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South Africa March 2016 Klaserie and Timbavati


elefromoz

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Marks

Don't think I've seen an immature fish eagle before, very cool.

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South Africa, this trip was to be “easy”, no real planning, no expectations other than a relaxing safari enjoying whatever came our way. Our only previous African safari had us a couple of nights in t

We felt very lucky to have seen a “trio of felines” on our first couple of days in the Klaserie, but Mother Nature is no “one trick Pony”, our first drive from Motswari Timbavati and Chad had us parke

No safari would be complete without Elephants, we all love them, loyal, funny, fearsome. The grim statistics of poaching worries us all, whilst at the other end of things, soaring numbers in some Park

elefromoz

Thanks all for the kind comments and reading along, Ive been a bit tardy in acknowledging your interest, this is all a bit random and higgledy-piggledy, and of course new reports keep popping up and side-tracking me. @@KiwiGran, Hi and hope the Cats are around for you at Shindzela.

 

When I was in Yellowstone I was in awe of the Bison, in India the Gaur was really impressive, why cant I feel any level of “wow” toward a Buffalo? I just think

"Moo"

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"Poo"

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"Ooooh"

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OK, so they’re not that bad, and I should stop being silly

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Although, this trip I liked them even less for leaving the area and taking the Lions with them. No Lions for us in the Klaserie, although Leopard, Wild Cat and Cheetah kept us happy. At last, Shindzela one morning drive, piddling “Cats and Dogs”, finally, just her, tucked up all cozy, sheltering from the rain

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We found her again later in the afternoon, with her sister, the two of them hiding from the rain under even denser bush. Come on girls, you’re not making this easy for us.

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They didn’t look like they were moving anytime soon so we went off for sundowners. It was dark when we came back for one last look. The two of them were hunkered down in the grass, looking none too happy with the drizzle.

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This was to be our only Lion sighting for the trip, the Buffalo were gone the next morning, our two Lionesses and the rest of the Pride gone with them.

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Geoff

very amusing TR.

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Caracal

Yes an original and most amusing commentary to accompany this very enjoyable TR.

 

Methinks "higgledy-piggledy" denotes a Pommy background! An expression not often heard but one I grew up with and still use.

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Yes an original and most amusing commentary to accompany this very enjoyable TR.

 

Methinks "higgledy-piggledy" denotes a Pommy background! An expression not often heard but one I grew up with and still use.

 

I have no idea what pommy or higgledy-piggledy means but it sounds like a good thing! @elefromoz I kind of feel the opposite if you, I find Cape Buffalo very intimidating but bison are alright. I think it comes from being a 10 minute drive from being able to see bison so they become less impressive.

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Towlersonsafari

well @dio a "pommy" is a very good think-usually- it means "someone who is very good at beating Australia at cricket, at the moment, and losing dramatically in 20 20 finals" in a higgledy-piggledy manner. another very enjoyable trip report!

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Peter Connan

@@elefromoz, the picture of the wet camp brings back great memories.

 

Nothing better than a good evening thunderswower in the lowveld!

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elefromoz

@@Geoff @@Caracal, thanks, although we are not "amused" by @@Towlersonsafari, this is not the first time you have bought up Australias cricket history :o .

 

@@dlo, "higgledy-piggledy", have been waiting for an opportunity to throw that weird term into a sentence, probably will never use it again now. "Pommy", a person of English descent who brings up Australias poor cricket skills whenever the opportunity arises.

 

@@Caracal, No I am not one, 5th generation Oz actually. ( I hope it is accepted as a term of endearment nowadays, no offence meant to anyone).

 

@@Peter Connan, I sure hope more rain has come that way, terrible to see and hear of such awful dry conditions.

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elefromoz

Termite mounds, things that go on underground etc…A few weeks back, @gamewarden mentioned that he took refuge from a Buffalo on a Termite mound, who’d have thought a simple termite mound could prove so useful. Not to mention sooo interesting. After the overnight downpour, amidst the worst drought the area had seen, Termites had “erupted” everywhere. They were airborne and all over the tracks, in what I think is an annual reproductive frenzy.

