Elephant picture our camera trap picked up

Tales of the Trailcam – What happens after the sun goes down!

Happy New Year everyone!! And greetings from Holland, where Steven, the boys and I are spending some quailty time with my family.


We arrived here on the last day of the year. Just in time for a big tradition in my family: my mom makes her delicious ‘oliebollen’. They are deep fried dough-balls filled with raisins. We eat them with powdered sugar and they are typical Dutch end of the year morsels of deep fried goodness! You can compare them to South African ‘vetkoek’.


We are having such a lovely time here! I had not seen my family in about ten months so we are enjoying every second catching up! The boys are sleeping a bit later than usual (why can’t they do that at home???), but I am still up at my normal time. Which gives me some time to share the first episode of Tails of the Trailcam with you!!


After my blog post What animals walk around the staff village at night I have been itching to get a camera trap up at the new house in Malelane. Unfortunately, the one I had somehow did not make it through the move in working order. Luckily, a friend in Holland found me one that she also has for her house in Silonque. According to her it was quite good and not that expensive.


One of my best friends from Holland was visiting us in Kruger last week. Lisa brought the new trailcam from Holland with her. Time to put it to the test!


We went to the trails camp for one night! A perfect location to try out the new trailcam.  We left on what I honestly think was the hottest day of the year. The first thing I did when we got to camp, was mount my new camera trap on a tree at the waterhole that is in front of the camp.


After an extremely hot night without any breeze other than from the two little fans we brought that work on a battery pack (I think we would have melted if it was not for these), the wind picked up at around 5 in the morning. The temperatures finally started to drop and both Lisa and I got up to enjoy the cool air. Time to retrieve my new camera!


We sat down on the green benches that overlook the waterhole and we had a look at our findings! I have to say, I am extremely chuffed with the quality of the images and video’s we caught in just that one night.

The trailcam took this first video while we were on Stolsnek Dam having a sundowner. The photo at the top of the blog post is a screenshot from that video. I love the angle and how close the bull walked past the tree I mounted the camera on! See the temperature at the bottom of the video? 41 degrees at 18:20. It was a scorcher of a day!


Later that evening we were just about to climb into bed when I heard the elephants at the waterhole. The end of the video is the best for me, when the little one puts its trunk in mommies mouth.

Even at 20:30 the temperature was 39 degrees!


This duiker must have walked straight past the camera. It only caught the top side of it. Maybe next time, I will mount it a bit lower. To also try and catch some of the smaller animals.

Duiker on our camera trap in Kruger National Park
Common Grey Duiker

The last picture did not really come as a surprise. We heard hyena’s all around us for most of the night. One of them was calling so close, for one second I thought it was right outside our hut. In the extreme heat we were sleeping with the door open, but under mosquito nets. I did not bring anything inside with us to protect us from any animals (except mosaquito spray) In my ‘it is too hot to sleep, but I am extremely tired’ state the only thing I could think of was throwing a roll of toilet paper against the hyenas head if it decided to come into the hut. Lisa told me that morning that she was ready to kick the door shut with her foot if she heard a hyena come up the steps. A much better solution than toilet paper…

Spotted hyena on our trailcam in KNP
Spotted hyena

I decided not to put the trailcam up on our fence during the time we are in Holland. As much as it would be so interesting to leave it up for two weeks, I don’t want a hyena to eat it or an elephant to play with it during our absense. I will start again when we are back home. But I love how we can now have a bit of an insight as to what happens after the sun goes down!!

16 thoughts on “Tales of the Trailcam – What happens after the sun goes down!

  1. Hi Linda,

    We also take camera traps when camping In Kruger and place them against the fence when possible.
    Are they birds flying past in your night time elephants video?
    Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year.

    1. Hi John! Thanks for your message! What camera trap are you using if I may ask?
      I think it is dust that you can see in the background. I don’t know of any bird species that flock and fly like that at night.

      1. Dust makes more sense…thanks Linda.

        My trail cam is a Bushnell, quite an old version but great for seeing what comes close to our small tent in Kruger, Etosha or KTP.

        1. I would love to try a bushnell. Some of my friends are getting some great images with those too, but they are a bit out of budget for us.
          The one we have now seems to do the trick. Cannot wait to play around with it some more when we are home!

  2. What an interesting toy that trailcam is turning out to be. As with all your blogs it is both informative and entertaining
    Enjoy your family time in Holland and may 2019 be a super year, filled with blessings for you and your family.

  3. Hey. This is awesome. I love how on the first one with the elephant the camera managed to capture the atmosphere so perfectly. It is almost like sitting there at the waterhole. The quality of the images are just perfect, please send me the name of the camera you are using. The only other thing I can say is… it is hot, hot, hot!!!

  4. Hi Linda
    Thank you for the lovely latest posting.
    My mom made “oliebolle”. It was dipped in concentrated sugar water when still hot. Verkoek is not sweetened at all. After cooking in the oil, it will be filled with mince or curry or a sweet jam and cheese. All good stuff that we had in South Africa that most probably came from our founding fathers – the Dutch. We are very proud of the fact that part of our ancestry is Dutch.
    Enjoy Holland. It must be cold there now.
    I will be in South Africa during the last week of January and beginning of February and will certainly visit the KNP. Perhaps I can buy you and Steven a coffee at the Malalane gate if that is acceptable to you and Steven. Would just like to say “Goeiedag”
    Cor Rademeyer

  5. Such a fun thing to have. It must be like opening a present every morning! Enjoy your time with your family – so special to be able to share with your Mum. The temperature difference must be quite something – 41 degrees to zero in 24 hours? I spent time with my children and grandchildren at their holiday home on the Vaal river this Christmas, and it was 41 degrees there too one day. Phew!

    1. After the extremely hot summers in the lowveld, I promised myself never to complain about the cold ever again! So yes, a big temperature change, but loving it;-)

  6. Your first efforts with the trailcam are wonderful. I’m so impressed by the quality of the pics; thanks for sharing these clips. I had to laugh at your different plans to deal with an invading hyaena – I think I’d go for Lisa’s!! Glad you are all enjoying some well-deserved R&R with your family.


    1. Hahaha yes I agree, Sal. Toiletpaper will do nothing against a hyena. Lisa and I both had a good laugh at it the next moring as well;-)

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