Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Africa & the Middle East
Reload this Page > Trip Report- South Africa: Kruger, Kings Camp, Kirkman's Kamp, Sep 2009
Notices

Trip Report- South Africa: Kruger, Kings Camp, Kirkman's Kamp, Sep 2009

Reply

Oct 14th, 2009, 10:10 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
Trip Report- South Africa: Kruger, Kings Camp, Kirkman's Kamp, Sep 2009

Trip Report- South Africa: Kruger, Kings Camp, Kirkman’s Kamp, September 2009

This safari was again to South Africa, my sixth safari there since 2005. I’ve also been to one camp in Kenya, one in Botswana and two in Zambia. Plan was to go back to Kruger, our third time there, Kings Camp (Timbavati Reserve) my fourth time, and myself only to Kirkman’s Kamp (Sabi Sand Reserve). The Trip began with flights from LAX on Aug 28th and I got back home on Sep 21. We took advantage of deals at Kings Camp and Kirkmans where if you stay for several nights you get a discounted rate, typically around 20% off.

Photography. One of my joys of safari is the challenge of photography. Primarily still photos but short videos also add another dimension. My present kit is a Nikon D200 on which is the 70-300mm VR lens, a Nikon D40X on which is the 18-200mm VR lens and a Canon S5. The two Nikon bodies give me a back up body and not having to change lenses. The Canon is my video camera even though it is intended for photos. Carolyn carries only a Canon S3 for her stills and videos. I downloaded full camera cards into two portable hard drives. I do not take a notebook PC. We took about 3,000 photos and 220 short (typically one minute) video clips totaling about 3 hours. There are about 45 photos of this safari are up on my smugmug web site at- www.tomgraham.smugmug.com. The top left thumbnail, SAFARI 2009, gets you into it. (Also photos from other safaris there). All photos have been “post processed” in Photoshop. Typically cropped, levels changed, sharpened, and more.

So, our master plan was flying into JNB, renting a car, driving in Kruger for 6 days, then Kings Camp for 8 nights, Carolyn goes home I go to Kirkmans Kamp for 5 nights then home. We got into JNB on the morning of August 30th and had reservations at the Peermont Metcourt in the Emperors Palace complex for the night of the 30th. The Peermont is a new hotel there with small but ok rooms. The bath/toilet area is however separated from the room itself by only a curtain. I prefer the Metcourt Laurel there. The Peermont room includes a very good breakfast buffet.

The next morning we went back to JNB to pickup our Avis rental car. We would not be returning the car to JNB but needed to leave it after Kruger at/near Kings Camp. We had also looked into rentals from Hertz, Budget and Europcar but none of those offered the convenience of Avis. Avis has an office at the Hoedspruit airport, the others at Phalaborwa. You can get a shuttle from Phalaborwa into the Timbavati but with additional cost (about $60 for two). Picking up the car at JNB and leaving it at HDS (not returning to JNB) added an additional $90 collection charge, thus total car rental for 8 days was $450. The car was a Honda Jazz, compact with automatic transmission. It was ok but not a great car for Kruger, I much prefer a car that sits higher and does not have the extreme sloping front windscreen with then the necessary huge sloping front pillar. This seems to be the design trend now for such cars.

So at 9am we left JNB Avis going to Kruger camp Letaba. Letaba is closest to the Phalaborwa gate and the town just outside that gate is Phalaborwa. Our driving route took us straight north to Polokwane then turning east to Phalaborwa. We were concerned about getting headed the right way out of the airport but that was fine and with considerable road construction slowness until Pretoria we made it to Polokwane at 12 noon. A very quick lunch (McDonalds) and we turned east towards Phalaborwa. Arrived Phalaborwa at 2:45 pm. Gassed up the car got a few items at a store in town and registered at Phalaborwa gate 3:15pm.

KRUGER-
We had a nice drive in from Phalaborwa gate stopping and watching baboons play, a journey of 8 giraffe and maybe 200 buffalo grazing along the road arriving at camp Letaba at 5pm. I had already paid for the camps ($90 per night, hut for 2) but we still needed to get the park conservation fee. On Aug 31st it was $20 per day person (non SA resident). Or, we could get the annual “Wildcard” pass for $100 person, we got the annual pass. This was our third time in Kruger, previously there in 2006 and 2007. Kruger is a nice way to start a SA safari, gives us a jet lag (9 hour difference) cushion and a cushion should we have flight delays coming over.

