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Mountain Zebra National Park Activities Sightings

Addo, Camdeboo, Karoo, Mountain Zebra
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Re: Mountain Zebra National Park Activities Sightings

Unread post by Addo Elephant » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:56 am

Read about Michael's tips for wildlife watching in Mountain Zebra NP on the Wild Blog: https://www.wildcard.co.za/blog.htm?action=view-post&id=2544
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Re: Mountain Zebra National Park Activities Sightings

Unread post by M.Paxton » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:11 pm

Greetings All


Sorry no posts for a while.

As some of you know it snowed in the park a while back. The Kraanskop Loop got closed for a couple of days. The photo was taken a couple of days after the snow fall so a lot of it had already melted.
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I even got the chance to build a snowman for the first time.
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On Sunday the second of october we got 75mm of rain up at Kraanskop and only 17mm towards the main gate. Amazing how the rain can fall in one area and not in the other. The Park is looking good, all the trees are turning green and now we just waiting for the grass and the flowers.
The sightings have been good when the wind has been still. Most of the animals have been seen and i even had a quick sighting of a Brown Hyena ( first in almost a year).

With Spring in full swing the Gemsbok and Eland are calving. The reptiles are also on the move, tortises, monitor lizards and snakes.
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For all those who enjoy walking the 3 Day Trail is open, the trails will be guided by myself or Richard.

Arks was good meeting you.

Cheers for now.

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Re: Mountain Zebra National Park Activities Sightings

Unread post by M.Paxton » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:49 pm

Greetings All

Summer is here. We've had rain and the veld is looking good. We've also had two fires started by lightning. Not much was burnt as we put them out before too much was burnt.

The eland, hartebeest, gemsbok and springbok have started giving birth.

Aardwolf
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Double-banded Courser
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Two headed ostrich
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Sunset over the Park
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Cheers

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Re: Mountain Zebra National Park Activities Sightings

Unread post by Hugh » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:24 pm

We were there about a month ago. What a gem of a park . We just missed a cheetah kill but the Kudu was still there . and the scenery was really the best Our camp site over looked the vallley and Mountains . Great drive over the mountains and plenty of Game.

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Re: Mountain Zebra National Park Activities Sightings

Unread post by M.Paxton » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:24 am

Seasons Greetings and Best Wishes to All for 2012.

Have not posted for a while, will try and get back into it. I have had a few really good sightings during the last 2 months as one can expect.
Will only give the best of the best for now.
5 Aardvark on one drive in 1.2km.
Female cheetah catching a springbok on a cheetah tracking activity.
A blacked headed heron catching and swallowing a mouse.
A good couple of lightning storms, but not much rain.
Bat-eared fox with 6 pups.
A brown hyena was seen in the day on top of Salpeterskop.

Ok that's all for now
Cheers

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Re: Mountain Zebra National Park Activities Sightings

Unread post by J.J. » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:22 am

We have booked a mountain hut for Easter weekend. Cannot wait.

The cheetah tracking is on our must do list.

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Re: Mountain Zebra National Park Activities Sightings

Unread post by Malles » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:23 pm

We were camping in the park for 4 nights from 29 March. Saw mostly the usual stuff. Chatted with the Cheetah researcher and it was clear the chances of seeing them were reasonably slim as most were not close to public roads at the time - 4x4 roads were closed . On the second evening one family camping returned from a late afternoon drive elated after seeing two uncollared Cheetah. They were apparently born in the park and are not seen often.
We were booked for a night drive for our third day which was supposed to be a sunny day according to the weather forecast. It unfortuneatly rained out and only one spot was still open the next night - our last. We were lucky with a cancellation and we heard at 15h00 that we could go. Our last drive was a quick two hour drive beyond the picknick spot and back. We were ogling Eland when my wife said Cheetah. They were obviously lying in long grass 70m off the road and one sat up to inspect the source of the engin noise. The other followed and we watched them for some 3 minutes when another car - neigbouring campers approached. Unfortunately the Cheetahs decided that two cars are a bit to overcrowded and decided to move deeper behind bushes before our friend could latch on to them.
Started the night drive with little expectation, but for some hares, foxes, owls and the like. It was a pleasure to be guided by Michael. It is obvious that he gets a good feel for the group very quickly and then adjusts to their preferences. We were lucky to pick up a Rhino, a bat eared fox family, and the obvious owls, hares etc when we hit the jackpot when we saw a Aardwolf in the road which then proceeded past the truck to disappear down a hole some distance away.
Michael also suggested where we could see the Blue Korhaan which we picked up on two occasions the next morning next to the main road when we left. Number 99 on our bird list which was soon followed by our centurions, a flock of red headed finches. Our 9 year old son managed to get all but 6 of them and was very proud of his bird list for the holiday.
I will be back to this wonderful park. It has a good blend of different habitats, exceptional scenic drives etc.

