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WendyA KNP-Devastation,Destruction,Beauty;Nature is Amazing

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Sun May 20, 2012 3:25 pm Unread post
Wednesday 22 Feb cont …

After our ellie encounter, we came across a crash of 4 rhinos …

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Look how peaceful the two young ones sleeping look …

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(How can anyone hurt these amazing creatures???)

One crossed the road right in front of us …

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The other one followed and the two young ones looked to see where Mum & dad had gone …

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The grass was tall but not quite tall enough to play hide and seek in …

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“Sleepy” decided we weren’t any threat and that he’d just go back to sleep …

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but after a quick snooze, he got up and had a yawn …

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… and gave us a look as if to way “What?” as we were all sniggering at his yawn …

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One of the young ones decided to cross the road and join Mum and Dad …

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“Sleepy” took a good look at us

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Crossed the road but kept looking at us …

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Dad kept his eye on his kids …

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who eventually left us and went off to join their folks.

Amazing!!!
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Re: KNP - Devastation, Destruction & Beauty; Nature is Amazi

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Mon May 21, 2012 5:59 pm Unread post
Wednesday 22 Feb cont …

We stopped for coffee and just enjoyed the landscape around us, the sounds and the smells …

We didn’t spot cheetah, but we’d had some amazing sightings and experiences, including some more fab ellie moments on our way back to camp …

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Back at camp Tiny and OB packed up their last bits and pieces before leaving the park with their satisfied guests. I checked out the buffalo in the river that you could see from the fence just in front of the bungalows …

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… and also just soaked up the beauty of Lower Sabie camp …

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There was a beautiful African Paradise Flycatcher flitting from tree to tree but I had trouble getting a picture of it … this is the best I could do …

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Re: KNP - Devastation, Destruction & Beauty; Nature is Amazi

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Tue May 22, 2012 1:08 pm Unread post
Wednesday 22 Feb cont …

At about 11am I headed out again and took the main road to Croc Bridge. I noted along the way that ellies crossed the road, and that I also saw kudu and buffalo. At Gezantfombi (or is it Vurhami … is the Dam called Gezantfombi and the river running from the Dam Vurhami???) there were a couple of buffalo …

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(I can’t believe how green and lush it looks and how much water there is!!!) It’s just amazing how the park can change so quickly … after all that flooding in January, I think the animals are in for a tough winter as the park is already so dry.

I stopped and watched a herd of impala for a while … so pretty in amongst the summer flowers …

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I find it fascinating watching them perform their “allo-grooming” ritual in a reciprocal manner. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, next time you see impala grooming one another, just stop, watch, and count! It is amazing that they groom each other for almost exactly the same time!

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I drove to the Hippo Pools and on the way came across these chaps …

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It was evident at the Hippo Pools just how far the water had come up during the floods …

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I drove around to the back of Gezantfombi … oh so green and full of water …

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Someone was very busy …

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Re: KNP - Devastation, Destruction & Beauty; Nature is Amazi

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Tue May 22, 2012 6:02 pm Unread post
Wednesday 22 Feb cont …

Whilst I was sitting there watching the starling, I was joined by a few others …

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I headed back towards Lower Sabie. The buffalo lounging about in Vurhami who were not so visible in my last photo had moved a little closer …

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Re: KNP - Devastation, Destruction & Beauty; Nature is Amazi

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Wed May 23, 2012 9:57 pm Unread post
Wednesday 22 Feb cont …

The journey back was was hot and most of the animals were seeking out the shade …

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This little double banded sandgrouse didn’t seem to mind the heat so much

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Nor did the woolly necked and marabou storks …

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This guy decided a nice mud bath would cool him off …

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… and he didn’t seem to mind the baboons around him …

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Re: KNP - Devastation, Destruction & Beauty; Nature is Amazi

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Thu May 24, 2012 6:46 pm Unread post
Wednesday 22 Feb cont …

Close to Lower Sabie I came across a nice martial eagle with a tasty snack …

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… and another awesome Kruger sunset to end the day …

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Re: KNP - Devastation, Destruction & Beauty; Nature is Amazi

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Thu May 24, 2012 6:48 pm Unread post
Thursday 23 Feb

I left camp at 5:30am and headed south. My sightings list looks like this:-

Fish eagle
Martial eagle
Brown snake eagle
Woolly necked storks
Marabou storks

I was just thinking “am I only going to see birds today?” when I turned on to the S28 and what walked out of the long grass at the side of the road towards me …

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She walked right past my car – so close I could have put my arm out and touched her!!! She kept stopping and looking into the tall grass …

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But luckily stayed on the road for a good few minutes before disappearing as quickly as she’d appeared!

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Yes! What a start to the day!


Re: KNP - Devastation, Destruction & Beauty; Nature is Amazi

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Sun May 27, 2012 4:07 pm Unread post
Thursday 23 Feb

Further along the S28 and a tree full of vultures waiting patiently … there was obviously a kill around somewhere but in the tall grass it was impossible to find.

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I drove to Duke’s waterhole where a herd of wildebeest were standing around …

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a Kori Bustard was wandering about …

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and some zebbies were fighting …

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but not for long … soon it was kiss and make up time …

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A little further along and another herd of zebbies, this one with a little foal whose face was rather black (could this be the little black-faced zebra that you saw Cheetah???)

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Re: KNP - Devastation, Destruction & Beauty; Nature is Amazi

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Mon May 28, 2012 6:30 pm Unread post
Thursday 23 Feb cont ...

I ended up back at Gezantfombi again where today I was greeted by loads of zebra

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I just can’t help taking photos of the fluffy foals …

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Then I saw this “Big Bird” which I thought was a tawny eagle but now think might be a Steppe Eagle …???

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Then another black-faced zebra … (is this maybe the one you saw Cheetah???!!!)

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I headed on to the S25 where I came across these young lads having a bit of a necking encounter …

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Their mummies really should warn them not to hit so hard as this may result in looking like this …

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I watched them for ages …

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They’re so graceful, even when fighting!

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I then looked over to the other side and saw more “sparring” giraffe …

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Re: KNP - Devastation, Destruction & Beauty; Nature is Amazi

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Tue May 29, 2012 1:42 pm Unread post
Thursday 23 Feb cont ...

I carried on and could hear the tut-trrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr call of the woodland kingfisher. I found this guy who posed nicely for me …

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I returned to Lower Sabie via the S28 (my favourite road) and could not believe the HUGE herd of impala … definitely the biggest herd I’ve ever seen …

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In the middle of the herd was Mummy & baby warthog …

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who obviously felt so well-protected being amongst this massive herd of impala that Mum lay down and baby suckled without a care in the world!

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There was still a couple of hours left before gate closing time so I continued north. This is the big pool of water just after the S21 N’watimhiri Road …

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The water was rippling … it was full of little fish! The hammerkops were having a field-day!

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I turned around and headed back towards Lower Sabie. I stopped and waited for this little chap to cross the road safely …

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I wish I’d been in time to help these guys …

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A little further on and a couple of cars were stopped to look at this guy …

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We think it had been hit but it wasn’t dead …

The guy driving one of the cars said he was going to get out and put it on the side of the road to prevent someone squishing it completely. He looked at me and said “No taking photos of me though, ok?” (not sure if he noticed my YR!!!)

Uuuuggggghhhhh ….. I’m shivering now thinking about how he picked it up by its tail and lay it down on the grass at the side of the road.

Poor thing …

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Not a nice way to end my drive that day …


Re: KNP - Devastation, Destruction & Beauty; Nature is Amazi

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Wed May 30, 2012 1:16 pm Unread post
Friday 24 Feb

My last full day in the park …

I’d seen a leopard, I’d had umpteen rhino, buffalo and elephant sightings, I’d seen hyena, I’d had a wonderful cheetah sighting, I’d seen lots of other special sightings as well, but no lion this trip …

Actually, I tell a lie … I can’t remember what day it was but I was on the S28 and had just got to the junction with the road to Ntandanyathi Hide when I saw about 10 cars pulled over to the side of the road. I looked but all I could see was lots of tall grass! I asked these people in one of the cars what they could see. They told me there was a big male lion in the grass. Well I looked and I looked. They kept saying to me “Can you see him?” and I kept replying (feeling really stupid!) “No!” I could see what I thought was a large rock in the grass but even that was difficult to see with the thick grass. Next thing “the rock” yawned … that was my only lion sighting! I didn’t even take a photo and could just not be bothered to hang around trying to keep calm with all the cars around driving into the bush trying to get a better view.

Anyway, I decided I’d head north … I was out of the gate at 5:30 and figured I’d drive up to Satara … surely I’d see some lions today.

