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 Post subject: Dreamers Triple Trip : Kruger, Addo, Tsitsikamma - Dec '07
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 4:16 am 
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Location: Cape Town
:dance: :dance: :dance:
Todays the day!!
Looking forward to a wonderful trip and reporting around mid Jan
Good Wishes to all for a fantastic 2007


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 6:12 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal, SA
Message in from Dreamer:

"Kruger is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!! Tambotie we loved, now Satara - No. 161 bugalow absolutely magice. Seen all but no leopard, cheetah nor lion as yet. Storms - wet, wet wet and more!"

I spoke to Dreamer to wish her for New Year last night and they are now heading on down to Lower Sabie so we will have to hold thumbs that the cats play ball down there for them! Hope they have a wonderful stay at LS and Biyamiti and we look forward to all the news on their return!

_________________
NO BAIL - JAIL AND NO TRADE IN RHINO HORN EVER!
NO TO BUILDING OF HOTELS IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
26.09.14 - 03.10.14 Burchells Bush Lodge
03.10.14 - 10.10.14 Ngwenya Lodge
The addiction is fed once again


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:28 am 
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Location: Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal, SA
Message just in from Dreamer - It has stopped raining cats and dogs but sadly they have seen neither cats nor dogs either! She will phone me today before she leaves the Park to give a ginal report before the next stage of their trip!

_________________
NO BAIL - JAIL AND NO TRADE IN RHINO HORN EVER!
NO TO BUILDING OF HOTELS IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
26.09.14 - 03.10.14 Burchells Bush Lodge
03.10.14 - 10.10.14 Ngwenya Lodge
The addiction is fed once again


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:06 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 1:29 pm
Posts: 872
Location: Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal, SA
Just spoken to Dreamer - they left the Park at lunchtime and were driving through to Johannesburg to spend the night before flying back to Cape Town tomorrow. They finally found their cats - lion and leopard and methinks Kruger has won them over just as we were won over by our first visit to KTP. I am sure they will be back.

_________________
NO BAIL - JAIL AND NO TRADE IN RHINO HORN EVER!
NO TO BUILDING OF HOTELS IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
26.09.14 - 03.10.14 Burchells Bush Lodge
03.10.14 - 10.10.14 Ngwenya Lodge
The addiction is fed once again


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 11:10 am 
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A quick entry to say back from a wonderful trip 'first' trip to the Kruger and to say it definately won't be the last! We saw plenty of game but sadly, very very few cats :cry: We spent ages enjoying the beauty of the park and the contasts of the vegetation and surroundings but somehow failed to come across all the cat sightings I read about on the forum. Do you think the reason is to make sure we re visit... sooner than later :hmz: Will elaborate in 2 weeks time with report and pics on our return from Addo and Tsitsikamma. Panicking as I have just one afternoon to get sorted, all the neccessary chores done and packed to leave by 7am tomorrow am.
P.S. Something else that we did not have a single sighting of was a Yellow Ribbon!!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 6:33 pm 
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:shock: :redface: :shock: :redface: At last!!
Has been a bit of a shock to my system not having been part of the forum for such a long while, but no doubt after a couple of postings I will be feeling a lot better.

We arrived at Orpen , a hot 37˚. To be honest I did not care what the temperature was, I was just too excited to be in Kruger for my first time to be bothered with a bit if heat!
Tamboti was our first stop for 2 nights and it sure did live up to my expectations from what I had read. I tried for THE no 40 a couple of weeks before we arrived but it was already booked. We were allocated no 33 and were perfectly happy. Image

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Trees provided us with plenty of much needed shade and we had a wonderful view of the dry riverbed.
Our first sightings on entering the park were Impala, Warthog and babies (every animal we saw had babies!!) Vervet Monkeys entertained us while we enjoyed sundowners on our deck. Nightsounds were absolutely amazing. Heard lions roaring in the night and awoke early at 4.30am to hear the birds. It was only then that my husband realized I was serious, very serious, about spending every minute possible out in the park!!
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We left camp around 5am and headed off on the S39 to Olifants. The gravel road was in perfect condition. What did surprise us was the lack of cars. I was under the impression that there was always plenty of traffic and can truly say that that is not what we experienced. We saw no more than 2 cars on that stretch. The scenery was beautiful. So green and lush, nothing like I had visualized. Here we spotted our first of many Ellies as well as plenty giraffe and buck.
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This young Ellie had an Itchy Ear
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A couple of close ups which I'm sure you will be able to identify without help!!
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Back in a sec, quickly popping out to drop teenagers off at the gym!!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:53 pm 
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Just realised that i had not dated this report. Our first night at Tamboti was 29 Dec.
A couple of pics of pretty flowers and vegetation. The first one is a sickle bush tree flower. The second one.. could it be a wild hibiscus and the others I don't know :redface:

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These may look quite ordinary one their own but seeing them all together along the road was quite beautiful.

