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 Post subject: Pumbaa Sunsets with Tuskers at the Horizon February 2012
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:03 pm 
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It is once more nearly about time - gladly - to pack our bags and say good-bye to you for nearly three weeks as we are off to Kruger again :thumbs_up: One or two or more mities will cross our paths and I am sure we will do have a great time alltogether.

This trip will be different to previous trips and I think we will see the park in a way that we never saw her before at least to be back is what counts. We will try to take a lot of pictures of how the park is looking after the flood but hopefully some animals will be there too.

There are still so many never seen birds out of which my greatest wish will be to finally found the Diderick cuckoo or the Black-collared barbet and owls :thumbs_up: and for sure I am longing to hear the woodies again. As always we will admire everything which might come across and will definitely say no to some species which we never saw before either small or large and with or without spots :dance: Timon saw even today a small owl in a tree whilst doing his running maybe this is a good sign as well. :dance:

Flying cheetah is willing to share our sightings with you via SMS - Thanks already in advance Wolfgang :gflower:

Hopefully we will come back with some more tales to tell and pictures to show and please also hold thumbs that it will not be too wet after all :thumbs_up:

See you all again in three weeks. :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: Sunsets with Tuskers at the Horizon
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:40 pm 
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Hi there and thanks for so many many lovely replies from you guys :gflower:

We are sadly back to cold, grey and wet Germany and must say I miss my daily Woodland kingfisher fix already desperately also miss my daily giraffe sighting :? It will be a hard year to wait that next February might come as we both already decided that we will come back again next February :dance: :dance: :dance:

First of all thanks to Flying cheetah for posting my updates although it were only two but the last days we nearly stayed the whole day on the road not to miss so much.....We once more had an awesome trip although I must say that we were a bit concerned about the park conditions after the recent flood but must say that most of the gravel roads were open and even already graded and in a better condition than ever before. Thanks to all the helping hands for such a quick work. The flood must have been rushed over the area around Tshokwane / Skukuza area as there the debris in the middle of grassland savannah were a horrible sighting. Besides a lot of still missing bridges and lots of wonderful trees gone in the Olifants and Sabie / Sand river the parks looked great a always.

Did we see a lot? Oh, yes we did although I must say the wild dogs let us down a bit this year as we only had a glimpse of them but therefore the spotted ones took over their place as we never saw so many leopards during one trip and even the cheetahs were good to us this year. Lots of elephants, never saw that much rhinos :shock: and a couple of lions even showed up at Satara (Sorry, Hilda and Barry :redface: ) and did a sunset drive with Irvine at LS and had some WoW sightings as well. The birds were as well to us extreme good this year with a lot of never saw ones before even got a new owl and finally the diderick :dance:

Also had a lovely meeting with Elsa, SO, Debby and WendyA at Skukuza and even met Elsa & Co. again the next day during our drive up to Satara. Finally thanks so much Hilda & Barry for simply everything the delicious braai we had together and when we got back from our morning drive the day you left Satara it was a strange feeling not knowing you any longer in the neighbouring bungalow.

A trip report will for sure come but need indeed some time to edit all the pictures as we took once more thousends of them. Just wanted to let you know that everything went well and we arrived safely back in Germany even with a partly strike yesterday and today at Frankfurt airport.


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 Post subject: Re: Sunsets with Tuskers at the Horizon
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:08 pm 
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I think it is about time :whistle: :whistle: :whistle:

Friday, 10. February 2012 - Arrival at Berg en Dal

After what seemed to last an eternity the day we climbed into an airplane finally arrived and after at that time very cold temperatures with up to minus 15 degrees we were already looking more than very much forward to the African heat. Due to the cold temperatures the de-icing procedure took endlessly and due to the traffic on Frankfurt airport we only could start with a one hour delay and also with the same delay we landed after a very quiet flight (we even could sleep a couple of hours!) in Johannesburg. Everything else went more than smoothly besides a traffic jam somewhere on the N4 which cost another half an hour of our already precious time and it even was time left to forage the Malelane Spar with the lots ofthings we needed and finally we were back – First stop was as usual on the bridge close to Malelane gate and we both took a deep breath and our eyes and ears drooled over for the bush sound and any movement which we could caught. Needless to say that we were more than over the moon to be back after nearly one year and even one of the many crocodiles which we easily spotted smiled at us. :thumbs_up:

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Lots of hippos and even a large elephant herd could also be spotted and even the only recent flood was still visible with lots of debris in the riverbed but to make it in time to camp and in order to have a bit spare time left it was now time for us to proceed with the gate formalities which took only a couple of minutes as gladly when we arrived all people just have been attended.

The first animal we saw inside the park were a couple of marabou storks just followed by my favourite call of a woodland kingfisher - Sigh

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A pity that it was a bit overcast and very windy with even some rain drops in between but it was hot. Out of the huge impala herd we came across next this cheeky youngster

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was simply too cute and also the banana birds were busy in doing what they do nearly the whole day, looking for something to feed but gladly stopped to allow us to take some pictures.

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Far away Timon spotted the unmistakably shape of a rock but with movable ears and we were more than happy that we already found on our first minutes in the park rhinos. More and more of them appeared and even came closer whilst feeding on the high grass.

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In total we counted 11 – We never spotted such a large “herd” of rhinos before and sometimes with the big lenses on it was a bit difficult to capture them all together as already a single one of them was already difficult to fit into the frame.

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Some of them were a bit “smaller” then the others – if actually you can talk about small.

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Soon and very movable for such a huge animal nearly the whole group reached the road and started to cross same and soon a rhino road block was build up

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but all of them were more than undetermined and moved from right to left and again from left to right and soon also a traffic jam built up and we were once more surrounded by grey masses. Normally we are not afraid of a rhino that close but with eleven of them with an average weight of 2 tons each we got a bit queasy – What if one of them decide it was in the mood to do some running and all the others finally thought that would be a great idea..... :big_eyes: .Anyway all of them were more than calm but wanted to disappear on the other side of the road but not at that steep part were they now stood.

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We drove further backwards so that they can maybe find another more comfortable part and finally the one was acceptable and one after the other crossed the street and was nearly immediately surround by high grass and dense bushes and it was as if they never were there only second before.

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Out of the corner of my eye I realized that the Matjulu loop was open but today we had enough from driving and decided to enjoy the remaining daylight on our verandah but before this lovely marabou sunset simply must have been captured.

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We checked in at reception and also this took only a couple of minutes and we were awarded with bungalow No. 28 which is located extreme close to the fence and I remember having stayed already in No. 27 but this one even was better located. It took a while until we had everything packed into the fridge and it took still a bit longer until we had packed everything handy for our two weeks stay in the park and with the regular “plops” of falling marula fruits and with the sounds of the nearby "ice cube" frogs we enjoyed our very first braai after the long autumn and winter. A pity was that we did not get a visit of the genet this year as so during the last two stays here but maybe she had other commitments......

