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2 Amazing Weeks in KNP

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Bushbuddies
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2 Amazing Weeks in KNP

Unread postby Bushbuddies » Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:28 pm

For many years we have been visiting KNP. Usually for long weekends, and a week, maybe 10 days at most. But then I come here in the periods in between, while experiencing Kruger-withdrawal, and I read of people who go to Kruger for a month, for 6 weeks, 2 months - and dare I even say a YEAR! :mrgreen:

So SO and I had a talk last year, and we decided it was about time we "upped our game" and booked a longer holiday in KNP. And so this itinerary came into being:

13-20 June - Lower Sabie (BD2) - because of the many roads in the region, we've always wanted to stay here for a full week.
20-24 June - Satara (BD2V) - old favourite.
24-26 June - Olifants (BBD2V) - finally managed to get hold of a BBD2V unit (best views) - but only for 2 nights.
26-28 June - Letaba (BD3U) - old favourite.

We actually had a 10 day trip to KNP last year about the same time. There was no trip report - for the first time in Kruger, we felt we had bad luck. Not a single leopard in 10 days. Only 3 lion sightings - of which 2 were very distant sightings. We still enjoyed it, had relatively good birding and relaxed. But not really the trip one would like to brag about, if you know what I mean.

So the pressure was on. Would our luck change? Was Kruger going to smile on us this time? Surely a week at Lower Sabie will deliver some nice cat sightings at the least... :pray: And then birding - could we beat our previous record of 165 birds for a trip
(winter 2014) without going far North? Are there still some lifers waiting to be discovered in the winter in KNP for us?

And so we took off on the morning of the 13th, and entered Kruger through Malelane gate at about 9:30. Come join me, as we start a trip of 2 weeks in paradise! :cam:
12 Dec 2015 - Twee Rivieren
13 Dec 2015 - Nossob
14-15 Dec 2015 - Grootkolk
16 Dec 2015 - Nossob
17-18 Dec 2015 - Mata Mata
19 Dec 2015 - Twee Rivieren

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isinkwe
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Re: 2 Amazing Weeks in KNP

Unread postby isinkwe » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:07 pm

I have travelled with you on quite a few of your travels before :D I know you are always very lucky :D
I am booking the front seat for this one :thumbs_up:
KRUGERPARKING is good for your health. Keep on KRUGERPARKING.

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leervis
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Re: 2 Amazing Weeks in KNP

Unread postby leervis » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:15 pm

Sounds like you are a very experienced birder as I am most impressed by a 165 Winter count. Your itinerary takes in the best of the South, so I am on for the duration..... :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:
26 - 29 August Balule
30 August - 1 September Sirheni
2 - 5 September Tsendze

9 - 12 November Punda Camping
13 November Letaba Safari Tent
14 - 17 Balule Camping

carocat
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Re: 2 Amazing Weeks in KNP

Unread postby carocat » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:04 pm

Looking forward to the journey. .... This year July was a great year for us. Sightings way better than 2014. But just to be in Kruger SIGH !!!

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barryels
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Re: 2 Amazing Weeks in KNP

Unread postby barryels » Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:01 am

Great to see that our virtual trip with Bushbuddies and SO have started :D .

Looking forward to this special extended stay in the bush and sightings that went with it :popcorn: .
Always be humble and understanding
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Meandering Mouse
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Re: 2 Amazing Weeks in KNP

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:03 am

Bushbuddies, you might have wondered if your luck would change, but I know for sure that I am in for a wonderful trip report. :thumbs_up:

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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hilda
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Re: 2 Amazing Weeks in KNP

Unread postby hilda » Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:33 am

I have been checking the active topics first thing every morning to see if I can find something about Bushbuddies' recent Kruger trip, and wow, today was my lucky day! :dance: :dance:

Can't wait to read all about this trip Bushbuddies! :dance: :dance:
VHR Fundraiser: Potjiekos Competition: Far Schools Project
20 - 22 October 2015 - Satara
23 - 26 October 2015 - Biyamiti
27 - 29 October 2015 - Talamati
Return back home on 30 October 2015.

