Jump to content

The Gem in a Volcano - A Short Photo Report


Ritsgaai
 Share

Recommended Posts

Every now and again, when we need a nature re-charge, we take a few days off to visit the Pilansberg National Park situated only 2.5 hours drive from Johannesburg.

 

IMG_9311.thumb.JPG.1d361355c7e7fc4c54abf70ac88f9654.JPG

 

Geologists described the area as the Pilansberg Alkaline Ring Complex and one of only 3 alkaline volcanoes in the world. The varied habitats and panoramas always delight us and the topography is a feast for the eye. 

 

IMG_9007.thumb.JPG.fd6e3be7a1708b69d24b5be654b2774b.JPGIMG_8977.thumb.JPG.b9a3821da77c0832c25f96c4a2e7db53.JPG

 

The beauty of Pilansberg is reflected in a large central lake, the Mankwe Dam that is always teeming with birds and wildlife. The surrounding spectacular landscape with rocky outcrops, open grasslands and wooded valleys homes virtually every mammal of southern Africa, including the Big Five.

 

Over the past weekend we spent 3 days camping at Bakgatla Resort situated next to one of the entrances to the park and had a most enjoyable few days driving around this beautiful area "packed to the rafters". :D

 

IMG_9000.thumb.JPG.da2c9c2f90dbbb95b79196df644bb563.JPGIMG_8887.thumb.JPG.d4910346242642116844d11c17ddef72.JPGIMG_9356.thumb.JPG.4cd8db22a76a1f26811c4ca21bded4d8.JPG

 

I will share more photos over the next few days and hope you will enjoy it...

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This time of year, after good rains, the park is lush and green and in some areas the grass is very tall. 

 

IMG_9212.thumb.JPG.b5cff315ce699e0ea3ea8fdbba2ff8be.JPG

IMG_9216.thumb.JPG.30c8cac6f362540c67be00c0fc8e2511.JPGIMG_9224.thumb.JPG.af3c142127955b8d6f6dff1fedd5e98b.JPG

 

It is always a great joy to find rhino and in this park we encountered plenty with lovely horns every single day - 16 on the one day and 14 the other - all of them white rhino. It is good to know that there are still some parks were our rhino are safe (relatively speaking I suppose).

IMG_9218.thumb.JPG.201a0acd3ad980f0af9eed83ae6a4b73.JPGIMG_9219.thumb.JPG.1eb481d24b6a0489d2ca36d56799e8b7.JPGIMG_9220.thumb.JPG.8c85d2186978e7c7dc8e48baf8a1e1db.JPG

 

Taking an afternoon nap...

IMG_9030.thumb.JPG.86af02634b9c3f103f7d845f62da6665.JPG

 

Taking a stroll by the pool...

IMG_9149.thumb.JPG.8ea1bbbd60f26f1f688f3f1f664d088a.JPGIMG_9169.thumb.JPG.3a8f3dd1d61d10eb5dabcb12fe76b2c0.JPG

 

A splash with family...

IMG_9151.thumb.JPG.78ce5fef7720ad87e92648ee69c53a5c.JPGIMG_9155.thumb.JPG.31a4f11a43d3f0a0bc91f80f73039382.JPG

 

Watching the baby...

IMG_9165.thumb.JPG.99f712f12d0742b85221db99660bf725.JPG

 

having a ball of a time... 

IMG_9167.thumb.JPG.ca32f2cafc8c624afc10390a9559f781.JPG

 

and just chilling...

IMG_9177.thumb.JPG.39e01e67a7df187217a15fb1c453bf15.JPG

 

Seeing so many rhino on 1 day was pure delight!

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Absolutely amazing to see so many rhinos, and with their horns intact !! Looking forward to read more about Pilansberg.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The area looks really beautiful, and the rhinos are indeed impressive!

Do you have any photos of Bakgatla?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you @xelas and @Marks.

Unfortunately I only have a photo of our camp. The resort has a lot of potential but needs serious attention. We prefer it for camping when visiting Pilansberg, as the other resort close to the park, Manyane, can be very noisy over weekends being close to a village. Bakgatla has a very small tuckshop, restaurant, spa and massive pool, which was very clean. Our ablution block was also very clean and spotless. Both these resorts, Bakgatla and Manyane are run by Golden Leopard Resorts and accommodation in the chalets is also available through RCI.

 

IMG_9791.thumb.JPG.07ac11e42c07b0cc13c0b8e78926dca8.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

During the afternoon we stopped at the Pilansberg Centre for Coffee Shakes. The centre is situated more or less in the middle of the park and the Mankwe Dam.There was a lot of action in front of the coffee shop deck with a fresh salt lick and the waterhole as the main attraction.

