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A Fantarantulatastic Trip To Kruger - April 2017

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PJL
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A Fantarantulatastic Trip To Kruger - April 2017

Unread post by PJL » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:32 pm

March 30th & 31st

It had been a long 2.5 years since our first trip to Kruger, so we were thrilled to be able to spend 12 nights camping back in the park :dance: :dance:

We set off from PE at 4am to get a bit of a head-start on the first day of driving, and as the sun started climbing we were already well across the eastern cape

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After a solid 12 hours of travelling we stopped near Middelburg for the night then continued towards the lowveld the next day

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The drive had been long as always, but after stocking up on supplies in Hazyview we were very excited to arrive and get ourselves into the park at Phabeni gate :D

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Fortunately there was hardly any delay at the gate, and with cameras at the ready we entered the park. Our first 8 nights were to be spent at Satara, so we didn't stop for too much on the way up as I was keen to try find a decent camping spot, but we couldn't help but take pics of the game along the way :thumbs_up:

It was late morning already so animals along the S1 were heading for shade as the temperature climbed.

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It became immediately clear that the grasses were very high and we would have to hunt hard for sightings, but not for the taller animals :wink:

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This elephant had found a good branch to use as a scratching post :lol:

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Even the impala were proving to be photogenic as we don't get to see them in any of the parks near where we live

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This warthog had found a very shady spot. Strangely on our last visit we hardly saw any warthog, but this time there seemed to be quite a lot of families around 8)

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Nearing Skukuza these white-backed vultures were doing their best to hide from any pics :doh:

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Last edited by PJL on Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Fantarantulatastic Trip To Kruger - April 2017

Unread post by PJL » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:33 pm

March 30th & 31st continued

Heading north over the Sabie some crocodiles were enjoying the heat

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We cruised up from there with only a brief stop at Mazithi dam where a couple of elephant were browsing in the tall grass and we got a glimpse of our first hippo 8)

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Arriving at Satara we checked in and went over to see what places might be available at the campsite. Fortunately there was a spot available on the fence line, but unfortunately it didn't have any shade. We decided that the fence was worth the lack of shade and while S and the kids went to swim I duly set up camp. The temperatures this trip were really hot... most days were well into the 30s so after setting up in the heat I was finished and we decided to skip any ideas of an evening drive in favour of relaxing by the fire :thumbs_up:

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We soon became acquainted with the night time visitors and fell asleep to the roars of nearby lions - it was great to be back in the bush :dance: :dance:

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Last edited by PJL on Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Fantarantulatastic Trip To Kruger - April 2017

Unread post by Foxy » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:50 pm

Great start PJL and lovely photos, I'm the first one on this bus :D

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Re: A Fantarantulatastic Trip To Kruger - April 2017

Unread post by Pumbaa » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:35 pm

What a great start, PJL,

and already looking forward for more :clap: :clap: :clap: Love the view from your tent and all your ellie shots 8)

Ready for more :popcorn:

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Re: A Fantarantulatastic Trip To Kruger - April 2017

Unread post by umtali1 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:08 pm

Your title is intriguing :hmz: :hmz:

Great start :clap: :clap: . Good pitch alongside the fence :thumbs_up:
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Re: A Fantarantulatastic Trip To Kruger - April 2017

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:05 am

What a long day. You must have been very happy to be set up and ready for bed. There is nothing like the feeling of arriving back in the bush. 8)

How super to meet the locals on the way.....and then the evening braai....

sih

I think I recognize that site. :thumbs_up: I used it a few years ago when camping in Satara.

:popcorn:
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Re: A Fantarantulatastic Trip To Kruger - April 2017

Unread post by Karin Mitton » Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:53 am

On board!
After what I saw last year in March and September, the tall grass is an amazing sight - I didn't not mind "missing out" on some sightings.
Today is my last full day, so your TR will extend the enjoyment a little longer.

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Re: A Fantarantulatastic Trip To Kruger - April 2017

Unread post by hilda » Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:44 am

Great start to your trip report PJL, with quite a lot of great sightings and beautiful pictures right from the start! :clap: :clap:

Looking forward to read all about your trip! :popcorn:
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Re: A Fantarantulatastic Trip To Kruger - April 2017

Unread post by barryels » Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:56 pm

I am also in the bus for this trippie :thumbs_up: .

Great start and quite a nice setup at the fence :D .

Looking forward to the rest of the trip :thumbs_up: .
Always be humble and understanding.

