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Pictures/Tales of animals by the "Safe to alight" signs?

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Pictures/Tales of animals by the "Safe to alight" signs?

Unread post by mlatimer » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:29 pm

I'm sure we've all seen the signs which tell you that it is safe to alight from your vehicle "at your own risk". Years ago I saw a picture of one of these signs with a lion sitting beneath it. I thought it was a great picture and tried to recreate it during this past July when I finally made it back to Kruger. Unfortunately, all the animals seemed to be obeying the rules while we were there, and I never got the chance to take such a picture. :)

However, I'm sure many of you have such pictures! If so, care to share them here?

Here's a rather boring picture of one of the signs to get us started:

Last edited by mlatimer on Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pictures of animals by the "Safe to alight" signs?

Unread post by naomirsa » Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:57 pm

I have a great example of it but unfortunately only a video.
My two daughters and I were driving towards Tshokwane from Skukuza one morning.
The first part of the road is always boring, you never find any animals.
Until the road (approx 10km I guess) from the bridge you cross after leaving Skukuza a lioness and big male lion came walking towards us in the road.
They were mating.
It was now around midday.
After watching them for a while we carried on driving and just as you turn the bend, on your right there is a huge rock formation kind of open where it has this plaque which states you may alight from your vehicle at your own risk.
Along came another huge male.
He looked a bit beaten up though and was smelling the air all the time (obviously smelling maybe his brother and female in oesterus) I guess.
He then sauntered up this rock formation and went to lie below the sign first (there was a bit of shade) and later moved up behind one of the big rocks.
If you did not know the lion was there, as you could not see him blending in with the rocks, one would get out to explore.
There were cars coming to look and we warned them not to get out and guess what "they did not believe us and actually got out"!
We watched the male lion just lifting his head and looking at them, we, of course went ballistic and asked the people to just move in their car to where we were to see the lion....which they did and the people that got out literally went white in their faces.
They did not even say thank you...oh well, you get that.
Then one day driving towards Tshokwane again, we stopped at that dam which is now empty I guess where they found the dead crocs.
Again there were people out of their vehicles and I warned them...they just ignored me and lo and behold, behind us came 3 female lions (where the cars park to look over the dam).
One would not expect animals coming in from behind....I have another incident but looks like space is getting to me here....
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Re: Pictures of animals by the "Safe to alight" signs?

Unread post by Xmantis » Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:24 am

What an excellent topic!
Don't have any pictures but we had just gotten back into the car this December from that same "rock formation kind of opening where it has this plaque" near Tshokwane.
There is shrub in the middle of it and in the rear view mirror saw a young leopard cross from the bush to the middle of the shrub.
There were people actually still out looking at the plaque.
A guy next to us in a bakkie saw it too.
We waited to see if it would come out the other side but we think it went through a drain pipe and into the bush on the other side.. :lol:
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Re: Pictures of animals by the "Safe to alight" signs?

Unread post by Spotted Cat » Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:14 pm

EeeeeK!! :big_eyes:

I've never seen an animal stop to read the signs ... know about an incident in one of the Parks close to where we live. A rhino stormed trough the picnic area, creating havoc and people scattered everywhere!
I've seen what the barbeques look like after it has been attacked - bent steel and broken concrete. no-one has repaired it and it's a reminder of what "at your own risk" really means.
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Re: Pictures of animals by the "Safe to alight" signs?

Unread post by RosemaryH » Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:23 pm

Awesome topic, thanks :clap: :clap:

There used to be a stunning photo on the wall in reception at Croc Bridge Camp, that the then Camp Manager took, of a couple of lions lazing on the boulders at Kruger Tablets with the sign in full view. It really was an awesome shot. I tried desperately to get a copy of it from him, but to no avail :( :(

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Re: Pictures of animals by the "Safe to alight" signs?

Unread post by lorrainepring » Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:59 am

No pic on hand, but we saw a leopard at the Kruger Tablets in 2003 :shock:

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Re: Pictures of animals by the "Safe to alight" signs?

Unread post by DavenJan » Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:14 pm

We saw this elephant at Afsaal last year, knew to stay beyond the 'No visitors beyond this point' sign
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Re: Pictures of animals by the "Safe to alight" signs?

Unread post by AussieAngel » Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:57 am

Found this picture - not mine unfortunately


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Re: Pictures of animals by the "Safe to alight" signs?

Unread post by AFRICAT » Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:00 pm

Anybody know of any instances of animal encounters at the "picnic/lookout" area right near Bateleur?
Its rocky outcroppings seem the perfect hideaway for a leopard or a lioness mommy...
I'm always extra leery of that beautiful overlook, but can't resist it nonetheless.

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Re: Pictures of animals by the "Safe to alight" signs?

Unread post by Luren » Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:09 pm

It seems the Kruger Tablets is popular for the animals!
I got out there and enjoyed the fresh air on our way out the Kruger gates. Then got in and just scanned the hill- Saw my FIRST LEOPARD walking down! :shock: brilliant but could be scary!!
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Re: Pictures of animals by the "Safe to alight" signs?

Unread post by Tieroog » Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:10 pm

Tshanga is one of my favourites, too.
Must say I always scan the rocks carefully for leopard or rather as well as you can, although I think it may be too late once you are out of your car facing a hungry spotted one...

Visited Tshanga about 10 days ago and all I saw was snake skin in the tree above my head.
Dankie tog (thank goodness) it was only the skin.
Two days before that we saw a snake in the tree at Letaba while watching the ellies in the riverbed. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I know nothing about snakes so I chose to believe it was a harmless one. :P (White-ish belly, grey on top)
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Re: Pictures of animals by the "Safe to alight" signs?

Unread post by onewithnature » Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:02 am

Once on an early freezing morning at the Stevenson-Hamilton lookout I was suddenly startled by a white rhino standing 20 metres away and just below me.
It stared a while, I stared a while, afraid to move, until it snorted, turned and trotted off.
I hastily retreated to my car, excited at having seen the first white rhino of that trip.

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Re: Pictures of animals by the "Safe to alight" signs?

Unread post by Aussie Ranger » Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:23 am

ndloti wrote:Hope nothing is eying me as a possible meal when I spend time at Tshanga .
Do I recall a trip report of dangerous sightings there ?

There are around 30 elephants under the trees beyond the river course - centre of photo .
I think other visitors don't even see me , just the abandoned car at the car park .
I make sure I am comfortable when I spend time there .
My pillows and camping mattress go along for an after dinner nap.
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Re: Pictures of animals by the "Safe to alight" signs?

Unread post by Mfezi » Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:00 pm

Unfortunately, I only have video material of a hyena at Afsaal a couple of years ago and then last year a Mozambique Spitting Cobra came from behind through the boulders at Nkumbe lookout point.
I was alone at that moment and do have photos but not good enough to post.
The problem is that it is generally speaking much easier to spot the animals, but a snake coming from behind :hmz:
I only heard the grass rustle and as I turned around I saw the snake.
It disappeared down a hole shortly thereafter.
Be careful!!

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Re: Pictures of animals by the "Safe to alight" signs?

Unread post by bushwalker » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:15 pm

Back in 2005, I remember getting out of the car to stretch my legs on the Olifants high-water bridge.
I walked about 20m with my video cam in hand, filming the scene from the bridge and gradually panning round to the view along the bridge.
Hmm .. what's that lying on the road at the end of the bridge ?
I zoomed in for a closer look and saw it was a lioness, watching me very closely :shock:
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