Camp Letaba is pretty much in the center of Kruger and we were there for 4 nights then moved to camp Olifants for 3 more nights. Everyday for the next six days we were out doing our own game drives. After breakfast in camp out the gate at 8am, lunch in another camp, maybe Satara, then game driving and back in our camp about 5:30pm. Over eight hours a day setting and driving/riding in the car. After doing this for six days we both agreed that it was way too much of the same thing, too many hours, just setting and driving around. We needed a more varied daily routine. The weather for all six days was sunny and warm, sometimes hot afternoons.

We saw four of the big five. Missing was rhino. The first and only leopard we have ever seen in Kruger was an outstanding view. It was very late afternoon along the main road from camp Satara north. One car was stopped on our left so pulled up behind it. Next to a bush about 5-7 meters from the road was a large male leopard laying with head up looking around. A sighting like you expect to see in private camp off-road!! He posed very nicely for a few minutes, the car in front left, then he got up and slowly walked across the road in front of us. Very, very nice.

Lions. We saw lions only once but it was very good also. Driving along a back road, three cars were stopped, we asked them, there were lions about 150m away under a large tree. We stopped, there were about 7-8 lions being flat-cats. After about an hour we were wondering whether to move on when one lioness got up and started walking parallel to the road. All of the other lions including a nice male got up and followed. They walked for maybe 200m before deciding to cross the road which of course caused a traffic jam with us having no view until after they were well on the other side. Such is lion popularity in Kruger, show and traffic stoppers.

Elephants. In all previous visits we had seen many elephants every day in the Oliphant River and just about anywhere along back roads. Not this year. We say no large herds like before and saw a small heard only once in Olifant River. The elephants were just not in that area of Kruger. We did see scattered few here and there. A nice surprise on our way out of the park when a huge tusker appeared and slowly went back in.

Buffalo, yes, one huge herd that took probably 20 minutes to meander across the road. A large herd grazing along the road as we drove into camp Letaba. One evening blocking one lane of a major road was a skull and backbone nearly picked clean. The next morning it was off to the side.

We may have seen more giraffe than elephants! And another surprise on the morning driving out was a giraffe sitting/lying by the road. I was told they may sleep for a short while in that position. It got up and moved off after a few minutes. With our total time we saw of course many impala, kudu, water buck, steenbok, hippos, bateleur eagles, three ground hornbills together, saddle-billed stork, baboons, vervet monkeys, three ostrich together.

Couple of other items about Kruger. Comments from guides and guests in the next two camps said that the southern part of Kruger, Skukuza area south has the most lions and also thus the most park visitors. Also, that the very north part of Kruger, Parfuri area, has stunningly beautiful terrain/scenery. And it makes up for the somewhat scarce wildlife in that area of Kruger.

So after seven nights in Kruger we left Olifant camp at 6:45am, back out through Phalaborwa gate and south to Hoedspruit. We arrived at Hoedspruit, went to the Avis office at the airport, picked up the Avis agent and drove into the Timbavati Reserve. About 40 minutes later were arrived at Kings Camp and let Avis take the car.

(Kings Camp and Kirkman's Kamp continued as reply)
cary999 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2009, 10:12 PM
  #2
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
Trip Report- South Africa: Kruger, Kings Camp, Kirkman’s Kamp, September 2009
Continued-

KINGS CAMP-
Kings Camp is in the Timbavati Reserve which borders Kruger and is just north of the Sabi Sand Reserve. This was my fourth time at Kings Camp and we were staying for eight nights. Guess it’s obvious that I like Kings Camp. Manager Warren and wife Lisha are marvelous hosts. Warren is also an excellent ranger/guide. The camp has 11 bungalows, maximum 22 guests. The camp layout is quite nice, the bungalows very attractive decorated in British Colonial style. Complete spacious bathroom with double sinks are attached to the bungalow which makes it like two separate rooms. Also a small patio and outdoor shower. There are two photos on my smugmug of the room. Common camp facilities include a nice library with good internet service on a PC or you can wireless your notebook. The food/meals are excellent with gorgeous presentation, many thanks to Chef Nico and his cooks. Excellent breakfast after the morning game drive, excellent lunch from 1:30pm to 3pm and guess what, also an excellent dinner after cocktails about 8pm in either the dining room or boma or on occasion an outdoor barbeque. Drinks, soda, wine beer, mini room bar, cocktails are included in the room rate. At dinner the game drive vehicle group and ranger dine together at a table. For breakfast and lunch you dine when and with whomever you wish.

