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Aat & Elly to KNP (special requests)

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Aat & Elly to KNP (special requests)

Unread post by Aat » Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:56 pm

For the ones who know me: Not a surprise this request is about Tuskers.

Request 1: People writing a TR here may have seen tuskers or promising ones, please contact me if you have photographed them.

Request 2: Mainly to people from SA, please check if you or your family have pictures of Big Tuskers of the past... I am sure there must be many of hidden in albums. Quality is not most important thing.

Request 3: Who photographed Duke with his transmitter/collar recently ?

Keeping my Tusker site updated , ID'ing incoming email etc does not allow me to read all reports so a bit of help is welcome.

Update: By using the pictures of last trip I changed the pages for all Antelopes: Pages now per Antelope species)

Also enjoy all other pictures of Kruger National Park and Tuskers of Kruger

and my new website about Tuskers of Africa including all Tuskers of Kruger NP

Hi all,
We have been to Kruger second time this year in november 5-22.

I will make this trip report in several parts. Parts I, II, III and IV are now available including links to pictures belonging to the trip report. Enjoy.....

Part I..

Let me start with the first few days..
After a wonderful flight from bruxelles to zurich followed by a flight from zurich to J'burg we picked up our car and (in our minds) a very fast drive to kruger we arrived in Pretoriuskop (restcamp) to spend the night. Next day we made a long drive from Pretoriuskop to Afsaal (Voortrekker) with lovely sightings with Sable (first time ever for us...but not last...will tell you about that later), hyena, rhino (many), kudu (many), a big herd of buffalo, herdes of ellies and others.

It was the beginning of a very very rich trip....
After breakfast in Afsaal we decided to follow the small roads to Crocodile Bridge. Special sighting was along the S25 with a huge Giant Eagle Owl , very impressive, other animals we saw were Ellies, Zebra, Kudu, sleeping Rhino :) , active Rhino, Ostrich (seen many this time...number is increasing?) Hippo,
From Crocodile Bridge we took the S28 followed by H10 to Tshokwane. From there we took the S34 towards S36 and .... a wonderfull sighting with a group of Sable (Mondzweni waterhole).
Pictures of the sable...
As said we have never seen Sable in our former trips so this was very special.
At an other waterhole (Shimangwanene-dam) we saw buffalo and a herd of Ellies.

Tired we went to Satara camp to stay there for 4 nights....
Next day ..early wake up call...and decided to take the S100 (why not...) Just past 5 o'clock we saw our first lions. (pics on same page as given above).
Special thing here was... the lionesses and the younsters were a bit nervous , alert but we could not see why.... one of the lionesses warned the other ones and they started to walk / run away... and now we could see why...two male lions appeared at the scene and before they gave me some time to get in position to make good pictures :twisted: they also started to run after the lionesses.

At the S100 and S41 we saw Ellies, Hyena, Rhino, beautiful Bateleur, Giraffe with baby and many other "common" game.
Later we went to the S33 and after having watched a group of groundhornbills we had a nice sighting with a pack of African Wilddogs.

End of part I

Next parts will be on the following pages
Last edited by Aat on Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:08 pm, edited 22 times in total.

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Re: TR Aat & Elly to KNP november 2009 (part 1)

Unread post by Aat » Sat Dec 19, 2009 12:37 am

Thanks Micetta
It was a wonderful sighting with the sable, specially since it was our first time we saw Sable in Kruger , just the day before we saw one at Pretoriuskop , now this herd and later one more (male)
About distance and camera... Distance was about 75-100 meter I guess , I am using a D40 canon camera with 100-400mm lens and made the pictures "out of the hand".
I really wish that we could get a bit closer but I am always following the rules and stayed on the dirtroad as it should be.
I added part II of the story with new pictures.

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TR Aat & Elly to KNP nov 2009 (part II upd 16-12-09)

Unread post by Aat » Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:13 pm

Part II

As promised here part II of our trip and all related to the next day , november 8th.
We decided to get up early , taking our breakfast with us and at the gate of Satara we decided to go north and again lucky with our choice....
First sighting was with two Rhino (mother and child) still a bit dark so light was not perfect for photo's but worth to do it.
After this sighting we followed the main road towards Olifant and not just after waterhole Ngotso noord at the left side of the H1-4 we had our first "lion kill sighting" this trip...and yes it was not going to be our last....
Scene: just near the road on both sides lots of vultures and as said at the left side just about 10meters from the road a giraffe killed by the lions... 6 all together 3 males and 3 lionesses.
If you like to see pictures (2 pages) of this sighting click on link" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;
and....." onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;

After having watched this scene for some time we decided to take the S39 to go to Timbavati (picknick place).
No surprise that we met some hyena's on a mission (I bet the giraffe carcass ?)
Next we followed the S39 and saw some wildebeast and other game. Near the river I saw a nice crocodile posing for me so I could make a nice picture of him/her ...I never know with these guys if it is a him or she.
After having our breakfast at Timbavati with the "home bushbuck" around we followed the S40. I told my wife I believed the bushbuck was pregnant..and yes a week later she had a baby with her... will show you that later ok...
Driving on the S40 I saw someting moving fast on the left side....and stopped ... it was a Honey Badger ! We never saw one before (except the one in Satara camp earlier this year) in the wild so a special sighting again... But.. seeing a Honey badger does not mean you can easily make a picture .. pffff...constantly moving , running and finally crossed the road in front of us and disappeared in the bush....
Next we went back to Satara wife decided to take a relaxed afternoon...I decided to go for another drive... To hot for me to lay down near a swimming pool that feels like a warm bath....
I went down and took the S34 and saw Steenbuck, group of Hippo's, Monitor Lizard, Bushbuck, Impala's drinking , large group of Wildebeast and at Vutomidam a nice herd of ellies playing in the mud ...lovely to watch this ...

