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Our awesome trip - caracal, blk rhino, awc : KNP 01/07

Tell us about your breathtaking experiences in the parks
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Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:23 am
Location: Benoni, South Africa

Our awesome trip - caracal, blk rhino, awc : KNP 01/07

Unread post by LEIGHVLASSO » Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:40 am

Well where to start & I really hope not to sound like bragging, our bush moments are so special & private to us thus I have never done a report before.... Pierre & I have just returned from the 5 most awesome days we have spent in the Park (Balule / Maroela) & trust me we've spent alot. (Some of the pics up now on the public sightings) We arrived at Malelane gate Wednesday 5.30am & took a drive up to lower Sabie along the Croc river Rd. Just after the Biyamiti turn we saw a face popping up on our left - a BLACK rhino (the 1st we've ever seen in the park due to the fact we stay more central than south) after much snorting & carrying on this beautiful beast trotted off back into the bush leaving just a cloud of dust.

Before the S25 split we had the pleasure of watching a mating Lion pair for over 2 hours right on the road - just us !!!! (Oh the pleasure of holidays being over and no crowds). Managed to catch 3 ground hornbills "hunting" on the H5. 1st catch a little leopard tortoise, than a large bush snail and lastly a rather large lizard - was fortunate to get it all on video camera as well as photos.
Our 2 nights at Maroela were gorgeous with the spotting of 2 male lions (twice) walking on Orpen road, stunning pair of mating lions near Nwanetsi that took to sitting right by us for a good 2 hours

2 white rhino on the tamboti plains, an African civet - not at all camera shy - on a Maroela night drive.

The nyala cows and baby on the Orpen rd were also such a pleasure to see although very shy & brief. The snake trying to eat an alive & kicking lizard at Olifants gate was quiet a sighting too.

Pierre also took a very interesting pic of a hornless buffalo in a huge herd outside Satara - he was tagged too - anyone know about him???

On the way up to set up camp the 3rd day at Balule we spotted a magnificent heavily pregnant cheetah on the h1-5. She was so large it looked like she was really taking strain to walk with the heat - hopefully her babies came that evening - deep in the bush.

Then unbeknown to us the big day arrived, leaving camp at 4.30am we found the most stunning young male leopard hunting in a warthog hole right along the H1-5 - again only car - & although he never succeeded (much to my relief - huge animal & bush lover, but not one for hunts) he pleasured us with his company for a good 30 minutes.

The rest of the day spent driving around a very hot Satara/Orpen & in the Satara pool but our trip home was breath taking. We took the S90 home to Balule and at 5pm Pierre had spotted something so exciting that he could hardly get the words out - even though it was on my side. The most majestic creature ever, a CARACAL was hunting a Francolin right along the side of the road, he successfully caught the bird and then proceeded approx 100mtrs into the bush to eat his prey - giving us a clear view of him for a good 20minutes before he wondered off inwards - got everything on video & photo even through my tears

, then to my astonishment Pierre shouted that there was another one in the road about 400m up - we drove ever so carefully up and no not a caracal but an African wildcat. Yup Leigh in tears again. She was phenomenal & non perturbed by us at all, staying around for about 15 mins before walking in the bush yowling for a mate or kittens perhaps. What an end to probably the best park holiday ever.
Last edited by LEIGHVLASSO on Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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