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I thought I saw a Ghost - Kruger self drive January 2023


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We moved back onto the Dam wall as there was a couple of other cars stopped, it was time for a beer :)

What were they looking at?

It was the man himself with a girlfriend.


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Love is in the air.

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Another brother came down for a drink.

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He was not letting her go too far on her own.

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What a fantastic way to finish the day.

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Edited by Hads
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Good to see you continue. The white Lions and the Kude are very cool. Love the Quelea photos!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks @michael-ibk, I am back at work at the moment and hope to finish the report on my next break :) 

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Day 6 - my BIL and SIL were leaving today so a few crew decided to sleep whilst they packed up.

My eldest son and I had other plans and headed back to Nsemani dam to see what was going on.

We were once again delighted to see Caspar on his own.

This post is for the beautiful white lion.

We sat back and enjoyed our coffee and rusk for a good hour with only 2 other cars :) 

Caspar was on the western side of the dam down the small dirt track.

Day 6 morning 2.jpeg Nice to see him sit up for some nice shots.

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A lone impala caught his attention.

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Up he hopped and headed down for a drink.

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The light was nice and golden.

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Edited by Hads
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We went back to camp and joined the rest of the family, we all then headed down to Tshockwane for breakfast and then said goodbye to BIL & SIL and our nephew.

It was a beautiful drive, quite hot and the animals were enjoying a nice swim.

Ground Hornbill on the H1-3

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A hornbill with a kill, first of 2 for the day ........

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Hyena family

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SIL, BIL and my daughter.

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Buffalo herd at Kumana waterhole enjoying a bath.

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Edited by Hads
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Continuing down the H1-3

Impala at Kumana dam

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Ele's enjoying a swim at Mazithi dam.

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Absolutely loving the water 

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How does this sound.......

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Just north of Tshokwane

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Edited by Hads
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After a lovely brunch at Tshokwane we headed back to Satara for a swim.

My pair of monkeys :) 

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Fish eagle at Orpen dam

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Ele dust off on the S35

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This trunk gets heavy.

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Push harder...

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 Hyena cooling off

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Awesome Tusker......

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and an impatient tourist....

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Lovely Kudu

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Ground hornbill family

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Our last afternoon drive in Satara started off quite slow, we headed north and then headed west down the S127 and then back south  S40 towards Nsemani dam.

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Tawny Eagle

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We got back onto the bitumen road on the  H7 and then found some vultures in the middle of the road.

We sat with these guys for a good half an hour as it got interesting.

White headed vulture and some Starlings.

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Then a couple of white backed vulture's landed on the road for a visit.

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Mr white headed and Mr white backed starting walking off the road as something had there attention!!!!

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We slowly drove up closer and too our surprise the vulture's were on a baby impala carcass.

We are unsure how the impala was killed but it was very fresh as the birds just landed as we were driving down the road.....

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As you can see there are no manners at the dinner table.

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There was no shortage of arguments going on at the feast.....

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It didn't take long for the vultures to clean up the meal.

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We were about 2km west of Nsemai dam and we came across a good sized herd of Cape Buffalo passing through.

Not long after the buffalo passed through we were once again blessed to spend sundowners with Caspar and his 3 brothers again - gee I love the Satara region :) 

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Day 6 afternoon 22.jpeg Caspars brother

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Impressive king

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Caspar the legend himself

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They moved and headed south across the H7 passing by an elephant on the way.

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He passed about 10 meters from us.

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Brotherly love

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Some info on Caspar

Casper The White Lion and his Shish Brothers were born into the Shishangaan Pride in July 2014. They were fathered by 'Xihamham' and his Brother - The remaining two Kings of the original seven males of the Old Mega Shishangaan Lion Pride.

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Day 7

Today we left the Satara region and headed south for 2 nights at Lower Sabie.

Once again I was up early at my eldest son and my wife came with me for a trip around Nsemani dam and to visit the Hyena den on S40. 

There was no sign of Caspar or his brothers :(, we were so lucky and privileged to have spent 3 days with them.

Fish eagle overlooking the dam.

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Hyena den on the S40

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Just outside of Satara camp 2 Hyena where running back and forth amongst a herd of Impala but did not make a kill.

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No entry guys........

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Time to make my nest.

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Plenty of animals having a morning drink at Nsemani

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2 males having a dust up.....

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There may have been Caspar's pride in the area as the zebra spent a long time looking back towards the dam.

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Continuing further south towards Tshokwane

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Mother zebra with distinct marking

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Mazithi dam

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Beautiful tuskers

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Edited by Hads
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How wonderful to see the same lion all those years apart! and its always fun to see elephants enjoying the water , thanks @Hads 

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Hi @Towlersonsafari, yes it was pretty special to see Caspar again after all these years, especially seeing him with my family, my kids still talk about him.

We are heading back to Kruger again at the end of the year.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It was still too early to book into Lower Sabie we headed towards Skukuza to visit the Lake panic hide.

We enjoyed seeing some nice birds and getting out and having a leg stretch.

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Crossing the Sabie River

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Masked weaver colony at Lake Panic hide

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I think this bird is a lesser masked weaver

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Bird ID someone :) 

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Female Nyala at the hide

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My youngest sons favourite bird - Pied kingfisher

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The bird call of Africa

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Nyala family

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Masked weaver

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Birding help again please - Squacco or Green-backed Heron???

