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 Post subject: CLEAN>JustNature Always great to be back in KNP November2011.
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:30 am 
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This was a long awaited trip. I planned to stay a week outside the park as I usually do and then spend the weekend at Tamboti :dance: :dance: , this changed after I read some of the TR’s :lol: :lol: so I decided to spend an extra week in the park travelling up North where the ellies can be nasty :shock: :hmz: by what I have read in some of the TR’s. It is great to finally be back in KNP.

We were extremely blessed with our sightings, a lot were far off (which you will see by the photo's :roll: ) but one could see them...that's all that counts :D and then of course the elusive Leopard was its usual self....elusive :wall: :wall: :wall: although we still had 8 Leopard sightings (one with kill and two with young), Lions (bit scares and lazy…except one sighting :twisted: :twisted:), plenty of Ellie (plenty of young ones), Rhino and Buffalo (Huge herds) and numerous birds.

So to get started Day 1 travelling from the concrete jungle (Jo’burg) to Numbi gate. We left early so we could travel through the park to Ngwenya Lodge, our base for the first week outside Croc bridge. Got to the gate just after 11am and sorted out our wild cards....now to get the cards, we were not expecting to see much because of the time and it being hot Image…what a surprise.

So posing first was this Female Kudu
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A bit further down the road we had our first “Big Five” encounter, being this big fella
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As we were moving off a car pulled up and told us of a sighting about 2km further on…there were 12 Lions next to the road, they had killed a Zebra :clap: :clap: , we expected a major traffic jam but alas there were only 4 other cars :-P , we got there and one of the cars that was parked move off leaving us his spot with the loins about 2m from our car, they had devoured most of the Zebra :shock: and had split into four smaller groups eating and resting.
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We left after our fill. One cannot ask for more when you are just going through the park and it being midday. We headed to Skukuza and then down to Lower Sabie, seeing these chaps on the way. African Fish Eagle
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Giant Kingfisher
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Ellies
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We stopped in at Sunset dam, was amazed at how low the water level was and then just after LS we came across these two Bateleurs
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this was about it for the day as we needed to book in and do some shopping so headed down to Croc Bridge and left the park till tomorrow :P .

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


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 Post subject: Re: Always great to be back in KNP_November2011.
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:02 am 
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Day 2
Got to the gate just as it opened. We decided to go down to hippo pools and see what it had to offer us, it was great to see Daniel again and I am always amazed how easily he spots the game, he showed us the Lion spoor on the pathway we were walking down that had been through his area that morning which he was searching for Image . He pointed out the Waterbuck, Hippo, Croc and the Kudu, he could just not find us the lions :lol: :lol: . What a great view.
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Encountered this big fellow minding his own business having breakfast
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And then noticed some movement on the road…..
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Dung Beetle, that’s the way he rolls :lol: :lol: .
We stopped in at Mpondo dam for coffee and these two young guys where lazing at the water’s edge, there was an ellie and a rhino on the far side...too far for a photo.
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Waterbuck
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After coffee we headed up towards Renosterkoppies dam and spotted this Martial Eagle on the edge of a water hole and then a bit further on found this fella….would have thought his tusk would be a bother to him but it didn’t seem to be a bother
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and a bit further on this one was already standing in the shade
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There was a lone lioness in the shade just up the way from the dam in a hollow under a tree sleeping, we waited a while but she was in no mood to budge so we went up to Skukuza and the headed back down to LS via the S21, it was here we noticed why the animals were heading for the shade so early was a bit of a warm day

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At first I thought the cars temperature gage was out….it had to be broken or faulty…..but the weather services confirmed the temp for us :wall: :wall: :wall: . I had no idea it gets so hot up that way, I feel so sorry for the animals in that heat. The sightings were scares and now I understood why. Heading towards CB this group had gathered under the shade
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We slowly made our way back down towards Croc Bridge stopping off at Sunset dam where the hippo’s were bathing and the Grey Heron’s practice their surfing Image :lol: :lol: .
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Day 3 to follow

