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a white lion! an incredible sighting. it looks like a sub adult but then i may be wrong. hopes it lives to a good old age.

Edited by Kitsafari
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Evening drive 24/1/16, Satara


Thanks for your comments.


I don't know whether it was the temperature (38 degrees) or the impending full moon, but the drive was very quiet. I took no photos at all! Another first.


Here is one from the camera trap though....



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Not to neglect any of the other animals, but those are simply awesome scops owl photos.

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@@Marks from our 4 visits to Satara, usually for 2-3 days, this was by far the best photo opportunity. Most of the time you can find him in his tree, but he is either asleep or facing the wrong way.....

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Fantastic wild dog interaction from the bridge. 5d or 7d for those? Did you buy a new lens as well? I remember you have the 200-400. Pen

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@@penolva I bought the 100-400 mark ii last time we were in Johannesburg as I thought the old 100-400 was terminal, although canon did manage to fix it. I wish I had the 200-400! In general I try to post only my own photos (although for the dogs I k ow I posted a lot of his) so it will be whatever I have said at the start of the post (5d if memory serves) and then the later photos from the OH will be the opposite (fewer in number)

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Morning drive, 25/1/6, Satara


After the previous evening's drive, we had no expectations and we were correct, it was a quiet morning as well




I had the 7D, although not many photos were taken. It was very overcast and we thought we'd go on some gravel roads previously untravelled. Our first sighting was a lovely singing korhaan




We visited a hide, but there was nothing around. We saw another vehicle stopped and at first couldn't work out why....




A honey badger!! Our first Kruger honey badger not in camp looking for scraps




And then a new bird for us, a Eurasian golden oriole






and on the way back to camp another new bird - a rufous-naped lark, singing as well










Then back to camp for breakfast and to check out.

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Hi @@Tdgraves - just catching up on the trip report.

What a cracker with great sightings.

Your photo of your 2 Woodland Kingfishers is pretty special.

Your white lion sighting has particular interest to me as well, I saw a White lion cub on the S100 in December 2014 when self driving with my dad. I wonder if that is the cub grown up?

My trip report is also in the SA section.

How did you enjoy Talamati camp site?


I have just booked 8 nights in Kruger for December this year, 2 nights Shimuwini bush camp, 4 nights Satara and 2 Nights Lower Sabie with my father in law.

We decided to try Shimuwini bush camp over Talamati to explore a different area of the park - have you been there as well.

Thanks for a great TR - great work and super photo's.


We have also booked 2 nights in the Ndaka Safari lodge in the Nambiti Conservancy reserve for my whole family - exciting times ahead.

Edited by Hads
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Apologies @@Tdgraves I See you did Visit shimuwini .

I Need to learn to read trip reports more thorough.

Now i Need to be patient.

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How brilliant seeing the Honey Badger.

An the birds are beautiful - the bee-eaters and the lark in particular

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Just realised that it was the wrong map above....these were the roads we had not travelled



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Transfer Satara to Shimuwini 25/1/16


After a hearty breakfast we set off and we had a long way to go. It was still very overcast.




We had hardly left camp when we came across a parked vehicle. We couldn't see what they were looking at, but did not immediately go up to where they were, as about 100m behind them was a bateleur in a tree. so we thought we'd try and get some take off shots, although the light was against us










The other vehicle had left and when the eagle landed, it was clear what they were looking at, a dead monitor lizard








I don't know whether it spooked or if the lizard was too heavy.


Our next sighting was a brown snake eagle that was disturbed by a speeding delivery vehicle :(








a sabota lark




red-breasted swallow (new for us)




Then it was time for a drink break in Letaba, where we saw 2 new birds...a red-winged starling






and an African paradise tailed flycatcher!




There was also a pair of kites in a tree




and a singing black collared barbet




After an iced coffee it was back on the road again. The skies were clearing and the temperature was rising, reaching 37 by the afternoon


We were on a raised section of road, where we have often seen elephants, but there were none around. "Just impalas" we said and then we realised that they were not impalas, but reedbuck - a first for us!