At the end of the S34 I turned right and after 200 meters I saw lions....
12 in total, 4 adult lionesses, a younger one and 7 cubs. Very difficult to count since they were all packed together under some small bush. Distance from the S36 road was about 5 to 10 meter. I stayed there a long time trying to make pictures of the waiting and ...enjoying these little pretty ones. They were resting after having dinner (zebra).

Pictures at my site...

After this sighting I decided to go back to Satara to tell my wife she missed the lion cubs
Ok.....end of part II ...much more to come...
See you at part III...
Last edited by Aat on Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: TR Aat & Elly to KNP nov 2009 (part III upd 20-12-09)

Unread post by Aat » Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:23 pm

Part III
About november 9 and 10 november 2009...

We left Satara early morning and first sighting was with a big elephant bull on the road....heading to Olifant we saw a very nice Rhino family along the main road...
At the location we had this sighting a day ago with the lions and the giraffe kill we saw lots of vultures now and some hyena's. One of the lions (a lioness) did not like to give up the carcass so she stayed with it for some time...
From the viewpoint at the Olifants river I made some nice shots of the landscape...often forgotten so I added some pics to my site...
Next target was Letaba....
From Letaba we had a wonderfull view on the riverbed and saw among some other animals 8 giraffe in the beautifull background....
From the Letaba bridge we saw at some distance a kill by lions again...this time an Impala killed by some lionesses who dragged the kill under a tree and started to eat.
Towards Mopani we saw many elephants.
Towards Mooiplaas waterhole we saw Tsessebe (including pregnant). Later at the waterhole some bulls were having a drink and "chat" with each other....
Then...I noticed an old friend of mine was tusker MANDHEVHU and I was happy to see him so I could update my Tusker part of the website with new pics of him.
Finishing the day with some ostriches and a large herd of buffalo....
Time for a braai , wine and enjoying all we have seen today....
pictures of november 9th

November 10th:
Today we decided to take a route to Shingwedzi by first taking the S50 followed by the Capricorn loop and next going to do the Red Rocks route up to Shingwedzi.

Alongs the Capricorn loop we saw Tsessebe with calves (first time I saw the calves) and more common game like zebra and kudu etc.....
Our next sighting was with a jackal.
Along the Red Rocks route we saw beautiful male Nyala. To me one of the most beautiful animals in kruger.
Funny story.... we had lunch in Shingwedzi and one of the people working there and we met some different times before told us he he seen Roan Antelope near Babalala. We have never seen them and knew they are very rare. After lunch I told my wife for fun...come on we go to see Roan we headed to Babalala.... and guess....just at the entrance to Babalala picknick place we saw a Roan Antelope.... unbelievable............
Back to Shingwedzi I told the same guy we also have seen the Roan Antelope at the same place should have seen his
Then we went to Kanniedooddam, south of Shingwedzi and had some beautiful sighting with Nyala (male and females).....

Back to Mopani ..end of part III
Last edited by Aat on Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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TR Aat & Elly to KNP nov 2009 (part IV upd 28-12-09)

Unread post by Aat » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:10 pm

Continued from part III
About november 11 2009...

Another day in Kruger so a wonderful day..... sightings are a bonus !
First sighting we had was along the H1-6 main road towards Letaba.
At the Middelvlei waterhole we had a nice sighting with Hyena's, Blackbacked Jackal and Zebra all together including some remains of a carcass.
The hyena's were sleeping, bathing, the jackal were walking around and the Zebra were coming to drink but hesitating with the Hyena's IN and Near the waterhole.
Have a look at the pictures , wonderful to have 3 species at 1 picture together.

Also some pics of 2 Kori Bustards (male and female) doing their spring "rituals"

Next we went to Mooiplaas waterhole and followed the Capricorn Loop.
Along this we had a very rare sighting with a herd (group) of ROAN ANTELOPE , 12 in total. 10 of them disappeared in the bush after a short time but two of them stayed for me (lol) to photograph them.
What a beautiful antelopes they are ..wowwwwwww and so rare
Pictures of this sighting at:

Still talking about this sighting we moved on and near the Tihongonyeni waterhole and also near Mooiplaas waterhole we saw several big elephant bulls with a herd of Buffalo.
I made some pictures of these creatures , funny to have a big bull next to a buffalo...see the difference in size !!
Also two big bulls training for "line dancing" and 4 bulls walking just behind each other just 20 meters away from me.... lovely...

