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Share your great sightings in Kruger here

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Share your great sightings in Kruger here

Unread post by Pikkie » Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:04 am

I have so many wonderful memories/sightings in Kruger that makes me a total Kruger fan. These sightings make me go back time and time again!

I was wondering if there are any other forumites that would like to share some of these gr8 memories/sightings that make them stand every morning wishing they were in the Kruger!

I would like to share a few gr8 experiences I had with my family:
1) One Oct we went in at Punda for the day but soon decided that we will sleep over at Shingwedzi for the night in our bakkie.
Early the next morning we drove the Kanniedood road and soon found a pride of lions walking in the dry river bed (3 pride males and several lionesses). They settled down on the opposite bank, and while we were enjoying this early morning sighting an elle popped out in front of us to chase the lions away when a leopard strolled past us!!!!! That was gr8

2) Dec '06 we entered at Punda to sleep over at Satara for 4 nights. We weren't in for 2 min when 2 lionesses stormed out of a bush right next to us. Needless to say we stood there for a while and observed that there were 5 more lionesses and they were attempting to pull down a buffalo. Many more gr8 animal sightings on the downward trip, but just before the Olifants bridge we came across more lions (seven) busy eating a hippo carcass (which ponged tremendously 2 days later). Down to Satara, pitched the tent and drove the S100. to find the resident pride just off the road. The youngsters were chasing Wildebeest and impala while dad and mom(s) were keeping a close watch. 10 lions there and 1 more just as we left that came walking towards us. 25 lions on our first day!!!!!!

I will post more sightings later, but I would love to hear some of your gr8 memories that will always lead you back to the open spaces of Kruger!

Skukuza 02/04/2008 to 09/04/2008 searching for doggies, black rhino and cheetah!

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Unread post by DotDan » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:05 am

This one time ... we were watching a wildebeest grazing, near Satara, when all of a sudden an impala came and stood right next to him and also started grazing.. :shock:

No i am just kidding :lol: .Our 2 best experiences must be driving around Satara(can't remember the road) when we came across 2 elephunt bulls fighting, they were stomping and pushing. We were about 100 metres away but you can actually feel the earth move as the fight..very cool.

Another is probably when my SO saw a lioness walk right by the fence we were standing at (also Satara) :shock:

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Unread post by jakoventer » Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:27 am

Way to uch to name all, but here is a few.

1. S28 - Spend 90min with leopard trying to catch breakfast. Only people around.

2. Spend 30min with leopard about 2m from car window cleaning itself, as if we were not even there. Then tried to catch breakfast as well. Close to leeupan on the tar road. We were also the only car.

3. One of our first trips to Kruger, when we were still trying to cover the whole park in one day, we drove from Phalaborwa to Mopani, and about 13h00 in the day, the spotted one decided to cross the road where we stopped for no apparent reason.

4. Matambeni hide around 16h00. Watching some buf waking up and some crocs basking. The next thing.... Spotted one coming to have a drink. Saw croc and was frightened, chased, yes chased the bufs away, and then caught an impala.

5. S100 afternoon drive... Cheetah came from the river, crossed the road in stalking mode as there were waterbuck and impala on the other side. Then after about an hour caught a small waterbuck.

6. Two male lions were enjoying themselfes on a buf about 100m from road. Next to road all the vultures. Everybody that stopped snapped some shots of the vultures and drove off, even when trying to stop them to show them the lions.

7. Wild dog on the H4-1. Killed and finished an impala about 10m from the car. We were the only ones at this sighting :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :lol:

8. Duke and a couple others crossing the road right next to us. If I had to put my hand out of the window, I could have touched the big one. He still had both tusks.

9. White rhinos, 5 in a group on the S114 just pass renosterkoppies. Two picked up a scrap but it did not last long

10. Honey Badger pair crossed the road in front of us. Not far from Mopanie.

11. Having breakfast in Lower Sabie, when lions decided to come and have a drink. Luckily the deck is high.

The list goes on and on and on and on.
Kruger rocks !!!

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Unread post by webb » Mon Mar 10, 2008 2:03 pm

As a very regular visitor to the park I have been very lucky over the years here a few of mine in no particular order:

On a morning drive from Pretoriuskop we managed to spot the big five before 7am

On the redrocks road we spotted two cheetah and after watching them for about ten minutes they got up and made some strange growling noises and were staring intently into the bush.
Suddenly a leopard came rushing out of the bush chasing them round and round.
This carried on for about two minutes with the cheetah easily out running the leopard.
After a while the cheetah ran off into think bush and out of view when the leopard decided to cross the rd right in front of us and down into the river bed.
It was about 3pm and really hot. We were the only car.

