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Wildlife in Camps

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by Bennievis » Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:49 pm

This happened a few years ago one evening at Balule.
I sat in front of my two man tent on a fold up chair, feet up against the fence.
Having seen lion tracks on the way to camp that afternoon, I was hoping that they would pay the fence a visit that evening. I scanned the bush every now and again with my torch. Nothing…… The bush was very quiet, not a movement. After about an hour, now very relaxed, the next thing I saw whilst scanning the bush from left to right - was this huge hyena head between my two feet on the other side of the fence. He was so close he could literally have licked my toes if he wanted to (I think he didn’t want to). Instinct kicked in and I kicked against the fence and landed on my back in a cloud of dust (still in my chair) I almost brought the tent down with me.
I think that hyena must still be giggling. He even brought his mates back at about 2 that morning whooping and laughing in front of my tent - obviously hoping for another show. :popcorn:

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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by Bushcraft » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:04 pm

Cool thread,

I have seen:

hyena, bushbabies, civet, genet, buffalo, elephant, honey badger, rhino, zebra, impala, AWC, hippo, leopard, scrub hare, baboons, owls, bats, rats.

That's all I can think of now :hmz:

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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by BrendaK » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:37 pm

I only do the fence thing once in a while as I travel to Kruger alone most of the times. I am apparently quite nasty when I am there as I want to be in the bush the whole day and travel companions need lunch breaks, Humanity breaks etc. (It frustrates me endlessly).

As I have an enormous almost unhealthy respect for leopards and Elephants :redface: I am always rather weary as to what will happen if you meet them at a fence, some fences just don't look as if they can keep the aforementioned out.

I did however see the civets, ellies and buffaloes and I am very sure that it was an African Wild Cat in and around Punda one night, after having had my fill of Marula juice in the nearby village. I am not sure if it is something in the Marulas, but I was exceptionally brave that night.

Balule seems to be rather notorious for exceptional night fence tours. As I prepared to go to bed one night I thought the hyena patrol managed to break the fence next to my tent, jumping out in my bright pink pj's I met with an Ellie mom and her calve barely 2 metres away from me. After hastily covering my brightness with something darker (I know she knew I was there) I watched her as she taught her youngster the finer points on how to demolish a tree.
"I am doomed to be a wanderer, I am not an empire builder, I am not a missionary, I am not truly a scientist, I merely want to return to the bush to continue my wanderings" (Joseph Thompson - The bush for me and Africa for him)

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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by leo21 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:08 am

We camped at pretoriuskop once right on the fence... Late afteroon right before sun set a pack of wilddogs chased a bush buck right past our fence... Followed by a lone hyena. The chase went on for a while and right in front of the fence. The last call was when the bush buck started jumping into the fence and thats when the heyna stood waiting for him. He caught the bush buck a meter away from our tents you could here the bone crushing, the wilddogs had to go find another meal its was a first for me in the Kruger(first kill and first time seeing wildogs)

Wonderfull memory :dance:

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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by picnic » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:52 am

normana53 wrote:At Lower Sabie, we enjoy watching the bats feeding en masse on the insects that are out in large numbers in the early evening. We have also seen bushbaby, vervet and baboon huddled in the trees. At Satara we saw the Scops Owl very well camoflaged against a tree trunk, and watched honey badgers play a game of garbage bin tag, knocking over every bin in our circle in about 15 minutes.

We saw one honey badger at Satara, early one morning and then again that night in camp. 8) Or maybe it could've been two, at different times. :hmz: :?

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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:43 pm

I am notorious for not going to bed and doing more than a bit of meandering.

I have fallen into leguane holes, sat spell bound by ellies and hyenas... and even climbed into stranger's beds.

but that is another story.
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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by tent dweller » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:10 pm

Last year while camping at Tsendze I dropped a piece of lettuce while I was preparing our evening meal, out of nowhere ran a squirrel and before he/she reached it a Crested Barbet landed and grabbed the piece of lettuce, they tried to get it from each other but did not succeed,the cat and mouse game lasted almost 5 minutes with lots of dust and sand flying around, our camera was on the table but I would have loved to take some photographs
PRETORIUSKOP 20 - 21 December 2015
TAMBOTI 22 - 24 December 2015
OLIFANTS 25 - 27 December 2015 (with a view)
LETABA 28 - 31 December 2015
MOPANI 01 - 03 January 2016 (with a view)
PRETORIUSKOP 04 -06 January 2016

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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by Son godin » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:24 pm

The following pic was taken from No 3 campsite in Tsendze. Maybe not inside the camp but close enough with just a fence between us and the elie. :big_eyes:

Jan 2018: Next trip to KNP - Tamboti, Talamati, Maroela and Satara

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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by homer.s » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:28 am

trying once again...


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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by cheetah2111 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:03 pm

One of my best interactions with wildlife in a camp was in Skukuza this year in March!
Check out this bushbaby!

And this snake near the bathrooms!

I have also seen African Wild Cat, puff adder and Honey Badger in Satara camp :thumbs_up:
Kruger 2014!!!

16-23 August - Lower Sabi!!!!

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Re: Your success with a torch in the camps at night?

Unread post by johanrebel » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:13 am

jeffgordon wrote:I was wondering what others have seen with their torches at night?
If unfenced camps count:

- aardvark
- porcupine
- white-tailed mongoose
- woodland dormouse
- acacia tree rat
- African wildcat
- spotted hyaena
- side-striped jackal
- buffalo
- elephant
- leopard (four)
- lion (lots)

That's not counting the birds, insects, arachnids and common mammals (genets, bushbabies, the usual antelope species).