Saturday, 11. February 2012 – Berg en Dal

Due to the excitement to be back I was already at 3.00 o’clock wide awake and read a bit but a bit later I tried to sleep again until the alarm clock was anyway ringing. We decided to drive via the Majulu loop and the S120 to the H3 and see which might come across and how far we then drive. Well the Matjulu loop was more than quiet as so often during this trip and even the birds were obviously still sleeping but the sunrise over the mountains was worth to stop for.

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Then something black with a long tail caught our attention and we gladly could already capture a pintailed whydah which we did not see often in the last years and gladly he allowed us some nice shots.

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Only a bush further we originally were witnesses of a very loud and hot tempered discussion between two different bird species very well hidden in a thick bush. All in all nearly the whole bush was full of grey louries and grey headed parrots but both only allowed a couple of shots as all of them were feeding on the small fruits and obviously did not want to share this yummy breakfast with each other.

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Also my daily giraffe fix got already satisfied that early in the morning – Sigh!

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Only to be followed shortly by our never seen bird No. 1 already – a white helmet-shrike

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Sorry for the quality but this was the only shot we were allowed to take until our feathered friend took off.

to be continued with a beautiful principessa.....


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 Post subject: Re: Sunsets with Tuskers at the Horizon
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:03 pm 
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Also the kudus which came next were a bit skittish and dashed off into the next dense bush but as always we could rely on the impalas and even the sun came out in the right moment. :thumbs_up:

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Normally the high grass at that time of the year can sometimes be a bit annoying but also allows some nice shots – this one for example is besides so many still to follow one of my favourites which we took during this holiday.

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This little chap was simply too cute......

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Surprisingly for us was the sighting of a Pale Chanting goshawk, a bird which we never saw before in Kruger – WoW the birding turned out already to be a fantastic one this year with lots of different ones or maybe it was simply because we did not expect to see that much different feathered friends after the recent floods.

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In KTP this is for sure a daily sighting but in KNP at least for us a rare one. :dance:

Up to now on the already driven roads it looked as always but as soon as a stop on a bridge allowed a view into a riverbed – this is the one into the Mlambane – it was more than obvious that only recent water masses brought a lot of trouble.

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A visit at Renosterpan brought besides lots of high grass at the waterhole itself a tortoise and moreover one of the rare ones which was not hiding in its house after approaching a bit closer with the car.

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Up to Afsaal a lot of general game itself came across as well as a beautiful tawny but a bit far away. The obligatory scopsie was also to be seen but was too very well hidden for taking any pictures. After a nice refreshment in form of the obligatory ice cream we headed forward into the Northern direction but soon were caught in a traffic jam nearly at the S113 turn off. After scanning via binoculars the surroundings I spotted some hanging feet in a marula tree. :big_eyes:

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It was like a déjà vu although our last year’s Mr. spotted Bombastic was already something very special but on the first full day already a LIT – I think nobody else can dream of a more promising start.

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She was still more than a bit sleepy and dreamed on with head on paw.

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Needless to say that a lot of cars build up but gladly for all of them there was enough space to watch our spotted lady easily without disturbing or to spoil the view.

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Our sleeping beauty in the tree must have realized the fuss on the road and got a bit more active after 10 minutes

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and tried to find a more comfortable position in the tree

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and even tried to climb higher above but only

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finally ending on the same branch in the same position as before.

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After a couple of minutes the same game started again and she

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tried to find another a even more quieter resting place.

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It was obvious that she wanted to jump down the tree but as we all know it is one thing for a cat to climb into a tree but the coming down is always something else. :tongue:

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to be continued......


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 Post subject: Re: Sunsets with Tuskers at the Horizon
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:10 pm 
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Far too soon this amazing sighting was over as she finally managed to jump down only to be swallowed by the dense bushes and high grass on the ground.

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All in all she allowed us 20 minutes with her and with still a very high adrenaline level we decided to give the Biyamiti loop a try, as this is one of our favourite roads in that area.

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For sure we were aware that we only can drive up to the weir, as from there the road was closed but after such a fantastic start already we did not bother at all.

Also here the dimensions of the flood were highly visible with lots of remaining debris nearly as high as the road but the flood brought also some positive aspects – The S23 was in extreme good condition, as same has only been recently graded and the views into the riverbed with still a lot of remaining water left were quite awesome.

One of the many lilac breasted roller right in the beginning of the loop

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and lot of impala herds followed and nearly all of them were resting under a shady tree in the cool sand directly in the river.

This gentleman also found his little piece of heaven

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and even two male lions under a bush on the other side of the river bed were enjoying their shady spot.

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This is only a proof picture and these two were also the lions which were the ones we spotted the most farest away during this trip and moreover this was not the last time we saw them.....

A monitor appeared on the road and wanted under all circumstances not leave it, however, also did not allow us to come closer with the car as each time we came closer it began to run like hell and after it reached the save distance again started to fall into trot again until it finally cross the street. This was unfortunately the only picture we were allowed to take.

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Finally we reached our turn around point, i.e. the Biyamiti weir and although the road to the weir was closed we could peep through the bushes and saw that the weir itself looked intact but the road respectively paving tiles where to drive over were completely broken. Let’s all hope that this lovely peaceful spot will be repaired now as soon as possible so that same can be enjoyed by everyone else again shortly.

The drive back took not that long as nearly all animals disappeared besides our lion friends which still stayed clued under their bush. As a short detour back to Berg en Dal we drove the S118 and there we found a huge herd of buffaloes, it must have been around 200, and nearly all of them were lying directly in the Mlambane river to cool down. Although the grass was extreme high there we enjoyed this sighting very much as it took quite long until we passed them.

Unfortunately the pictures were not worth to be shown as the sighting was a bit far away but therefore the cute European bee eaters came closer

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and were not at all shy.

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Finally after a long and very thrilling first full day drive we were back in camp around 14.00 o’clock and whilst enjoying a short rest where I could see even from the bed of our bungalow a couple of waterbuck ladies and even a very shy and wet warthog on the other side of the fence, Timon was once more active in capturing some of our feathered friends and this time he was hunting a kurrichane thrush with his camera

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Meanwhile it got more and more sultry and more and more dark clouds were about to build up and it even got windier and stormier. Nevertheless although only done the Rhino Trail once and despite the dusty walkway we thought it was about time to give same another try and moreover our legs needed to be stretched as well.

Birdies were not to be seen but these two beautiful plants could be captured.

