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 Post subject: Tips on where/how to spot wildlife.
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:59 pm 
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Hi all. Leaving for Kruger! I'm visiting both North and South parts. As it will be the second time there, I'm very eager to see animals I didn't see first time - for example, cheetah and wild dog. Anyone can suggest me the best areas where to look for them? I know it's quite difficult, but who knows... :-)

thanks a lot!
Stefano, Italy


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:31 pm 
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Location: 4 hours from KNP : South Africa
Good luck, hope you see them. Wild dog are normally seen in the south and cheetah, all over if you are lucky.
Enjoy your trip


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 Post subject: Cheetah and Wildog
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:40 pm 
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Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
We have seen Cheetah on the S28 right down in the South and again on the same road but further north near the top, a lovely sighting, perfectly posing on a fallen tree.
Wild dog up near H1-1, but a couple of years ago now, regrettably not recently.
But as always drive slowly and keep your eyes peeled is the name of the game, they can be almost anywhere.....the right place at the right time.
Good luck and happy viewing.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 10:30 pm 
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Hi,
Cheetah and Wild Dog, like Leopards, are all about the right place at the right time and heaps of luck. We saw Cheetah on road from Lower Sabie to Tshokwane, the one that runs parrallel to Muntshe mountain. No luck with Wild Dogs, yet, but there were some seen near Croc Bridge and Melelane in June.
It seems they are most often seen right up north and right down south - places were lions are not that numerous. I've been told that the Bume road has produced many wild dog sightings, but in June the road was burnt badly, I dont think it would have recovered too much yet.
Travel as much as possible and as slowly as you can - thats the best advice I can give.

Good Luck, let us know how it turned out

bwana

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 10:37 pm 
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Location: Berlin - Germany
1994 near Letaba
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2000 Between Lower Sabie and Skukuze iirc ;-)
Image
My only sightings of WD & Ch in KNP :cry:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:27 pm 
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Hi Stefano

Based on my trips to KNP over the last 4 years.

We have seen lots of wild dog in the vicinity of Skukuza camp -on road to Kruger gate, near Steven Hamilton Memorial on S114, on H4-1 to Lower Sabie....Also near Crocodile Bridge on the S108

Our cheetah sightings have all been in the Satara area...specifically H7 to Orpen, & Girivani dam loop.

Good luck on finding those elusive ones !!!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 2:21 pm 
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Location: Nelspruit
we have seen a lot of wild dog on the road from berg en dal to Skukuza , the S25 at Croc bridge , near Numbi gate
cheetah last sighting was also on the S25 entrance where 6 cheetahs were together. 2 males, mother with 3 cubs. Were quite far but could see them, on the same day there was a cheetah sighting of 2 males eating near skukuza.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:31 pm 
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I've been lucky with cheetah on the H5 and S114, found this one on two different trips, second time he was lying in the burnt veld:-
Image

A tip is to check the top of the signposts to see if it being used as a toilet and if so keep your eyes peeled for the culprit. :redface:


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 1:53 pm 
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Location: At work longing for the outdoors!
Mammals - Satara
Birding - Punda Maria

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 Post subject: Re: Best Camps for Animals
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 2:20 pm 
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BunduBoi wrote:
Lets get an opinion going here

What is the best camp for game viewing (mammals)?
The best camp for birding?


Depends on what you want to see. I have great sightings of different mammal species all over the Park.

As for birds, the whole Park provides different species. Here again it depends on what you want to see. Punda is very good for birding, but places like Pafuri and Berg-en-dal are awesome too. Pafuri has many rarities to see, because of the limpopo river being a great attraction and beacon to many migratory birds from Moz and Zim and even further north from Eurasia.

Satara is great for raptors. Pkop for several grassland birds and Olifants, Lower Sabie and Letaba for water birds.

I also rate lake panic as one of the best birding spots in the Park!