IMG_9103.thumb.JPG.bab89707c2b919a178ca633f98c3e4ba.JPG

 

IMG_9139.thumb.JPG.7d95100501ce416db21fe37e061a8c19.JPG
IMG_9093.thumb.JPG.a6ded9490a8a42e120b3f89ee0f50de3.JPG

 

The zebras put up a great show.

IMG_9123.thumb.JPG.36d6406b2ed5195385c0219010279bdb.JPG

 

IMG_9053.thumb.JPG.6ab26513bb154d19d9c71265ff6234d9.JPG

IMG_9134.thumb.JPG.a934ffb8bd112a8c3b4bd08a0d39a922.JPG

 

IMG_9046.thumb.JPG.47b8328894eaee6767e79a6a09a74a6c.JPGIMG_9063.thumb.JPG.46f8292786f7264f045266bb7365aa08.JPGIMG_9049.thumb.JPG.8b017d67f75991f8a1ff36ebc5dea4bc.JPG

IMG_9130.thumb.JPG.6074ce42532cee76a89343ff973bba75.JPG

 

 

 

Edited by Ritsgaai
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were delighted to find a herd of buffalo one afternoon, as we have not seen them for many years. Unfortunately they were some distance away from the road.

IMG_9188.thumb.JPG.fdfdd45668db4c1ece47ec81d70bf15a.JPG

 

IMG_9185.thumb.JPG.3996fa6d655eb141be4a6ed7a6894e5d.JPG

 

 

4 Lionesses were taking an afternoon nap and seemed to have no intentions to make any move soon.

IMG_9179.thumb.JPG.0f3b7eecac9ce9d8c2cd7dd3c02da177.JPG

 

These kudu peered curiously through the trees.

IMG_9017.thumb.JPG.e30c44c1a27195466b09c1b25ccae8fe.JPG

 

IMG_9025.thumb.JPG.53224afc7dde8d3b05158a5d67735a81.JPG 

 

The following morning was cloudy and we decided to leave camp later. We relaxed in camp and were entertained by various birds.

 

Yellow-billed Hornbill

IMG_9242.thumb.JPG.90345d26221e362f016769f1fd9cd374.JPG

 

IMG_9792.thumb.JPG.e4e1667f1edcd67bd1dc2012ad27b4a3.JPG

 

Fork-tailed Drongo

IMG_9236.thumb.JPG.adc9826d05136224bd9e964f8c9664ff.JPG

 

IMG_9784.thumb.JPG.415f2fba12b36d268b24fdfa8b5c4b20.JPG

 

Bearded Woodpecker

IMG_9239.thumb.JPG.111880232c92838dd80c3b743aee955b.JPG

 

IMG_9294.thumb.JPG.8a72aefc6947c167c6d3c2779fee01bb.JPG

 

IMG_9276.thumb.JPG.4ff218497246e2470d3cd111a859d175.JPG

 

Village Weaver

IMG_9251.thumb.JPG.ff3ac869891ea1aab359ce0859a14785.JPG

 

Please help with ID. 

IMG_9266.thumb.JPG.eab1f2224f6967813dfc467e737ec559.JPG

 

IMG_9779.thumb.JPG.f15122444091f7da067baea3ffcc7c8d.JPG

 

Arrow-marked Babbler

IMG_9259.thumb.JPG.347c7243b197f526fecc277ba25464d0.JPG

 

Blue waxbill

IMG_9292.thumb.JPG.46cd855b44d0f5943ba370427c8ef8f3.JPG

 

The next morning this very energetic Pin-tailed Whydah kept us entertained with his efforts to chase other birds away coming too close for his liking.

IMG_9801.thumb.JPG.ececb1a1e98ad45839c00bb6c283f672.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With that orange eye-ring it looks like a Kurrichane Thrush to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, Kurrichane Thrush.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks a really nice location, love the rhino photos, must be great to have a place like that relatively local.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, @Julian. Yes... we are really privileged to live close to this park. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the last full day it was overcast and looked like rain (which never came). Even with the cooler weather the park did not disappoint us with many exciting sightings and surprises. 