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Although the growling thunder got louder and louder we decided to go out for a short afternoon drive. Soon we were surrounded once more by lots of impalas and we even could spot a family of ground hornbills spread all over between them busy in foraging and only then when seeing both animals so close together we realized how huge these stunning birds are compared to the impalas.

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and they even lived up to their name as they indeed were found on ground compared to the other sightings where we found them high on a tree.

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Whenever impalas are in that close reach our cameras nearly pressed the buttons automatically especially when such a suckling baby impala

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or this cute brown eyed beauty with it tongue sticking out could be captured that easily.

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The heavy wind meanwhile turned into a storm and it was suddenly pitch dark and the thunderstorm was more than within our grasp but within only a second everything stopped and after a spooky silence the wind was non exciting any more, it was as if someone has turned on a light, as even the sun came out through the dark clouds and even the birds were again singing their lullaby.

So whilst once more enjoying the amazing sleepy grey masses which did not move a single toe whilst the thunderstorm passed by it was once more time for us to return back to camp as the clock was ticking down alarmingly.

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With a very last shot of this ground hornbill which still could be found at the same spot as before

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and with this marabou sunset the day ended as same has begun

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and most likely that this little friend spent the whole day in the same tree.

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It was simply as always when staying in Berg en Dal we were surrounded by heavy thunderstorms but did not get wet by a single rain drop but such a weather was always a good omen for our trip. We were a bit sad that our stay in this lovely camp was already over and whilst enjoying the fading daylight and the coming night with a yummy braai we were already looking forward to our stay in our favourite camp for the coming three nights and whilst taking the last piece of meat from the braai it finally started to rain in the beginning only slightly but then quite heavily but when my head hit the pillow nearly half an hour later everything was over again.

to be continued.with lots of islands in the sand.....


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 Post subject: Re: Sunsets with Tuskers at the Horizon
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:33 pm 
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Sunday, 12. February, 2012 Berg en Dal – Crocodile Bridge

First thing to do that early morning was to have a look outside into the still pitch dark night whether it rained more but gladly that was not the case. Also having in mind that the only recently opened gravel roads not to be closed again but we had luck during this holiday, as also gravel roads have been re-opened which were on the date of our departure still closed.

As yesterday we did the Matjulu loop again but decided to drive via the S110/S121 instead of via Steilberg. Once more it was again one of these quiet mornings and also the photography was not that easy as short rain periods changed immediately with bright sunshine and so on.

As this was our last morning in the area we decided to hang around a bit longer here and along our further journey soon still very sleepy impala herds could be found as well as the never missing oxpeckers.

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A zebra road block made us stop too but until we were ready with our cameras all of them disappeared already in the high grass and thick bush predominating in that area but the impalas were still willing to pose.

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We stopped also for a short visit on a low water bridge and whilst observing in a deeper pond a lot of barbels two very curious and hectically coming closer terrapins got our attention.

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Gladly they only came closer and did not leave the water but we already experienced the fact that soon the car was surrounded by begging for food terrapins.

Whilst taking pictures from this fish eagle it started to rain again heavily and we had to close even the windows but as already told these short rain showers during the whole morning only lasted a couple of seconds.

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Firstly we only could hear the noise of pinching grass and then we already saw a couple of grey masses rolling closer making their way through the high grass.

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Suddenly they once more emerged right in front of our car and the lenses we had on where far too big to capture them in total.

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We were once more delighted to find again a group of 6 individuals together and once more the whole group was again a bit undetermined and forced us the whole time the sighting lasted to drive a bit further back with our car

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as they were constantly zigzagging from right to left and vice versa until they finally found their official footpath. One of the smaller ones was extreme curious and even let the adults walk farer away and came closer and closer.

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Timon started again the engine but nothing happened – our smaller friend came even closer and as if that is not enough was soon joined by mom and now both took a closer look.

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From the ones which soon turned into the thicker bushes we at least could capture the usual hitchhikers.

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Most of the group meanwhile was feeding on the high grass right beside the road but some of them were still curious

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but it was also no miracle that there were partly no other animals in sight during our many drives because when such a huge animal is no longer to be seen after same had crossed the street only seconds before I do not want to know what we might have missed.......

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Once more the smaller one was not that certain about our presence and threw another glance at us behind some protecting blades of grass

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Between Renosterpan which was once more deserted and Afsaal a lot of cars already had been build up and gladly this was an area where the viewing possibilities were a bit better. Whereas in the distance we realized a lot of wildebeest, zebra and impala herds we spotted not that far away on the ground a hustle and bustle. First of all there was still a black-back jackal courageously defending a kill against so many different sorts of vultures

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but with the last bites it took the more lappet-faced, white headed as well as white-backed vultures arrived and knowing that they were far too many and compared to the small and lonely jackal far too huge it took soon its heels and ran away.

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Literally as the vultures they rushed onto the remains of the kill and ripped everything apart

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and soon many groups of vultures formed to battle for the remaining crumbs. I already found the size of a tawny quite impressive but compared to the lappet-faced vultures especially to their wingspan same is simply more than average.

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It was indeed not that easy to capture the fuss of the feathers together and even more and more arrived although meanwhile nearly nothing had been left.

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Further down we were pleased by another group of seven sleepy rhinos cuddled close together.

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A bit further I could not believe my eyes when I looked up to a stony mountain and directly on top I spotted two very agile kudus looking for something yummy to eat although I still cannot imagine how they could have climbed up to that steep and high area.

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to be continued......


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 Post subject: Re: Sunsets with Tuskers at the Horizon
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:38 am 
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Once more Timon had to stop for a group of his beloved impalas and took some nice portrait shots

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demonstrating that all of them do prefer a different sort of food

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which at that time of the year is not that difficult as there is still enough to chose off available

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and when there are impalas oxpeckers are not that far away.

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As it still was a lot of time left we decided that we still could drive further North and then take the S112/S114 and once more the Biyamiti loop and see what might come across and suddenly we were caught again in a traffic jam but this time the location was more than bad to stop as only from one single spot and only with a lot of wrenching one could see what was to be seen. Well this time it were wild dogs and most of the pack has already disappeared around the corner but a few were still running around or lying down in the river to cool down. It was very difficult to take pictures as most of the cars simply wanted to pass and so we only took a few pictures as moreover the sighting was simply too far away and sooner or later the still visible dogs were about to follow their pack.

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When turning into the S112 we were the only car for a long long time and that is for sure more the way we like to travel as we can stop for our feathered friends where and how long we wanted without being bothered. So we could admire a lilac breasted roller with kill and observed how it finally managed to swallow same which took a couple of shots in the air

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and a foraging hadeda ibis on a peaceful sandbank. This is normally a bird which is more often heard than seen and if we saw one then it was mostly in Skukuza camp itself. The more we were lucky that we found today one during one of our drives.

