lmSA84

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lmSA84 last won the day on June 19

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About lmSA84

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  1. @Alexander33 - thank you for a beautifully written and photographed report. That's an awe inspiring set of birds. It'll be a while before I get to Costa Rica but when I do this will definitely be an inspiration
  2. @michael-ibk - congratulations! Brilliant collection - so varied
  3. @Dave Williams - congratulations! Well deserved, with some inspiring photography
  4. @Peter Connan - sorry to hear about the camera. Still you got those great shots of the Squacco Heron that I tried and ailed to get at Marievale
  5. @Peter Connan - not to worry, feel free to post. I'm sorry to hear it. I have a relatively new D500 and I'm finding it quite temperamental - it's not unusual that I have remove the battery to re-set it....quite frustrating!
  6. @Treepol - thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it. SA has so much more to offer then just KTP and Kruger. I'm envious to hear that you're visiting the vulture hide. If we hadn't have gone to Maputaland and Mtunzini our alternative plan was to visit the Rockwood Forest Lodge at Karkloof then head to Giants Castle for walking and the vulture hide. Unfortunately, I doubt that Sakhamuzi could help. Giants Castle is about 4-5hrs from Mtunzini and Sakhamuzi doesn't have a suitable private vehicle. I'm sure that you're already aware but my understanding is that Ezemvelo have stopped doing transfers to the hide so you need your own 4x4. If you wanted you could independently make the journey. The hide and accommodation at Giants Castle NP have to be booked through Ezemvelo. Accommodation can be done online and I think the hide has to be booked over the phone. For car hire I would recommend Britz - they have an excellent range of 4x4 vehicles at highly competitive prices. Driving in SA is very easy due to the low volume of traffic. I'm afraid that I don't know of a local guide covering that area but Birds and Beyond do tours to the berg and it might be worth reaching out to Birdlife. They run the community guide programme for the Zululand Birding route and they may have a suggestion. http://www.birdlifezululand.co.za/community-bird-guides/
  7. @Atravelynn - Thanks! The Gannets and other seabirds are resident at Bird Island so no need to time a trip. That said if you visit in August and get lucky you might be able to combine a trip to Bird Island with the Namaqua flower season.
  8. Drakensberg - Thendele Growing up in Durban our family holidays would typically be one of three types - safari, visiting family in Zimbabwe or walking in the Drakensberg. The "berg" has subsequently always had a special place in my heart and I knew that a trip to SA wouldn't be complete without taking my wife and daughter to the berg. For this trip we chose Thendele's Upper Camp. Thendele doesn't necessarily offer the best walking in the berg (I would say Injisuthi or Giant's Castle have the best trails) or the best wildlife viewing (the Giant's Castle Vulture Hide takes that prize) but I think it does have the most spectacular scenery. This is the dawn view from the patio of our cottage. Being in the berg is all about walking and enjoying the scenery. Most walks in Thendele will take you to a series of vistas and valley sections with thick montane forest. Mammal wise there is not too much to see - Bushbuck Slender Mongoose, Common Duiker and to a lessor extent Eland are quite common. The most exciting find is the Mountain Reedbuck but they're a shy antelope. The birding is excellent though and the camp is reliable place for the Buck Blackcap which is an otherwise challenging bird to find. If you can't locate him though, they're many others to see.. Wailing Cisticola Greater Double Collared Sunbird African Stonechat Cape Rock Thrush Familiar Chat White Breasted Cormorant The End All in all we travelled a little over 8,500KM by car in our road trip. We stayed in over 22 different places and visited 6 of South Africa's 9 provinces all with a 6 month old baby. It was the trip of a life time and a tremendous experience for our young family. To anyone thinking of doing a self-driving trip to South Africa my advice would be to just do it - there is so much to see and it's soo easy even a baby could do it - literally!
  9. Maputaland Coast After Mtunzini we drove further up the coast to Maputaland and the Rocktail Bay Beach Camp. Rocktail is a remote luxury beach camp set in it's own private portion of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. It has it's own stretch of effectively private beach with not a sole in sight for miles and if you visit in the right months 100s of nesting Leatherback Turtles. We unfortunately were out of season for the turtles but that didn't stop us enjoying the beach. When you get tired of the beach, a spot of birdwatching in the thick sand forest that surrounds the camp will always be fruitful for both birds and a few mammals. View from our balcony Thick forest that surrounds the lodge Vervet Monkey Red Duiker are ubiquitous Southern Black Flycatcher Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird Day trips are possible from Rocktail to Tembe Elephant Park (we didn't go) and Lake Sibaya which is South Africa's largest lake. There isn't too much to see at the lake, if you're lucky Hippos, but again the birding's great (you can see a theme emerging ) with the potential to see the Rosy Longclaw. The road to Lake Sibaya The lake Rosy Longclaw
  10. Our next stop was the Dlinza Forest of Eshowe. This forest is a treasure trove of birding specialties, the highlight of which is a chance to see the Endangered Spotted Ground Thrush. The Dlinza Forest broadwalk Spotted Ground Thrush Other good finds included Lemon Dove... Tambourine Dove Forest Weaver Grey Cuckooshrike Green Pigeon ...and Trumpeter Hornbill
  11. It's been over a month since I've had a chance to complete this TR and even though the end is more birds then mammals I wanted to give it a bit of the attention in case it's of use to others. Northern KZN and the Drakensberg Having spent nearly 7 weeks in the Capes we flew to Durban for the final three weeks. In that time we would visit my family in Durban, then head up the North Coast spending two nights in Mtunzini, seven n Rocktail Bay, one t the battlelands in Dundee, three nights in Thendele before finally heading onto J'burg. Mtunzini About 1hr 30 North of Durban is the sleepy town on Mtunzini. It's a laid back beach town set amongst dense coastal vegetation. Other than relaxing it's main draw is birdwatching, with a plethora of rarities in the town (Palm-not Vulture, Finfoots etc.) and nearby birding hot spots - oNgoye, Dlinza, Ntumeni and Amatikulu. My wife kindly agreed to let me disappear for one day's birding and inspired by @Panthera Pardus I booked a local guide - Sakhamuzi Mhlongo. With Sakhamuzi's expert guidance we visited the oNgoye and Dlinza Forest to hunt for two of South Africa's rarest birds. The first is the Green Barbet, a highly range restricted bird, which in Southern Africa is only found in the 3200 ha Ongoye Forest. oNgoye Forest It didn't take us long to find a pair of Green Barbets Sharing the tree with these rare birds, officially listed as Vulnerable, was a troop of Samango Monkeys and their close cousin the White-eared Barbet.
  12. Excellent! If you don't mind getting a legible photo of one and replacing mine...that would be much appreciated
  13. @Dave Williams - your post of the Prairie Warbler reminded me of us close cousin which I saw in St Lucia. St Lucia Warbler
  14. @monalisa - Hummingbirds always deserve a lot of love Antillean Crested Hummingbird
  15. 326. Squacco Heron, 5/317, Marievale

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