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Your Best sighting in Kruger, with no other tourists

Discuss activities available in the Kruger National Park, and follow all the sighting reports.
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Elsa
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Re: Your Best sighting in Kruger, with no other tourists

Unread post by Elsa » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:52 pm

chirinda wrote:As the vehicle approached us I stopped them and said "Wasn't that amazing" and the man replied "Have you seen lions?"
:tongue: We also came across a huge flock of White Storks on the S39 Timbavati Road a couple of years back and I must admit it was one of the highlights of our trips, same thing, there were hundreds of them in the road and on both sides, quite an incredible sighting.

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Re: Your Best sighting in Kruger, with no other tourists

Unread post by Massimo » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:26 pm

Was driving on S1 Tar road and reached a traffic Jam. Stopped and asked them what they see and they replied a leopard was sitting in the tree but has moved off into thicker bush now. So i switched the car off and started scanning the area. Car after car left resulting in me being the only one looking for the leopard. Dont know what made me look in the review mirror but glad i did as this is what was looking back at me :)

Image

had her all to myself for 10 min in the road drinking water.
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Re: Your Best sighting in Kruger, with no other tourists

Unread post by mattmillielibby » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:27 pm

Easily my best sighting in the park with no one else, was my first ever Leopard. I've been waiting nearly 4 years to see one in the park, and in October 2011 i finally did,
We had stopped to give our daughter some milk, and just as we were about to drive off, Matt looked out of his window, to be greeted by the sight of this guy! He'd been laying there the whole time, and we hadn't noticed!
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DSCF1273 by MattYar1974, on Flickr
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DSCF1274 by MattYar1974, on Flickr
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DSCF1279 by MattYar1974, on Flickr
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DSCF1280 by MattYar1974, on Flickr
We sat with him for about 10 minutes, just watching him sleep, roll over, sleep again. Then he got up, had a look around, and came and lay down again...even closer! I still couldn't believe there were no other cars around! I was expecting my first Leopard to be a traffic jam!
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DSCF1282 by MattYar1974, on Flickr
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DSCF1283 by MattYar1974, on Flickr
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DSCF1285 by MattYar1974, on Flickr
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DSCF1286 by MattYar1974, on Flickr
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DSCF1293 by MattYar1974, on Flickr
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DSCF1294 by MattYar1974, on Flickr
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DSCF1295 by MattYar1974, on Flickr
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DSCF1298 by MattYar1974, on Flickr
About 40 minutes into our sighting, we heard another car coming, as we saw them we waved them to slow down and they did. We could see the excitement in their car as they saw what we were watching. So, it was just us two for about 10 minutes, then another car began to approach, we waved them to slow down...but they didn't...Matt started flashing his lights but they still didn't slow down. By now, our Leopard was sitting up, looking quite nervous, he really wasn't happy about the approaching car. As they reached us they slammed on the brakes but by this time Mr Leopard was having none of it, and he was up, making a run for it, into the bush and within about a minute he was completely gone.
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DSCF1299 by MattYar1974, on Flickr
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DSCF1302 by MattYar1974, on Flickr
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DSCF1304 by MattYar1974, on Flickr
The offending car drove off, clearly angry that they didn't see what they wanted to, although it was totally their own fault, but the other car stopped and thanked us for showing them the Leopard and even apologised for the other cars behaviour!
November 2012 trip
3 Nights Olifants
2 Nights Satara
2 Nights Bergendal
3 Nights Pretoriuskop
1 EXTRA night Skukuza

3 nights sabie river bungalows

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Re: Your Best sighting in Kruger, with no other tourists

Unread post by Magic Guarri » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:34 pm

WOW, what a wonderful thread and what awesome sightings and pics!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Thanks to all :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: - and please :pray: show us more!!! :popcorn: :D
To be happy is better than to be a king. People who are happy own a real unique treasure:
A laughing heart


PLEASE NO HOTELS in KNP and PLEASE don´t change KNP into a Funpark!

KNP - Eyes and tracks behind the bush

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Re: Your Best sighting in Kruger, with no other tourists

Unread post by flying cheetah » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:54 pm

What a wonderful sighting MaryMattMillie :dance: :dance: And for such a long time :mrgreen:
would you mind to tell us where you saw this beauty?
Akukho nyon' endiz' ingahlali phansi. (Zulu)
There is not a bird that flies and never sits down.