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Finally we could even capture a fork-tailed drongo which suddenly landed on a branch far too close for the lense Timon had on.

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It was still cloudy but the sun started to predominate the clouds and so it was another lovely summer day with a nice cool breeze and bearable temperature the whole day simply amazing to drive once and for last at least during this year our beloved Biyamiti loop which was today a bit quiet. We were already more than half way through until Timon stopped the car and spotted very carefully something in the riverbed via binoculars. The conversation was something like that:

Timon: “It could be a dead wild dog.”
Pumbaa: “?”
Timon: “No, it just moved its ears so it must be alive and there are two of them”.
Pumbaa: “??”

Now I appropriate myself the binoculars and after a careful look I replied to him. “It looks more like hyaenas”.

We both were sure that we were watching hyaenas until one of the “hyaena” lifted its head.

Timon + Pumbaa: “?????” :big_eyes:

Only then we noticed that we were standing at exactly the same spot where we spotted yesterday the two male lions which we found today again accidentally and mistook for wild dogs and hyaenas. Well Timon & Pumbaa really should know how to identify a Simba........ :whistle: :whistle: :whistle:

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One advantage of the recent flood was that the normally overgrown vegetation is only allowing from time to time views into the riverbeds now at least at this stretch of the road the view was splendid with no disturbing grass or bushes spoiling the view. I am more than confident that the grass and bushes will grow again faster again after such a natural disaster. We drove a bit further in order to check whether the viewing possibilities from there would be better and this revealed a totally new sighting in form of a lioness

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but from there the two males were no longer visible so we had to drive back again and checked from time to time whether she was also still there or whether there were any other members of the pride hidden but we could not trace any more lions in the surrounded area.

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Although the whole sighting took place a bit far away it was one of the best lion sightings we had so far at that time of the day, i.e.13.00 o’clock and moreover besides one other car which did not stay long we had them all by ourselves. All of them looked as if they only had recently a yummy meal as their bellies were more than full and still a couple of vultures hang around too.

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Both of the males in turn lifted their heads and as it was very windy the wind was blowing heavily into their manes. When both took over their sleeping position again we discovered that they ended in a more than strange sleeping position at least for one of them.

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All in all we had another awesome 45 minutes with them but as we still had a long way to drive we had to carry on.

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The rest of the drive especially on the S26 was quiet until we reached the low water bridge crossing the Bume where we discovered a small rock occupied by two terrapins

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and a buffalo on his private island accompanied by some oxpeckers

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It was such a lovely spot and the temperature more than bearable warm also in the sun so I was in the mood to join him too.

Lots of flocks of barn swallows could be found all over the park this year in a great number so it was an easy for Timon to capture them

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and also a lilac breasted roller could simply not be disregard without taking at least one picture.

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to be continued.......


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 Post subject: Re: Sunsets with Tuskers at the Horizon
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:51 pm 
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We took the S108 and as the sun was already on its way to lose its power against the shade so it got even more comfortable on the one hand for us who spent nearly the whole day meanwhile in the car and on the second hand for the animals which started to get more and more active and so we soon were caught again in a huge herd of impalas out of which a lot if not even most were still taking a rest on the ground, but a couple where again feeding and the young rams were testing their fighting skills.

So it was a lot of fuss and running around us that we nearly overlooked the family of ground hornbills in a nearby tree

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which started to behave after a little while very strange as two of them started to pick excitedly on a knothole

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This took quite a while and from time to time we even could realize a movement in the tree as the dead rotten branch started to perforate more and more and finally revealed a more than irritated monitor which has been disturbed in its afternoon nap.

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The monitor escaped and the ground hornbills triumphantly started to fly on the ground to chase it even further away for once and all.

A brown snake eagle and a very photogenic woodland kingfisher could not been passed without pulling out the lens.

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Once again we also could admire two very impressive rhinos on their own island in the sand

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On one side we were more than extreme happy to spot such an amount of rhinos during this holiday but on the other hand we always got very sad when such peaceful sleeping beauties came across.

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The zebras, wildebeest, giraffes and elephants always animals which are active also in the midday heat even got more active the closer the evening came.

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Lots of white spots let us stop on the Gesanftombi dam and also lots of cars finally could be traced to enjoy the last hours of the weekend inside the park. We never saw before such an amount of cattle egrets flocked together

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and some of them even abused the many hippos as their private island.

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After half an hour watching we decided that it was now also time for us to find our private island for the rest of the day and after a small struggle in finding the new reception at Crocodile Bridge it was now time for me to triumph as I was rewarded with the key to No. 10 as requested before. We let the afternoon and the evening fade on our verandah and decided against a short afternoon drive.

To my great surprise I realized later whilst taking a short stroll through the camp that already nearly half of the bungalows had meanwhile been refurbished in that way that part of the kitchen, the bathroom and all floor tiles had been renewed and also the sleeping room itself got a new face lift in the same way as the perimeter bungalows at Satara got two years ago. No. 10 was not yet reburbished but we enjoyed our stay in the “old” one tremendously although the toilet was leaking and we had the obligatory roommate in form of a bat sharing the room with us.

Monday, 13. February, 2012 – Crocodile Bridge

Today we could not get out of the feathers as fast enough – not because of our permanently cheeping roommate – no it was because one of our favourite roads and areas in the entire park finally could be driven again and believe me if one have told us before what we would see that day I would not have believed anything.......

Very early it proofed once more that sometimes the early bird will not catch the worm, as it was extreme quiet and still a bit overcast but fantastic to admire this beautiful sunrise.

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Here I also should repeat Timon because his interpretation about the quiet early mornings is that we would not have been at all the other “spots” later the day if we would not have left camp as one of first cars........

Lots of zebras as well as wildebeests could be found on nearly the entire stretch of the S28 and the following pictures once more show how hard it was to at least spot these not so small animals.

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This scenic shot showing a couple of zebra backs as well and is also giving a good impression about the prevailing weather that day.

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Then the next never seen bird, in this case no. 2 for this year, a white-winged widowbird, irritated us nearly the whole drive on the S28. There were many birds of this beautiful feathered friend around and it was impossible to capture at least a single one of them. As soon as one of them landed on a bush and Timon had ready his camera same already flew down on the ground and vanished in the thick grass. This procedure carried on nearly a hundred times during the whole drive and this was our only yield today.

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Today was for sure not our day for that bird but I already can promise you that we finally managed to capture same the next day.

One of the animals which could not be overlooked in the high grass were elephants and moreover not when same declared his right the way in walking as only elephants can walk on the road.

