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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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Unread post by leachy » Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:56 pm

The resident Hyena in the Lower Sabie Rest Camp is still there.

I had an extended night time viewing of him/her on 27th & 28th November and was told that it is there almost every night. This according to Jan, the Sanparks man who does the night drives.

This Hyena was not fazed at all by my "million candle powered" spotlight. He merely went about his trash can rounds as I am sure he does every night.

I feel that he has the right of way BUT management should warn guests of the dangers. Not everyone actually signs the guest registration forms indemnifying Sanparks.

Regardless of the indemnities, it is merely a matter of informing the guests so that they do not end up phoning the Duty Manager at 23:00 to tell him something he already knows.
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Unread post by amanzi » Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:08 pm

Spoke to my brother last night...

They had stayed in Skukuza about a week ago in a Safari tent, and he enjoyed it extremely. Mainly because his SO is from Denmark, and REALLY scared of those cuties that patroll the fences at night :wink: Seeing that the camp was very quiet, they had the fortune of getting a tent close to the fence, and therefore he would shout at her constantly: "passop, die Hiena is agter jou!", with histerical effects :roll: :roll:

But little did he know that later during the evening, when he had to go and answer nature's call......... :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

He came back from the ablution, only to find one Hiena busy emptying the dustbin NEXT to their tent! :lol: :lol:

Fortunatly he is a experienced field guide, and just spoke in some "real" afrikaanse french to the oke, and he left unceremoniously :wink:

Just goes to show you, never mock your SO, it will always come back to you :lol: :lol:
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Unread post by Skillie » Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:07 pm

A couple of years ago we were staying in Lower Sabie, tent 16 I think, the one on the corner right against the fence, really nice. Sitting by our fire after dinner I glanced down to the left and was surprised by the largest hyena I have ever seen. He was literally only six feet away and I was looking down at him. We went down the steps to check him out, in fact there were three and the people in tent 15 were throwing food over the fence. I had never seen this before but agree with BB, it is a sure sign they are being fed.
SO gave them a piece of his mind.( fast afrikaans so I can't repeat it :wink: )
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Unread post by G@mespotter » Thu May 31, 2007 1:27 pm


When camping in the hot summer of 2005 in Berg-en-Dal, we decided to walk from the camping, along the fence to the shop. As we (5 of us) walked, 2 of us walked past a hyena, lying against the fence. 100 meters further there was this "spruit" flowing in Berg en Dal, but it was emepy however. Because it was empty we could see the "self made fence" to block the animals from the "spruit" , with huge gaps in it, even a lion could go through it!! :shock:
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Unread post by donegr » Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:56 am

We camped in Lower Sabie in December, and the Hyena's come into the camp at night and turn the dustbind upside down looking for food. You can hear them start at the ons side of the camp, they first take the lid of, and then the dustbin. :shock:

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Unread post by seapit1 » Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:12 pm

Have seen a boomslang @ Letaba in the Camp!!!!! :|
When I reported it to reception they didn't do anything about it!!!!

Have also experienced the pestilential Honey Badgers @ Orpen.
They came every evening and raided our cuboards and (BELIEVE IT OR NOT ) OUR FRIDGE :twisted:
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Animals in the camp and on the fence!

Unread post by MLAMBANE » Thu Aug 09, 2007 8:18 pm

Visitors to the Kruger and more particularly the foreign visitors are lulled into a false sense of security in Kruger's camps. I have seen lions near the fence at croc bridge camp, and was stalked by a young pride of seven at orpen camp about 50m from the camp fence one night. We even had an elephant bull in Shimuwini Bushveld Camp! :shock: Five years ago while making coffee one night a leopard walked passed our hut in mopani, it was later shot by the park wardens for injuring two rangers in the camp. We have seen two leopards walking the fence at Letaba, one of which has been shot for killing the Letaba rangers son. The usual hyenas in Lower Sabie and Skukuza are a given :mrgreen:Also seen puffadders and black mambas in the Bushveld camps Biyamiti and Shimuwini. I was just wondering if anyone has had similar experiences in and around the camps ? :mrgreen:

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Unread post by BethR » Mon Aug 27, 2007 6:09 pm

One moonlight night in Pretoriuskop a few years back, I walked round a rondawel and almost bumped into two Kudu bulls! I don't know who was more startled!! :shock:

Back in June, my family and I were camping at Maroela, right along the river fence and had an interesting experience... as anticipated, we were visited after dark by several hyenas prowling along the fence. We shone a spotlight in their direction and they slunk down into a ditch out of sight. Every now and then we could hear them growling at each other and see them peeking up to look at us through the grass.

