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Reading the signs

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Grantmissy
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Signs from the Bush

Unread post by Grantmissy » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:47 am

Whilst driving in Kruger or being in camp there are sometimes signs provided by nature that may put a person in a better position to have great sightings of things big and small. The monkeys and baboons usually put up a huge racket if they feel threatened and we will then look out for the “root cause” :) . In Olifants Camp we saw a leopard on the other side of the river chasing a baboon into the bushes just before sunset a few years back and it was the big noise coming from the others in the troop that alerted us that something was going on. It would be interesting to hear from other Kruger visitors about the signs that alert them to keep a watchful eye :thumbs_up: .
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Re: Signs from the Bush

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:57 am

Squirrels go balistic when there are snakes and other threats around, and they are highly vocal, very easy to hear (though not always easy to see the threat).

I oncewitnessed a Vine/Twig snake devouring a tree frog, from the moment of being caught to when it was just a bulge in the snake. All because the frog was chirping like mad while trying to get away (it sounded like a child's squeezy toy).

Birds, especially bird parties will mob threats as well. Very good indicators of owls or other predators which may be hidden.
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Re: Signs from the Bush

Unread post by Elsa » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:03 am

We once discovered a Leopard due to the fact that a Natal Francolin was sitting in the top of the tree screeching its head off and looking most put out.
Another time on the S28, a troop of Vervet Monkeys shouting abuse from the tree tops alerted us to something around and lo and behold another Leopard. :D
So yes, ignore the signs or calls of the bush at your loss. :wink:
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Re: Signs from the Bush

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:07 pm

We also try to 'read' the bush.

Like all the impalas alert & looking in the same direction.
Like waiting a few minutes after a buff herd crosses the road for possible lions.
Like looking in trees along rivers for leopards.
Like always looking 360 at a sighting to see what else might be there.
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Re: Signs from the Bush

Unread post by twigga » Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:03 pm

The best sign of all, alot of cars together..............usually means one thing!
The circus is in town!
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Alot of great hints mentioned, to add:
The obvious, vultures circling in the air, carcass nearby.
Game not wanting to approach waterhole, definit sign of predator activity.

Once were at waterhole near Satara, a group of zebra were casually strolling towards water, suddenly froze, and the culprits two cheetah perfectly camouflaged, if it wasn't for the zebra we definitly wouldn't have noticed them...............

Listen to the sounds of nature! :thumbs_up:
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Re: Signs from the Bush

Unread post by Bundi » Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:55 pm

In February we were at bungalow 25 in Berg-en-Dal when the vervet monleys went crazy. The next moment a leopard apeared on the other side of the fence and proceeded to lie on one of the boulders accros the fence. The next morning the same thing happened again.

In April we were in bungalow 10 at Croc Bridge when the monkeys once again made a racket and I suddenly noticed two huge males lions standing about five metres on the other side of the fence.

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Re: Signs from the Bush

Unread post by Grantmissy » Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:29 am

Thanks for sharing very interesting sightings :thumbs_up: which I think are sometimes possible by “listening to the bush” and not always being in the right place at the right time or luck. Should a person be amongst a large elephant herd a person’s bush experience could also be very helpful to “read their mood” and perhaps even anticipate how they could react. (or a lone moody elephant bull :| ). Whilst in Kruger I think people should be alert and listen to what the bush is saying as the privilege to be able to self-drive in a wilderness area comes with a certain amount of potential danger and therefore responsibility and it is not only about driving around looking for animals.
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Re: Signs from the Bush

Unread post by wildflowergirl » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:28 am

Bush Baptist wrote:Like all the impalas alert & looking in the same direction.


Me, my brother and sis-in-law also found a leopard this way, or the leopard found us?? we stopped at impis all stressed out (making that barking like sound) and looking straight ahead. next moment the leopard jumps out the tree and run across the road.

On another occasion, we drove past a waterhole and no animal were to be seen. :shock: then a buff decided he was thirsty and got chased away very quickly by a lone elephant bull which we didn't even see till the buff came along. So even where there is nothing going on at a place like a waterhole, that should tell you something......

Grantmissy wrote:it is not only about driving around looking for animals.


Very true words those, and sadly a lot of people (or so it seems) don't quite get that. If they want to look for animals they can go to the zoo. :tongue:
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Re: Signs from the Bush

Unread post by Grantmissy » Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:43 pm

It is amazing how the bush can guide a person towards the wonderful daily happenings of nature that we all are so fortunate to experience whilst in Kruger :thumbs_up: but I also think some visitors may lack that required sensitivity or awareness and think they are in a zoo or an amusement park.

wildflowergirl wrote:sadly a lot of people (or so it seems) don't quite get that. If they want to look for animals they can go to the zoo.


In May this year we were approaching Olifants Camp and when we came around a bend in the road we saw a breeding herd of elephants and immediately realized that we must keep our distance. In front of us amongst these majestic animals were a man with two children in a car and he kept on trying to get closer and closer to the already restless animals even ‘revving” the engin of the car, the children hanging out of the windows talking and screaming loudly trying to get the attention of the elephants, totally unaware of any potential danger. Perhaps he simply did not know or understand what the dangers were and it seemed to me that he did not even think for one moment that those animals that they were treating like remote-controlled soft toys or caricatures could within seconds overturn and crush their car to a pulp with potential very traumatic and serious consequences. I think it is not a bad idea for visitors to take notice and respect the signs of the bush and understand the dangers that go with it.
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Scent of the Bush

Unread post by Graham_5000 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:55 am

I have only experienced the African Bush (in the eastern cape and limpopo) after recent rain. The smell is enchanting - especially when you wake up at 4am and there has been overnight rain.

These occasions have always been during the summer, incuding during an unusually wet period near Port Elizabeth.

How does the smell of the veld change from season to season?

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Re: The scent of the bush

Unread post by tent dweller » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:38 am

I have only been able to smell the bush during winter (July in the Kruger) and it is the most wonderful,refreshing,invigorating
smell ever. I have often remarked to my family that if only we could bottle the smell. I think the smell of the bush can vary season to season because of the deifferent types of plants/bushes that are in bloom that time of the year and of course if it is during the rainy season or not
PRETORIUSKOP 20 - 21 December 2015
TAMBOTI 22 - 24 December 2015
OLIFANTS 25 - 27 December 2015 (with a view)
LETABA 28 - 31 December 2015
MOPANI 01 - 03 January 2016 (with a view)
PRETORIUSKOP 04 -06 January 2016

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Re: The scent of the bush

Unread post by threedogs » Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:07 am

When we drove into KNP last August my oldest son was returning after a break of nearly 10yrs. The first thing he did was wind down the window, take a deep breath and say 'Gee I've missed that smell!'
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Re: The scent of the bush

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:56 am

The scent of the bush is the most primal experience for me. I will often travel and stop to breathe in. There are "Please Pass, Birders" stickers. I need a "Please Pass, dreamer", sticker. :wink:

Sound and smell are what gives the bush its atmosphere. It brings it to life and connects deeply with emotion. Interestingly, it is our olifactory nerves that have the shortest pathway to our brain.
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Re: The scent of the bush

Unread post by ww29 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:33 am

for me, the smell of Kruger is the thatch of the huts - just getting a whiff of that makes me relax. Only problem is that sometimes the smell of thatch from somewhere other than Kruger makes me depressed!

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Re: The scent of the bush

Unread post by Nicolette » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:55 pm

Hi

There is nothing like driving around with the windows wide open. The smell (even if it is yeuch) and the noise
makes it part of an amazing experience.


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