IMG_9536.thumb.JPG.f026615ca7fd8560fcd578ca1d1ebd00.JPG

 

IMG_9538.thumb.JPG.6028eafe33aa8ec0e445edf78cde1767.JPG

 

IMG_9528.thumb.JPG.a8018c1eaab408580c812b33546cb552.JPG

 

IMG_9522.thumb.JPG.f7f82808870490b8c8d2d2cfc3d53824.JPG

 

IMG_9504.thumb.JPG.fe7d3478278991d6aa3cf81c7315848d.JPG

 

IMG_9507.thumb.JPG.411aa1cd139ae63b4aa899b000c22891.JPG

 

Mankwe Dam Hide

IMG_9569.thumb.JPG.7c53c3d1d0bb27641b3032bc688b5cbc.JPG

 

IMG_9571.thumb.JPG.37d9e97e43255a3dca998d17962cc086.JPG

 

IMG_9713.thumb.JPG.cb0d9121457477bd1f03dc6d5f595c9a.JPG

 

White-faced Duck

IMG_9600.thumb.JPG.8b1da36141b065c6bb71246be5eee854.JPG

 

Squacco Heron

IMG_9584.thumb.JPG.4f1f9ee8b633919306e433db321d777c.JPG

 

IMG_9590.thumb.JPG.0f66e308024b5f92464957accfcabe1d.JPG

 

IMG_9589.thumb.JPG.f5eac224941c5ab32a3024393106e489.JPG

 

Can you spot the Fish-Eagle?

IMG_9604.thumb.JPG.d7fe2a3660e247dacb4e51d8e8d87371.JPG

 

IMG_9613.thumb.JPG.de085ee0b96ccd13dd9c54332e6a561b.JPG

 

Pied Kingfisher

IMG_9616.thumb.JPG.713a8e4470d9c0635b69bcf57fa27e3c.JPG

 

IMG_9673.thumb.JPG.1107e4d7ebee0721ea7fe3bfad627e7b.JPG

 

IMG_9684.thumb.JPG.ef7aade007619b9c9e14ff3c7c25e050.JPG

 

IMG_9721.thumb.JPG.9a209e8776e3eb14de0aaf203925347a.JPG

 

Little Egret

IMG_9692.thumb.JPG.fbd9e1d19e97012d5a1f8cae66262a35.JPG

 

IMG_9696.thumb.JPG.cdc8ad83fda385b6a1f8d0276fa5f940.JPG

 

IMG_9706.thumb.JPG.b301a49d0a4e8b8051c6ec3c99bfb2ce.JPG

 

IMG_9709.thumb.JPG.f7380ddf29384c7167a82efb16c75cd5.JPG

 

IMG_9710.thumb.JPG.7ad808b7a915d202f8acd46c6c2f3365.JPG

 

And the biggest surprise of the day was these 3 Wilddogs resting close to Bakubung gate in the thickets. :)

IMG_9548.thumb.JPG.c20a654a7bf890f636e8e57ea884d57c.JPG

 

IMG_9544.thumb.JPG.9b6849aa2e7b5915569566d3a16dfaf8.JPG

 

IMG_9561.thumb.JPG.1288451d428eb1152856357ad9df3ac8.JPG

 

IMG_9546.thumb.JPG.38bd6cb29bf3bf1e3b13b9cbbdd9a448.JPG

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wild dogs are so cute!

Edited by xelas
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, something is not right. There should be two posts, one about the heron being a Green-backed (Striated) Heron IMO.

Edited by xelas
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The hour spent at Ratlhogo Waterhole hide was insane!

 

As we approached the hide, we heard a lot of water splashing. There was a huge herd of elephant drinking, bathing and playing in the water and mud.

IMG_9321.thumb.JPG.ebff0069a5732e65f452e898ae30b13b.JPG

 

IMG_9316.thumb.JPG.476ea09ca3d45f674fa9642d0b66aa40.JPG

 

IMG_9323.thumb.JPG.2f8edf188a2eb912ebdf81ad4ba46223.JPG

 

IMG_9322.thumb.JPG.bff9e9a5018ab710c5ff0bd4c7ef6bba.JPG

 

 

As they were leaving the zebra arrived.

IMG_9332.thumb.JPG.f3ee7393d794bad43757db25717cbb46.JPG

 

IMG_9337.thumb.JPG.0b5ad811b96ae1c87fba3f9ed1da996a.JPG

 

IMG_9351.thumb.JPG.980cec897036dd9512b9b8bacda5cf59.JPG

 

 

What is the commotion over there?

IMG_9354.thumb.JPG.7c31e2d45c68257a985dfdffcdc29f63.JPG

 

 

Oh, just those two again...

IMG_9358.thumb.JPG.15fb5a408aa6a062137dc1d4679dd388.JPG

 

IMG_9359.thumb.JPG.fd010066dc2f6546142675749ec35d6d.JPG

 

 

A jackal was drinking in a ditch showing his back to us.

IMG_9367.thumb.JPG.fbd0faabbe21b40ace53b93018e54a2b.JPG

 

 

This Impala was not taking any notice of the restless Zebra.

IMG_9370.thumb.JPG.efc01268ee820fb726ce81b88c4c7950.JPG

 

 

 

 

The next minute these 4 walked in onto the scene...

