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Amazing things seen from/within Camp fences

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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Goggo EJ
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Unread post by Goggo EJ » Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:56 am

Earlier this year I was setting up camp next to the fence at Shingwedzi when the tusker with the short trunk ambled up. He watched me for about 10 minutes, decided I did not need help, and wandered off again!

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Unread post by Kingfisha » Thu Dec 13, 2007 3:41 pm

When in Shimuwini camp (I think 1997), we were the only ones in the camp for 5 days, being February and VERY hot.
One afternoon at about 12h00 we witnessed the resident leopard come down to drink and then chasing the impalas on the other side of the Shimuwini dam. Rolling in the dung, casually walking towards the impalas, trying to ignore them while they stood snorting and watching it. Then the leopard ran towards them again, just playing around.
This went on for about an hour when the leopard lost interest and strode off casually into the bush.

Also at Shimuwini, we arrived back in camp one afternoon after gate closing and found a herd of about 40 elephants swimming and playing in the Shimuwini dam, grazing right next to the fence and little ones diving right down into the water with just their trunks sticking out! What a show! The whole camp's guests were on the lawns appreciating the scene. The eles were there till after sundown.

Also in 1993 there was a lion kill in the Olifantsriver and we could view the lions for about 3 days from our bungalow while they consumed the buffalo they killed.

When staying in Boulders last year, we also used our torches to shine on the waterhole during one evening. A big herd of buffaloes visited the waterhole, a small cat and then later on, as we put the spotlight on the waterhole, there was the leopard. It disappeared and came back again after about a half an hour! It was wonderful!

(Although not KNP, I once saw an Aardwolf come to drink at the waterhole in Okaukuejo camp in Etosha late one night. Very special)

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Re: Amazing things seen from/within Camp fences

Unread post by Christined » Sat Jan 05, 2008 7:38 am

Hi there! I would like to tell you about the amazing animals we have seen in Maroela camp when camping for a weekend two years ago: a huge badger entertained us over the weekend, running about in the camp at night (quite scary!); a porcupine took nightly walks around the camp, the normal hyenas prowled around the fence and one suprized us on our visit to the ablutions in the night - there was also a leopard, which we unfortunately did not see, but heard growling (or do you call it roaring - how do you describe the sound a leopard makes!) a few metres from the camp in the early morning hours! We also saw a cerval on the gravel road during the same weekend! This was the best 'five' we have ever experienced!

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Unread post by Marina » Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:32 pm

Here's one of the highlights of our stay in Lower Sabie Camp this December...

Our safari tent was right next to the fence which provides the perfect path down to the river for the animals. As we had lit our fire for our evening braai we checked the fence for any lucky sightings, up strolled a male hyena, found a comfy spot on the grass and lay down! It was rather creepy knowning he was just lying there in the dark as we continued preparing our food. A few minutes later we hear "munch munch" sounds coming from the bushes... torches on... here comes a hippo having his evening meal, within two meters of the hyena. The hyena wasn't too bothered, he lifted his head throwing a sideways glance towards the hippo until the hippo turned and faced away from him, grazing in the other direction.

It was awesome enough seeing one creature so close to the fence never mind two different animals at once! :wink:

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Sightings from within the camp fence

Unread post by Robyn Brown » Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:46 pm

In August 2007, I was fortunate to see 5 elephants including calves feeding and walking along the dry river bed at Berg & Dal. It was amazing to sit 10 metres away from these gorgeous animals and just watch.

A few evenings later we stayed at Biyamiti. On the other side of the fence were lions, which we watched for a long time. Some ellies came down to the watering hole and as they walked back they crossed paths with the lioness. One now knows who the true king of the jungle is. The ellies!! They sent the lioness packing. While this was all happening, to the left of the water hole 5 rhino appeared.

All night long the lions roared and grunted in the river bed in front of our cottage. This was truly an amazing siting.

We were also shown a python in a dead tree in the camp. Apparently the python was staying there after eating one of the vervet monkeys in the camp!


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Unread post by Deb » Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:08 pm

Definately stay at Biyamiti! On our trip there in October, we were woken up at about 04:00 with lions calling to each other from opposite sides of the camp...then at about 06:00 they finally decided to re-unite. 2 females and 3 cubs strolled up the river bed to meet the one that was calling them! It was a very happy reunion!

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Unread post by lovehyena » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:13 am

there were lions mating outside Tamboti in Dec, clearly visible from perimeter fence (and the gate is open and unarmed all day :D )

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Unread post by Paulsly » Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:36 pm

In the late 70's (when I was a twinkle in my dads eye) My parents where visiting a good friend / ranger who was living in Skukuza at the time. Well one night while they were braaing. a ranger came into the hunt and told my dads friend about a pride of 19 lions that had just killed a buffalo just out side the service gate, and had informed him that he had left the gate open for them to investigate if we wanted to take a drive after supper.