A little further up the road was a vehicle parked right next to this guy






Then it was best foot forward to camp as there were no other camps or picnic stops, it was a long, hot, tiring journey. When we arrived at Shimuwini, as I got out of the drivers seat, I came over very dizzy and hat to sit down. I guess we had been limiting our drinks as there were no picnic stops and I had got dehydrated. It was not a nice feeling and it took a good hour after drinking lots of water, appletizer and eating some crisps, to feel vaguely human again. Luckily this was the only time I have been unwell on safari and it was short-lived :unsure:

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"Evening drive" Shimuwini 25/1/6


Given our long drive and that fact I was still not feeling 100% (despite a swim) we though we would forgo a drive and instead visit the hid. However, there was not much about. But it was nice just to sit and watch, rather than bumping along the 10km entrance road to get to the rest of the park.




We had a braai and there was a huge electrical storm, which somehow seemed to bypass us (apart from the wind)

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Morning drive Shimuwini 26/1/16


It seemed that we were the only people leaving camp for a drive. I had the 5D today. We started out with lots of birds








We decided to visit the Sable hide. As we were going along the road towards it, a car in the other direction slowed but then hesitated. She then reversed back to us and asked if we were South African. She then told us that there was a pair of female lions on the left. I suspect we would have spotted them, although there was a lot of greenery to look through.














We tried to tell a vehicle coming in the other direction, but they did not slow down :(




The hide was quiet apart from a small raptor near the car park, which I couldn't ID/photograph












Lots of birds this morning!

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Great stuff @Tdgraves- beautiful photos of the Fish eagle and saddle billed stork.

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Evening drive Shimuwini 26/1/16


Firstly some birds in camp












We visited the hide before going out for a drive












When we got to the car, this little guy was cheeping at us. I don't think it had learnt what a human was and to avoid them, as we were able to get very close






Striped kingfisher




By the time we got going, we weren't able to get far and it was a quiet trip




but we were able to see our first Kruger klipspringers








Back to camp for a braai and to pack, as it was our last night :(

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Leaving the park from Shimuwini, 27/1/16


As we had a long drive via the Phaloborwa gate, we decided not to go on a morning drive, although we did not get much of a lie in with all the noises of the bush. As I was making breakfast, we were invaded by a flock of arrow-marked babblers (I had the mesh kitchen door latched open for ease of access). One got stuck in the kitchen, somehow not being able to find the door again and I had to let it out of the window!


Some birds in camp








And on the road leaving camp




We had been driving about 40 minutes when I remembered that we had left the motion camera attached to a tree. To say that the OH was unhappy was an understatement to say the least. We had to go back and so the relatively short drive to the gate became much longer :(


There was little game around to compensate. We did see an African goshawk, but I wasn't able to snap it.


So that was that. Our third trip to KNP. Completely different to the first two in terms of rain/drought but also game viewing. Our first KNP wilderness camps were a success and all in all, it was another wonderful trip.

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The Klipspringer is beautiful.

Fogetting the motion camera - aargh - but it could have been worse - you could have remembered it later!

Thank you for a really enjoyable report, with very engaging writing and beautiful photos throughout. (And lots of birds for the Big Year)

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Thankd @@TonyQ The OH did suggest leaving it behind, especially given the dearth of photos it had produced, but I like using it in our back garden and as our last one was stolen from the Kruger, I wanted it back!

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And to say that your TR is posted "just in time" is also an understatement :) ! What started as an interesting read just turned into a "must re-read with patience again" stuff.


For starter, I must have missed the type of the vehicle you have used.

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@@xelas we usually get a "4x4 alike" so high clearance but 2x4. Mostly from Avis this is a hyundai IX35 although this time we accepted a toyota RAV4 and then realised that it was an automatic. So while this caused problems on the motorway on inclines (due to underpowered rental engines) it was great for game drives as all you had to do was steer! The reason we get a high clearance vehicle is to see further, as there is usually long grass to look over. Clearly this wasn't the case this time :(


When we drove through the park on our northern KNP, timbavati, sabi trip, we had the smallest, cheapest car possible (IX10) and it being dry season it was fine, but I like to have more space for a proper self-drive.

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@@Tdgraves - what are your thoughts on shimuwini wilderness camp?

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@@Hads We liked it. The setting on the river is lovely and it is really peaceful. It is also nice to have a pool. However the access road is long and bumpy and you can see from above that the sightings in this area were fewer (although that of course can be luck)

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@@Tdgraves, thanks very much for the reply.

I am looking forward to exploring that section of Kruger in December and hopefully seeing the white lion again around Satara.

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I knew that there was another dead hippo somewhere. This was in the river at Lower Sabie and the crocs must have been well fed, as it was unchanged after 2 days...



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