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Heksie's Searching for the Kitty Kats of Kruger - Jan. '13

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Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:28 pm Unread post
Now whoever have talked to me on the forum or those 'lucky' mites that have been in an actual conversaton with me would know that all I want to see is the golden kitty breed. And my luck hasn't been that good, leppies-yes them I see, doggies now they come and give me show and a half everytime we mee but those kitties with the golden glow they elude me or are always toooooo far for a great kiekie opportunity or they just stay for a few minutes.
Now I went to Sabie Park with my fam for 2 weeks in December/January. And a daily Kruger trip was planned. Sometimes I was alone and sometimes my mum/family joined me. Was I lucky when it came to kitty cats? Yep you bet I was!!!!

We left Bronkhorstspruit at 2o'clock in the morning. I had trouble with my cars battery, it just needed a few tries before it started and before we left we checked the water and put some battery water in. The morning we left there were no hassles and off we went taking paradise road to the bush we all love. Everybody had different reasons for the trip. My 2 sisters wanted to rest and wanted to catch up on some reading (that means that they want to read about 15 books in the 2 weeks) the 2 snotties didn't care, they love the animals and wanted to swim and play and just make us mal all the time. Mum wanted to to see Krugs again as well as rest as she works 25/8. And then me------------->HELLOOOOOOOOOO... I want to be in Kruger and take a gazilion kiekies!!!!!

On our way to Sabie Park we got to see our first golden kitty and lucky for us, he was very chilled out and allowed us to take a kiekie of him.

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On the Schoemanskloof road, a kiekie of my mum and 2 sisters with our very first kitty.


We got to Sabie Park in tgood time and unpacked and chilled for the day. Only the following day we went into Kruger the first time. We were up very early and as I started my noble squeekems nothing happened, she was as dead as a log. No worries we jump started her and with 2 cars we enetered the Park. Our route was H11->S1->S65->H1-1 to transportdam->U-turn to Skuks->H3=>S113->S112->H11 to Sabie Park.

We only had general game on the S65 and had our first luck on the H1-1 just for mummy dearest as she loves her spotties.


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NOw as you know, my mum have bad luck with all the meat eating animals and as always it showed here again. We heard leppie and moved through the little roadblock to get a clearer view. We actually got a spot next to our spotted friend and he looked very agitated. I switched my car off and mum was engrossed in her kitty that was hidden in the horrible Pretoriuskop longgrass!!!!! He came towards us and hissed and snarled saying that we better back down, mommy dearest did not ccare and was taking kiekies. The JJ whispered 'madam close the window' where my mum exclaimed that cats love her and won't her.... Well at least it wasn't like the hyena where mum thought that she would be food... The cat just turned around there and dissapeared into the grass. We saw a far off ellie at Transport and somewhere on our route we had some unmentionables as well but a speeding women chased them away trying to find what I don't know...

We didn't see much further but I was afraid that it was because of the smell... We just started smelling a rotten/scrambled egg smell and it was chasing us everywhere. At Skuks we found out that it was us...

THen on our way to the Gate we had this hyena sighting. He was busy with a carcass and didn't know what to do with the bones/flesh/meat, really very entertaining to see him running around.

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We also had a baba imps on the road. They were so cute but they did grow alot in the 2 weeks while I was in Pretoors.

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Then as we left the very friendly guard at the Gate informed us of a python baking in the sun. Well that was all he had to say to get me out of my car and searching for the fella. YOu could see him from the bridge.

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It was a groot meneer about 2-3m long. And looks like he ate something because he was lekker fat. My sisters climbed into their car and sped off as they don't like snakes and as we climbed into our car nothing nada niks... my car was dead. We phoned them and jumpstarted my car again. At our house we tried again but the battery was gone, he went to vehicle heaven... we were in a frenzy as we only had 40minutes to get to HAzyview and buy a new battery. well with my formula 1 instinct and killer sharpness we made it with 2minutes to spare. They took my battery and threw it immediately into the garbage bin... NO hope they said, a battery cell exxploded that is why we smelt egg the whole time. On our way back it just dawned at us that I stopped and switched off the car at the leppie, hyena and everywhere we saw sightings... Just glad it decided to start everytime otherwise we would've been in BIG trouble...

Well we didn't go to Krugs again that day and ended a great ehilirating day with a braai and Amarula.


to be continued...
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Re: Searching for the Kitty Kats of Kruger

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Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:35 am Unread post
Day 3: The start of my kitty luck
Now I decided before the trip to do 2 trips a day so that I can rest/read/build puzzles or do whatever a person can do during the hot summer afternoon to not be in the sun... So this morning I planned on driving H11->H1-2->H12->H4-1->H11 in 5 hours and so I left my family at home and packed some droewors and took on the road.
There were a lot of general game including g-raffs, zebs, willies and then on the bridge on Sandriver I saw my first pied kingfisher.

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I then decided that maybe my trip planned was a bit short and then went on S21, a road that I have never taken before. I’m really glad that I took this road as it was a very beautiful road with a lot to offer. I had beautiful sightings and the other thing was that this road was very quiet. The only ‘gagga’ thing was that a JJ rushed past me at a horrible speed.
Here is some of my sightings on the road.

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I spoke to people on the road and was informed about some lions on this road-how lucky am I that I decided to tale this road? And also some bad news... A grumpy ellie was waiting for me and a horrible sighting...
Now the ellie at least moved on Phew! And there was no need to run with tail between my legs but then just past it my eyes got teary as they lay on this...

