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 Post subject: adw's AT LAST, NOT ONE BUT TWO.... KNP, May 2013
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:25 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
A cryptic titled trip which started on Monday 20 May as I entered Malelane Gate at opening time. The drive up the H3 proved uneventful which is usually the case for me as I like to get to Satara asap to get a camping spot and to set up my caravan. So I normally travel at 50km/h on the tar road which of course is not the best spotting speed. I could see the Park was still in excellent condition for the animals with plenty of water around (for this time of year) and the grazing was still very good for the animals.
The Mlambane river was still flowing- just.
Image

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 Post subject: Re: AT LAST, NOT ONE BUT TWO.............
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:46 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
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Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
Thanks for joining the trip MM and TT.
The rest of the trip up to Satara was rather uneventful and by the time I set up camp it was 13h00. Even though I had left home at 01h30 and was tired there was no way I was not going for my afternoon drive. I decided to drive the S100 onto the S41 and then upto Bangu Waterhole.
I was so pleased to see "my" Elephants as a herd made its way to the Nwanedzi river.
Here a cow tells me to get out of her way which I did.
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Further on the S100 I came across this Elephant bull. (Please forgive some of the quality of my photos but my 'new' computer had a head crash and whilst in for repairs I am using my old computer with a basic editing programme. No PhotoShop for the moment.
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The S41 was quiet which was very unusual for me. Onto the S90 which was also quiet until I got closer to the Bangu waterhole.
A fair amount of general game including this Giraffe.
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On to Bangu. Now that they have closed the water supply to Bangu the scores of Zebra that used to be there are gone. Strangely quiet although I have heard of several sightings of Leopard opposite the waterhole. I could not see anything in the vicinity. I decided to drive to the Hlahleni stream where I managed to photograph this Bateleur Eagle. . They are stunning raptors.
Image

More to follow.................

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Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


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 Post subject: Re: AT LAST, NOT ONE BUT TWO.............
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:59 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
After photographing the Bateleur I did a U turn to return to camp via the S90 and H1-4.
I always amused at how a road 'changes' on the way back. Where there was nothing suddenly there is a herd of Elephant. Like this small herd which had just crossed the S90.
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And a little bit further on another herd crossing the S90. That is why I enjoy the grasslands.
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And a few kms further this large bull with small tusks alongside the S90.
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Now I was really tired and needed to get back to camp for an early night, but not before I got to the Mavumbye stream where this grey heron was most obliging by not flying off as I approached him and managed to photograph him with my 200mm lens.
Image

That was the end of my first day of my May trip.

More to follow.............

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Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


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 Post subject: Re: AT LAST, NOT ONE BUT TWO.............
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:24 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
Wow. So many fellow Krugerites on board. Thank you Meandering Mouse, Trrp-Trrrrrrr, Dotty, Pumbaa, Papa Smurf, Carol g, Phillip1, Chirinda, Foxy, Hilda, NetEk, JeanniR for joining me on this trip report. I appreciate all your kind comments and your presence.

Day 2 Tuesday 21/5. Up very early and first at the gate. Which route to take? I so wanted to a Leopard again as during my last trip in February this elusive cat eluded all my efforts to capture him/her on film. I decided I would travel down the H1-3 and then take the S125 and turn onto the S36 to the Lugmag pan (no longer a dam).
Just past the Sweni turnoff I came across a small group of Hyenas who all scatterd as I approached leaving me one youngster to photograph.
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We all have different ways of spotting and stopping. Early mornings for me are the predators and rarer antelopes. The rest I can see in the later hours of the day. As a result no more stops until I reached the S125 where I saw a Scrub Hare next to the road. He did not move off and I was able to get right up to him and photograph him. Then I saw blood coming out of his nose. I think he had been bitten by a snake and was paralysed. Sad but that is the law of the wild.

Image

I travelled the S125 very slowly but no Leopard. Onto the S36 where this Coucal allowed me to photograph him before disappearing into the bush.
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Further on the S36 I came across this young Elephant.
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At Lugmag Pan all there was , was the lone territorial Wildebeest bull. The breaching of the dam wall has transformed this area into a very quiet area.

More to follow..........

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Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


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 Post subject: Re: AT LAST, NOT ONE BUT TWO.............
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:40 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
On my way back to Satara I stopped off at Nkaya Pan. The Waterbuck were staring intently at two Crocodiles. This small pan is now home, albeit tempory, to two Hippos and two Crocs.
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These are not small crocodiles. They are actually quite big.
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Back to camp for brunch and a rest.

More to follow......

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 Post subject: Re: AT LAST, NOT ONE BUT TWO.............
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:27 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
JeanniR, Hilda, Bush Baptist, Sushin, Trrp-Trrrrrrrr thank you for your kind comments.

For my afternoon drive on Tues 21/5 I decided to drive on the S90 and cross over to the Timbavati Road via the S89 and back to Satara via the S127.

