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 Post subject: Kruger Christmas for Skopsie and SO : 2006
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 7:45 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:44 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Limpopo
Today is our day of packing. The preperations are almost done. The batteries for the camera are on charge, the fridge is running and the car’s wheels are pumped.

We are going to have a Kruger Christmas! The booking is for Maroela tommorrow evening, Christmas Eve, and then off to Croc Bridge for two nights. I know it is not much, but boy oh boy, are we going to enjoy it! The sightings are not that important. Just to be there, hearing the sounds, seeing the bushes and grassplains, smelling the odd animal and feeling the sun on your skin...

We are planning on starting a new Kruger tradition: every morning at 11 o’clock, we will have our Renosterkoffie (Rhinocoffee). That is a Red Heart Rum and coke. At 4 in the afternoons, we will have our Malariatea, a Gin and Tonic. These drinks are not usually on our menu’s, but a tradition is something other than the ordinary.

I am planning om submitting a tripreport on a daily basis. We’ll see how it goes.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 5:00 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:44 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Limpopo
We arrived at Phalaborwagate at opening time. The staff handled the queue with friendlyness and ease. It is with mixed feelings that one see the armed guards at the gate. It is reassuring to have them there, but it is a pity that it is necesary to have them there.

We started with Buffs and Ellies, but then it was normal game untill much later, because the road between Phalaborwa and Letaba didn’t produce much more. At Letaba camp, the Letabariver had some water in it, and the waterbuck, ellies and other game on its banks were great to see.

We then turn south towards Olifants. At the N’wamanzi lookout point on the banks of the Olifantsriver, we had an experience with the Vervet monkeys. They occupied our car while we were looking at the ellies enjoying themselfs in the river. They took some of our food lying around. We didn’t want to scare them, otherwise we might end up with very unpleasant smells in our car. Eventually we got them out.

From Satara we decided to take old faithful, the S100. We saw herd upon heard of Impies. Haven’t seen so many in a long time. Apart from them, the giraffes were in abundance. We saw one lonely Rhino.

Close to Orpen, we missed the fourth member of the big 5 by a few minutes, or so it seems. Aparently a leopard took a Bluewildebeest calf, but we only got the trafficjam.

I t is wonderful to sit and write this report with the sounds of Zebra in the background. Unfortunately, I forgot the cable to transfer the pics onto the computer, and won’t be able to post them.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 6:34 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:44 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Limpopo
DAY TWO

Today was our day for cats. What a Chrismast present we got. From Maroela we took the Rabelais loop and saw a Honeybadger for a few moments, far to quick for a pic. Then it was Cheetah time. We saw mom and her four cubs lying in the road. When mom went on with her cheetah bussiness, the cubs started to play in and around the road. They nearly bumbed into the car in front of us while they were playing.

Our lion sightings for the day were on the following routes:
Sighting 1: H7
Sighting 2: H1-3
Sighting 3: H10
Sighting 4: H10, Mlondozi dam
Sighting 5: H4-2
As you can see, it was an incredable day for us. 5 Lion sightings in one day!!! Never in our lives this happend to us. At the sighting on the H10, the Bluewildebeescarcass was lying next to the road. It was only partially eaten and there were no fultures, hyenas or any other scavanger at the carcass. The lions were in very dense bush, some 20 metres away. We found it strange that nothing else was eating the carcass. Maybe, there were no scavangers in the vacinity.

Other animals we saw were rhino and reedbuck, apart from the the more common animals.

A spot of bother is the control at the gate. Some people arrived more than half an hour late, and were directed out of the park on an alternative route, without any action taken against them.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 12:22 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:44 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Limpopo
We are back at home. Here are some of the pictures from day one and two:

Here is our first buff.
Image

And a guinea fowl:
Image

This kudu looked so proud while walking along the mountain.
Image

And these parrots enjoyed the new growth on the tree.
Image

The Olifantsriver has some water in it. This is the view from the bridge:
Image


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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 12:48 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:44 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Limpopo
DAY THREE

Today is a day of less driving around and spent more time in camp to rest, but the heat got to us. At one o’clock, we measured 42 degrees Celsius in the shade.

Never the less, our day started again with lions, buffs, rhino and the more common game like impalas,

Image

kudu and zebra, as well as this magnificent waterbuck.

Image
The southern parts of the park look as if they had less rain than in the central parts. During our afternoon drive, we saw this lioness

Image

and this rhino with the slight injury. Could it be a fight with a competitor?

Image

On the way back to camp, we again missed the leopard but got the traffic. Apparently, cheetahs caught a young impala and the leopard then chased them away. We eventually ended up with no leopard sighting, and we still have to get the big five in one visit.

I didn’t post this days report while we were in the park. It seems that the network is very busy in the evenings and it takes an eternity to open the forum. And then it was the heat...

I don't know how, but I missed these pics of the mom and her cubs from day two:

Image Image


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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:29 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:44 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Limpopo
Yes DuQues, we do not complain at all. It was a great trip. In terms of sightings, maybe our best trip ever!!

DAY FOUR

Last night, we had a visitor. Well, not in camp, but an ellie with above average tusks (not Duke) came browsing a mere 3 meters from our camper. It looked impressive in the dark of night. Didn’t want to scare him off and therefore I didn’t took any photos.

We started early, because we had a long way ahead of us. This guy crossed our way but had a purpose in his stride, on his way to somewhere.

Image

We are not birders as such, but this Green Pigeon is a gem.

Image

At the Mativuhlungu turnoff we saw these two lovers, while two other males were looking on.

Image

The rest of the day was fairly quiet, although the baboons are always interesting to look at.


Image

We had a great trip, and one really feels rejuvenated after a trip like this. The sightings were much more than what we expected, but even if it was much worse, we still would have enjoyed it tremendously. We made a mistake by driving to far per day for comfort. It tires one down, especially in the heat of summer. Next time, we will definitely plan the trip better.


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