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It was a pleasant but quiet drive in the afternoon around lower sabie, we headed south towards the S137 and the Ntandanyathi hide and back up the S28.

Dagga boy in the Sabie River

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Black winged stilt

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Yellow billed stork

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Ele's in the Sabie river

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Hare on the S137

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Ele family on the S137

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Grey heron at the hide.

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Black stork at the hide

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My favourite WKF at the hide.

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Sunset dam shots

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Sunset dam Taxi service

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Pair of Pieds

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Edited by Hads
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Today was our last full day in the park.

My 2 boys and myself headed out early, we had a quick look at the Sunset dam (still too dark for photo's) but there was a old dagga boy standing in the middle of the road not moving.

We also saw a mother small spotted genet and it's young kitten quickly run into a small bush.

We then headed south and took the S28 all the way down to crocodile bridge where we stopped for a hot chocolate.

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Guinea fowl family having breakfast on the S28

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There was a few lonely buffalo's all sitting peacefully.

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This sighting was one of my most disappointing near misses of the trip.

We come across a few Hyena's running around excitedly, one was covered in mud or had been in a waterhole or mudbath.

I spoke to a safari vehicle and they had been following the Hyena and a pack of Wild dogs for quote awhile, we literally missed the dogs by 1-2 minutes :( as they took off into the dense thickets. We stayed around for awhile but they did not return.

But still a very nice sighting :) 

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Edited by Hads
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Our near miss soon turned into joy when we came across 3 cheetah brothers at the Southern end of the S28, they were not hard to miss as there were a few cars at the sighting.

Unfortunately my photo's were not the sharpest, I am still learning to use the R7  (I better improve for my next Safari coming up this December and January).


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Edited by Hads
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After crocodile bridge we headed west along the S25 then headed up the S26, S114 and onto the S21 and back to camp for a much needed lunch, this part of the drive was long and got very hot.

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Red backed shrike

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I can watch the oxpeckers for hours

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Warthog loved this mudbath

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WKF with a scorpion kill

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Lovely setting

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My eldest boy took this photo, he loved it so much he put it on a canvas.

An ele calf peering at us through it's mothers legs.

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At Lower Sabie camp this Spotted bush snake was being very obliging.

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A few photo's from the restaurant deck

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Photo's from our Safari tent.

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Edited by Hads
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Our afternoon drive was pleasant but alot quieter, the temp from memory was high 30's degree's C.

European roller with a beetle kill.

We headed along the S128-S30 and then back down the H4-1.

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A cool chameleon sighting.

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Juvenile Martial eagle?

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Sunset dam for a beer

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My boys and I

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This photo was taken when it was quite dark (yes I need to sort out some settings again with the camera).

This Verreaux Eagle owl came and perched on this tree stump at the same time each night in front of our Safari tents.

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Edited by Hads
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Our last morning in Kruger for this trip.

We packed up camp and my MIL & FIL and my family headed south again down the S28  before heading west along the S25.

Sabie River ele crossing.


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On the start of the S28 my eldest boy spotted this Honey badger, another quick blurry shot, but a great sighting.

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Hyena on the move - we saw Hyena every morning on this trip.

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We came across the 3 cheetah's again on the H4-2 just north of Croc Bridge. They were about 200m away.

The giraffe were keeping an eye on them.

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Scent marking the tree.

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Half way along the S25 we came across 3 lioness sitting around a small waterhole - beautiful pleasant sighting.

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2 moved and sat under a tree. One of them started sharpening her claws.

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My last photo on this report is of a Martial eagle in overcast light.

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Edited by Hads
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Well after nearly 10 months I finally have finished my family January 2023 Kruger trip report.

I hope you enjoyed it and thanks to those who followed along.

I definitely need to learn how to use my new Canon R7 better.

When I saved my photo's onto the PC, they saved in CR3 in a higher resolution, I then had to save them into jpeg format and lost some picture quality - all good lessons for me.

However once again Kruger did not disappoint, we had a blast exploring Kruger with all the family.

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I forgot to add in the Satara section that we did a night drive that also did not disappoint.

We did take a few iPhone pics.

We saw 2 lionesses at Nsemani Dam, one of them roared loudly a few meters away. We also saw 2 to 3 chameleons, some pains game, white-tailed mongoose, and just as we were getting close to Satara camp our driver drove north of camp 200 meters and there was a pride of 9 Lions :) 


I have turned 50 this year and once again we will be visiting my wife's family in South Africa over the December and January school holidays. One of my brothers-in-law has booked us into Kruger again for 8-9 nights.

I am also treating my wife and kids there first trip to Vic Falls and 9 days in Khwai, Moremi (with Unlimited Tours), and Kwando 4Rivers camp - can't wait :) 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for a lovely report! You had some really great sightings.

I do hope the baby Impala wasn't road-kill but on balance of probability...


Your weavers are all Southern Masked. Lesser masked doesn't have the red eye.

The heron is a Squacco.

The last photo is not a Martial but a Black-chested Snake eagle. Note the bare legs.


Oh, and one last comment. The drag-mark made by an Elephant early in the report is not made by the trunk. Let's just say it is definitely a bull Ellie...


Hope your upcoming trip is as good as it sounds!

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Really enjoyed this report, thanks for sharing. A lot of very cool sightings. Your next trip sounds awesome, looking forward to the report. 🙂

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