One trip we got up early for a big all day drive.
Leaving from Berg & dal in the early hrs of the morning.
First up a leopard on the main rd just after the Mabalane bridge.
As we reversed to get a better view we spotted two wild dogs running in the veld on the other side of the bridge.
The question was where to look.
We then stopped for Breakfast at Afsaal.
After Afsaal we continued along the Bume rd where we saw another leopard in a tree and just after that a cheetah walking in the rd. then to Skukuza for some lunch.
After lunch we decided we would head north for a bit and do the Maroela loop before heading down to Pretoriuskop for the night.
On the way up another leopard decided to cross the road in front of us.
And then last but not least we had a whole pack of wild dogs sprinting around our car after something which we didn’t see there must have been 12 of them but as quick as they appeared they were gone again leave us wondering if we had really just seen what we saw.
We had a few beers that night to celebrate a long but very rewarding day in the park.

One morning leaving from Biyamiti bushveld camp I came across a pack of wild dogs and their pups.
They were highly excited and the pups were whining and biting at the adults lips.
Then the dogs starting regurgitating large chunks of meat.
We spent an hour watching the whole thing right in the road in front of us.
As it was on the private section of road we were the only car there.
Eventually we drove off leaving the dogs resting up right next to the road and not another car in site!
2km further on we spotted a leopard in the tree with his kill.
Again we watched him on our own for about 30min without another car.
Then on the way to Lower Sabie another lazy leopard sleeping in a tree on the Lower Sabie highway.
On our return to Biymiti that evening we approached the area we left the dogs with much anticipation and caution then a movement across the road. Was it the dogs … nope another leopard.

Another morning leaving Talamiti Bushveld camp.
Not even 50m from the main gate we spotted a cheetah in the road.
Then we spotted her sub adult cubs next to the road.
She was calling them and they all looked very alert.
After some time she led them across the road and right next to the fence of the camp where she had pulled down an impala.
We watched them devour their meal as only cheetahs can do and then we reversed back all of 50m back into the camp for a later breakfast.

The list just goes on and on from following a leopard in the rd on our own for over an hour while he marked his territory as though we were not even there to Lion from the fence of Shingwedzi and Letaba.
Seeing a tiny leopard cub stranded in a small bush right next to the road while his mother was involved in a territorial fight with another leopard.

But between all these sightings lots of hours and days of driving around sometimes not seeing much but that’s all part of it and its the small chance of seeing these special animal interactions that keep us all coming back.

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Unread post by BunnyHugger » Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:25 pm

Pikkie. I think this is a great thread.

Enough to make us all :mrgreen: when we read about all the fabulous sightings that have been seen. And then Webb, just reminded us that it has also been very "dry" in the park at times.

Kruger rocks.

Once in 95 we were booked at Letaba for along weekend. I entered at Numbi gate as is my usual practice. ON the way out of the office, I asked the ranger on duty if he knew of anything interesting in the area. (The question was almost an afterthought.)

Yes he said and directed us to the sand road that runs betwwen the Nappi road and the Doispane road. (Closer to Skukuza).

There was a water hole where a giraffe had been killed by lions. When we got there, there was a whole pride (must have been 10 to 15 lions, lionesses and cubs). The adults were just doing what lions do (Sleeping) and the cubs were playing around.

Same day, much further on, there was a group of cars stopped at something we could not see. So we just stopped at the back and decided to wait a short while. Not long afterwards, the passenger in a white Uno had opened the window to take a picture and a large hyena male got very interested in the car. They reversed back up the raod fairly quickly with the hyena following. They cam right past us and the hyena was si close to our carm that his tail was almost right at my window. When we saw the couple later and asked them what them exitement was about, the cahp informed us that he had biltong in his cubby hole and this got the hyena very exited.

If I can think of any others, I'll share them from time to time.
Bunny Hugger

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It's imperative.

Leave KNP alone. Go build a hotel someplace else. Reserves are for the preservation of wildlife.

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Unread post by Pjw » Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:27 pm

I have been going to Kruger for many years and have had many fantastic sightings.

Two years ago we took friends in for the day via Phabeni gate, joking that we would see the big 5 in a day. It was their 1st trip so we were hoping!! Well 6 hours later we had seen many herds of elephant on or bear the road, buffalo in the sabie river, a leopard jumped down from its branch in a tree next to the road and all we had to see was a Rhino. We had seen all the other game but the rhino was elusive. Then about 10 km from Phabeni this beautiful whit rhino crossed the road in front of us! It was definately beginners luck for our 1st time visitors. they are now hooked and go regularly.

