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 Post subject: Wildlife4ever-Roy 47 days of fun July 2012
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:45 pm 
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Hello hello,
It’s time to write my first Travel Tale because I'm traveling to South Africa soon! I just graduated and thought why not give myself a gift to view some wildlife in South Africa. :cam:
So I did and booked some places in the Kruger for 47 days in total. I’m hoping to see a lot of beautiful sighting and having a great time (probably not too difficult in 47 days :D )!

This isn't the first time I'm visiting the Kruger park, but this will be the first time alone and for such a long period of time. So I'm really excited and can't wait to go!

I had some trouble with booking because I was late and most of the camps hadn’t any (camping) space left on the days I want to book them. After some waiting, checking Sanparks again and again I did managed to make a good schedule:

Day 00 (12-8-2012): Arriving in Johannesburg, South Africa :dance:
Day 01 (13-8-2012): Punda Maria (Camp Site)
Day 02 (14-8-2012): Punda Maria (Camp Site)
Day 03 (15-8-2012): Punda Maria (Camp Site)
Day 04 (16-8-2012): Punda Maria (Camp Site)
Day 05 (17-8-2012): Shingwedzi (Camp Site)
Day 06 (18-8-2012): Shingwedzi (Camp Site)
Day 07 (19-8-2012): Shingwedzi (Camp Site)
Day 08 (20-8-2012): Shingwedzi (Camp Site)
Day 09 (21-8-2012): Tsendze (Camp Site)
Day 10 (22-8-2012): Tsendze (Camp Site)
Day 11 (23-8-2012): Tsendze (Camp Site)
Day 12 (24-8-2012): Letaba (Camp Site)
Day 13 (25-8-2012): Letaba (Camp Site)
Day 14 (26-8-2012): Letaba (Camp Site)
Day 15 (27-8-2012): Letaba (Camp Site)
Day 16 (28-8-2012): Tamboti (Safari tent)
Day 17 (29-8-2012): Tamboti (Safari tent)
Day 18 (30-8-2012): Skukuza (Camp Site)
Day 19 (31-8-2012): Skukuza (Camp Site)
Day 20 (01-9-2012): Skukuza (Camp Site)
Day 21 (02-9-2012): Berg-en-dal (Camp Site)
Day 22 (03-9-2012): Berg-en-dal (Camp Site)
Day 23 (04-9-2012): Lower Sabie (Camp Site)
Day 24 (05-9-2012): Lower Sabie (Hut)
Day 25 (06-9-2012): Lower Sabie (Hut)
Day 26 (07-9-2012): Lower Sabie (Hut)
Day 27 (08-9-2012): Skukuza (Camp Site)
Day 28 (09-9-2012): Skukuza (Camp Site)
Day 29 (10-9-2012): Maroela (Camp Site)
Day 30 (11-9-2012): Maroela (Camp Site)
Day 31 (12-9-2012): Balule (Camp Site)
Day 32 (13-9-2012): Balule (Camp Site)
Day 33 (14-9-2012): Balule (Camp Site)
Day 34 (15-9-2012): Satara (Camp Site)
Day 35 (16-9-2012): Skukuza (Camp Site)
Day 36 (17-9-2012): Skukuza (Camp Site)
Day 37 (18-9-2012): Crocodile Bridge (Camp Site)
Day 38 (19-9-2012): Crocodile Bridge (Camp Site)
Day 39 (20-9-2012): Pretoriuskop (Camp Site)
Day 40 (21-9-2012): Pretoriuskop (Camp Site)
Day 41 (22-9-2012): Lower Sabie (Camp Site)
Day 42 (23-9-2012): Lower Sabie (Camp Site)
Day 43 (24-9-2012): Satara (Camp Site)
Day 44 (25-9-2012): Satara (Camp Site)
Day 45 (26-9-2012): Satara (Camp Site)
Day 46 (27-9-2012): Satara (Camp Site)
Day 47 (28-9-2012): Satara (Camp Site)
Day 48 (29-9-2012): Flying back to the Netherlands :(


If you have any questions or comments please let me know!
I hope that you’re going to like my Travel Tale.