Firstly I would like to show a photo of a White Rhino taken out of sequence as I do not want to disclose his whereabouts. I was watching this bull when all of a sudden he broke into a trot and then a full charge. His target of anger was a sub-adult which beat a hasty retreat. Even the flies on this bull flew off when he was at full speed. A trruly awesome sighting.
Image

Now onto my afternoon drive. I met these two Secretary birds on the S90. There was a small ditch which had some water and they were using it as a bath to preen themselves. I dont normally have such luck as to get close to these birds as they normally fly or run away as I approach them.
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There was not much else to report on the S90 or S89.
Soon after getting onto the S39 I came across quite a fair amount of general game including Giraffe and Zebra.
Image

Three in a row. Very graceful animals considering their size.
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More to follow......

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Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


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 Post subject: Re: AT LAST, NOT ONE BUT TWO.............
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:01 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
Continuing my afternoon drive on the northern section of the Timbavati road I came across these three Zebra in the middle of the road. I never get tired of photographing Zebra. They are so photogenic, you can take photos of them under any lighting conditions.
Image

Another Secretary bird crossed my path, just past the Roodewal waterhole. They move with a steely determination as they search for food.
Image

The road was quite busy, here a young Elephant bull walks past my vehicle.
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There was not much happening at the Ratelpan Bird Hide and as time was running out I drove onto the S127 where I came across this magnificent Kudu bull. I have not seen such a magnificent set of horns on a Kudu for a long time. IMHO these are a perfect set of horns.
Image

And finally just before Satara on the H1-4, as the sun was setting, I came across a large herd of Buffalo grazing on the expansive grasslands.. A great ending to the day.
Image

More to follow.......

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Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


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 Post subject: Re: AT LAST, NOT ONE BUT TWO.............
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:02 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
Once again a big thank you to all for your kind comments. Since my last post thanks to WendyA, Foxy, Pumbaa, BornFree, Trrp-Trrrrrrr, BarryEls, PeterPM, and Shushin.

Wednesday 22/5. No cat sightings yet. So I decided I would go north to theS127, get onto the S39 (Timbavati Road) across the S89 to the S90 and back to Satara.
It was a chilly misty morning as this photo of Kudu cows shows.
Image

I drove slowly right up to the Roodewal waterhole. No predators! Here a Wildebeest surveys the bush for any danger.
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And then I came across this nervous young Bushbuck ewe. She did not want to be photographed and disappeared quickly.
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And then onto the S89, nothing major to report and onto the S90. Those who know the S90 will know it is a fairly straight road and you can see far ahead. About 7kms past Bangu, I saw her. A Cheetah in the road. I thought she was hunting Guinea Fowl. As I got closer I saw they were not Guinea Fowl but they were her kittens. About six or seven of them. she quickly disappeared into the long grass. She walked parallel to the road and all I could see was the top of her body. I tracked her for about a kilometre. Then there was a gap in the grass and bush and I managed to photograph some of her kittens. she was far away and the photo is heavily cropped so please forgive the quality. she then settled behind a bush in the distance and although I waited for over an hour she or her kittens did not appear again.
here is the mother in the long grass.
Image


and with her kittens. They look a handful.
Image



More to follow.............

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Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


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 Post subject: Re: AT LAST, NOT ONE BUT TWO.............
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:46 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
Thank you all for your kind comments and joining me on my trip report. JeanniR Pumbaa John n Poppy Bornfree WendyA Trrp-Trrrrrr Hilda and BarryEls I appreciate all your comments.

After Leaving the Cheetahs I came across these six Giraffe walking on the S90 near the S41 intersection.
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That afternoon I drove south and watched this nice tusker browsing along the Nwanedzi river where it follows the tar road. Not the biggest by any means but a nice set. I have seen this bull several times in the Satara area and is quite tolerant of motor vehicles.
Image

And then later on in the afternoon, without disclosing his location I came across this sub-adult Black Rhino. I could not see any other Rhino in the vicinity. He looked okay but he / she was small. Smaller than a Buffalo bull. I just hope he / she left Mother on his own accord and that she was not a victim of poaching.
Image

Back to camp after a successful day out.


More to follow..........

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 Post subject: Re: AT LAST, NOT ONE BUT TWO.............
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:57 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
Wow. So many kind comments. Thank you all and from my last episodes this includes Hilda JeanniR Cheetah2111 Bornfree Philip1 Forestgump Carol g WendyA Pumbaa and BarryEls. I promise you the trip gets more exciting in the next few episodes.

