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 Post subject: Impisi08 in Kruger, May 18 - June 8 2007
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 4:53 pm 
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May 18 -19 -20, Letaba

After filling the beanbag with rice and the cooler with drinks I follow the main road (H1-6) north to Malopenyana. Lots of waterbuck and two elephants down by the river. A herd of buffalo just left Malopenyana. On the way back to Letaba I see a tsessebe and take some pictures of a lilac-breasted roller.

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I leave Letaba at six and again I follow the main road (H1-6) north. I hope to find the buffalo at Middelvlei but no luck. On the Tsendze loop I hear a lot of trumpetting and breaking of branches and stop the car. A breeding herd of elephants crosses the road and two cows make it very clear that I must not come closer. They seem to be very agitated. After this I follow the Tropic of Capricorn loop and stay for a while at Tihongonyeni. Lots of zebra and wildebeest and 5 tsessebe, but all a bit far away. I have my lunch at Mopani and late in the afternoon I go slowly back to Letaba. This time there are still some buffalo's at Malopenyana.

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Near Letaba I notice two marabou storks in a tree but it is already to dark for a picture. So this is the first place where I stop the next morning.

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Today I must go to Lower Sabie but first I go north again.

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Four ground hornbills are walking on the road. Two of them are interested in their reflections and pick at "the other bird". I am glad it is a rented car.

Then it is time to go south. Just south of Letaba there is a lion kill. I don't see the lions, very typical for this trip, because of the dense bush. The kill is not that far from the road so a perfect opportunity to have a closer look at the vultures.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:16 pm 
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Thank you Pumbaa, Bert and Katydownunder. I love to take pictures "into the sun".

May 20 -21, Lower Sabie

After a late lunch I leave Tshokwane. At the junction of the H10 with the Muntshe loop 3 cheetahs try to kill a warthog but the warthog is a fighter and escapes. On my way to Lower Sabie I see wildebeest, zebra, waterbuck, kudu, elephant and a giant kingfisher on the bridge over the Sabie river.

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The day is finished at Sunset Dam where I watch the baboons and the sunset.

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When I check in at Lower sabie I meet Jean-Jacques again for the 4th time in 7 years. What makes it so amazing that we met at 4 different places, Denali NP and Katmai NP in Alaska, Etosha NP in Namibia and now in Kruger. He gets hut 41 and I hut 42 so were also neighbours.

After some searching I find a nice spot for a picture of the sunrise.

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The S28 is my favourite road in the Lower Sabie area but today it is a bit slow, although this lark (?) posed nice for a picture.

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The rest of the morning is spent in the Crocodile Bridge area. Lots of impala, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe and warthog.

In the afternoon I start at Sunset Dam and stay with the grey heron in the hope that it will catch a fish.

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After a while I go to bridge but there are no kingfishers and there is no sign of the goliath heron so I follow the Mlondozi road for a few kilometers where I see a kill.

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On my way back to the bridge I take a picture of a giraffe with oxpeckers.

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Very happy with my picture of the lilac-breasted roller I watch the sunset from the bridge.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:26 pm 
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Thanks Restio, Arks, Bush Baptist, Mgoddard, Elsa and Zypresse.

May 22, Lower Sabie

In the morning it is cold and windy. Two spotted hyena's walk on the main road. Again I follow the S 28 to Crocodile Bridge but don't see too much besides some zebra's en wildebeest.

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In the afternoon I go back to the area where I saw the cheetahs two days ago. I don't find the cheetahs but I surprise a serval that is walking on the S 122. One look at me and it is gone. I also see my first white rhino of this trip (S 122). I go back to Lower Sabie via the main road and take pictures of a kudu and an impala.

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There are no baboons at Sunset Dam so I decide to go back to the bridge for the sunset.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:09 pm 
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Thanks again for the comments.

May 23, Lower Sabie

Another cold and windy morning.

Zypresse wrote:

Quote:
love the sunsets (I'm not allowed to photograph them anymore, SO thinks we already "got enough"... as if....)


Sorry for you Zypresse. I am always busy looking for a picture at sunrise or sunset. I found these vultures on the S 28 and took this picture before the sunrise. I was waiting for the other two to wake up but they never moved.

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I continue to Nthandanyathi and see impala, wildebeest and a longtailed magpie, yellow-billed hornbill and of course hippo and an African fish eagle at the dam.

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I go back to Sunset Dam and watch a yellowbilled stork and some hippo's.

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Most of the afternoon is also spent time at Sunset Dam. An Egyptian geese chases an intruder away.

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A hippo yawns and this time I am ready:

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On my way to the bridge I see some baboons and one is really posing for me, although it looks a bit shy:

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Another picture of the sunset from the bridge:

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 12:02 pm 
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May 24, Lower Sabie - Pretoriuskop

Today I move from Lower Sabie to Pretoriuskop. After a few kilometers I must return to Lower Sabie because I still have the key from the hut in my possession. (When I made my reservation it was not possible to reserve for the campground due to the renovation, but I noticed the campground was more than half full during my stay.)

Back on the road again I decide to go to Pretoriuskop via the S 28, the S 26, Mpondo Dam, Renosterkoppies and then the tar road to Pretoriuskop. I take my time and arrive at Pretoriuskop at half past two. During the trip I see impala, zebra, wildebeest, vervet monkey, giraffe, kudu, dwarf mongoose, elephant, baboon, common duiker, slender mongoose, buffalo, tree squirrel, waterbuck and lots of birds.

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Brownhooded kingfisher (Thanks Bush Baptist)

Although it is busy at the Pretoriuskop campground I find a nice spot for my tent. Helmeted Guineafowl search for food at the campground. After doing the Shabeni loop I see a white rhino, another white rhino and two more white rhino, all four in three kilometers or so. I cross the tar road and do the Circle road and see more duikers, warthog and kudu. I am looking for a sunset picture but the grass is too high and I go back to the main road where I find some zebra.

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When I come back at my tent, my tent is surrounded by tents and a lot of serious braai equipment. A man introduces himself as Peter and he tells me there will be around 20 people tonight, adults and children. Later a woman, Angela, tells me there will be 40 people in the weekend. (Looking back: there was not much noise, it was quiet at half past nine and both Peter and Angela invited me for a drink. The only thing that made me a bit nervous were the children playing/running around my tent and that is why I moved my tent the next day.)


Last edited by Impisi08 on Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:56 am 
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May 25, Pretoriuskop

The first stop is Shabeni for sunrise pictures.

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I continue on the S 7 and see 3 white rhino's. One was grazing close to the road. I have no time to change to another lens because the rhino's move on after the arrival of me and two other cars.

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I see another white rhino on the Doispane road, but also elephant, kudu, impala, giraffe, warthog and 3 ground hornbill . I am never sure if they are just curieus or want food when they approach you.

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Jean Jacques told me he took some great pictures at Lake Panic. The plan for this morning is to have a look. It looks much better than the last time I was here and I decide to change my reservation.

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It is no problem to change 2 nights Maroela and 1 night Satara in 3 nights Skukuza.

Back in Pretoriuskop I see a woman walking past a black flycatcher and the bird seems to have no problem with the close proximity of a human.

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In the late afternoon I see another white rhino from the H1-1 and 13 waterbuck at Shitlhave.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:34 pm 
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Thank you Anne-Marie, Bush Baptist, Zypresse, Anja and Wild about cats for your comments.

May 26, Pretoriuskop - Skukuza

I go back to Shabeni for sunrise pictures. It is cloudy today and I make some pre-sunrise pictures because I like the color in the sky.

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This morning I use my other converter to get a bigger sun.

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Hoping to see sable or hartebeest I take the Voortrekkers Road. On my way to the Voortrekkers Road I see two duikers. No sable or hartebeest today but I find some giraffe. A herd of 11 giraffe crosses the road. For some reason 9 giraffe move on but a cow and her calf feed for a while near the road.

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Then a slender mongoose on a termite hill.

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Two slender mongoose on a termite hill.

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It must be my lucky day. This tree squirrel sits on the road when I arrive but instead of disappearing in the bush it jumps on a low branch to finish breakfast.

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I have my breakfast, 2 toasted ham, at Afsaal.

When I arrive at Kwaggaspan (H 3) it is a coming and going of impala's. Some males have a fight.