Late afternoon we saw a lion pride (counted 9 lions in total) along the main road to Letaba (low waterbridge north of Letaba bridge) They were just waking up and ready for a hunt... at once we saw a little cub with them ... distance was about 100+ meters
Pics of these sigtings:

Back to Mopani to have a braai
Till part V ....with very nice sightings again
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Re: Aat & Elly to KNP nov 2009 (parts I to IV upd 28-12-09)

Unread post by Aat » Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:24 pm

Pumbaa, be honoust with you...yes ...we recognize and know that we have many wonderful sightings. May be the reason is that my wife and I are sunday kids (born on sunday) :lol: :lol:
Every day in KNP we enjoy and always taking a route just by "the feeling". We drive slowly and just enjoy all animals we see...and..stopping for animals other people ignore we have seen other animals coming around and sometimes these are the special ones you rarely see. Like with the Roan Antelope, we were looking at some big bulls near Mooiplaas waterhole...other cars just had a quick look and going further...we stopped and took our time to watch them.... suddenly we saw the Roan crossing a little road and two of them decided to have a drink before moving on...

For Roan I only can say that near Babalala they are spotted almost daily. The sanparks people working there told me that. The group of Roan we have seen on the little road from Mopani towards Mooiplaas waterhole.

I wish you a wonderful 2010 with lots of good health and nice sightings.

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Aat & Elly to KNP nov 2009 (part V upd 31-12-09)

Unread post by Aat » Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:22 pm

Story continued.....about november 12 and 13..........

(first of all Elly and I like to wish everybody a wonderful and healthy 2010)

November 12:
Another amazing and interesting sighting ... we left Mopani and decided to take the Capricorn Loop again...(why
Near the waterhole Tihongonyeni we had a real wildlife show ... a pack of hyena's made a kill (zebra) just near the waterhole. (I think the elephant bulls did not like this....). Together with the hyena;s there were some jackal's with them. Watching them did me realize they are brave animals...getting so close to the hyena's , almost next to them at the waterhole and the kill...
Lots of vultures also tried to take a piece of the cake .... we saw different kinds of the like the White backed vulture, White headed vulture and the Lapped faced vulture.
Amazing to see the zebra very close ... probably they wanted to drink , at the other hand they were looking at their familiy member they lost.... sad to see but ...this is nature as it is...
After leaving this scene we decided to follow the main road toward Shingwedzi and then take the Red Rocks route...
I really love this route...landscape and scenery is wonderful ...
We were lucky with beautiful sightings with Nyala , specially the male Nyala.
To us one of the most beautiful animals in Kruger.
Also a Duiker showed up...normally they disappear (duik !) quickly but this one was relaxed and allowed me to take some pictures and watching him for a short while.

Next sighting was a dead impala with some predator Birds on top of the impala. (please help me with the right names of the birds if you look at the pictures)
After having watched this scene we followed the route and just a bit further a lovely Giraffe family...
Coming closer to Shingwedzi we saw some Bushbuck a beautiful male and a young female. Watching these Bushbuck was so other cars all the way here ... just the sound of bush...the relaxed movements of the bushbuck nice can it be....
After having some coffee at Shingwedzi we folowed the small road towards Kanniedooddam and saw Nyala again, male and females.
(I never have seen so many Nyala (specially males at one trip as this one)
Getting back to Mopani we saw a large herd of buffalo (estimating 2000) and Tsessebe with calve.

November 13:
Starting the day with hyena's just near the road, followed by a grey duiker
We have had beautiful sightings with buffalo and lots of elephant bulls, including some promising tuskers to my opinion. Looking at the size and how thick the tusks are ...very good to see this...(specially as Tukser lover as you know)
This day no special sightings till evening came.... first I photographed the sunset on the way back to Mopani.....started to make a braai and then..... how wonderful a day can end if a Genet cat shows up and stay about an hour with us while we were eating.
As it should be we did not give the Genet anything but enjoyed his company... He was so relaxed...sitting next to us at about 3 meters distance ... we never had this experience and it felt sooooo good.... :D

End of the day...and not knowing the next days are going to be spectaculair again...with a.o. a real big 5 day and more......
Pictures of november 13 with Genet

That will be all in Part VI, coming soon

Now ready for end of the year party...fireworks
Bye and till 2010
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TR Aat & Elly to KNP nov 2009 (part VI 02-01-10)

Unread post by Aat » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:39 pm

Hello to everybody in the new year (best wishes for all with the good things in life)

Ready for part six ???
This is all about the weekend november 14th & 15th...and what a weekend (sorry Pumbaa.... :whistle: :whistle:

Read and enjoy :D
Starting with november 14th we were heading back south to our next camp Satara.
As I said earlier we like all animals and never pass one without a look so our first sightings were Giraffe and a bit further down the road a very nice Chameleon.. followed by a nice Tawny Eagle. We followed the main road to Letaba and coming closer to Letaba we had a few wonderful sightings with emerging Tuskers ...and yes I love them... and they loved me ( :cam: ) coming very close but no signs of aggression at all with them. It looks like they wanted to be on the picture... well I promised them to be on the worldwide internet if they behave well and so they did. :D
Next ... we took the main road to Phalaborwa to do some shopping and took same road back...and guess...NOTHING at all along this road.

From Letaba we took the main road towards Olifants and about 7km before the turnoff to Olifants we saw 3 lions not far from the road. Like lions 22 hours of the day do ...they were sleeping....looking sleepy ....yawning... sleepwalking etc.... After having watched this and yawning ourselves we moved on to Satara since we had some frozen food with us.
Checking in at Satara , putting all the food and drinks at the right spots and having lunch Elly decided to take a swim and guess.... I decided to do a drive.
Where to go??.... well I took the main road to Orpen and wowwwwww just near the waterhole behind the Nsemani dam there was a pride of lions with a giraffe kill.... (giraffe looks like become popular meal to lions). In the waterhole there was a crocodile too.... lions did not like him and looked angry at him but the head and part of the long neck was in the water so he could eat a bit too.
I stayed a very long time with them watching all what was happening with the lions....eating ...sleeping...socializing...drinking.....eating again...looking angry at the crocodile....going to the toilet etc.....