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


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 Post subject: Re: Always great to be back in KNP_November2011.
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:10 am 
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Day 3
We were traveling the H4-2 tar road and just after the S25 turnoff something was spotted in the road...as we got closer some Impala bolted across in front of us, one of them slipping on the tar and then we saw it was a hyena that was chasing them, it went off after the impala and then came back to the road and stop next to us, watching as the Impala made their escape , we heard a bit later that two hyenas had made an impala kill that morning at Croc Bridge :wall: :wall: :wall:
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We decided to do the S28 and have coffee at the Nhangazwane dam or hide, it was a quiet drive other than the speeding army vehicle that passed us :evil: :evil: :evil: There was some plain game on the drive, the hide was dry and empty and we heard from the people who stopped there with us that we had just missed a lioness and 4 cubs cross on the road we had just travelled :wall: :wall: :wall: . We stopped at Sunset dam for the coffee. As mentioned by others on the forum, always a winner and a great place to just sit and watch the game.
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This chap was lurking at the water’s edge

We had planned to go up to Tshokwane for lunch and then come back down, did not make Tsokwane but that did not bother us as the sightings were worth it. :whistle: :whistle: :whistle:
We had this chap…sleeping of course :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Stopped in at Mlondozi for breakfast…which turned out to be brunch :lol: , this site kept us entertained for about 2 hours as there was plenty to see waterbuck, warthogs, wildebeest, baboon troops, zebra, giraffe, hippo and there was supposedly lions on the one bank in a hollow :roll: :roll:. 3 herds of ellies came down to drink and then there were the singles that came down too, the last two had their morning bath. Sorry for the poor quality of the photos they are fare away. :redface: :redface: :redface:
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Some of the game that came to drink, the 2 ellies were having fun for a good bit of time,
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Wildebeest and the 2 ellies a bit later
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The heard came down and one of the big guys wanted to have some more fun
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And then the bathing ellies
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We left and heard there where cheetah :shock: :shock: :shock: at the hillside waterhole a little way up sleeping, so of course we had to go see them. We got there just in time :dance: :dance: :dance
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They then got up and started to move as if on a mission, but went further into the bush.
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We then went on a bit further to the lookout and then started making our way back to the gate. This guy court our attention with his call Red Crested Korhaan
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We had one final stop on our way down to the gate and that is for this special lady….
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Sorry for the poor quality photos again, she was also very far off :redface: :redface: :redface:
And then her baby popped in :dance: :dance: :dance:

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Cropped
We only got to see the one cub but apparently she had 3 or 4 with her :D :D :D

Day 4 to follow soon

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


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 Post subject: Re: Always great to be back in KNP_November2011.
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:18 pm 
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Day 4
Today we decided to enter at Malelane Gate. On the bridge going to the gate we were told there was a Black Rhino on the river bank…it was far off and well this is all that we could see :roll:
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:wall: :wall: :wall:
At the bridge this big croc was lazing on a sand bank
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We stopped in at Berg-en- Dal and did the roads around the camp, it was very quiet yet we saw a Leopard :twisted: …..Tortoise and as we approached the H3 we had a few buffalo next to the road, this guy was willing to pose for a few photo’s.
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We headed up to Afsaal for breakfast and finally got to see the resident Scops-owl
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After breakfast it was up to Skukuza via Renosterkoppies dam and the S65 just before the dam at the rocks we spotted the klipspringers. We saw this guy on a dead branch and a Rhino in the shade
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Decided to stop in at Lake panic, what a stunning place, we ended up spending a lot of time here
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Leaving the hide and heading down to Croc Bridge, we stopped to watch the troop of baboons playing a bit and then on our way to LS had a bit of a traffic jam with this guy in the road,
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Was a good 40 minutes we were stuck behind him as he had no intention of leaving the road. Would wonder from one side to the other smelling the air. Once again an army vehicle came passed with total disregard to others, he then went passed the ellie pretty close which made it a bit more difficult for us others to now get past. I am one hundred percent behind the army fighting poaching but feel they should be courteous to others and abide by the speed laws :evil: :evil: :evil:
Day 5 to follow.

