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 Post subject: The Empire Strikes Back - Yoda in Kruger Again
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:51 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: UK
Hi All,

Well I got back from SA yesterday morning.

Had a fantastic 5 nights in Kruger.
And then 12 days in Cape Town.

We were in B & D for 2 nights, Skukuza for 1 night, and then back to B & D for another 2 nights.
Because we were more or less based at the same camp for most of the trip, I don't remember which roads I did on each drive. (maybe I should have made some notes :big_eyes: ) So what I think I am going to do, is I am going to do a slightly different trip report - I am going to list each road we did, and what we saw on that road.

I just need to sort through my photos, and get them uploaded.
But in the mean time, I had some really good sightings. Saw the Big 5 in one 4 hour drive.
And also Doggies on another occasion.

So, I will be back soon..... :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: The Empire Strikes Back - Yoda in Kruger Again
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:01 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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I spent a very frustrating 1 1/2 hours last night. For some strange reason I couldn't get my photos to upload to Image Shack :sniper:
Not sure what the problem was! Eventually I had to give up.


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 Post subject: Re: The Empire Strikes Back - Yoda in Kruger Again
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:55 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: UK
S110 - Tar Road from H3 to B & D

Sightings:
Elephant
Rhino
Leopard
Zebra
Giraffe
Warthog
Kudu
Waterbuck
Impala

As we stayed at B & D for 4 nights, we did this road often.
Nigel Dennis doesn't really rate this road in his book, but I would say that 80% of drives this was productive.
One or 2 drives along this road were a bit slow, but for the most, we had good sightings.

We say Leopard twice. And on the sightings board, there were a lot more markers for them.
The one Leopard we saw was within sight of the camp gates!

A good few Eles, and plenty of Rhino

This road was really worth doing often.

(Still having problems with photo, but thought I would make a start)


Last edited by yoda on Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Empire Strikes Back - Yoda in Kruger Again
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:59 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 4:24 pm
Posts: 1167
Location: UK
Image

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Ah....seems I finally got it to work!!


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 Post subject: Re: The Empire Strikes Back - Yoda in Kruger Again
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:04 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 4:24 pm
Posts: 1167
Location: UK
S110 Matjulu Loop

Elephant
Giraffe
Impala

Did this road a few times, and didn't have much luck.
Only a few sightings. Quite slow along here

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 Post subject: Re: The Empire Strikes Back - Yoda in Kruger Again
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:50 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: UK
S114 & S25 (up to junction of S119)

Elephant (1 bull)
Impala
Waterbuck
Warthog

Did this road a few times, and generally, was quite quiet.

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 Post subject: Re: The Empire Strikes Back - Yoda in Kruger Again
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:57 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 1167
Location: UK
Pikkie wrote:
Hi Yoda, I like the way that you are doing your TR.

Once the Kruger bug bites you, you will forever have Kruger fever!


Pikkie, thanks. Good to have some positive feedback on my alternative way of doing a trip report.

Kruger Fever......
I was born and grew up in SA. I went to Kruger once, sometimes twice a year as a child. Then had a break for many years. Then after I got married, the SO and I went to Kruger when we visited SA. Also took my inlaws to Kruger, as they had never been before.
When the kids arrived, we went to "another" game reserve that was nearer to Jhb, and no Malaria. But this year, the Mrs and I decided it was time to take them.

My son of 7 absolutely loved it there. He is as addicted as I am.
My daughter of 5 tends to get a bit bored in the car though.

But yes, I do know about Kruger Fever...I have it :dance:
Btw, I have booked for this coming December. :dance:

Hilda, it must be lot greener now!


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 Post subject: Re: The Empire Strikes Back - Yoda in Kruger Again
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:33 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 1167
Location: UK
S119

Buffalo
Giraffe
Impala
Giraffe
Rhino
Waterbuck
Bateleur

This road, together with the S118 must be the best roads in the area. I did them numerous times and always had good sightings.
The animals seemed to like being in the river bed itself.

There must have been a nest nearby, as we saw a pair of Bateleur in the same vicinity on each drive.

On Xmas, there was a prolonged storm in the south, and the sand roads east of the H3 were closed for a day or so. It was a pity, as there is only so many times you can do the H3!

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 Post subject: Re: The Empire Strikes Back - Yoda in Kruger Again
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:57 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: UK
S118

Giraffe
Impala
Rhino
Waterbuck
Zebra

Did this road a few times and it was usually very productive, with multiple sightings of the above list.

Though after some heavy rains, the road itself was in a poor condition and very muddy in places

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 Post subject: Re: The Empire Strikes Back - Yoda in Kruger Again
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:26 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Sheenaugh-Lee wrote:
Nice yoda what camps did you stay at in this trip?


2 night B & D
1 night Skukuza
back to B & D for another 2 nights.

