Skip to Content

The Head and Shoulders of Kruger

Tell us about your breathtaking experiences in the parks
User avatar
PAPA SMURF
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 641
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 10:46 pm
Location: Calitzdorp, Little Karoo

The Head and Shoulders of Kruger

Unread post by PAPA SMURF » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:33 pm

You may think it’s a strange title but when I looked at my photos this is what came to mind.
It is the start of a ditty, that we used to sing to our children, and it went like this:-
“Head, shoulders, knees and toes
Knees and toes
Head, shoulders, knees and toes and
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose”……………
The children had to point to the various parts as the song progressed
Well, the grass was so high in Kruger this trip lots of my photos were just that – Head and Shoulders. So hence the title – I hope you enjoy reading about our trip to Kruger

My SO, Gail (Mamma Smurf), and I were on a 5 month caravan tour which started on the 2 of April and according to plan, we finished exploring the Battlefields at the end of the month. We headed up to Hazyview on the 1st of May, where we met our good friends and forum members Don and Gloria (Glordon). Although our booking for the park was only from the 3rd of May this gave us the time to stock up for the Park and have a look around the town.

Early on the morning of the 3rd of May saw us heading up North for the Orpen gate as our first camp was Satara. Little did we know we were going to hit lots of traffic and children on their way to school, but we negotiated it safely and eventually arrived at Orpen gate, where we had a hic-cup in that there was no space to park two cars towing caravans, but the gate guards came to our rescue and allowed us to block one of the lanes leading to the booms. The paper work done, we were heading back towards the cars, when we saw our first animal, well in fact two, who wandered under the booms towards the office and needless to say our camera equipment was not yet unpacked and still in the cars. We just had to be content with seeing 2 warthogs escaping to see if it was true that the grass was greener on the other side of the fence?

With our camera gear at the ready we drove through the booms and the first animal we saw inside the park was:-

Image

A bit further down the road we found a big group of giraffes

Image

Image

We had just started to move on when suddenly there was a warthog running next to the road and you could see he was on a mission. We followed him and suddenly he crossed the road and looking in the direction he was heading we saw there was another male warthog quietly feeding. I only had time to grab the camera and fire off a couple of shots through a rain spotted windscreen and the drama was over. Apologies for photos that are not nice and clear. In the first photo the dominant mail hits his opponent and lifts him off the ground and in the second photo the opponent is chased out of No 1’s territory. This was the first of some strange things we saw on this trip

Image

Image

The next few kilometres down the road were quiet with nothing to be seen until we came across a lone giraffe

Image

But this guy had a couple of hitch hikers on him

Image

Image

And just before we got to Satara there was some vulture activity in the long grass

Image

After checking in and struggling to find 2 camp sites together (that were not pools of water or mud) we unpacked and got ourselves settled in

TBC



:x
If you wish to live and thrive
Let the SPIDER run alive -- Old Wives Tale
Terry

manicwalker
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2978
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:40 am

Re: The Head and Shoulders of Kruger

Unread post by manicwalker » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:20 am

PAPA SMURF,
Well how lucky am I??
First on the bus :) :dance:
What lovely sightings to start your trip :dance:
Gee not a very friendly warthog then :roll: you got a super "action shot" :thumbs_up:
Love the giraffe with hitch hiker attached :thumbs_up:

User avatar
Karin Mitton
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9300
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:56 am
Location: Jhb

Re: The Head and Shoulders of Kruger

Unread post by Karin Mitton » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:21 am

I love the giraffe photos.

I'm on board for this trip!

User avatar
Mischief
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 6234
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:58 pm
Location: White River,Mpumalanga,SA

Re: The Head and Shoulders of Kruger

Unread post by Mischief » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:04 am

"""Pop"plopped Terry definitely on board for this trip :k :k
"Nature is not a place to visit. It is home."- G.Snyder
Mischief :P

User avatar
PAPA SMURF
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 641
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 10:46 pm
Location: Calitzdorp, Little Karoo

Re: The Head and Shoulders of Kruger

Unread post by PAPA SMURF » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:25 am

Welcome aboard manicwalker, Karin Mitton and Mischief -biltong and refreshments in the cupboard next to the back seat.
Many thanks for you comments they are appreciated. I will be trying to post another episode late tonight (tinypics was sooooo slow)but right now there is work to be done around the house so see you later
Cheers
If you wish to live and thrive
Let the SPIDER run alive -- Old Wives Tale
Terry

User avatar
Hugh
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 8161
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 7:29 pm
Location: Parklands Cape Town

Re: The Head and Shoulders of Kruger

Unread post by Hugh » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:34 am

Me and the rea one are there too .. some super photos . :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:
When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to your youth, think of algebra … !!!!!

User avatar
hilda
Forum Assistant
Forum Assistant
FAC Member (2016)
FAC Member (2015)
Posts: 19606
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:39 am
Location: Pretoria SA

Re: The Head and Shoulders of Kruger

Unread post by hilda » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:11 am

A five month caravan tour! Wonderful PAPA SMURF! Looking forward to read all about it! :clap: :clap:

Great pictures of the beautiful Giraffes, and what a strange Warthog sighting! I have never seen something like that before! :clap: :clap:

Beautiful shot of the Red-billed Oxpecker on the Giraffe! :dance: :dance:
"It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light". Aristotle Onassis.

User avatar
isinkwe
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 3746
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:27 am
Location: Lost in the travel tales and bird ID challenges

Re: The Head and Shoulders of Kruger

Unread post by isinkwe » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:27 am

PAPA SMURF wrote:-biltong and refreshments in the cupboard next to the back seat.

