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KRAZY KRUGER

Tell us about your breathtaking experiences in the parks
elliefant
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KRAZY KRUGER

Unread post by elliefant » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:56 am

All went well with my premium economy seat from Sydney to Johannesburg for my first trip to Kruger on my own. For a 61 year old female ticking off her bucket list I was a little hesitant but looking forward to the challenge. This was to be my fourth trip to Kruger, the third in the last twelve months. Normally I travel with my now 23 yo son. I left him at home to do his law exams. He still hasn't forgiven me.
I fell in love with Kruger when we first went in April 2006. It was boy wonder's wish to travel to Kruger and being a doting mum, I said "yes, why not?" I love animals and thought it would be fun...well, wasn't it just. We stayed at the Protea Hotel just outside the Paul Kruger gate and saw lions, ellies and all the usual suspects on that first trip. On our return home I promised we would return and go "from Punda to the south".
It took ten years to do that . We had a short two week break in June-July 2016 at Kruger and CapeTown and I was thrilled to see three cheetahs and two leopards in Kruger. We stayed at a lodge at Marloth Park and drove in daily through Crocodile Bridge. Was a great trip but it was clear the drought was having an effect.
When boy wonder's November Thailand holiday went belly up I had a great thought...."lets do Kruger from top to bottom and stay in the Park"?
Apart from the speeding ticket I got not far out from Punda, it was a marvellous trip. Whilst it was sad to see the effects of the drought, it was fantastic to stay in the park for 25 days. The rest camps were clean and the staff very helpful. We had a terrific time.
So why did I return so soon?
I love driving and I love animals and I love taking photos so it was a no brainer that I would return to Kruger sooner rather than later. 20 days in Kruger, no wi fi, with only the animal sounds and the trillion stars overhead to keep me company:: pure bliss.
The drought was broken, plenty of water in the waterholes, long grass everywhere and the leaves turning brown were sights to behold. The only downside was the long grass which made animal spotting so difficult. The s100 at Satara was hopeless for lions....where in December it was like a moonscape with easy spottings. But I wasn't deterred. There even was a Krazy Kruger Tuesday where I started the day seeing three male lions walking along the road, six, yes, six separate leopard sightings, then two cheetahs who both separately stood on top of a road sign...how good was this?
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white rhino down south
Attachments
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krazy tuesday cheetah on sign
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krazy Tuesday cheetah
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leopard on rock krazy tuesday
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the start of krazy Tuesday, three leos
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wild dog waterside

elliefant
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Re: KRAZY KRUGER

Unread post by elliefant » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:21 am

Okay, my eyesight is not as good as I hope it would be..yes, that is a mongoose on the rock....near where the leopard was that was roadside sunning itself. As I approached it ran off into the bush...nowhere to be seen when I got there but I was confident that the car cam got it on video...WRONG!
Too bad, as my trusty Nikon was able to capture some of the other krazy Tuesday antics.
Attachments
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Beautiful reflections
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Majesty up tree
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Way to go baboon
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Blissful hippo
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another krazy Tuesday leopard
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krazy Tuesday leopard
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Anyone for a kiss?

elliefant
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Re: KRAZY KRUGER

Unread post by elliefant » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:41 am

But, wait, there's more!!
Saddest sight was on the Sweni River road out of Satara where a rhino had been shot and poached...terrible to see. But nature takes care of itself and it wasn't long before the two male lions decided to feast. I returned the next morning to see now three male lions feasting with the lioness and her three cubs waiting nearby. One poor boy cub was hungry and everytime he approached the carcus he was roared at and chased away. Such is the pecking order in a lion pride..I wouldn't last a second.
Attachments
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rhino dinner time
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mongoose family on termite mound
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Scops owl at Satara camp
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I want a rest, mum.
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ellies near lower sabie
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Pied kingfisher at sunset dam.
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Sunset dam drink.