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Re: Your Best sighting in Kruger, with no other tourists

Unread post by mattmillielibby » Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:43 pm

He was on the S130 :)
We saw another 4 Leopards that trip :dance:
November 2012 trip
3 Nights Olifants
2 Nights Satara
2 Nights Bergendal
3 Nights Pretoriuskop
1 EXTRA night Skukuza

3 nights sabie river bungalows

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Re: Your Best sighting in Kruger, with no other tourists

Unread post by annapangolin » Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:10 pm

Such cool sightings on here :dance:

I've had some lovely sightings to myself, but a few in particular spring to mind...

The first was in 2010 and I was alone in the car driving down to Pretoriuskop. Hadn't seen much on the road because all the roads i'd taken were on fire. But then I saw what I thought were jackals in the road (from a long distance I must add...). The 'jackals' turned out to be 5 wild dogs and I sat with them for over an hour. One car passed in this time and the South African woman in the passenger seat rolled down her window as they drove through the sighting and said, 'hyenas are such a nuisance' and laughed at me because I was quite clearly a foreigner wasting my time looking at 'hyenas'. They didn't stop or even glance at the dogs, they just drove around them. The dogs were literally right in the road :wall:

Image

Then when I finally left these guys, less than one minute down the road, I had a leopard with two tiny cubs (again, no one anywhere nearby). The cubs disappeared into the bush and so did mom when I got a little closer...

Image

In August 2011, after a very miserable day of rain (in an open-vehicle, soaked and sick), we turned a corner to find this scene :) Had it to ourselves for a few minutes before a member of staff stormed through at 60 without slowing down, obviously scaring everything away :roll:

Image

Also had a few good sightings to myself in September 2011 that really stood out. I was guiding, and was watching Duke the elephant (RIP Duke) with my guests on the S28. Other cars passed, but to them it was probably just another elephant. We'd been watching him for 20 mins when I noticed some movement behind him-- turned out to be three honey badgers!! :dance:

Then another great leopard sighting a few weeks after the badgers. One very relaxed leopard on the Gomanwane loop.

Video here:


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Re: Your Best sighting in Kruger, with no other tourists

Unread post by t-bal » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:12 am

Last year we were staying at the Sirheni Bushveld camp and went on the sunset drive. We were not far out of the camp gates when a large male lion steps out in front of us marking the local area. Well he strolls down the road in front of us +/- 15mtrs for about 15 minutes stopping now and then to take a look to see if were still following. At the end he lays down next to the road where we pall up beside him to take yet more photo's. Also while on this diver we came across Jackels and many other great sights. It was the most interesting drive and would like to thank Patrick ( park ranger ) yet again for making it a night we will never forget.
TR: " When all is new..."

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Re: Your Best sighting in Kruger, with no other tourists

Unread post by Meerkitty » Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:32 pm

Last year in April we had a leopard sighting all by ourselves :dance: We were staying at Satara, and had seen the leopard with a few other tourists earlier in the day. On our afternoon drive, we went along a dirt road that came to a river. It was really overgrown, and I thought I had spotted a buck down by the river. As we drove off, my heart jumped out my chest beacuse I discovered it was a leopard :clap: We sat and watched him for a good while....he seemed to be stalking something and was crouched really low to the ground. Eventually he moved off, and I then discoverd that I was so elated and ecstatic to see him...that I had completely forgotten to take a pic :doh:

Another great sighting by ourselves came in November last year.... We went on a midday drive just beacuse we needed the airconditioner...as it was about 44 degrees. We were driving along a desloted road....there were not even any trees around...or any animals. However, our luck changed, and under the one trees in the area we found a pile of lions :dance: We sat with them for a loooooong time, with no other person in sight :big_eyes:

Here are some pics, this time I remebered :mrgreen: :cam:

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DSCF7015 by Juslind, on Flickr

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DSCF7014 by Juslind, on Flickr

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DSCF7012 by Juslind, on Flickr
Pretorius Kop - 26 November
Punda Maria - 27/28 November
Satara - 29 November - 1 December
Maroela - 2/3 December

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Re: Your Best sighting in Kruger, with no other tourists

Unread post by MKoch » Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:29 pm

Hallo everyone.

