11 June 2011

Family Weekend

Quintin, Celeste and Natasha arrived on Thursday to spend 5 nights with us, they flew from Cape Town to Nelspruit, went in at Numbi and spent the day driving to Satara.
Went out early on Friday and took the S90 to try and find Lions for Natasha, we had seen plenty of lions on this road and I wanted to find Lions early on, to take the pressure of finding Cats off me, as luck would have it no cats, continued all the way to Olifants where we had breakfast.
Returned to camp, I promised Natasha the biggest ice-cream she could find as an incentive to spot animals which I bought her. Spent the afternoon at Girivana having sun downers.

Flaps down, Fish Eagle fishing at Girivana

Left Early on Saturday morning as the pressure is mounting to find Lion.
We agreed to meet the Retiefs for breakfast at Nwanedzi and took the S100, true to form we found 7 Lion on the road just after sunrise. Natasha was so excited, her favourite animal is now the Lion and not the Giraffe.

Red Billed Ox peckers on an Impala

Natasha Concentrating on a bush tale being told

09 June 2011

Fire at Satara

6th of June...
Decided to go to Hoedspruit to buy a new plastic chair....Andrew broke the old oneby standing on it when we added the tent to the caravan.
On the way we saw this Leopard near Maroela camp. I tried to take a photo as it was moving in the bushes looking for something.

Bought more supplies so that we have enough when Quintin & Celeste are visiting.
Got back into the park when we noticed a fire near Nsemani dam....well when we got passed Nsemani dam we saw the fire was huge. We got back to camp and saw that the veld was burned outside camp. We could still see huge flames just outside the camp.

08 June 2011

Spot The Animal

Well done AREFF you were spot on Giraffe, Impala, Hippo, and Croc.

The new spot the animal is on the page.

Have a look at this cat and identify

07 June 2011

Rhino Poaching 06 June 11

The fight goes on to catch the poachers!

Media Release: Two suspected rhino poachers arrested in the KNP

Date: 6th June 2011
Two rhino poachers were arrested in the Kruger National Park (KNP) by a combined SANParks, SANDF and SAPS operation on Friday the 3rd June, 2011, shortly after 2 white rhino were shot and killed and their horns removed in the Nwanedsi area of the KNP.

During the incident one of the suspected poachers was shot and wounded and is currently receiving medical attention in hospital. Two firearms, an AK47 and a .375 heavy calibre hunting rifle, as well as 3 rhino horns, were recovered in the operation.
This incident comes shortly after the successful prosecution of two rhino poachers, Frans Makamu and Solomon Mabuza who were arrested in separate incidents in 2010 for rhino poaching activities in the Kruger National Park (KNP). Both were found guilty for illegal hunting of rhino, possession of illegal firearms and ammunitions on Wednesday, June 1, 2011.
Both accused offered a plea of guilty in the Nelspruit Regional Court. Frans Makamu, who was also found guilty of the possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, was sentenced to 11 years while Solomon Mabuza was sentenced to five years imprisonment.
The Chief Executive Officer of South African National Parks (SANParks), Dr David Mabunda, said: “As SANParks, we welcome the additional support of the SANDF and SAPS in addressing the current upsurge in rhino poaching in the KNP. The successful joint operation carried out on Friday as well as the recent sentences given to the two convicted rhino poachers will send a clear message to everyone that poaching of wildlife is not tolerated in this country”.
We wish to thank all the men and women of the SANParks, the SANDF, and the SAPS for their joint efforts in fighting the poaching crime in the country and particularly in the KNP. Although it may be a little too early to celebrate we are definitely beginning to see a downward trend in terms of the number of rhino poaching incidents in the KNP. Details of trends cannot be released at the moment due to the infancy of the observation.
This, along with the upswing in arrests, both in the KNP and the country as a whole, will have a positive impact on the current high incident rate of rhino poaching activities in the country, continued Dr Mabunda.
This year alone a total of 122 suspected poachers have been arrested around the country, of which 60 of them were arrested in the KNP. Since January this year, throughout the country, 20 suspected poachers have been killed and 10 injured in clashes with authorities. Of this figure, 15 suspected poachers have died and nine wounded during contacts with rangers and soldiers in the KNP alone.
To date 173 rhinos have been poached throughout the country, of which 120 were poached in the KNP.
For previous media statements on this matter please go to http://www.sanparks.org/
Issued by:
SANParks Corporate Communications
Media enquiries:
wanda mkutshulwa – Head of Communications, SANParks, Tel: (012) 426 5201, Cell: 082 908 2692, e-mail: wandam@sanparks.org
This is the back view of the camp site, this is the view of the "add a room" where Quintin and Celeste, Kim and Peter will be sleeping while visiting us.


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06 June 2011

Sunday 5 June

What a day, left camp at 06h15 to take the S90, this road is hot at the moment. Our first sighting was of a pair of  lionesses stalking a Wildebees, they failed to get anywhere near the Wildebees and went to lie in the long grass where they would spend the day.

Sisters hunting shoulder to shoulder

Wildebees in the distance

After having coffee we drove on and found a huge herd of Buffalo, it is difficult to estimate how many, at least 400 plus, we sat there in awe as they took at least an hour to pass within inches of our vehicle.

Mom and young

We came across the 2nd pride of Lion for the morning at Gudzane east waterhole. The pride was seen drinking and was reported to be 20 strong. We missed the main group but came across this magnificent male only 5 meters from our car, we were alone with him for a while until a car came along with a passenger hanging out the window, the lion got a fright and ran off into the thicket never to be seen again. One person spoils it for everyone.

On the same road we saw Rhino and Elephant to get 4 of the big 5.

We returned to camp and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon before taking an afternoon drive to Girivani waterhole where we had sun downers, just before we were about to leave this Cheetah made its appearance

We also enjoyed watching this large herd of Giraffe around the waterhole, they were very playful, chasing each other and necking in typical Giraffe ways.

What a day, it is days like this that keeps our passion for Kruger alive, and keeps us returning year after year.