Pass me some of that biltong to go with my Image please Image
Isn't it just amazing how potatoes give us fries and vodka? :D The rest of the vegetables should get their act together :rtm:

User avatar
PAPA SMURF
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 641
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 10:46 pm
Location: Calitzdorp, Little Karoo

Re: The Head and Shoulders of Kruger

Unread post by PAPA SMURF » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:15 pm

Hugh and the real one - welcome.

Hilda the 5 months were great (much too short in MHO) but unfortunately only 16 days were in the park - great to have you traveling with us

Wow isinkwe -- you did not even spill one drop of that precious liquid when you jumped on-board and landed with a bump. Its self service here but I am sure the other 'mites will be willing to pass goodies around

Thanks for all your comments and great to have you with us on this trip. Now lets see if we can get another episode loaded- hope tinypices is a bit faster than last night.

See you soon
If you wish to live and thrive
Let the SPIDER run alive -- Old Wives Tale
Terry

User avatar
billyf
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 3652
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 4:30 pm
Location: Helderberg

Re: The Head and Shoulders of Kruger

Unread post by billyf » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:30 pm

Great start to your Kruger vacation, definitely on board :dance: :dance: :clap: :clap:

Very strange warthog behaviour, never seen that before.

Will be following with a lot of interest and just a wee bit :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away

User avatar
PAPA SMURF
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 641
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 10:46 pm
Location: Calitzdorp, Little Karoo

Re: The Head and Shoulders of Kruger

Unread post by PAPA SMURF » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:37 pm

Before we go on we must mention that this was a very slow –sighting wise – trip and in 16 days we hardly saw any cats and in fact did not see the big 5 – not that we were chasing that. We did however see some things never seen before and the slow sightings did make us stop and look at some of the things we just normally pass and not worry about.

The grass was high, the dams were full and lots of depressions in the veld had water in them so there was no need for the animals to come near the roads – well that was our opinion anyway. We also did stay away from the main roads and travelled on some roads we had never been on.

No notes were taken so I won’t be able to say where we saw what but please enjoy what we experienced.


The vans were parked and lunch was had in the shade of a tree and we were ready to hit the road again.
We decided to go look at the dams close to Satara so off we ambled. A few Impala here and a Waterbuck there and then we stopped at Nsemani Dam and it was the fullest I have ever seen it. There were a lot of ducks on the far side but with the sun in our eyes it was difficult to make out what they were. An occasional hippo stuck its head out for air and disappeared again and after 20min we decided to move on. At the Ngirivane dam there was a small flock of Quelea’s coming in to drink and some Martins drinking on the wing – they were so fast that my photos just show the rings where the bird broke the surface. On the way back to camp we saw a nice heard of waterbuck reasonably close to the road, but the low setting sun was directly behind them, so unfortunately no photos. I did take a photo out the other side of the car as I thought the grass looked quite interesting.

Image

We carried on and when we hit the tar road I got a nice surprise. Previously I had never seen more than 3 Marabou storks together, but here there must have been about 20 settling down in the trees for the night.

Image

There was lots of preening going on and trying to get comfortable with much wing flapping

Image

Image

And here is a bit of playing around with Photoshop

Image

Time to get back to camp and light a fire

TBC
If you wish to live and thrive
Let the SPIDER run alive -- Old Wives Tale
Terry

manicwalker
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2978
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:40 am

Re: The Head and Shoulders of Kruger

Unread post by manicwalker » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:30 am

PAPPA SMURF...
I really like the photo of the grass... unusual and nicely composed... :dance:
Wow! you did see alot of storks... :thumbs_up:
Well done with the "photo shop" photo :clap:

User avatar
Karin Mitton
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9300
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:56 am
Location: Jhb

Re: The Head and Shoulders of Kruger

Unread post by Karin Mitton » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:47 am

As exhilarating as it is to see the big 5, Kruger has so much more to offer. Great phoof th estorks.

User avatar
Meandering Mouse
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Award: Forumite of the year - Eagle Award (2016)
Award: Angel of the Year (2015)
Posts: 17604
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
Location: meandering between senility and menopause

Re: The Head and Shoulders of Kruger

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:28 pm

I am really going to enjoy this report. :D

What an unusual wartie sighting. That looks rather vicious. :big_eyes: I would hate to be on the wrong end of those tusks.

I love the grass picture. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: How delicate and beautiful.

You have managed to get one of the ugly five looking rather attractive. :wink: Lets see what else happens with your experiments.

:popcorn:
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

User avatar
PAPA SMURF
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 641
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 10:46 pm
Location: Calitzdorp, Little Karoo

Re: The Head and Shoulders of Kruger

Unread post by PAPA SMURF » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:58 pm

A big welcome to billyf and MM.
Billy can I ask you to control the biltong please as the Ostrich seems to be disappearing rather fast down one Mischiefs' throat???

manicwalker thanks for you comment re the Photoshop but it suddenly looks rather soft - it seems to have lost something in the transfer???

Karin Mitton The whole area around Satara right up to Olifants was full of Marabou Stork's -- more about them later in the report

MM no I did not experiment too much.
yes the wartie action was very unusual and it was the first time I had seen something like that. Some more unusual happenings/sightings further in the report

Many thanks for you comments guys
If you wish to live and thrive
Let the SPIDER run alive -- Old Wives Tale
Terry


Return to “Travel Tales”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: john n poppy and 6 guests

Webcam Highlights

Addo
Submitted by Pikkewyn101 at 23:32:42
orpen
Submitted by EElse at 12:10:59
satara
Submitted by SYLVIAC at 20:27:10
nossob
Submitted by Jennie at 21:41:29