After we finished eating, I was delegated to do the dishes and as I made my way to the kitchen, I passed by two grates over a drainage ditch that ran underneath the camp. Upon my return, I passed one and heard something moving down below. I put the dishes away and ran back with a spotlight...the hyena's were moving around in the drainage ditch...underneath us and the camp! A little disconcerting in some ways, but the grates are firmly secured down so there was no means of getting in the camp that way.

That night we also watched a civet walk along the outside of the fence and it was just about to squeeze under the fence when it was frightened off by an old female hyena.

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Amazing things seen from/within Camp fences

Unread post by Bush Andy » Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:46 pm

Hey everyone!! I have been thinking for quite some time about starting a thread relating to this topic and now i can finally do it :mrgreen:

I was just wondering if anyone has seen all the big five from inside a particular camp/s on different trips or the same trip. Not only the Big Five but anything unusual from inside the camp fences looking out... just sitting or scouting the fence? Also if you have seen some critters inside camps, that would be interesting too!!

I'll get the ball rolling... I have only ever seen all the big five from Letaba without driving out... just sitting or walking along the fence (separate trips). Saw lions hunting in the river bed right in front of the Letaba restaurant and have seen leopard in the river bed on two separate occassions. Have also seen some amazing tuskers from this camp on numerous occassions and a hyena that nearly took a little girls arm off who thought the hyena was a dog!

Orpen and Lower Sabie have been great with regards to sightings to and have seen four of the big five from within side these camps (excluding leopard in both regards :( ) The most memorable at Orpen being a huge black maned lion which troted past the fence, roaring only metres away!

Perhaps the most remarkable of all our sightings from within camps was at Lower Sabie about twelve years ago. It was very dry and the dam in front of the camp had dried to a mere pan with the Sabie river being reduced to a smallish stream. There was a herd of waterbuck (+-5) that had decided to come down fro a drink in the midday heat and a couple of hippo's in the water. We then noticed about seven lionesses stalking the waterbuck in the reeds on the far side if the river.

The stalking took at least 20 minutes before the lead lioness shot out from the reeds about ten metres from the waterbuck, four of them escaped towards the low level bridge, however one had no where to go other than into the Sabie river! The water was deep and the lions stayed on shore slapping the water with there paws. The waterbuck to everyone's horror was then chased back out of the water by the resident hippo's and the lions caught it on the far side of the river all muddied and dirty from the struggle!

Skukuza is also another gem of a camp where without even moving a muscle one can see millions of animals and birds! I have seen a fish eagle catch a fish right in front of the skukuza restaurant, a sight which i will never forget! On a scarier note we were walking around the Skukuza fence in the evening about two years ago with our torches shining out into the bush when we noticed something ahead of us in the dark... it was in the camp so we thought it might have been a duiker. It looked to big to be duiker though and with no knowledge of there being animals in Skukuza camp unlike Letaba (Bushbuck) we shined our torches and found ourselves about 5 metres away from a huge hyena walking towards us in the camp!! Fortunately the hyena got quite a scare to and moved off to fiddle with some dustbins a bit further away!

Seen an emaciated lion from the olifants look out point (TB?), a civet at Orpen and a thick tailed bushbaby in Skukuza.

Hope you have many stories to tell :D
A bird in the hand should be in the Bush!! ;)

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Unread post by Wild about cats » Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:08 pm

Punda Maria - Was at the hide near the camping sites and decided I wanted to stay there as long as possible. It was very late at night and I was getting bored when I shone the light and to the right of the water was.... a cat!!!!!! Oh, how I love cats. I got such a shock I shone away immidiatly as I didn't want to hurt it's eyes. I slyly shone back to the spot slowly and saw a tail disappearing into the bush. I was so disappointed that I left. I am almost positive that it was an african wild cat, but it did seem rather big. 8)
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Unread post by BunnyHugger » Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:58 pm