I moved on and went back to take the S100.
Besides some more common game I saw a nice big elephant bull, a Bateleur eagle, Steenbuck, White Rhino, African Wildcat (I am still sad the cat did not give the time to photograph him/her) by crossing the dirtroad quickly making some jumps from one side to the other, another huge white rhino , an african fish eagle and a male lion ...I have pics of him but it was to dark/far to make good ones.

Nice to get back to Satara and asking her what she had seen in the camp... :whistle: :whistle: and then telling het what she missed ...lalalalalalala
All together a rich day , not knowing next day was going to be mmmmmmmmmmmmmhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh :)
Pictures of this november 14th Lions with kill

And then........... sunday november 15th....Big 5 Day
Starting the day with going back to the waterhole with the lions with giraffe kill....they still were there so I made somthing up with my wife to show her what I had seen the day before. (big 5 nr 1).
After this we decided to take the S39 (i can recommend it...real beautiful road and landscape) and saw a group of Giraffe ...nice sighting, we were on top of a little "hill" looking down at the Giraffe....
It is always lovely to watch Giraffe....graceful and just beautiful animals.
Then.... if you get thirsty and take something to drink never put your camera away for some minutes.... well I did and still blaming myself... round a corner we saw two Black Rhino ..... at the time I realized what we just were seeing, putting the drink away and getting the camera, the B Rhino's were already starting to put a new record on the 100meters to beat mr Bolt .....just could make a few pictures of the back of them... :(
Positive way of looking at it was...2 black rhino and nr 2 of the Big 5)
Next we saw were Ground Hornbills , close by and not running away. Getting at Timbavati we got out for having breakfast. Remember I told you about the Bushbuck...well she had her baby , small, tiny and lovely ....
After Timbavati we took the S90, S41 and S100 and saw two more White Rhino, Impala , large groups of Zebra and Wildebeast. At the end of the S100 we decided to go south to Tshokwane and saw an Elephant bull (nr 3 of big 5).... then.... we all looking for it or wanting it or whatever...but getting a sighting with 3 leopards at the same time .....woowwwwww.
Scenery: Close to the S86 loop near the main road H1-3 at the left side we saw a Leopard cub sitting on top of a termite hill and he/she was not there was mother and sister/brother... so 3 leopards in one sighting. For us this was the first time with 3 leopards this way. So you can imagine we stayed a long long time with them, with a first class ticket. Distance was about 70 to 100 meters , so happy to have a 100-400mm lens. The leopards had an Impala kill, so they stayed there and were playing, eating, climbing termite hills and trees and a bit of sleeping.
(big 5 nr 4)
Pictures of this sighting:
After leaving we decided to take the S33-34 and S36 and saw Elephant, 3 more lions near Lugmag dam (S36), Giraffe, Woolly-necked Stork.
Then we had another very lovely and moving sighting...A just born Impala baby... The baby was still wet, mother was licking and bonding and pushing to have the baby making the first steps in the wild world...our radio was on and guess....they were playing "Born to be wild" is it possible....
Finally we saw nr 5 of the big 5 , the Buffalo...a big bull.

Pictures :

End of part VI and inviting you for part VII soon with another amazing sighting.....
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Re: Aat & Elly to KNP nov 2009 (parts I to VI upd 02-01-10)

Unread post by Aat » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:17 pm

Thx Salamanda,
About the tusks... the shape they have is just great foor digging roots etc. If they really curl up it might be more difficult. But without digging for roots they also do well, looking at the big number of ellies in the KNP and seeing lots of them with very short tusks , like Duke now they still do well. Most important is the teeth. They get new ones till the fifth (sixth incl baby teeth) , losing the last set they will die of starvation as natural cause.
The fun with writing a TR, including looking and preparing pics is that I experience the trip again with very good memories and also thinking about and planning next trip.

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Aat & Elly to KNP nov 2009 part VII (upd 10-01-10 incl pics)

Unread post by Aat » Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:15 pm

Part VII..... about november 16th ...and what a day again.....

We started this day (not very early...) at the S100 after leaving Satara camp. First sighting was with the male Lions still laying down / sleeping (what else does a cat do...). Continued the S100 we saw more "common" game like Zebra, Impala, Warthog's, Kudu along this road followed by the S41 and the H6, back to the main road H1-3 towards Tshokwane. We knew it should be almost impossible to see the Leopards again never know. Well, we did not see them so decided to take the inner road S33 again since we had good experiences in this area. We were witness again of more Impala mothers standing apart of the groups to "deliver" babies to Kruger. This sightings are so wonderful... Mothers bonding and licking and pushing the little ones to get used to the wild in no time... ready to run away .... bonding to let them know who the mother is ... seeing them making the first steps etc.....

Further on the S33 we saw some Marabou storks and a small herd of Elephants, making a nice roadblock to walk in front of us for some time.... I rather see this roadblock then lots of cars in front of me....who doesn't..?