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gatita
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Re: 2 Amazing Weeks in KNP

Unread postby gatita » Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:33 am

nice itinerary. I am really looking forward to this trip :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

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SurfCindy
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Re: 2 Amazing Weeks in KNP

Unread postby SurfCindy » Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:50 pm

Booking a seat on this bus and looking forward to my virtual 2 week tour of Kruger. Can't wait to see the sightings :dance: :dance:

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Kaapsedraai
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Re: 2 Amazing Weeks in KNP

Unread postby Kaapsedraai » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:01 am

Bushbuddies, this looks like a very interesting trip, a winter-visit :D

I am also on board and ready to get this buss started :thumbs_up:
Now active - TMNP: Table Mountain's mood today
Just finished - KRUGER Dec'14: 14 days appreciation of nature & wild company and Agulhas NP: 8-10 July
Next trip - Dec'15: Mokala (7th), Kruger (10-24), Golden Gate (25th) and Karoo (26th)

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badprop_za
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Re: 2 Amazing Weeks in KNP

Unread postby badprop_za » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:09 am

Looking forward to the TR.

C'mon, it has been almost 3 days..... I am still stuck at the gate. :tongue:
Why do time fly when you are having fun?

KNP - May'14 done and dusted :cry:

KNP - 14 Aug'15 to 21 Aug'15 :dance:

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Bushbuddies
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Re: 2 Amazing Weeks in KNP

Unread postby Bushbuddies » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:20 pm

isinkwe wrote:I have travelled with you on quite a few of your travels before :D I know you are always very lucky :D
I am booking the front seat for this one :thumbs_up:


Welcome on board, our old friend Isinkwe! :thumbs_up: Always good to have you with us. Hope you enjoy the front seat view!

leervis wrote:Sounds like you are a very experienced birder as I am most impressed by a 165 Winter count. Your itinerary takes in the best of the South, so I am on for the duration..... :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:


Thanks leervis - we do enjoy our birding! 8) But 165 will be very few birdies in someone like Johan van Rensburg's trips! :tongue: Hope you enjoy our Southern trip!

carocat wrote:Looking forward to the journey. .... This year July was a great year for us. Sightings way better than 2014. But just to be in Kruger SIGH !!!


So it is official then - 2015 beat 2014! :lol: We had the same experience. And now you can see what June 2015 looked like - welcome on board!

barryels wrote:Great to see that our virtual trip with Bushbuddies and SO have started :D .

Looking forward to this special extended stay in the bush and sightings that went with it :popcorn: .


3000 pictures that had to be downloaded and edited, then 400 pics for this TR to make smaller and upload to photobucket! :big_eyes: But it is finally all done now - so now the journey can begin again! :lol:

Meandering Mouse wrote:Bushbuddies, you might have wondered if your luck would change, but I know for sure that I am in for a wonderful trip report. :thumbs_up:

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:


And what would a Bushbuddies TR be without a mouse following it! :wink: Great to have you on board again MM! :thumbs_up:

hilda wrote:I have been checking the active topics first thing every morning to see if I can find something about Bushbuddies' recent Kruger trip, and wow, today was my lucky day! :dance: :dance:

Can't wait to read all about this trip Bushbuddies! :dance: :dance:


Thank you for your patience hilda! :tongue: It is good to know I already have an audience as excited as I am to do this trip again! :dance:

gatita wrote:nice itinerary. I am really looking forward to this trip :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:


We had to book well in advance to get this itinerary - and it was indeed a good one! Welcome on board gatita! 8)

SurfCindy wrote:Booking a seat on this bus and looking forward to my virtual 2 week tour of Kruger. Can't wait to see the sightings :dance: :dance:


Good to have you surfing with us on this one, SurfCindy! 2 Weeks in a magical place like Kruger - I'll do it again any day! :thumbs_up:

Kaapsedraai wrote:Bushbuddies, this looks like a very interesting trip, a winter-visit :D

I am also on board and ready to get this buss started :thumbs_up:


Kaapsedraai - always a pleasure to have you on board! :D We always do our long KNP-visits in winter. It is warm compared to home, it is dry, the bush is flatter, the animals seem more... :lol:

badprop_za wrote:Looking forward to the TR.

