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 Post subject: daver & Co. - Kruger Expedition, December 2007
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:18 pm 
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Location: Benoni, South Africa
Hi Forum members,

In a similar scenario to that mentioned by Gunner, we will be leaving for Kruger on Saturday morning (in this case from Benoni at around 5:30 AM).

Our itinerary is as follows:

1st - Malelane
2nd & 3rd - Crocodile Bridge
4th - Biyamiti
5th & 6th - Berg En Dal

Armed with 2 cameras (plus video camera), pens and notepads, and with the experience gained from reading the wonderful trip reports on the forum, I am determined to compile a decent one this time :wink:

Michele Nel has kindly volunteered to post my sms sightings (thanks again) - a gesture she may yet live to regret :D - and I hope there will be much to report.

Bizarrely, I am really struggling to get hold of some yellow ribbon!! So far I have been to about 6 places where I would have expected to get it without success - every other colour imagineable in copious supply, including some colours I couldn't begin to describe..... However, I'm sure I will be able to overcome the 'Great Yellow Ribbon Shortage of 2007' & be able to get some from somewhere!

Regardless, anyone who may be in that region during the period, keep an eye out for a silver Tucson (with a yellow ribbon!) containing a very pleased looking man and two teenagers.

:dance: :D :P :clap:

See you soon

Dave

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 8:00 am 
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Thanks for all the wishes etc, folks.... greatly appreciated.
Ollie wrote:
Looks like you are ready...

Boy, am I ready!!!! I'm in that excruciating period which I'm sure everyone is familiar with - The Last Few Days Of Work Before Kruger Period - where time seems to stand still :(

And Elsa!!! A florist - Doh!!! (as Homer would say).... just about the oly place I haven't tried yet......

I am definitely going to try the video clip thing Michele, not sure if a technophobe such as myself will be able to crack it though...... I found uploading pictures to be a massive mission last time

3 days & counting - slowly

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Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 12:49 pm 
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Just had a sms in from daver..so he has obviously arrived safely :clap:

His sms: Dreadful start...just nipped up to Berg and Dal to get charcoal. Saw elephant , rhino and lion !!!! :wink:


Don't you just love that :twisted: ...have a good time, daver, we are :mrgreen: !!!

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:18 pm 
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Another Sms in from Daver

Malelane tonight. Great first day. Plenty of bufffs, 2 big herds of ellies,3 rhino sightings,1 lion. Lots of babies...impala, wildebeest,zebra etc.
Park very green.Not too hot today. Will update tomorrow


Sounds like paradise to me... :mrgreen:
Enjoy Dave!

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 8:20 am 
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Next up...

Had THE most woderful sighting this morning.....female leopard with 2 small cubs! light not best for pics but got great video.


Can you believe that... I hope Dave knows how to upload video clips... I want to see that :mrgreen:

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 11:20 pm 
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Message from Daver


Hi from Croc bridge..Fabulous day today...leopard with 2 cubs.Loads of buffs. 6 hyena pups and my first ever serval. Saw it for about 5 secs so no pics but the image is burned in the mind forever...more tomorrow!!

Well well well!!! I think things are just getting better and better. :dance:

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 11:20 pm 
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Message from Daver


Hi from Croc bridge..Fabulous day today...leopard with 2 cubs.Loads of buffs. 6 hyena pups and my first ever serval. Saw it for about 5 secs so no pics but the image is burned in the mind forever...more tomorrow!!

Well well well!!! I think things are just getting better and better. :dance:

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:59 pm 
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Yet another sms from daver that is going to make us all
:mrgreen:
Another superb day. All the usual bar leopard. Today's highlight...4 lions trying to catch a warthog in 38 degree heat. They missed but was so awesome to watch the tactics.
Update from Biyamiti tomorrow

:dance: :dance:

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:30 pm 
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Not so sure you all want to hear this..but here goes. ( received at 19h30)

Yet another unbelievable day! 4 lions on a kill, 3 cheetah, breeding herd of ellies in the river bed at Biyamiti right now...
just had a chat with Restio and CB. Off to Berg en Dal tomorrow

Boy oh boy...methinks this mousie has a very exciting trip report for us!!!

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:03 pm 
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Another msg in from daver


At Berg and Dal now. No predators today, but so many ellies, buffs, rhino etc. Highlight was a classic klipspringer pose...also smallest ellie calf I have ever seen.
Update tomorrow


I hope Daver has a classic photo of this classic klipspringer pose..otherwise he is in trouble :twisted:

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:32 pm 
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Oh my goodness ...just wait for it :mrgreen:

Today's highlight.....Drum roll please: Daver has finally joined the LIT club! It was the best spot of my career so far...details in trip report. Otherwise everything bar lion. Rhino with calf, ellie breeding herds. leaving for home home tomorrow sadly.

The only downside of this sms...is that all good things come to an end!!! :cry:
Looking forward to this trip report :dance: :dance: :dance:

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:18 pm 
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Hi all
Just received message from Daver..he has arrived home safely. Can't wait for the trip report.....best we get the :popcorn: out!!! :dance:

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:29 pm 
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Good evening folks......