We made one huge mistake!! Not having constantly hungry teenagers with us and understanding that there were plently of places to stop, I did not pack in much more than a flask of ice water and 2 apples. We were also in no hurry and took our time, stopped often and enjoyed every moment, taking in all the beauty surrounding us. By the time we arrived at Olifants we were more than ravenous. Immediately ordered a burger and then proceded to enjoy the surroundings. Wow, Olifants views are awesome. I had read about its beauty but one does have to be there to really understand just how beautiful it is.
Our burgers arrived and to this day we still are not sure if it was because we were so ravenous or if the burgers were honestly the BEST we have EVER eaten!! So, for me , Olifants was.. Heaven on Earth!!
The next paragraph is painful for me to type, but I will do so quickly and then forget about it! To cut a very long story short… I deleted at least 50 photos so have no record of Olifants and its surroundings.
Spotted Hippos and Buffalo cooling off in the river as we crossed Olifants Bridge. Spent a long while watching a hyaena at her lair. To us she looked like she was in huge pain. She kept sweeping sand over her rather large stomach while raising and lowering her head constantly. Could she have been in labour??
Further along some lovely Kudu as well as 2 sleeping lions. They certainly were fast asleep and were not going to give anyone a better show so we moved on.
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Heading back to camp it was pretty obviously that a huge storm was brewing and we I was going to experience thunder and lightening like never before!
It was too wet to braai so leftovers (no teenagers around to finish off whatever is left) is what was on the menu for that night.
Unfortunately we had neighbours who thought they were the only folk around, played a game with dice which lasted forever!!! We also enjoy games, but definitely not banging dice when one can be listening to nature and nightsounds. We could here the banging of the dice above the storm.
We were not going to let it get the better of us, enjoyed our Pierre Jourdan Brut and had an early night. SO thought it would be wise knowing that an early 4.30am was on my agenda!!
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More to follow tomorrow, or later tonight if I can get away with it :lol: Tomorrows itinary is yet another one that Penny had so kindly worked out for us. It is such a huge benefit being able to get so much help and advise from forum members. Thanks so much for all the advise received up till now :clap:


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 Post subject: 31 Dec: Tamboti - Satara
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 6:02 pm 
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Ready to leave around 5am. Rain, rain and more rain !! We traveled the S 140, once again extremely pretty and no other cars to be seen. Very quiet game wise but lots of interesting little things. Frogs making the most amazing eerie resonating sounds, plenty of centipedes and dung beetles in the road. On to the S45, also very quiet as well as the S36 !! Where do all the animals go when it rains or better still, where did they all go while we were out there waiting for them to show themselves?
Saw a couple of Waterbuck, some Ground Hornbills, Giraffe, Marabou Storks, Tree Squirrels, Zebra, Hippo, Fish eagles and Terrapins.
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We booked in at Satara, No 161 Bungalow. Will definitely request that one again but also will need to put in an extra special request for no rain :x It rained so hard that we were unable to enjoy sitting outside our bungalow. This was a big disappointment as we could just imagine how beautiful it could have been.
We could not braai and when we enquired about eating at the restaurant they advised we were too late :evil: they were closing early so they could also have a New Years Party.
It was difficult to prepare anything in our kitchen area due to rain so we settled for a very quiet New Years Eve. Slap up ‘dinner’ fried egg on bread, some Pierre Jourdan Brut and off to bed!! As you can see, 31 Dec was an extremely quiet day and night!! Oh boy, I don't enjoy to be grumpy and unhappy but also I can't pretend that I was happy :(
We did not hear a tree fall over on to our roof during the night :shock:
We left 5.30 am the next morning and headed towards Lower Sabie along the S100, disappointingly, in the rain again!!