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In Skukuza I go to the museum to have a look at the beautiful pictures and the funny one of the black-backed jackal nipping at the tail of a warthog. Around three o'clock I go to the Lake Panic bird hide. Hippo's in the distance and bushbuck near the hide. I take some pictures of a whitefronted bee-eater.

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When I go back to Skukuza there is a hyena jam on the H 11. The cubs are entertaining the crowd. Very content with my sightings and pictures I have a steak at the Selati restaurant.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:46 pm 
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Again, thanks for the comments. I am glad you like my pictures.

@ Anne-Catherine: yes, I made all pictures with the Canon EOS 30 D.


May 27, Skukuza

From Skukuza I go direct to the Lake Panic bird hide. I arrive before sunrise and stay till half past ten. It's a chilly morning but there is so much to see (among others: a beautiful sunrise, hippo's, bushbuck, crocodile, African darter, Malachite kingfsher, grey heron, water dikkop and jacana) that I don't feel the cold. Sometimes people arrive but they leave after ten, fifteen minutes. An impression:

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In the afternoon I go to the Renosterkoppies area. When I arrive there are baboons and impala's, but soon they leave.

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I follow the S 114 for a while but it's quiet and I return to the waterhole. When I arrive I see something at the waterhole but it is far away and I don't pay attention to it :redface: . Another car arrive and the people ask me if I know what kind of animal is at the waterhole. I have a look through my lens and see a

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When I take pictures of a yellowbilled hornbill a white rhino walk past my car to the waterhole. An interesting afternoon.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:11 pm 
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Thanks again for all the comments.

@ Bert: LMAO? :redface:

@ Mgoddard: it is just a hobby. I think I learned the most from practising, trying "new" things (like panning shots) and looking at other pictures. And you have to be out there, also in the early morning.

@ Zypresse: I am looking forward to see your "early morning pictures". In October the gate opens at 5.30 am. Wake-up call at 4.45 am? :twisted:

@ Jehoshaphat: I use the Canon Eos 30D, the 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens, the 70-200 mm f/4, the 300 mm f/4 and the 300 mm f/2.8. The latter in combination with the 1.4x and the 2x converters. All lenses are Canon lenses. And, very important, a beanbag.

May 28, Skukuza

The first stop is the Lake Panic bird hide but it is not as spectaculair as yesterday. The African darter arrives before sunrise.

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Around eight I go to the Doispane Road where I see impala, elephant, giraffe, zebra, kudu and take pictures of a pearl-spotted owlet and an African green pigeon.

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Via the S 4 I go to the S 3. On the S 3 mister elephant is walking on the road and I follow from a distance. Further down the road buffalo's take their time when crossing the road.

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From the Doispane road I see two "far away white rhino's". Back in Skukuza I have a shower. When I walk back to my tent I hear a noise and see 3 elephants feeding at the other side of the fence.

Baboons are grooming near the bridge over the Sabie river. They pay no attention to the cars or the vervet monkeys that sit on the bridge.

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I follow the Salitje road for a while but it is quiet.

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The sunset colors are beautiful but I can't "find a picture". Where are those birds when you need them? The sun is already almost below the horizon when I find this blackeyed bulbul.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:05 pm 
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Thanks Bert, Wild about cats, Anja, Toddelelfe and Aboon.

May 29, Skukuza - Satara

For the last time I go to the Lake Panic bird hide. The African darter arrives just before sunrise.

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The hippo's are far away from the hide and there is not much action going on. After a while I go to the Doispane road where I see impala, zebra and kudu.

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Somebody tells me he saw a male lion near the Phabeni gate, but that is still 20 kilometers away so I decide not to go there. On my way back to Skukuza I take pictures of a Lilac-breasted roller and see baboons and a lone buffalo.

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I get my tent at Skukuza, have a shower and drive to Satara where I arrive shortly after two. One of "my problems" at Satara is "where to go?". There are so many nice roads in this area. This afternoon I do the Sweni drive (S 126), but only to Welverdiend. Lots of impala at the waterhole. I drive slowly back and see 17 elephants in different small herds, giraffe, zebra and take a picture of a speckled mousebird.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:56 pm 
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Thanks Jose, Pumbaa and Kathy.