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Re: A Fantarantulatastic Trip To Kruger - April 2017

Unread post by PJL » Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:55 pm

Foxy wrote:Great start PJL and lovely photos, I'm the first one on this bus :D

Glad to have you on board Foxy, and I hope you enjoy the ride :D

Pumbaa wrote:What a great start, PJL,

and already looking forward for more :clap: :clap: :clap: Love the view from your tent and all your ellie shots 8)

Ready for more :popcorn:

Thanks Pumbaa - the fenceline view from the tent was definitely worth it 8)

umtali1 wrote:Your title is intriguing :hmz: :hmz:

Great start :clap: :clap: . Good pitch alongside the fence :thumbs_up:

Intrigue is always a good thing umtali1 :wink:

Meandering Mouse wrote:What a long day. You must have been very happy to be set up and ready for bed. There is nothing like the feeling of arriving back in the bush. 8)

How super to meet the locals on the way.....and then the evening braai....

sih

I think I recognize that site. :thumbs_up: I used it a few years ago when camping in Satara.

:popcorn:

Yep, after all the driving and set-up it was great to fall asleep to the sounds of the bush :thumbs_up:

Karin Mitton wrote:On board!
After what I saw last year in March and September, the tall grass is an amazing sight - I didn't not mind "missing out" on some sightings.
Today is my last full day, so your TR will extend the enjoyment a little longer.

Hope you've had a great time there Karin! It's always nice re-living the memories through a TR :D

hilda wrote:Great start to your trip report PJL, with quite a lot of great sightings and beautiful pictures right from the start! :clap: :clap:

Looking forward to read all about your trip! :popcorn:

Thanks hilda, I hope you enjoy following along on our adventures :gflower:

barryels wrote:I am also in the bus for this trippie :thumbs_up: .

Great start and quite a nice setup at the fence :D .

Looking forward to the rest of the trip :thumbs_up: .

Good to have you on board Barry :thumbs_up:

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Re: A Fantarantulatastic Trip To Kruger - April 2017

Unread post by PJL » Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:01 pm

April 1st

Apart from the heat and high grasses, another notable issue on this visit was the number of thorns around - particularly devil thorns. There was no walking around barefoot even at the swimming pools, and my slip-slops/flip-flops had to be thrown away after the trip from being torn up by thorns so much!

Our first full day in the park dawned and we were up early to get a decent place in the queue of cars at the gate. Our first drive was going to be along the S100 and down the S41 to N'Wanetsi picnic site then back along the H6. By the time we turned into the S100 we were the first car and we cruised along with eyes peeled for anything of interest. The first sighting was a very scrawny-looking jackal who ran along the road in front of us for ages before realising it could get away by veering off into the grasses :lol:

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The drive was progressing quietly when we came across a few waterbuck at the side of the road, whilst a handsome male looked on from across the other side 8)

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Our first raptor sighting was a good spot from D who found this awesome martial eagle enjoying the sun's morning rays :dance:

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We pulled into some of the riverbed viewpoints and found a baboon troop messing around in one of them

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The rollers were out in force this trip, with this lilac-breasted one enjoying some breakfast 8)

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Our detours meant a couple of other vehicles had gone past us and we came across them stopped around a corner. Apparently there had been a lioness on the road and we had just missed her :wall: :wall:

She was still in the area and was apparently moving around a thicket so we stuck around to see if she would pop out again. Fortunately our patience paid off and we got a few glimpses of her moving around in the grass. Finally she popped out onto the road again :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

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We moved into a better position and enjoyed watching her wandering towards us

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Her movements seemed quite strange - as if she was looking for something. We wondered whether she had left cubs somewhere and was trying to find them again :hmz:

She swung off into the tall grasses again and then came back out towards the road, showing just how high the grasses were and how difficult it was going to be to spot cats unless they were up and moving :?

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Once out in the road again we were treated to some fantastic close-ups as she moved around and started sniffing the ground for whatever it was she was looking for :dance: :cam:

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Finally she made a close walk past our car and moved off to continue her searching :thumbs_up:

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What a great start to the day it had been. We were thrilled with the lioness sighting - having her so close and active was brilliant and there had only been one other vehicle - not a bad start for school holidays :whistle: :whistle:
Last edited by PJL on Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Fantarantulatastic Trip To Kruger - April 2017

Unread post by umtali1 » Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:07 pm

Brilliant first raptor - martial eagle :thumbs_up:

How exciting to see a lioness so early in your trip. Lovely pictures of her as she looked around for what.......I wonder :hmz:
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https://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=101340

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Re: A Fantarantulatastic Trip To Kruger - April 2017

Unread post by barryels » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:03 am

Wonderful pictures of the Martial Eagle and general residents of Kruger :D .

Beautiful series of the lioness :clap: :clap: .

Hope she did find what she was looking for :hmz: .
Always be humble and understanding.

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Re: A Fantarantulatastic Trip To Kruger - April 2017

Unread post by Mischief » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:16 am

PJL...definitely on board for this trip.What an impressive start :thumbs_up: Lovely pics of the martial eagle and the lioness.Waiting for more :popcorn: :popcorn:
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Re: A Fantarantulatastic Trip To Kruger - April 2017

Unread post by Wild about cats » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:56 am

Wow what a wonderful lion sighting, you are so lucky! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Also love the camp set up by the fence 8)
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