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 Post subject: Re: 47 days of fun
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:53 pm 
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First of all, thanks everybody for those great replies and Congratulations. I get even more excited after reading it! :)
DuQues wrote:
Just wondering, you list camping, Maroela and Balule? Are you going to buy camping gear, or sleep in the open?
Or is it not just you?

No, I’m going alone and I’m take most of the camping gear from home. I have some small and lightweight camping gear. But I know, I probably haven’t got a lot of space left in my bag when arriving :).

PetraJ wrote:
Wow WR, enjoy your trip, and if you get lonely, just pm, I am sure we could make a plan and join you somewhere :twisted:

Thanks ... I think. :? Or are you also in the park during my trip?


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 Post subject: Re: 47 days of fun
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:11 am 
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Tomorrow morning I can say goodbye to the Netherlands and in the evening I can say hello to South Africa :dance:. I can't wait :D I am really looking forward to it. I am a bit nervous, but that's okay.

South Africa and Kruger, here I come!


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 Post subject: Re: 47 days of fun
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:19 am 
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Note: I typed the next reply yesterday evening, but didn't get Internet to send it. This means when I say today it is exactly yesterday.

I am not in the kruger yet :-(. There has been a slide change in my schedule. No, nothing to worry about. Just before I left, I decide to sleep today in Louis trichardt. Because Jo'burg - punda maria is a long drive and had to do some shopping(vodacom sim and stuff that didn't fit in my bag). This extra stop did make the trip a lot better to handle.

Tomorrow morning I will visit the kruger :-D I am ready for it!

barryels - My yellow ribbon isn't that large, so you have to try hard to find me :-).


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 Post subject: Re: 47 days of fun
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:09 pm 
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Day 2: 1e day Kruger

Party time! Free :popcorn: for everyone!
I'm finally made it. I'm in the kruger! So this will be my first kruger travel tale!

My trip started at the pafuri gate, than I traveled to pafuri picnic spot, H1-8, S61 and S60 to punda maria.

In the first 15km i didn't saw a single animal. Not even an impala... (maybe silence before the storm? Hope so).
Luckily after the first couple of impala's I did saw some rarer wildlife. It started with some beautiful kudu's and warthogs. On the S63 I saw multiply groups of nyala's, kudu's, warthogs and beautiful birds like the white fronted bee-eater. On the small road to the tar road, just after the picnic spot I saw a giraffe with her small child. Baby animals are always great to see :) .
Finally on de S61/S60 I saw a lot of elephants, zebras and couple of giraffes.

I arrived at the pafuri gate around 12. So the time of the day couldn't be worse, but I saw more wildlife than I expected on my trip. Unfortunately I couldn't take some good pictures. But after all I had a great time!

I love those sounds at night :). I just heard a hungry elephant (poor tree).
Time to sleep now. Let see what I can find tomorrow!

Thanks for reading


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 Post subject: Re: 47 days of fun
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:50 pm 
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Day 3: a special start

After the good trip yesterday, I decided to go up north again.
2 km on the S60 I saw the first animal of the day, A lonely wild dog! Never knew that there where wild dogs this high op north. Unfortunately before I could stop the car to take a picture, it runs away.
The next stop on my trip was at the "klopperfontein" waterhole. Like yesterday there where a lot of elephants. To reach the waterhole I had to go down a hill. Down at the waterhole, I took a couple of shot of elephants drinking. After a couple of minutes I looked at the back mirror and saw a big grey object... It was big elephant blocking the only way out. he wanted to use the road to get to the waterhole. I didn't like it, because I had nowhere to go. At the same moment an elephant from de waterhole decided to go up and also use the same road. Luckily after a short while, the elephant in the back decides to use another path. So I was able to get out.

I leaved the elephants and heading to the S64 (nyala drive). On the tar road I only saw some great buffalo's. Luckily the S64 had a lot of wildlife. Not only the wildlife was great, the road itself was truly amazing!
After the S64 I went to pafuri for a lunch. I meet some great people on my way to pafuri. It wasn't a yr, so I still have to find someone :-).
Just to make the trip to north complete, I did go to crooks corner. Just before I entered crooks corner a hippo at high speed crossing the road at mid day. I thought that they where in the water at that time of the day. At crooks I had a great time with the people I meet earlier that day.
On the way back I didn't saw a lot. Only some common wildlife and most of the time not in a good position to photograph it.