Just 2 weeks ago we were on the tar road from croc bridge to Lower Sabie when we spotted vultures in the trees and decided to have our coffee an muffins right there and wait and see what happened. Many other cars passed us and thought we were crazy to sit in the middle of nowhere and watch vultures ( we are birders anyway so are used to the shaking of heads as people passs us). The wait paid off . After 45 min 3 tiny lion cubs appeared out the bush, followed by a "teenager", stared at us and this dissapeared into the culvert under the road. We were the only ones to see them. The adults must have been near by, but we didn't find them. It was a very special sighting for us especially as we had it to ourselves!
"In the end we conserve only that which we love, we love only that which we understand, we understand only that which we are taught"
(Baba Dioum, Senegalese Ecologist)

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Unread post by DuQues » Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:49 pm

A picture say more than a 1000 words:

Olifants nightdrive 2004, yes we saw the kill being made, have the video as well! :dance: (And the nightdrive truck went offroad, this pic was made from ± 5 meters away!)
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

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Great sigtings in KNP

Unread post by Pikkie » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:12 pm

Thanks BunnyHugger and Pjw for your gr8 moments, yes and sharing them with us! I luv the Kruger so much and have considered becoming a game ranger, but I guess I am to old now!
I once had the opportunity of seeing lions on the hunt but at the crutial moment another vehicle approached from the front and scared the Impala and that was the end of the hunt. I can remember how I could hardly breath and that I was more on edge than the lions or Impala for that matter.

I also had the opportunity to see 30 Roan antelope together at Boyela waterhole in Oct last year, that was certainly the highlight of that trip.

I have found that not one trip is the same, that every trip is unique and that you can always expect the unexpected!!!!
Kruger is alive and well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Unread post by G@mespotter » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:39 pm

A (few) CLOSE encounters / highlights:

To much to write, but still:

A leapoard along the H3 with a Impala kill....
Lions mating close to Tshokwane
9 Wilddogs close to Afsaal
Mating giraffes close to Lower Sabie
3 Leopard sightings on one day in November 2005, all around Skukuza
2 Males 1 Female Lion on the s 65
3 Male Lions on the s114 close to Skukuza
12 Lions on a nightdrive @ Satara, at Gudzani dam (east)
13 Sable on a sunsetdrive @ Pretoriuskop
3 Cheetahs showing off @ Transport dam
5 Cheetah close to Orpen
13 Lions along the s100 close to Satara
12 Lions on a nightdrive @ Satara, at Gudzani dam (east)SECOND TIME< SAME PLACE 2 years later!!
500 - 1000 Buffalo on the H1-4 north of Satara
2 Leopards (1 day after another) on the s114, close to Berg-en-Dal
1 Roaring male Lion on the tarroad (s110) to Berg-en-Dal

These are my CLOSE encounters with a few special animals, not to mention all other special sighnings!!!
Last edited by G@mespotter on Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post by ggreensill » Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:16 pm

Wow so many great sightings. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Here are a couple of my most memorable ones.

Lions, Buffalo,sable,waterbuck,zebra,wildebeest and elephant all visable at once at Jones Dam. Oh and the lion decided to have a go at the waterbuck but was unsucsessful.
Seeing Duke on three seperate occasions. (All on the S28)
Young leopard on the H4-1 last year that got within a couple of metres of the car.
Lions on the main road from Lower Sabie to Croc Bridge all to ourself (first thing in the morning as we left lower sabie).

So many other great moments. Hopefully Kruger will be kind to me this year but we'll just have to wait and see.

Will post a couple of pics tom at work. Connection is a bit slow at home.
Just another tough day in Africa!!!

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Unread post by ggreensill » Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:04 am

As promised yeaterday!! :D :D

Just another tough day in Africa!!!

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Unread post by dizzy » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:36 am

Its interesting to see that most folks best sightings are of animals like lions and leopards. While they are always special to see, I find that less common animals are more rewarding.

I dont get to visit the park as often as I would like, but the times we have were good.

We've seen lion right next to our car door, leopards hunting right next to the road, ostrich near transport dam, various eagles and mating giraffes.

The sighting that means the most to me though is of a baby african rock python lying in the road.
Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.... Bruce Lee

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Unread post by ggreensill » Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:04 am

Hi guys

Firstly thanks for the responses.
The picture of Duke is one of my favourites. Alough not the best quality it was absolutely amazing to see him at such close quarters. One of the most placid bulls i've ever come across. I've got it enlarged to an A2 and have it up in the house.
The picture of the leopard was a lone individual.
I saw him at the bridge that crosses the Sabie river going from the H4-1 to the H1-2.
He/she (i'm not sure at all) seemed fairly young and timid. It had recently made a kill (judging by that blood was still dripping from the implala carcuss in the tree when we arrived) but didn't want to get into the tree. It was desperate to feed but the cars around by that time were really putting it off.
Eventually it ended up spending alot of the time in one of the concrete pipes that went under the road. Luckily for us we had parked directly above the pipe and were able to see it every couple of minutes as it poked its head out to see if the coast was clear. (fat chance)!!
Responding to dizzy I do agree that there are very special sightings to be had with game other than the big five. That was why I included the sable sighting in my first post. I was alot younger then and looking back I don't really think I appreciated at that stadge how lucky I was. I've never seen them since on all my trips!!!
Just another tough day in Africa!!!