Image View from no 161
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 Post subject: 1 Jan / Day 4 Satara to Lower Sabie
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:00 pm 
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Do not need to bore you all, however I have to report exactly as it was… left Satara at 5.30am for Lower Sabie in the rain. It had eased off a bit and we were pleased to see a bit of blue skies here and there. Took the S100 and saw:
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Around 7.45 along the S41 we were lucky to see these 2 male lion. They crossed the road in front of us, marked their territory and proceeded to move on out of sight. Can’t tell you how happy we were to finally have a good sighting of lion. Luck had to change for us.
Saw many giraffe along this road which was showing plenty signs of green regrowth from fires. This road was also a lot more corrugated than other gravel roads we had traveled. Popped in for a look at the Nwanetsi Picnic spot. Beautiful spot to have a breakfast but for us it was another one that we said…. next time.
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Oops, having one of those moments :redface:
Is the following picnic spot Nwanetsi :?: I know I'm meant to be providing the info but, sorry, I do not remember. My SO is not hear to confirm so will still post the pic. It was yet again, a beautiful spot.
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Image We saw quite a few of these beautiful coloured lizards.

Part 2 of this day will follow shortly, need to do the teenagers lifts.. back soon :D


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 Post subject: Continuation Day 4 Satara - L.S 1 Jan
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:31 pm 
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Joined up with the H1-3, plenty general game to be seen.
The Mazithi Dam was full. We were told by folk passing that 2 days prior, the dam was bone dry. This was not surprising to us with all the rain we experienced.
We did the S35,S32, Orpen Dam Loop. The rain had stopped as we arrived at Tshokwane Picnic Spot for lunch. Proceded back along the H10.
Saw Hyaena with 3 pups at lair. Spend some time watching before we moved along as more cars were arriving. I must say that we were pleasantly surprised at how courteous drivers were at this sighting.
Then our second lion sighting , 3 lion but not close enough for any pics.
We traveled along S128 on to the S29 and about 5km south of L.S spotted 2 lionesses and 2 cubs about 100m off the road. We really wanted to see more of them so stayed for some time while enjoying a coffee break. They eventually got up but only to move further away.
Lots more giraffe and warthog. Here we saw a giraffe with such unusually dark brown markings. Unfortunately the light was bad as it was beginning to rain, so no clear pic.

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Arrived at Lower Sabie. What a beautiful river. Does it always flow as strongly as shown in this pic?
Booked in to No 96, lovely situation right at the end, one with no kitchen or utensils (Also no towels but that was promptly sorted out) We were aware of this unit been unequipped but it did throw a curved ball as it was pouring…. again.. so we could not braai. (I promise not to mention rain again)
We treated ourselves to a lovely buffet dinner at the restaurant. Superb service!!! To stand on the wooden desk outside and see and hear the crocs and hippos was awesome.
Watched hippo right up at the fence outside our unit as well as a hyaena who was on his evening round.
A couple of these pics are kind of ‘arb’ as my children (referred to as ‘the teenagers’) would say. If any of the readers have not been to Kruger before they will at least get a slight idea of what the shops etc look like.
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 7:57 am 
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Day 5 L.S to Biyamiti 2 Jan

Left for Biyamiti, yet again SO excited to be exploring a little more of Kruger and because we had heard so much about this camp.
Stopped at Nkulu Picnic spot for breakfast. These monkeys thought we had bought breakfast for them. Darn cheeky they are, stole my toast from right in front of me!!

Plenty of baboons with babies in the road.

Had a couple of different sighting of beautiful Kudu along the H30.
More Ellies along the H128. We had magnificent sighting of Ellies throughout our trip.
Plenty more Warthogs with babes but did struggle to get good pics. They dash around so quickly!

Mlondozi picnic spot packed with folk enjoying brekkie. We think that guests having the opportunity to hire skottles at these spots is a brilliant idea.
Then we saw our one and only Black Backed Jackal in KNP!
Our entire route to Biyamiti from L.S was along H4-2,H5, S108, S25, S139 to camp.

Image This one is for you Skillie :lol:

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Thoroughly enjoyed this drive which ended with us booking into No 3. For us, absolutely perfect. Could not have chosen better ! Lovely view of the dry river bed. Amazing that with all the rain we had that this bed was still dry.
Think I read somewhere else in another report that the Timbavati was flowing on 2 Jan. We left there on the 31 Dec. Perhaps the same would have happened here at Biyamiti.