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


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 Post subject: Re: Always great to be back in KNP_November2011.
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:06 am 
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Day 5
Was a nice overcast day which was a great change from the heat :lol: :lol: yet the humidity was higher so that made it feel hot :roll:. Just after the S130 turnoff this ellie was off in the distance, Looks like a nice set of tusks on him.
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Then a bit further on we spotted a family of Dwarf Mongooses crossing the road, this one was the only one who was polite enough to pose for a photo…just love these little critters
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On our way up to Sunset dam we had our first sighting of a kill :dance: ; this fish eagle was busy with his breakfast.
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We stopped in at Sunset for coffee and watched the male Diderick Cuckoo’s displaying for their mates and then there were the usual animals and birds around.
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From sunset we travelled up towards Skukuza and had general game sightings including some lion on a giraffe kill :dance: :hmz: :doh: …unfortunately no photos as this was down in a hollow next to the road behind some bushes and we were not able to see much, we could just see a bit of the leg of the giraffe…(which seemed small so I think it was a young one :? ) and only this fat bellied Lion that was sleeping under the bushes to the side.
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We headed back down to LS and while at LS we saw a pair of Tree Agama’s and then heard there had been a leopard sighting at the sausage tree down the way so we decided to head down that way and see if it was still around, cars where stopped all the way up the river as the leopard had been spotted on the other side of the river, we stopped in under the sausage tree and had coffee, there was no leopard :wall: :wall: :wall: but we did spot a Southern yellow billed hornbill (with kill :lol: :lol: ) and then a mother Pearl Spotted Owlet came to feed her baby, the baby kept an eye on us the whole time we were there z0z OiO z0z
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We had a bit of time so we went down the H5 and then down the S25 to Croc bridge and saw some Ground Hornbills
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And the on the tar road this little guy was being very independent and on his own mission till his mother had had enough
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Day 6 to follow

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


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 Post subject: Re: Always great to be back in KNP_November2011.
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:25 pm 
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Day 6
Sightings for the day
#Impala, Water buck, Wildebeest, Vervet monkey and baby, Mongoose, Tree squirrel, Lion, Wart Hog. Leopard, Hippo, Crocodile, Chacma baboon, Kudu, Elephant, White Rhino, Giraffe, Legevaan, Tortoise, Terrapin,
#White back vulture, Fish eagle, Pearl Owl
So to start off, today we headed up the S130 as we had heard there was a hyena den with pups, it was a quiet drive and needless to say we did not find the den :lol: :lol: . Don’t know when I will learn that the animals tend to move around and are not always nailed to the position they were seen :wall: :wall: :wall: anyhow we did get to see this ground squirrel on our way
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And then we found two Vultures sunning themselves
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A bit further on there were some European Bee-eaters,
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We then continued up the H4-2 and found a bit of a traffic jam at the Sausage tree, the leopard was in the tree, but was difficult to see as it was lying on a branch and was concealed behind the leaves. The only photo we could get was this….. :roll: :roll:
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We left and crossed the bridge at LS and found a troop of baboons foraging, this one was practicing his acrobatic moves :lol: :lol:
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After doing a loop on the S29 and back down on the H10 to LS as got to the LS entrance a guy stopped and told us there were 4 lionesses about 2km down the S28 :dance: :dance: :dance: so we turned back and headed there, there were no other cars around and the lionesses had settled in under the trees in the shade and did not look like they were planning on moving.
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As we were the only car there we stayed around for about an hour before moving of as nothing was happening. The kitties did not want to play nice in the heat of the day :lol: :lol: :lol:
On our way down to CB we spotted these Ellies and the Rhino in the shade, we stopped in at Gasanftombi water hole where there were zebra and the Lilac Breasted Roller
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Day 7 to be up next travelling to Tamboti

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


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 Post subject: Re: Always great to be back in KNP_November2011.
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:02 am 
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Day 7
So today was the start of the time in Kruger :dance: :dance: , we got a late start and entered the park at about 9am. We travelled the main road as it would be the quickest route to Tamboti. Was a quiet drive with mostly the usual suspects on route. Sightings for the day where Chacma Baboon, Impala, Tortoise, Wart Hog, Wildebeest, Giraffe, Leopard, White Rhino, Hippo, Zebra, Buffalo, Vervet monkey, Bush buck, Steenbok, Batleur eagle and Fish eagle.
As we approached the Sausage tree on the H4-2 we saw there were a good number of cars parked in the area so we stopped to see if we could spot the spotted culprit that was causing the congestion, was not a great photo opportunity and it was lying in the same spot as the day before but never the less one can see its coat again :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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He did not look like he was going to be moving in any hurry so we checked in on the Pearl spotted owlet and though we could not see it we could hear it so we left and continued heading up the H10 to Tshokwane this little steenbok in the shade stayed put for a photo

