn’t have consider it as lunch.

Late night drive started off a little slow, but all the sightings we had were rather amazing. All the way to Nwatimhiri and half way back just a hyena smelling up some impala, black storks and a huge python that would not make me sleep so comfortable. Then the long way home had many more exciting stories to tell. Close to the famous sausage trees the most photogenic leopard walked over the road, Mr Pinky (for his very pink nose) was very nervous tonight but at least we could see him during his very busy night schedule. At camp I just had to go over the bridge, at the weeping boer been a couple of giant eagle owls serenating in the post full moon, with their vocals in the deepest tenor notes you could get. As curios as a hyena I had to scan around the corner, only to find leopard number two and then a bigger surprise leopard number three whilst watching number two. Both were females but one much younger than the other. Crossed the bridge and just a quick left maybe we can see buffalos, elephants and maybe a lion or two. After a kilometre just a herd of elephant richer for tonight and on our way back a pride of four lions at the bridge junction…this was just good timing. Time for 2 males and 2 females and Nafasi the leopard filling up the scene as she crossed the road in the background. I can’t remember that I’ve seen four different leopards in one night, but sure as I’m sitting here this quadrant of leopards….double double trouble if it comes to bad luck…wonder what is going to happen now again and it is not only me believing in this leopard bad faith, some of the other guides too!!!

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Martie
Lower Sabie Rest Camp
Kruger National Park


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:58 pm 
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With this extract of my trip report two happy people just wanted to say thanks for a fantastic sunset drive we could experience on Thursday, 16.02.2012 and a big thanks to all the guides at Lower Sabie and the entire park for their great daily job :clap: :clap: :clap:

As already said I would have preferred the night drive but same was already fully booked and finally wanted to have the famous Martie as guide but obviously she was on duty for the night drive that evening and we had Irving as guide and if I would have known early what we would have seen this guide and drive would have been my option. The drive started sharp at 17.30 and first spot was as already expected by us at Sunset dam where the briefing of how to behave took place and first animals which could be spotted where lots of baboons enthroned on top of the trees along the dam. I would like to call this one “The Sentinel” but nearl tree had its own sentinel.

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Then nearly the hell broke loose when a massive elephant bull in musth popped out of the dense bushes presenting his fifth leg and soon the whole road was wet as after a rain shower.

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First this poor guy was still not that aggressive but after more and more cars were coming and going he soon made friend with this car.

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At Sunset dam we observed the many many hippos

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and the sun which was about to set and was sparkling in the water amazingly.

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We crossed the Sabie via the causeway where we also stopped for a close hippo which was sleeping very deep and spotted again the ever present Goliath heron. It got darker and darker already and to my great surprise and I hoped that we would drive that route Irving turned into the S29 and as already early that morning the many different raptors in the bushes were back as well as the elephants which surprisingly appeared from everywhere out of nowhere and were standing suddenly behind our truck.

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Gladly these chaps we met here where far more relaxed than the huge one at Sunset Dam

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and it was also very impressive to watch that they are indeed nearly invisible by night.

Before it was getting pitch dark Irving stopped and we had a short break and were allowed to leave the vehicle and once more we enjoyed it very much to be out in the bush that late and even by foot.

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After a 10 minutes break it was dark enough to enlighten the floodlights and whilst we rolling slowly on we soon spotted a lone steenbok and a common duiker and the cream on top only within minutes was another cheetah!!!

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which kept nearly hidden in the high grass and also the picture at night is not that good but proofed that we saw definitely a cheetah.

More elephants came across too

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a black-backed jackal which was a bit far away and another first for me – my very first scorpion and also a red-roman spider was crisscrossing the road in the floodlight.

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We stopped there quite a while and Irving was a very knowledgeable guide who told us a lot about the animals which we spotted and also showed us his passion and enthusiasm for the wild life in general. Gladly for us was also that there had been booked two vehicles for a sunset drive and so both of them were not that full and when allowed we even could move from one side of the truck to the other in order to have a better view.

The S29 ended already but my prayers had been answered as I did not want to return back to camp already and so we turned onto the tar road into the Northern direction but only to stop for our another bird – our never seen bird No. 6 – a spotted eagle owl – and needless to say that we as owl fans were on high spirits.

