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Wildlife in Camps

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by homer.s » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:28 am

trying once again...


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

Unread post by johanrebel » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:13 am

jeffgordon wrote:I was wondering what others have seen with their torches at night?
If unfenced camps count:

- aardvark
- porcupine
- white-tailed mongoose
- woodland dormouse
- acacia tree rat
- African wildcat
- spotted hyaena
- side-striped jackal
- buffalo
- elephant
- leopard (four)
- lion (lots)

That's not counting the birds, insects, arachnids and common mammals (genets, bushbabies, the usual antelope species).


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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by johanclassen » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:26 pm

In 2010 at Mapungubwe's Limpopo Forest Tented camp this young bull slipped past the electric barrier and wanted to play. Only me and the Mrs in Tent no 2 next to the swimming pool. Those little poles would have tasted like toothpicks :D Image

and Mods, sorry I know it is in a Northern Camp. Please move or delete if necessary?

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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by Ian Grant » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:31 pm

In July this year, we had an quite an exciting experience with a leopard inside Tamboti.

To paint the picture:

I was staying in tent no.3 with my brother, dad and nephew, whilst my one sister was in tent no.5 with my sister-in-law, niece and niece's friend. In tent no.6 was my other sister, her two daughters and my mom.
So, all the boys in 1 tent and all the girls in 2 other tents.

Being both of my sisters' first time to Tamboti, it was met with a certain amount of disapproval, with comments like "it doesn't have the ambiance of the shops/restaurants, it's too 'wild', the ablutions are scary to go to, etc." being thrown in my direction. However, being the ardent Tamboti fan that I am, I reassured them that it's IMO the best camp in KNP, because the sounds at night are rivalled by no other, the game in the area is excellent, the peacefulness, etc.
It took much persuasion and 'big brother' assertiveness to convince them that this was THE place to stay when visiting KNP. Something that they were in total agreement with after our first night there, and having driven around the area for an entire day.

Now, after returning to camp on our second evening I took my little nephew for a stroll up to the bird hide, to get him out of his sisters' hair for a while. Whilst on our walk, I noticed what I thought to be leopard tracks on the dirt road leading to the tented area. I said nothing about it, so as not to create panic within the ranks, and continued on back towards my tent so that I could light the fire.

Roughly an hour later, with it now being completely dark, our entire family had gathered around the fire and were socialising as families do, chatting and laughing (possibly too hysterically & loudly) when our neighbours came across and interrupted us. I though to myself "oh oh, here we go, our first warning to settle down" but to my surprise, they had actually come to tell us that whilst driving up to ablutions they had seen a leopard stalking the resident impala herd (which I had heard bleating frantically for about 30min prior to this).

What is the first thing that all (ALL) of the girls in the family say? You guessed it... "I told you, this place is crazy, it's too wild!"

We were warned not to wander away from the vicinity of the tents and that the Kingfisher Spruit Section Ranger was on his way to come and resolve the situation. This naturally excited me to no end. Boys will be boys. It however scared my little nieces pale, and they promptly marched themselves off to bed... not that they'd get any sleep for the next few hours.

Once the panic in the ranks had settled down a degree or forty, all the girls were tucked in and ready for bed. My brother and I decided that it was now time to head off to our tent and join my old man and nephew.

Not 5 minutes had passed, when I received a phone call from my sister in tent no.6 to please come and help her the girls were terrified and couldn't get any sleep. So, off I marched to go and assist. As I got up to the road leading to her tent, a bakkie drove past me, from left to right, dragging an impala carcass over my feet! It then promptly stopped about 15m to my right and the rangers got out of the bakkie and signalled to me to move away. I couldn't for a few seconds, as I was now frozen stiff, realising that they were trying to lure the leopard and I was slap-bang in between the said lure and Mr/Mrs leopard. I was also now in the middle of nowhere and thought to myself "do I return to my tent or go and help my sister?"
With this thought still in mind, and my mind not made up, I get another phone call from my sister to say "STAY INSIDE!!! they're trying to capture the leopard." I thought "NO!!! Really, I hadn't noticed!!" :lol:
I explained to her that I was already halfway to her so would just continue on. She agreed and we continued on the phone whilst I kept walking. Next thing she screamed "I can see the leopard! I see it, wait!". I was now 7m from her tent, and promptly did a 60 degree turn and at about 252km/h ran onto the deck at tent no.5... not really sure how this was going to help :hmz: , but anyway.
I then noticed a civet strolling past her tent, and with that realisation I calmed down and proceeded burst into laughter, as I couldn't believe my sister had mistaken a civet for a leopard. Anyway, I got to her tent eventually.

I managed to settle my nieces nerves and get her to fall asleep, after which I to called it a night... luckily for the last time that evening.

