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Wildlife in Camps

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by Safrica » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:36 pm

hey we also had Civet at Punda Maria (also coming towards our Safari tent)!

at the fence:
Shingwedzi - Civet
Lower Sabie - Hyena: once eating on a Impala-carcass (crunching bones loudly!), Waterbuck, Hippo
Balule - Hyena

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30 November: Pretoriuskop
1-2 December: Lower Sabie
3-4 December: Satara
5-6 December: Balule
7-8 December: Letaba
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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by o-dog » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:15 pm

Nice thread...

I love spotting things from the fence at night except when you don't concentrate and get thrown to the ground by the electric fence...quite funny in hindsight but not pleasant at the time! :lol:

Ive seen some good stuff from the camps but one animal that doesn't get reported much is the Springhare...seen him for the first time some 20 years back when I didnt know what they were...we were like what the hell its like a Kangaroo but this is South Africa :wall: :wink: ...anyway after checking the guide books we soon worked it out!

So the most interesting sighting from an adrenalin point of view (except getting shocked at the fence while looking at hyenas) was in Satara when we stayed at the Rudi Frankyl House for a special occasion...

We had the lights on at the waterhole and we were sitting with legs up against the fence when first a hyena came to bathe (it was a hot summer's night) ..then a Solifuge crawled under our legs on the was sooo big we thought it was a mouse!! Glad our legs were up against the fence though!!

So anyway 15 minutes later some buffalo males (about 10) came to drink and one of them came to scratch himself on the fence pole close to us...we were quiet and didnt want to disturb him. Obviously we were on slight edge because he was like 30cm from us....suddenly all hell broke loose as some lions (4males and 4 females) came running in and ran straight at the buffalo (and therefore us)...they chased the buffalo along the fence! It was soo crazy and I still have the image in my head although its some years later...

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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by DinkyBird » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:33 pm

I always hope to see bushbabies in the torch light at night.

My most treasured torch light experience is when I was off to the ablutions early one morning (so it was still very dark) and as I opened the caravan door and shone my torch out ahead of me, I had my first sighting of a genet running off under the fence into the bushveld 8)
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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by forestgump » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:24 pm

o-dog seems to have had a great experience with the lions and buffalo !

Starting from north to south with a torch in hand..
Punda Buffalo,spotted hyena,thick tailed bushbaby, civet
Shingwedzi Spotted hyena,civet,genet,scrub hare,rats
Bateleur Scrub Hare,buffalo, monstrous centipedes and solifuges
Letaba Elephant,buffalo,spotted hyena,spring hare,bushbuck,bush baby,waterbuck
Shipandani hippo and too many mosquito
Shimuwini scrub hare,duiker,elephant,buffalo,hippo
Sable Hide Leopard,Elephant,impala
Satara Spotted hyena,african wildcat,civet,honey badger,buffalo,elephant
Orpen Black backed jackal,buffalo,elephant
Talamati white rhino,elephant,buffalo,black backed jackal
Maroela spotted hyena,honey badger
Tamboti Leopard trying to catch baboons,honey badger,genet,spotted hyena
Sand River bushcamp Leopards eating bushbuck, spotted hyena
Skukuza Spotted hyena,thick tailed bushbaby,
Lower Sabie spotted hyena,hippo
Croc Bridge Bushbaby,spotted hyena
Berg n Dal Genet,spotted hyena
Malalane spotted hyena , civet ,scrub hare
Pretoriuskop barn owls,scrub hares,impala,spotted hyena
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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by barcelona » Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:46 pm

Ok...This WAS a favorite of mine, and after seeing a snake curled on the road (did not identify, as thankfully it was far up the road so I turned an ran!) I have since been a bit paranoid (but I am so addicted I still do it !)

Berg-en-Dal: Bushbuck at fence, Hyena, nasty snake that scared me
Skukuza: Hippo at fence, hyena, genet, impala
Lower Sabie: Ellies, Heard a hippo close by but couldn't see it, lion
Olifants: hyena
Letaba: the imfamous letaba bushbuck :think:
Satara: Sitting at the waterhole with a torch, you can see just about everything! Giraffe, Zebra, Lion, Civet, Buffalo, Hyenas hyenas hyenas!, Impala, Elephants....Once, sitting on one of the benches, I kept telling my SO it felt like there were bugs crawling on me. He said it was my imagination, until I finally asked him to turn the torch on me and discovered I was COATED in large ants! Thankfully I had fleece on, and they were biting into it. Ran back to my camp peeling off my clothes as I did (what a sight!) :wink:
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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by Ladybug » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:08 pm


Me and my Fiance was sitting at camp fire, listning to everything around us. My back was facing the pavement between the tents. The whole time we were sitting there my fiance tried to freak me out with "Look... whats that?" and there would be nothing when I look back. Then suddenly his eyes got all :shock: and just point backwards.. I wasnt falling for this one and kept looking forward... Next moment someting black and white was walking up to me. It took me 2 jumps to get myself locked up in my tent till the next morning.

I got such a fright that I was unable to identify what ever it was..Until cheetah2111 posted the picture of the all came back to me... No need to run that fast..nothing with biggg yellow teeth :slap:

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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by TreeQueen » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:04 pm

Cool thread!

