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 Post subject: Roaneric's annual KNP visit - July 2013
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:20 pm 
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Hi forumites :yaya:

Were back from our annual kruger visit. We had a lovely and quite trip and the 4 of us enjoyed being in the bush for 8 nights.

We booked our first 2 nights in Punda Maria. We haven't stayed in the tents before, so we decided to book a tent + 2 bed bungalow. The 3rd night we stayed in Sirheni, 4th night in Mopani, 5,6 and 7th night in Letaba and the 8th in Olifants.


We stayed in Tshipese for a few days so we took the road towards Pafuri. Just before the gate we had to take a little detour, because the road was not fixed yet after the floods.
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As always the best part for us was driving through the gates. :dance: We were all super excited and couldn't wait to get our camera's and binoculars out. Check in went quick and smoothly and we were on our way. 8) :dance:
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We were all quiet hungry so we headed towards Pafuri picnic spot for some brunch. It was peaceful as always and we were happy to see guard Frank there again. We relaxed at the riverside and the sounds and smells were just fantastic. :great: It was great to be back.

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 Post subject: Re: Roaneric's annual KNP visit
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:35 pm 
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We traveled towards Punda Maria after brunch and were all excited to see our accommodation for the night. We decided to split up, Philip with Eric in the tent the first night and Roan & I in the tent the second night. We all wanted to experience the bush sounds.

The camp was fully booked, it was still school holidays

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We got the keys to tent number 4 and bungalow number 13. Both very nice. We unloaded our luggage at the tent and sat there for a while, admiring the view and the bird sounds all around us. This must be one of the most peaceful places in kruger. The clouds were thick and we expected some rain later that evening. We had a lovely view from the deck of our tent.

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We went for a walk around camp and saw some very nice flowers, birds and monkeys along the way. We walked towards the birdhide and waterhole and hoped to see something interesting.

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And there he was. Our very first elephant. Wow, so close and so fantastic to watch him from the hide. He was drinking water and not at all bothered with the crowd who gathered at the hide to watch him.

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After spending almost an hour at the hide, we decided to braai early, just in case it starts raining. The night sounds on the deck was unbelievable and we watched the sunset and the rising moon. Our first night was pure bliss.

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 Post subject: Re: Roaneric's annual KNP visit
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:42 pm 
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The second day of our Punda maria visit was quiet and uneventful. It rained the whole day. So we decided to stay at the tent and play some board and card games with the kids. The smell of the bush was just great. It was so dry and you could almost hear the bush saying 'thank you'.


Later that afternoon I went to the birdhide for a while and as I sat there, forum mite Wildkyker and his little one walked in and we had a lovely chat. It was so nice to meet them. He told us about a leopard with a baby zebra kill on the Shingwedzi road, so Roan and I decided to go see if we can spot him. Unfortunately we had no luck so we returned back to camp.

We bought a new toy this year. A dashboard camera. (Dashcam) I will post some video's of us driving around camps to give an impression of what the camps looks like.

Here's the first one of Punda Maria



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 Post subject: Re: Roaneric's annual KNP visit
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:33 pm 
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Day 3

Philip woke us up the next morning with a cup of coffee and some ouma rusks and this was the view I woke up to. :dance: I wouldn't mind waking up like this EVERY DAY :lol:
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We packed our bags and decided to drive the Mahoni loop before we head towards our next camp, Sirheni. It was pretty quiet but we saw these too beauty's.
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whatsapppp?
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We came across some giraffes and one of them was lucky to be alive. Looks like he ran into a few lions when you look at his backside. Poor thing.
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We turned left towards Shingwedzi and stopped at the zebra carcass that Wildkyker told us all about. We looked around but couldn't find anything and just as I was about to drove away, Philip said, there's the leopard. :shock: He was lying right next to the road but was perfectly camouflaged. We were OVER excited and stopped every car that wanted to pass. I think its equally as exciting to tell people about the sighting than the sighting itself. :lol: Seeing the peoples reactions when they spot the leopard = priceless :dance:
This is unfortunately the best pic I could get.
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We stopped for some lunch at Babalala. There was zebras and impalas roaming around the picnic spot. Lovely to eat your lunch and have a view of the wildlife roaming free.
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We arrived at Shireni just before 14:00 and got the key to cottage number 11. It had a fantastic view of the river. We unpacked and admired the few for quite some time.
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Some crocodiles enjoying the last bit of sun for the day.
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I went for a walk around camp to take some photos for the accommodation thread and were stunned with the beauty of this camp. Here is a few pics.
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It was Eric's turn to help his dad with the fire. Here he waited for him to lit it. We enjoyed a wonderfull relaxing evening next to the river, watching the sun go down. Once again, pure bliss.
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Last edited by roaneric on Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Roaneric's annual KNP visit
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:41 pm 
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Driving through Sirheni :D



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 Post subject: Re: Roaneric's annual KNP visit
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:41 am 
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Day 4

We woke up early and felt sad to leave Sirheni. This is such a wonderful little camp. So we decided to make some breakfast and enjoy the view a little bit longer.
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Driving towards Mopani, we saw our first Waterbucks for this year. One of them had a broken horn. I wonder if it happened during a fight.
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And it's always nice to see Saddle-billed Storks.
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We drove passed Shingwedzi and I wanted to take some more accommodation pictures. Unfortunately lots of the units were still under construction, but I managed to get a few pics. The restaurant was still closed but they had a little tuck shop with the most necessary items in it. We bought something to snack and drink and we were on our way again.