The next morning, still cautions, I walked up towards the ablutions, when I saw the rangers still/back there. I stopped to chat to them and they explained that they had still not captured the leopard, but in the process of tracking it had seen that it had spent the majority of the night sleeping up against tent no.3 (mine), and had done a lot of walking around the other tents adjacent to mine, particularly no.5. :big_eyes:

We unfortunately never got to see the leopard, but about a week after returning home I was informed that a female leopard had been successfully caught and released, and that she had apparently been calling Tamboti home for about a month prior to my stay.

Needless to say, many great memories were created as a result of this, and after all the "I told you so" comments that I had to endure, we all look back at this with fond memory. :D
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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by Elsa » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:38 pm

What an exciting and adrenaline filled visit to Tamboti Ian!

Very glad they managed to capture and release the Leopard.

Thanks for sharing your amazing story. :clap:

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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by Crested Val » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:44 pm

Bushbucks at Letaba. :thumbs_up:


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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by Super Mongoose » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:55 pm

I don't know the whole story...My dad was the eldest of 5 children and there family visited the Kruger regular since 1950 something. Not sure why, but he had to sleep outside with a string tied around his toe, that was tied to the meat (no fridges then, just a cool box of some sort) in order to wake up, as plenty hyaenas and leopards were roaming the camps. He said he'd rather stay awake at night and sleep during the day.

Ian, great story, great experience, bet your sissies will go back to Tamboti!
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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by threedogs » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:05 am

This last 3 week trip in KNP we did night walks about the some of the camps and also put up our camera trap.

Letaba: Giant Eagle Owl, thick tailed Bush Baby family, bushbuck, vervets, rodent of some sort (in mopane tree eating seeds -?), Scops owl; on outside of fence at night with torch - porcupine, waterbuck, small spotted genet.

Punda Maria: inside - Large spotted genet, thick tailed Bush baby, vervets, bushbuck.

Satara: inside - small spotted genet, honey badger, African Wild Cat, vervets, Scops owl; outside - buffalo, hyena.

Lower Sabie: inside - civet, large spotted genet; outside - civet
(heard a leopard 4 or so times a night quite close answered by another further away)

Tamboti: honey badger, large spotted genet, dwarf mongoose; outside - kudu, otters in the large water pools!

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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by Cape of Storms » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:09 pm

Tamboti night visitors



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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by gabbisa » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:16 pm

Hi Ian, What a wonderful experience. We have been to Tamboti a few times and it is wonderful.

You can realy tell a good story.

My sister camped right next to the gate at Maroela once, which you know is next to Tamboti. Most people were out of camp when she noticed a leopard walking towards the gate. They ran and closed the gate. (Not that a closed gate could stop it) but it did change its mind and went off into the bush.

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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by Ian Grant » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:25 pm

Hi gabbisa,

Thanks for the kind words :)

That's precisely how I assume 'my leopard' got into Tamboti. Both it and Maroela have unmanned gates, and it's only by chances such as your sister's that these situations are avoided. Although, I really don't mind sharing a camp with as many animals as are around, as it adds to the 'wild' experience :)
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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by DrPhil » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:50 am

He is also the ranger who got attacked by a leopard in Mopani restcamp only to have his field rangers shoot the leopard ontop of him. :big_eyes:
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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by DASSIEDELIGHT » Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:05 pm

The added excitement of night time sightings is one of the things that make trips to the park great.

SO and I stayed at Tamboti for the first time a couple of weeks ago. We had heard so much praise for it on the forum that we knew we had to try it. We are also now hooked on it.
We were in tent no. 40 at the very end of the row. During our first night we were awoken by the sound of what sounded like the recycling bins being rattled. We waited until we suddenly heard the sound of 'feet' padding up our tent steps and then we quickly opened the top of the stable door and looked through the mesh door to see our guests - 2 quite big honeybadgers. They must be finding it rather disconcerting now that the locked recycling bins hold the food trash. Of course some people can't be bothered so put it in the plastic bins on their balconies so the HBs probably do find something each night. My SO also spotted them again at first light when they were scooting across the riverbed.

As usual this trip we also saw the Lesser Bushbabies at Berg n Dal and Croc Bridge and their larger cousins at Letaba. We also had a Genet at Shimuwini. At Letaba we perfomed our usual nightime hunt for scorpions in the cracks in the trees. Our only disappointment this trip was the lack of moths and their predators the geckos. We only saw some at Croc Bridge. We think it might have been because of the chilly and windy weather that we had for quite a few days.

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

Unread post by Bundi » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:06 am

dhellas wrote:Last April in Satara we had just finished our braai when at about 23:00 an African wild cat came as close as 10 meters curiously looking at us :D

There is an AWC inside Satara campsite. When walking around you will see him a few times per night.

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

Unread post by Len Loader » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:36 pm

A few years ago I witnessed wild dogs cornering an impala at Punda Maris's western fence.


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