Here is my list of the most memorable sightings with or without a torch:

Berg-en-Dal: An impala ran into the fence whilst we were camping one night. Obviously must have been chased by something. Saw a genet walk past the front entrance of our tent and I almost died!

Letaba: An elephant was right on the fence enjoying some green leaves from a tree. That experience was quite scary as you could just 'feel' the elephant's breathing. Can't explain it! Also watched a few thick tailed bushbabies jump around in the trees.

Skukuza: A little bat flew inside our chalet (the units that have the 'enclosed outside patio' section) and into an empty coolerbox that was on top of the fridge. We gently let him free on the grass outside. Shame he was so dazed but finally flew away into the night sky.

Orpen: Two honey badgers on our patio!

Satara: Two honey badgers sleeping and cuddling behind our next door neighbours' chalet.


Have also seen a few scorpions as well as the little bushbabies.
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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by Boslaaitie » Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:45 pm

Lower Sabie - 2 Leopards in front of restaurant and ellies
Biyamiti - Rhino, Elephant, Buffs
Punda - Ciwet, Thick tailed bushbaby
Letaba - Thick tailed bushbaby, lions with buff kill at restaurant
Satara - honey badger
Tamboti - Honey badger, genet
Berg en dal - rhino , buffs, ellies

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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by Bennievis » Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:49 pm

This happened a few years ago one evening at Balule.
I sat in front of my two man tent on a fold up chair, feet up against the fence.
Having seen lion tracks on the way to camp that afternoon, I was hoping that they would pay the fence a visit that evening. I scanned the bush every now and again with my torch. Nothing…… The bush was very quiet, not a movement. After about an hour, now very relaxed, the next thing I saw whilst scanning the bush from left to right - was this huge hyena head between my two feet on the other side of the fence. He was so close he could literally have licked my toes if he wanted to (I think he didn’t want to). Instinct kicked in and I kicked against the fence and landed on my back in a cloud of dust (still in my chair) I almost brought the tent down with me.
I think that hyena must still be giggling. He even brought his mates back at about 2 that morning whooping and laughing in front of my tent - obviously hoping for another show. :popcorn:

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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by Bushcraft » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:04 pm

Cool thread,

I have seen:

hyena, bushbabies, civet, genet, buffalo, elephant, honey badger, rhino, zebra, impala, AWC, hippo, leopard, scrub hare, baboons, owls, bats, rats.

That's all I can think of now :hmz:

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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by BrendaK » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:37 pm

I only do the fence thing once in a while as I travel to Kruger alone most of the times. I am apparently quite nasty when I am there as I want to be in the bush the whole day and travel companions need lunch breaks, Humanity breaks etc. (It frustrates me endlessly).

As I have an enormous almost unhealthy respect for leopards and Elephants :redface: I am always rather weary as to what will happen if you meet them at a fence, some fences just don't look as if they can keep the aforementioned out.

I did however see the civets, ellies and buffaloes and I am very sure that it was an African Wild Cat in and around Punda one night, after having had my fill of Marula juice in the nearby village. I am not sure if it is something in the Marulas, but I was exceptionally brave that night.

Balule seems to be rather notorious for exceptional night fence tours. As I prepared to go to bed one night I thought the hyena patrol managed to break the fence next to my tent, jumping out in my bright pink pj's I met with an Ellie mom and her calve barely 2 metres away from me. After hastily covering my brightness with something darker (I know she knew I was there) I watched her as she taught her youngster the finer points on how to demolish a tree.
"I am doomed to be a wanderer, I am not an empire builder, I am not a missionary, I am not truly a scientist, I merely want to return to the bush to continue my wanderings" (Joseph Thompson - The bush for me and Africa for him)

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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by leo21 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:08 am

We camped at pretoriuskop once right on the fence... Late afteroon right before sun set a pack of wilddogs chased a bush buck right past our fence... Followed by a lone hyena. The chase went on for a while and right in front of the fence. The last call was when the bush buck started jumping into the fence and thats when the heyna stood waiting for him. He caught the bush buck a meter away from our tents you could here the bone crushing, the wilddogs had to go find another meal its was a first for me in the Kruger(first kill and first time seeing wildogs)

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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by picnic » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:52 am

normana53 wrote:At Lower Sabie, we enjoy watching the bats feeding en masse on the insects that are out in large numbers in the early evening. We have also seen bushbaby, vervet and baboon huddled in the trees. At Satara we saw the Scops Owl very well camoflaged against a tree trunk, and watched honey badgers play a game of garbage bin tag, knocking over every bin in our circle in about 15 minutes.

We saw one honey badger at Satara, early one morning and then again that night in camp. 8) Or maybe it could've been two, at different times. :hmz: :?

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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:43 pm

I am notorious for not going to bed and doing more than a bit of meandering.

I have fallen into leguane holes, sat spell bound by ellies and hyenas... and even climbed into stranger's beds.

but that is another story.
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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by tent dweller » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:10 pm

Last year while camping at Tsendze I dropped a piece of lettuce while I was preparing our evening meal, out of nowhere ran a squirrel and before he/she reached it a Crested Barbet landed and grabbed the piece of lettuce, they tried to get it from each other but did not succeed,the cat and mouse game lasted almost 5 minutes with lots of dust and sand flying around, our camera was on the table but I would have loved to take some photographs

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