Tell us what animals and birds more specifically and you'll get the best spots. :wink:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 2:46 pm 
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BunduBoi wrote:
Thanx WTM,

1. Best place for herbivores
2. Carnivores
3. Raptors
4. Grass Birds
5. Thicket/woodland Birds
6. Best river/hide for spottings in general


1. The plains east of the H10 are good for big herds of zeb and Blue wildebeest.
So was the plains btween afsaal and Pkop in March 2005. They do migrate within the Park so it will be difficult to tell where they are now.
Buff loves the Sabie river areas it seems. There are also plnty in the BnD area and on the Mahonie loop around Punda. Orpen to Satara is also a good place to spot buff.
2. Lower Sabie and Satara. Pkop has also been very good to me in this sense. Letaba I rate as excellent leopard country. Skukuza is also good for leopard.
The Ngotso dam was always great for lion and cheetah.
3. Satara is probably the best. The H10 is also good.
4. Pkop and Orpen Satara road.
5. Punda Maria, BnD and even Shingwedzi.
6. Lake Panic, by a long shot like I said before. Rivers? All rivers that contains water are good for birding. More so for storks when the levels are lower. Sunset dam is great for water birding.

You can even break it down into animals. I.e where is the best place to find leopard or saddle-billed stork.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:43 am 
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BnD's Matjulu dam is a great place to look for waterbirds.
On a quick search you will be likely to find black crake, african jacana, green-backed heron, three-banded plovers and many other waders which I really found difficult to id. There are also sometimes up to 4 different kingfishers to be seen.
Brown-hooded and Striped although not actual fishers, but insect eaters are fairly common.
As Bert mentioned, the resident fish eagles are always around.
It is also one place to see the 747, although I have not been so privileged.

Kurrichane thrush, white-bellied Sunbird, Collared Sunbird(especially near the kiddies jungle gym) and Natal francolin frequents the camp together with some woodpeckers like the cardinal.

On the Matjulu loop you might be lucky to see Verreaux eagle. Last summer an Elanora falcon was around, and who knows it might return this year. Also the rare Orange-winged Pytilia was seen at the dam last summer.

Brown-headed parrots are fairly common and so is Black-crowned and Brown-crowned Tchagras. Just east of BnD and Malelane was the only place where I have ever seen Senegal Lapwing. Gabar Goshawk and Augur Buzzard also seems to favour the area.

Also in summer, Red-backed Shrike and Lesser Grey Shrike are common around BnD.

On the night drives, you are likely to find in summer Square-tailed night jar, spotted-eagle owl and fiery-necked night jar.

Red-billed fire finches are always present and also look out for the green-backed camaroptera in the thick entangling bushes.
If there where rain, make sure to visit the Gardenia bird hide too.

BnD to me is truly a great birding spot!!

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Latest Lifer(s): White-winged Flufftail, Dickinson's Kestrel, Senegal Coucal, Three-banded Courser, African Broadbill, Thrush Nightingale, Rufous-bellied Heron.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:44 pm 
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I formerly mentioned on this forum about my record-keeping of mammals in Kruger since 1987. This is only personal records and definitely of no scientific or real statistycal importance. Many people will have had other experiences of certain areas than I had. Take the S100 for instance - I never have been particularly lucky on that road, but other people regard it as their favourite road because of regular incredible sightings. I nevertheless want to share some personal observations with those of you who are interested. I will not commend on mammal species which I have rarely seen up till now (e.g. dassie, eland, Sharpe's Grysbok, honey badger, common reedbuck, caracal, serval, African wild cat and side-striped jackal). I have seen all of the latter in the park, but only on one or two occasions and therefore cannot comment on good areas to find them. I also do not report on Punda Maria as I have not explored the area yet (hope to do so during May 2006).