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We stopped in at tshokwane for lunch and were entertained by the baboons in the vicinity, I watched as people throw rubbish in the bins and make sure it is closed just to have the baboon push and pull till it is open
:doh: , we then continued up and stopped in at the most southern baobab tree, first time I have seen it with leaves :lol: :lol: :lol:

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There was a large herd of ellies that were coming up from the river bed and they had plenty of young ones

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And then a bit further we saw four adults and a juvenile Ground Horn Bill resting in the shade. It is great to see their numbers increasing.

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At Kumana dam this saddle bill stork was searching the waters and this hippo needed more water…hope they get rain soon.

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We got to Orpen just after 5 and booked in, on our way to Tambotie we spotted a Night Jar in the road (I think it was :doh: ) but it flew off before I could get a photo. We were in tent no 21 and what a great site, on the rivers bends. We unpacked and decided not to go out as it was nearly gate closing time. While unpacking someone parked and started unpacking at Tent 22. I saw they were flying ribbons Image Image so I introduced myself, it was Dup and :dance: :clap: :dance: , I confessed that I had forgotten my ribbons :redface: :redface: :redface: and was not able to get any anywhere we were staying. Dup’s SO popped round a bit later and handed me some spare ribbon they had. Thanks Dup :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: they are now stored in the books that travel with for future use, was great meeting you and SO, hope we meet again (soon)

That night it was quiet with only this Tree Frog hopping in for a quick photo Image I was amazed at the agility and distance it can cover.

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I scanned the river bed and fence for movement but no luck and was shocked at all the spiders in the area, their eye seemed to sparkle in the torch light ImageImageImage It was off to shower and I had to go back for the camera to get this critter that was roaming the road.

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All in all a good day, great to be back at
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Day 8 to follow

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


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 Post subject: Re: Always great to be back in KNP_November2011.
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:45 am 
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Day 8
Up early and out the gate just after they opened. We decided to travel to Satara and then do the H6, S41 and S100 loop back to Satara. The sightings for the day were as follows #Impala, Steenbok, Bush buck, Zebra,
Wildebeest, Giraffe, Water buck, Duiker, Wart hog, Hippo, Hyena, Vervet monkey, Chacma Baboons, Kudu, Giraffe, Mongoose, White Rhino, Tree Squirrel and a special visitor for our last night at Tamboti…(the not so great place) Large spotted genet. #Giant Blind Snake and birds were #Kite, Fish eagle, Vulture, Brown snake eagle and Scops owl (Resident at Satara).

We got to the H7 and it was quiet, we then got the Giant Blind Snake crossing the road….

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We watch it crossed okay and then were on our way. A bit further up the road this ellie was grazing.

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We got to Satara and I got to see the resident scops owl there, they are really cute

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We headed up the H6 and once again it was very quiet, did not see much and stopped a car from the front to find out if they had seen anything. He said there was a Buff kill by two male lions very late the night before about 10km up the road :clap: :dance: :clap: but that a pack of hyenas had chased them off and taken the kill for themselves. We headed that way and saw the first signs…

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And then the hyenas, there was no sign of the carcass :big_eyes:

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We had our fill and moves on, not that there was any traffic :lol:. Heading back to Satara on the S41 and this Greyduiker was kind enough to let us take a photo. Then on the H100 we had the general game, the giraffe was rather dark and the pale one in front displayed it nicely…(I thought anyhow :lol: :lol: :lol: )

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We then found a bit of a traffic jam, we thought …LION, but nope there she was, just standing there in the bushes, an Impala, the people there said she was giving birth. :dance: :dance: . After about 30 minutes of watching her graze, push and stand, we decided she was constipated and not pregnant as she only produced droppings in that 30 minutes :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Grazing

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Pushing

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Then the cycle repeated itself, over and over again :lol: :lol: :lol:
A bit further up the road from the JABI we saw a Brown snake eagle far off on a stump

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On our way back to camp we spotted this fella on a branch

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and then at the camp while chilling we had the visitor of note. It came up the steps and then hopped down onto the ledge at the bottom and posed for some photo’s then went to the path and darted off after its meal

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Day 9 to follow, up to Balule.