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As with all “migrations” the predators followed, today was not the day to be going barefoot, Scorpions everywhere, feastinggallery_49445_1503_241816.jpg

 

Another “holed-up” critter, the Baboon Spider

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Where the Termite mound comes in handy again, for our Hyena friends. It was very busy at the den this morning.

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Some were trying to sleepin

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No chance once the kids are up

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Even the adults were up for a bit of fun

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Others were taking it a little slower

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Some thought we were the entertainment gallery_49445_1503_241590.jpg

 

Another evening, another Den, a mother waits patiently, her cubs tucked away inside

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Some under/over ground action of a different kind

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Going back to Termite mounds, they can also be good for this

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but more of that next post.

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Love those hyenas but then you knew I was gonna say that!

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elefromoz

@@dlo, I get you, Hyenas have a bit of a "bum rap", nice to be part of a small fan club, Leopards....well everyone loves a Leopard. Re-united with our Mother and Son pair, although each doing their own thing, although they are both "climbers".Heres the female,

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Goodness only knows what captured the attention of this lot, a Warthog maybe :D

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and the young Male

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Atravelynn

The hyena and vulture series, the bonding leopards, and then the Gymbaroo--all really special things to see. Yes, those eles are really close. Good thing they didn't decide to Gymbaroo you and your vehicle.

 

The termites are fascinating. How interesting to be there during a significant change in weather. You made the most of your only lion sighting. Beautiful night shot.

 

I love the hyena point his mouth out of the den. The leopard posing in #36 must do that for a living.

 

All that with very little trip planning!

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elefromoz

@@Atravelynn, yes, little planning, just "turn up" and let the guides showcase their "patch". One of the guides said something like "you do your night drive, go to bed later, wake up and head out in the morning with no idea what's changed, what's moved in and out of the Kruger since you left 10 hours earlier". I liked that thought.

Leopards sure know how to strike a pose like no other. I think they invented the word "drape" based on a lounging Leopard. We were spoilt with some terrific Leopard time.

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Towlersonsafari

That last leopard picture in particular is simply beautiful @@elefromoz

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deano

@@elefromoz - I agree with others - great stuff with the hyenas and the leopard sequence is fantastic. The last two in particular appeal to me because they are not your typical leopard images. That second to last one looks like he is part of the termite mound. If most animals see in some sort of black and white he would be tough to pick out from his vantage point. He was blending in to my eyes and I see in colour.

 

I am enjoying this one.

 

kind regards

 

deano.

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Towlersonsafari

@@elefromoz I am very good at taking bad photo's of all kinds of things even leopards!-but if that was my shot, it would be on my wall!

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@@elefromoz

Lovely report. The leopard shots are magnificent. Also really enjoyed your typical day on safari in South Africa post. Thanks.

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elefromoz

@@AKR1, thanks, glad you enjoyed the Leopard, @@deano, hope you have luck with Hyenas next trip.

 

Ive really come to admire Hyenas. Its too easy to love a Leopard, if a Leopard is David Bowie ( cool, effortless,) then Hyena are the Bee Gees ( all teeth, often a bit of a joke or the butt of a joke but in reality a tight family unit and soo good at what they do). Note, if you dispute the last 6 words of that statement, regarding the Bee Gees that is, sit in a quiet room and listen to “To Love Somebody” . :)

 

Hatari, Hatari, danger, danger….. who’d have thought just how much danger our poor Rhino friends would find themselves in over the coming decades. In the opening scenes of Hatari, a Black Rhino is thundering along flatout to escape her pursuers, with each step the dust flies as she weaves, her “hmmph” breath is heard as she exhales. Its one of the most exciting movie scenes Ive ever seen ((yes, I lead a very dull life ). Two photographic images of Rhinos that really left a mark were firstly a photo of a female Rhino standing in the scrub, with her face hacked away, left for dead, and the second of a Rhino, upside down, legs tied together, hanging from the end of a long rope as it was being airlifted to a safer area somewhere. What has the world come to. These are a couple of things I pondered as I sat in front of our first Rhino. Happily grazng in solitude as the sun was about to go down.

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We saw Rhinos across both Timbavati and Klasserie. I actually wasn’t going to post any photos, my thinking being “why make it any easier for the bad-guys”. It wasn’t until a guide reminded me that everyone knows there’s Rhino in the area, but, “maybe” by posting photos, it may just have a positive influence on “someone”. That’s his take anyway, who knows.