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Mafuta B
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Re: KRAZY KRUGER

Unread post by Mafuta B » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:47 am

Amazing group of sightings! very nice
At the end of it all you don't want to go into the grave peacefully and quietly in well preserved body... You want to go sort off skidding in sideways, full of bruises and scratches saying: "Man what a ride!!!"

elliefant
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Re: KRAZY KRUGER

Unread post by elliefant » Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:04 pm

Krazy Kruger turned out to be....well, absolutely krazy!
When I returned the morning after coming across the poached rhino, I wasn't surprised to see more lions there. The lioness and the three cubs didn't get a lick and there was a huge roar in the distance. Another male lion was on his way. Two older male lions and a younger male were chowing down when all of a sudden all hell broke loose.
By this stage, the six cars there had turned their engines off and like me had their drivers window down taking snaps....silly move. Lions starting darting between the cars and the new male ran right beside my car....the video I was taking attests to my panic as I was trying to turn the engine on to close the window..he quickly darted past and chased the others...what scaredy cats the others were...but I guess he was an older lion and they gave way to his seniority.
It wasn't long before the nearby vultures jumped on board and began ripping and tearing at the rhino..a black backed jackel joined in and then three hyenas warily approached. Party time. Gruesome though it was to witness, this was nature happening before my eyes. After about fifteen minutes the vultures suddenly flew off and the wary hyenas ran away...only the jackel stayed. The male lion returned, only to run straight past the rhino! The vultures and the jackel started feasting and it was time for me to make my way back to Skukuza, shaking my head.
Attachments
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Wary hyena
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Hyenas turn
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Feast
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Sniffing
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Cub didn't get a look in.
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Vultures turn.

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billyf
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Re: KRAZY KRUGER

Unread post by billyf » Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:33 pm

Wonderful encounters, I am sure you will never forget Krazy Tuesday !!! Thank you for sharing with us :clap: :clap:

But there must be lots more to share :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away

elliefant
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Re: KRAZY KRUGER

Unread post by elliefant » Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:37 pm

Since it was so difficult to see cats during the day I invested in sanparks sunset and night drives..turned out to be an astute investment at some camps. Also an opportunity to meet other travellers, both local and visitors. All of us had one thing in common...we love this place.
Being in the right place at the right time is the Kruger motto...some days are diamonds, some are stones in relation to sightings but everyday is a real blessing. The countryside is always beautiful, birds singing and animals bouncing around enjoying life. Even the copious herds of impala looked stunning. This trip I was able to see new things much to my sons dismay....a snouted cobra, another snake on the road ,two porcupines, a civet and a serval on the croc bridge night drive...bliss. Not as many colourful birds as in summer but you can never tire of seeing a southern ground hornbill... but what is the red thing for?
Attachments
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Another krazy Tuesday leopard
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Two heads are better than one
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Bushbaby
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terrapin on the road
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early am wild dog on H3
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sleepy lion lower sabie
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Hammerkop on s25
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Pied kingfisher tenderising his fish.

elliefant
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Re: KRAZY KRUGER

Unread post by elliefant » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:01 pm

Nothing much on telly so I will continue until zzzzz comes.
Ten hour driving days came and went and I knew that I would have to come back to Kruger. I mixed up accommodations by staying in a mix of bungalows, huts and safari tents. I was lucky to get one night in Biyamiti which I absolutely adored...must return as it is such a beautiful place. Plenty of ellies, giraffe, rhinos, buffalos and even got to see the resident leopard. Only animal I missed seeing was a black rhino...we managed to see a mum and baby in December and boy wonder saw a lone rhino on his own....lucky boy.
Attachments
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Mum and bub ground hornbill
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Dagger boy at Biyamiti river
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leopard on road ..beautiful cat
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night drive leopard satara
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Old lion on H7 early am
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Cobra near Balule
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I am so tired
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Bull ellie in the mist
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Hyena
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Beautiful bountiful impala.

elliefant
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Re: KRAZY KRUGER

Unread post by elliefant » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:32 pm