I got to Sunset Dam. There were a few hippos around, a couple of yellow billed storks, and Mr Fish Eagle perched on “his” tree.

About 500 metres up from Sunset Dam and what was there on the road to greet me ... ???





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Within seconds, Big Boy decided it was time to get off the warm tar and make his way into the bush to hide from all the other Kruger Park visitors …

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I slowly pulled up to the other chap and snapped …

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But then he too decided he wasn’t up for posing for photos so early in the morning and also got up to go and hide …

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He he he … so much for having to drive up to Satara … not even 2kms from Lower Sabie and those big boys were just sitting there waiting for me!

A little further up and I came across one of the Kruger Park lawnmowers …

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Look at those teeth …

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He looked as if he’d been through the wars …

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The oxpeckers were enjoying all the open scars on his back and I tried to take a couple of photos but they are all blurry … (the photos would be quite disgusting anyway).

A little further on and you could see where some of his hippo friends had also been out of the water and had crossed the road …

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Daft photo, but I even enjoying seeing prints on the road like that or spoor in the mud or sand!

I took the S21 where I came across a couple of bold bokkies who crossed the road right in front of me …

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I just love the inquisitive way that kudus look at you …

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A little further on and Mr Hornbill had caught brekkie …

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A young hornbill appeared to see what was going on.

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Not wanting to share his breakfast, Mr Hornbill tipped his head back and down went his brekkie!

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(Gives me the shivers looking at those photos!)


Re: KNP - Devastation, Destruction & Beauty; Nature is Amazi

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Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:55 pm Unread post
Friday 24 Feb cont …

I stopped to watch a klipspringer on the rocks and heard these little high-pitched noises … there were loads of mongooses in the grass who kept running from one side of the road to the other …

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I’m sure there must have been more than 50! I watched them for ages … so cute!

I carried on and saw something I hadn’t seen all trip …

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Normally the guinea fowl are everywhere but I don’t know where they were hiding during my Feb trip!

I continued on to Renosterkoppies and sat and watched the baboons for a while (with my windows tightly closed!). I was brave enough to wind them down a little for just a few photos …

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Re: KNP - Devastation, Destruction & Beauty; Nature is Amazi

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Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:23 am Unread post
Friday 24 Feb cont …

I continued north on the S114

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I turned on to the H1-1 and drove to Nwawitshaka Bridge where once again I sat in disbelief at the devastation and destruction visible …

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Then I turned around and went to Lake Panic where you can always be assured of beauty …

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All was quiet there apart from a couple of Jacanas using the lily pads as stepping stones …

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Re: KNP - Devastation, Destruction & Beauty; Nature is Amazi

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Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:30 pm Unread post
Friday 24 Feb cont …

Back on the tar road from Lake Panic and a sight you don’t see often enough …

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I got a BBM saying lions had been seen on the H1-2 by the Maroela Loop and decided, since I was in the area, I’d pull by. The western entrance was closed so I drove along the H4-1 and crossed the high level bridge.

On the Sabie riverbank, Mr Croc and his friend the Hamerkop were chilling …

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Once again I was struck by the devastation and destruction visible at the high level bridge

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I got to the eastern entrance of the H1-2 and this is what I saw …

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The causeway was closed from both ends so how come I was getting BBMs saying that lions had been seen there???

Anyway, I headed north on the H1-2. I stopped to peer through the trees and bushes near Mantimahle Dam as I’d seen sable there before and have had several people say to me that there’s always a chance of seeing them around there.

No sable, but I spent some time watching a nice ellie …

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Re: KNP - Devastation, Destruction & Beauty; Nature is Amazi

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Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:30 pm Unread post
Friday 24 Feb cont …

I returned to Lower Sabie doing the Triangle Route, up to Tshokwane and south on the H10 … it was fairly quiet; a little warthog family …

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then birds, birds and more birds …

I couldn’t believe all these eagles together …

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Also some more Amur Falcons …

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There was a tree of weavers and they were going mad; I’m not quite sure why … would the eagles or falcons be a threat to them?

Then a beautiful carmine bee eater who was struggling with lunch …

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There were loads of these birds around but quite difficult to get photos of; finally one of them posed for me (someone please remind me what they are called) …

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Then I came across this “pretty birdie” (ID’s please my stiffneck friends … a Namaqua Dove???)

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