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During our couple of visits in that area we are quite sure that one of the hobbies of this specific chap is to block the road when people in cars do occur and to demonstrate which one is the king of that road. I am more than quite sure that we already met this gentle giant a lot of times at nearly the same part of the road and after he had his fun with the tourist he always walked into the thick vegetation where he finally could meet some other friends under a marula tree too.

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Although Nhlanganzwani as dam is no longer existing it is always a lovely drive to this former dam and simply to enjoy the view and silence.

Birds which are often to be found on that road are the masses of magpie shrikes and today was for sure no exception

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For birding this road is always a challenge as normally there are always a lot of different species to be found for example a very impressive Brown Snake Eagle, however, same was a bit too far away but the many Arrow-Marked Babblers in a close by bush were an easy target for Timon’s lens.

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Already on the S137 a family of dwarf mongoose, for us always a sighting that is bringing big smiles onto our faces, kept us entertained quite a while

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and only after running quickly into the high and safe grass on the roadside to re-appear one after the other curiously out of the grass after we switched the engine off.

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to be continued with one of the best drives and days ever......


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 Post subject: Re: Sunsets with Tuskers at the Horizon
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:34 pm 
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The ever present and always very noise banana birds simply could not been passed to take a picture of especially when they do pose in such a strange position

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even a fish eagle could be spotted on a far away branch and the always so plentiful impalas, wildebeest as well as zebras

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kept us busy in taking picture after picture and even allowed one of the classical bum shots.

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and even a mom + baby shot must have been captured.

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Whilst observing all the striped ones I out of the twinkle of my eye saw a bird which do not come across very often at least for us, an African Harrier Hawk but the minute we drove closer same took off.

Therefore we stopped for a Wahlberg’s eagle and once more said to each other that the birding this year was already one of the best ever.

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And then one of the many highlights of that day came finally across in form of the already formerly spotted African Harrier Hawk which was busy in striking its claws into a knothole in a dead tree followed by plunging the whole head too into the knothole. Such procedure took quite a long time and I was already concerned that it got stuck

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The wind blew the whole time from the back into the feathers of the gymnogene and so some nice shots with strange feather positions came out.

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First we thought the African Harrier Hawk was raiding a nest as permanently glossy starlings as well as yellow billed hornbills were attacking the raptor whilst same was busy in catching its prey.

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but finally the energy expended was paying off as the raptor finally presented its breakfast to us – a mouse
or a dead squirrel.

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WoW – Although cruel for the rodent it was an amazing sighting of which we could not take our eyes off

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It took quite a couple of time until same started to feed on the rodent and first a few very careful looks into all compass points had to be done before the little cute fluff ball had been ripped into pieces.

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Gladly for me same was turning during the whole feed its back against us and after finally everything was scoffed the cleaning procedure of the bill started.

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What thrilling 20 minutes we just have spent and only one other car joined us during the whole spectacle. The African Harrier Hawk once again had a look into the just plundered hole but as there was obviously nothing left same finally left the scene and disappeared higher and higher in the more and more clearing up sky. For sure whenever we returned during that trip to that remarkable dead tree or whenever we will do so in future we will think of that stunning sighting and we will look out for the Gymnogene and sorry for the amount of pictures of this bird but this sighting was indeed a very special for us.

A visit on the road to Duke’s waterhole brought us a lot of giraffes feeding on the yummy acacia trees

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Whereas the waterhole itself was empty besides one of the cutest little thing I ever saw – an abandoned vervet monkey baby hiding in the bush in the middle of the loop where you can drive around with your car

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but it was only separated from its beloved mom and after we allowed enough space the little gorgeous thing soon joined its mom – The glance of the little vervet is showing without doubt –“This is my Mom do not come to close to her”

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More to soon both of them join the rest of their clan and disappeared. Back on the S137 lot of large number of flocks of European swallows occupied nearly every dead bush only to flew up when whenever coming closer until we saw a car parking in the middle of the road and after checking in which direction the passengers turned their heads I saw sausage fruits in a marula tree..........

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which turned out into leopard No. 2 during this trip

to be continued with more spots........


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 Post subject: Re: Sunsets with Tuskers at the Horizon
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:01 am 
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Unfortunately these sausage fruits in the marula tree were extreme far away and so all the pictures are highly cropped to at least make the LIT visible for you.

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But a leopard is a leopard anyhow how far same is located away. The guys in the other car told us that it were actually two of them and one already jumped onto the ground and disappeared. The longer we watched this beauty the more anxious she got – another spotted Princess!

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She jumped from branch to branch and always took a careful look where we stood and she was for sure aware of our presence but how to climb a tree down? As with small cats this dilemma obviously do have the greater cats as well.

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All in all we spent another 20 minutes with her and besides the one car which left relatively early only a second one arrived at this sighting and we had her nearly all the time for ourselves. The crotch where she stood was far too high for her to jump down so with a little turning she finally managed to turn around and leave the tree exemplarily and finally vanished completely.

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As the day is still not over and still so many pictures to be shared with you I only posted a handful of this sighting but as you can imagine our mood were on the highest level after this LIT.

Only a couple of meters further we spotted another never seen bird, which made it to No. 3 already, a Eurasian hobby – Actually I think it is one. :hmz:

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and after Timon had been satisfied with the posing of this cute raptor we carried on and came across lots of warthogs, giraffes, lilac breasted rollers and a friendly close by elephant bull with a sore eye. On the tar road we finally could have a look into the Sabie river after the recent flood. Although the water level itself came back to a normal one for February the riverbanks looked devastated with lots of beautiful trees gone and lots of debris left and on some parts on the road we realized that the flooded Sabie nearly reached the tar road and even on greater trees located close to the road the remaining debris in the foliage showed clearly how high the river was only recently – I will post some pictures of some elephant herds where this mess is clearly visible a bit later in my trip report. One advantage of the flood was, however, that the visibility into the riverbed itself is now extreme clear.

A quick stop on the low water bridge close to LS camp is always a must and we were rewarded with a fantastic sighting of a very impressive Goliath Heron. Moreover another bird which we did not see that often but finally could admire now and also on the following days.

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Close by lots of noisy Egyptian goose were taking a rest and once more huge flocks of barn swallows were flying around catching insects – Although we already saw them during earlier trips we never saw that much of them as this year.

Before our short break at Lower Sabie also a quick visit to Sunset dam is always a must and besides the ever present hippos, crocodiles, marabous and yellow billed storks a close by foraging wattled lapwing got our attention.

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Although it was extreme bearable that day it is always a pleasure to stretch the legs a bit and so our break at Lower Sabie came very handy and also our daily ice-cream fix could be satisfied extreme early that day.