At the end of the S33 we turned right to go to Lugmag dam , wondering if there are animals coming for a drink. We did not see animals at all, except the Hippo's and Crocodiles in the water....a little bit later we found out why..... 3 lions just near the road , a male and 2 lionesses were observing the area while they were (as always) hanging around, lazy and so every now and then moving to each other to say hi ...

Driving further again Impala's with babies ....babyboom was really going on...
Following the road and just coming over a little hill we saw a male Sable coming out of the bush , ready to cross the S36 to the other side. We could not believe it....all other trips no sable at all and this was the 3th sighting with Sable. No other cars at that moment and a nice moment to make some pictures of him. just being busy with this a van arrived with many people inside.... I warned them to come slowly and pointed at the Sable.... No way , they came fast...lots of noice...being polite and helpfull is not always a good choice... they past me , stopped and drove backwards , almost crashing into my car....I had to move quickly otherwise they were in the back of my car.... how nice he :evil: :shock:

Feeling a bit shocked about this behaviour we went to Tshokwane for lunch.
After lunch we headed back by taking the S34 and S33. We saw a nice group of Giraffe and a mother with a little one... Lovely to see the youngster looking at us and going close to his/her mother to find protection.
Last animals we saw at the S33 were 2 hyena's ....may be on their way to the spectaculair sighting waiting for us...... :)

Heading back to Satara we saw some cars and camera's pointing all the same direction. Getting there we could find a wonderful position for a wonderful show. Good timing since the show was about to begin.....
Scenery: A kill (zebra) 3 male lions and 3 lionesses and a growing number of hyena's...
At the beginning we saw hyena's at distance of the wonder since there was a male lion near the zebra , just about starting to eat. Another male came closer , followed by the lionesses who also approached to have their part. Male lions and allowing lionesses to join for dinner is not always without "trouble" , one of the males was really GRRRRRRRRRRRR and hitting the lionesses...
With big bellies already they start eating , all so close (at about 25 meters), you could hear them enjoying the mean time the hyena's were getting nervous , walking around, approaching but also respecting the lions....
After having enough some lions got away again , but 1 male lion stayed protecting the zebra kill carcass. Now hyena's starting to get really nervous and getting closer and closer..... one of them stole a leg and with loud "laughing" and "yelling" he run all over the place..... everyone watching started to laugh too....
The male finally moved away and then the hyena show started..... never seen anything like this..... all fighting for a part of the carcass and really in maybe 10 minutes you could not see that it was a zebra carcass... you could hear them breaking the bones , running away with legs, the head and other parts, chased by the ones who did not have anything yet.... All together now there were 20 hyena's "laughing" , running, even in between the cars with pieces of the kill. One of them was running with a part of the leg just near my car , followed by 3 others and disappeared in the bush at the other side of the road.
The lions walked away , heading west, the hyena;s were leaving too, the carcass was not there anymore and this all in a few hours ....great show and with an exited feeling we were heading back to Satara camp.... another amazing day with a show you sometimes see at Discovery or Animal Planet but now with our own eyes...

Pictures :

Lion and hyena "show"

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ending at:

Hope you liked it and feeling a bit at the show like we were....

See you all at part VIII
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Aat & Elly to KNP nov 2009 part VIII (upd 16-01-10 incl pics

Unread post by Aat » Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:19 pm

Part VIII (about november 17th and 18th.....the story continues)

November 17th 2010

We left Satara early and went left, direction Olifants. Just outside Satara we had out first sighting with Reedbuck. For us first time ever we saw Reedbuck. It was group of 6 with some young ones a male and some females.
Following some dirtroads we saw a steenbuck close to the road in a nice position , sitting and staring at us. This was a wonderful moment to capture him with my camera.
We went to the S36 (again) and we had a nice sighting with a Giraffe family , all laying down in the grass. Mother , dad and a very young one. So peaceful and quiet , lovely moment. Not understanding two other cars were just passing without even looking at these beautiful animals. Following the S36 we saw lots of common game like Impala’s , Zebra , Wildebeast etc, a nice Yellow-billed Kite in a tree nearby. Near the Lugmag dam we saw a male Waterbuck also laying down … it was a hot day so understandable the animals were lazy.
Further we saw many just born impala’s again , babyboom was getting on…. Another group of Giraffe and then a real big and beautiful Bateleur Eagle very close , about 25 meters away on a low branch and….he did not fly away but was curious too it looked like… he was really posing for me so he deserved a large format picture at my site…you can look straight into his eyes…
Near Jones-se dam we saw a big crocodile also lazy just outside the water.
After this sighting we decided to go to Skukuza for lunch. Not really my favorite place (crowdy like a small city….) but given the time this was the best option.

