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WTM's Sightings : Bushman's Trail (KNP) June 2005

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WTM's Sightings : Bushman's Trail (KNP) June 2005

Unread postby Guinea Pig » Wed Jun 22, 2005 2:45 pm

First Report in:

Buffalo, Elephant, Kurrichane Thrush, Scarletchested Sunbird.

I'm not trying to figure out what this is :lol: : Puffback?

24deg, Partly cloudy
Last edited by Guinea Pig on Sun Oct 02, 2005 4:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postby Guinea Pig » Wed Jun 22, 2005 2:50 pm

Another update - It's a kind of Shrike, he says.

The reason for the 2nd update - One of them just saw a leopard.
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Re: WTM the Bushman's Trail June 2005

Unread postby francoisd » Wed Jun 22, 2005 3:21 pm

Guinea Pig wrote:I'm not trying to figure out what this is :lol: : Puffback?

Black-backed Puffback. Afrikaans name is Sneeubal.
Last edited by francoisd on Wed Jun 22, 2005 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Guinea Pig » Wed Jun 22, 2005 3:31 pm

francoisd wrote:Wonder why only one of them got to see the leopard?


And I made sure - the message definately reads - "een van ons ouens het luiperd gesien!" / "One of us saw leopard!"
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Unread postby Guinea Pig » Sat Jun 25, 2005 9:05 am

Has just returned to Berg-en-Dal. Seen crowned eagle and side striped jackal. 5 Hyenas killed an impala right outside the camp last night.

I assume these are only for today. I can't wait for his full report on Monday!
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Jun 27, 2005 6:30 am

Guinea Pig wrote:Has just returned to Berg-en-Dal. Seen crowned eagle and side striped jackal. 5 Hyenas killed an impala right outside the camp last night.

I assume these are only for today. I can't wait for his full report on Monday!


Hi all,

arrived back home back on Saturday at around 13:45 and was off to the doc for a malaria test and back in time for the rugby. Haven't felt so crap for a looong tiime. Became ill on Thursday with fever and major cramps in my left leg. Test came back negative and it turned out to be a nice middle ear infection.

Wednesday:
Saw a huge herd of buff close to Bnd as we entered the Park. 1 guy drove by himself and saw the leopard on the gravel Matjulu loop road.

The other group entered Phabeni and drove down towards P-kop. They saw a pride of 12 lions at transport dam.

Picked up at 15:00 and drove down towards Boesman's passing Wolhuter trail. Saw ele and rhino on our way there. 3 huge tuskers awaited us at the waterhole just outside the boesman's camp. Had a lovely dinner and saw some rhino coming down for a drink at the WH as well as the resident "vlakhaas".

Thursday
Was awoken at 3:30 by a bull ele breaking trees down right next to our bungalow, at most 3 meters away. Followed it to the toilet area for about 30min. Lovely wakeup call.

Went out for a 9km walk at 6:30. Saw some lovely ele's about 70m from us. Birding was prolific with good numbers of blue waxbill, red-billed firefinch, scimitarbill, red-billed oxpecker and striped-kingfishers.

Got about 20m from 4 rhino and watched them for about 10min before they me aware of us. Banded mongoose gave us away. Climbed a lovely lookout point on a hill and had a quick breakfeast snack. Saw a couple of rhino from the lookout.

Saw more rhino on the walk and got to a nice ele bed. The ele's body was nicely imprinted on the soft soil. Saw the ele soon after that and crossed the spoor of a daggaboy and for various reasons moved away from it.

Then... Almost stumbling into a sleeping rhino an oxpecker gave us the warning just in time. Got back to camp at about 11:00 with a lovely breakfast and followed by a 2 hour siesta.

More naimals came down to the WH including ele, rhino, kudu, impala and warthog. Green pigeons littered the trees nearby. Up to 12 birds was seen in a tree.

The afternoon walk was gentle and ended up on the western border of Kruger overlooking the Nsikazi river. Kudu bulls, fisheagle, black crake and a old ele bull kept us company. 1 guy saw a civet later but us others had lekka sundowners and missed it. Saw my first Gymnogene too!!!

After a lovely nightdrive which produced sightings of Spotted Eagle owls and more rhino we ariived back at camp and had a lovely dinner. Followed by some great laughter and even greater story telling by our ranger.

Saw a lovely civet just on the other side of the fence later. started to feel ill and went to bed at around 10:00.

Friday:
Got up slowly, not feeling well at all. Went for a 10km walk in some very hot conditions through a beautifull little valley. Had a lovely sunrise view from a nearby koppie. Beautifull area this trail is situated in. Saw more rhino, ele's and a big herd of buff. Hyeana and leopard spoor were common.

Had a lovely snack overlooking a dry stream. Got picked up by our cook at 11:00. Had a beer and arrived at camp to where I immediately went to bed as I really was burning up with fever.

Missed breakfast when I woke up. Had a shower and 2 myprodols and felt a bit better. Went to see the boeman paintings. What an awesome experience!! Had magnificent sundowners on a koppie and saw more rhino and heard red-crested korhaan amongst other birds.

Went back to camp for dinner and after 2 myprodols got into bed. 2 rhino bulls having a huge fight over a cow at the WH.

Saturday:
5 hyaenas brought down an impala about 10m from the fence. One massive commotion through the night. They finished it completely except for the stomach.

Saw a side-striped Jackal after brekkies and got a lovely sighting of a crowned eagle. Just before BnD as we drove back we saw plenty of buff, ele's giraffe, kudu, zebs and impala. Never saw so many animals in the area before.

On our way back through Schoemans kloof we saw a long-crested eagle perching on the tel pole.