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I strongly believe that it was the JJ. There are a lot of turns and twists on this road and animals are skittish when it comes to cars. Just a horrible accident that people don’t want to see in Kruger!
My heart was sad and I contemplated about the type of people that come to Kruger and why this is allowed in the Park. There are a lot of complaints about people breaking the rules and they are reported but I hear that not always something are done about this??? Just saddens me!
Now on a much happier note I was greeted by 2 cars in a mini road block, I crept closer, lo and behold a mooi man on my left hand side chilling underneath a bush. Pure bliss, I sat there for about 2 hours, because me with my eety beety fiat wasn’t in any cars way and the great thing about dirt roads are that people don’t like them. I enjoyed a beautiful specimen roaring next to the road and filling my heart with joy.

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I then left my golden kitty to move on. As I was on my way to go home I decided that turning onto the S1 was a much better bet. Well that wasn’t such a great idea... I didn’t have sunscreen and it was starting to get hot hot hot hot hot. I also got a message from my worried family... ‘where are you’ so I replied ‘on my way to Phabeni Gate’ I then refreshed at the Gate and decided to do the S3. I am actually glad that I took this road as I got a new lifer. It is a bearded woodpecker...

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Very very happy I moved on and had some different sightings than normal. It was too hot for animals.
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I got another message from mommy dearest ‘Where are you now?’ Where I replied that I am on my way to Kruger Gate. I had a lot of time so I went to visit my lions again and I stayed with them for another 2 hours. It was really a great start to my search of the golden cats of Kruger.
The day was ended with a KPA and lekker braaivleis and I passed out early to start yet another day in Kruger.

To be continued...


Re: Searching for the Kitty Kats of Kruger

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Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:34 am Unread post
Day 4... the search commences

I woke up this morning and packed my car for a morning drive(well lets hope that it is a morning drive) and off I went to go find the Kitties of the South. My route was H11->H1-1->H3->S113->S114->S21->H4-1->S1->S2->S3 today and I planned on being at home late afternoon. The lekker thing about Kruger Gate was that I wasn’t greeted by imps in the morning but without fail the first animals I saw entering the park was zebs. The road was very uneventful until I reached the S113/S114 crossing and was entertained by these cutie pies. They were busy scurrying around looking for seeds together with some hornbills.

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Then on the S21 a friendly tallhorse greeted me on the way.

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I was bout 15km down on the S21 when a 4 car traffic jam said ‘halo’. They were all on the left hand side of the road and looking down. I got a spot in the middle but could only see the ears of a lioness. I saw a male lion sleeping as well but the view were shoddy. But that is where patience come in, after about 20 minutes of waiting the one lioness stood up and went to lie behind the one jeep. Nobody moved so I obliged, I drove behind the Jeep and had a lekker conversation with het.

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She moved back after 10 minutes or so then I moved back into my place. Still very gaga kiekies for 20 minutes and then the 2 ladies decided that the road is much better place to go lie down in. I again reversed out of my spot and the one occupant of the Land Rover looked at me like I had a screw or two loose. They were checking out the male and had front row seats to him. I just wanted to see lions, didn’t care male, female or cub. I was about 3m from then and had prime view.

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And then it happened. The male decided that he wanted to join his two lady friends in the road. YAY I had the best view and all the other cars had to make u-turns and stand behind me and next to me. See it pays off when you don’t always go for the best. My cam was going berserkers...

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I was blissfully happy and so excited about this sighting. I never in my whole life thought that it could get any better. But I counted my chickens before they hatched. The female walked to the male and the next scene played 2m from me. They were so close that I couldn’t get the both of them fully in my camera frame.

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I was about 2 hours with those beautiful kitties and then decided to move on. I had a great sighting of a martial eagle then I found 2 piggies for VVV.

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And then another surprise sighting, on the S1. She was a bit far and my kiekies are very bad but it is proof. Today has been a great day in the Park.

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I went home very happy that afternoon. It was about 3o’clock and time for a MMC. Yes mum thought I was a bit mad drinking coffee in this heat but I had to celebrate my sightings for the day. I had a big smile the whole day and couldn’t wait to see what the rest of the trip could bring forward. We had a lekker braai and as it was Christmas eve prezzies were given to the snotties. We enjoyed ice cold KPA’s underneath the Kruger skies and chatted till 21:00 when I decided to go to bed as another day in the Kruger awaits...

To be continued...


Re: Searching for the Kitty Kats of Kruger

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Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:46 pm Unread post
Day5... What a way to spend Christmas
I woke up this morning a bit upset, my sisters SO and his family would be joining us this festive day. Now having them over isn’t a problem but my Kruger time is being cut short-I have to sign in my sisters entourage and I was told that I have to be back at Sabie Park by 10:30 because they can be there anytime between 10:30 and 11:30. So very negative I am. I decide that because the S21 has been so good for me that I will try it again from S112. So off I go, on my search of kitties with a golden shimmer. General game is to be seen everywhere, imps, zebs and g-raffs then I get the corner of the s114/s21 and a lady greets me from a rock.

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She decided to lay low and then basically I couldn’t see anything, people came from the S21 and asked me what I was looking at. It was bad telling them that they just missed a lioness. The law of the Kruger... be at the right time in the right place. They also told me that not to worry as about 5km down the S21 there is a pride of lions in the middle of the road. YAAAAAAAAAY !!!!! So I drove this road which hasn’t made me regret it once! Now I know why people love this road. There were lions in the road just as they said, but not a pride. Just two males and the best thing was that there was only one car. The older one walked into the bushes while the younger male stood in the road. They were the same males I’ve seen on my first S21 drive.

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He walked into the bush as well to join 3 ladies, which I only saw later but they were hidden well.