C'mon, it has been almost 3 days..... I am still stuck at the gate. :tongue:


3 Days already?!?! :doh: Sorry for making you wait Badprop - now let's get this bus rolling! :dance:
12 Dec 2015 - Twee Rivieren
13 Dec 2015 - Nossob
14-15 Dec 2015 - Grootkolk
16 Dec 2015 - Nossob
17-18 Dec 2015 - Mata Mata
19 Dec 2015 - Twee Rivieren

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Bushbuddies
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Re: 2 Amazing Weeks in KNP

Unread postby Bushbuddies » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:40 pm

At 9:30 on Saturday 13 June 2015 we entered KNP through Malelane gate. What an exciting moment it was. For weeks and months we had been dreaming about this 2 week holiday and it finally arrived! :dance: As with most of you - we do a few things, little traditions when in Kruger. One of them is first and last mammal for the day. The first one spotted as we entered the gate - warthog!

Obviously a list of birds seen on the trip is also checked and the Crocodile River at the gate already helped us get quite a few ticks. Along the Crocodile river road we manage to get our first Pearl-spotted Owlet for the trip:

Image

The ellies also came out to greet us, and it is always so great to appreciate all the beauty of each animal in Kruger again!

Image

We decided to drive out to Gardenia Hide to enjoy our packed brunch there while enjoying the view. On our way we spotted this journey of giraffe in the dry riverbed.

Image

It is not often that one can fit 11 giraffes into one photo! :P

Image

It was so peaceful to get out and sit at Gardenia Hide and enjoy our sandwiches. There were no great sightings of anything - but just listening to the doves singing, seeing the Egyptian Geese, Blacksmith Lapwings, Blue waxbills and feeling the warmth of a lowveld winter day - priceless! 8)

The rest of the drive up to Lower Sabie was good. Lots of sightings of the "usuals". We then arrived at our home for the next week:

Image

We eventually got everything packed off the car and into the house and just relaxed around camp, enjoying just being in Kruger again!

For the afternoon we drove across the low water bridge - where this beautiful Giant Kingfisher posed perfectly for us.

Image

And then we drove back up to one of my favourite spots in Kruger:

Image

As the sun set, we were joined by a troop of baboons making their way to their favourite tree for the night. Always entertaining!

Image

Image

Our last mammal for the day - baboon!

Back at camp, we made our fire, and had our first braai back in Kruger. All around us were people and children who came to Kruger for the long weekend. The air was filled with excitement!
12 Dec 2015 - Twee Rivieren
13 Dec 2015 - Nossob
14-15 Dec 2015 - Grootkolk
16 Dec 2015 - Nossob
17-18 Dec 2015 - Mata Mata
19 Dec 2015 - Twee Rivieren

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leervis
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Re: 2 Amazing Weeks in KNP

Unread postby leervis » Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:24 pm

Lovely start, you certainly paint an accurate picture of the first day back. 11 giraffe sets some kind of record and I love the picture of the camp with the shadows lengthening. Takes me right there.
Last edited by leervis on Thu Aug 06, 2015 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
26 - 29 August Balule
30 August - 1 September Sirheni
2 - 5 September Tsendze

9 - 12 November Punda Camping
13 November Letaba Safari Tent
14 - 17 Balule Camping

cheetahlady
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Re: 2 Amazing Weeks in KNP

Unread postby cheetahlady » Thu Aug 06, 2015 12:58 am

Lovely start. Looking forward to the rest.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better
Albert Einstein

KNP June 2015
Mopani, Balule, Tamboti, Satara, Skukuza, Croc Bridge


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