Sorry, but I need to repeat myself here - Biyamiti is just AWESOME. The accommodation is the best, views, birdbaths in front of chalets, we did not want to leave the camp to go for an evening drive, but we also did not want to miss out on precious time in driving along these lovely gravel roads!! Stressful having to make decisions while on holiday!
This large, well equipped, luxury accommodation was cheaper than Lower Sabie which was un-equipped and also old and tatty. I do understand that they will be renovating L.S, but can’t work out why or how Biyamiti could possibly be so much cheaper. So many great finishing touches right down to the loo paper been neatly sealed with a San Parks sticker. In reception they had lovely colour fold out pamphlets of ALL the camps in Kruger. Somehow they manage to provide all the extras at less cost. Perhaps they have a very clever manager who knows how to budget well ! (Think I should hire them to assist me with mine so I can fit in more holidays per year!!) We have not seen any of the other bush camps, but the attention to detail in this camp was great so not surprising that they s received Best Bush Camp award for 5 years. Well done to them all.
The sunset drives were however a lot more than the other camps. R 155 per person is what we paid but it was so well worth it.
Image View from No 3
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Image View from Biyamiti Hide

All for now, back shortly to fill you in on our sunset drive :)


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 Post subject: Sunset Drive Biyamiti: 2 Jan
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:35 pm 
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We left on the sunset drive just after 5pm and returned at 9pm. Think our guide, Gerry would have kept us out all night if he could have. He was great and appeared to be enjoying himself as much as we were.
On the ride we saw, Ellies, Giraffe and babies,Kudu, Wildebeest, Buffalo,Duiker,Impala and babies a total of 6 White Rhino at 3 different sightings, 2 Hippo crossing road in front of us, Bush Baby (a first for us), Spotted Eagle Owl, Small Spotted Genet(a first for us), White tailed Mongoose (another first for us).
Came back from drive and enjoyed a very relaxing, beautiful evening, outside at the braai. We felt we could have stayed up all night but tiredness got the better of us :( Next time I will take along some ‘energy drinks’. I will not however mise by taking less of my favourite ‘bubbles’ :lol: Summer time in the camps it’s ‘bubbles’ and winter ‘OB’s

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Image Let me ask this politely "is the white 'foam' on the edge of the bank, Rhino mucous ?" Must say we saw this elsewere around Biyamiti but did not spot the rhino then :?:
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Image This Ellie was thoroughly enjoying a bath
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 Post subject: Day 6 : Biyamiti 3 Jan
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 7:09 pm 
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Left a little later, 6am this time and leaded towards Croc Bridge.
More beautiful rhino walking in the road. Also a lone hyaena on a mission along the road but no pics to show. Cute dwarf mongoose, Fisheagles and plenty more general game.
Stopped for breakfast (burger) and to do a bit of shopping at Croc Bridge. Can highly recommend the biltong we purchased. Did not spend too much time here as SO felt we couldn’t keep hearing about Skukuza and not see for ourselves what it was like
Something that was obviously absent to us was the sightings of snakes and owls. We saw a small mole snake and that was it!
Purchased lunch at Skukuza which took about as long as it does for me to do a monthly shop!!
On return along the H-11 came across a HUGE traffic jam . The cause was a leopard just off the edge of a rivine about 30m from road.
We were using the binocs to get a quick look before moving along as there was no point in sticking around with all the cars. Next thing, road rage which we termed Kruger rage!!
Between us and the car alongside us stormed a man dressed in long white robe. I thought I was dreaming!!! The verbal abuse between him and the car alongside is not worth repeating and was not worth sticking around to hear more! There was a dangerous animal 30 m away and a man out of his car which was about 8 cars away from him. Leaves me speechless! Other than this sighting this day had been our quietest yet!
Made our way back to enjoy the peacefulness of Biyamiti.
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Day 7: Biyamiti to exit park at Numbi
Clear skies and we were packing to leave. I suppose all good things to come to an end. Nevermind, we will be back, sometime.
Saw another 2 Rhino in the road, plenty warthog, impala and kudu.
On the S28 we saw the largest herd of buffalo ever. Hundreds and hundreds, must have been more than 300 at a guess. Fabulous sighting, plenty of babes as well.
Stopped at the beautiful hide at Ntandaythi, plenty of hippos close up. Our comments of this hide, yet again, was “next time we need more time here” I’m sure we are not the only folk to pass that comment.
Monitors confuse me. Rock monitors, water monitors. I know the rock monitor has a bulbous nose and the water monitor an elongated head but when not seeing them together all I see is a huge lizard! Saw these on quite a few occasions.
Stopped at Lower Sabie for breakfast while watching and listening to the crocs and hippos. A real balmy morning , even looked if it might rain again.
Spotted 3 sleeping male lion along the H4-1 and they were going to be doing just that for a while and we HAD to leave.
Made our way to exit via Numbi Gate. Although sightings we nil along this stretch we were pleased to have chosen that route as it was just so different from what we had seen in the park. Beautiful sweeping views over the lowveld.
Things brings an end to our Kruger report and shortly will continue with one on Addo and Tsitsikamma.

