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 Post subject: Elsa, Klystron, Penny & Bob the Builder in Kruger - Sept
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:18 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 1:29 pm
Posts: 881
Location: Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal, SA
So thrilled that we are off to our beloved Kruger National Park for the second time this year. We had 2 magic weeks in January and now have another 2 weeks together with Ranger Boy (only for the first 8 days) and Elsa and Klystron. Our trip starts in Ngwenya for a week whereafter we repair to Thornybush for 2 days of luxury before going back to first Shimuweni and then Talamati for one night each respectively and finish up with 4 more nights at Ngwenya - Heaven on Earth! We will sms our sightings through to Foxy to post on this forum! We have vast wish lists and much anticipation of special sightings. One of our top priorities is to photograph the brown hyaena that is being seen fairly regularly on Thornybush. Departure time is 6 a.m. tomorrow (Friday) and although we are somewhat like chickens with our heads cut off today with last minute catering and shopping by this time tomorrow we should be somewhere in Swaziland. By tomorrow evening with drinks in hand Durban will be long forgotten!

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NO TO BUILDING OF HOTELS IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
5.01.15 Amakhosi Safari Lodge
6.01.15 Elephant Walk Retreat
7.01.15 to 09.01.15 Satara
09.01.15 - 16.01.15 Ngwenya Lodge
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
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Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Thanks to all for the wishes,
packing all but done, just the job of sleeping tonight to still be conquered with the all the excitement and expectations that a trip to our beloved Kruger brings.
I will be thinking of you all and feel your presence.
Looking forward to a meet with Prings, Perks, Jose, Freda, Skillie and Richardt and possibly Richard Harris. :D
Take care and I will "see" you all in 2 weeks, with some hopefully wonderful tales and pics to share.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 8:58 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:26 am
Posts: 673
Location: Hunter Valley, Australia
I received this SMS from Elsa

"Hi, we are currently sitting in one hell of a queue outside croc bridge gate, waiting to get in. Long weekend and school holidays make for chaos here. Went in yesterday and believe it or not but got to see Duke, much closer than when I saw him in June. Very hot, temp 40.7 maximun"

Duke :clap: :dance: :mrgreen: Some people have all the luck.

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Her Highness Jockelina


Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 3:27 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:20 pm
Posts: 2659
Location: 4 hours from KNP : South Africa
News from these happy travellers received on Sunday very early but send on Saturday is:

Quote:
Saw Duke this morning plus hundreds of buffalo and 5 rhino. No cats yet but it was 40.7 at 2p.m. today
[/quote]


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:35 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:20 pm
Posts: 2659
Location: 4 hours from KNP : South Africa
News received from Penny & Elsa at 17h45 this evening

Quote:
Yesterday we had twelve lions in front of the timeshare (Ngwenya) plus buffalo and over 30 elephants. Went into the park today and had our first bit of rain much cooler and have not take our jerseys off today. Got the big five today, leopard on S28 trying to hunt impala. Hopefully the weather will clear tomorrow. Take care and hugs to everyone


Look forward to the next report.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:07 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:20 pm
Posts: 2659
Location: 4 hours from KNP : South Africa
News just received from our happy and lucky travellers

Quote:
Cheetah mum with four cubs and seven magnificent lion this morning, so close we could have touched them, but very cold on drive this morning. Sitting on the deck with vodka and lime, this is the life.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 2:59 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:20 pm
Posts: 2659
Location: 4 hours from KNP : South Africa
Spoke to Elsa and Penny midmorning - they having a wonderful time with amazing sightings. Had met up with Richprins somewhere up north who had forgotten his YR so they cut off some of their ribbon for him. Also met a couple of other forumites. KNP is becoming quieter now that school holidays are nearly over.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:44 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:20 pm
Posts: 2659
Location: 4 hours from KNP : South Africa
Latest news received late last night from Elsa and Pen

Quote:
No signal for 5 days but Thornybush was stunning. Two leopards with one of them on a kill. Lion on a warthog kill and the most precious cheetahs – 2 sightings, both with cubs. Back in the park with torrential rain but the bush so dry if was desperately needed. Talamati had no electricity for 2 days so we could not even bath. Big five again today and sun out.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:20 pm
Posts: 2659
Location: 4 hours from KNP : South Africa
Lastest news from Pen and Elsa : Message received early this morning but obviously sent last night