Our ranger was Morne (accent aigue over the “e”, sounds like long “a”, but he is Scottish descent) and his tracker Selby. They were an excellent team. Morne has been a guide in the Timbavati for over 10 years so he knows the reserve blindfolded. He is also very much into photography. Selby is a Shangaan tracker who grew up tracking. He sat on the left front fender of the Land Rover. Aahh, the new Land Rover is very nice, longer wheel base, more leg room smoother ride and quieter diesel. Morne wore a headset so we did not hear radio chatter.

Game Drives –
Morning game drives after coffee started at 6am and went to around 9am. Afternoon game drives started at 4pm and came back about 7pm. I don’t like such a late afternoon start time. Starting at 4pm gives only an hour of good daylight, by 5pm there is not much sun left and wildlife is very likely to be in the shade if in river bed etc.

Some statistics. Eight nights, thus 16 game drives total. One drive had only 2 guests (counting ourselves), 2 drives had 4 guests, 2 drives had 5 guests, and 11 drives had 6 guests. (The clientele at Kings Camp is about 80% American and the rest SA and European). The weather was good but we did have two days of mostly overcast cloudy skies.

Big five. Sure we saw the big five. Saw lions on 9 drives, leopards on 7 drives, elephants on 7 drives, buffalo on 7 drives and rhino on 5 drives. The lion pride situation is unstable. The magnificent Schobele male is no longer seen but he may yet be around. What was his pride had a pregnant lioness killed my nomadic males. And because of that another pride lioness abandoned her cubs. The best lion photos I got were late in the afternoon when three young lions woke up to drink at a water hole. We did not see lions feeding on kill.

The six female leopards are missing a dominant male since Maganjan was killed. Maganjan was always around for appreciative guest viewing. We did see all six female leopards and one with an impala kill and one with a duiker kill. As for eles, we did not see any large herds and not on every game drive like in previous years. Rather matches our experience in Kruger which is not surprising (considering that the Timbavati is due west of where we were in Kruger). One very large herd of buffalo, estimated at 500, that we got in the midst of. Several groups of old daga boys. Rhinos were around including a huge male that we saw three times.

Of course impala, kudu, waterbuck, a few zebra, giraffe, steenbok, wart hogs, baboons and vervets, an African wildcat at night, couple of hyena, hippos in couple of water holes and at the dam.

Kings Camp is a pleasure. All of the staff manager Warren, office, waiters, groundskeepers are very friendly and helpful. Ranger Morne and tracker Selby were great and I know the other rangers are also great. The bungalows are lovely, cozy, quiet and the individual AC units keep them as you want. All meals wonderful, thanks Chef Nico. Game drives good, fun, and always interesting. Kings Camp stays in the top half of my list of favorite safari camps. One thing though, back home I asked Carolyn what she felt about staying 8 nights in one camp. She said it was perhaps a bit too much, she would rather split it between two camps. Suppose I’d have to mostly agree, if I wanted say 15 nights on safari (like I usually do) I’d prefer 5 nights at 3 different camps. Especially if the camps were reasonably close so I could make the transfer without missing a game drive. Like I did by going done to Kirkman’s Kamp in Sabi Sand.

KIRKMAN’S KAMP-
Kirkman’s Kamp is in the very south of Sabi Sand Reserve. I did the morning game drive at Kings Camp then a charter flight down to the old Skukuza airport where a Kirkman’s ranger was waiting for me. (Carolyn went back to the Hoedspruit airport to began journey home). Kirkman’s Kamp goes way back to Harry Kirkman when he managed the Toulon cattle ranch there in 1927 for six years. The Toulon property is now owned by Exeter Holdings (I think) who purchased it from MalaMala. The camp itself is managed by &Beyond/CCAfrica. MalaMala still has traversing rights and Kirkman’s is permitted to traverse on a small section of adjoining MalaMala.

Kirkman’s Kamp is centered around the original homestead that has been renovated several times over the years. The rooms (18 of them) carry this same old farm feel which I liked. The rooms were about 5m by 7m including bath area, about half the size of the bungalows at Kings Camp. The small back patio of the rooms overlook a shallow valley that looks pure Africa. A couple of room photos are in my smugmug safari group.

Common areas include a library, nice bar, large lounge area, large dinning terrace, and boma dinning room. Internet access is available if you use/borrow a terminal in the office. I was told it was very slow service, I did not try it. All meals were excellent with good selections. All beverages including bar and room mini bar are inclusive. Every staff person was very friendly and eager to assist you.