In the evening I went to the hide at punda maria. After a half hour I got really lucky! I saw the most beautiful animal of the kruger, the leopard!
I think a good sighting to end this travel tale.

thanks again to everyone who did read this and everyone who replied.


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 Post subject: Re: 47 days of fun
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:20 pm 
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Day 4: at the hide

Today I decided to stay around punda maria. So the first road I took this morning was the loop around the camp. I knew that there where some leopard in the area, but unfortunately I didn't find one. I did find my first kori bustard on this trip.

After the loop I drove just parts of the other road and then go back to punda maria early. In punda maria I went to the hide and see if there where some animals. It was just amazing to see how many animals there where at the hide. Impala's, elephants, zebras, nyala's... Even during mid day it was busy.
A shot from the camping area:
Image
In the afternoon I did do the loop again, but still couldn't find the leopard. But I saw some other wildlife, so after all it was a good drive.

Day 5: rain

Today I had to leave punda maria and go to shingwedzi. The weather forecast did say there will be some rain today. Before I left the gate for the morning drive, I packed everything, like my tent, in.
Again i tried the loop around camp, but unfortunately I didn't see a lot of animals. While I was driving the loop, it started to rain a bit and it didn't stop until I arrived at shingwedzi. Maybe because of the weather, but I didn't saw a lot of animals. But from the animals I did saw, there where 3 new. I didn't saw the tsessebe, blue wildebeest and ostrich on this trip before.


Last edited by Wildlife4ever-Roy on Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 47 days of fun
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:41 pm 
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Sorry for the late travel tale, but I meet some great people in shingwedzi. Because of that I didn't had time left to write travel tales.

Day 6,7 and 8: shingwedzi
The next couple of days I stayed in shingwedzi. The area around camp is beautiful!
First I did the s50 (kanniedood dam). What a great road with a lot of animals. On this road I saw my first sighting of a roan antilope! It's always nice to see some rare animals.
Another beautiful road I took was the s52 (red Rock). It didn't have as many animals as the kanniedood dam, but the landscape was wonderful.
At the fence at night I had also some good sightings. I did saw a civet and a black backed jackal.
Every night you could hear that there where some lions not to far away from camp. It was just amazing to hear them at night!
Almost every morning I saw them lying in the river bed, just outside camp.
After 4 nights its time to go to Tsendze. It was a nice camp in a beautiful area.

Thank you all again for reading and the comments.


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 Post subject: Re: 47 days of fun
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:57 pm 
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Day 9: mooiplaas

Today I drove to Tsendze. It's a camp just below mopani. It was a nice drive with a lot of animals. Nothing special, but it was nice to see!
In the evening I went to mooiplaas, a waterhole close to Tsendze. I had there a special moment. It started when I arrive, there where some elephants, zebras, A jackal and a kori bustard. Especially the last two where great to see. After a while, all the zebras run away. There was a lion and lioness on there way to the waterhole. They came to drink something.
After they where finished, they crossed the road and laid down just next to the road. It was amazing to see them close by.
But it did even get better. There where some zebras coming to there direction. The lioness heard them and what to tease them. She just walked in the direction of the zebras. Not sneaking or what so ever, no just walking. When the zebras saw her, they run away of course. They stopped and looked back to the lioness after a short run. The lioness just keeps walking in there direction. When she was close to the zebras again, they run away for a moment and looked back to the lioness. This repeated over and over again, till I eventually lost sight of the zebras and lions. It was incredible to see. Was hoping that to see a kill, but I didn't.
To make it complete, there was a beautiful sunset at the waterhole.
So I think a great start of Tsendze!


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 Post subject: Re: 47 days of fun
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:49 pm 
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Day 10: Nothing special

This morning I drove a bit around in the area. It was a quite day, and I didn't saw a lot of special animals. I did saw a big warthog family. Normally I don't see more than 5 warthogs, but on this family I counted at least 12 warthogs at one waterhole.