After lunch we decided to go to Lower Sabie and found a nice couple of grey louries near the road. Nice postion to capture them. Just before Sunset dam we saw a male bushbuck and enjoyed looking at him. Again wondering other cars just passed without taking time to have a look…. Something wrong with us to stop for these nice animals ? No… we enjoy all animals and watching a male bushbuck is great.
Stopping at Sunset dam… large group of Hippo’s was out of the water so a good moment to make some pics of the whole group ans funny to look at the youngsters playing around. Closeby I was also able to capture a Nimmersat (Yellow-billed Stork).
We did not go to Lower Sabie camp but passed it and just after the camp a young Hyena came out of the bush and decided to lay down to take a sunbath… how nice and thanks for posing for me…smile…
Turning left to the bridge crossing the Sabie river we saw at our right hand 2 white rhino’s near the river border. There is a small road getting a bit closer so I took the chance for making some nice pics of these rhino’s.
Funny thing was that these 2 rhino’s were walking side by side all the time like twins.
Next we took the S29 (good memories to this road so …..) and again we saw some white rhino’s. Nothing else along the S29….there you go with the reputation….hahaha….
Following the H10 towards Tshokwane we almost crashed with a large white rhino (looks like a rhino day isn’t it ?)… A bit shaky I stopped to relax… Really that was close… rhino came out of thick bush and really crossed the road just in front of me in what looked as a split second…. At the other side of the road he turned and was looking angry at me….thanks…Could not resists to make a picture of him.
Further down the H10 we saw ellies , large group of buffalo and a black backed jackal.
Between Tshokwane and Satara we met another white rhino and a big elephant bull. Me as tusker fanatic (some people say…) I recognized this one as very promising and lucky , always easy to recognize with the big round hole in his left ear.
Ending this very rich day with so many different species (about 28) without the birds with a close encounter of a Honey Badger in Satara camp, just 2 meters in front of my feet.

November 18th
Another promising day with a very very very nice sighting…..
our last day in Satara so heading to our next destination …Crocodile Bridge.

Funny start of the day , talking to my wife about all our wonderful sightings so far. She told me she still was hoping for here beloved and favorite animals the Cheetah.
In a very good mood I promised her Cheetah’s today.
Since we have had very good experiences with the S33-S34 we decided to follow these roads again. Our first sighting here was with a lovely herd of elephants making a roadblock for us. 30 minutes near them is wonderful , looking at them, so quiet, enjoying water near the road, the young ones playing with each other , irritating mothers and aunts….
Then to the right the brilliant colours of a Woodlang Kingfisher….positioned very well for making some nice pictures with close-up’s.
The next interesting birds we saw was a Brown Snake Eagle, also waiting for being captured and a southern red-billed hornbill. Then after watching a big male Kudu we saw at some distance (over 250 meters) two male lions laying down.
After having a stop at Tshokwane we followed the H10 towards Lower Sabie. Along the road we saw some Vultures, Impala’s…yes with babies….
Flowers along the road so the first rains have had success….
At the left side I saw some little “things” moving….. I stopped and what we saw was wonderful…. A mother Ostrich with about 20 babies…. Related to other years we never have seen so many Ostriches as this time. Number is growing again ? looks like…
As we are used to along this road …. More white rhino’s and just before the turnoff to the S29 !! we saw a Zebra mother with baby , drinking with mother …so cute and nice to look at.

I realized I promised my wife to see Cheetah, so I said , we take the S29 for your Cheetah’s…..
Guess what happened……. Just near the road sign with Mutshe Loop we saw 2 Cheetah brothers just in front of us…behind us one other car , nobody else….what a sighting this was.
I think (looking at the pictures I made) we spent about 1 hour with them , just us and one other vehicle with 2 people enjoying this.
We drove slowly with them…they were all the time just near the road, some times crossing…sitting, caring each other, taking a lookout point on a little hill, jumping on the roadsign and jumped into a tree to have a better view before finally moved into the bush and disappeared….just at the moment some other cars arrived.
What a luck…..and looking at my wife’s face …she was smiling from ear to ear…. And very calm I told her……You see , I promised you this…. Lalalalalalala
The Cheetah’s were sometimes so close I could give them a hand and really , this was so beautiful I could make many many awsome pictures of them….. well you can experience this sighting a bit by looking at the pictures of this incredible sighting.
Another special day …does it ever end ? No….. not yet….

See you all at part IX …the story continues…..
Pictures all:

Last edited by Aat on Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Aat & Elly to KNP part 9 (upd 23-01-10 incl pics)

Unread post by Aat » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:09 am

Another week gone.... but here is part 9 of the Trip Report

November 19th 2009

Yesterday we arrived at Crocodile Bridge for the last days of our trip to Kruger.
In the past we have had lots of wonderful sightings in this area so we were looking forward to these days. I must say that the area between Crocodile Bridge and Lower Sabie is beautiful with lots of small roads and choices where to go… So what to do..taking the S25? The S28? Or the main road to Lower Sabie… Well the weather helped us this time since it had been raining a lot and also today was a mainly rainy day. If you think rainy days are bad for having sightings …you are so wrong……smile…..
After leaving Crocodile Bridge we decided to take firs part of the main road. We saw some impala’s and zebra. A bit later we decided to follow the S130..a small dirt road but lovely to drive (to my opinion). First sighting we had was with a big sleeping rock… with other words a huge white rhino who was dreaming of a nice rhino lady or lots of green grass based on the noice he made ….

Next sighting was with a Duiker. Nomally when you think you see one it disappears in the bush, not this one. Relaxed the Duiker waited to be captured forever….
The Duiker run away by the noice of a big Warthog family (Mom, Dad and 4 children playing in the rain and mud…what else do you need as Warthog..?)
Again white rhino’s and elephants bulls coming close on and near the road….