I travelled more than 9 200 km in the park since 1987. Mammals seen are tried to be counted as accurately as possible. To portray my personal experience regarding population density of game species per area, I express my figures as number of a specific kind of mammal per km travelled. Based on my personal observations, I can recommend the undermentioned camps for different game species. I only refer to main camps as I believe this is the camps most frequently used by members of this forum. I only mention a camp (next to the various species) if the density for the specific mammal is 50+% higher in the concerned area when compared to the average for the park. The best camp is always mentioned first, followed by order of merit:

ELEPHANT: Letaba; Olifants; Berg-en-Dal
WHITE RHINO: Crocodile Bridge; Berg-en-Dal; Lower Sabie
LION: Satara; Lower Sabie; Crocodile Bridge
LEOPARD: Orpen; Olifants
CHEETAH: Skukuza; Pretoriuskop; Crocodile Bridge
WILD DOG: Berg-en-Dal
SPOTTED HYAENA: Olifants; Satara; Letaba
HIPPO: Lower Sabie; Olifants; Letaba; Crocodile Bridge
GIRAFFE: Orpen; Satara
BUFFALO: Shingwedzi; Mopani; Orpen; Crocodile Bridge; Satara
ZEBRA: Satara; Lower Sabie; Crocodile Bridge
BLUE WILDEBEEST: Satara; Orpen
KUDU: Crocodile Bridge; Lower Sabie
NYALA: Shingwedzi; Lower Sabie; Skukuza
SABLE: Satara; Skukuza
TSESSEBE: Mopani; Letaba; Lower Sabie
WATERBUCK: Pretoriuskop; Satara; Orpen
BUSHBUCK: Lower Sabie; Skukuza
IMPALA: Crocodile Bridge; Orpen; Lower Sabie
DUIKER: Lower Sabie; Skukuza; Crocodile Bridge
KLIPSPRINGER: Berg-en-Dal; Shingwedzi; Skukuza
STEENBOK: Orpen; Skukuza
WARTHOG: Orpen; Crocodile Bridge; Lower Sabie
BLACK-BACKED JACKAL: Orpen; Mopani; Olifants
BABOON: Olifants
VERVET MONKEY: Shingwedzi; Lower Sabie; Skukuza; Crocodile Bridge
BANDED MONGOOSE: Skukuza
SLENDER MONGOOSE: Pretoriuskop; Crocodile Bridge; Lower Sabie; Skukuza; Berg-en-Dal
DWARF MONGOOSE: Crocodile Bridge; Lower Sabie; Orpen
SQUIRREL: Orpen; Shingwedzi; Olifants

I hope this information can assist people who do not know the park. But (and a very big 'but'), you may have a total different experience of certain areas than I had. As Wildtuinman always says: "Being at the right place at the right time".

However, if I only had a week to visit the park, and I want to see as much mammal species as possible, I will stay in the following camps:

Berg-en-Dal
Lower Sabie
Skukuza
Satara
Olifants

With a bit of luck on your side, you should probably have the change to tick off all the above-mentioned mammals.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 8:43 am 
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Wildtuinman says: Being @ the right place @ the right time. And I absolutely believe in this saying. Remember, my observations are just personal observations. Yes, I have seen leopard on the H4-1 between Skukuza and Nkuhlu before I started keeping record of sightings, but not a single one since 1987 on that road.

My observations tells me that the Vervoer Dam area, the H5/S102 towards Mpondo Dam and the H1-2 between Olifantsdrinkgat and Silolweni Dam is good areas for cheetah. I include all mentioned areas into the "Skukuza region".

My real hot spot for leopard are the H7 between the two respective S106 junctions.

But I accept - other people will have other experiences.[/code]


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 4:08 pm 
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Maybe I should do that road more often. But I normally avoid the very popular roads (especially the H4-1 or also known as the Piccadilly Highway). It seems this attitude of mine prevents me from good sightings, but I much rather prefer the more quite roads (referring to traffic). For this very reason I give preference to the smaller camps too and like to do the gravel roads. My aim is to travel every single road in the park at least three times. Therefore, when in Skukuza (with it wide choice of roads), I still have quite a few to do for the second and third time.

But fortunately everybody have their own preferences. Imagine what the Piccadilly Highway would be if all people opt for leopard sightings on it every day.


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