IMG_9396.thumb.JPG.9f00d8cebf68531c77b5dfdfbc02a041.JPG

 

IMG_9420.thumb.JPG.75e0418588d9a796f859a7507535fa9a.JPG

 

IMG_9434.thumb.JPG.f6dc63e77bfe52129c2c616acb536cc1.JPG

 

IMG_9436.thumb.JPG.28312fcb9678a7f690d088f92955c541.JPG

 

 

and shortly thereafter this mother and baby.

IMG_9437.thumb.JPG.8b789a1a2ea2bff5c1fc092695a307a3.JPG

 

IMG_9413.thumb.JPG.0e69d27ac9701c72ef5d4f6c56c9acac.JPG

 

IMG_9443.thumb.JPG.4de873a5924cb4435617fc688c2c2642.JPG

 

 

Next up was the Blue Wildebeest...

IMG_9456.thumb.JPG.42b96dcb33d04f1239f46607bcb3cb6a.JPG

 

 

and then this lone Elephant bull and 14 very careful Giraffe approached.

IMG_9453.thumb.JPG.d5b8c1264d166d190eaa407ba38426d3.JPG

 

IMG_9462.thumb.JPG.2c38c83c374c8d8dfdcdb8d1a5a7181b.JPG

IMG_9470.thumb.JPG.6697b14cb22b1a573f2f133957743868.JPG

 

IMG_9471.thumb.JPG.3bcdefbcb590b16f0d3e3ad4164825fe.JPG

 

IMG_9483.thumb.JPG.cc95afe1fee161650cf968df214c6c3d.JPG

 

While all this action was taking place, this family of Warthogs enjoyed themselves thoroughly...

IMG_9477.thumb.JPG.00fd2a8d5d2dd7ff66a00c19d86f24f4.JPG

 

IMG_9481.thumb.JPG.c06d4c61c68b05ee93c9430d39144784.JPG

 

and a Grey Heron was quietly standing on a branch in the middle of the waterhole.

IMG_9372.thumb.JPG.fe0a5cf41aeace3a7e6e893dbd8a4c95.JPG

 

The only permanent resident...

IMG_9497.thumb.JPG.c38ab8d5162422b5689c43b8c6194e22.JPG

 

was getting bored with all the visitors disturbing his peaceful morning.

IMG_9491.thumb.JPG.2e6580e6194f5659ce6d63d1ddcf757a.JPG

 

IMG_9493.thumb.JPG.42e8aee870c17043e313c588beb1b6a5.JPG

 

With all this happening non-stop, we expected a few lions and a leopard to give us a grand finale!  ;)

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Ritsgaai
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@xelas, you are absolutely right. I agree it is a Green-backed Heron.

Thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm growing more and more impressed with the look of Pilansberg.

The shot of the ele bull with giraffe and zebra in the background is particularly nice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Marks said:

The shot of the ele bull with giraffe and zebra in the background is particularly nice.

 

x2

 

what a busy waterhole that is!

Wild dogs - wow! how often do you get to see wild dogs and are lions very often sighted in Pilansberg @Ritsgaai

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a show! Rathlogo is a great waterhole, and when we went to Pilanesberg, I would always go there as my last stop of the day, but I never got a show like that!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think lions are seen fairly regularly. I think on the photo there are 2 young males, not lionesses ;)

I wonder about the drongo. The eye looks black, not dark-red, which indicates it might be a black fly-catcher.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Marks said:

I'm growing more and more impressed with the look of Pilansberg.

The shot of the ele bull with giraffe and zebra in the background is particularly nice.

Thank you.

Lots of international visitors to RSA visit Pilansberg by staying at Sun City which has various accommodation possibilities.  So it is actually easy to include on a tour plan. Hope you will be able to visit soon. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Kitsafari said:

 

Wild dogs - wow! how often do you get to see wild dogs and are lions very often sighted in Pilansberg @Ritsgaai

 

It was our first time to see the wild dogs, but we heard of others who also saw them previously. Surely they are around. 

We have seen lions often over the years.

Also leopard and cheetah on previous visits.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Peter Connan said:

What a show! Rathlogo is a great waterhole, and when we went to Pilanesberg, I would always go there as my last stop of the day, but I never got a show like that!

We had a late start this particular morning and only got to the waterhole round about 9h30. We didn't expect much as it was overcast and cool. But it goes to show... expect the unexpected when in nature. :D

Do you also normally camp at Bakgatla? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, ForWildlife said:

I think lions are seen fairly regularly. I think on the photo there are 2 young males, not lionesses.

 

Thank you for pointing this out to me @ForWildlife.

 

11 hours ago, ForWildlife said:

I wonder about the drongo. The eye looks black, not dark-red, which indicates it might be a black fly-catcher.

 

Please excuse the wrong identification. :mellow:. I see that it is a Black Flycatcher. I really learn a lot on this forum and loving it! :wub:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy