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Amazing things seen from/within Camp fences

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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Action in Skukuza

Unread post by Leon » Tue Jan 11, 2005 8:06 pm

Hi there :roll:

I would like to share the action i had on the night of 6 Jan 2005 at about 23h15 in the caravan park at Skukuza. I had a visit right at my door from a adult hyena. My son went for a walk and when he wanted to enter the caravan he saw the hyena. He rushed to the toilets from where he then phoned me. Lucky as i put the outside light on the hyena ran away. I took this all on video and reported it to the gate gaurd. Some of the people visiting the park said they saw two hyenas that night.
The big question is will a hyena attact a human?

Thanks Leon

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Unread post by wildtuinman » Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:17 am

To be quite honest, it does happen that animals enter the camps. I have experienced some action myself at Lower Sabie in 2000 when a lioness came into the camp area during the night and ate from dustbins etc. She was trapped inside the camp which caused a very dangerous situation. She also injured herself from jumping into the fence as she tried to get out. A vet was summoned and she was darted about 6:30 am. We video'd the whole scene.

I have also read of a leopard biting a foreign tourist on the head while he was sleeping outside his tent at Berg-en-Dal and of a man that got pulled from his tent by an hyaena at Satara.

Although mainly scavengers, hyaenas are very capable hunters, more so than lions. I am sure that they will take on a grown man while sleeping but children could be in real danger.

Always use a flashlight when walking at night, not only for the unlikely event of meeting a leopard or hyaena but even more for snakes. Night adders and puffadders are probably the biggest threat of all night visitor encounters.

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Unread post by wildtuinman » Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:52 am

I also just remembered reading about a leopard attacking a worker, a ranger (think it was Johann Oelofse) and his assistant in broad daylight in the Mopani tourist camp a number of years ago. After the leopard was shot and killed it was examined and proved to be in prime condition.

The ranger remarked that only a very strong man would survive an attack like that without help from someone else.

Also don't forget about the two people that got killed on separate occasions in the staff village of Skukuza and the gate guard at Shingwedzi whom got killed and partially eaten by a leopard right inside his room.

Leopards are unbelievably opportunistic!

We are entering their domain, and when leopards, hyeanas and lions become hungry enough or unable to catch their normal prey because of old age or injury, they then might enter otherwise animal free areas to search for food. Lions etc do actually visit towns bordering the Kruger like Phalaborwa. But the chances are very slim that you'll encounter something during your stay.
Last edited by wildtuinman on Wed Jan 12, 2005 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread post by DinkyBird » Thu Feb 17, 2005 2:41 pm

Of course yes, GP - warthogs are notorious for digging under the fences so I suppose it is an endless battle!

When we spent a few nights at Shimuwini a few years ago, a large ellie bull had broken the elephant proof fence down twice to get inside the camp and enjoy the green foliage. We woke during the night with him right outside out bungalow feeding. Seeing the huge gaps in the fence then made us very cautious about going around the camp after dark so I suppose we should not assume that smaller holes cannot be made too!

A line from Kobie Kruger's book comes to me (and I might not be quoting it verbatim)....when the sun sets it is time for all primates to be safely up their trees!

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Unread post by Tabs » Sat Apr 23, 2005 1:31 am

DinkyBird wrote:I am sure that newer members might be interested in this thread - I certainly never gave much thought to the fact that hyaena might visit inside the camp during the night....I am going to be a lot more alert when wandering about after dark :shock:

I am always alert when wandering at night in the parks (and at my age, I tend to wander a lot!) not only watching out for predators but also for venemous snakes.... no fencing will keep them out!

I once got 'lost' in the middle of the night after visiting the bathroom - as I left the bathroom there was a power cut, and my torch battery had died on me! It was pitch black, I lost my bearings completely and I could not even see the roadway clearly, never mind being able to see if there were any snakes around.

After slowly picking my way (in the wrong direction of course!) through the camp I was eventually rescued by a camp guard, with a nice big torch, who escorted me safely back.

I was far more worried about stepping on a puff-adder than of coming across a hyaena - or worse!

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Unread post by Stoffel » Mon May 02, 2005 3:59 pm

Years ago, when we still lived in Tzaneen, friends of us stayed in Letaba for a week. We joined them for the last weekend. Having a braai the Friday night, they informed us about a hyena in the camp the previous night. Staying in huts (without private ablutions) my friend's wife came back from the shower and heard something breathing like a dog behind her. She started running to their hut and lost her bra and panty in the process. This happened on the night before our arrival.

