Skip to Content

The Roads Less Travelled (and some familiar ones)

Tell us about your breathtaking experiences in the parks
User avatar
Karin Mitton
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2371
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:56 am
Location: Jhb

The Roads Less Travelled (and some familiar ones)

Unread post by Karin Mitton » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:22 am

During my last 5 trips, I only stayed in the south of the park, favouring Skukuza, Crocodile Bridge and Lower Sabie. I know many people find these camps to crowded and busy, but I love them. I find the camps very quiet in the evenings, and because I drive for the biggest part of the day, I never encounter the big crowds during the day.

Now that my son had finished school, my friends asked if I will now be doing my annual Kruger visit during the off season. That would make sense, but when I realised the situation with the public holidays during the March/April school holidays this year, I also realised I would be silly not to take advantage of them.
So, when I made my reservation on 26 June 2015, I considered some different camps to my normal destinations. The reservation was made, and my excitement started building –

• 2 nights at Olifants
• 1 night at Satara
• 3 nights at Skukuza
• 1 night at Crocodile Bridge

The intention was to drive as far as Tzaneen on the Saturday, and then enter the Park via the Palaborwa gate for my 7 nights of bliss. In January I started thinking of why I wanted to “waste” time in Tzaneen. To do what? So onto the Sanparks site I went, found accommodation at Mopani for the Saturday, and 7 nights became 8 nights.

User avatar
Karin Mitton
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2371
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:56 am
Location: Jhb

Re: The Roads Less Travelled (and some familiar ones)

Unread post by Karin Mitton » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:27 am

The drive to Phalaborwa was mostly uneventful. It started raining heavily just before I reached Tzaneen, and I have to admit, as much as the rain was needed, there were moments when I did not enjoy driving in the rain.

I arrived at the gate and it was still drizzling. The Sanparks staff was friendly and efficient as always, and when asked about the rain, all had BIG smiles on their faces and were doing the :dance: :dance: of joy!

At 10h00 exactly I drove through the gate.

The first few weeks of this year had been quite busy and stressful from a work perspective, and I really needed the break. When I drove through that gate, it was as if a door closed behind me, shutting out the outside world completely. It was only conversations with my son, my mom and thoughts of my doggies that would remind me there is a world outside Kruger. I even missed all the cricket happenings (not that I missed much!)

It continued to drizzle, but after a few kms, the rain stopped, but only for a short while. The first animal I saw was a Swainsons Spurfowl, and the first mammal was a Buffalo.

Buffel 1_.jpg


I drove to the Sable hide. It wasn’t long until I saw the first Impalas, as well as a Tawny Eagle, something that excited me because I have not seen them that often.

Impala 1.jpg


Tawny 1.jpg


Except for a Fish Eagle, the hide was quiet, and because of the drizzle, I did not get out of my car.

User avatar
Karin Mitton
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2371
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:56 am
Location: Jhb

Re: The Roads Less Travelled (and some familiar ones)

Unread post by Karin Mitton » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:32 am

I took the H14 Tar road to Mopani.

Some Yellow-billed hornbills provided some entertainment. The overcast skies were not good for photography that day!

Hornbill 1.jpg


My trip started on a special note with a lifer – African Harrier-hawk.

Harrier-hawk 1.jpg


Harrier-hawk 2.jpg


He was the first of many wet birds, and all along the road I encountered raptors trying to dry themselves when there was a break in the rain. The stand out memory of the day is the number of raptors I saw – more than I have ever seen in one day.

Bataleur 1.jpg


Bataleur 2.jpg


Tawney 2.jpg


Any ideas what this may be?
Arend 1.jpg

User avatar
Pumbaa
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4719
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:43 pm
Location: Far too many days to go!

Re: The Roads Less Travelled (and some familiar ones)

Unread post by Pumbaa » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:34 am

Great start, Karin,

and I guess one more night in Kruger is always better in spedning same somewhere outside :tongue:

Love the cute Impalas - Such a peaceful scene :thumbs_up:

and what amazing raptor shots already :mrgreen: :big_eyes:
Last edited by Pumbaa on Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
billyf
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2502
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 4:30 pm
Location: Helderberg

Re: The Roads Less Travelled (and some familiar ones)

Unread post by billyf » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:35 am

Great start visiting "uncharted" territory :thumbs_up: And no, you won't be travelling alone, I'm joining you on this trip :D
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away

User avatar
umtali1
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
FAC Member (2015)
Posts: 3468
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:34 pm
Location: Comberton near Cambridge UK ...2016 visit completed

Re: The Roads Less Travelled (and some familiar ones)

Unread post by umtali1 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:46 am

Am on board this bus with my usual supplies......... :popcorn: :popcorn:
We have discovered some real treasures when visiting uncharted territory and wondered why we had left it so long :hmz: :hmz:

