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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:27 pm 
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:D Thought to just say that it is a Giraffe Calf and a Zebra Foal, so it was the little Zebra that got caught by Lionness. :)

And then yesterday morning's Leopard and tonight we found another 1 at Nandzana waterhole-
:popcorn:
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:D

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:34 pm 
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Amazing leopard photos.


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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:34 am 
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magnificent Leopard :clap:
Zebra foal or Giraffe calf... :cry: same... it was babies and mum :cry: :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:51 am 
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Beautiful Leopard Lourens! :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:37 pm 
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Well, seeing as Lourens is off enjoying the coast I will fill in for the next short while.

The game viewing has been excellent around Phalaborwa recently with the grass being seriously reduced – nice for us and the carnivores, not so nice for the herbivores.

On the 13th took a romantic couple out for a special sundowners in the bush. It was absolutely stunning for them – sitting in the bush at a table with a platter and drinks while looking out across the bush. On the drive we managed to get the general game but the highlight was definitely when we stopped by Sable Dam and were scanning the water with our spotlights. After a while I lowered the spotlight and there, a few metres away from us and lying in the grass without a phase in the world, was a lovely leopard. He sat there for a while before moving off into the bush. Scary how close they can be without us knowing.

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The 15th had me taking the guests out for a night drive. Deciding to go north we set our sights on sundowners at Ngwenyeni Waterhole. Along the way came across a herd of eland. Being typically shy all but one ran off. The one left behind grazed for a while giving us a great viewing.

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At Ngwenyeni Waterhole we had a breeding herd of elephants, several solitary bulls and some buffalo come for a drink. For the rest of the drive we got the general game plus several night time species – genet and civet.

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:54 pm 
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On the 21st took a group out for the bush braai and on the ensuing night drive managed to get some excellent sightings of elephant – 4 breeding herds right on the road, and two large breeding herds of buffalo (plus lots of solitary bulls). Looks like with the lack of water the animals have all congregated around Sable Dam – especially in the evenings. We were fortunate to also get a leopard coming down for a drink. Also got lots of general game plus five eagle species.

The 22nd had me doing another bush braai. It was one of the more exciting experiences I have ever had! Firstly, the South African couple were going on about how they have been to the park dozens of times but have never seen leopard. Taking the Sable Dam road we watching a breeding herd of elephants when we heard that distinctive cough and a minute later out popped this fine leopard. We followed him as he strolled past us and down for a drink. Totally relaxed we spent 10 minutes with him before he disappeared into the thick bush.

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The rest of the drive had us finding all the general game and we settled down for the bush braai.

It was just after the dinner was finished that David and I went outside the boma to check there were no animals. No animals? More like a pride of lions! And the 6 cubs were playing not more than 20 metres away from us while their mothers looked on. I went back and gathered up the guests in the vehicle to have a better look. We sat there for twenty minutes and, forgoing dessert (they said they came to the park for lions – not dessert!), we followed them a short distance away. The cubs were playing and the mothers seemed to be taking the night off. Even a herd of elephants strolling through their midst didn't phase them. Definitely one of my favourite sightings of all time.

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On the 23rd I was at the bush braai again (it is amazing food!). The first half of the trip was very quiet. One giraffe by the gate and two lonely impalas in the first hour and a half didn't bode well. We enjoyed the braai and even had 18 Germans singing Happy Birthday to a South African on his birthday.

After the braai, feeling quite bad that we hadn’t seen anything took the guests up to Masorini and searched around there. Managed to get caracal, a leopard (albeit far off in the bush), genet, some rock climbing elephants and klipspringer as well as general game. A bushbaby jumping around a tree ten metres away was for me the highlight.


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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:38 am 
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You are having a fabulous time standing in for Lourens Bobong! :dance: :dance:

Leopards galore, and what beauties! Lion with cubs! Genet! All apart from the beautiful general game! Fantastic! :clap: :clap:

I think you've left behind a few very happy guests! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:42 am 
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Thank you Lourens and Bobong for telling and showing us about the 8) sightings at Phalaborwa Gate :thumbs_up:. I think the photo’s of the interaction between the shrike and the chameleon is stunning :clap: and the two elephant drinking water :D but all the photo’s are great including the lion spying underneath the belly of the elephant :lol:.

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:16 am 
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Stunning!
:clap: :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:21 am 
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:D Rainy greetings on this Friday morning from Phalaborwa Gate,

Hope you are all well, this side of the world we had unbelievable times in the bush!!!!

To take you back from the last time I posted on the Forums, lots happened, so will tell you everything.

After posting the photo's of the Leopard from Nandzana waterhole, if I think back how amazing it was, we were having sundowners at the waterhole and only had Buffaloes there. We left, watched some Genets in the tree, and went back to the waterhole there we then found the Leopard.
Shows you once again how things are changing in 10 minutes in the bush.

The 30th of August till the 1st of September I went and did a Lonely Bull Backpack Trail. Had an awesome time, with great sightings and Lions that came pass the campsite during the early morning hours on the first night.

On the 2nd of September we found a few Elephant Bulls bathing in Sable Dam, and later that evening saw 2 African Wild Cats, Lesser Bushbabies, Giraffe, Zebras, Steenbok, and Duiker.

Monday the 3rd of September on the night drive we were sooooooo lucky!!!! I had 2 German guests, their first time in Africa, first time on a game drive, so it must have been beginners luck, so I thought, but the next morning on the walk with the same 2 guests we were once again very lucky!!!!