We just arrived at the main road again (H4-2) when someone waved and said….”straight…at left side a leopard in a tree with a kill” … so after having said “Thanks” we moved on and saw a few cars already in position. When I arrived one of them just moved away and said through open window…”leopard in tree but not moving , almost not visible”.
Ok….. we took his position and found the leopard in a big tree (mativuhlungu riverbed) and with our binocular’s we could see him on a branch near his kill (impala).
Well..with cats you need patience…so we installed ourselves with candies, drinks etc…rewarded with the leopard moving to another branch and yes… clearly visible and even posing a bit. At bigger distance I needed the full 400mm lens to capture her since the distance was about a 100 meters … ? ( I am not so good at guessing distances).
We stayed a long time with her …hoping for coming out of the tree and getting closer (who doesn’t ?) but she decided different…. She came out of the tree but disappeared in the thick bush at the other side…. Cats….grrrrrrr :rtm: :twisted:
Pictures of the leopard:

Next stop was Lower Sabie to have a cup of well deserved coffee. After leaving I felt something in the air…. Could not explain but “it” told me to follow the H10 towards Tshokwane. Along the road we saw some more White Rhino and Elephant Bulls and a very beautiful male Kudu.

After the little hills between Muntshe and Mlondozi waterholes at the left side of the road I suddenly saw a Lioness getting up and walking to….. cubs….many cubs…. Very small ones and some a bit older.
Wowwwwwwwww….. :dance: :dance: Imagine, driving on a wet road, it was raining…no expectations and then a big Lion pride. The sun began to shine in my head….and eyes… and we were lucky , the rain came from the better side so we could use our binocular’s and my camera.
Looking around , counting as good as possible we came to 2 males, 5 lionesses and 12 cubs.
What a time… the little ones were all together…keeping each other warm. It was like a nice movie….the lionesses taking care of the cubs, bonding with them…lovely and a bit later some came to their mother for a drink… Looking at it it is moving …I admit it. So wonderful to see them all playing, jumping over each other or their mother / aunt. The males were a bit furher away. One was hiding behind a little bush and was not really good visible , the other one was close to the road. We asked ourselves why they stayed in the open and not hiding under a tree not far away. Constantly raining does not make these lions go…. Well…nice for us !!
Pictures of this wonderful sighting: :cam:

Time to go when most of the lions finally moved further away and not good visible anymore so we went to Tshokwane for late lunch…
We did not really like to go to Skukuza so decided to take same H10 back to Lower Sabie.

We saw some Vultures, Zebra, Giraffe and Impala’s and some different birds, among them a small group of beautiful Ground Hornbills.
A bit later a tortoise came out for a drink on the road… as said before I like all animals so took my time to capture him/her drinking in detail.

Back at the H2-4 to Crocodile Bridge we took the S130 road again and had some wonderfull sightings again with a couple of White Rhino’s , coming out of the bush and both drinking together….in the background a elephant bull came around the corner so 2 of the Big 5 togerher on the picture….
Realizing we saw 4 of the Big 5 but not seen buffalo yet…. Well, no problem…just 200 meters ahead a small herd of Buffalo.
November 19th …. A grey and rainy day but a very nice day after all….. yes…lucky again…

2 full days to go so…more to come…in next part.
Last edited by Aat on Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Aat & Elly to KNP part 9 (upd 23-01-10 incl pics)

Unread post by Aat » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:31 pm

Yes you are so right MM , I am sure there are some not yet named or classified Tuskers in kruger at the moment. What worries me is that with all good reasons Sanparks has no "man/woman-power" enough to name and follow them.
That's one of the reasons I am thinking of setting up a dedicated website , next to the one I have now , just for Tuskers in Africa. You're the first one I share this with. It's no secret but I decided to do that today.
I also will give the ones without an official name so far a kind of temporary name so recognizing will be easier and it will give more fun to the people who "meet" these wonderful bulls.
Soon I hope to spread the news here....

Meandering Mouse wrote:Aat, thank you :clap: :clap:

your pictures are always such a pleasure. It looks as though there are a few up and coming tuskers around at the moment 8)

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Re: Aat & Elly to KNP part 9 (upd 23-01-10 incl pics)

Unread post by Aat » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:20 pm

To All....

Just launched my second website. This new one is fully dedicated to the Tuskers of Africa.
My "normal" one will be only for all wildlife / nature photography, as you are used to.

Coming weeks I will check and update the new one
the link is:

Hope you like it and suggestions are welcome

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Aat & Elly to KNP part 10 (upd 06-02-10 incl pics)

Unread post by Aat » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:49 am


Finally…..the last episode of our trip…
This is about our last few days in Kruger 20,21 and 22 november 2009.

Yesterday we had this wonderful rainy day with the Big 5 at the menu.

