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My trip report from South Africa


Tomeslice
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Hi everyone!

 

I want to share my wildlife watching (mostly mammal watching) safari to South Africa from October, 2016.

I had made a list of 20 species I really wanted to see, some of which are considered very rare. But I gathered info on where best to see all of them, and I managed to see about 13 of them, and loads of other species.

Enjoy it! It's really long... but I think it has some good information, both for species I saw and for those I missed, for wildlife lovers and mammal watchers :-)

 

Cheers,
Tomes

Trip Report to South Africa.pdf

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@@Tomeslice thanks for your TR - I am so impressed with the nocturnal sightings at Marrick - Black-footed cat, hedgehog, porcupine, aardvark, aardwolf, what an impressive list of hard to see animals.

 

I have now added a 3 night stay in for our 2018 safari, with a day visit to Mokala NP.

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Hi @@Treepol,

Yes! Marrick has been known among the "mammal watchers" for over a decade to be one of the best places in Africa to see Aardwolf and Aardvark. Also the black-footed cats became more and more reliable over the past 6-8 years or so, and now the black-footed cats are seen more frequently than the aardvarks! (But that's because there has been a population decline for some reason or aardvarks). It's noteworthy that Marrick is also a great place to look for the Rock Elephant Shrew during the day and at night.

Johnny the spotter and spotlight holder is SERIOUSLY the best spotter I've ever seen! Well you know, spotting in the Malaysian rainforest is quite different than spotting animals in the open savanah, but he seriously sees something and immediately tells you it's a bat-eared fox or a springhare or a genet and then a few minutes later when you get closer to where you can identify the animal with your binoculars, you realize he's correct 100% of the time!! Note that there's a small-to-medium chance of finding striped polecat (zorilla) and a small chance of seeing a caracal.

 

In addition, the owners Trevor and Hubre are warm and welcoming people! Really a Great place :-)

 

Cheers,
Tomes

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Hey again.. Sorry I just wanted to mention that porcupine is the easiest of the nocturnal species. I saw at least 1 individual on pretty much every night drive I attended, from Satara, Skukuza and Crocodile bridge in Kruger, to Marrick both nights, to my self-drive in De Hoop. I don't remember if we also saw one in Mountain Zebra or not.

 

Cheers and good luck! I'll be happy to read your report in 2018 :-)

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do they go off-road at Marrick when they spot something special?

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Hey @@ice, they don't really have "roads" at Marrick, it's not like Kruger. They have kind of paths they follow, but it's private property, so they can do whatever they want. Of course they keep a safe distance from animals, mostly because animals would just ran away if you try to get close with the jeep. But sometimes you're lucky, when you spot an animal from 200m away (like we did with the aardvark) and the animal decices to wonder in your direction until it's not that far away from you.

 

Cheers,
Tomes

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but it's private property, so they can do whatever they want.

 

that's what I thought, thanks for confirming

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Very interesting report, thank you for sharing. Marrick definitely is on my list now, impressive sightings. You really worked hard for your sightings and were richly rewarded - Aardwolf, Aardvark, Brown Hyena, Honey Badger, Black-Footed Cat, Marsh Mongoose - wow!

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Thanks @@michael-ibk !

Yes, I spent long long hours at night and early morning to try to find all the animals.

 

I would just add that not seeing the clawless otters was a huge miss because at least 80% of the "mammal watching" reports have seen them at De Hoop early morning (before most people wake up) and at least 50% of the reports also see Caracals either at De Hoop or West Coast National Park. My had 3 sightings one morning at West Coast.

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