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 Post subject: "Siblings down South". A Kruger re-union!
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:00 am 
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With less than 48 hours to go, life seems to rush by...... The excitement is tangible, as preparations are all but complete! :lol:

This Trip has been in the making for many years, but unfortunately somehow never materialised....... :cry:

My brother Tony's previous visit to Kruger was as a child, soooooo long ago! This will be his daughter's (11) very first visit..... She doesn't know what to expect, as she has never experienced wild animals and Nature like this!

My sister is visiting from Australia, and although she has been to Kruger before, this will be her first visit together as a family....... (with Mario and Juan and Adelle in tow, nogal)

My sister's friend Helen, hails from Greece (living in Aus.). She has never been to Africa, so this is a totally new adventure for her! I cannot wait to see her face/ reactions when she comes face-to-face with all he AMAZING creatures of Kruger...

My Mom totally adores KNP, and visited a few times in the past... But never with her two sons and daughter (plus gran-children)! It is such an emotional experience, to see the joy and excitement in her eyes!
Knowing that she too has longed for this re-union for many years........

Myself, Mario and Juan...... Well, we are (and always will be) the "Three Musketeers". :lol:

I hope that this re-union and Trip Report will bring you all as much pleasure as we had planning and preparing and experiencing it.......

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:58 pm 
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Hello people!

Hell man. . I do not think anyone will believe me just how chuffed I am to be here, we are not even an hour away from KNP and tomorrow morning we will be entering early early, I DO NOT think I will sleep tonite! AND to top it all, I am here with my boet and my sis . . and of coz my maamy! I have been waiting for many years for this day.

I am hoping that I will get to see some reptiles, I have huge a passion for them, snakes in particular and if I can take a pic of one in the wild....BONUS.

Well before I get carried away, let me go! Chat soooon.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:02 am 
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"Down Ralph, DOWN!!" I am dropping to the floor, in stealth mode........ Almost silently, like a leopard stalking its prey.
The cold, hard floor against my rock-hard .... stomach. I am crawling forward,inching my way towards my target....... My muscles taut, my muscalar body rippling like a finely tuned machine.......

As my "target" comes within range, I am pure athleticism, strength and power personified .... I am Jean-Cluade van
damn, I'm cramping up!!!! Ouch!!! Eina!! Cramps in my legs and arms....... EISH!

"Be strong, just another meter or so to go...." Made it!!! Now comes the tricky part..... I reach up and feel the ledge above my head. With just my finger-tips, I haul myself up..... The tension is almost unbearable..... My whole body is trembling, exhausted!

Slowly, slowly........ and........ NOW!!!

The lap-top is open! The modem plugged in..... YES! We do have signal!!! Mission accomplished!!!!

I have managed to crawl from my bed, past the sleeping/snoring/coughing/scratching/dreaming/smiling kids! I have reached the kitchen, where my computer is busy charging! Unseen, without waking the sleeping little bundles of joy........

And here I am, posting at 02h03 am........

Because I cannot sleep! Excitement, planning, endless cups of coffee....... All keeping me awake! Only two and a half hours to go, and then the Adventure begins.....

EISH!!!!!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:01 pm 
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Ralph called a few minutes ago :dance:

He cannot connect to post his exciting updates, so we all have to wait in suspense :roll:

But I did pick up on the following - the day that arrived they spent time with a mother cheetah calling for her cubs. Today they went for a bush walk and saw a white rhino and calf up real close.

Tomorrow they are driving up to Tshokwane.

Needless to say they are having a wonderful time!

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It's not too late at all. You just don't yet know what you are capable of. Mahatma Gandhi


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:19 am 
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And very early this morning:

Quote:
Wild dog

Then....

Quote:
Wild dog, with baby-impi kill!!!

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It's not too late at all. You just don't yet know what you are capable of. Mahatma Gandhi


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:26 pm 
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And now! An sms.....

Quote:
Just returned from the most amazing Sunset Drive! Ishamil, our guide, was amazing.... And the sights! EISH!....


And the suspense builds!

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It's not too late at all. You just don't yet know what you are capable of. Mahatma Gandhi


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 10:55 pm 
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icurrie wrote:
Soooo glad that they are having such a great time! :mrgreen: but now we need to know more!!! :twisted:


Sooooooo, you would like to know a bit more,hey....... :lol:

Well, suffice it to say that we would never have dreamed to see and experience and share, such a TOTALLY AMAZING trip. Ever...... It has exceeded all our wildest expectations! By far..... :shock:

It will be an almost impossible task to aptly describe our "Sibling's" trip....... On a few occasions, words failed me! On some occasions, words were just not neccessary at all....... And on others, the photographs will have to do the talking........ :wink:

Soooooo, buckle up!! It's gonna be a bumpy ride......

EISH!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:16 pm 
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We travelled from Amanzimtoti to Volksrust, on Saturday morning (8 DEC)....... The trip seemed to drag on forever, with lots of rain, traffic (Trucks and Taxi's), and road-works!

AAARRGGHH!!!! :evil:

We left Volksrust just after lunch-time, and headed to Barberton for our overnight stop. This was a nightmare drive!!!! We encountered muddy dirt-roads, due to "improvements in progress", and speeding vehicles galore! The worst stretch of road being Ermelo/Carolina/Badplaas.....

