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Game Warden

Nature in the raw...

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Peter Connan

Interesting. And entirely at odds with my own much more limited experience. I believe the reason is probably that the area of the Lowveld that I am speaking of, was very limited in size and well away from any rivers. For those who don't know, the Klaserie is one of the last of the "traditional" private nature reserves, where a land owner effectively is only allowed to utilize his own property.

 

Our property was approximately 8km from the river, and although it had two reservoirs that virtually always had water, we saw few major predators. I visited this farm (866 hectares in extent) at least annually (and sometimes up to 5 times per year) for 35 years, and many years saw no lion at all. In fact, I was about 14 years old when we saw lion the first time. The best experience was when I unwittingly walked into a pride of 23 lions. I saw leopard and Cheetah three times each during that whole period, and wild dogs only once.

 

In three visits to the KNP itself, I have yet to see any major predator.

 

In contrast, in our recent visit to the Kgalagadi, we saw lions at least twice daily, some days considerably more. We saw cheetah 6 times, although we saw no leopard.

 

I guess this is just proof that one should be wary of using limited sample sizes in any research, and also probably the conditions for spotting game and predators in the Kgalagadi were excellent at the time of our visit, as there had been very limited rain, thus no water away from the artificial holes, and fresh grass shoots in the riverbeds, but too short to give any cover.

 

However, I still believe that taking the whole Kgalagadi's statistics will not give an accurate picture of densities in the two river beds, and particularly not toward the end of the dry season...

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Peter Connan

Sorry @@Soukous, you are correct, however I have no idea where to move it.

 

Would one of the moderators please do the honours?

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ice

@@Peter Connan well there is a huge advantage KTP has over Kruger: its openness! I'd say on average the area you can scan with your eyes in KTP is 20 times as big as in Kruger, especially in the south of Kruger where the predator density is highest but also the thickness of the bush, this openness turns the odds to spot an animal highly towards KTP

 

btw. during my initial KNP visits I hardly spotted big cats either, took me quite a while to know how and when to look for them; since then we have reached these figures I posted above

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Sar4h

This has been a difficult thread to read/view but at the same time will prepare me for the harsher side of being on safari in Africa! Really does truly show the big "circle of life"

Some great shots and stories.

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