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I spent a good few hours with them and at a time there was a heavy traffic jam, just glad that I was all settled in my lekker spot. I then went in a conversation with the one JJ-driver and he informed me about a wild dog sighting on the Hamiltons loop which was about 10km from us. I waited for the jam to be spread thinner and I went to see doggies on Christmas. There was unfortunately nothing and time was against me, I also hear about a leopard on the S113/H3 but I had to go back to Sabie Park. On my way to the Gate I saw the following...

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The Christmas feast was divine with ice cold KPA’s and champagne. Couscous salad, chicken, gammon and corned beef roast. We ate like bushmen and had trifle for dessert. We spoke about the Park and the fact that there aren’t any fences, they read at the entrance about the leppie but I commented that the leppie in the park is only a urban legend, in 24 years no one in our family has seen the Kruger leppie. I just checked my watch the whole time, at 15:30 I had enough and said to the guests that it is time to say farewells, just to add that they were late... They only arrived at 12:00 so I could’ve checked out a leppie this morning... They agreed because they had to drive back to Nelspruit. We said our goodbyes and I was off to Kruger. At the Gate I was greeted by ellies.

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I went back to the Hamilton loop and was greeted by about 10 cars. All bakkies an here I was with the Getz. I saw absolutely nothing, I was just too low. I waited for 40minutes because I was checking my time and didn’t want to be late or speed in the park. I gave myself another 5 minutes and then it happened. I heard the yelping of dogs and heard them running in the grass. They were active for a good 2 minutes in which I got 1 shot.

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I was so glad that I got to see my doggies on Christmas. On my way to the Gate io had the following sightings.

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I was about 4km for the Gate when I received a phonecall from mommy dearest in which the following was said.
Ma Heks: ‘Heksie there is a leopard in our driveway!!!!!!!!!!!’
Heksie: ‘Don’t lie’
Ma Heks: ‘No man, I took photos with my phone!!!!!!!’
Heksie: ‘Ja whatever!’
I can hear the excitement in my mums’ voice but I truly believe that she is lying. I phone her back and ask her if she is and she replies ‘No’ that she isn’t. Now I’m very excited and I push on towards our house. I get in our driveway and nope nothing nada niks... Where is this so-called leppie? My mum wait outside and I cram her, my sis’ SO and a snottie in the car and we go leppie hunting. At least there are no time restraints here!!!! And guess what I drove right past him. I turn around and he decides to lie flat in the grass. Sorry the pics are dark as this was almost at 7 already.

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We wait and wait and wait and wait and after 20 minutes he stands up and takes a stroll down our drive way.

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As you see there in front, if you turn you are about 10m from our stoep. He walks straight into the bush and disappears into the bushes like he was never there. That night we had a lot of exciting stories and looking around in the dark as there are mos no fences. I passed out very early to take on another day in Kruger.

To be continued


Re: Searching for the Kitty Kats of Kruger

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Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:21 am Unread post
Day6...a family daytrip

My sisters SO is staying with us for a few days so today we decided that he needs to discover Kruger. We had our own little 3 car convoy today and the route was H11->H1-2->H12->S30->S29->H10->H4-2->Gomodwaneloop->H4-2->H4-1->H11 a long day is definitely waiting for us. As we entered the park a herd of zebs greeted us. Here is the baby.

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And we came upon this group of banded mongoose. They are a lot more skittish than the dwarfies. It was also drizzling so they were very wet.

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Then very sad as I love seeing snakes but mostly only see them run over by other cars. Here was a transvaalse brown house snake that was run over earlier that morning. What a beautiful snake. I also saw a giant land snail and a frog.

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On the H12 high water bridge we were entertained by these baboons. They grabbed the attention of a lot of people.

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And there were a tree full of these Amur Falcons. And on the S29 a Wahlberg flew past our car. We also had a small herd of buffs that greeted us in the road.

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A lifer for me was this red billed quelea. They always fly everywhere so this was the first time that I could photograph one.

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We had lunch at Lower Sabie, it was actually very nice. I never expect anything from the restaurants, I just hope that they are edible but this lunch was delish. The pizza that was ordered for the snotties was munched up by the grownups. And the service was good too. Well done LS. We haven’t seen any lions and then a Good Samaritan told us about lions on the Gomodwane loop. Off we went to charter the unknown. On our way I had a close encounter with a g-raff.

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And I was about 20min in a roadblock because of these okes.

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Then on the H4-2 we found this mating pair. They were about 100m into the bush and well hidden between the grass.

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Then we came upon this beauty in a tree. He kept us busy for as long as we could keep the traffic jam.

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After him we learned that we missed a failed hunt and saw the 3 ladies retreat into the bush.

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We stopped at Lower Sabie again for a body break and my mum decided that she will drive the Gets for the last stretch. I was in the back with my old squeekems and I came upon a good roadblock cause there was a big breeding herd of ellies crossing the road I was about 100m from them but I could hear that something wasn’t right! The one ellie was trumpeting furiously and as I got a clear view of them I saw a stupid white car in the middle of the herd!!!! I thought by myself what moronic person would go ahead and do that? As I got closer-still at a safe distance I recognised the number plate!!!!!! It was the Getz with my mum, sis and 2 snotties in????? Dare to say they survived and got a good scolding from me later on!!! On Ntwamhiri causeway we had a great sighting of this saddle bill.

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We just missed a leppie sighting of the year on the H11. I just caught a glimpse of her jumping out of the tree but someone told me she was there for about 5 hours. Now why did we go and stop for every single birdy and animal. But it’s fine, we had an awesome day and great sightings were seen and new birdies were ticked off and a lot of laughter and joyfulness we had today. Tomorrow will await with new adventures to be taken in the Park.

To be continued...


Re: Searching for the Kitty Kats of Kruger

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Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:23 pm Unread post
My dear mites, unfortunately this TR will pause for 5/6 days. I'm leaving for Kruger in an hour and will be there over easter weekend. :dance:
Sorry guys :(


Re: Searching for the Kitty Kats of Kruger

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Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:41 pm Unread post
Day 7... my first babies
Now with those golden kitties I have never been so lucky in all my years that I’ve seen cubs. It was only something that I saw on the forum but not experienced myself. So what a surprise this day turned out to be when my first eety beety kitties was spotted.
The day began just like any other, when I drove alone it was one of three roads I took (H1-2 or S114 or S65) as they were all beautiful roads that brings forward amazing sightings. So this morning
I had a aching for the Watergat causeway and thus I moved towards the S65. When I drive alone I always get to thinking-and I think that it is maybe dangerous for me to do so. I always thought about if I could get a house anywhere in Krugs that it would be 4.8km S of the S1 on the S65. There you can sit for hours underneath the canopy of leaves and look over the causeway. As
I drove closer to the so-called causeway and what is in front of me? A 4-car roadblock... And why not? This was home for the next few days to a lioness and four cubs. Here they are (they were about 150m from bridge)

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A lot of cars started coming so I moved on. I then decided that a short drive will only be happening today. You can really start feeling it if you drive 10+ hours a day. So my drive would be H1-1->H3->S112->S114->H1-1->H11->H1-2->S83 (maroela loop)->H12->H4-1->H11. The ladies on the corner of S21/S114 didn’t disappoint, a lady was lying on the rock checking all of the cars out from a higher vantage point. She was at eye level with no grass in the way and posing beautifully.

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I left the beautiful lady and on my way home had some great general game for the rest of the drive. Mainly on the tar road which was very strange, at least the roads weren’t very busy.
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This was one of my best sightings for the day as we don’t see them alot in the South. I was very surprised to see 4 of these amazing animals on the H1-2 just after Low level bridge.

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Then on the sandriver low level bridge I had a grey heron.

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I then took the West entrance of the S83 and in about 5km I saw 2 cars and as I crawled up to them they were nice enough to point me into the direction of some male lions. They informed me that there were two but I could unfortunately only see one.

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I stayed there for a while but it became a bit crowded and the sighting wasn’t very lekker. I was on my way again and towards home I saw the following on my way home.

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The rest of the day I chilled at Sabie Park with a book in the hand a KPA on the table next to me. We had a lekker braai that afternoon with wors, pap and sheba. Enjoyed the campfire till late and then we were off to sleep as I was to meet tannie VVV and Mads the following day at Lower Sabie 14:00.

To be continued


Re: Searching for the Kitty Kats of Kruger

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Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:46 pm Unread post
Day 8...kitties here, there, everywhere
Now unfortunately I have to bore you guys with the longest episode of the whole trip. This was a lucky day indeed with a lot of sightings, because I was to meet tannie VVV and Mads at LS @ 14:00 and it was just 70km from me, I decided to take the scenic route which was H11->S1->S65->H1-1->H3->S112->S114->S23->S114->S26->S25->croc bridge->H4-2->lower sabie->H4-1->H11-> home. Yes it was a long day but oh so exciting.
The day started like any other, me packing in some droewors and biltong with a bottle of water. Me entering the park all by my lonesome and engaging with nature like a longtime friend. I drive past a few general game like the zebs which greeted me everyday when I entered the Park. I decided to check out the kitty family on the S65 causeway but was surprised by a male about 1km before the causeway. So here was KITTY #1

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I sat some time with the handsome fellow when and then decided to move one. As I thought, the mommy was on the causeway again but a few metres closer as the previous day. They were very chilled on the sand but soon decided to move towards the side where some shade was waiting for them. KITTY #2

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On the tar road a small surprise waited for me. I just love seeing these fellas in the Park and always make sure they get to the side of the road safely.

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On the S114 I was surprised to have 2 different slithering sightings but unfortunately they move so fast across the road that I only could stop for them and not take kiekies. I just know the one was brown and the other one was black with a white belly. Things that I could take pics of was this friendly giant.

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It was very quiet on the Biyamiti weir road and I was kept busy with this francolin family.

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As well as kitty prints-I always get so hopeful when I see them, then I know those whiskers aren’t as far off.

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I was so glad that I looked into the road otherwise I would’ve gone straight into the back of a bakkie. There was a 2-car jam and I waited patiently behind the bakkie to see what they were watching. But then I heard something right next to my car... YAY it was KITTY #3 for the day

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It was 3 females with 4 cubs. They became restless and decided to walk towards the weir in the road. How exciting was this? They were so close and in full view. The one female decided to stay behind in the bushes.

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The disappeared into the bushes and the other car decided to move on. I watched a grey heron on the weir and then moved back to where they were to check out if they would come back. A car passed me from the front and as I got the spot I saw them firs the third female came from the bushes and I followed her to where the other went into the bushes. They just missed a great lion sighting...

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The rest of the way was a bit quiet with a shy bushbuck that didn’t want to pose for a kiekie and some ellies. On the causeway when you just get on the S25 from the S26 I got a beauty of a hamerkop.

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And then a highlight of the day!!!! Another snake crossed the road but from the other side and I got to take 3 kiekies before he disappeared. It was a vine snake----MY FIRST ONE!!!!

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The S25 have a lot of general game, warties, g-raffs, zebra and willies. A great road to drive but I believe not enough view of the croc river. I had a quick stop at the CB camp to go to the loo and buy some ice cold water. It was 12:30 and I had 90 minutes to get to LS. I stopped at Gezantfombi and some buffs were chilling in the dam.

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It was very hot and the wartie the passed me just showed me what I was missing whilst I’m in my car-how does a lekker mud bath sound when it’s 37 degrees?

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Just before the N entrance of Gomodwane loop (S130) I had a lekker surprise. I had a good spot checking KITTY #4

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There were about 6 lions in total and this female was right next to the road. I saw the one lioness going down as a impala came closer but they ran away quickly. The rest looked very lazy.

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Time was ticking and off I went to LS. I quickly crossed the low water bridge to check out how beautiful the restaurant deck was. This is one of the things that I never grow tired off.

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Tannie V and Mads were a bit late so I enjoyed an ice cold Savanna on the deck. They came and we had a lekker chat about their trip and the amazing leopard sightings they had at Punda. I can’t wait for their TR!!!!! We also had a ice cream, it was 16:30 when we had to bid farewell because I still had to get to Kruger Gate and they to Croc bridge. It is always nice to see mites in the Park and they were some of the few. I did meet a JJ who is called tiny on the forum, but I’ve never seen him active. On my way back I saw the following:

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KITTY #5 on the H12 bridge

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I got out of the Park with about 20 minutes to spare. A braai was already in process, I got a KPA from the freezer and shared my many sightings with my family. How jealous were they about this. Sometimes it really pays off to be in the Park the whole day, you just have to be in the right place on the right time.

To be continued...


Re: Searching for the Kitty Kats of Kruger

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Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:57 pm Unread post
Day 9... Spots everywhere I look

Now after yesterdays very lucky day, mamma heks decided to join in on the drive this morning. We packed in some droewors and biltong together with cold water and off we went to the Kruger @ 5:15. Our route for the day would be H11->S65->H1-1->S114->S112->H3->H1-1->H11 this morning. Mum went in with high hopes to spot some leppies the day. So we drove very slowly on the lookout for some spots. Again our first animals were the zebs and then on the S65 a cute little duiker waited for us in the grass.
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And then on the tar road one of our favourite birds walked past us.

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The rest of the road was very quiet until we came upon a little road block on the S112. We stopped and looked into the grass but nothing was there... What are the people looking at? The bakkie in front of us waved us forward and said we should stop next to them, they showed us that in the tree almost right above us were something having breakfast. At last mums wish came true. The kiekies aren’t great but still it is proof.

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We sat with her for about 30 minutes and then she decided to leave her meal and move off into the bushes. We moved off and came upon these beautiful specimens somewhere I cannot remember.

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Then another little roadblock stopped us. We saw 3 male lions in the grass and this was one of my worst sightings but oh so exciting. These 3 males were chilling in the high grass and then a ellie approached them, he trumpeted a few times and then those majestic males made like kittens and scattered. It was very funny how we depict them as the kings of the bush and then a situation like this let them seem as somewhat less. There were too many cars as this was on the H3 so I don’t have pics to show but the memory of this episode still lingers freshly in my head.

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Because I went into the Park daily I started befriending the JJ’s of Echo Africa and we shared sightings as well as chatted while sitting at some of them. The one whispered at this sighting that I had to go to Kwaggaspan as there was a mating pair. Oh YEAH!!!! I drove off and then eish how I regretted it as there were a jam of and a half there as well. We got to see them and were at a time smack in the middle of the jam.

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My car started overheating because of some absurd reason and we waited for people to move off so that we can just go back home. Well it was a bit impossible as the lions stayed in the main road and between us and the way we have to go back! A car drove past me and quickly greeted me bay saying ‘Hi Heksie’ I still don’t know who it was as he didn’t linger long enough to get his name, he didn’t even have a YR on his car. How strange was that? We sat for 20 minutes and then tried to push on through the crowd. Here is the lady sitting in the grass.

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My car wasn’t getting any better so we went straight home. Where I had an ice cold KPA and we chilled for a few hours. We then propped the rest of the family into the Getz and then went back into the park @ 14:00. We decided to take the route the other way round this afternoon what we took this morning. My sister wanted to see the leppie as well and because it had a kill we checked the same tree out but nothing was there, no imp and no leppie. I later found out that the leppie took the imp out of the tree and deeper into the bushes. But there were no worries as we approached the S21/S114 intersection and again a little roadblock. Yep, you guys guessed right! Another leppie, this time a beautiful male on the rocks posed.

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On the H3 we were lucky to catch the mating pair again but it was a quick glance because we didn’t want to be in the roadblock and we turned toward Skuks we had another encounter with kitties. They were in the small riverbed just 500m from the S112 intersection.

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We crossed paths with a breeding herd of ellies as well.

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Time was catching up on us and we had 20 minutes till the gate closed. We just turned on the H11 and started to relax as there was 4kms to go to the gate. Then as we drew closer to the gate I saw 1 car stopped on the right hand side of the road. I thought it was rather odd but then scanned on that side. And would you guys believe what was next to road not more than 1km from the Gate? Another female leopard sitting on a rock? It was unbelievable!!!! A car stopped next to us and ‘n oom asked what we are looking at as we directed him to the leppie he was the most happiest person in the park because he was looking for a leppie his whole trip and couldn’t find any and he was on his way out of the park. We really enjoyed this goodbye sighting and left the Park very happy.

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Another successful day in the Park. Because we got home so late we made pasta and just enjoyed the night. A few KPA’s were consumed to celebrate our sightings and we slept early.

To be continued...


Re: Searching for the Kitty Kats of Kruger

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Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:16 pm Unread post
Day 10… a short drive is all I needed
Now driving in the Park is all I really want to do-I think of it all the time, now sitting on my bed I’m just wishing my days by until I will be in in the Park again. Now saying it, waking up every morning at 4:30 can be exhausting and it started getting harder every morning to be bright and shiny. Ek was besig om baie moeg te word… A whole day was planned for my lonesome and on I went just like every other morning. I packed in some droewors and water to keep me going during my animal stake outs and I entered the park. My route was H11->S1->S65->H1-1->H3->S112->S114->H1-1->H11. More was planned but not necessary.
I was blessed in having had a lot of carnivorous sightings within 20km of the Gate and I was spoilt rotten that is why I did not think twice about driving certain routes time again. The S65 had a special stripy surprise for me this morning.

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Then I went to go look at the H3/S112 lions again and alas they were there again.

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The loving couple moved into a drainage pipe to get some undisturbed time and off I went. There were still one male showing off but it started to get crowded. I turned into S112 and drove for at a snails pace when one of my JJ-buds passed me, after a few meters he turned around and drove passed me again waving for me to follow him. How glad I was that I did because as they say in the KNP: “you must be at the right place at the right time” truly played a role here and if it wasn’t for him then I would not have had this great sighting. Not even 2 km behind me they appeared from the bushes and I would’ve missed them completely.

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This was a super exciting sighting and seeing babies so close up was just breathtaking. I was happy with my sightings for the day and just decided to visit Lake Panic on my way out of the Park. There was no one else there and it was both calming and scary being there by myself.
A Jacana
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A new one for me, the thick billed weaver
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A beautiful lily in bloom
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And as I was on my way back to Sabie Park a yellow billed kite said his farewell.
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Not as long trip as I normally did in the Park but still full of amazing sightings and always surprisingly beautiful.
To be continued…


Re: Searching for the Kitty Kats of Kruger

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Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:24 am Unread post
Day11… golden kitty galore

After a lot of rest the previous day and a chilling afternoon I had a jam packed trip planned today. First to start with a Heksie drive this morning and then to go have lunch and fetch the fam for an afternoon drive. I was very chilled today, not a worry in the world. I knew that it was nearing the end of our holiday and the time spent in the Park was being appreciated more. My morning drive was H11->H1-2->S83->H1-2->H12->H4-1->H11. I just love the two lower level bridges on the H1-2 so I take this route as many times as possible, and this morning I was so glad that I decided to take this route. I saw this bootiful willies on my way to the second low level bridge.

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And some pied kingy as well as a giant king posed for me on the bridge.

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Then I looked in my back mirror and saw that a car was waiting for me, he wanted to get passed me very quickly but I didn’t know why. I started my car and drove on so he could pass and looking quizzically at this car speeding in front of me, the reason I believe he was speeding came around the bend.

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I took a few kiekies and then made a u-turn so I can follow then across the bridge-YAY!!!! I was in front and it was amazing following these cats-my first time having then on a bridge.
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A new strange thing I saw today for the first time was the male lions that decided to roll in the buffpooh, I believe it is to mask their scent when hunting? But still a great sight!

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I then let all the cars pass me and then went back on my route. I saw on the Maroela loop this cute imp.

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And then in one of the riverbeds another baby shower.

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I was alone with them for a good 20 minutes and it was so quiet that a slender mongoose came to visit.

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The bad thing was when a car came and I told them what I was seeing, they moved behind me and I had to move on. The view was only ‘o-k’ from one spot so one car could view them at a time. Then on my way back to I saw the following. Dwarf mongoose.
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Steenbokkie
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Giraffe
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Back at Sabie Park we had a braai and then laaied the heksie-clan into the Getz. We drove the H11->S1->S65->H1-1->H3->S112->S114->H11 We wanted to check out if the mating pair was still at their normal spot and then hope and pray for some leppies. The road was very quiet and we saw on the S65 this chameleon.

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Then as we passed the riverbed towards the watergat something caught my sisters’ eye. It was two lionesses lying in the bush. My mum called them as you would to your cats and you yes you guessed it they moved towards our car?
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They went behind our car and lied down on the other side of our car. We moved on and then as the previous days the mating pair was at their normal spot. We had a good view and they decided to gooi us a show.
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Then on the dirt road we got to see a red crested korhaan.
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And my mums sighting of the day-a hyena swimming in a pool.
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Then we saw a yellow billed kite.
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We also saw this lapwing/plover which I can’t ID? Any help would be appreciated.
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As well as a white faced duck.
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This was quite the day with many birdies and kitties and other animals which made it very special. And whilst I was braaing that night I heard something in the grass next to my chair. I did a bit of sherlocking and with a flashlight and numerous blodged kiekies I got to take a pic of these skinks either fighting or mating in some dead leaves.
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It was exciting as we had to try to ID them and mum and fam was afraid that they were snakes or any other dangerous reptile. They did not help at all with those kiekies so sorry for the bad pic. We ate a delicious meal and went to bed earlyish.

To be continued…


Re: Searching for the Kitty Kats of Kruger

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Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:46 pm Unread post
Day 12… Family fun
Every morning I drove around mostly alone, but we have decided that today the whole family will be joining; it is my sis, her two snotties, mum and I. We packed in the two sleeping princesses with our other condiments for the day and off we went into the great Park of oom Kruger. Our route was H11->H1-1->S112->S114->H5->S102 to Mpondodam->S26->S25->S28->H4-2->H4-1->S79->H11->S1->S65 to the riverbed->S1->H11. It was a long day and a good 12 hour trip we had but a lot of fun. So here we go, on our way to Mpondo (our first stop) we saw a black stork,
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A chameleon
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And a shoe of a very unfortunate visitor,
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We had a few run ins with ellies and just to tell you guys how hilarious it is for me, after mum and co.’s ellie escapades just outside LS, do they have more respect for these massive animals. One could only look our way and then they actually scream at me to put the pedal to the floor. I always kept a safe distance but 500m+ were the only safe measurement for them. At Mpondo we saw something different today, we saw these black grass everywhere sticking out and when I took the binocs we noticed that it was actually barbels/catfish that were swimming very close to the surface with open mouths. A rare sighting.
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We also had a grey heron in flight,
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Off we went again and had the following sightings to Crocbridge, our next stop. Mr ellie that had us reversing and waiting for a good 30 minutes. There were a few tight sphincters after this…
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A dungie with fam,
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And what I believe to be the lesser striped swallow,
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Also a muddy zeb,
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And a beautiful specimen, why people kill them I will never know.
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At crocbridge some freshing up and snacking and then we were on our way again. We had an encounter with a buff or two-just for my sis, she likes them wild cows a lot.
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A beautiful Bateleur strutting his stuff,
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I also saw a boomslang but he was a bit too quick for a kiekie-darn it. These snakes are a bit camera shy!
Very close to LS we saw the fish eagle couple on their tree.
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And as you all know we have to cross the low level bridge before we enter the camp, here I saw my beautiful yellow billed stork and he was very close today, YAY!!!
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After freshening up again and buying some lekker ice cream, ok not really, you guys know that fruitree icicles in guava, orange and lychee. Ya, we bought them because they are much more refreshing than a creamy magnum when it is 35+ degrees. Just past Sunset dam we encountered a bit of a traffic jam for these gentlemen.
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On the S79 a juvenile green backed heron.
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I told mum and co. that we should go check out the riverbed because the babies have been seen almost every day there, so they agreed and we went to check it out. So glad that we did, because they were there entertaining only two cars.
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Happy with what we saw we turned around and went back towards Kruger Gate. We had seen four of the BIG 5 today and a lot of other strange things, we hoped that we would have a leopard just before we leave so driving extra slow towards the Gate a few cars passed us. They Gate came closer and we bid our farewells, as we got on the bridge, 2 cars stopped next to the road and the passengers jumped out of their cars, very weird behavior I did the same, leaving the car door open with my cam around my neck and as I peered over the railings I could not believe my eyes!!!!!! A FREAKING LEOPARD!!!!!
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My camera went ballistic taking kiekies, a few people came next to us and an oke showed us that the leopard came from other side of the bridge, crossing it to go and visit oom Kruger as well I suppose. We knew it was the Sabie Park leopard that visited us on Christmas. We were euphoric that afternoon braaing and discussing how wonderful our Big 5 day was. A few KPA’s were consumed and we went to bed very satisfied with another day in the Park.

To be continued…


Re: Searching for the Kitty Kats of Kruger

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Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:26 pm Unread post
Day 13… a very slow but special day
This morning me and ma-heks decided to do a morning drive. I woke her up early and we packed some biltong, droewors and buttered buns so we can have a lekker bush breakfast whilst enjoying nature. Off we went and our route wasH11->H1-1->H3->H2-2->S114->H1-1->H11. It was very quiet today but we did have lovely sightings and it was mums first time seeing Biyamiti weir. We saw the following:
Red backed shrike
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Great egret
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Water thick-knee
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Blacksmith-lapwing
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Rhinos
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One or the other plated lizard
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And at Renosterkoppiedam we had another mating pair of kitties
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Our special treat for the day was on our way back on the H11 about 1km from Skuks on the bridge where we had a close encounter with a fisheagle. I have never seen one giving his marvelous call so close and it was magical. Just for you Hilda.
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We went home and after an afternoon chill reading a book, taking a nap, having a few KPA’s and maybe a game of scrabble we fitted the whole famdamily into the Getz and went on an afternoon drive. It was a quick drive as it was already 15:30. We just went to Nkuhlu and back. The only thing that was upsetting about this drive was that there were wild dogs supposedly in the grass when we got to a roadblock, the cars didn’t move and no one saw them, they say that the dogs were lying flat and they were waiting for them to move. We were there for about 2minutes and then decided to move on. We got to Nkuhlu at 16:30 and it was like a ghost town, we didn’t know that it closes at 16:00. We wanted to buy ice cream but were heavily disappointed. But we did see a few water monitors at Nkuhlu that was a good consolation prize.
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Also on our way back we got to see a purple crested turaco feeding its young which was a super sighting for me!
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And we had a beautiful hyena sighting as well.
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This was surely not a big cat day for us but a lot of interesting sightings and the special bird sightings was so worth a day in Krugs. She never seems to disappoint us. We had a lekker braai and went to bed after drinking a few cold KPA’s and looking at the stars.

To be continued…


Re: Searching for the Kitty Kats of Kruger

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Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:22 am Unread post
Day 14
This morning everybody was loaded into the Getz again. We just wanted to do a morning drive to Nkuhlu as we hoped that the wilddogs would be in that area again. So it was only the H4-1 for us this morning. We came around a bend and saw two cars sitting on the wrong side of the road. As the rule are with sightings: ‘move to the side of the sighting’ and lying there in the shade were 3 menere.
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They were very relaxed and we knew we would see them on our way back so we moved on. It was a very slow day today and just before we came to Nkuhlu we had another encounter with the turaco. They are just one of the most beautiful birds I’ve ever seen.
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There were no doggies and we turned back, to our surprise, the 3 gentlemen moved out of the bushes and just next to the road and there were a bit of a traffic jam, but they were about 10m from each other and on different sides of the road so the cars were spaced evenly and it allowed us to take a few nice kiekies.
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We also saw a rock monitor in a tree.
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We went home with no luck of doggies and off my mum and sis went to the swimming pool. I dove into a book with and ice cold KPA in one hand and spend my late morning reading some fiction. At 15:30 I went into the Park again only to drive to the low water bridge on the H1-2. I really love the road to there and the bridge always holds some beautiful bird-gems to photograph. A southern Red Bishop.
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A common sandpiper
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A wood sandpiper
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My favorite bird- the hamerkop
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And on my way back at the Skuks low water bridge a few JJ’s had a run in with Mr Magnificents.
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I got home and lit a braai. The whole family sat outside and we enjoyed the night immensely with something to drink and a lot of laughs and stories. It dawned upon us that tomorrow will be our last full day in the Park…
To be continued…