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I also wanted to make some photos of Bateleur, because there are no pics of that camp yet in the accommodation thread, so we headed that way. We saw a few elephants and this one showed us who's boss.




We arrived at Mopani and got the keys to bungalow 80. It’s a lovely spacious bungalow and in the bushes. We unpacked our luggage and went straight to the swimming pool. Eric wanted to cool down and after that we strolled to the restaurant to admire the stunning view of the Pionier dam.

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We knew Lion Queen will be in Mopani that night, and we arranged to meet up with them at their bungalow just before sunset. It was lovely to meet her and her family. We had a lovely chat, watching the sun go down on their deck and exchanging stories and sightings. They saw a leopard just outside the gate before closing time, so we hoped we will also see him early the next morning.

The most beautiful view from LQ's veranda.

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We said our good nights and headed back to lid the fire. It was dark and the moon was smiling at us. We went to bed satisfied. It was yet another great day in kruger.

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Last edited by roaneric on Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Roaneric's annual KNP visit
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:55 am 
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Driving through Bateleur



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 Post subject: Re: Roaneric's annual KNP visit
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:56 pm 
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Driving through Mopani restcamp



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 Post subject: Re: Roaneric's annual KNP visit
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:59 pm 
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Forgot to post this video we saw on our second day. This elephant was so funny. Playing with the water and chewing on his trunk. He was entertaining himself...



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 Post subject: Re: Roaneric's annual KNP visit
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:50 pm 
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Day 5

The francolins woke Eric and myself early this morning. We quietly sneaked out, trying not to wake the rest, and left camp just after the gate opened. The road was quiet, not many animals in sight, and I took a few loops along the way to see if we can spot something. At the H14 crossing I decided to turn around and head back to camp, when I saw Lion Queen and family standing next to the road. They saw a hyena and I just got a quick glimpse of it before it laid down in the tall grasses. We chatted a few minutes and said our goodbyes. They were heading south.

I stopped closer to see if I can get a better look at the hyena, when he suddenly stood up. It was a little one, not really a cub anymore, but not an adult yet. There was something in the bushes close by and he looked a little nervous. A few minutes passed when a BIG buffalo herd crossed the road in front of us. He was all alone and looked at them very interested. I got a few pics and video for you to enjoy...

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We headed back to camp and packed all our stuff. We were going to Letaba for 3 nights. The kids were excited, because Letaba is our favorite camp in kruger. We just LOVE it there.

On our way we saw these too Sharpe's grysbok's. I think it was a a mom and her little one. This was a first time I saw 2 together. :dance: :dance: :dance:

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And off course we some some people breaking the rules... :wall: :naughty:

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It was quiet on the road, with the normal impala, kudu, giraffe and buffalo sightings, and this eagle (I have no idea what species this is?)

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We arrived at Letaba and got our requested bungalow, number 64. This is our FAVORITE bungalow in Letaba. We had a nice view of the river and we just knew we will relax and enjoy the next few days. .

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The monkeys welcomed us and the kids were so pleased to see them again. They were entertaining as always and we had to lock up our food inside immediately, because we had an spy on duty to see if we accidentally leave some food outside... :doh: :roll:

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The francolins were also part of the welcoming comity and they brought their young ones with them to meet us. How special that was :lol:

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We had a nice afternoon, the kids were no were to be found. They left the bungalow with their camera's and binoculars and went monkey and bushbuck hunting. They came back all excited with some nice images and we had a lovely braai to end a perfect day.


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 Post subject: Re: Roaneric's annual KNP visit
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:22 pm 
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I almost forgot to post the 'Driving through Letaba' video. So here it is :thumbs_up:



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 Post subject: Re: Roaneric's annual KNP visit
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:05 pm 
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Day 6

It was time to do some washing. I was there first, just before 7:00 and had the whole laundry to myself. After hanging the clothes on the line, we packed our picnic bag and took the H1-6 towards Makhadzi picnic spot.

The first birds we spotted were some ground hornbills. They were eating some nutritious parts of the dung they found on the road. It was nice to see them, and such a pity they are on the verge of extinction.

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It was also nice to see some other big birds. I wish I can see some young ones someday. They are the cutest when they are tiny little babies.
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We arrived at Makhadzi and were all alone. The guide came from his house to ask if we need anything, and went back to his house. We had a lovely lunch with just the bushes and bird sounds around us. The kids thought it was a bit scary, but I loved it.

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On our way back to camp, we saw some giraffes and elephants and the usual antelopes. This lady gave us quite a few poses and looked like she LOVED the camera :lol:

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The elephants were entertaining as usual. We saw the tiniest little baby, keeping a close watch on his mom. I wish I could have taken one home with me. :roll:

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Last edited by roaneric on Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Roaneric's annual KNP visit
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:07 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Roaneric's annual KNP visit
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:08 pm 
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We spend a few hours in camp, relaxing and reading a bit. 1.5 Hours before gate closing time, the kids and I decided to do a quick drive. Philip stayed in camp to lit the fire early. We drove to the Letaba Bridge and saw this beautiful view.

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We didn't have to drive far to see a troop of baboons playing next to the road. We parked our car, and decided to spend some time with them, and that was not a bad decision. They entertained us so much. Here is a few pictures and video.

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The sun was setting and we headed back to camp. The sunset was breathtaking as usual and I couldn't resist stopping for a few more photo's...

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Last edited by roaneric on Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Roaneric's annual KNP visit
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:27 pm 
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Here is a dashcam video of the elephants



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