Quote:
African Rock python in pouring rain, then martial eagle with monitor kill and two side striped jackal plus seven rhino and thirty elephant. Today very hot and we are heading up the H10
.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:05 pm 
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Posts: 966
Location: Port Elizabeth
There is a huge Python at Biyamiti hibernating and he is in the tree hole in the tree by the hide..we used to check up on him every day! A true character of the camp. Apparently when he is active he comes into the camp through a hole in the fence and then catch prey in the camp and then he is too fat to get out again so the staff have to open up the fence a bit at his hole so he can get out :D

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Biyamiti Oct 5,6,7,8

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 4:02 pm 
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Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Hi all,
just arrived back home, always feel a bit "spaced" out for a few days after 2 weeks of bliss of in the bush. :?
We certainly had a wonderful trip with diverse weather and some most unusual sightings.
Thanks to Foxy for posting our sightings and just to confirm that it was Richard Harris that we met at Tshokwane and not Richprins.
Also Prings and SO at Nkhulu. :D
Will try and get some sort of report and pics done during the coming week.

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Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:35 am 
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Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Right here goes.
Sorry for the delay but things have been somewhat busy this last week.

Sat. 22nd Sept. Day 1.

Arrived early at Croc Bridge, BUT it seems not early enough as a long queue of cars waiting outside the gate greeted us.
I guess this is what a long weekend coupled with school holidays in Kruger is all about. :roll:
As the gates opened the cars started moving in en masse and so did a fair amount of chaos, people all out their cars running up the road trying to get into the long line which stretched way out of the office and into the car park.
After about 1 and a half hours we finally made it through the paper work and were able to enter the park and the start of our trip. :dance:

First thing that struck me was how dry and parched everything looked with very little availble grazing left for the animals. :(
No water at all in the Gezantfombi Dam or river under the bridge.

We decided to try the S28 to maybe avoid some of the heavier traffic and within a couple of kilometers, to our complete delight came across Duke and 2 askaris.


Image

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What a privelege to spend some time with the old man and he seems to be as relaxed and at ease as ever.

We carried on up to Nkhulu picnic site and our arranged meeting with prings and SO. where a good time was spent making new friends, swapping stories and generally having a good ol natter. :D before waving them goodbye as they were sadly leaving the park in a few hours.

After receiving a tip off of a good Lions sighting on the S65 we set off in that direction, but no luck. :(
We did see an Ellie having a little doze against the N'waswishaka resevoir, and it was getting hotter and hotter by the minute.
At Afsaal the temp was 40.7C on the verander and even the resident Skops Owl looked like he was also feeling the heat, with his little beak slightly ajar. :shock:
We then decided our best option was to head for our lodge and the swimming pool, so out we went.

Seen: Ellies, W Rhino, Warthogs, Giraffe, Steenboks Water Buck, Kudu, Zebra.
Twany Eagles, LBR,s Hornbills, Bataleurs, and many many more of the usual.

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Last edited by Elsa on Sat Oct 20, 2007 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:21 pm 
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Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Sunday, 23rd Sept. Day 2.

As we were quite a big group of 7 we only managed to get going a little later today, but were also thinking the initial crowd at the gate would have eased, WRONG option, :evil: this time the cars must have stretched back for more than 2 kilometers. :shock:
They did seem to be managing the crowd in a more orderly fashion this time and were only letting enough cars through the outside gate once there was enough parking space outside the office. This time it took us 2 and half hours to gain access.
H4-2
A vulture gathering.

Image

There were a small group of Lionesses lying around the Gemondwane Water Hole, unfortunately not close enough for a clear pic.

Onwards to Lower Sabie via the S82
Never in my life have I seen the parking so full, cars were parked on every available piece of ground right up to the gate.
A quick pit stop only as the restaurant and deck area was filled to overflowing and I would not have liked to try and get anything to eat there that day. :shock:

On the bridge it was time for a grooming session.