Starting with the trip report now. Quite a job sorting out the photos, not to mention finding out how to do the video clip thing!

By the way, you guys won't believe what we saw on the way out!!

Not gonna spoil it now..... gotta keep something in reserve :twisted:

Before I get back to the report.... A massive thank you and bunch of virtual flowers to Michele for the sterling job she did posting my messages. Really very greatly appreciated... You are a star!!! :clap:

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Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:53 pm 
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Quote:
Before I get back to the report.... A massive thank you and bunch of virtual flowers to Michele for the sterling job she did posting my messages. Really very greatly appreciated... You are a star!!!


Wow, thank you Daver :lol: the flowers are really pretty. They really do brighten up my computer! !!!!! :dance:
By the way ..it was a pleasure posting messages for you! I got to hear about the sightings first!!!! :dance:

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:45 pm 
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Alright Folks...... Let's give it a bash:

DAY 1: 1st December 2007 – Benoni to Malelane
I think most of you reading this will know how difficult it can be to get teenagers out of bed, particularly at 5 AM. I find waving R100 notes under my 17 year-old daughter’s nose usually does the trick – the notable exception to this principle comes on what is known in our family as ‘Kruger Day’! Come Saturday 1st December 2007, and they are both packed and ready to go by 5:30. The car is packed in a flash and after a quick farewell to my wife (who is not coming on the trip and therefore still fast asleep) we are off!

The N4 is the N4 (with its ever increasing tolls) ….. Breakfast at Belfast, over Schoemanskloof, through Nelspruit and before we know it, it’s a left turn and the Malelane Gate is before us…… We are back in paradise!!!! :dance: :clap: :dance:

We stop on the bridge – no sign of any hippos, but there are a few crocs quite a distance away, but what we did notice was that there was a phenomenal number of German tourists on the bridge!

Within seconds we were booked in. As it was 10:15 AM and therefore too early to go to our bungalow at Malelane, we decided to drive up to Berg-En-Dal to buy some charcoal for that evening’s braai. Less than 400m from the gate we encountered our first mammal of the trip, this white rhino, who was rubbing his snout against a tree:

Image

A little further on we encountered these giraffes, having a lie down:

Image

As it was officially ‘baby season’, I had been instructed by my wife to take lots of photos of the different baby animals we may sight during the trip, and these fawns were only to happy to oblige, just before the Berg-En-Dal turn off:

Image

Almost immediately before we drove in the gate at Berg-En-Dal, my eagle-eyed 15 year old son spotted a lone elephant way off in the distance. So, all-in-all, we felt we were off to a pretty decent start. We made our purchase and plumped for the Matjulu loop on the way back to Malelane. All was reasonably quiet until about 500m before the tar road where we came across a small herd of around 10 buffalo on the far bank of the river. So as it stood, we were delighted with our start, and had the feeling that perhaps this trip was going to be a little bit special.

We turned right onto the H3 to go and unpack, when we saw a Renault Clio stopped beside the road. As I pulled up behind him I heard my daughter make a sound that all in the car were very familiar with. The ‘Lion Gasp’! Sure enough, a lioness had just crossed the road and was walking off into the bush on the left. Unfortunately, we were unable to take any photos or video as she was gone in a few seconds, but we all saw her, so we had seen 4 of the Big 5 on our ‘charcoal expedition’! A truly brilliant start to our trip. :D

We unpack at Malelane, and after an hour or so of much needed sleep, we set off up the H3 towards Afsaal. At the junction of the S118 (Mlambane loop) we saw this herd of female Kudu:

Image

About 1km before the Renosterpan turn-off, we found our first breeding herd of elephant:

Image

Here is a nice pic of one of the calves in the herd:

Image

We pressed on and turned off to have a look at Renosterpan. Here we encountered a gentleman in a white Mercedes who noticed the yellow ribbon around our wing mirror. This gentleman will feature elsewhere in the trip report, and it transpires that he is a regular reader of the forum, but not a member. Sadly, I have (embarrassingly) completely forgotten his name, so I will refer to him from this point on as ‘Reader’. Anyway, ‘Reader’ had met Gunner earlier on in the day, and was delighted to meet another forum member, and so we had a bit of a chat and went our respective ways. In the vicinity of Afsaal, we saw the usual large number of impala, zebra, wildebeest, warthog, and 3 rhino.

We returned to Malelane via the Steilberg gravel road, the Matjulu loop, had a quick stop at the Matjulu waterhole and then called it a day without anything much of any consequence being sighted. It would appear, and this was confirmed by Lourens on the day we left, that the game is rather scarce in the Berg-En-Dal area at the moment, so the people are traveling a little further afield for the better sightings.

We arrived back at camp very content with the day’s sightings. Only the potentially tricky leopard remaining from the Big 5. ‘Reader’ was in fact our neighbour at Malelane, and as it happens, they saw a leopard on the 1km stretch of gravel road leading to the camp at 6:20 PM that evening, so we missed it by a couple of minutes, but you can’t have it all can you? :twisted:
----------------------------------------------

HUGE plaudits to DuQues for the idiots guide on how to post thumbnails..... without it, I would have been really up the creek!

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