Game Drives-
Morning wake up at 5:30am, coffee, start the drive at 6am. Back about 9am, a great breakfast. Lunch mid afternoon, tea/coffee at 3:30pm with game drive to follow when everyone’s ready. Back from the afternoon game drive about 7pm and dinner around 7:30-8pm. For my first two game drives my ranger was Duncan. After those two drives my ranger was Grant with Shangaan tracker Eckson for all five days. Grant is also into photography and a most energetic, knowledgeable, and convivial ranger/host. He and Eckson were a great team. Eckson sat high on the vehicle’s rear most seat. I prefer to have the tracker back there not obstructing the front view. Grant wore a headset for radio communications.

Some statistics. Five nights, 10 game drives total. Two drives had only one guest (me), 4 drives had 5 guests, 3 drives had 6 guests, and 1 drive had 7 guests. (The clientele at Kirkmans is about 50% American and the other half SA and European). The weather was good but we did have one whole day and one morning of overcast cloudy skies.

The highlight of all game drives this safari has to be the pack of wild dogs. On the morning of my drive with Duncan we found a pack of 11-13 dogs on the Sand River bank. They were settling in for a day of relaxing/sleeping. The view was about perfect, out in the open and we were eye level with them being on the bank and us in the river bed. Good photos were easy. That afternoon drive then with ranger Grant we went back to that area and found the pack mostly sleeping. At about 5pm they started to stir and a few drank from the river. More activity, pack greetings and they began to move off. Tracker Eckson said they were hunting so Grant and another vehicle started to follow – as best you can with wild dogs in the brush/bush and trees. We kept up with some of them and in a few minutes we came on their kill, an impala. It was already half eaten. They had woke, hunted, killed, and started eating within 30 minutes!!! That’s quicker than I can do it at home!!! Still photos of them though at the kill were not good, it being after sundown and in the shady brush. However, some of the video is ok, video seems to “work” better in low difficult light than still photos.

The big five. Saw lions four times, either “flat” or walking, but not feeding on a kill. Saw leopard four times but the same big male (Tjellahanga male). He was feeding at a buffalo carcass and twice feeding at a baboon he had killed. Saw elephants six times, usually far away, a couple times close, but no big herds. Saw rhino four times including a “family” of three twice. Buffalo four times, a small herd of about 100. A hyena den with adult female, two pups and one juvenile.

Also of course impala, water buck, bush buck, kudu, a group of five ground hornbills, a few, not many zebra and giraffe, wart hogs, baboons and vervets, and a little bee-eater (bird) that let us get up close for photos, beautiful bird.

I liked Kirkmans and would consider going back but may try instead the other &Beyond camps in Sabi Sand, i.e. Exeter, Leadwood, or Dulini.

Comparing Kings Camp and Kirkmans Kamp? Pretty close call. As a camp facility I prefer Kings Camp for its more spacious rooms/bungalows and many more nice touches such as having wet hand towels for you before sundowners. But Kirkmans was still very nice for its “old timey” feel. Game drives – well first lets put aside the extremely rare wild dog sightings at Kikrmans. After that, the game drives were close to equal but the nod goes to King Camp. The percentage of big cat sightings per game drive was higher and more interesting at Kings Camp. As well as for elephants and buffalo. Yet game drives are so serendipitous that its hard to compare from just a few days. And the new Land Rovers at Kings are much more guest friendly than the old ones at Kirkmans.

Finally, in talking with staff and guests at both camps they suggest that the better time for South Africa safari is the month of August or July. In September the weather can start to change towards cloudy. August is very clear skies but can also be very windy. July seems to have it good except the morning can still be cold. So, I don’t know. I wonder about the month of May, their fall, the front side of winter.

END
cary999 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2009, 12:22 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 27
Awesome stuff Tom!

I'm waiting in anticipation for the photos!

Regards,

KK
KK01 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2009, 12:35 AM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
Happy you like it KK, thanks.
Photos - that smugmug link above did not work for you?
Photos can not be included within a Fodors thread. You have to link to them somewhere else. I.e. www.tomgraham.smugmug.com

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2009, 04:29 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 408
Hi Tom, thanks for the report. I was there at around the same time and yes, the weather was grim for a few days with one morning remaining in thick mist until around 9.30am. I should have learnt as I visited the same area, same time last year and had similar weather. I don't mind the bad weather it just makes it tough for photos.