EISH!!!

We arrived in Barberton quite late, grabbed some take-aways, and planned our entry into KNP......

My boet (Tony L) and I both agreed that Malelane Gate would be ideal, as we would have a few hours of game-viewing (General game/Impi's/maybe a giraffe or two/ perhaps even an Elly) before reaching Lower-Sabie. This would be our base-camp for the next week, Thanx to a bit of "route-planning" from Jose :thumbs_up: , we decided on the S114, then S25 (Croc River Road), before going North to L/S.......

However............ :twisted:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:49 pm 
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I could not sleep at all!!!

As the kids slept peacefully, I stared at the ceiling....... :twisted: Wondering about our trip, and hoping/ praying that we would all get to see our favourite animals......

The day broke slowly, gloomily..... Overcast and wet, with "geelperske-reen" (soft and gentle rain) drizzling down persistently....

But our spirits soared!!! Our hearts sang, our minds raced forward, to our beloved Kruger.......

The kids dashed off to the "rondomtalie" (Spinning Wheel), and laughed and played! Oblivious to the grey skies....... Their enthusiasm was contagious! :lol:

Image

And then, we were off.........

Approaching Malelane Gate with sooo much excitement!!!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:55 pm 
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The winding road took us ever closer, and while the scenery took our breath away, the anticipation was getting almost unbearable.......

Image

As we drove past "Leopard Creek" Golf Club, my boet and I vowed to play a round here soon........ :twisted:

Tradition dictated that we stopped on the bridge, to smell the "Kruger air"....... And take in as muh as the senses allow....
We gazed across the lushness and stood amazed at just how green this piece of Heaven has become!!! :lol: A few months ago, the area was dry and brown...... But now we stood at the entrance to Paradise!!!

As we looked down into the flowing river, this is what we saw....... :shock:

Image

and

Image


We were totally awe-struck! These croc's were HUGE, and the way they were feeding terrified the kids....... The power of those jaws, and speed with which the crocodiles spun and tore was amazing!!! They were feeding on the poor Hippo for a few days, totally enjoying their macabre feast.......

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:31 pm 
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Wow, Ralph that croc pics are amazing, and just love your scenery pic as well! :clap:


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 8:46 pm 
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Thanx BGS! :lol:

We entered Kruger without any hassles, and pretty soon we were on our way up the S114....... We were greeted by the usual Impies, and Adelle (my brother's daughter) loved the little lambs! :lol: They are so cute and playfull, and yummy! (especially for the predators...)

A few hundred metres down the road, we came across this Martial Eagle, being harrassed by a tiny little bird..... (Any help with the I.D.'ing will be greatly appreciated :lol: )

Image

Mario was laughing so much at the little bird's relentless attack, while Juan rooted for the Eagle! Eventually, the eagle got fed-up with the little kamikaze, and flew off in a huff.....

Some very busy dung-beetles were next, as well as their "provider"....... A HUGE elephant, but he was in no mood for posing! :lol: Then warthog, with massive tusks! Unfortunately too far away for decent pics...... :cry:

And Giraffe! I love these gigantic creatures..... They are so gracefull, and when they start running- Poetry in Motion!

Image

We were chatting away excitedly, very happy with our sightings thus far........

Suddenly Tony L said: "Stop. ....reverse, a bit more... a little bit more... STOP!!!!"
I knew from his tone of voice that this wasn't a false alarm!!!!

And then we saw it......... :shock:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:46 pm 
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Within 2 hours from entering Kruger!!! :shock:

The kids were going crazy, as Adelle has never seen a leopard before! And now LIT........ Eish!

Unfortunately she did not linger for photo's, and disappeared into the bush as if by magic!

We were so thrilled about this special sighting, that we (should read "I") did not pay too much attention to anything else....... :redface:

Soon, a herd of Buffaloe crossed our path! Another great sighting- 3 of the Big 5 within a few hours.......

Image


And this gorgeous Lilac-Breasted Roller posed for us........ :lol:

Image

This day was getting better and better, with a few more surprises awaiting us!

A day to remember indeed....... :wink:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:26 pm 
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glad u saw great things... was fantastic to meet u, my first forumite!!

Maybe next time again :D

(also loving the report and pics !!! and ur comments on mine!)

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:55 pm 
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Now, as I've said earlier....... That LIT completely threw me! I somehow managed to miss the turn-off for the S25! :redface:

We continued up the S114, thinking that we were heading towards Croc-Bridge...... Suddenly a distance marker popped up! Skukuza-12km....... :shock: WHAT!!!

Needless to say, I had to endure a lot of "chirping"! And it had nothing to do with Birding.....

BUT,

Musketeers DO NOT get lost....... We simply took the scenic route. And anyway, the kids needed a pit-stop..... And the call of Nature was getting rather persistant :redface:

On our way we saw Elephant, more Impies, Kudu, Leopard tortoise, Bateleur and Vultures......

Image

These guys were feeding on the remains of an Impala carcass, pecking at the bones and tattered skin!

Image

Image

Eish! The power in those beaks... :shock:

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