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


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 Post subject: Re: Always great to be back in KNP_November2011.
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:07 am 
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Day 9
We decided we would leave camp early and do a drive then come back and pack, rather than packing and leaving later for Balule. Sightings for the day were #Steenbok, Impala, Giraffe, Leopard, Wildebeest, Squirrel, Kudu, Elephant, vervet monkey, Chacma baboon, Dwarf Mongoose, Nyala, Hippo, Water buck, Buffalo, Zebra, White Rhino, #Pair of Ostrich with 18 tiny chicks, Marabou Stork, Lilac breasted roller, and then that night at the camp fence where 3 hyena, elephant.

It was drizzling and in the past we have not seen much in that sort of weather so we were happy to find our first fully exposed leopard :roll: :roll: . We saw it crossing the road about 300m ahead of us and when we got there it was in the bush, it did however give me an opportunity to photograph it when it went up into the tree for a short time. :dance: :dance:

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After doing the loop we headed back to Tamboti to pack and saw a sad sighting on the side of the road, :cry: :cry: :cry: an African Wild Cat kitten. It looked to have died of natural causes as it was a bout 2m from the road.

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We got back to the camp and packed then headed up to Balule taking the H7 and and then the H1-4
At Nsemani dam we watched these two ellies playing in the water, they seemed to be having stacks of fun. :tongue: :tongue:

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Periscope up…dive dive !!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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At Satara the scenery was amazing
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A bit further on we had this fella making a noise next to the road in some shade.

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At Ngotso waterhole we spotted a pair of Ostriches with about 18 young ones

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The only animals that were worth while taking photos of were the ellies as the rest were far of or the light was bad so here are some of the ellies. We then stopped on the bridge at Olifants where one can alight from the vehicle and spend a while there watching the herds of ellies come down to drink and the young ones messing around, I can watch these giants for hours especially the babies. This legaun was also crossing the bridge

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Scenery from the lookout before Olifants always a nice view and then one of the Hyenas that visiter the camp fence.

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Day 10 to follow

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


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 Post subject: Re: Always great to be back in KNP_November2011.
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:18 am 
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Day 10

Was another overcast morning but the day did produce the following sightings #Hyena, Giraffe, Impala, Elephant, Water buck, Wart hog, Hippo, Chacma Baboon, Steenbok, Kudu, Zebra, Wildebeest, Buffalo and then #Fish eagle, Kite.

We headed down to the bridge to watch the sun make its way up, what an awesome sunrise we were blessed with :dance: :dance:

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The day was spend mostly taking in the scenery and doing the roads around Letaba and Olifants, doing some of the river drives and going to the hide so hence a lot of scenery photos coming up with a few game photo’s in between. Traveling next to the river we had this chap eating breakfast in the shade and some Blue Waxbills in the bushes near the road. 8)

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We spotted a herd of 28 Ellies ranging in all sizes walking in a long line Image

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Stopping along the way up to Letaba there were more stunning views of the river and a lone tree

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From Letaba we went to the hid on on the way this ellie was in the shade of the tree, at first I thought he was scratching himself but he was standing dead still just leaning against the tree and then a buffalo cooling itself in a pool. :whistle: :whistle:

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At the hide there was not much going on other than a bunch of camouflaged hippos grazing Image

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Back at Balule we were once again blessed with a beautiful sunset and the hyenas that patrol the fences. :dance: :dance:

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Day 11 is travelling to Shingwedzi