What is november 20th going to bring to us? Getting up early, a grey day again.
After leaving Crocodile Bridge we follow the main road to Lower Sabie and turned right to the H10 towards Tshokwane. As I remember many dirtroads were closed now so we could only follow the main roads. We did not see many animals the first part of the drive but close to Mlondozi we saw Zebra, Wildebeast and 3 elephant bulls all together. After having a coffee at Tshokwane (it was cold …brrrrrr…) so we took the coffee with us in the car and moved on heading to Skukuza. Suddenly we saw a very nice group of Giraffe…the most gentle animals in the Kruger… even having seen lots of them , every sighting with them is beautiful. Gracious , beautiful eyes and impressive. They gave us a nicee view by getting on the road (all 4 of them). Further on we could see the babyboom with the Impala’s was going on, looking at the little ones was very nice again, however we could see they had problems with the cold. They were all wet and did not look very happy.
Closer to Skukuza we had a nice sighting with a male Warthog and no…he was not running away but was really posing for me so I could take a wonderful close up of him…you have to see this picture… they are not really pretty but this one was beautiful , clean and looked straight into my lens… thanks Warthy !
Near sunset dam close to Lower Sabie we saw a Yellow-billed stork closeby with just a few meters from him/her a big crocodile…nice to capture both on one picture.
A bit later we saw a small herd of ellies suffering in the cold rain…also not really looking happy. On the H5 another nice group of Giraffe on the road in front of us. Almost coming to the end of the day we said to each other …heyy a day without any cats or specials today… but no…just heading towards Crocodile Bridge , late afternoon we found two male lions at the left side of the road… still a bit far away but we decided to stay with them hoping to see them better…. Well it took about an hour or more….but they got up and yesssss…. Getting toward us closer and closer , on the road and just in front of us. One was going to the other side and like a cat at home stretching fully on a tree… just realized I never saw a male lion doing this …at his backfeet fully stretched with his big claws in the tree. Wowwwww…nice way to make some pictures of that. A bit later he was walking just near my car…so close I could lay my hand on his head …(sure…I did not do that..hahahaha). Then he decided to lay down near a tree and was looking straight into my lens , what a lovely pair of eyes…may be 6 to 7 meters from me… After this sighting we felt lucky again with this but it was not over yet… 100 meters ahead some white rhino’s along the road , a mother with a youngster. Not over yet…. I was just about to start the car again when from the right side of the road 9 lionesses came suddenly out of the bush and crossed the road just a few meters in front of us. Like all other animals you could see they have had it with the rain… looking sad , not happy but they made us happy… the end of a rainy , grey but nice day again….
Rain stopped so we could make a braai.

November 21……
Today we did not get up very early , it was dry outside now so we went for a drive. We were getting a bit sad knowing this was our last full day in Kruger…don’t have to tell you how that feels….
Ongoing we saw some common game. We were heading to Lower Sabie when we saw a big Hippo very close to the road…almost looking straight into his eyes.
A bit later we saw some ellies and a beautiful male Kudu, followed by a mother and baby Vervet monkey….so cute , it was really a little baby. Following the road we suddenly saw a hyena looking around…on a mission ..? well he moved quick as hyena’s can do…crossing the road and disappeared.
In front of us we saw some cars where we had the sighting with the leopard in the tree a few days ago. Looking and looking ….but nothing to see in the tree… I asked one in the car next to me what he was looking at…. He said a Leopard cub, a very young one near some rocks.
Taking better position …and yes…there he was…. Such an adorable little leopard waiting for mom… making pictures was very difficult , big distance and such a little one. Well, I succeeded in making some pics where you can see the little one… My first time ever I saw such a little leopard cub. Looking at each other saying…mmmmm lucky again till last day.
We stayed a long time there hoping to see the mother…well she made a kill we heard and was coming closer but she decided to stay out of sight and calling the little one. The cub was getting up , looked exited and went to his mom…. We waited some time but they did not come back again.
Back at Crocodile Bridge I met Martie (a year in kruger). After a beer and some talking I went to my hut for dinner…After dinner Elly and I went back to Martie to talk again about Kruger and many other things. It was very very nice to meet her , lots of respect to her staying such a long time in Kruger. It was a special evening , not to forget as last night in Kruger… Martie I hope you do well .
End of our last full day ….

November 22th
Getting up….lots of pffffffffffff’s … packing and knowing we had to leave that day…really feeling sad ….hating to go back to the real world ….well you recognize this I guess….

First nice and funny thing we saw was a group of Giraffe , one of them was “crazy”, running around fast and teasing the other ones. The male Giraffe was using his nose to find out if one of the ladies needed some extra “service”. Close to sunset dam we saw a group of striped Mongoose , playing and running around and nicely posing for the camera..
A big monitor lizard crossed the road just in front of us (almost 2 meters long I guess) .
Getting closer to Skukuza we saw a male nyala just near the road…one of my favorite animals ….they are so beautiful …. To my opinion one of the most beautiful animals in Kruger next to leopards / cheetah’s. The male was together with his “harem” , small group of female nyala’s. In the mean time, like we always do when we arrive or when we leave, we guess what kind of animal will be the last before getting out…we saw a Hippo with a small baby just before we turned left for Skukuza direction Pretoriuskop. Just we tought that a elephant bull was the last species we saw …but no… just close to some clips we saw two Klipspringer , male and female and they were the last animals we saw…. I was driving slower and slower…..but there is an end to all and really…bith of us with wet eyes ….we had to say goodbye to Kruger hoping for another trip …..

So…. Thanks for reading all this and hope you enjoyed the stories with the pictures I have to say …..Till next time…. (booked for 4 weeks starting october 7th till november 4th 2010… may be we will see you there otherwise till next TR here….

Last thing to say is: I am proud to have my second website up and running about Tuskers of Africa… so enough to do.
I now have space enough to add more pictures to my website about Wildlife Photography , I also will include picures made of animals in other countries…pictures of south african landscapes etc…


Pictures of trip :

The two male Lions:
Last edited by Aat on Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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