Skip to Content

PetraJ's 4 Weeks in Satara. KNP, December 2013

Tell us about your breathtaking experiences in the parks
User avatar
PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:20 pm

Thank you Phokojwe, Trip-trrrrr, Sparrow, Philip, Janeli, Pikkie and all the other who posted during the holidays. I really appreciate each and every comment, and hope to bring you some more sightings.

Kaapsedraai, I am so happy for you that you found the doggies :clap: I never managed to get so far down the road to Orpen to go look for them, as time was always running out before I had to be back in camp again....
Hope you manage with the harddrive, we were extremely relieved when ours got fixed, as I downloaded my photos every evening in camp, and suddenly there was no laptop....and no photos :wall: But, luckily we got it fixed.

18 December.
Went back to Nwanetsi early this morning to drop off some urgent supplies and took the S100. Some photos of the drive.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:20 pm

19 December
Our early morning drive took us to Ntsemani dam again. We were very busy in camp, and did not go out again. Had a nice visit with Heksie, Sparrow and WendyA.
Image
Image

User avatar
PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:22 pm

20 December
A Blue Wildebeast cow died during the night whilst in labour, about 30 meters from the fence. Some vultures were eating, but no hyenas or Jackal. After dark, Sparrow and Heksie came over for a drink and we waited for the hyenas to discover the carcass. We were very happy when they finally did, as I knew what the smell was going to be like at our tent if the meat is not disposed of…. Unfortunately, it was just too far for my camera to focus at night, so I couldn’t take any pics.

Today we went for an early drive on the S90 and back to Satara. Found beautiful ostriches, they totalled 27 in the “family”. On our way back another wilddog…. Although very far, it lifted its head and could take a quick photo.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:08 am

21 December
The lions were on a mission again this morning from 4h00. Nobody in camp needed an alarm clock as they were really letting themselves known to us 2-legged creatures. Everybody rushed to the gate to see if they could find them. We left camp at about 4h40 and drove towards the Orpen road. The roars were getting louder, and suddenly we witnessed the lion pride the moment the males joined the females. It was very special to witness the reunion.
We realized the females are going to start moving with the males and after we saw which direction they were going to take, we turned the car around, and luckily this was very easy as we were at the back of the row of cars. We drove off 200m and just before the bridge, we switched off the car and waited. In the mirror, we can see the traffic jam moving closer to us. Kept an eye on the field next to us with my camera ready, and there they came. First the females and then one male. They crossed the road right in front of us, rubbed themselves a bit in the elephant dung on the tar and moved to the other side of the road. The traffic jam were getting quite hectic and cars pushing each other almost off the road trying to get to drive next to the lions as they were moving in the direction of Satara. We fell in behind again, and laughed about the sight it must be from the camp, as this huge amount of cars drive back towards the gate. About 20m from the sign post of Satara they moved away from the camp into the bushes. We turned into the camp and made a quick comfort stop before trying to drive to Orpen gate again.
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:09 am

Ten minutes later we were on the Orpen road when suddenly we saw a few cars in front of us. Two other males were walking down the road towards Nsemani dam. We followed them for about 4 km as they walked. At the Timbavati road next to Nsemani dam, they lied down for a while and we realised we were on the road already for almost 3 hours and really had to return back to camp. Riverrat drove past and I gave a sigh of relief as I realised there will be another Honorary Ranger in camp now to assist for a couple of days.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:53 am

22 December
Just took an unplanned route today, and then went back to camp.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:54 am

23 December
Again only a short route.
Image
Image

24 December - 26 December
Went out on short drives, but did not even take pictures. Doing Day visitor and swimming pool duty during the day.

User avatar
PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:57 am

27 December
It started raining during the night, and we decided to go and have a look at what the gravel roads will look like in the rain (without any dust on it when driving). Started off with the S100, then the S41 and then the S90. Found some very wet lions on the road, great sighting with only one car to share the sighting.
Image
Image
Also some buffalo
Image
Geocor phoned me last night and decided she wants also to take a break, so I left camp at 10h00 to fetch her at Hazyview. Today was the day of lion sightings…. 5 sightings in total. It looked like every lion in the area wanted to be out in the rain. I (of course) enjoyed every minute of it, and took some evidence photo’s, but some lions were a bit far and not good photo quality. I got worried when I got stuck at the last sighting 5km before the Phabeni gate, and Geocor phoned me to tell me she arrived already and is now waiting for me. To top it all, again I saw Wild dog.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Made it back to camp with one minute to spare ….

