Klaserie July 2012

steenbok in soft light

We spent two weeks in the Klaserie in July and as always, it was an amazing trip.  I honestly think that I could spend weeks there without getting bored.  We visit the Klaserie often, but this trip was a little different to most.  For a start, this was the first time that Tam and I had visited since the Feb floods.  We had heard the stories about the floods and how much the river had changed, but we were still blown away by how dramatic the change actually was.  Where there used to be reed beds, there are now beaches, but I mean beaches that could rival Camps Bay.  Some of the river roads are now part of the river, while on others, you drive next to big trees that have flood debris lodged high in their forks.  It really beggars belief that water can be so destructive.  On a positive note, the views of the river from the house are now significantly better, with many of the reed beds and small trees no longer obscuring the view.

Other firsts for this trip were the leopards and the giant eagle owls calling around the camp.  Almost every night we heard not one, but at least two leopards calling very close to the house.  We found so many big cat prints in the sand around the house, that the leopards must have been prowling around for some time during the night.  We only saw one of the leopards while we were there, and only for a moment.  So much noise, so little action :(

The giant eagle owls were roosting in the big trees around the camp.  They were not nearly as elusive as the leopards allowing us to get pretty close for a good look.

My parents joined us for a few days in which we saw very little game.  If they were into hearing the big 5, then we were doing great, but seeing them was another story.  We saw plenty of rhinos, but it wasn’t until the trip out of the reserve that we managed to see elephants.  After my folks had left however, it became near impossible to leave the house without incurring the trumpeting wrath of the younger members of the resident ele heard.  The Klaserie elephants are notoriously grumpy, and wont pass up many chances to try and intimidate with their trumpeting.

Joni and I had an interesting encounter with some rhinos at one of the waterholes.  For three straight afternoons we sat on the edge of the waterhole waiting to get photos of drinking animals.  Two camp chairs on the waters edge does not exactly constitute a security friendly hide.  Needless to say, while enjoying some beers, we were mindful of noises that might mean danger in the form of big game.  Towards the end of one of the afternoons, we could hear some crunching noises off to the left, but numerous neck stretches did not indicate any danger.  Then suddenly, there was a much closer crunching that had both of us hightailing it to the Landy.  Looking back, we saw three rhino burst out of the sandspruit, through the bushes and up to the waters edge.  Seeing us dashing for the car, they pulled up short, stared at us for a second or two, enough time for me to get off three shots of them in the dust, and then they retreated back into the bushes.  I now have plans for a hide of sorts, because two scrawny okes dashing for the car does not create award winning photos.

Buffalow in klaserie


impala at waterhole


impala in klaserie


warthog with reflection drinking


giraffe in klaserie natural habitat


rhinos in klaserie


Rhino in klaserie


giant eagle owl spotlight shot


stone chat on a stick


backlit pearl spotted owl klaserie


pearl spotted owl klaserie


mongoose drinking in klaserie


crested francoline reflection waterhole klaserie


guineafoul at waterhole reflection klaserie


guineafoul reflection at waterhole klaserie


hooded volture drinking klaserie