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Re: Mountain Zebra National Park Activities Sightings

Unread post by Malles » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:31 am

Yes, I like to chat to people in other cars sharing some knowledge on sightings, that was how we got quicker to the lions in Addo, and afterwards spread the message to more than 15 cars driving southwards. Some even thanked me afterwards. But the reception you get varies a lot. You get unfriendliness, stares, polite conversation, friendliness and then, warm conversations, chatting with a stranger like you have known them for years like Lionspoon and SO. It was good meeting you. I wished we could have linked up in Karoo as well. That would have broken some record. Seeing (the same) strangers in 3 national parks in 1 week.
We ended up camping in a private nature reserve/farm outside Beaufort West. They have lots of animals around and the kids especially our daughter really loved that so much. We then decided not to submit them to the confines of a car for another extended period. We had to beg them to come and sleep after dark, so I guess they really enjoyed it.
Lionspoon, hope to see you again and enjoy life in the mean time.

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Re: Mountain Zebra National Park Activities Sightings

Unread post by Haupie » Tue May 22, 2012 7:53 am

MZNP is probably the most underrated park in SA. Where else do you get to see aardwolf, Cheetah, Black Rhino, eland and M A S S I V E birdlife in one drive?

Going to a conference in Cradock on 9 June and staying in the park FRIDAY the 8th. Can't wait.

Hoping for a good night drive in fantastic freezing whether :dance:
Punda birding weekend November 2016 :P :P :P


I say 'no bail to poachers', name and shame them, even at a sniff of suspicion. Lets get rid of them quickly

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Re: Mountain Zebra National Park Activities Sightings

Unread post by M.Paxton » Tue May 29, 2012 6:50 pm

Greetings All

Have been doing many a cheetah tracking activity in the last couple of months. Have found the cats most of the time just relaxing or like in the picture below with a kill. They have been catching kudu calves by the dozen.
Below is one of the big males, White-eyes with a kudu calf he had just caught, he was still breathing heavily when we found him. We stayed with him for twenty minutes before leaving him to enjoy his breakfast.
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This is my bird bath at my house, it turned into a solid block of ice. I had a good laugh at a Familiar Chat landing and sliding on the ice.
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This a pool with a view high above the picnic spot.
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Cheers

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Re: Mountain Zebra National Park Activities Sightings

Unread post by anne-marie » Tue May 29, 2012 7:15 pm

thanks M.Paxton for the update, nice to meet White-eyes :dance:
and to know you are in winter... as per your bird ice :whistle:
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Re: Mountain Zebra National Park Activities Sightings

Unread post by M.Paxton » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:02 pm

Greetings All

Winter has arrived with all her might. We have had our first snow fall last Friday and frost every morning since then. Here is a double rain bow whilst the snow was falling on Bankberg, so it is actualy a snowbow.
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One of the animals I have only seen once in the park is the Brown Hyena, but we know they are still around as we find there spoor all over the place. This is a right front pad of one next a round from a .375
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Once again on the Cheetah tracking activity i went looking for the old man of the park White-eyes. I found him after a hour and a half search lying next to a kudu calf. What was puzzeling was the kudu was completely eaten with only skin and bone left, White-eyes stomach was not even half full. He should have been rolling around if he had eaten the whole kudu. So i checked who else was in the area and found Nixi not far from White-eyes. She was full to the brim. So White-eyes in his old age is taking the lions way and letting all the ladies do the hard work for him. Sorry for the poor quality of the photo.
Image

The drives have been few, dew to the weather. The sightings have been so so, Yesterday guest as to see a Aardvark and low and behold we saw one. Now they think animals are seen on request, if only.

Cheers
Michael

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Re: Mountain Zebra National Park Activities Sightings

Unread post by anne-marie » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:31 pm

nice to have a comparison between a track and something else, thank you :D
and again... superb Cheetah, if not the picture, the Cheetah YES :clap:
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye
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Re: Mountain Zebra National Park Activities Sightings

Unread post by M.Paxton » Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:21 pm

Greetings All

It has been a cold wet week, had 28mm of rain this week.
Activities have been few, but the ones that i have done have been good, weather permitting. When the days are warm guests and staff have been seeing Aardwolf all over the park making the most of the sun and termite activity.

These are a set of jackal tracks.
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This is a aloe flowering in my garden. I now have a fence around my garden so this is first time I've had flowers in the garden. Before the fence the kudu, eland and porcupine would have other ideas.
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Aloe arborescens Kransaalwyn

White-eyes the old man (cheetah) of the park caught a vervet monkey, which is a first documented case in MZNP.
On the cheetah tracking activities, Juba one of the orginal females that was introduced into the park has been spending a lot of time on top of Salpeterskop (1500 odd meters above see level). What a climb to see her up there, plus you also get a spectacular view.
Here is Nixi on a kudu calf she caught early on Saturday morning.
Image

Cheers

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Re: Mountain Zebra National Park Activities Sightings

Unread post by arks » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:18 am

Howzit Michael!

Your aloe is gorgeous and it's nice to know that all three cheetah that we were lucky enough to find when I did the cheetah tracking with you are doing well and being seen regularly.

I guess I need to visit MZNP in winter for the best chance to see aardwolf? But I'm writing this between flights at LHR en route home after a stay that included visiting two new-to-me parks. But I must make a plan to return to Mountain Zebra! I really enoyed my visit last spring (4 days wasn't nearly long enough!) and meeting you. And the cheetah tracking was one of the best SANParks activities ever!

Hope all is well with you and your family. All the best and thanks for your always interesting posts!
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