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 Post subject: Patto Trip To Kruger : 10-12 Nov '06
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:18 am
Posts: 118
Location: Port Elizabeth
Hi all.

Sorry this post is so late. I have just written my 2nd board exam and was then working extremely hard after that, so this report is a month overdue :cry:

I went up to Pretoria to stay with my parents while i studied for the exam that i wrote on the 20th of November. I knew the studying will take its toll on me, so I planned a weekend off, and what a weekend it was. My aunt, uncle, cousin, other cousin and her husband then planned a weekend at my 2nd home, KRUGER. We stayed for two nights in the family cottage at Berg n Dal from the 10th of November to the 13th of November.

It was an amazing weekend, one in which I really relaxed and calmed my mind. The sightings were brilliant too. Here is our first sighting, just a little hint of what is to come. I really couldnt believe it, WHAT A START!!! Enjoy:

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Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:38 pm 
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Location: Port Elizabeth
Day 1, 10 Nov 2006:

We left Middelburg in the morning and wanted to arrive in Kruger in the early afternoon. As we got closer I could feel that magic feeling sweeping over me, the magic feeling so many people have tried to describe. My go at it is close to the feeling when you take a deep breath in and then let it out, that aaaah feeling :lol: We were slightly delayed in Malelane due to us having to stop and purchase a bottle of Peppermint lequer, for our famous "Springbokkie" shooters. SA was playing Ireland that weekend, so we HAD to be patriotic!!! :lol:

We eventually got to the bridge leading into the park at the Malelane gate and were greeted by quite a traffic jam. As we got there, we could see what everybody was looking at, the ellies. It was such an amazing welcome to such a beautiful place on earth. People were literally sitting on the bridge in deck chairs just soaking in the magnificent view. We also have the tradition of betting on the first sighting, and I managed to win, what a treat. Here is another photo of our first sight. As you can see, there were ellies on both sides of the river, some really close to the cottages.
Image
Also from the bridge, we managed to see this croc in the river. If you look close on the blown up image to the bottom right, you can even see the fish in the river.
Image
Another sight from the bridge was these two waterbuck:
Image

That was such an amazing start, 3 major ticks and we hadnt even gone through the gate yet!!!

We then entered the gate, had the traditional toilet stop, looked at the sightings board (Which didnt have nearly enough pins :cry: ) and then entered heaven!!! We drove slowly along and headed straight for Berg n Dal. On the road we managed to spot Impala, Kudu, and a lone Rhino (which was too deep in the bush to take a photo).

We went to reception at Berg n Dal, and got a bit lost cause they were renevating the normal office. We eventually followed the signs (if only we had done that first :redface: ) and found the check in counter. While the others checked in, i took a stroll down to the river, and was greeted by Hippo and a Bushbuck ewe and calf on the opposite bank. I knew this was going to be an amazing trip. We then unpacked and settled in, well almost, the fan in our cottage squeeked terribly, but a quick visit to reception had the technical crew out, who managed to fix it quick quick, what amazing service!!! :lol:

My cousin and I then went on an afternoon trip on the S110 matjulu loop and then back home and added this buffalo to the list:
Image

It was an amazing first day, quite hot +- 37 degrees.

We got home and lit the braai and then went for a swim. We met two lovely Americans who were loving their stay and had a good chat to them. We then returned home and had our traditional pork rib starters on the braai, together with pork chops and wors. WHAT A DAY!!!

_________________
"Wealth is not measured by how much you own, but by how much you give to others!"


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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:34 am 
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Location: Port Elizabeth
Hi all,

Firstly thanks for all your kind comments. My board exam went well I think, it was really long and extremely difficult. Enough with the depressing stuff, here's day two of my trip.

Day 2, 11/11/06:


My cousin and I decided to head out early the next morning and left camp at 5:30. We headed down the S110, onto the H3, down the S121 and then onto the S114, back on the H3 and then back to camp on the S110. The only new tick was a few Giraffes. The highlight was definately a herd of Elephants that crossed the road in front of us. There was a fairly small baby in this group, but couldnt get a good photo as it was directly into the rising sun.

Once back at camp, we met up with my other cousin and her husband that had only driven through that morning. We all then left together in convoy for one excellent day of sightings.

The route was as follows: S110 to H3, stopping off for Brunch at Afsaal. Continuing on H3 onto the H4-1, stopping at Nkulu. H4-1 to H5, S108, S25, S114 then S110 and back to camp.

We were very happy to see so many baby impalas, this was a first for me, as i had only been in the park in June/July and once in January(when they were a bit bigger). The babies were extremely small and very wobbly so it was very funny to see them keeping up with mom. On this point, the closer we got to Skukuza, the less babies we saw. On closer inspection of the females it was clear that they were still pregnant. When we headed south again, the numbers of babies increased again. I was fascinated by this, as I know impalas can control the birth of the babies to coincide with favourable conditions. It was interesting to see to that the vegetation around Berg n Dal was a lot more lush than that around Skukuza area, which is probably the reason behind the babies not being born yet in the Skukuza area. Here is a foto of some of the babies, and mom:
Image

Back to the trip report:

We headed to Renosterpan, and just before the turnoff spotted a Rhino sleeping about 20m into the bush. The vegetation was incredibly thick, so was amazing that he/she was spotted (no photo due to the dense bush). We then turned off, and on the way there spotted some Zebras in the distance. We then headed to the dam and were greeted by one of my greatest ever sightings in the park. Right in the road where you park, was a Rhino just lying there sleeping with oxpeckers cleaning him off and Guineafowls scurrying around him. He had a few cuts around his face as you can see from the below image. You could clearly hear the rhino breathing in and out, and if you look carefully in the photo, you can see the depression in the sand that was made by its breath. The Rhino was very aware of what was going on and when we started the car, it got a bit twitchy, but still didnt get up and give us a hard time. This was definately a sighting to remember.
The Rhino (and buddies):
Image

We then headed back and the Zebras had now moved closer.
Image. We moved past and noticed that one had lost his tail. I will also include this photo in the bum shots post. (I have compared his posterior to the others, but it seems he is yet another new victim :lol: )
Image

We then headed up to Afsaal, and had no other major sightings. Actually it was incredibly quiet and incredibly hot. (we knew it was gonna b a scorcher that day as it was in the mid to high twenties deg C at 7:30 in the morning. When we got to Afsaal at about 10:30, it was nearing 40 degrees!!! We enjoyed a lovely full English breakfast, very tasty, filling and definately worth the price paid.

Hope you have enjoyed the first instalment of this day. There is still more to come!!! To be continued...

_________________
"Wealth is not measured by how much you own, but by how much you give to others!"


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