Despite the many stunning sightings we had already that day it was still early enough to give the S128 another try and see how far the sightings might lead us but soon it was clear that this year on that road only giants might be visible as the grass was once more extreme high and thick and so it was no surprise for us that we saw in fact nothing not even a single bird and so it was an easy for us to shorten that road via the S129 which was slightly better as we could spot at least giraffes

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and surprisingly at nearly the same spot as we saw last year the black cuckoo we saw it this year again but the bird was too quick in flying up and down and also a bit far away for a picture but at least we saw it – So if you look out for a black cuckoo in summer drive the S129!

We then stopped for another yellow-billed hornbill with a strange sort of kill in its bill – Never saw such an insect before and after a closer look later whilst downloading the pictures I realized that same had eight legs and turned unmistakably out as spider – and again later I learnt that it was actually a red roman spider – WoW another new one for us. :big_eyes:

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Also the following animal – a cute steenbok - we already had the honour in seeing nearly always when exactly driving that road – Gladly same was willing to stopp for a quick look over the shoulder and enough time for us to press the button.

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Although we already have driven nearly on each road in that area already the Muntshe loop – S122 – always slipped through and even after so many holidays in Kruger there are still some white spots at our very own Kruger map with the roads we had never driven before but today we could tick that one too and what to say – We found another favourite of ours and fell in love with that road at first sight and drive.

It looked as if on that road the grass is even greener and much softer than everywhere else in the park and on the one side there are endlessly wide meadows of green and on the other side you always have the Muntshe mountain itself in sight and always a lovely breeze blowing– Simply breathtaking at that time of the year and maybe the following picture can show what I mean

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Although not a good road for grumpy elephants as there is no space for reversing the car and the second animal which came across was a resting one but gladly same was a gentle and a very sleepy one

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Lots of Carmine bee eaters and once more the today for us unachievable white winged widowbirds played hide and seek with us and although the grass was also high enough to hide nearly everything at least the heads of some kudus could be spotted

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and even another steenbock and where the Mlondozi is crossing this road a small dam had built up and was already occupied by a very thirsty elephant

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which enjoyed the cool water obviously tremendously according to the sound he made whilst splashing and drinking

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and now I can also show you a picture of the other side of the road with the magnificent Muntshe mountain in the background.

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More elephants in the distance as well as a far away Cape sparrow and more Carmine bee eaters made us daydreaming and let our minds thought their own thoughts on that beautiful journey until Timon hit the break once more excitedly which only means a never seen bird or a spotted one – Well this time it was a spotted one, the second for the day.......

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and we had her (the third female during that trip) all by ourselves

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As you can imagine we could once more not believe our luck and this little Princess was a bit closer located as the one we saw in the morning.

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to be continued with more spots, grey masses and even more spots......


Last edited by Pumbaa on Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sunsets with Tuskers at the Horizon
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:49 pm 
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Although we stayed quiet as we could – besides the permanent clicks of our cameras she was more than aware of our presence

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and got more and more unsettled

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as she stood up, laid down again, turned around and the same procedure started again and she always threw glances into our direction.

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It was simply an amazing day today and with that second leopard we already hit the jackpot and Timon was once more over the moon with his favourite animal. :dance:

Once more it proofed that also during the heat of the day stunning sightings can be expected and it was now already 13.50 o’clock but only after 10 minutes she decided to leave the tree and jumped down and was longer to be seen.

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The rest of the drive was then, however, a bit quiet besides this impressive muddy chap

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which came closer and closer, crossed the road in front of us and carried on grazing on the other side of the road.

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Back on the low water bridge crossing the Sabie our Goliath heron friend was still standing motionless staring into the heavy flowing river but meanwhile changed position. After another short stop at Lower Sabie – we left Mlondozi picnic spot out today – we decided as it was not that hot today and to drive back to Crocodile Bridge the same way as we drove up this morning but still on the tar road we spotted an African fish eagle, a brown snake eagle and a Burchall’s Coucal very well hidden in a bush

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and with still 3 ½ hours left until the gate will close we made it a loooooooong and slow stroll and could admire elephants, another steenbok and soon were caught in another rhino road block

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out of which one of them was extreme skittish and even tried to hide whilst going backwards in a thick bush which looked a bit funny for such an impressive animal

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but as soon as we switched the engine off same calmed down again and soon joined his chap again and grazed away – Hopefully they still will have the opportunity in doing this today. :big_eyes:

Besides lots of very active warthogs with even more active piglets, plenty of lilac breasted rollers came across and even a flock consisting of a large number of white storks which we never saw that South in the park ever before.

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And also on a not that hot day as it was today the animals and birds became more active in the afternoon hours and we saw lots of wattled starlings flocked together in bushes,

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many giraffes and zebras, and even a never seen bird before, our No. 3 for this trip, a Mocking Cliff Chat,

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more zebras abusing a rubbing post as tooth pick

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and more banana birds

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until we were surrounded suddenly by a huge, if not one of the hugest buffalo herds, we ever saw before. Only a small amount of them left to cross the road in front of us but most of the herd could still be admired on the road side

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and even in the background lots of zebras joined them too.

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They must have stayed nearly the whole day in the water as they were all still extreme muddy and wet.

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We stayed quite a long time with them and enjoyed also the lovely light which more and more predominated this afternoon and whilst we were busy in taking pictures a car stopped and told us about “Two leopards, no two cheetahs approx. 3 kilos further down the road”. We looked at each other and did not know what to think about it, as we already experienced a lot of such statements and in the end there were indeed nothing to be found. So we did what we do as usual when receiving such information we carried on admiring the buffaloes and as we finished with our pictures we drove on. Please do not get me wrong but we do appreciate such indications very much but sometimes they are definitely not true or simply the animals left already and to leave a sighting which we actually had for an uncertain one with maybe high expectations which finally cannot be satisfied is definitely not our style. :?

Finally we came to the 3 kilo mark and the outcome was as already expected, namely “nothing – no animal and no other cars” and so we already thought about spending the rest of the afternoon and evening on our verandah and after another one kilo further down another member of the Big 5 could be spotted extremely close to the road

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and then as already earlier whilst we standing at the buffalo sighting appeared another car, stopped and told us about “Two cheetahs, just around the corner, only 100 meters” and after such announcement we got now really excited and actually left the rhino and what to say it was just magic when turning around the corner as there were actually spots to be seen :thumbs_up: :dance:

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and as it was already 17.30 o’clock and only one hour left we simply fired away, especially as cheetahs are not animals which we do have the honour of spotting often in Kruger.

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to be continued with a spotted sunset.......


Last edited by Pumbaa on Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sunsets with Tuskers at the Horizon
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:17 pm 
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The cheetah mom and her daughter had on top chosen a spot to rest without any disturbing bushes or grass in front and lots of cars could admire them from nearly everywhere without disturbing the view of anybody.

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This was for sure at least for me the crowned ending of that very fruitful spotted day and was also the highlight of that trip for me.

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Finally the beautiful mom got a bit anxious and stood up and in that moment the sun was about to set and wrapped everything including the spots in a far too brilliant light. It was simply one of the most magic moments ever in my life.

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Needless to say that we wanted to make the best out of this awesome moment and we got already a bit concerned because the spotted lady stood up

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but only to change position slightly up to a very small elevated mound just in front of where the two of them were lying.

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Suddenly we realized behind the log another head of a youngster and so finally in total it were three of them.

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A glance out of her eyes just into the direction of Timon’s lens.

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What a beauty and moreover she started to pose like a model on top of that small “hill”

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turned her head from right to left and over her shoulder

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in order to satisfy everyone at that presently built up traffic jam with clicking cameras in hand

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and besides the permanent and busy clicking noises from everywhere it was deadly silent - A breathtakingly perfect moment.

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Within split seconds Timon took picture after picture

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with new poses of our spotted beauty

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and everyone enjoying her poses held one’s breath –

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“WoW, WoW, WoW” - Was what I thought nearly the whole time and then I even started praying and thinking by myself “please stay, please stay”

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although knowing that the clock was once more ticking merciless down.

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Mom and one of the youngsters got a bit agitated and obviously

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their stomaches started to growl

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and finally mom stood up took a sniff on the close by bushes here and there

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but both youngsters stayed where they were as they must have found that comfortable spot to rest with the evening sun shining in their faces – Life is wonderful!

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To my disappointment mom finally left the scene and disappeared into the direction of the heaving flowing Crocodile river but gladly both youngsters stayed and still enjoyed this stunning evening.

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The two rhinos of which we took pictures earlier got closer to the cheetahs as well and now both species were only separated by a couple of meters
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and appeared now only within seconds alarmingly close.

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to be continued.with a couple of more spots.....

Sorry about the many cheetah pictures but I could not decide which I like most :redface:


Last edited by Pumbaa on Fri May 04, 2012 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sunsets with Tuskers at the Horizon
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:09 pm 
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Although the spotted cubs did not bother their presence and while one of them still rested
the other one started to play with a tree stump and entertained the whole bunch of people in the nearby cars

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and now also the wildebeest took a closer look at the spotted ones as only wildebeest can look and with a typical wildebeest snuffle and pawing of a leg same obviously did not find anything to bother and carried on in doing its own business

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and even the rhinos found it was time to take a rest.

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Meanwhile with the setting sun the light got also darker and with always a careful look on the watch we knew that we did not have much time left in order to reach the gate in time but it was such a perfect moment and sighting and so we soaked everything in and only realized out of the twinkle of our eyes how fast even compact animals as rhinos are on their feet – This was for sure quite impressive.

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Our eyes again moved over to our cheetah cubs and our playful one found another branch on which it had fun to chew

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or even use this one as tooth brush or tooth pick as only a couple of hours earlier the zebras did on another one.

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How much fun it was to just sit around and watch animals – I really can do that for the rest of my life – Sigh!

Now both rhinos carried also on grazing

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and the desperate calls of a dying warthog from down from the river was obviously the wake-up call of the cheetah cubs that mom had served dinner, as both ran away into the direction of where the cries were coming from and left all of us with open mouths. :thumbs_up:

We in total had awesome 25 minutes with them and as already said it was at least for me one of the highlights of that trip and on top the two LIT’s earlier that day was simply the cream on top and when watching at all these pictures now from a distance we still could not believe the luck we had on that day, in the bush surely it was a once in a lifetime day and also once more proofed that also the summer month can reveal stunning sightings despite the dense vegetation.

So we made it still back to camp in time and had the best braais ever in the park after such a day and even our bat friend was not to be heard that night and we slept like logs.

Tuesday, 14. February, 2012 – Crocodile Bridge

Normally this would have been again a camp changing day but with the damaged bridge on the S25 and the damaged Biyamiti weir we decided with heavy hearts against a stay in Biyamiti this year and thought that one more night in our favourite camp plus 2 nights in Lower Sabie would be a good alternative although Biyamiti will always be Biyamiti – At that point I can already reveal that it sighting-wise continued as it already had begun......

Needless to say that we once more decided to drive nearly the same roads as yesterday, simply because of the awesome sightings we had and simply because these are our favourites in that part of the park. First stop was - after we could watch once more the huge herds of impalas, wildebeests and zebras always roaming around close to the tar road just outside the camp – at the spot where we yesterday saw the cheetahs but as already expected everything was abandoned as well as nearly the whole stretch of the S28 but Timon would not be Timon in passing this cute fluffy feathered friend without taking a picture.

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Here I do have unfortunately no idea about the identity!

Then we saw something running in front of our car which soon could be recognized as a pair of jackals also not an animal which we do see that often in Kruger compared to the KTP but when you have a look at the high grass on both roadsides it was obvious that smaller animals stayed undiscovered

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and these lovely chaps preferred to use the road instead of running in the high and wet grass.

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They continued in running and it took indeed quite a while until they finally ran into the higher grass only to appear behind our car and now we were the haunted ones. As no better shots were possible from the skittish jackals we carried on and admired an elephant in the mist instead.

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Nearly at the end of the S28 close to the S107 turn off we heard suddenly a strange noise which sounds a bit like a grunting of a hippo but same came from high in a tree and after a closer investigation we spotted two Verreaux’s Giant Eagle owls in a tree.

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Whilst taking pictures and listening to the lovely sound of the “grunting” owls more and more cars arrived and to our pleasure all of them stopped at least for a quick pictures but a lot even stayed longer.

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The rest of our drive was uneventful – we cannot have the same luck as we had yesterday – besides a couple of warthog families

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and at Duke’s waterhole a lot of water dikkops had formed a huge group and at the little pond on the left hand side on the S130 a couple of Egyptian goose with in total 8 goslings made their way through the pond.

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On the H4-2 finally another bunch of warthogs in all sizes with lots of piglets were nearly to be found everywhere and at exactly 7.57 o’clock we once more were caught in a traffic jam and could not believe what we saw – Close to the dam on the rock beside the road with the solar panels on our leopard No. 4 during this trip awaited us already. :big_eyes:

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After the misty morning meanwhile the sun was already shining down merciless and it was only a matter of time when the leopard might disappear as it was already hot compared to the previous days.

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to be continued with more spots and two new feathered friends........


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 Post subject: Re: Sunsets with Tuskers at the Horizon
Unread postPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 2:31 pm 
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Gladly our spotted lady (another one) was still extreme tired and obviously was a sunbather and lounged on that rock as only cats can do.

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Although with no disturbing foliage or branches in front and a more than good visibility for each and every people in the cars at that sighting the whole equipment on that rock were a bit annoying but a leopard is a leopard even an extreme close one.

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As imaginable there was once more a coming and going with new cars and so it was a rush but gladly all people kept sensible enough and stayed as quiet as possible and so our beautiful Princess still enjoyed the audience

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whilst we were sipping pleasurably on our coffee and tea and munched our cookies and even started already now to melt away in the getting hotter and hotter morning sun. This is my favourite picture we took a that sighting as she looks a bit sheepish but cute.....

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From the twinkle of our eyes we also saw in the distance grey bodies rolling worryingly closer and so we enjoyed the time she allowed us to watch her.

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But with the heating up rock and the closer coming elephants she might have thought after nearly

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half an hour time for a quieter and more shadier spot and so she jumped down gracefully the rock, disappeared somewhere deeper in the river bed and let us behind with once more open mouths as we still could not believe our luck with the spotted ones this year.

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Presently with four leopards and one cheetah sighting compared to up to that point only two relatively far away lion sightings we thought that this was already a very rewarding trip especially with the spotted ones.

As already said the incredible number of uncountable elephants meanwhile approached us slowly more and more and also the spot which they had chosen as their trail allowed a good view into the Sabie river bed where you can see very clearly the damages which the flood caused.

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Nearly in the river also a lot of dagga boys enjoyed their day and so we had three of the Big 5 at one spot although could not proved that on picture.

At exactly that spot also on the following days we saw a lot of elephant herds and lots of bulls together taking a bath – Obviously they found their favourite and awesome bathing place for February 2012 at exactly that spot. The buffaloes did not bother all the running around them and stayed as they where

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but we were also fascinated by the number of baby elephants we saw between the legs of the bigger members of the herd.

Another bird which we could not identify came across but same was simply too cute to be ignored. I will put the ones I could not identify under the relevant thread on the forum and will edit with the right specie later my trip report.

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A short break at Lower Sabie revealed a beautiful and fluffy Blue Wabill – the best shot of that bird we ever got – and I especially like these colours.

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As Sunset dam was so close same could not be left behind and besides the same White Crowned lapwing

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we already saw yesterday the number of crocodiles and hippos even seemed to have increased over the year. We only stayed shortly as with our two nights at Lower Sabie we will definitely still have more time to hang around at that dam and decided to drive once more the Muntshe loop but before an already older yellow billed kite with a kill in a tree close to the causeway made us stop once more

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and we even stayed until also the last scrap had been eaten. Although the rest of the drive until we reached the turn off into the Muntshe loop was quiet we enjoyed to be out in the park again tremendously and with all these awesome views into the African savannah on that road we drove on with deeply sighs here and there.

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Finally we managed to get some descent shots of the white-winged widow bird

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a real beauty which bothered us during the first days on the S28 and also on the Muntshe loop in always flying away when Timon had the camera ready but today they were more than willing to pose.

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A pity was that I cannot show you who the bird spread his tail feathers like a fan as they normally do but to pose for Timon was obviously today enough.

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Nevertheless we were finally very happy to capture another one of our beloved feathered friends

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Today it was compared to the previous days far warmer and this proofed also the lot of elephant herds which came across as the whole herd were already standing motionless squeezed together under a tree which was far too small to offer enough shade for all of them.

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Between the many herds we spotted today also a couple of lone bulls as well but gladly for us all behaved well and also reacted very friendly and respectful when bulls met other bulls or when herds meet other herds.

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Whilst we slowly strolled on once more Timon braked hard if ever possible when only driving at around 20 km/h and got very excited about something sparkling in the distance. I accustomed myself meanwhile whenever Timon is braking to scan already with binoculars the distance and now it was me who got very excited as there he was the bird which I wanted to see under all circumstances and the new tick number 4 for us already – the Diderick Cuckoo

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and even with a kill which was extreme handy for us as it took quite a while until the caterpillar was finally swallowed.

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to be continued with an afternoon drive in golden light.....


Last edited by Pumbaa on Tue May 08, 2012 7:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sunsets with Tuskers at the Horizon
Unread postPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 12:06 pm 
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Location: The planning is on again.....
For cleaning excessively his bill he even landed on another bush and after that procedure had finally been done a saturated Diderick flew off and left alone two more than very happy people who still could not believe the beauty of this bird with all the different colours and we had the honour of seeing it with our own eyes.

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Today we decided to take a lunch break at Mlondozi picnic site which only re-opened shortly after the floods but before we stopped for this brown snake eagle

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and even tried to capture another Jacobin cuckoo but were unsuccessful in doing so. The view from Mlondozi was once more awesome and we never saw this dam fuller as today. We sat down in the shade, a small breeze was blowing and we simply enjoyed the moment and view.

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An African fish eagle caught something from the dam and was busy in enjoying its lunch and also lots of elephant herds could be seen either taking a bath or about to leave. However, finally it got a bit full for our liking and so we left only to stop regularly on the S29 for more elephants either with headdress

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and for more herds under a tree

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and even for quite more impressive bulls which were populating this year that area of the park extremely.

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At the causeway over the Sabie a lovely pied kingfisher was trying to catch lunch and allowed us some shots.

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As you can imagine we once more drove the same roads back as we came because this would already be the very last time for this year and once more we had to stop for a rhino road block

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which finally ended far too close for our liking.

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This one must have watched too many warthogs grazing as it looks like it was imitating one.

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This baby giraffe was far too cute to pass by without taking a picture and we already got a bit concerned as it looked as if same was alone but between the thick acacia bushes we spotted from time to time a movement and even saw a glimpse of more giraffes spread all over that area.

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A huge elephant bull with collar could also be watched although we saw already one with quite more impressive tusks so would love to know why this one was wearing a collar maybe an upcoming tusker? :hmz:

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Then we reached once more the tree in which I spotted earlier this morning the two Giant Eagle owls and what to say one was sitting still nearly on the same branch and whilst this strange “hippo grunting” started once more we noticed the other one in another tree a bit farer away.

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Needless to say that we again stopped and listen to this sound under the shady tree and also stopped for another nicely posing birdie

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Although it was a relatively hot early afternoon we saw quite a lot of animals, stopped for more warthogs, and at Gesanftombi for a lone buffalo enjoying a bath with the masses of cattle egrets around him

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and another close up of a red rhino could be captured.

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Finally we were back in camp and allowed us some break from driving on our verandah but before I had to clean my pillow as same was nearly hidden from all the bat droppings. As you can imagine I was already looking very much forward to that night. :wall:

to be continued with some grooming sisters.......


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