What an awesome trip with some lovely food!! Oh yes, I forgot my hiking boots at home. :lol: :redface: K-way sandals works just as well. :wink:

Go bokke!!!
Last edited by wildtuinman on Mon Jun 27, 2005 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Jun 27, 2005 6:52 am

Rhino on foot, 20m from us.
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Ele having fun at WH, real showoff.
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Kudu, impala and reb-billed oxpecker in action at WH.
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Big herd of buff near BnD.
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:36 am

francoisd wrote:Thanx for the report WTM. Camera seems to be working fine, photos are in focus! Also see a Fork-tailed Drongo perching on one of the rhinos.


Nice obersvation there francoisd. We also had a laught at that. Later on we natoiced that it was somewhat common to c them on the rhino's back.

New birds were:
Crowned Eagle
Long crested eagle
Gymnogene
Striped Kingfisher
Greater Honeyguide
Southern Balck Tit
Green-backed Cameroptera
White-breasted Robin?!?
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Unread postby francoisd » Mon Jun 27, 2005 9:50 am

wildtuinman wrote:New birds were:
Crowned Eagle
Long crested eagle
Striped Kingfisher
Greater Honeyguide

Still have to see these

wildtuinman wrote:White-breasted Robin?!?

(African) White-throated Robin-chat (Robin) perhaps?
One of the places we saw this bird last year was at Berg-en-Dal camp
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:15 am

That is it francoisd! Thanks. Yeah it was a great birding trip.

There were plenty of green pigeons around. We saw 3 Schimitarbills and other interesting sightings were:

Pied barbet, Southern boubou, Cliff mocking chat, groundscraper thrush, bearded robin, whitefronted bee-eater and red-billed firefinch.

New animal species first time sightings 4 me were that of the side-striped Jackal and Civet.

It was the first time I could really hear what a rhino sounds like. In fact the different sounds of a rhino is actually amazing. From a squek screqm to some heavy snorting. It was great to c some of the bulls having a real hard go at each other.

The big bull elly provided us with so much pleasure that we ended up looking at it for quite a while. He came walking in there like the last of the big heroes, head bumping up and down, stuck his trunk in the WH and sprayed water across the ground on the side of it asif to say, this is my place...

It was very interesting to see how cleverly he was smelling us while trying to be busy with his drinking ritual. Lekka old skelm.

The series of new stories on wilderness trails on the main place was written by Jaco. I have had the pleasure in briefly meeting him at BnD on Wednesday. He was doing the Wolhuter trail then.

These trails definitely gives an awesome new dimension to experiencing the Kruger.
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Jun 27, 2005 2:18 pm

1 Amazing thing that I have picked up from my 4 trips to the Kruger this year was the number of new animals I have seen personaly:

March(PKop): Sable
May(LS): Whitetailed mongoose, Reedbuck
June(Punda): sharpes grysbok
June(Boesmans): Side-striped Jackal, Civet

On the birding side highlights were:

March(PKop): Brown-Headed Parrot, Purple-crested Turaco
May(LS): Southern white-faced Scops owl, red-capped Robin-chat
June(Punda): Grey-headed Parrot, Yellow-bellied Greenbul
June(Boesmans): Gymnogene, African Crowned Eagle.

Hope this trend keeps up. :lol:
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Jun 29, 2005 6:50 am

Here is the ele I saw at the toilet... :lol:

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:11 am

cougar wrote:Thank you for the excellent report, WTM. I've been looking forward to hearing about your trip ever since you mentioned you were doing a trail. I'll be doing the Napi trail and after seeing your pictures I can hardly wait at all. Excellent photos.

Less than 2 months left!


Pleasure, I could actually write a book about this trail alone never mind my previous Sweni one.To me it is the best way to experience Kruger. To be in the bush with only 9 or 10 others is absolutely awesome. The relaxed environment away from all the outside world's pressure and luxuries.

It is really difficult to get back into your car and drive thorugh Kruger after a trail. You keep on wanting to get out into the bush on foot again.

I reckon that everyone should do at least one trail in their lifetime. It is an experience which money can't buy.

I can't wait to do the next one. Hopefully Nyalaland at the end of next year.

Olifants will also be a must!!
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:12 am

Loams wrote:Correction WTM, money can buy the experience ;-) . The only thin is, no matter how much SANParks charge for it, it's cheap....

I can't wait to do my first one


Hi Loams, u always kinda feel guilty for experiencing God's creation in the sense of a trail for the amount of R2200 +- you have spend. It always feels like no money can actually be worth the experience you have.

Just sitting there looking over the hills stretching out before you and listening to the shriek of a rhino below or the sound of red-crested korhaan makes you wonder why God granted you the chance to witness it.

I, everytime feels so guilty and at the same time so fortunate to be part of this beautifull nature that He created. It is the one way to understand that you as human is so a small part of His plan.

For me, that is something that money can't buy.

Hope you do your trail soon!! :wink:
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Unread postby arks » Wed Jun 29, 2005 3:28 pm

wildtuinman wrote:I reckon that everyone should do at least one trail in their lifetime. It is an experience which money can't buy.


I'd love to do a trail, always wanted to, but in the past, was never able to plan far enough ahead to get a place. And now I'm over the age limit :cry:

From your descriptions, the walks don't sound too taxing, even for me who is over 60 and not really all that fit. And if you could do it in sandals ... well ... the terrain can't be too rough!

I couldn't keep up with a group of teenagers, I'm sure, and don't have the option of forming my own "age-compatible" group, but I'd sure love the opportunity to do a trail ... someday. AND before I get too much older :lol:


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