Well a while later my dad and his friend where inside the hut talking and my mom was outside standing in the dark with a torch watching over the meat.
She heard a noise in the bush 4 meters in front of her and shone the beam into the bush. To see 5 pairs of eyes staring at her.
Well she did not think twice and took off like a bullet straight into the hut screaming, except no noise came out of her mouth.
It took my dad 5 minutes to calm her down before she said that there where lions outside.
Well the ranger and my dad went outside to find 5 hyaena's munching away on my parents supper.

Since that day it has been my dads job to cook the meat.

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Sightings in/from camps in KNP

Unread post by Nina! » Sat Feb 02, 2008 1:48 pm

In September 2006, we saw a genet in Berg-en-Dal camp. In the evening, we had a braai and sat in front of the fireplace when my husband told me to slowly look behind me. There it was: a beautiful genet, sitting right before the terrace, watching us calmly. It was great. Such a beautiful animal. The genet stayed there for approx. 5 minutes and even did not mind that we took a picture :-) It must have liked the smell of our food. After some minutes it left (disappointed?), obviously in search of food.
The evening before, we saw a hyena patrolling the fence outside Berg-en-dal camp just at sunset. And the year before, in June, we had also seen a hyena outside the camp, also at sunset.
In that year (2005), we also saw an elephant standing directly at the fence. He was just centimeters away and seemed to curiously watch the people inside the camp. That was great, too.

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Unread post by Pjw » Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:27 pm

In the late 1980's my SO and i were staying at Olifants in one of the viewsite chalets and were braaing our dinner at the edge of the cliff. We were on the verandah and the braai was just off the verandah. Suddenly a large bird dropped out of the sky and stole a chop of the braai. It all happened so fast I could only guess it was a hawk, but thats not even an educated guess as I didn't really see the bird. We got a huge fright but laughed at ourselves afterwards.

In 2006 we were picnicing at Timbavati watching those "tame"bushbuck demanding food from the tourists. A squirrel had also learnt the begging trick, but had forgotten the basic rule of the bush -be vigilant at all times. So a yellow billed kite dived and got himself an easy dinner. It was quite spectactular and for quite some time afterwards the birds and squirrels were very nervous!
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Unread post by Boorgatspook » Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:46 pm

Although many might not think that snakes are interesting sightings inside camps (i tend to agree with that) does it seems that i have the ability to get face to face with them quite regulary. :shock: Last year during June when mom and i were staying at Orpen and after i returned from the cam waterhole i almost stepped on a puffadder that was on its way along our stoep.
Then this year during the cricket weekend i was on my way to the mens bathrooms late nite, got a bit lost ending up at the ladies, and what i got was another snake :roll: Got a scare of my live because it raise it's head up high. (might be a black mamba but can't say for sure) Needles to say i froze instantly in my steps, to scared to breathe, eventually it disappeared into some bushes nearby. I never got to the men's, wasn't needed any more...

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Unread post by Jose » Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:49 pm

My all-time best sighting of an animal inside a Kruger camp (i.e. not including unfenced-not-to-be-mentioned-here bushcamps elsewhere) - until now - happened in Skukuza, during the recent cricket week-end: thick-tailed bushbaby. In the tree right next to my bungalow...
Picture this: approx. 1 AM... friend and I sit outside, talking. We hear a rustling of leaves, look up, and there they are: a mom and youngster. They climb down tree, we silently move closer. The four of us (2 humans, 2 bushbabies) end up examining eachother from about 1.5 m distance max, for at least 10/15 mins.
And of course the camera was in the car... :roll:
Don't you just love them tuskers? 8)

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Re: Interesting sighting INSIDE the fence

Unread post by RUMURUTI » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:28 pm

Followed this big chap at Letaba for over an hour. He decided he wanted a squirrel for his braai and took a looong time to understand squirrels are too fast for him!
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Re: Interesting sighting INSIDE the fence

Unread post by RUMURUTI » Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:10 pm

michel367 wrote:Best I have done so far was a squirrel at Letaba. Not interesting enough to post though. :?

Saw lot's of those in all camps Michel
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Re: Interesting sighting INSIDE the fence

Unread post by Malealea » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:50 pm

@ michel

If you ran then you should run in a zig zag otherwise the cobra will spit at you ;-). Any way the best thing to reackt, if you see a Cobra ist to stnd still. If you move the snake will attack.

The Squirrels are beutifull especialy the second picture is great!
life is Game, you rather play or flee. I chose to play the Game.

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