Re: Searching for the Kitty Kats of Kruger

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Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:23 pm Unread post
Day 15… A Super Seven Day
You know what? It has happened to me timeously that on the last day of visiting the Park I get the best sightings, to put it bluntly-dit gee ‘n krap in my gat (makes me itchy) to go and book a trip as soon as possible-and today was definitely one of those days. This morning I set up to do a morning drive on my lonesome as we had a maid cleaning our house and my family wanted to start packing. I always pack in the last minute you can ask Wendy about it. I was sitting in front of the gate when I received a BBM from Cheetah2111 about the S65 causeway kitties. So my route this morning was: H11->S1->S65->H1-1->Transportdam->H3->S112->S114->H1-1->H11.
First on my sightings list was a kudu fawn having breakfast.
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And a cute little imp-I always take close up kiekies of these cuties
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A car was in front of my the whole time to the causeway and I couldn’t believe it!!!! They drove over it never stopping and on the right hand side about 200m in was a lion family chilling on the sand. Just shows that you can miss a sighting just like THAT. I stayed with them for a while and then after 2 JJ’s arrived went on my way.
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On my way to transportdam I got a lekker 5 car roadblock and after asking someone and squinting a lot I got to see this through a lot of branches. My car was just too low so branches and grass was what I saw. Now those of you that know me have heard that I saw my first cheetah sighting with Wendy on 25 Nov so I was ecstatic of this far-away sighting. I was a bit sad though because mum has never had a cheetah sighting in the Park and I couldn’t share it with her.
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Too many cars started arriving and so I didn’t go to Transportdam and just made a U-turn. On my way to renosterkoppie dam I had the following sightings. A ground hornbill
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My first white stork so close up to me,
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Rhino
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Rockjumpertjies, it was my first sighting of these cuties-they are by far my favorite antelope in the Park
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I made a quick turn at the S21 intersection just hoping that there would be a leopard waiting on a rock or something where I was waved down by another car comeing from the S112. They informed me about a lioness on a rock about 1km back on the road and I thanked them for the information and waited for them to pass when I started laughing at myself-Ya I do have a loose screw or two so I do talk to animals and myself and laugh at myself as well. Here I was thinking just an hour or two ago on the S65 how could people just not see a sighting like that and what do I do? Drive past a lioness almost next to the road…
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The road was very narrow and after a few kiekies I moved on. Here is a ellie herd that got us a bit nervous. We were about 4 cars waiting and discussing who would take the leap going first when a JJ arrived and said not to worry. He moved forward and the matriarch trumpeted a few times then he moved closer still, she then moved off. He waved for us to come and then I had to just get my balls and take the plunge. He informed me that she was just acting and never really in a charging mood. Oh-ok mister whatever you say, I will check them out from a distance.
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I went home in one piece at least and we made a brunch and I just told them about my great sightings. It was just past 12 when I informed them that the weather is great-it was cloudy which is not kiekie weather but great Summer drive weather. I also told then that it would be our last full day so they agreed for another family outing in Kruger. We were informed about a leopard at the H3/H1-1 intersection so with that our route for the afternoon was planned. H11->H1-1->H3->S112->S21->H4-1 to LS and back->H4-1 to Skuks->H11. Here is the leopard on the intersection. There were a lot of cars and the view wasn’t that great, also the people were rude. This one car with a guy sitting on the side window scolded at us for being in front of them . So it was stop, take 5 kiekies and get your ass out of there.
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The lioness was still lying on her rock on the S112 and also the rockjumpertjie was frozen on his rock. We passed them and moved on to the S21, Here I saw my first white backed duck,
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A Wahlberg eagle
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A little vervet posing nicely
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After buying our last ice cream in the Park we went for our last drive on the H4-1. We got to a ellie crossing and found a very stupid human being as well.
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There was another ellie crossing and she climbed out of the car like that again. Then we got a special sighting. This is what we have been searching for, for the past few days and here they were looking like this….
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Now what do you say about that? That woman climbed out on the window ledge again at this sighting! But they were never close enough so I could give her a piece of my mind!!!! We decided to take in a parking space at this doggy sighting and wait-I started to get very nervous and just worked out how many km’s are left and time till gate closing. Everytime I said just another 5minutes because doggies we want to see, and we started chatting to other people who had to go to Skuks etc. we all just waited and then it happened…
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We were elated and that we had to get going or be fined. We also had the following sightings on this road. Buffalo across the river,
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A very ugly hyena
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And that is how we ended our last day in the Park with 5 minutes late for gate closing, but after 2 weeks they knew us and just left us with a warning. I saw the Super 7 that day and hyena, we had amazing bird sightings and the greatest most exciting wild dog sighting. That night we had our last braai and sipping on my KPA, reflecting about the days sightings I just knew why I love this Kruger place…

To be continued…
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