May 30, Satara

I arrive at the gate just before six and there is already a long line of cars. Most of the cars turn right on the H 1-4 (to the S 100?). I follow the same road north.

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Besides the Lilac-breasted roller, two reedbuck, elephant and two slender mongoose I see impala, zebra, warthog, but also a secretary bird and two kori bustards.

It's a bit disappointing on the S 91 and S 92. Only a few impala's and wildebeest.

I have my lunch at Olifants and stay there till half past two. I drive slowly back to Satara and stay too long with a herd of elephants and kudu. No time to stop for a white rhino. It's 5.28 when I enter Satara.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 6:46 pm 
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May 31, Satara

In the morning I follow the H 1-4 for about 15 kilometers before I turn around and go to the S 100. Via the S 100 and the Gudzani road I go to the Sweni hide. It's already noon when I come back in Satara. It was a great morning:

6.29 (H 1-4)

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6.58 (H 1-4)

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7.14 (H 1-4)

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8.11 (S 100)

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8.24 (S 100)

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8.31 (S 100)

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8.47 (S 100)

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10.00 (Near Sweni hide)

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11.05 (H 6)

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After the lunch I do some "scouting" for a picture I want to make tomorrow morning. In the afternoon I follow the S 100 for a while. Lots of impala, some wildebeest, elephant, zebra, giraffe, warthog and waterbuck.

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For the sunset I go to the H 1-4.

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The end of a very nice day.


Last edited by Impisi08 on Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 6:38 pm 
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Thanks again for the comments Bert, Aboon and Anne-Marie.

June 1 (morning), Satara

Yesterday morning, when the gate opened, I counted 21 cars leaving Satara. That gave me an idea for a picture. So, this morning I take two pictures with a 30 second exposure when the gate opens.

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This morning it is cloudy and there is "no" sunrise. After a while it starts raining a bit. Only some wildebeest on the S 90, but two white rhino's, an elephant, a buffalo and steenbok on the S 41.

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When I cross the Mavumbye I notice a black crake and a threebanded plover.

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The S 100 is unusual quiet with animals and cars. Three little bee-eaters come and go.

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A herd of buffalo crosses the road on their way to the river.

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It is only ten o'clock so I decide to go to Nsemani. Three wildebeest and two warthog are drinking and two waterbuck are sparring.

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Last edited by Impisi08 on Fri Jun 29, 2007 4:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:23 pm 
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June 1 (afternoon - part I), Satara

I have a full belly, the car is clean and the sun is back. Time to go out again. Just before Ngotso I am watching 4 giraffe when somebody tells me there's a leopard at the Nyamarhi waterhole. I arrive a minute too late. I turn around and take my time to go back to Satara. An elephant is feeding next to the road. It doesn't pay much attention to me when I stop so I turn the engine off and take some pictures.

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The elephant turns his back at me ....

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and I continue south on the H 1-4.

Another elephant is walking on the road. It's the elephant I call Floppy, because of his ears. I have seen him a few times before and he's always walking with his trunk over one of his tusks. Floppy walks to another elephant and stops a few meters in front of the other pachyderm. For a moment they look at each other and then Floppy hops forward like a puppy, I can't describe it in another way, and they start a greeting ritual. "Springtime in winter, Christmas in June" (thanks Babyface) for the photographer.

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Last edited by Impisi08 on Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:58 pm 
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Thanks all for the comments.

I have changed all the pictures on page 5 to a smaller size. I hope the pictures will download faster now.

Quote:
Bush Baptist wrote:
Looks like you got a gymnogene (African harrier hawk) Impi


Johann wrote:

Quote:
Looks like a Secretarybird to me.


Yes, you're right. It is a secretary bird.

JUne 1 (afternoon - part II), Satara

After a few minutes the two elephants seperate. I think I know where Floppy is going, so I drive ahead and wait for him at a small stream next to the road. Fortunately my guess was right. I stay with him till he is finished with drinking and moves away.

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It is time to go to camp now. On the way back I make two photo stops and I arrive just in time.

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After a tasteful dinner I watch the movie "Hyena Queen". It must be great to be so close with a hyena.


Last edited by Impisi08 on Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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