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An absolute trip/life highlight was a Baby Rhino, just 6 weeks old.

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Have you ever heard a baby Rhino cry? He walked along behind his ever moving Mum “squeaking”, the sound is just like if you were to step on a sqeezy toy. He kept calling for his Mum to stop moving so he could suckle, but she was oblivious to his pleas. Each time he’d catch up and push his little head in, she'd move off again and he’d cry. Finally she stopped and grazed on one spot long enough for him to suckle, then he moved away and “collapsed” on his side and went to sleep instantly. Exhausted.

 

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Our guide explained that the Mother just has to keep feeding herself, in droughts like this its so hard for her to get enough feed in, she can't afford not to feed. This little baby is gonna have to be a tough one. Good luck little guy.

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elefromoz

Oh, first off, Steenbok, beforegallery_49445_1503_302609.jpg

Hold that thought

Theres day when you just want to hug your guide. Today was one of those days. It was our last game drive of the trip, starting to get that sinking feeling, its all over, now what? We were heading back to the Lodge at “ quite a clip” ( I picked up that quaint phrase on this very forum). You know, whizzing along the sand track, bouncing over bumps without slowing, getting the occasional “twiggy” face slap, guide unperturbed. I was thinking “well he cant wait to get us back, must have a date waiting for breakfast”

 

We rounded the bend at speed…..

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Yep, pack of Wild Dog. Is this a Guide trick to leave the Dogs for the last minutes of the last drive, I know Im not the first to have had this happen.

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Before I forget, Steenbok after

 

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So not a bad way to wind up a safari, our first Wild Dogs.

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pomkiwi

@@elefromoz Nice to catch up with the wild dogs (unless you are a steenbok). I have heard a baby rhino squeaking (although not as young as yours I think) - this was in the Sabi Sands when mum and baby were standing in a waterhole - it was impossible for the youngster to feed without diving under the surface.

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Atravelynn

I meant to mention those 2 frogs before. They’re like perfectly sculpted paper weights.

 

Nothing cuter than a baby rhino and yes I have heard one cry/whine. The nursing shots are precious. I hope it lives a long life in peace.

 

Tomorrow it all starts over …..Yea!!

I have said those very words as I lay-me-down-to-sleep at day's end on safari with tremendous anticipation for what is next. That's the hook for us.

 

 

When I was in Yellowstone I was in awe of the Bison, in India the Gaur was really impressive, why cant I feel any level of “wow” toward a Buffalo? I just think

"Moo"

I must admit to having some of the same feelings, that even extend to Gaur. I guess we all have our fav animals and those that rank further down the list. For the Cape Buffalo I try to focus on the herd dynamics and how they protect their own. Also they do line up nicely for group photos. A few cattle egrets can turn moo into magic.

 

 

if a Leopard is David Bowie ( cool, effortless,) then Hyena are the Bee Gees ( all teeth, often a bit of a joke or the butt of a joke but in reality a tight family unit and soo good at what they do).

What a mind you have!

 

I cannot believe this. My husband has the radio on for the Cubs pre-game show and the intro music is David Bowie’s Golden Years. Right as I was copying your post. Spooky.

 

 

I wouldn’t worry about posting rhino photos. Now giving GPS coordinates, updated daily, that is another thing. In Etosha the guide would not tell me how many rhino were there—no population info. Understandable.

 

All that and then the last minute dogs! I am sure your guide got a big hug.

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Some really nice rhino shots and a very good report @@elefromoz but then you ask me to spend some time with the Bee Gees, thats just a bridge to far!

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michael-ibk

Very cool the Dogs came out for you in the end! Love the Baby Rhino, very cute.

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deano

@@elefromoz - that baby rhino is a fantastic sighting. Six weeks old. Well done.

 

And as somebody who has seen wild dogs, as you say, at the end of a drive I am very glad that you had that pleasure. My wife and I were just saying last night that our (one and only) sighting of wild dogs laid out in the shade and doing very little still rates as one of our all time favourite sightings so to see one chewing on a steenbok head like my own dogs chew on dog toys must have been amazing!

 

Looking forward to more.

 

kind regards

 

deano.

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