User avatar
PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:58 am

28 December
As the other HRs arrived, I took the liberty of a longer game drive today, especially with Geocor there. So, as she has not seen a lion in quite some time, we tried to find her some.
Image
Image
And then we found the lions. The whole pride was resting in the shade. We spent some time with them before going back to camp.
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:02 pm

29 December
It started raining during the night again. This time it was serious rain. Got a call just after six from the head ranger asking us to assist in closing the inaccessible dirt roads and patrolling these roads to help guests who are stuck in the mud.
All the animals were wet and this warthog family looked really miserable.
Image
Image
We took three 4x4 vehicles, and started the trip. It was the first time I saw the Nwanetsi River flowing so strongly, and all the water on the S100 …. It was amazing.
Image
Just after we turned left on the S41, we found a lion pride on a giraffe killed minutes before. As we arrived there, they just started tearing at the giraffe. We watched this for a few minutes and then continued on the S41.
Image
Image
The Mananga trail were closed the whole time we were there, and if anybody wondered why…. This is what it could look like.
Image
A couple of times we had to turn around due to inaccessibility and we made our way back down the S100 again. On the S90, one of our own vehicles got stuck as well…
Image
Back at camp we were told some people in Balule were stuck on the other side of the river and couldn’t get their caravans through, so we left again to assist. When arriving at Balule, a couple were standing there very upset. They got stuck with their VW Golf between two rivers on the S90, and couldn’t get through. They got a lift back from another couple in a 4x4 and were waiting for someone to help them get their car out. We assisted the people in Balule who wanted to leave and waited with the young couple for a 4x4 game viewer from Olifants camp to take them to the S90 where their car was stuck. The next morning we found the driver of the game viewer, still wearing the same clothes as the previous day, but he was full of mud and looked very tired. Apparently after he helped the Golf across the lowest river back to Balule, he decided to drive to the tar road, as it was after eight already. At the same place one of our vehicles got stuck, he suddenly realised he is not going to get through. He was stuck… totally. When he got out of his vehicle, he sank knee deep into the mud in the road. He got on top of his truck and found cell phone reception there to call for help. They couldn’t get him out and eventually they returned to Satara in the early hours, to wait for the tow truck to assist them.

User avatar
PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:12 am

30 December
It stopped raining and we took a short drive early morning before duties.
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:14 am

31 December
Geocor had to go back again today, and my SO drove her to Hoedspruit to get the bus back to Pretoria. Late afternoon we took a short drive, and decided on the S100 which was now open again. We found the lion pride on the Giraffe kill.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
That evening we were invited to a boma dinner with Camp Management in the day visitor’s area to welcome the new year and the resident Honey badger decided to show himself. He was so fast this is the best picture I could get.
Image

User avatar
PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:14 am

1 January.
At last the S90 is open as well. This is a section of the road where the game viewer was stuck a few days before.
Image
Some general game.
Image
Image

User avatar
PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:57 am

2 January
Up to now we only saw one leopard in the distance in a tree, and were anxious to see one closer to the road. We drove to Komana dam and made some coffee. After a while we decided to drive a km down the road, and then return to camp. About 500m later we saw something in the road and there was our leopard…. He got up and walked off the road. We tried to find him and were looking in the grass and bushes next to the road, and couldn’t understand where he had gone in such a short time, when we suddenly saw him right next to the road. In fact he was so close, his one paw was touching the tar. Well hidden. Another car approached and my SO had to stop him with some signs, or he would have driven over his paw. He then sat up, posed, and walked away. We were so happy, we were hoping for a leopard, and got an amazing sighting.
Image
Image
Image
Now that we have seen our leopard, we were hoping for another Cheetah sighting as we only saw them once, and couldn’t stay very long that time. Only 2 days left in Satara, and then one night in Pretoriuskop before we return home to Krugersdorp….

User avatar
PetraJ
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Hazyview

Re: 4 Weeks in Satara.

Unread post by PetraJ » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:05 am

2 January continues….
That evening we went on a sunset drive and wow, what an experience. We had the best drive ever with our guide.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Someone told the guide about a lion sighting and we went to search for it. We found the two lazy lions, spent some time with them and then took a short stop at the dam to stretch our legs.
Image
Image
Me and Hazel, the HR from Durban.
Image
And then the Satara sunset. It brought tears to my eyes.
Image
Image
Suddenly about 500m before the end of the S100, my SOs daughter spotted this leopard. Wow, the second leopard for the day, we just couldn’t believe it.
Image
Back in camp we started the fire for our braai and came upon this creature. We had quite a few of them, but this one was huge.
Image


Return to “Travel Tales”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: elpaco and 3 guests


Webcam Highlights

Addo
Submitted by Anonymous at 20:14:59
orpen
Submitted by Sabina01 at 23:52:54
satara
Submitted by Foxy at 16:57:00
nossob
Submitted by vecopoer67 at 22:55:14