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Irving had indeed a good instinct according the directions of that sunset drive as all of us in the truck and in special Timon & I were more than satisfied already with what we saw so far but that was still not the end of more surprises.

Meanwhile it was pitch dark and Irving stopped and switched the engine off and asked us to be dead quiet for a minute and simply to soak in the moment and I must say that this was one of my deepest memories I brought back home from that sunset drive. The African star firmament was high above, the Muntshe mountain to the right and once more a very nice breeze was blowing and I simply enjoyed the here and now and did not care about anything else and even I was in my beloved African savannah and I could have sat there motionless the whole night– Sigh.

It came what I already thought would be coming Irving turned the truck around and we were now back to camp although slowly and the time was nearly over but the animals did not let us go!

Suddenly there were only the noise of rooting out plants and the culprits were discovered as a hippo mom and her youngster and in the vicinity there were more grey bodies to be seen.

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For us it was quite interesting to realize how far they walk away from any water by night and how busy they were in feeding. Although knowing that they do so to seeing now same behaviour with my own eyes was more than fascinating.

We only stopped a couple of meters further and were nearly ran into a huge breeding herd of elephants which all were feeding on the bushes on the roadside but the matriarch did not see any harm in our noisy truck and did now even raise an eyebrow. We were already running late and Irving wanted to show us the two male lions which were hanging around on the tar road quite regularly by night but they did not show up but instead we found another animal which I wanted to see under all circumstance at least once in my life – a porcupine!!!

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Unfortunately I was sitting on the wrong side of the truck and the porcupine was simply too fast and already nearly hidden by bushes and grass but a porcupine is a porcupine and normally Irving would have waited a bit longer at that sighting but as already said we were already late and still was maundering about the two male lions but suddenly the lions were forgotten because there was this spotted chap walking slowly in front of our truck

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Who can ask for more as cream on top in form of such a wonderful sighting of one of the most beautiful animals in the world??? The male leopard was extreme skittish and soon disappeared in the high grass but as Irving could obviously understand leopardish he soon drove a bit further and even around the next corner and switched once more the engine off and asked us to be totally quite and to switch all flashlights off and only to switch same again on when he is saying so. We waited and voilà same appeared once more on the road and trotted on as if there was nothing else to be down in the world.

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Gladly we stayed as long as the leopard was visible and finally it was time to return to camp and with big grins onto our faces we left the vehicle and thanked Irving a lot for a wonderful sunset drive and even returned with half an hour tardiness.

We unfortunately forgot to take a small torch with us when we left the bungalow and so it was a bit tricky to find the way back to our bungalow which was located at the far end of the camp but finally we succeeded and nearly went immediately to bed as we both were extreme exhausted.

The conclusion of such an event for us was that it was again wonderful to be in bush by night but that was far not enough and we are still thinking about doing one of these famous hiking trails in Kruger but then not in February for sure or to camp on a lone campsite somewhere in the Kalahari......


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Sightings
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:34 am
Posts: 45
Location: Kruger NP
Good day all,
The last few weeks were rather remarkable regarding the lion family. On Thursday as I left the camp with the late night drive I bumped into two old male lions that were around Lower Sabie for the last few weeks. While passing them to get a better frontal view I’ve noticed the sudden freeze and a lift in the head with that big manes, in front of these two beasts were two young lions. If I’m correct these old boys live on the Eastern side of Lower Sabie and the young boys on the West. All of you know that whatever comes from the west is normally wild creatures and there goes the old boys. The old boys were running zigzags through the bushes and over the road trying to get away from these young westerns. On one stage I was parked in quite thick bushes and as these westerns smelt, roared and going crazy to find these boys they jump out of the bushes giving me almost a heart attack.

Yesterday morning still getting ready for the sunny day something impossible happened. Two wild dogs, yes wild dogs drank water from Sunset Dam. That was An amazing breath-taking event, just sad that during school holidays and long-weekends when something like this happen nobody care about the vehicle next to them and you get these whales (big vehicles) that think if they park in front of all the vehicles they will change into a glass car and happen to be see through. People push through gaps, people speed, kids cry, people scream from one car to another and how do you expect to have a nice Kruger experience if that is behaviour of seven o’clock traffic in city deep on a Monday morning.