So I ask myself these questions....why was a terrapin crossing the road? To get to the other side? No, too obvious. No water in sight...so I just don't know. Who let the old lion out of the lion nursing home? Gosh, he looked like a walking dead lion. No joke, see for yourself. Why did three male lions, a lioness and three midsize cubs run off after an older male came roaring along? Why did that lion return to the rhino then keep going? I didn't hang around so I don't know the answer to those questions...pity.
I absolutely loved these 20 days in Kruger...no, I didn't get lost nor did I get eaten... fears my son had for me...no faith. He obviously forgot that I have been driving for 40 odd years and get by without a gps and can read a map. It was sweet of him to care, I know but deep down I think he was trying to scare me into not going...that was NEVER going to happen.
So, when will I return? Both son and I are cricket tragics so the aim is to watch the aussies play the proteas at the Wanderers Test in late March 2018 then continue on to Kruger and maybe even Pilanesberg for a change...I see that they have a lot of black rhino. I'm always up for a challenge and am in training for a bush walk in Kruger .We will see. I am bucket listing for the obvious reason....uk and Europe in April, Kruger in may-June , cruise to Noumea in October and hopefully Kruger next April.
Krazy Kruger has given me great strength and has put my own situation into perspective...the world is a great place filled with beautiful things. Krazy Kruger is my favourite place to visit....for peace, solitude, beauty of nature both fauna and flora. Life was meant to be lived and I intend to keep doing that. Thank you Kruger.
Attachments
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Lilac breasted roller with brekky
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Lake Panic beauty.
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run over snake hanging on to life
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Malelane gate beauty
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Biyamiti river ellies
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Beautiful croc bridge lioness

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Karin Mitton
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Re: KRAZY KRUGER

Unread post by Karin Mitton » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:41 pm

elliefant wrote:So why did I return so soon?


Because it is an addiction!

Love your photos - you had brilliant sightings!
I saw reports about the poached rhino :cry: :cry: and the feast it provided for the pradators.

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hilda
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Re: KRAZY KRUGER

Unread post by hilda » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:14 am

Wow elliefant, you had some wonderful sightings and clearly had a great time during your solo visit to Kruger! :clap: :clap:

Beautiful bird sightings too, and lovely pictures of all! :dance: :dance:

Leopards and Lions galore! How lucky were you! Absolutely stunning! :dance: :dance:

Looking forward to more please! :popcorn:
"It always seems impossible until it is done." - Nelson Mandela.

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Nkulu
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Re: KRAZY KRUGER

Unread post by Nkulu » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:14 am

some days are diamonds, some are stones in relation to sightings but everyday is a real blessing.


what a beautiful way to express the experience :gflower:
Thank you for sharing this lovely trip
The secret of happiness is to count your blessings, while others are adding up their troubles

Tamboti 20-25 September 2017

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George_Brits
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Re: KRAZY KRUGER

Unread post by George_Brits » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:46 am

Incredible sightings and wonderful Trip Report, elliefant, my top pic of them all is the bull elephant in the fog and the snouted cobra at Balule! Wonderful and memorable sightings all around. It seems like you had an amazing trip. :gflower:

elliefant
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Re: KRAZY KRUGER

Unread post by elliefant » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:35 am

So what was the difference between December 2016 and June 2017? Grass, lots and lots of tall green grass. Water, lots and lots of water in waterholes everywhere. Animals, lots and lots of animals. Satara last year was like a moonscape with easy sightings of lions. This year the s100 was almost impossible to see anything five metres from the road. Many more animals around the camp such as impala, zebra, wildebeest and elephant. It was a delight to see.
Attachments
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Satara 2016
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Marheya waterhole Satara 2017
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Lower Sabie 2017
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Biyamiti Road 2017
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Sabie River 2017
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Sunset dam 2017
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s100/s41 Dec 2016
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Shitlhave dam june 2017
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Lake Panic dec 2016
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Lake Panic June 2017

elliefant
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Location: sydney australia

Re: KRAZY KRUGER

Unread post by elliefant » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:12 pm

Dead and ailing hippos were seen in dec but in june 2017 they were all fat,fit and healthy. The mopane trees up north were so green..in June around Olifants they were turning yellow for winter.
Attachments
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Sunset dam 2016
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Kumana Dam 2016
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H7 2016
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Shibotwana waterhole s100 2016
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Satara moonscape 2016
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s100 2016
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Plains near Letaba 2016
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Letaba 2016
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Dead hippo near Letaba 2016
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Water puddles near Shingwedzi 2016


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