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Unread post by maple » Fri May 09, 2008 7:10 am

Awesome pictures and I loved reading your stories and sightings.

I was able to take my husband to Africa for his first time. Having grew up in S.Africa I knew I wanted us to spend a good majority of our time in KNP. So we did about 21 days in the park and drove from Punda Maria to Berg-en-Dal and did both the Sweni and Napi Trails and a night drive, morning drive, sunset drive, 2 morning walks. We were fortunate to see so many animals...our favourite memories were...

1. After crossing Punda Maria gate and heading to camp, not even 10 minutes and we saw 3 bull elephants beside the road...needless to say my husband was extactic

2. Couple days later we were surrounded by a herd of about 100 elephants. Talk about an adrenaline rush. BTW we couldn't believe how many elephants there are in north KNP...we saw elephants about every few hours!

3. Sweni Trail - while on foot our ranger spotted a cat (approx 200m) about to cross our path up ahead...we all ran up to a unsuspecting leopard and got to about ~50 m of her. Fortunately it was windy and she had no idea we were there!

4. Sweni Trail - that afternoon we stalked some lions on foot; we had spotted them in the jeep in the morning. Came across two waterbuck carcasses they had ate from the night before (thank god!) and then walked up on 2 male lions sleeping about 15 m away. Again the impending wind storm allowed us to sneak up.

5. Sweni Trail - 3 black rhino spottings (1 on foot), honey badger

6. Napi trail - black rhino and calf by foot; giraffe birth sighting in the jeep (didn't watch the whole birth as it would have been dark)

7. Napi trail - leaving Napi for Pretoriuskop and I spotted 2 male cheetahs on an anthill!

8. Second leopard spotting...this one is actually funny. We noticed a car stopped ahead and passenger standing outside of his window looking over at drivers side inside this culvert ditch crossing. We asked what he saw and he said "tiger, tiger" (not knowing much english) and then drove off. We couldn't see anything but waited and out popped a leopard he walked about 5 m from the car and caused quite a traffic jam! I love our "tiger" spotting story.

9. Did a sunset drive by Berg-en-dal in the rain. Came across a pack of wild dog which made the crappy weather worth it! I also spotted a genet in a tree on our way back to camp.

10. Our last day in KNP (at Berg-en-dal)....After 2 days of rain and very limited animal spotting (apparently the animals also don't like the rain!)...once the rain stopped all the animals came out to play...we spotted a serval at high noon (was probably starving from not being able to catch anything during those rainy cold days), then in the afternoon back to camp with about 1 hour before gate closing we saw baboons on the road...yes we stopped! when you don't see much for two days you'll stop for anything ;) ... then elephants, tons of white rhino, came across a pride of lions on the road, hyena cubs, a caracal, and a LIT. It was crazy how many animals we saw in 1 hour!

The caracal was awesome as it dashed onto the road up ahead of me (~100m) and then stopped when it saw me. I too stopped and crawled to about 20m from it. He let us watch him until another car approached and then dashed off.

I can go on and on...needless to say we far exceeded our expectations...I told my husband before we went, that we'd be lucky to see a leopard or cheetah while in KNP since they're so rare. ;)

This has been our best adventure to date and can't wait for our next trip back to Africa!
Last edited by maple on Sat May 10, 2008 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread post by Pikkie » Fri May 09, 2008 9:19 am

Wow Maple, we had our best ever trip in KNP at the beginning of April. On this trip I saw many rare species as well. But I'm a cat?predator man and just love to see them. We saw lions hunting, lions in the road, lions sleeping and yes lions chasing a leopard into a tree!
Two cheetah males that dawdled in the road ahead of us for eternity. They were absolutely sated!!!!
Wild dogs in the gravel road and then; yes believe it, they chased a leopard into a tree.
Leopards in trees, on the road, crossing the roads, running away from lions and wild dogs and leopards at a water hole!
Saw a big adult serval, plenty hyena and came across the most beautiful place in Kruger, Lake Panic :clap: :dance: Wow Wow!!!!
We were extremely blessed to see many Giant Eagle Owls, adult as well as chic!
And so many more, the list just goes on and on!
Enjoy the KNP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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