At the end of the set I went to mooiplaas again. It wasn't as good as yesterday, but that wasn't that strange :). I did saw some elephants and zebras drinking. The jackal also showed up again. So it was a nice end of the day, with again a beautiful sunset.


Day 11: kill?

Today I did the road to the dam under mopani.
It started a bit slow, without a lot of animals. But after a while I saw a lioness just crossing the dirt road. Unfortunately I was not close and she disappeared in the bush when I arrived.
About 2km after the lioness, I saw a lot of vultures in the trees and some on the ground eating. I couldn't see the kill itself, so don't know what is was. Unfortunately no lions or other predators at the kill.

At the very of the day I drove first to the dam again. There is a hide where I wanted to be around 3. Unfortunately nothing special happened, when I drove to mooiplaas again, I did saw some waterbok standing on rock with some beautiful light. I took some nice pictures and drove further to mooiplaas.
Unfortunately there weren't any animals at mooiplaas. After a while there where 3 elephants drinking. So today the waterhole wasn't special at all. Luckily the sunset was as every day, beautiful.
On my way back to Tsendze, I did saw a eagle owl! It was great to see him. What a wonderful owl.


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 Post subject: Re: 47 days of fun
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:19 pm 
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Day 12: to Letaba

Today is the day that I have to leave Tsendze. It was a wonderful camp, with some great camp managers. I would recommend everyone to visit this camp.
Before I packed in, I went to the mooiplaas waterhole. There where some zebras drinking. The light of the sun rise just made them beautiful and I managed to make some good pictures. (I will try to upload some of them soon).

My TT is 3 days behind. It's getting hard to remember what I saw. So over the next couple of days I will write a short version with some of the highlights.

In letaba I haven't seen a lot of animals. But I have seen some interesting sightings I want to share.
First I want to mention a lion that I saw at the H9. It was sleeping and hard to see. But it was a lion,so always nice to see.
The last sighting I want to mention was at olifants bridge.
There was a giraffe kill made by crocodiles(haven't seen that it happened). When i arrive at the bridge, the crocodiles where still eating on it, even the kill was made a couple of days back. I haven't see a crocodile eating before, so it was great to see.

Tomorrow I will leave letaba and go to tamboti for two nights. Great area for animals, so hopefully I will find a lot of great sightings!


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 Post subject: Re: 47 days of fun
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:16 pm 
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lion queen wrote:
What an interesting sighting the cocks and Giraffe must have been.......... :clap: :clap: :clap:

Yes it was! Unfortunately you couldn't see the "action", because they were already eating inside of the giraffe. But there where of course a lot of crocodiles in the area. And sometimes a crocodile was eating the last peaches of his meal outside of the giraffe. So very interesting to watch.


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 Post subject: Re: 47 days of fun
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:19 pm 
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Day 16: they are still alive!

I'm already at day 16... On 1/3 of my vacation :(. Sounds like it almost over, luckily sounds a month left way better :).
Today I made the long journey from letaba to tamboti. It was a wonderful drive with a lot of animals.
The drive started a bit slow in the beginning, but the closer I came to Satara the more animals I saw.
That's a real difference between the North and the South. In the north the average for example zebra family is 4, around Satara its something like 20 or more.
Back to the drive. Around half way between letaba and Satara I saw a traffic jam. As you probably can guess, there some lions and of course they were sleeping. When i drove further, I saw beautiful open savanne, with big herds of zebras, buffalo and some more of that kind.
I stopped in Satara for a short break.
In the camp, close to the reception, there was a open bush. In the bush there was a small scope owl(I believe it's spelled like that) sleeping. Just in the open bush and at eye, so great to see.
On the tar road I spotted my second traffic ja... Uuhh... Lion :) and these where also a sleep.
On the road to orphen I also say some great kudu's and stuff like that.
I checked in at orphen for my tamboti tent and went straight to tamboti.
Around 4 I left tamboti to view some animals. It started good with some beautiful kudu's. When I was photographing them, I saw a jackal. Unfortunately he crossed the road behind me, so I wasn't able to make a good photo of it. I was disappointed, because I hoped he crossed the road in front of me.
Luckily after something like 1 km, I saw another one. This jackal did almost exactly what I hoped.
So it was a beautiful evening drive. Have made some good pictures.
At last I also want to share a sighting I saw somewhere today, a white rino. So luckily the still some left in the park :D. Beautiful animals.
Now going to enjoy what tamboti has to offer this night.


