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 Post subject: EricExSA is in Kruger!! Jan '07
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:21 pm 
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Eric is in the Park!!

I have just received this sms from him:

Quote:
Cheetah far away, ellie and buff on the road!

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A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


Last edited by DinkyBird on Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:13 pm 
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Another sms just received from Eric:

Quote:
Back at camp. Very few animals but still had a good time.

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A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:35 am 
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3 short nights and 4 long days at Letaba.
For me it seemed like one long day of action.
We had the time of our lives but some very frustrating times as well.
The game was defiantly down south so our days were long. We got up every day at 4.45am had coffee and was at the gate by 4.15am
As I said it was such a time warp for me so I will do my best to give a report soon.
Thanks again to DB for posting my messages.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:38 pm 
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Our plan was to wake up really early on the 2nd Jan and get to the gate at open time. As we sat around my Moms house on the 1st just waiting for time to go past, I could not take it any more. So I phoned Nelspruit and booked a hotel for the night of the 1st Jan. We packed the car and left at around 2pm. Had a good night in Nelspruit. Up early and left for Phabeni Gate. Arrived at gate at 5am and much to our surprise we were the 6th car in line. By the time the gate has to open there were about another 10 cars behind us. One small form to fill in and we were on our way.
ImageImageImage
@ mods I hope my pics are not to big. Please let me know if they are.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 11:29 pm 
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We made our way from Phabeni Gate to Skukuza and then the H1-2 to Tshokwane. After a short distance our first sighting was Impala and as it was my son’s first visit we stopped for a look-see. I must say I too enjoyed seeing these animals. After a short rest at Tshokwane we made our way up to Satara along the H1-3. We had breakfast there and then took the H1-4 to Olifants. The river was quite full and flowing fast, what a view.
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Traveled the H1-5 to Letaba and checked in at around 3pm. (Hut G87) It was a long drive and very hot. We had many sightings of the regular animals and a great view of elephant on the road.
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Not wanting to waste time we dumped our bags down and went to the fence and took in the spectacular view of the Letaba river.
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I was deadbeat but my son wanted to go for a drive before the gates closed, so not being able to say no and really wanting to go myself, we ventured around the S131 for a bit. The highlight of the day was the wild dog sighting on the S1. A few cars stopped to have a look but soon drove off. I don’t think they realized what a rare sighting this was.

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Last edited by EricExSA on Sat Jan 13, 2007 8:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 2:37 pm 
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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 5:55 pm 
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The Olifants River was flowing fast and the sound of the water was great.
The sighting of the Wild Dog was the best I have had in my life. There were 4 of them and they defiantly looked to be quite young. They were actually to close to the car to get pics as I did not want to stick my head out the window.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 5:59 pm 
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Eric, I have read that wild dog are quite curious about humans but not aggressive,ofcourse I would not suggest sticking one's face in their's :lol: , no dog likes that :shock: ...seeing them so close, eish :mrgreen:


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 2:28 pm 
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The remainder of my short visit seemed to be a race against the clock.
At the gate by 4.15am with second coffee in hand and traveled down to Satara on the H1-4. We would then spend our day around that area traveling the S100, H6 and S40 area. In late afternoon we would make our way back to Letaba. We did see a fair amount of game but not the best sightings.
Lion – 3 occasions.
Cheetah – 1 occasion.
Leopard – 1 occasion.
Hyaena - 1 occasion.
Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo, Kudu- many occasions.
And all the other common animals seemed to be plentiful.
All in all we had a really good trip and enjoyed just being in the KNP. The highlight for me was to watch my son’s expressions as he saw the different animals for the first time.
On the last day we again traveled to Satara and left via Phabeni Gate and the on to JHB.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:34 pm 
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Quote:
Hehe , a condensed version there ,
Glas you guys saw so much , it is not nice if you come so far to have a quiet trip .

I thought I was very organized for my KNP trip until I got there. I think my overexcitement of being there did not allow me to focus on all the aspects of the park. I tried to do everything (family traditions) as I have always done in the past. My pick of camps was not the best as all the game seemed to be down south and so I found myself racing against the clock just to get to a good sighting area. Our top animal sightings were not good at all except for the wild dog. It may seem like I am complaining but I am not. I know better for next time.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:30 pm 
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EricExSA wrote:
I thought I was very organized for my KNP trip until I got there. I think my overexcitement of being there did not allow me to focus on all the aspects of the park. I tried to do everything (family traditions) as I have always done in the past. My pick of camps was not the best as all the game seemed to be down south and so I found myself racing against the clock just to get to a good sighting area. Our top animal sightings were not good at all except for the wild dog. It may seem like I am complaining but I am not. I know better for next time.


In my (not humble) opinion you do, you're complaining and show some disappointment. That's really so sad. You did a looong trip, so did few others. To really well organize such a trip, it is something special, it needs a lot of things to be considered.

But, unfortunately you cannot plan sightings, it's simple like that. Just imagine to sit under a tree in the shadow, for a long time and as long sun movement allows you (what I did). You see nothing and leave, deeply disappointed. Next moment, next driver stops at same place and there they are: Hords of lions, a fine bloody kill, cheetah, leopard mom plus cub in the tree ... You'll never know that. As you left in disbelief and disappointment.

Sightings cannot be planned. Enjoy what you "see", there's so much!! and if it's only the sound of your environment, the smell, it's that great, impossible to describe. Nobody can grant sightings. If you need granted sightings, well: there always is a zoo somewhere.

8)

You're from Canada, a place I "know" a bit. Usually, coming back every year, I use to visit the "hidden" national parks w/o millions of tourists: I did not see any Grizzly or Black Bear more or less than in crowded places like Banff, f.e.

Just after leaving back home, my email account usually is full of messages of friends telling me what they just saw (after I left) in (as an example) Algonquin Park: Hundreds of Black Bear, I did not see a single one. I walked for hours, canoed for days: No sighting. But the environment itself is so thrilling, wonderful, calling me to come back - didn't you have anything like that during your trip?


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:21 am 
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@ christelsabine, You are 100% correct. I did enjoy the trip and all the things that go with being in the KNP. I know you can not plan sightings. The thing that disapointed me the most was that I did not take enough time to enjoy all the little things. After being away from the park for so long I learnt a lot on this trip and next time I plan to stop and smell the roses.No trip to the KNP is a waste of time.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:57 pm 
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Eric, I can understand where you're coming from. You hadn't been to the park for many years, you wanted to show your son the perfect trip on his first time to re-live your experiences and you probably put too much pressure on yourself to achieve that. And here's the thing - you did just that. At the end of the day, what you will remember is the good sightings you DID have and there were plenty, the amazing bonding time you had with your son and some fantastic images in your mind of the camps, picnic spots, waterholes, etc that you visited. That's what this trip was about. And that's why you'll keep coming back for more and so will your son, maybe not as regularly as you like, but those memories will keep you going until the next time, as will the planning you will do in the meantime. And the next trip might be about the lion kill by the side of the road or it might just be about the lingering smell of the veld, but either way you will again be longing for something more, because that is the limitless possibilities and magic of Kruger.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:19 am 
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Some short clips from trip
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhGEzQhaRXo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cw-BkhUVWmY

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