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KNP February 24 - March 6: In search of Wild dogs

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Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 2:15 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Denmark
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Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:05 pm Unread post
While I have been an active reader of the Sanparks Forum since our first SA visit in 2005, I have decided to become a bit more active, and write my first Trip Report.
Realizing I'm rather unexperienced in African wildlife I still hope the many SA residents will find it interesting, and at the same time I hope less experienced overseas travellers can find it useful for their own trip planning.

Plan for KNP visit Feb/March 2014:
Feb 22-23: Copenhagen-Paris- Johannesburg
Feb 23: Stay over in Louis Trichard
Feb 24-26: Tent in Punda Maria (will be first time in Punda Maria)
Feb 26-28: Bungalow in Mopani
Feb 28- March 2: Luxury tent in Tamboti (first time in Tamboti)
March 2-4: Cottage with view in Biyamiti (first time in Biyamiti)
March 4-6: Perimeter Bungalow in Lower Sabie
March 6-7: Hotel in Hazyview
March 7-8: Johannesburg - Paris - Copenhagen

I will skip the first travel days and let our story begin February 24 where we enter KNP.
Besides enjoying all the wildlife KNP has to offer, our overall mission was to find Wild dogs. We have not managed to see Wild dogs in any of our previous visits, and as a dog loving family we wanted desperately to see these cousins of our own family dog(s).
I'm the author of the trip report, while the majority of pictures is my husbands.

Let the story begin.......
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Re: KNP February 24 - March 6: In search of Wild dogs

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Location: Somerset West, Cape Town
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Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:16 pm Unread post
I am very sure we will all learn from your TT Viking!

Viking wrote
Let the story begin.......
:dance: :dance:


Re: KNP February 24 - March 6: In search of Wild dogs

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Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 2:15 pm
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Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:38 pm Unread post
Day 1, February 24th, Arriving at Punda Maria

After an interesting drive from Louis Trichardt we arrived at Punda Maria gate at 11.15.

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The roads were still soaked after a heavy rain :(

Drove towards Punda Maria camp. Our first bird was an European roller. We discovered how common that particular bird is, but believe it or not, it was the first time we saw the bird (previous visits have been in July and October).

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We found the lush Bush to be beautiful compared to previous visits. Even though it was more difficult to spot the animals. We almost didn't see our first mammal ...... and it was an Elephant :D . It was eating close to the road.

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Along the way to Punda Maria camp we saw several birds, e.g. a group of European Bee-eaters, and Spotted Thick-knees

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Furthermore we spottede a Kudu with a calf, Impalas, Zebra, and a male Nyala.

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We went more or less directly to Punda Maria Camp, and checked into tent number 3 shortly after 13.00.

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What a wonderful place :lol: . Punda Maria tented camp is indeed a magnificent place.

From the porch we could see many birds. Among others we noticed two birds we haven’t seen before: a Trumpeter Hornbill, and a Blue Waxbill. Unfortunately we were not fast enough to get pictures.

After unpacking and a short break on the porch we took a drive around Punda Maria at the S99 loop. A number of general game, and a very beautiful Steinbok.

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Several Elephants as well. We had a short, and heavy shower, and after that we had the most wonderful light. Birds were catching insects in the water puddles back on the H13-2 tar road. We stayed at the tar road for a short while, but a huge elephant bull had decided that H13-1 was his property at that time. We followed him for a while in safe distance, and as he didn’t look like as if he would move into the Bush, and it was 30 minutes before gate closing time, we decided to turn around and go back to camp.

A wet Lilac Breasted Roller.

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And a Swainson's Spurfowl (I think.....).
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We had our first evening and braai in Punda Maria. Wonderful to enjoy all the sounds of the night, the stars and the warm evening.

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Highlight of the day: It's good to be back "home" in KNP.


Re: KNP February 24 - March 6: In search of Wild dogs

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Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:28 pm
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Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:34 pm Unread post
Lovely photos Viking. The park looks lovely. Your itinerary is great. Nice camp choices.


Re: KNP February 24 - March 6: In search of Wild dogs

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Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:43 pm
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Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:08 am Unread post
Great start, Viking :dance: :dance: :dance:

You must have entered whilst we left and you started from the North whilst we started from the South - So I am curious to know what crossed your path after we left :thumbs_up:

Beautiful pictures as well especially your birdies are great but love also the antelope portraits :dance: :dance: :dance:

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:


Re: KNP February 24 - March 6: In search of Wild dogs

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Location: 2012 km..... to Paradise
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Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:34 am Unread post
Viking

What a fantastic start!!! Definitely on board to see it all. :dance:

Your :cam: are stunning. :clap: :clap:

Stunning photos of the European Roller. :thumbs_up:

Love the north of the Park ...Punda is such a great camp. 8)

:popcorn: :popcorn:


Re: KNP February 24 - March 6: In search of Wild dogs

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Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:36 am Unread post
Hi Viking :D it was just great meeting you and your SO. :gflower:

I am so pleased that you are posting your trip report. What a super start.

:popcorn:


Re: KNP February 24 - March 6: In search of Wild dogs

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Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:19 pm Unread post
Joining the bus for what looks like an excellent trip. What a great start, and your photos are stunning. Looking forward to this ride :popcorn: :popcorn:


Re: KNP February 24 - March 6: In search of Wild dogs

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Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:33 pm Unread post
I am on board Viking :D

Great start with beautiful pics :thumbs_up:
I have already stay in Punda Maria camp in bungalow but will return there next november for 4 nights this time in a safari tent;they look great :dance:

Can't wait to see the sightings you had there,i will be specially looking after birds next november :)


Re: KNP February 24 - March 6: In search of Wild dogs

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Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:44 pm
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Location: European spring
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Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:46 pm Unread post
Great start, and wonderful pictures from your first day. :thumbs_up:
Never stayed in the safari tents but looks like I should fix that.
Signing on for the journey.
:popcorn:


Re: KNP February 24 - March 6: In search of Wild dogs

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Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:26 am
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Location: Perth Western Australia
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Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:04 pm Unread post
Enjoying your TR Viking.

We've never been to Kruger when everything is green. It looks amazing.

I absolutely hate humidity so we always stick with the dry months - May to August.
Because we go at that time we've never seen European Rollers either. Aren't they just stunning.

Love all the photos. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:


Re: KNP February 24 - March 6: In search of Wild dogs

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Location: Bellville, Cape Town
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Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:08 pm Unread post
Viking, great start to the TR and staying at a great place - Punda Maria in the tents. :thumbs_up: Looks so cozy. :D
You had some lovely sightings and captured them beautifully. :dance:

Look forward to your special moments. :thumbs_up:


Re: KNP February 24 - March 6: In search of Wild dogs

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Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:19 am Unread post
Hi Viking; you will find doing your TR brings back great memories!

As we will enjoy your TR so you will enjoy doing it!


Re: KNP February 24 - March 6: In search of Wild dogs

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Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:58 am
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Location: Far South in South Africa.
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Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:53 am Unread post
Viking.....Amazing Pics and magic adventure. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


Re: KNP February 24 - March 6: In search of Wild dogs

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Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 2:15 pm
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Location: Denmark
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Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:15 pm Unread post
Thank you to everybody for your nice comments :gflower:
And yes, Meandering Mouse, it was good to say hello at Phabeni Gate. Actually we met very few YR in the park.

I enjoy writing the report, and many of the photos I see for the first time myself :D
Currently I'm working on Day 2, and hope to get it ready in a few days.
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