You were lucky to be able to stay with the wild dogs. We watched them for a little while and then the rest of our vehicle didn't want to follow them! They were more on a mission to see as many different types of animals as they could on one game drive! The ranger and I were so disappointed.
Lynneb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2009, 05:22 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 298
Great report Tom. I am curious about something--if the morning drives end at 9 and the afternoon don't start until 4, what in the world do you do in between? Besides breakfast and lunch, that is. It seems like a huge waste of wildlife viewing time Granted, I know mid-day is not best for wildlife but there is always something to see. Is there much to see within the camps? Did you take any bush walks?
jczinn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2009, 06:33 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,182
Great pictures & report - thanks. We'll be at King's Camp next year so I was glad to see you still give it top ratings.

I was wondering the same thing as jczinn - -what do people do with the down time in the afternoon?
Leslie_S is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2009, 07:14 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,285
Great report. I am trying to talk my husband into spending some time in Kruger, but he is stubborn - would rather be in private reserves (I guess he won lotto and didn't tell me). This report is helpful in getting him to change his mind.
christabir is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2009, 07:37 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 46
Tom, Great report and I much enjoyed reading. You certainly had some fine opportunities and got some great shots. You should be about ready to start seriously planning your next trip.
Chuck
safarichuck1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2009, 07:55 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,895
Thanks for all the details and wonderful report. I arrived in SA about 10days after you and other than one slightly rain evening, we had perfect weather. Will check out your photos later.
moremiles is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2009, 08:25 AM
  #11
cw
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,648
Great report. I particularly enjoyed the details and your thoughtful comments about how much time to spend in Kruger and in the individual camps. I know from earlier reports that you've spent a week in one place before.

Very, very nice photos--those of the wild dogs are wonderful.

Did anyone have any insight into why there were no big herds of elephants in Kruger and the Timbavati?
cw is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2009, 11:01 AM
  #12
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
Lynneb – I remember that Kirkman’s thick misty morning, my glasses were dripping wet. I was also in the Timbavati and in Sep 2008 and had much worse weather and for more days. Bummer, does make for very tough photos. Thus why I’m thinking of going safari in SA in either July or May. Bad luck for you with the hunting wild dogs. It was exciting following them and I was sure we would loose them. But our tracker seemed to sense where they were going. Private vehicle, that’s the answer!!

Jczinn, Leslie_S – between 9 am and 4pm, two things breakfast and lunch J Those can take up some time. I like to nap after breakfast having gotten to sleep night before about 11pm and then up at 5;30am. Other than that I just meander some around camp, go to the library, read, maybe the bar, chat a little with guests. You can do a bush walk with a guide, but I don’t. It is typical of SA safari camps to not start that afternoon game drive until 4pm. I really really really wish they would start it at 3pm (and end at 6pm). This would give another hour of great sunlight. The reason they don’t is because it can be hot at 3pm. I also think another reason is the it would interfere with the lunch schedule!!! I’m really tempted to have a private game drive vehicle and thus set my own hours. But costs extra, $300 or more per day.

Christabir – Kruger is unique and a totally different experience than a private camp. Easy to do out of Joburg and not expensive, maybe $200 per day total for two including a car. Nice way to recover some from the flights over – for us – but might be too much “work” for some compared to being taken care of in a private camp.

Chuck- thanks. Not sure about my next safari. Thinking it may be in May of 2011. We’ll see if I can hold out that long J

Moremiles, Cw – thanks. I very much like to spend several days in every camp, minimum of 4. Like to settle in and get the flavor of the place. And if you are not careful, you can also waste a lot of time, energy and $$$$ switching camps. Herds of eles, I asked a Kruger ranger where they were and they said more north towards Mopani camp. But we did not go up that way. The other camps just did not know. It was a bit disappointing not to see lots of them after seeing so many in previous years.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2009, 11:03 AM
  #13
cw
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,648
Interesting about the elephants. Thanks Tom.
cw is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2009, 11:46 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,285
tom-

good point aboutt he jet lag. Last time we did the layover in Europe.

Sorry to burst your bubble a little, but we were in Pafuri and Mashatu this year in June - it rained for four days. I think climate change is playing tricks with us. We won't be able to depend on history for weather.

I agree about the 4PM game drive. I don't really enjoy the nighttime drive (I don't like to shine lights at the animals and the pics are just for the memories, not for anything special). We should get a group together and go. We won't have to pay for the truck and we'd get to go out early!