We were having quite a few beers around the fire that evening, and needless to say you all know what the effect of beer on the bladder is. I woke up not very long after going to bed and everything in the camp was quite. The idea of a possible hyena in the camp made me decide I am not going to walk to the ablutions. There was a stump of an dead lead wood tree next to our hut and I decided that will be the place to go and stand. I was sleeping in a PT pants. The natural thing is just to pull down the pants as far as possible so that you can do the necessary. I just started releasing (with that typical feeling of satisfaction) when I heard the breathing of a dog-like thing within a short distance behind me.

Letting go of the elastic of my PT pants, turning around and starting to run back to the door, was one action. Unfortunately I forgot to "turn off the tap" which was still running. The screen door slammed as I entered, everybody (wife and children) were woken - and I was totally wet and too scared to go to the ablutions to go and wash myself.

The next morning I got up early and went outside to go and show my wife where I stood and from which direction the dog-like breathing came. The evidence of my standing next to the tree stump was still there, but not a sign of a dog-like track in at least a 50 m radius.

I came to the conclusion it was all in my mind after hearing the stories the previous night. Nowadays we take our Porta-Potti with if we do not have our own toilet.

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Unread post by Penny » Sun May 15, 2005 9:50 am

Many years ago we were staying in the Rudy Frankel cottage at Satara. It just so happened that the Curry cup final had been that afternoon and the Northern Transvaal team had been beaten by Natal (no Sharks in those days). An extraordinary amount of alcohol had been consumed in the name of celebrating the win and it was approximately 10 p.m. My husband was sitting at the table composing a poem in the visitor's book to commemorate the momentus victory and a friend of ours was finishing the last of the red wine in his glass when the next thing into the lounge bustled a mole with fangs bared. The pandemonium that ensued was hilarious to say the least - our friend declared the mole rabid as it attacked everything and everyone that tried to usher it out. At this stage the wives and children joined in the fray, shrieking instructions to the menfolk (from the safety of the lounge furniture). First they tried to stop its progress with the cane magazine rack and it promptly sank its fangs into that, then the broom was attacked. Eventually after 2 hours we managed to persuade our visitor to go back into the garden and everyone went to bed. The incident is still talked and laughed about to this day. In subsequent visits to the cottage the poem was admired by everyone in the visitors book but sadly with the burning down of the cottage recently I fear that it is now lost.
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Unread post by Loams » Sat May 21, 2005 12:25 pm

In Orpen camp there is a massive Lion spoor in the concrete of the number one hut. If I remember correctly there was other spoor as well, laid in the cement just to remind us we are in "their" territory. From pics that I saw on the Orpen cam just the other night, Lions were on their way to the Orpen fence. That was the one thing I missed when I was in Kruger in April. Didn't hear a Lion or Hyena call once. I love hearing that. I rate it higher than any sighting of either.
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Skukuza Bush Baby

Unread post by johan » Wed Jun 08, 2005 9:22 am

When we stayed in Skukuza last year (the 6-bed guest cottages close to the rail bridge and train restaurant) we were having dinner on the stoep when a bush baby came climbing down one of the supporting poles of the roof - it sat there staring at us for quite some time but when someone stood up it jumped down and hopped away to a nearby tree and disappeared in the tree. It's the closest I've ever been to one!

We also had a bushbuck in camp in Talamati a few weeks ago.

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Going through old posts

Unread post by christo » Wed Dec 14, 2005 9:24 am

I can remember the following seen in camps:
Punda Maria
Steenbok, warthog, Squirrel, 2 types of snake (Not identified), vervet monkeys

Civet, Squirrel, python, rock monitor

Squirrel, water monitor

Bushbuck, squirrel, slender mongoose, puffadder, chameleon

Water monitor

Satara (scorpion valley)
Whitetailed mongoose, genet, rock monitor

Baboon, black backed jackel, lesser bush baby

Water mongoose, water monitor, squirrels, vervet monkeys, baboons, warthog

Lower Sabie
Hyena, squirrels, vervet monkeys,

Crocodile Bridge
Vervet monkeys

Berg & Dal
More snakes than I would like to see, especially very agressive Naja Nivea in summer, baboons, vervets & squirrels. The only camp where Ive seen wilddog from my chalet.