I suppose doing my trip report this way you don't really get a feel for where I was and when. :think:


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 Post subject: Re: The Empire Strikes Back - Yoda in Kruger Again
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:25 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: UK
H3

Baboon
Buffalo
Impala
Giraffe
Kudu
Lion
Hyena
Wildebeest
Rhino
Elephant
Warthog
Zebra

I did this road a good many times. And despite a few slow drives, it was largely productive.
Because of the rains on Xmas day that resulted in the sand roads around B & D being closed, I ended up doing this drive more often than I had planned. But generally it was worth doing.

On our last evening drive we were watching some Elephants near the S110/S114 junction, and someone rolls down their window and kindly tells us that there were some lions down the S110, but they were quite a few km away. I didn't think we should have bothered, as you know what happens, off you go, and there will be nothing there. But my 5 year old daughter insists we go, followed by my nieces, so off we go. As we get near, a whole lot of cars come the other way. Not a good omen! And we get to the spot, one or two cars still there, but the lions....were gone.
My daughter was upset, but clearly nothing I could do!
Next morning, our last proper drive, she says she wants to come with (it was normaly only my son and myself that woke up early for a 5am departure). She says, she is happy to wake up early "because daddy will find me lions". No presure! In her mind, I was going to deliver!
We leave B & D, down the tar S110, and then onto the H3. We see a few Impala, and an Elephant. As we approach the junction of the sand S110/S114, there is a massive traffic jam! From right at the back of the queue I can see up the slight slope that there is a male Lion lying on the ground. Point him out to my kids, but with the traffic, and the grass etc, you could just see a bit of the head moving. But my daughter is happy. Suddenly it gets up and starts walking up the road, and the cars start following. I am still at the back of the queue.
As I am about to pull off, I see a movement next to the passenger door, and there is another male Lion standing next to my car! He walks behind my car and crosses the road next to us. And then starts walking up the road and I am next to him. Alone, as the rest of the crowd were following the first Lion.
After about 5 mins, some people did see him and started reversing. And we left at this point. But for the rest of the day my daughter thought I was a hero. She asked, and I had delivered!

Actually, this turned out to be an incredible drive - more later

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 Post subject: Re: The Empire Strikes Back - Yoda in Kruger Again
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:26 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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H1-1

Impala
Elephant
Kudu
Baboon
Klipspringer

Did this road twice, going to Skukuza from B & D, and then the return journey the next day.
First time was in the heat of the day, and the second was in the pouring rain. So not all that productive.

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 Post subject: Re: The Empire Strikes Back - Yoda in Kruger Again
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:08 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Btw, the Elephant was at the look out (don't have my map with me, can't think of the name).

There were people standing on top, and Ele was just below.


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 Post subject: Re: The Empire Strikes Back - Yoda in Kruger Again
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:00 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 1167
Location: UK
H4-1

Elephant
Impala
Zebra
Wildebeest
Hyena
Wild Dog
Warthog
Baboon
Hippo
Buffalo
Crocodile

A lot has been said about the Skukuza/Lower Sabie road. Many complaints about it being too busy, and too much traffic.
I did this road twice. Once (about half way) on Xmas Evening, and again next morning (all the way to LS) on Boxing Day, and must say, that yes, there were a few cars, but never once did it become a problem. In fact, we saw a named Tusker Cow, Mukungwe, and we were the only car at the sighting, and we were with her for about 15 mins.
Also, at the Hyena, there were one or two other cars.

The wild dogs was brief. We were driving along and I saw a car coming towards me following 2 small animals. I immediately stopped, and saw that they were doggies. They came up to my car, sniffed the tyres, and then dissapeared into the bush. The sighting only last a minute or two, but it was wonderful to see them.

On the way back to Skukuza, just after passing Sunset Dam, we had a fantastic sighing of Makungwe. The calf that was with her appeared to be hobbling a bit. The small herd browsed a bit next to the road, then crossed, and headed south. Aat, a big Thank You for posting my photos on your website. My son is very excited by that :cam:

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 Post subject: Re: The Empire Strikes Back - Yoda in Kruger Again
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:14 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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H12

Elephant
Hippo
Baboon
Impala
Kudu

We turend left onto the H12, and were rewarded with the one of the most fantastic Elephant sightings I have ever had.
There were litterally hundreds of them in the river bed on the left. They were in small groups stretching back as far as the eye could see.

Was this one herd that had spead out to feed? Or a meeting of a few different smaller herds?

We sat on the bridge for well over an hour to watch them. After a while they started coming up the embankment in front of us, crossed the road at the start of the bridge, and then came down the other side to go back into the Sabie reed beds.

Btw, the railings on the bridge had not been repaired after the 2012 floods and this was nearly 12 months later :big_eyes:

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