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Hippotragus-A very brief but very rewarding trip to Kruger

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Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:15 pm
Location: Kyalami, South Africa.

Hippotragus-A very brief but very rewarding trip to Kruger

Unread post by Hippotragus » Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:11 pm

I arrived at Malelane Gate at 11.45 on Thursday 29th July and was "processed" quickly and pleasantly. I decided to explore some of EJ's favourite roads and headed off down the Matjuli Loop road. Saw some elephants in the distance but decided to carry on. Turned onto the Steilberg Road and saw a group of young kudu and then some more elephants. I then took the S118 and then H2-2 towards Afsaal. On the H2-2 saw clouds of dust and then, guess what, a delivery truck. He stopped to let me past and then departed in another cloud of dust (I was travelling slowly and creating almost no dust, he was speeding hence lots of dust).

I then went and checked in at Skukuza. Went down to the shop and bought charcoal and firelighters. As I was on my own, I lit my fire quite early, did a crossword puzzle, ate my supper and was in bed at 7.00 pm!! Even the chattering young European visitors nearby did not stop me sleeping.

Next morning I was out of the gate at 6.04 am I headed down towards Lower Sabie. There was a hippo in the bushes on the right of the road near Nkulu. I stopped briefly at Nkulu to have a snack and visit the loo. Lots of small bats in the roof of the ladies loo and lots of droppings everywhere (it was early and the staff had not yet cleaned ). Next to the actual causeway at N'watimhiri were a black stork, woolly necked stork and some hamerkops. I briefly popped into Lower Sabie to seek an upgrade for Sunday night (successful) and book a drive. I headed back to Skukuza via the Old Tshokwane Road and Slitje Road. Saw some buffalo lying in the shade and a few giraffe. Then at the entrance road to Rhino Post from the H1-2 there were a few cars - a leopard sitting bolt upright (rather like a cheetah) in the angle between the roads - very relaxed.

From lunchtime Friday 30th to lunchtime Sunday 1st August I was taking part in a course. We had lecturers/speakers from various departments at KNP. I was impressed by their passion, knowledge and confidence in KNP.
Many people on this Forum post very negative remarks about the management of KNP but I came away from the weekend feeling very positive about KNP and its very able enthusiastic management. It was lovely to meet EJ at last and put a face to the name!

Lunchtime Sunday I drove down to Lower Sabie and saw a herd of breeding elephant, ground hornbills and a large herd of buffalo near the Lubyelubye bridge. I went on a Sunset Drive with Martie. Not far out of camp we came upon 3 male lions walking along the main road and we followed them for quite a while. Later in the drive we spent a few minutes with an african wild cat and also saw a porcupine with its quills standing on end.

Monday I left Lower Sabie at 6.00 am and headed for the S28 - hoping to see cheetah!! No cheetah but did see plenty of general game, plus a white rhino in the distance, lying down. On the H4-2, just before Crocodile Bridge camp, there was an african barred owlet posing beautifully on a bush.

After a "pit stop" at Crocodile Bridge I headed down the S25. Just after the S26 junction there was a young elephant close to the road. Then came along a Mozambique registered vehicle with two teenagers sitting on the roof, plus two more standing on the back seat with their heads through the sun roof. I motioned to the driver to stop and told him what they were doing was against the rules because it was dangerous. He seemed to be genuinely surprised and thanked me!!! Looking in my rearview mirror, I did see that they had retreated inside the vehicle!! Further on there was a huge herd of buffalo at the Biyamiti Wier. Nothing much else and I left the Park at Malelane Gate at 11.00 am - 5 hours to travel such a short distance!! Sad to leave, but will be back in KNP on 14th August, so not too long to wait this time!
Last edited by Hippotragus on Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Skukuza 1-4 March 2018 (Cricket weekend!!)
Lower Sabie 4 March 2018
Satara 5-9 March 2018

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