On my, so far one and only to Punda Maria, my mate Tim and I were camping. We took a walk away from out tents and were were walking along (he was explaining to me how to tell the time using the Southern Cross) and I noticed that we were walking through a gate (OPEN WIDE). I thought nothing of it at the time. After ambling along for a few minutes, we realised that we were actually about 200m outside the camp, in the bush.
Needless to say we hurried back, but were not sure about closing the gate, so we left it open. In hind sight we should have closed it or at least reported it to the ranger on duty.
Earlierthat day, when we arrived in the camp, I got out of my car and walked to the fence. Hearing a noise I looked down and saw that I was a half-meter away from a Puff Adder. Fortunately it was bothered by my presence and was slithering away from me.
Once, many years ago, at Satara, there was a wart hog inside the camp. I stopped and my son flew out of the car and before I knew his intentions, he was trying to stroke it like it was his pet.
"Pumba" turned and niiped his butt.
Very funny at the time.
Another time in August at Skukuza, some loony was drilling hole in the concrete base so he could anchor his caravan side tent. Made an almighty racket with his hammer drill and I was seriously peeved.
The Monkeys took revenge thogh. Some timelater, he had gone on a drive or had left his site and some Vervets got into his side tent. The little beggars wrecked his place, turned everything upside down. I was so peeved by this inconsiderate use of his hammer drill that I took great delight in merely being a spectator and doing nothing to try and prevent any damage.
Sometimes nature ROCKS.
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Unread post by camelman » Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:01 pm

Must have been 1993 or 1994,we were on a school bird club trip and were camping at letaba.After a afternoon drive we returned to the campsite to find a lion cub on our side of the fence and it's rather irate mother on the other.
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Unread post by ndloti » Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:19 pm

At Tsendze in March at the braai at about 9pm heard rustling in the grass behind me , thought initially it may be the wind , but after a while I turned on the torch and saw the largest black snake ever moving 2 metres behind me between myself and the tent . There was about 2metres of it visible and the tail had not emerged from the grass . The 2metres is in no waty an exaggeration ! When I stood up it stopped and fled back into the grass .
The camp attendant had told me about the snake tracks he regularly found in the morning .
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Unread post by davegrohl » Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:21 pm

A magical night at Stanley House (satara).
Must have been around 1993 or so...

Sun had set, our braai was going and a few buffalo were hanging around the pan (outside stanley house).
My sisters, parents and Grandparents and me were eating out on the patio. i would shine the torch out every 5 mins or so to check if anything interesting had come down for a drink (i believe there is a spot light over the pan now?).
During dinner (steak, chops, wors, garlic bread, salads - the whole shabang!) i quietly approached the fence with the torch - turned it on and saw a young leopard having a quiet evening drink. called the family (quietly!) who joined me at the fence to watch it drink for about 5 mins before heading out.

My grandfather and i sat up after dinner, put lots of wood on the fire and settled down with a cup of coffe listening to the distant lions roaring for pretty much the entire night.

The night produced:
1) the usual begging hyeanas patrolling the fence,
2) A civet
3) 6/7 elephants. watched them drink for 30 mins. rather eerie in the torchlight.
4) A jackal catching a rat/mouse/shrew next to the pan

and as we were calling it a night (around 23h00) we made one last stop at the fence and saw another leopard sitting on the edge of the pan! It looked quite a bit bigger than the first one (in the torchlight) so i presume it was a different one.

What a night!

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Unread post by RosemaryH » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:32 pm

Sirheni is another awesome camp for sightings.
On arriving back at camp one evening there was a pride of about 12 lions outside our cottage (on the other side of the fence of course :) ) At about 9pm that night there was the hugest commotion going on which continued throughout the night. At first light all was revealed. There was the biggest ever herd of buffalo in the river bed. The lions had taken down 2 buff calves the one was dead and the other injured but still alive. Some of the buff had formed a larger around the calves and were keeping the lions at bay. The rest of the buff were on the opposite bank. Eventually the buffalo started moving off and the lions went in. They lions remained for the rest of the day into the evening.
We also saw a croc walking to some water that was in the river bed. It only then that you really appreciate the size of these reptiles :shock:
There always seems to be some activity to witness from the camp!

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