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


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 Post subject: Re: Always great to be back in KNP_November2011.
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:41 am 
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Day 11
So first jumping back to day 10 again it was a great stay at Balule and it was great meeting Pooh Bear and Scorpio, thanks for the chat and the interesting info you guys gave us. Really great meeting peeps from the forum and finding out more about you guys. It is great to see all you have done for the park and keep up the great work :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: (by the way never got to see a Python on our trip up north :doh: so will just have to keep trying :dance: :dance: ). Travelling up to Shingwedzi today and woke up to a nice drizzle. We decided to pack and leave rather than do a early morning trip and then come back to camp and pack. Sightings for the day were #Hare, Water buck, Impala, Grey duiker, Buffalo, Kudu, Giraffe, Tortoise, Wildebeest, Bush buck, Steenbok, Elephants, Nyala, crocodile, Bush buck, Lappet-face Vulture, Fish Eagle and Juvenile. #Pied Kingfisher, Yellow bill stork. #Black/green chameleon on road.
The hare scampered past while we were packing and hands were full so no photo :roll: :roll:
We got to the Letaba bridge and spotted this Saddle Billed stork in the river bed below in the little water there was :dance:

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A bit further on this Pied king fisher was doing his morning grooming

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This is the first time I have travelled beyond Letaba and it is really amazing. In its own way it is beautiful. We saw plenty of birds but relatively far off, a European Bee-eater did however let me take a photo. :cam:

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We stopped in at Mopani camp and then when we left we saw this little chap crossing the road

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After he was safely off the road we continued up and did the Red Rock loop. Would love to see this when it is not so overcast, also had some water buck pose for us.

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Along the loop this Juvenile was perched watching us, he looks rather well fed and then a bit further on we saw a Brown snake eagle and then a short distance on these two. (please help with the ID's if they are wrong :redface: :tongue: )

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Juvenile Tawny
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Brown Snake Eagle :hmz:
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Tawny
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Juvenile Fish Eagle
On the tar again we stopped and watched these Baboons for a while, I missed the photo opportunity of the hand stand stunt of the one on the right, he came running up and pushed the one behind him then did a handstand looking at the one he had pushed. :lol: :lol: :lol: they can be quite comical.

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We booked in and then did a short drive out to Kanniedood hide not much was happening there other than this Yellow billed stork that was scouring the water

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On our way back to camp we saw this little one resting and this guy browsing next to the road.

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Day 12 up next.

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


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 Post subject: Re: Always great to be back in KNP_November2011.
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:21 pm 
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Posts: 440
Day 12
Got another early start and it was another overcast day drizzling and wet … but still a great day. We travelled up to Punda Maria and did the roads around there then back down to Shingwedzi and the Kanniedood dam. Sightings for today were as follows #Buffalo, Elephant, Impala, Side striped jackal(a first), Water buck, Eland(a first), Zebra, Bush buck, Sharpes grysbok(a first), Hippo, Crocodile, Nyala, kudu, Giraffe, Wildebeest #Batleur, Vulture, Fish eagle and others.
It was all in all a great day as there were 3 sightings that were a first for me in Kruger :dance: :dance: :dance: , first up was this Side striped jackal (one of the firsts :dance: ) that was just of the road, he stopped to watch us and then was off into the bushes.

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Continuing up just before Babalala a herd of Eland crossed the road ahead of us (second of the firsts :dance: ), they were quite skittish of us but none the less we got a picture or two of them.

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In the distance were a group of vultures in a dead tree, always great to see them in these trees

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We stopped in at Punda Maria and visited the shop, had a look around the camp as we want to enter here later this year maybe and do a trip to Crooks Corner then do the trip down, will just have to see how things pan out. We left and did the loop around Punda, on it we spotted this Ground Horn bill no-where near the ground :lol: :lol: :lol:

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A bit further on in the loop was a Sharpes grysbok (the third of our firsts :dance: )

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And then we stopped for coffee and had this little fella join our company for a snack.

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On leaving Punda and joining up with the H1-7 we found this male Nyala grazing and on the other side of the road this Lilac Breasted Roller and European Bee-eater were hunting.

