Flavour of the Month - Dec 2012: Timbavati Rd & Picnic Spot

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Richprins
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Re: Flavour of the Month - Dec 2012: Timbavati Rd & Picnic Spot

Post by Richprins » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:55 am

Pumbaa wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:58 pm
Right at the turn off into the Timbavati picnic spot we had to pass a guard on the look out

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who was telling jokes but we obviously missed the punchline.

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The picnic spot itself was already extreme full and we hardly found a parking spot for our car. We stretched a bit our legs there but due to the bustle all around we did not stay that long and carried on for a longer stay at Ratelpan hide but before we even arrived there more boons very well camouflaged in the trees around the road were looking curiously down to us.

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Shortly before the hide there is also a larger loop which offers you views into the river but instead of the water we only saw thick green reeds and tiny red spots – You guessed again right we found again a couple of red ones on their display show! Besides lots of males also the females could be spotted in a greater number than at the Sweni hide.

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On the look out for a beautiful female!

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We stayed quite a while at that spot but realized more and more cars passing by and so we only turned around to also found the parking area at the Ratelpan hide also nearly fully occupied. Now at least we got an impression how it can be at the holiday periods in the park. Normally we are for a long time the only people at that hide but today all the others had obviously the same idea as we.

Nevertheless we swallowed the bitter pill and entered the hide and even found a single free bench and so we made us comfortable and waited what might come across. Greatly all the people in the hide were relatively quiet but not the hippos out of which a proud mom presented her offspring to us.

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Also around the hide itself lots of reeds could be seen and our feathered red ones were busy in displaying also here and obviously playing the clown is making extreme hungry!

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The female was also not that far and tried to imitated the male as she started to fluff up as well

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at least it looked so or she was simply shaking her feathers! A masked weaver was also busy in building a nest and he was really hard-working and looking around that maybe a female might come along.

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The red “bumble bees” were extreme active in flying from reed to reed attracting a female

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and as soon as one flew by the feathers turned into the “Hola Chica” modus!

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The longer you stay and the more you looked around, the more birds came across and although from our present viewing position – all the benches and consequently the complete hide was occupied and changing our position a bit limited – we spotted a very well camouflaged thick-billed weaver

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and also a resting pied kingfisher but same was nearly hidden by branches and finally an interested females landed on one of the reeds as well and soon on her coat’s-tail a male as well.

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The behaviour of one couple sitting on the extreme left made me a bit perplex as he was permanently photographing into one direction I could not see anything so I scanned a bit more careful the area as well as all the branches and finally I triumphantly discovered a branch on a branch – another European nightjar sleeping on a branch!

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Pity was that where we were sitting the nightjar was not very good visible so I simply hoped that we still will have later the possibility in taking a couple of more pictures of this cute fluffy ball.

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Re: Flavour of the Month - Dec 2012: Timbavati Rd & Picnic Spot

Post by Richprins » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:57 am

Pumbaa wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:41 pm
A female masked weaver showed interest in the nest of the male and she even inspected same carefully.

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“Please come back – I can also show you my stamp collection!”

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Despite the fullness of the hide we had all in all a great time and enjoyed our feathered friends quite a lot –

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A large group which we already met at the picnic spot gladly only took a glimpse and disappeared and also the couple close to the nightjar packed their bags as meanwhile the whole hide got notice of the camouflaged nightjar and we gladly could also now occupy the bench close to the nightjar and Timon finally snapped happily away

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and also from this point the resting pied kingfisher could far better be captured.

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We meanwhile were only three couples left and all of them were busy in browsing through their bird books or busy in looking onto IPhone apps in order to identify the nightjar correctly. You obviously can imagine the commotion this little bird finally released but gladly all kept relatively quiet not to disturb our sleeping beauty which finally only opened the eyes a bit to inspect what’s up.

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Finally also Mrs. Masked weaver was extreme satisfied which what she got offered and got more and more interested.

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We left the hide around 11.00 o’clock after more than an hour and although in the hide itself a slight breeze was blowing in the car and on the road it was meanwhile unbearably hot.

So whenever Timon stopped to take pictures we started to sweat out of all pores but we also do not want to turn the air condition on but I guess there are worst things than the heat! At least for example some people suffering under arachnophobia this eight-legged beast is hardly bearable.

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On top despite the heat lots of general game was around and so we sweated harder as Timon now stopped much more. A herd of zebras entertained us as always especially this cute youngster having a drink from mom’s milk bar,

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a lone elephant bull, a horde of baboons and this beautiful dragon fly accompanied us further down this simply breathtaking road.

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At one of the causeways which we had to cross I looked once again out for another tilapia but I guess I already found the next development stage of the tilapias

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which fascinated me that much that Timon once again nearly forced me to carry on.

For a short time the road abandoned the river bed and suddenly the vegetation changed and thousands of acacia bushes appeared – another aspect why we do specifically love to drive that road – and out of nowhere a large elephant herd appeared

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on the scene but gladly at that part of the road where you had the possibility to turn around with the car to escape the danger zone

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Re: Flavour of the Month - Dec 2012: Timbavati Rd & Picnic Spot

Post by Richprins » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:59 am

Pumbaa wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:48 pm
They had lots of little ones between them and were spread all over meanwhile but were obviously on the way down to the river.

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We stayed with them until also all of them finally disappeared between the acacia bushes and were no longer to be seen.

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Nearly at one of the last loops on that road from which you always having stunning views into the Timbavati river a huge buffalo herd was cooling down in the shade and in the water.

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Although a bit far away we nevertheless enjoyed another sighting of a large buffalo herd from another angle this time and not being part of them but to enjoy them from far.

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I was a bit green about the awesome place they had chosen to rest as I was sure it was down there at least slightly cooler than in the car.

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Some of them started to move off slowly deeper into the riverbed nearly out of sight to maybe choose an even cooler place.

A unicorn peeped through the bushes in curiosity

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and the whole time we drove now on that road a strange and strong smell accompanied us and finally we captured the relevant culprits.

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Re: Flavour of the Month - Dec 2012: Timbavati Rd & Picnic Spot

Post by Richprins » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:21 am

From Pumbaa - 2014:
Pumbaa wrote:
Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:13 pm


Finally we could then turn into the S39, without doubt one of our favourites and always a must drive when in Kruger not only because of the riverine thick vegetation but also because of the awesome views into the Timbavati river.

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In the beginning normally on that road not much to be seen but as closer as the Timbavati was coming the more animals showed up. Lots of sporadic elephant bulls a bit far away could be seen and at Leeubron as usually the normal rush hour was already in full swing – a group of beautiful kudus appeared

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and most of the zebras had already a drink whilst the late comers still were busy in quenching their thirst

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the little ones were busy in testing a rubbing post.

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We were enjoying the views into the riverbed on some smaller loops with a relatively full Timbavati but we also had years when travelling that road when only small puddles were left. Another highlight in form of a rhino appeared. Unfortunately same was not willing to lift its head so we only got that single shot and spotted an injury on the back of the rhino.

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Suddenly Timon heard a rustling in the thick grass so we stopped and waited what might come to show up – Well a head appeared and we were blessed with a monitor sighting.

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It was a more than nice drive as we most of the time did not come across any other cars so we nearly had the road all to ourselves and could drive in snail’s pace quietly not that something slipped our attention and then suddenly another spotted beauty was trotting right in front of our car – a leopard

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We really could not believe our luck as we obviously were at the right time at the right spot. Years ago on our second trip to Kruger we spotted at nearly the same spot an impressive male leopard so it may have been wishful thinking that the female we spotted today was maybe one of his daughters. In the beginning we could not do anything else then follow the leopardess as she was walking and the closer we came running

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so another flying shot could be captured right in front of us we were praying that she might stand still long enough for a quick shot and that no other car from the other direction might chase her away.

Obviously our fortunate day carried on as suddenly she stood still looked at us and we could get a couple of shots.

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This day turned into one of the best days sighting wise we ever had, however, it did not take that long until she decided to disappear in the high grass

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but we were so happy that we could get some more than lovely shots and the best is that this was still not the last leopard we saw this year.....
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Re: Flavour of the Month - Dec 2012: Timbavati Rd & Picnic Spot

Post by Richprins » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:23 am

Pumbaa wrote:
Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:33 pm
Needless to say that we had an extreme good mood for the rest of the day as we normally do always have whenever in the park and a short body break at Timbavati picnic spot was a welcome excuse to leave the car and stretch the legs a bit.

Due to the stunning bird sightings we had last year at Ratelpan we were of course already looking forward to spend a bit time there but to our disappointment no bird appeared also after a decent while we spend there but I guess these are the things at least for us always make a visit to Kruger so unique as you never know what you will get around the next corner or in the next loop and in that case in the next hide. We still followed the riverbed when suddenly a large elephant herd was crossing the street – gladly all very well behaved and they obviously only had the smell of water in their noises than the one from our car as they immediately could be seen in the riverbed quenching their thirst.

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Love the palm trees which always could be found in any Kruger riverbed but the stampede was not yet over as after a while a huge elephant bull with impressive tuskers followed the elephant herd

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and also did what elephants do nearly the whole day and not only once feeding, drinking and splashing with water.

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This must have obviously been an oasis and a very popular drinking place at that day for them but we had once again our fun in observing the herd which started to group themselves under some trees in the shade and the tusker extensively was still busy in playing in the water.

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As soon as they appeared they also disappeared again and we also could carry on but had to watch carefully on the road as many of these double banded sandgoose came across.

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Whilst crossing some causeways we could again admire these colourful dragonflies and could not carry on without any pictures.

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First we only saw red but later on the red turned also a bit into blue.

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Far away whilst standing in another loop we watched from far away a black stork foraging in the water but due to the hot day the air started to glimmer again so unfortunately no decent pictures from this bird but therefore another bird in form of a large raptor came across that close that same nearly did not fit into Timon’s lens -

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an impressive juvenile martial eagle was sitting on the edge of the street on a branch and started to shake its feathers.

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It did not feel bothered in any way by our presence and we nearly could have touched same so close this magnificent raptor was located. As always during such hot summer days it was a bit windy and I simply love how the wind came up from the back of the raptor and whirled its feathers upside down.

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Love on that picture the green vegetation in the background and I do remember that we saw on exactly that spot last year in the river bed a large buffalo herd drinking and bathing.

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Unfortunately from the other side a car came nearer and same must have misunderstood my hand signals to drive slower wrong and so unfortunately the raptor spread its wings and took off.

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When realizing what they just chased away they excused a hundred times but I was only feeling sorry for them as they could not admire that impressive raptor as we just did. Gladly Timon already took massive pictures so we also could carry on.

Meanwhile the road removed itself more and more from the Timbavati riverbed and the views and loops got less and lesser and so the typical Olifants vegetation started to prevail more and more especially with the red sand and stones and consequently the general game occurred more often as already occurring. Nevertheless a group of zebras is always a pleasure to watch especially such tender moments between mom and youngster.

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A saddle-billed stork circled high above in the air whilst we were watching the zebras and we only noticed same when we realized a quick moving shadow in front of the sun or on the ground.

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Re: Flavour of the Month - Dec 2012: Timbavati Rd & Picnic Spot

Post by Richprins » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:48 am

A 2015 pooky sighting:

https://www.africawild-forum.com/viewto ... 9&start=10
pooky wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:01 pm




When we left Ratel pan on our way back to camp a French couple stopped us to ask if we had seen
any lion. There were 2 lionesses in the Timbavati river bed a couple of K's past the picnic site turn
off. They weren't easy to see so we took them there. They in turn told us of wild dog further along the
S39. We left them at the lion sighting and carried on to find the doggies. There were 3 other cars there,
and although the dogs were close to the road it was difficult to see them let alone take pics. There were
a lot branches and twigs and some grass.

After about 15 minutes they started moving and 'talking' to each other, yip yip yip :-)

These were some of the pics we managed to get.



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This dog had a collar on but also lots of small open wounds. There were at least 2 others that had small wounds.
They were a bit sluggish compared to the rest of the doggies. This pack consisted of about 20 dogs.

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We were +/- 32 ks from Satara and it was getting late. None of us wanted to leave but we had to. We were the
last car 0*\ . Mike was driving and off we went. A way down the road a rhino was standing in the middle of the
road. I thought - super photos coming up - Mike never even hesitated - there were a couple of gasps from the back seat.
The rhino swung around off the road and we were through :shock: 0*\

We joined the queue at the gate at 6.05pm :O^ An exceptional day O\/ O\/
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Re: Flavour of the Month - Dec 2012: Timbavati Rd & Picnic Spot

Post by Richprins » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:36 am

One rather sad story is that of the rare and iconic mature Umbrella Thorns (Acacia Tortillis) that used to be visible at a spot next to the northern part of the road.


This is an example, I think:


Mature-umbrella-thorn.jpg
Mature-umbrella-thorn.jpg (75.7 KiB) Viewed 17 times

As elephant populations began to soar, management decided to pack sharp rocks under the surviving trees, about 15 years ago. This was not very successful and few if any visible big ones remain... :-(
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Re: Flavour of the Month - Dec 2012: Timbavati Rd & Picnic Spot

Post by Flutterby » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:48 am

That is sad. :-(

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Re: Flavour of the Month - Dec 2012: Timbavati Rd & Picnic Spot

Post by Richprins » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:02 am

I think they may have tried bees too there? -O-
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Re: Flavour of the Month - Dec 2012: Timbavati Rd & Picnic Spot

Post by Lisbeth » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:15 pm

Such beautiful trees :-(
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