I see I'm a bit late on this.

We drove for Shingwedzi to Mopani. 1km before the turn off to Mopani we found a female Leopard in a tree. We sat there for almost 30min before she decided to climb down, with not one other car.
Shingwedzi 27Feb - 1Mrt, Letaba 2-5Mrt

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Re: Your Best sighting in Kruger, with no other tourists

Unread post by Mfezi » Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:30 am

Rather late than never... :redface:

Any leopard sighting for me is the best sighting...

The most recent one was 13 June 2015 on the S100. Sat there alone for about 10min. Two vehicle went passed without stopping. The third vehicle however did stop :big_eyes: :D

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Re: Your Best sighting in Kruger, with no other tourists

Unread post by Blydeboer » Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:20 am

About 15 years ago, my wife and I stayed at Shingwedzi. We went for an afternoon drive around Shingwedzi, and took the cul de sac to the Mashagadzi drinking hole. We had a bit of a dispute about something trivial and a deafening silence took hold in the car. As we neared Mashagadzi I said a silent prayer to see something to break the silence... Nothing. But the Lord moves in mysterious ways. As we started to drive of from Mashagadzi, a spotted flash caught my eye. I quickly stopped, and reversed. My prayer was answered! A female leopard that has just caught an impala less than 10 meters from us! The impala was still kicking as the leopard tried to suffocate it. Immediately the silence was broken! We sat there for 15 minutes with no other car in sight, watching the leopard suffocating the impala and then catching her breath before she took the impala of into the bushes. A sighting we will always remember!

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Re: Your Best sighting in Kruger, with no other tourists

Unread post by onewithnature » Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:50 am

Some amazing stories here. :clap: :clap: :clap: The fact that you are the only witness to that sighting makes it somehow just that little bit more special. Personally, we have had some phenomenal "only-car" sightings over the years, and it would be difficult to rate which of them are the finest. However, three contenders will always rate right up there with the best.

Let me start with number three:

It was, unbenownst to us, the third day prior to the floods coming down in earnest along the river courses in 2012. The day before that there had been a few showers, but now there was a steady heavy rain pounding down and, of course, not a soul - except the crazy people and staff - was brave enough to drive around. However, we were staying at Crocodile Bridge and thought there was no reason we should not try our luck. Faint luck at that, but just being out in the Park was enough excitement for us.

Not far up the tar road, a tree had cartwheeled across the road, leaving us just enough space to manoeuver past. We decided it was a sign. The logical thing was to continue up the tar towards Lower Sabie, but no, I had a feeling I should turn left onto the S25. "It may be too muddy - what if we get stuck?" I heard from a passenger. "I'll be careful," I assured her and continued along. Not a single animal was about and all the birds were surely huddled under the canopies, all hoping the torrential storm off Mozambique would pass by. I turned left onto the Hippo Pools Road and, at the end, was surprised to find the river swollen so that the entire place was quite unrecognisable. "Best to turn back," I said and we slowly negotiated the increasingly slippery surface. At the junction with the S25, I felt I should turn left. "The camp is the other way - what are yiou doing?" I was asked. "Trust me," I said, not sure how trustworthy I really was. "I'll just go a kilometre along the road and then, if nothing, I promise I'll turn back."

800m up the S25, my girlfriend spotted a movement under a large overhang of trees. That in itself was a laudable, for the rain was still pelting down and the movement was slight. "Wild dog," she howled. I couldn't believe it - it had been over ten years since we had seen these elusive predators. I peered through the misted up glass of her window and honestly could not see anything. My daughter, however, was ten times more excited than me because she had, in the last nineteen trips, never seen wild dog. We had come close, but always just missed them. Finally, after some frustration, my girlfriend rolled down her window and, as the rain soaked the inside of her door and the edge of her seat, we scanned frantically.

Then, suddenly, three of them ventured out into the open. We were thrilled. "Sorry," said my girlfriend, "I'm getting too wet." And she wound the window up again. I shifted the car so that I was on the side of the dogs and opened my window all the way, leaning back as far as I could with binoculars tight against my eyes, my trousers and waist sodden in no time. This was no time for sissiness - after all, these were WILD DOGS, and who knows, the way things are going they might not be around for too many more decades in Kruger.