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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by cheetah2111 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:19 pm

Civet from the fence camping at Shing
Kruger 2014!!!

16-23 August - Lower Sabi!!!!

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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by johanclassen » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:26 pm

In 2010 at Mapungubwe's Limpopo Forest Tented camp this young bull slipped past the electric barrier and wanted to play. Only me and the Mrs in Tent no 2 next to the swimming pool. Those little poles would have tasted like toothpicks :D Image

and Mods, sorry I know it is in a Northern Camp. Please move or delete if necessary?

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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by Ian Grant » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:31 pm

In July this year, we had an quite an exciting experience with a leopard inside Tamboti.

To paint the picture:

I was staying in tent no.3 with my brother, dad and nephew, whilst my one sister was in tent no.5 with my sister-in-law, niece and niece's friend. In tent no.6 was my other sister, her two daughters and my mom.
So, all the boys in 1 tent and all the girls in 2 other tents.

Being both of my sisters' first time to Tamboti, it was met with a certain amount of disapproval, with comments like "it doesn't have the ambiance of the shops/restaurants, it's too 'wild', the ablutions are scary to go to, etc." being thrown in my direction. However, being the ardent Tamboti fan that I am, I reassured them that it's IMO the best camp in KNP, because the sounds at night are rivalled by no other, the game in the area is excellent, the peacefulness, etc.
It took much persuasion and 'big brother' assertiveness to convince them that this was THE place to stay when visiting KNP. Something that they were in total agreement with after our first night there, and having driven around the area for an entire day.

Now, after returning to camp on our second evening I took my little nephew for a stroll up to the bird hide, to get him out of his sisters' hair for a while. Whilst on our walk, I noticed what I thought to be leopard tracks on the dirt road leading to the tented area. I said nothing about it, so as not to create panic within the ranks, and continued on back towards my tent so that I could light the fire.

Roughly an hour later, with it now being completely dark, our entire family had gathered around the fire and were socialising as families do, chatting and laughing (possibly too hysterically & loudly) when our neighbours came across and interrupted us. I though to myself "oh oh, here we go, our first warning to settle down" but to my surprise, they had actually come to tell us that whilst driving up to ablutions they had seen a leopard stalking the resident impala herd (which I had heard bleating frantically for about 30min prior to this).

What is the first thing that all (ALL) of the girls in the family say? You guessed it... "I told you, this place is crazy, it's too wild!"

We were warned not to wander away from the vicinity of the tents and that the Kingfisher Spruit Section Ranger was on his way to come and resolve the situation. This naturally excited me to no end. Boys will be boys. It however scared my little nieces pale, and they promptly marched themselves off to bed... not that they'd get any sleep for the next few hours.

Once the panic in the ranks had settled down a degree or forty, all the girls were tucked in and ready for bed. My brother and I decided that it was now time to head off to our tent and join my old man and nephew.

Not 5 minutes had passed, when I received a phone call from my sister in tent no.6 to please come and help her the girls were terrified and couldn't get any sleep. So, off I marched to go and assist. As I got up to the road leading to her tent, a bakkie drove past me, from left to right, dragging an impala carcass over my feet! It then promptly stopped about 15m to my right and the rangers got out of the bakkie and signalled to me to move away. I couldn't for a few seconds, as I was now frozen stiff, realising that they were trying to lure the leopard and I was slap-bang in between the said lure and Mr/Mrs leopard. I was also now in the middle of nowhere and thought to myself "do I return to my tent or go and help my sister?"
With this thought still in mind, and my mind not made up, I get another phone call from my sister to say "STAY INSIDE!!! they're trying to capture the leopard." I thought "NO!!! Really, I hadn't noticed!!" :lol:
I explained to her that I was already halfway to her so would just continue on. She agreed and we continued on the phone whilst I kept walking. Next thing she screamed "I can see the leopard! I see it, wait!". I was now 7m from her tent, and promptly did a 60 degree turn and at about 252km/h ran onto the deck at tent no.5... not really sure how this was going to help :hmz: , but anyway.
I then noticed a civet strolling past her tent, and with that realisation I calmed down and proceeded burst into laughter, as I couldn't believe my sister had mistaken a civet for a leopard. Anyway, I got to her tent eventually.

I managed to settle my nieces nerves and get her to fall asleep, after which I to called it a night... luckily for the last time that evening.

The next morning, still cautions, I walked up towards the ablutions, when I saw the rangers still/back there. I stopped to chat to them and they explained that they had still not captured the leopard, but in the process of tracking it had seen that it had spent the majority of the night sleeping up against tent no.3 (mine), and had done a lot of walking around the other tents adjacent to mine, particularly no.5. :big_eyes:

We unfortunately never got to see the leopard, but about a week after returning home I was informed that a female leopard had been successfully caught and released, and that she had apparently been calling Tamboti home for about a month prior to my stay.

Needless to say, many great memories were created as a result of this, and after all the "I told you so" comments that I had to endure, we all look back at this with fond memory. :D
Letaba 3 to 8 October 2015

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Re: Wildlife in Camps

Unread post by Elsa » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:38 pm

What an exciting and adrenaline filled visit to Tamboti Ian!

Very glad they managed to capture and release the Leopard.

Thanks for sharing your amazing story. :clap:

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