Great pictures of the raptors :clap: :clap:
umtali1

Current - Reis Verhaal from Kruger 'Bush' Camps
https://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?&t=93948

2013 Mokala and KNP,
2015 "Cape Town to Namibia border" - Ebb and Flow, Karoo NP, Mokala, Augrabies & KTP

User avatar
isinkwe
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
FAC Member (2014)
Posts: 1927
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:27 am
Location: Lost in the travel tales and bird ID challenges

Re: The Roads Less Travelled (and some familiar ones)

Unread post by isinkwe » Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:20 am

Hi Karin
Count me in for this ride , :D I know your love of birds so I am sure you will show us plenty :thumbs_up: Great sighting of the African Harrier Hawk , stunning birds :thumbs_up:


Karin Mitton wrote: Any ideas what this may be?
Arend 1.jpg


Could be a Wahlsberg Eagle
I hate it when the voices in my head go silent.......I never know what they are planning. :roll:

So when is old enough to know better supposed to kick in ?

User avatar
salamanda
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2929
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: KZN

Re: The Roads Less Travelled (and some familiar ones)

Unread post by salamanda » Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:59 am

I like roads less travelled, so here I am :D . I think your raptor may be a Brown Snake Eagle?

User avatar
Sparrow
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1698
Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 9:11 am
Location: Pinetown the Finetown in KZN

Re: The Roads Less Travelled (and some familiar ones)

Unread post by Sparrow » Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:44 pm

Hi Karin hope there`s a place for me on this bus.
Russel G

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished Lao Tzu


27/02/16 to 01/03/16 Satara
02/03/16 to 05/03/16 Skukuza Cricket.

User avatar
Tessa G
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 3489
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:15 pm
Location: Strand, Cape Town

Re: The Roads Less Travelled (and some familiar ones)

Unread post by Tessa G » Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:57 pm

I have been looking forward to your TR Karin, so I am packed and ready on the bus. :thumbs_up:

How wonderfully fortunate for you to be able to see so many raptors....the rain must have been a good luck charm and brought them all out into the open.

:popcorn: :popcorn:
Dec 16 - Letaba, Shingwedzi, Olifants, Tamboti, Biyamiti, Berg n Dal
Current: The Different Faces of Cape Point
CURRENT TR: 23 DAYS WITH TESSA & DAVE - FROM HEAD TO TAIL DEC 2015

chirinda
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2822
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: The Roads Less Travelled (and some familiar ones)

Unread post by chirinda » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:42 pm

I specially like your bateleur pics. Thanks for sharing.

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

User avatar
ritad
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Award: Cammer of the Year (2015)
Posts: 24743
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:03 pm
Location: Austria

Re: The Roads Less Travelled (and some familiar ones)

Unread post by ritad » Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:57 pm

Hello Tessa :k

I'm on board for this trip :popcorn: , how great the pictures from the birds in the rain :dance: :dance:
Wait for more :popcorn: :popcorn:
Our Tripreport has startet: KRUGERFEVER? - YES WE HAVE - September/Oktober 2015

Next trip 2017 planned 21.September 2017 - 09.Oktober 2017 :dance: :dance: :dance: only wait for booking :dance: :dance:

User avatar
jjames04
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Award: Video of the Year (2015)
Posts: 374
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:02 am
Location: Indialantic, FL

Re: The Roads Less Travelled (and some familiar ones)

Unread post by jjames04 » Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:02 am

Hi Tessa - nice start; especially the cool pictures of the Bateleur Eagle stretching his wings out. :thumbs_up:

User avatar
Meandering Mouse
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Award: Angel of the Year (2015)
Posts: 12933
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
Location: meandering between senility and menopause

Re: The Roads Less Travelled (and some familiar ones)

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:07 am

It is great to see you back with a trip report. :thumbs_up:

Fabulous raptor sightings 8) . I am sure that we are in for a good drive.

:popcorn:
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

User avatar
Karin Mitton
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2371
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:56 am
Location: Jhb

Re: The Roads Less Travelled (and some familiar ones)

Unread post by Karin Mitton » Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:20 am

Pumbaa, I agree, why stay outside the park if you can stay inside?

billyf, thank you for joining me in unchartered territory!

umtali, welcome on board!

isinkwe, that Harrier Hawk was such a nice sighting on my first day, I've wanted to see one for a long time. And thanks for the eagle ID comment! I will look at your and Salamanda's suggestions.

salamanda, I will definitely look at your eagle ID suggestion as well.

sparrow, there is always place for you on the bus!


Return to “Travel Tales”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


Webcam Highlights

Addo
Submitted by Mischief at 08:52:16
orpen
Submitted by chiba at 09:31:49
satara
Submitted by Mischief at 08:52:34
nossob
Submitted by ANN ANSELL at 08:36:40