Then another three dogs made their appearance, but soon all six were back under the overhanging tree branches and in amongst the high grass there. The rain eased somewhat, allowing us to open all the windows to demist the interior. We waited, quite impatiently it must be said. We had very few meaningful pictures - would we see them again and even perhaps get a decent photographic record?

And then the most wonderful thing happened: the whole pack moved out into a clearing in front of us - we counted ten dogs. We snapped away in the gloom, but the dogs were intent on cavorting in the wet and the pics were either very grainy (high ISO) or blurred. Five minutes later, the rain bucketed down again and we were forced to roll up our windows. The dogs did not seem to care and the whole lot of them moved towards us, loping this way and that until - wonder of wonders - one by one each lay down in the pouring rain. There they were right next to us and we supposed they too were hoping the weather would pass. Some were on the dirt road and some lay along the grass verges. One even had a rivulet running over the very tip of his nose! We could not believe it - ten wild dogs huddling around our car as if they wanted to include us in their pack, at least during this challenging time.

For well over an hour the dogs did little except occasionally lift their heads and stare through the downpour at something we could never see. The rain eased twice more, allowing for some sombre photos, but always it came back with more vengeance. Finally, as if they had all been briefed, they stood simultaneously and began to move forwards at a trot. We could see nothing, but stayed about twenty metres behind the back dog. After ten minutes of this, the pace increased and, as the dogs split into two columns, we saw a group of impala off to our left. One column single-filed directly towards the herbivores while the second veered right, presumably to head off the impala if they fled in that direction. There did not seem to be a great urgency on the part of the dogs, though, but they steadily moved closer as we excitedly tried to pace ourselves effectively.

Then, in amongst the mist and sheets of rain, the dogs took off at high speed and I nearly lost them. As we tried to keep up - making sure that, in the limited visibility I did not collide with a dog that might suddenly stop or possibility even with an impala crossing our path - the left column spread out and raced after the buck.Conditions could not have been worse for the dogs as the impala somehow all managed to race away over the puddle-infused grassland. However, the dogs did not seem too perturbed at this loss and soon both columns met up and we were able to follow them trotting along the S25 towards Croc Bridge.

Finally, they all made off to the right, many of them sprinting gleefully through the rain, their paws sending sprays of white water behind them. Without so much as a backward glance to even acknowledge the rare time that we spent together, they disappeared over a hillock and were gone. In the adverse conditions, my madness had paid off in the most unexpected way, and we were left to reflect poignantly on one of the greatest sightings in Kruger - three hours with wild dogs, and not a single other vehicle to share what we witnessed.
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Re: Your Best sighting in Kruger, with no other tourists

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:29 am

@OWN, 10 - 15 km radius of Croc Bridge is where I have seen most of my doggie sightings. In fact the very place you saw them (or 50 metres away!) is where I had a sighting a few years ago, but I had to share it with my CB neighbour. This was 5 doggies only, but also they milled around, rolled in dung, lay down and after about 15 minutes, suddenly charged off. About a km further, we disturbed a leopard on the road and it walked in the bush next to the car. Oh yes, this was en route to a lion sighting, at the next bridge, but before we got there a hyena dashed out of the bush with an impala head and gibblets flowing, before we got to a lovely pair of African Hawk eagles. The lion sighting was rather an anticlimax.....
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Re: Your Best sighting in Kruger, with no other tourists

Unread post by onewithnature » Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:05 am

MM, thank you for reading, and thank you for smiling. Knowing how you smile, that is a de-light-ful thought indeed. :D

Mfezi, glad I could make your pre-work day. :thumbs_up:

BB, thank you for sharing those rapid-fire sightings. :clap: :clap: :clap: Amazing sequence, really; not something I'd assume you'd repeat too often. Strange that the leopard hung around with the wild dogs in the area, but I suppose Croc Bridge is a melting pot for most top species and they all have to coexist somehow. Quite hilarious that a lion sighting turns out to be anticlimactic, but I can certainly see why. I suppose after all of that excitement, it becomes easier to just sit back without pressure, relax, and let the Park throw at you whatever else it chooses?
EVERYBODY'S TR!
TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)


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