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We headed back down to Shingwedzi and found these two Batleur Eagles, the one was making quite a racket and then a young wildebeest

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Video :thumbs_up:
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We were back quite early and the rain had stopped so we went out to Kanniedood dam, and did that the route along the river. It was great as we took all the short loops off it to the river and had some great sightings on them. The drive is also stunning. This croc was on the one loop

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We also met Dinky Bird here, nice to have met you :thumbs_up:
In the one loop we were watching a few hippos in the river when we noticed this squirrel at the base of a tree and then found a nesting/feeding pair of Lilac Breasted rollers and a pair of Lesser Blue eared starlings nesting/feeding. :dance: :dance: :dance:

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Day 13 to follow soon

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


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 Post subject: Re: Always great to be back in KNP_November2011.
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:51 am 
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Day 13
Today would be spent traveling back down to Letaba. We left after packing and decided we would do the main road and then turn off and do the Tropic of Capricorn loop and then stop in at both Pioneer and Shipandani hides. Sightings were as follows #Hippo, Impala, Zebra, Leopard crossing road - with one young, Wildebeest, Hyena on road - with two young feeding. Elephant, Buffalo, 2 Black backed Jackal, Hippo, Wart hog, Crocodile, Water buck, Wild dog ±10 #Verreaux's eagle owl, Brown snake eagle, black bellied Bustard, Marabou stork ± 30, Male and Female Kori bustard, Tawny eagle #At tent in tree thick tail Bush Baby.
Just after leaving Shingwedzi we saw the Verreaux's eagle owl :D

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We continued seeing the general game and just after the S144 turn off we spotted something in the road, it was a mother hyena feeding two young ones. She got up and left the young ones on the road :roll: :roll: and they then eventually decided they need to leave as well.

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After the hyenas disappeared off into the bush we continued down and between the S142 and S144 roads we once again spotted a leopard crossing the road about 300m away, unfortunately when we got to the spot we could only just see it going through the bushes and this is when we saw it was the younger one we had seen and the mother was waiting further in the bush. No photo’s unfortunately.
We then turned off on the S143(Tropic of Capricorn) and it was relatively quiet but we saw this big fella, looks like quite a set on tusks on him.

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We stopped at Tihongonyeni water hole yet there was not much going on, few wildebeest lazing about and a few buffalo in the distance, one could see there had been activity as there was a lot of prints in the mud. We continued and and had this chap displaying

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We then made a turn past Nshawu Dam and not much to see there other than ellies far off in the distance. We then headed to Mopani and saw the male Kori Bustard displaying far in the distance and female Kori Bustards closer by as well as a pair of BBJ’s :dance: :dance: :dance:

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The rest of the road was quiet and we got to Letaba early enough to do an afternoon drive so we headed to Sable hide, at Masorini water hole there were 22+ Marabou stalks

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Sable hide was quiet and it was getting late so we started back for Letaba, we spotted cars and something in the road, getting closer we realised what It was…… Wild dogs :dance: :clap: :dance: :clap: :dance:

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They hung around on the road for a bit then spotted an Impala and gave chase :shock: :shock: , the Impala was too quick and it looked like a half-hearted chase so they then came back to the road and trotted down the road they then were off as they spotted another Impala and this time it looked like they were after dinner :shock: :shock: :shock: , they left the road and were gone.

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It was a great end to the day so we were happy to go back to camp, start the fire and relax. Last sighting at camp was a thick tailed Bush Baby :dance: :dance:

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Sorry photo quality was not great :roll:
Day 14 up next

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


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 Post subject: Re: Always great to be back in KNP_November2011.
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:08 am 
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Day 14
Today we were leaving Letaba where we stayed in the tented camp which was an awesome camp and heading to Skukuza’s tented camp :roll: :roll: (the rolling eyes will be explained at the end of the day). The trip down produced the Big Five twice for us on one day. Other sightings were as follows #Bush buck, Impala, Hyena, White Rhino, Kudu, Giraffe, Hippo, Elephant, 3 Lion (sleeping), Steenbok, Zebra, huge herd Buffalo, Reed buck, Wildebeest, Water buck, Leopard with kill, Buffalo, Wart hog, Elephant, White Rhino, Leopard on rock, Baboons, Vervet monkeys. 3 Male Lion (sleeping), Dwarf mongoose, 2 Hyena at fence, #Terrapin, Snake, #Fish eagle, Woodland Kingfisher. Cori bustard, Red crested cuckoo, Batleur.

The ellie statue at Letaba’s ellie museum, which I visited again :lol: :lol:

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At the Olifants River there were a couple of vultures thermo ling in the morning sky and this Woodlands king fisher was flying around the area where we stopped for coffee.

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I love the trees and the sizes of some of them you find in KNP like this one and then down the road this Batleur was busy on the floor, he was not to bothered with us being close by.