On the Night Drive we found Elephants at Ngwenyeni waterhole and later during the game drive, we found a White Rhino with her calf, with some Elephant and Buffaloes in the same vicinity. Further up the road we stopped for sundowners and snacks, whereafter we found a young Leopard in a Apple Leaf Tree, and wathed him/her for a long time. On our way back to the gate, we found a Giant Eagle Owl, a Elephant with really big tusks,Bushbuck- which is quite scarce in this area, more Buffaloes, Zebras, Steenbok, a Side Striped Jackal, and on the road something came walking towards us, and looked like a female Lion, which would have completed the Big 5, but was a big male Leopard!!!! We watched him until he disappeared into the bush and driving to the gate with such alot of amazement of how many scarce things and 2 Leopards we saw, and how lucky these guests are on their first game drive ever, something crossed the road in front of us about 2 km's from Phalaborwa Gate. I thought oh no, another Leopard, and as we drove forward and saw what it was, I just got blown into my own bubble!!! It was an AARDVARK!!!!!!!!!!! 3rd time in my life to see 1!!!!!!!!! And here these guests saw all this in 1 night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The next morning we had a real zoo bushwalk!!! From the Impalas, to Giraffes, to Zebras, and while watching the Giraffes and Zebras moving away the 3 White Rhino's jumped up close to them, and from there a bachelor group of Buffaloes, and as we turned away from the Buffaloes to have Breakfast we found 2 Elephants!!! And to put the cherry on the cake on our way back to the gate after the walk, we found another Female Leopard right in the road!!!!!!!! How lucky can some people be?????

The morning of the 5th the walk was just the opposite, saw no mammals!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday the 6th of September on the walk, we once again got wet with the rain as on the 5th, but at least this time had a stunning time, tracking Rhino's and eventually found them after breakfast. We also saw Steenbok and a Elephant.

Sunday morning on the 9th of September Neville and I had a stunning walk next to the tshutshi stream, as we started walking we found a herd of Elephants, and after viewing them, we found Impalas, Giraffes, Zebras, and a Steenbok.

The 10th we did the walk behind Sable Dam, but only found a Scrub Hare and Impalas. What was really nice, was to hear the first Klaas's Cuckoo for the season!!!!

Inbetween I had lots of Admin duties to fulfill, and before I went on leave for 2 weeks, David and I took 20 guests on a Morning Safari. We saw lots of general game all over, Elephants, and next to the Letaba River a Leopard with her Cub.

Started working on the 1st of October again, and once again had to deal with all sorts of things, except activities, but on the 2nd did a Afternoon walk at Erfplaas, and found Warthog, Steenbok, Zebras, Impalas and a Elephant when we got to the vehicle.

Wednesday morning on the 3rd of October I did a Morning Safari and during this 6 hour game drive we found the Lions on the Sable Dam loop, a Leopard male with his Impala in a Russet Bushwillow tree at Sable Dam, Buffaloes that made their way down to the dam to drink, and Elephants close by too!!! Further on the game drive after breakfast at Masorini, we saw some Giraffes, Zebras, Steenbok and on the S131 another young Leopard in a dry stream!!!!!

On the Night Drive of the 4th we saw Elephants and Buffaloes at Sable Dam's turn off and close to Masorini found the Lions with the 6 cubs next to the road. Eventually the Lions started walking up the road, with 4 of the cubs stalking something in the bush. As we pulled forward we saw the drain pipe underneath the road, and suddenly 2 Warthogs came running out, with the Cubs chasing after them. We saw how the 1 Cub hit his claw into the Warthogs backside, but of course too small and too weak for such a big Warthog, so the almost catch got away.

Friday's morning walk we found followed a White Rhino Bull for about 3 km's and he lead us to the Giraffes, and then decided to have breakfast. On the way back we found a Steenbok.

Sunday the 7th of October I did the pick up and drop off for the Olifantsriver Backpack Trail and found the Lions at Erfplaas, lots of Buffaloes and Elephants and general game between.

On Monday night we had a Bush Braai, and on the game drive we saw Buffaloes, Elephants, Zebras, Side Striped Jackal, Southern Tiger Snake, and the nice sighting to me was the Crowned Lapwing with her tiny little chick.

2 days ago on the 10th, we did a Full Day walk, and unfortunately for most of the day the wind didn't allow us to approach the animals. Everytime we got closer the wind changed direction and the animals ran away. We started off with a mating couple of Lions. As we started walking we just heard the moaning and then the roaring of the male, so went into that direction and after waiting a while to locate the direction we found them, but they ran when they smelled us.

From there we found 3 different little herds of Elephants, but the wind... Around 12:30 we had a few minutes break when we heard some Elephants trumpheting. We got them with 2 white Rhino's at a spring of water and after they ran due to the wind, we found another 4 White Rhino's with about 10 Buffalo Bulls watching over the Rhino's while they took a nap in the shade of a Apple leaf tree. The other 2 White Rhino's eventually joined up with these 4 and with us standing on the other side of the stream watching this movie playing off in front of us. On the way back to the vehicle we bumped into another Elephant Cow with her calf, another herd of Elephants, a Hippo and Giraffe!!!! On the way back to the gate around 16:10 we found another 3 White Rhino's!!!!

And then yesterday morning on the walk David and myself found a big herd of Buffaloes, when we decided to have breakfast. Before and after Breakfast we saw Impalas, Kudus, Zebra, Steenbok.

Look out for some photo's later on...
:D

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:31 am 
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Aardvark..... :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:18 pm 
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Lucky Aardvark sighting Lourens! :dance: :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:38 pm 
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:popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:22 pm 
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:popcorn:

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Bush Braai site:
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 Post subject: Re: Phalaborwa Gate Sightings
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:38 pm 
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:popcorn: Posted photo's in the Lonely Bull Trail too...

Small Spotted Genets in the tree
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