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From there we decided to have our brunch at Mhlondozi Picnic site with the same overcrowding problems.
It was pretty difficult to get a table and enough chairs never mind find a place to put the skottle.
Still, one good thing is that it gave us more time to peruse the view.
Plenty of Hippos lolled in the water and on the banks, water buck, impala, warthogs etc plus at one stage we could see Lions under a tree in the distance, Ellies, Buffalo and W Rhino, amazingly enough 4 of the big 5 in one area. :D

The temp was rising steeply at this stage and must have been pretty close to the same as the previous day.

Nothing too spectacular on the way out except being in the park which is always great.

Monday morning saw us contentedly watching game come down to drink and browse in the Crocodile River. :D

Image
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For our afternoon drive we took the S25, S108, H5, and back on the H4-2.

All the usual animals and birds plus this lovely big herd of the commonest ones but still so lovely to watch.

Image

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Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.


Last edited by Elsa on Sat Oct 20, 2007 1:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:41 pm 
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Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Thanks all for the replies.
must say seeing Duke on our first day and first hour in the park was really something none of us would have predicted in our wildest dreams. :roll: :D

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:09 pm 
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Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Tuesday 25th Sept. Day 4.

After all the heat of the past few days this day dawned blissfully cooler and overcast with a definite hint of some rain to come.
At the gate at 6am, in at 7am, hooray!! things are improving. :D

Up the H4-2 and we see in no particular order,
Giraffe, in such numbers as I have never before seen in Kruger.
Impala, Warthogs, also very plentiful, Zebras, Common Duiker, Kudu, Baboons, Vultures, different varieties, the resident pair of F. Eagles in the dead tree next to the Sabie, seen almost every time we passed.
Some Trumpeter Hornbills flew past on a mission.
Ground Hornbills seem to be doing well as they were seen frequently. good news indeed.

We checked the rocks at Lubyelube Bridge hoping to see the Leopard that seemed to be hanging around there but not this day.
So onwards up the H4-1
The birds seemed to be enjoying the cooler weather and out in abundance.
Crested barbet, Grey Goway Bird, Coucals and these gorgeous White fronted Bee-eaters.

ImageImage
and then scuttling around in the undergrowth a lovely little Orangebreasted Bushshrike.
ImageImage
I do apologise for the quality as the bird was moving constantly
bt not flying, we do think it might have had a injury to its wing.

A little way up the road, came across a bit of a traffic jam, and found some Lions lying fairly deep the bush.
We attempted to wait for a while but when the guy in the car next to us started banging his hand on the roof and sides of his car trying to get them to do something we decided to leave. :evil:
The rain had started falling softly by the time we reached Nkhulu for our slap up breakfast but the intrepid 4 did not let this put us off and we found ourselves a nice big tree to shelter under and went right ahead. Yummy.

Carried on over the bridge and up the H1-2 finding no Elephant at the Elephant water hole but a Hyena instead. :wink:
No pic as he lay down in the long grass as I was about to take it.
Bushbuck, Steenbok. Waterbuck, Giraffe, Bataleur Eagles and Buffalo more or less completed the journey up to Tshokwane.

H10

Just after Nkumbe this handsome Kudu posed for us.
Image

And then at 12.45pm we saw our first elephants of the day!! :?
Followed by some Ostrich and this Reedbuck.

Image
and then some interesting "cottonwool" plants.
ImageImage

At Lower Sabie, the sighting board revealed that Cheetah and Wld dogs had been seen on the S28 so that was our route for the outward trip. :D
Well, as much as we tried, no Cheetah or W. dogs but we did get to see this....
ImageImage
her eyes firmly fixed on a group of Impala grazing nearby but unfortunately the local vervet monkeys gave the game away, by screeching from the top of a tree and that was that as she slunk away into the bushes in disgust.

A little further on we had a Rhino crossing.
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and then a really "bum" shot as he too ambled off.
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It was only then that we realised we had actually seen the Big 5, today without even trying, altho the Lions were not up close and personal and the Ellies had not exactly been plentiful.
So ended another "tough" day in Africa. :D

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