Luckily we leave camp at night when the rush is over and quiet and relaxed we glide through the bushes. I found a new sunset spot, where the sun is more round and more beautiful than anywhere else in the park, the basalt plains is flatter and Munshe mountain is more look alike than Kilimanjaro itself. It was sure a buffalo evening and I made up for all the buffalos I haven’t seen in the last month. Regarding the ellies, they were seen once and that was it. The rhinos were drinking water as they do every night with the sunset drive and then my grand finale… a leopard in a tree with two hyena surrounding him at the base and a jackal running around the three bigger monsters as someone that would like to say something but don’t really know when and how to say it. Eventually after a while the leopard did his normal traffic planning, look left, look right and left again and jumped out of the tree and vanished into the long grass. Leaving the legs and head of an impala for the three scavengers to decide who is going to win that meal. In the end one of the hyenas thought the tar road will be much warmer and left to sleep there instead.

Just a holiday hint, every person entering any access gate into Kruger gets a little green pamphlet, please read through it, it is basic things that will make your stay and everyone else’s stay a memorable one. Just for a quick reminder here are those guidelines:

1. Visitors must remain in their vehicles unless in a designated area.
Remember that no part of the body may protrude from a window or sunroof or any other part of the vehicle. Vehicle doors should be closed at all times.
2. Stick to the speed limit! All general rules of the road apply within the Kruger National Park. The speed limit is 50 km/h on tar roads and 40 km/h on gravel roads. Please note that not all roads are accessible to caravans.
3. Look at the gate times in your green gate permit. You must be inside the camp or out of the gate before these times. No travelling before or after these times are allowed. Gate times must be strictly adhered to and late comers may be subject to a fine.
4. You are not allowed to drive “off-road” or on roads with a “no entry” sign.
5. The feeding or disturbing of animals is a serious offence. Remember, animals see litter as food!
6. Overnight visitors are only allowed to stay at a booked and recognised overnight facility and must report to reception before occupying accommodation or camping.
7. All accommodation and camping sites may be occupied from 14:00 on the day of arrival and must be vacated by 10:00 on the day of departure.
8. Vehicles of a carrying capacity exceeding 4 000kg, buses or any vehicles with more than 25 seats, are restricted to the tar roads.
9. A stringent noise restriction is enforced between 21:30 and 06:00. The use of cell phones is permitted only in camps, gates and in cases of emergency.

_________________
BE GOOD OR BE GOOD AT IT

Martie
Lower Sabie Rest Camp
Kruger National Park


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:38 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:19 am
Posts: 145
Location: KZN South Coast-Just too far from Kruger
Hi Martie. I am so confused!!!! Please can you tell me what has happened to your other Lower Sabie Sightings thread????

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KRUGER, my happy place!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
BIYAMITI - 28th/29th Sept. 2014
LOWER SABIE - 30th Sept.& 1st/2nd Oct.
OLIFANTS - 3rd/4th Oct.
SATARA - 5th/6th Oct.
SKUKUZA - 7th/8th Oct.
BERG EN DAL - 9th Oct.


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 Post subject: Re: Lower Sabie Sightings
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:13 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Secunda, Mpumalanga
Hi!

We had an awesome sighting of 6 female lions (actually 5 females and a cub) on the 19th of June @ 14:00 on the H4-1 about 10km's from Lower Sabie.

Is it fine if I hook some photos onto this tread for interest sake?

It was an experience of a lifetime for us since they emerged out of the bushes from nowhere, circled our bakkie a bit and then started to walk off very casually in the road in the direction of Nkuhlu. After turning around, we managed to follow them for about 500m after which they decided to go into the bushes again towards the river.

The one female (clearly the big mama) was collared.

_________________
Malelane: 9 June '12
Berg & Dal: 10 - 13 June '12
Pretoriuskop: 14 - 16 June '12
Croc Bridge: 17 - 21 June '12


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