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We spotted a snake crossing the road, looked like a black mamba but I’m not sure, if anyone can help with the ID it would be appreciated. Unfortunately I was only able to get these photos :roll: :roll:

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Further down the road we saw Ellies, buffalo and the general game as well as this rhino next to the road :P

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Next up was 3 lionesses in the distance under a bush.

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Just before Satara we spotted a Reedbuck at the side of the road, there were 2 of them grazing but only the one was in the open (this was another first for me in KNP :dance: )

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We stopped in at Satara for a leg stretch and then were on our way again, just before Kumana Dam something caught my eye in a tree :shock: , we stopped and checked…it was a kill :dance: :clap: :dance: .

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We sat there for a while looking for its owner. We were the only ones in the area; many people stopped asked what it was and checked out the kill then left. We started to feel like moving on as the kill looked old but thanks to my mom’s persistence we stayed. We searched the area and then it was spotted…the spotted culprit responsible for holding us up. Far off to the one side about 50m from the tree under a bush in front of a rock. It lay there watching us and then decided to move to a spot where it could not be seen taking a piece of its meal with it. :dance: :clap: :dance:

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Going down the H1-2 we saw our second leopard for the day, not a great view of it but it’s a leopard :dance: .

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And then a bit further on we watched these baboons playing around and the two kudus butting heads.

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We got to Skukuza booked in and then did a drive along the river where we saw these 3 guys lazing in the bush :dance: :dance: .

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All in all another fantastic day, had two hyena visit at the fence for the braai, I must however say one thing about Skukuza. It was a real disappointment in comparison to Letaba, and all the other camps I have stayed at. This was my first visit to Skukuza and it will also be my last. For it being the “flagship” in my eyes for Kruger National Park as most tourists visit this camp and it being the busiest camp, I do not understand how this camp can let itself go to such a state of disrepair. The linen was dirty :evil: , the unit did not have all the things it was supposed to have :evil: , the drains in the kitchens were blocked :evil: :evil: and the taps were leaking. The furniture for the unit was in a bad state and needed much attention, the bathrooms needed attention too. The noise from the staff village was annoying to say the least :evil: :evil: ; it was as if I was in the city and not the “bush”. The restaurant toilets had no soap, towels, toilet paper or pape towel’s and this was at lunchtime when they are at their busiest :shock: , I brought this to the attention of the staff and was told “I must go get soap from the linen room myself” :shock: :shock: . All in all Skukuza was a real let-down to a fantastic 2 weeks in the park. :evil: :evil:

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


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 Post subject: Re: Always great to be back in KNP_November2011.
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:45 am 
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Day 15
Today was a relatively quiet day as was the last day as it was hot and humid, sightings were as follows for today Giraffe, Hyena, Elephant, HIppo, 2 Leopard, Impala, Bush buck, Zebra, Wart hog, Chacma Baboons, Nyala, Vervet Monkeys, Steenbok, Dwarf mongoose, #Red headed weaver, Batleur (Immature).
We left camp as the gates opened and headed to Lake panic for the sunrise and coffee. I have never been to the hide so early and was looking forward to it; little did I know what it would have in store for us :shock: :shock: .

On our way to the hide we had our first hyenas trotting down the road and when we stopped for the photos it was very accommodating :dance: , and then a bit further down the road we had our second hyena in the road who was also very accommodating :dance: .

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Arriving at the hide it was quiet with only one other car there. What a way to spend the morning :D

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While sitting there listening to the morning sounds I heard a hippo, at least that is what I thought it was at first :roll: but then across the water in the bushes from where the sound were coming we spotted movement :shock: , it was still a bit dark but we got a glimpse of it every now and then, a leopard…no wait two of them walking on a path in the bushes and just giving us a glimpse of them every so often :dance: :clap: :dance: . No photo’s unfortunately as the light was bad but it was great to see them.

We left the hide and headed to Afsaal and then stopped in at the Stevenson Hamilton site, from there we went back to camp. The afternoon we did the H1-1 and H1-4 with a few sitings.
Yellowbilled Kite
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Red-headed Weaver
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Batleur (Immature)
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Purple-crested Turaco
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Last day up soon

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


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