I'm trying to hold out til 2011, too. Don't know if we'll make it, either!
christabir is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2009, 11:49 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 267
Excellent report Tom,i specially like the summary of the wildlife viewing in each area and the number of people per vehicle as well as the details of every accommodation.

I also was in SouthAfrica while you where there but not so many days.
We arrive August 31 and came back September 11.Also visited Timbavati Reserve but different camp(Ngala) and did stay at Kirkmans in Sabi Sand and we found both places wonderful.

Our guide and tracker at Kirkmans where also Grant and Eckson and i completely agree with you about how perfect team they are.
I think our morning drives at Kirkmans ended closer to ten than to nine O´clock ?? We then had a very big breakfast and skip lunch (to much food for us) By the time we ended breakfast it was more than eleven Then i went to the pool with my kids(Kirkmans has a beautiful pool with and amazing view where you can relax with a beer or a book or both.There was the possibility of a one hour walk which we didnt do.

You where very lucky with the dogs at Kirkmans,we didn´t got to see them there , nor at Ngala where they had a den 2 months ago.

Some very nice pictures,the elephants at the Olifant River and the lion drinking in golden light are fantastic.

We also got to see one of the difficult small five,the elephant shrew,but that was at Phinda Reserve.

Thanks.

Paco.
PacoAhedo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2009, 12:31 PM
  #16
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
christabir - We have not tried a layover in Europe. I think I just like to "zone out", plow on and get it over with.

Agree more about the "night" drives. In my more than 70 -night- game drives I can count on one hand those that were interesting - lions hunting. As for photos, the same number on one hand. Those spotlight drives may be exciting the first three times but after that they are a waste, IMHO. And, I'm all for going as a group. Have suggested this before but seems to be very difficult to organize.

Paco - Glad you like my numbers, I like to have some facts. Also there are sightings of lions and then there are sightings of lions. Makes a huge difference whether they are "flat cats" or "mobile".

Happy you enjoyed Kirkmans, that time between breakfast and next game drive seems to go faster than you think it would. I knew wild dogs visited Kirkmans but did not expect to see them. Also feel it will likely be many years before I see them again, if ever.

The lone lion drinking is probably my favorite shot of the trip. I like dramatic lighting, and it is almost over the top . The Little Bee-eater is probably the best bird photo I've ever taken.

I've only seen three of the little five. Ant lion, leopard tortoise, buffalo weaver bird. Missing elephant shrew and rhino beetle.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2009, 01:14 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 294
Tom
Nice report with some great pictures, appreciate the views of Kings Camp it looks very nice. Agreed on length of stay, in January we have 9 nights at MM, but we split 4 at Main Camp, then the very simple drive down to Rattrays for 5 nights. Hopefully we'll manage to make it down south without something distracting us - we've only made the Hyena den once, and I love the Sycamore Fig on the river near Kirkman's.
Matt
napamatt_2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2009, 01:33 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,895
Wow, your shots are gorgeous and I love so many of them-the trunk with the water source, the lion ant, the lovely leopards and drinking lions and the posing wild dogs.
moremiles is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2009, 01:49 PM
  #19
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,215
Very good report and I also like the wrap up of the sightings!

We also enjoyed Morné and Selby at King's Camp last April. The "safari routine" was new to us which we didn't particularly appreciate as we normally skip lunch because of high tea/cake or sandwhich which keeps us going until dinner; doing breakfast plus lunch particularly as it is a set lunch at King's is simply undoable for us. But at King's when one skips lunch means no more bites undtil dinner.
When we were there they did not stop during the morning drives which made it tough to not stretch legs in between. And - the hot chocolate is quite nice in between driving;-).

We liked very much the nice gesture when coming back from pm drive: the port or sherry on arrival back at lodge - and the towels.
Seemingly doesn't matter how many safaris one has done - always something new....

Tom, I remember that you stated IF Kirkman again does load the car to full capacity you would never again visit an andBeyond property. Obviously at Kirkman's you had that experience once. Right?
Did the manager point that out as a kind of "emergency plan" or did you have the impression it's done regularly depending on guest numbers?

Sorry for asking so many questions!

I also like the lion pic very much! Stunning!

SV
spassvogel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2009, 01:50 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,215
oops - one more:
How are the new bathrooms looking? Have they all bathrooms remodeled/refurb?

SV
spassvogel is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:52 PM.