Thursday 23/5. For my morning drive I decided to travel on the H6 (tar road to Nwanedzi) and then onto the S37 (Trichardt Rd) and then onto S35. (Lindadna Rd). Up early and first at gate. After a couple of kms on the H6 I came across this young male Lion who was about to cross the road and disappear into the long grass.
Image

The Lion sighting did not last long he was gone before the next car arrived. Onto the S37. Again those who know this road will remember it is fairly straight and you can see for some distance. Something far in the distance. Not an antelope. Must be a predator. Sure enough a Cheetah was lying in the road but got up as I approached very slowly. I managed to get this sighting photo before it disappeared into the bush.
Image

Onto the S35 where I was taken in by this 'dead leadwood ' tree with leaves right on top. I presume this is a seed that has germinated in the fork of the dead tree.
Image

Further on the S35 I came across a Zebra crossing. Excuse the pun! Listening to the neighing and hooves on the road is all part of Kruger.
Image

More to follow.........

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Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


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 Post subject: Re: AT LAST, NOT ONE BUT TWO.............
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:26 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
After reaching the tar road I drove back to Satara but stopped at Nkaya Pan to see if anything was happening there. The Zebra were steering clear of the 'resting' crocodiles!
Image

For my afternoon drive I drove the S127 onto the Timbavati Road south with a drive back to Satara via the Sweni road. I normally travel about 250kms a day in the Park. 150kms in the a.m. and 100kms in the p.m. But it does vary of course depending on sightings etc but that is my average. Today was a little more.
This male Ostrich was seen just past the Picnic spot. A real handsome guy.
Image

I usually find the southern section of the Timbavati Road relatively quiet and today was no exception. Towards the end of the road I came across this nice tusker.
Image

Then onto the Sweni road. I searched high and low for a Leopard. On this road I have seen several Leopards in the trees. But today no Leopards. Near the Sweni waterhole there was a herd of elephant. I love the way the mothers allow the older siblings to look after the baby elephants. Look at this photo. That is one small elephant following his older siblings but mother is not too far away.
Image


And that brings an end to Thurs 23/5 sightings.

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Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


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 Post subject: Re: AT LAST, NOT ONE BUT TWO.............
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:01 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
Once again a big thank you for your kind comments. JeanniR Cheetah2111 Bornfree RiaanF31 CarolG Hilda Pumbaa Foxy BarryEls Trrp-Trrrrrr PeterPM I appreciate all your comments.

Friday 24/5. I decided to drive down south again, my plan this time to drive down the H1-3 past Tshokwane and halfway down the H1-2 and get onto the S36 for a drive back to Satara. Up early again and just before the S125 intersection(near Kumana Dam I came across this honeymoon couple from the Kumana Pride. (My name I have given this pride). The male is fairly young and his mane is still in the development stage.
Image

And a couple more of him.
Image

The internet is so slow today I am posting two photos at a time!!!
More to follow.............

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Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


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 Post subject: Re: AT LAST, NOT ONE BUT TWO.............
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:11 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
And here he is in the bush.
Image

Here the Lioness is trying to entice the male.
Image

And I am sorry to say this to the Guys, but this time the male has a headache.
Image

More to follow.....

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 Post subject: Re: AT LAST, NOT ONE BUT TWO.............
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:53 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
Onto the S36 where I saw this Lilac-Breasted Roller close to the road who was very obliging and did not fly off until I photographed him.
Image

I turned in at Jones-se-dam where there where a number of Waterbuck. In the distance I saw an Elephant coming down to drink. The Waterbuck duly made way for the pachyderm. The Elephant was not interested in going for a swim. All he wanted was a drink. It is amazing how far they can stretch that trunk. This he did to get his drink without getting his feet wet.
Image

The Elephant felt the Waterbuck were not paying him enough respect as they encroached nearer and nearer to him. He suddenly swung around and trumpeted scattering the waterbuck. Here you can see a Waterbuck calf scampering way.
Image

Further on the S36 I came across a large group of Zebra. Lovely animals.
Image

I turned onto the S125 on my way back to Satara where I came across six Nyala bulls of varying ages. I was photographing into direct sunlight so not the best photograph of three of them.
Image

And that was basically the sightings on my morning drive.

More to follow.......

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Rhino Poaching - Highlight's man's stupidity and greediness.


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 Post subject: Re: AT LAST, NOT ONE BUT TWO.............
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:10 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 702
Location: Back Home
Award: Sighting of the Year - Non Predator Award: Travel Tale of the Year for KNP (2012)
For my afternoon drive on Friday 24/5 I used my familiar route of the S90 and back to Satara via the S39 and S127. I kept driving on the S90 as I wanted to see Ma Cheetah and her kittens but to no avail. There was however quite a few Ostriches on the S90. Here a male and female survey the surrounding grassland.
Image

The S90 was its usual quiet self but I love driving this road. It is a pity they have closed Bangu waterhole. That was always a place to get good sightings. But today it was quiet.

Onto the S39 where I photographed these Klipspringers fairly far in but high enough in the rocks to get a reasonable photo of them.
Image

And a photo of the lovely female.
Image

Near the Ratelpan birdhide a herd of Elephant crossed the road in the late afternoon. The Elephant cows do a good job of hiding their young. Whenever I want to photograph a youngster mother usually gets in the way!
Image

And that brings an end to my Fridays viewing. More to follow..........

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