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 Post subject: Addo 8 - 11 Jan
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 1:48 pm 
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We arrived home from Kruger the evening of 5 Jan, collected our daughter from the airport on the 6th, packed a couple of extra necessaries in the caravan and headed off to collect our son from Carmel in George. Happy to be all together after ell having had separate holidays we headed for a one night stopover at Tsitsimamma National Park. Guys, if you have never been to Tsitsikamma, do yourselves a favour, plan a trip!! You won’t be sorry and you’ll see why when I report on TNP after this Addo report as we returned for another 3 nights.
We had to do a slight bit of backtracking on the Sunday am as our 17 year old son was insistent on an adrenalin rush.. Bloukrans, Worlds Highest Bungy Jump!! I am writing this report which shows I survived as well :shock:

We caravanned at the Addo Main Camp. The camp is well laid out, plenty of trees and the ground on your site is covered with gravel stones. Great idea, not sandy and also obviously not muddy when wet. ‘Pub’ style wooden table with attached benches are available for those who don’t have their own outdoor. These are not fixed so you can move them into a position that suites you. This camp is so neat and clean and well maintained. This was so good to see especially seeing that it had been peak season and they are always fully booked.
It was hot hot hot during our entire 4 day stay and when we weren’t out on a drive we were at the pool or found other ways and means of keeping cool as you can see in the pic!!
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I have heard that people have been to the park for a day visit and left having not seen one single elephant. This is so hard to believe. We saw ellies, everyday, everywhere and each sighting was special. Baby ellies everywhere. I had seen young one before but not 2 day old babies. I have hundreds of photos and choosing the best is just too difficult. I will just post a few and as time goes by and can always add if there is a specific interest in the Addo thread.
Saw plenty buffalo, kudu, warthogs, hyaena, hartebeest and zebras. Did not spot the rhino, lion nor the meerkats and that was not for lack of trying. The assistant manning the entrance gate into the park just grinned and shook his head each time I passed him going in search of these. One day the gate was closed and he opened and closed it each time we went through. Asked him why he did this and he replied he was scared of ‘Mr Simba’ I got pretty excited thinking that he was in the region but he said that was 2 weeks ago!!

I am posting a couple of pics of the underground hide and the walkway leading up to it so you can get an idea of the level of it. I personally wished the hide was ‘slightly’ more raised. The water is there but you cannot see it. I kept feeling I wanted to stand up so I could actually see the animals drinking the water. That would not have worked because you would then be looking into the wood above the ‘window’ opening ! Either that or wished that the little hill right in front of the hide could be flatted by just 1metre!!
We had a wonderful time here one night, for more than an hour we watched an Ellie who had a babe with her, chase buffalo away from the waterhole. This was so interesting to watch as it looked to us as if she was teaching her young a lesson in how to deal with the buffs!
We had amazing sightings of hyaena. I am not too sure by size of this hyaena if she had given birth or was about to give birth any day. By the size of here ‘boobs’ my guess would be that she had already had the cubs. (I have just discovered that the young are cubs and not pups as I always thought :redface: )

Image Afternoon stroll
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Image1,2,3, all together now...
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To follow next.... A sequence of pics of the youngest baby ellie which we were told was 2 days old falling into the water and the commotion that followed!!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 4:46 pm 
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While sitting at Hapoor waterhole watching herds of Ellies coming and going we saw this herd come with the tiniest babe we had seen. It was extremely fascinating to watch how protective the rest of the herd was towards the babies.
The babe came close alongside mum while she was drinking when suddenly she slipped and fell in to the water. A huge commotion followed and it got more complicated when a herd of buffalo suddenly appeared.
Image Approaching waterhole to drink
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Image Babe slipped under mum
ImageTrying hard to get up but still slipping
Image Oops.. too late
ImageThis is what followed as buffalo arrived to cool off
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ImageEllies chasing buffalo
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Image Family help
Image Safe and sound !!


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