Impala, baboon, vervet, squirrels, bushbabies, warthog
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Unread post by Penny » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:28 pm

One morning, some years ago, we were staying in the accommodation behind the then camping ground and were awoken just after 5 a.m. to hear what sounded like someone banging two pairs of rubber slops together - it was in fact one of the gardeners and he was slapping two shoes together and trying to persuade the biggest bull elephant I have ever seen so close to climb back over the fence. He eventually casually merely lifted his legs and went back over - we were at this stage talking to one of the lady campers who had had the most horrendous night with this elephant chomping all the garden vegetation around the camping ground. Every time she opened the zip of the tent she realised that he was virtually outside and promptly closed it again. Whilst we were commisserating with her we heard the roar of a lion and to our utter astonishment saw a huge black maned lion run from behind the last row of tents past the Moffat cottage and disappear behind the small rondavels up to the left. At this time of the morning folk were just starting to stir and one gentleman came on to his verandah rubbing sleep from his eyes only to be shouted at to go back inside. By this time we had got into our vehicle and were following the lion so that we could inform the rangers where it was. When they eventually arrived they were as perplexed as we were as they had no dart guns and they said they would have to try and "herd" the lion out of the main camp entrance. It was of course a very real problem for the Parks authorities who we believe eventually managed to get the lion out through a side entrance after many hours. I have the most fantastic footage of the lion at one stage running between the huts but then I lost the plot and for the next half an hour filmed the interior of our vehicle with commentary on the whereabouts and actions of the lion!
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Unread post by naomi c » Mon Dec 19, 2005 1:57 pm

Does anybody remember the honeybadger(s?) in Orpen and Tamboti a few years ago? We were having a braai one night - steak in garlic sauce - and my husband put the extra garlic sauce on the dustbin right behind him. We never saw it coming, but the next moment there was a bang and a honeybadger were enjoying our garlic sauce! We all hastily retired to the veranda of our tent and were thrilled with our visitor until it decided that it want to join us there! Fortunately it had a change of mind halfway up the stairs!!
We also saw hayena inside Letaba and Shingwidzi on more than one occasion.

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Unread post by bucky » Tue Dec 20, 2005 7:57 pm

naomi c wrote:Does anybody remember the honeybadger(s?) in Orpen and Tamboti a few years ago?

YES :shock:
The 1 in tamboti was a horror , it came around to our tent while we where braaing , and also decided to start coming up the steps , I gave it my best he man show and it didnt even flinch and more like sized me up , needless to say I was the 1 that backed down , luckily it didnt come up the steps .
That thing looks like it can rip you into shreds .

Was once on a muskateers weekend up in orpen , and we had booked out a 6 bed cottage , after far to many beers we heard crashing and bashing from behind the huts , so armed with our torches in 1 hand , and beer in the other we casually went around the hut and looked at an elephant feeding on the other side of the fence .

During the evening we all woke up from a loud crack , to see the ellie right next to the hut :shock: .
In the morning we went to examine "the scene" to find elephant droppings right next to the back of the hut , and where we where casually wathing it the previous evening , we found that it was actually in the camp , and not the other side of the fence as expected , I suppose the ellie realised that a bunch of laughing and over indulged muskateers ment him no harm , so just left us be , wonder if he was looking for sips of castle near our hut :twisted:

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Unread post by Oumie » Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:01 pm

15 years ago we stayed at Satara with a group of friends (used to be our annual get together just after Christmas), we had 4 bungalow's and it was my turn to make salads. After I cleaned and made the salads and making a fruit salad, I casually walked to the dustbin to turf all the peels and rubbish. When I opened the lid OUT jumped the Honey Badger :shock: Well I screamed and the Honeybadger growled and showed teeth, I ran one way and he/she ran the other way. Well everybody was nearly lying on the floor laughing :evil: After I calmed down they all started to laugh again, I had veggie peels and pips all over me and some lettuce leaves in my hair :redface:
Since then when we see a HB we all start to laugh about the incident :lol:
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Unread post by CurtisDillon » Mon Jan 09, 2006 5:49 pm

My SO and I booked into Pretoriuskop for a couple of nights. We love walking to the fence at night and looking to see what animals we can spot. We saw a few Hyena walking all along the fence waiting for someone to do the unthinkable! :shock: While we were taking a leisurely walk back to our hut we saw a beautiful Kudu bull walking around in the camp. :lol: We stood there for a few minutes admiring this stunning creature, then off to bed we went.

The following morning we woke up early as usual, trying to be the first ones to leave the camp and as usual we are always 2 or 3 cars to late. :? So we accepted our fate and waited for the gates to open. About 3 minutes before the gate opened there must have been at least 10 cars. Too our surprise, we watched this amazing Kudu bull stroll past all the cars at the gate and wait on the grass for the gate to open. As the gate was opened we all watched this beautiful animal walk out of the camp as if he owned it. I turned to my SO and said “you would swear he owns this place" and her reply was “He does."

Apparently he did this often.
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