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 Post subject: Re: 47 days of fun
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:17 pm 
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Day 17: wall of shame award?

Yesterday night I was busy on my laptop, when I heard something next to me. When i looked, I saw it was a honey badger looking for some food at the tent next to me. They warned me about them when checking in, but never expected to see one :D.

This morning I drove in the direction of Satara (not that you have many options from Tambotie). I saw this morning only some general wildlife. I was hoping to see the leopard, but again no sign of it.
Just like yesterday, there where some lions halfway between Tambotie and Satara. I couldn't take pictures of it and they where already half at sleep. At these lions I also heard from a buffalo kill made by lions just north of Satara. That sounded a little more interesting than some sleeping lions :).
When I came there, there where a lot of hyenas and a buffalo kill. At the kill there was a lioness eating, just a couple of meters from the road. A kill close to Satara means a lot of cars... Luckily I managed to find a decent spot. It was of course great to see a lioness eating.
After a couple of hours, I saw someone that's qualifies for the first place on the wall of shame.
There where I think around the 30 cars watching the lions. It was a open area, so everyone was able to see it. When suddenly a car drove next to the kill, between the lions and the hyenas.
Luckily the lioness was already finished with eating, so there wasn't any action.
The hyenas and lion didn't like it, because they weren't able to watch each other. So they where walking all over the place.
So the positive side of it was that there was some activity.
He stayed there for maybe a half hour or even more.
I think he was stuck or something, because a sanparks car had to pull him out.
It was quite interesting to see how they put the towing cable on the car, between the lions and hyenas.
After something like 10 minutes, the car was pulled away. Unfortunately during the "rescue" operation, all the hyenas scared and run away. So it was also a good time to leave and heading back to Tambotie. On my way back, I came past the other lions, but there where still sleeping. The rest of the day, wasn't that special. I only saw some general wildlife.
Now waiting till my meat is ready. It took a wile before the fire was on. The wood, bought at Orpen, was not dry at all..

Have a good night!


Last edited by Wildlife4ever-Roy on Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 47 days of fun
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:03 pm 
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Day 18 & 19:lions, lions and lions

After two nights Tambotie it was time to go to Skukuza. It was a long drive, but luckily i saw also a lot of animals. The lions that I have seen a couple of days, between Tambotie and Satara, just leaved. I only saw the male for a few seconds.
At Satara I went to the kill again. But there where only some bones left. No sight of the lions or hyenas. There where only a couple of vultures left. So I turned around and heading towards Skukuza.
The next stop was at the nkaya waterhole. A beautiful waterhole with a lot of animals. I stayed there for almost a hour and saw some warthogs, zebras, impala's and a crocodile.
Even it was mid day and hot, I did saw some general wildlife and a lioness in the river bed.
Around 2 I arrived at the camp site. After I found a good spot, I packed out everything and started to setup my tent. It wasn't as easy as previous camps. It looked like the whole ground was one big rock... Luckily a caravan next to me had a drill that I could use.
It took me a lot longer than normal, but eventually I was able to place my tent.
Because it was hot and late, I decided to skip the evening drive for today.
Again i did meet some great people at the campground. They invited me for a braai, so I wasn't able to make a TT.

The next day I decided to go to lower sabie and back. It was a great drive, with a lot of lion sightings. I have saw them at 4 different places. All far away in the river bed.
Unfortunately I just missed the leopard on the lower sabie bridge.
On the way back I didn't saw a lot, but still it was a nice drive.
For the evening I decided to go visit the lake panic hide. It's always a great hide, with a lot of things to see. Unfortunately the hippos where quite today, so I didn't hear there great sounds.

Also during these two days I managed to see two white and three(one family) black rinos. So I was lucky :).


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