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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:01 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: KZN
Oh wow! Sounds fabulous. Hope there is more to come . . . .


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:30 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
I made sure I chose a spot under a shady tree with a good view of the water trough! We put up my gazebo under another shady tree to use as a kitchen and meeting area. We all did our own thing as far as meals went, but ate together in the evenings around a fire. One of the guys shouted to hold on and he would be over to help with my tent in a moment......next time I saw him my tent was already up (done alone) and he was sitting in a chair supervising a couple of the other guys attacking the gazebo (without consulting the instructions of course!). It was the first time I had put it up and so I was a bit upset to realise I had not seen how it was folded up and stored in the bag for reference later.....but never mind!

It was hot, so we rested a little after setting up camp and then went out for a walk. It was a bit strange.....because it was largely organised for assessing guides we all had rifles with us. We could not leave them in camp so had to take them out with us. But all walking with loaded rifles was also not a good idea.....so in the end only the first and second 'rifle' carried loaded rifles and the rest of us kept ours unloaded but ammo on our belts.

We had a great riverine area, and lots of open sodic sites to explore, and we made the most of it over the 3 full days we had there. The section ranger told us we could swim in the reservoir too, and that was made full use of when the ellies allowed.

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the gate leaflet? Do you KNOW the regulations?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I were normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:34 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Far South in South Africa.
:mrgreen: What an awesome "JOB" :mrgreen:

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"Lose yourself in Nature and find Peace!" (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
UNITE AGAINST POACHING...What we protect,
do not let poachers take it away!

Extinction is forever and survival is up to---every last one of us!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:43 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
On the walks we did a lot of tracking, had some really good sightings and experiences and covered a large area. I am deliberately not going to say where we were!

There was a lot of rhino activity in the area, and we came across several groups and lone animals. It was also obvious from tracks and heavy marking that the area was the scene of a territorial battle between bulls. We did not see them fight at all, but there was lots of evidence of heavy markings and over-markings in many places.

One late afternoon we had a rhino bull start to charge us as we left a sighting, but it was because the wind suddenly veered and he smelled us and turned in our direction just as the final 3 folk were moving out from behind the bush to back off. A shout was enough to make him decide to leave us alone.

Another young ellie bull was a bit arrogant and macho coming to drink at the reservoir and even attempted a charge at the gazebo. We sat still, continued to talk quietly, and he turned and left us. Next morning he also tried a bit of intimidation. When he left after drinking we tracked after him.....he saw us and turned into a chicken and ran away!

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the gate leaflet? Do you KNOW the regulations?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I were normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:45 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: East London, South Africa
EJ, You are one lucky lady!. Having said that you work so hard for your piece of paradise. Go well.


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:57 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
There were other rhino and ellie encounters too......with only one other ellie bull actually realising we were anywhere near him. I learned a lot about getting close to animals and away again without disturbing them at all.

We were aware of a leopard in the river valley near us, and saw her tracks several times, and once those of a young cub with her. The tracks showed a very playful encounter..... On our 2nd last morning we found the tracks again and tried to follow them. Suddenly we heard impalas give an alarm call indicating they smelled a leopard - but had not seen her yet. We made haste to the area, but found nothing other than alert impalas. Returning to the river area we again found the leopard tracks, and slowly realised she actually had 3 cubs with her. At some point we walked right past her as later events showed!!!!

We continued to track, and then lost the signs near a thick bushy area. It seemed she had decided to leave the cubs safely in there while she went off hunting. We decided to leave her to it, and not stress her any more, as she was obviously aware of our presence.

We moved out of the river bed and followed an animal path for a while and then came back to cross over the river bed again.....and to our surprise stumbled on the leopard tracks again! As we crossed the river bed, the lead guide stopped briefly to assess the best place to climb the bank opposite, and as he did some of us near the back of the line saw the female leopard in a bush to his left. He had not seen her as he was looking at the bank...... And then she growled.........And he looked and saw 2 cubs right back under the bush and another playing under her belly. He immediately told us to move back slowly, but with another growl she charged us!!!!

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the gate leaflet? Do you KNOW the regulations?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I were normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:16 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Somebody in front of me nearly flattened me as he jumped backwards....... But the good leopard mum was only making sure her cubs were safe and could get away from us. She stopped quickly with front paws spread to make herself look even bigger and growled some more - then abruptly turned and disappeared after the cubs.

After a moment or 2 we all broke into big grins and exploded with 'wow', 'what an experience', etc..... And unanimously we decided that area was now closed for us as we did not want to stress her any more. In retrospect we realised she had probably dodged us with her cubs through the morning. If we had kept moving she would probably have stayed quiet and let us move off, provided we had not seen her. But the fact we stopped, and then did see her, and one cub was not being good and keeping hidden like the others combined to make her warn us off. An incredible experience, probably never to be repeated.......

Later in the walk we heard monkeys giving alarm calls and realised another leopard was in the area, and moved nearer to the alarm calls in case a kill had happened. We found tracks......and to our utter surprise it was our mom and cubs!!! They had moved quite a distance considering the cubs were only about 4 months old at the most. She had a kill when we arrived as the first afternoon we saw vultures and smelled something, and the next morning saw a hyena in the area too. She was doing well for her little family, and we did not want to stress her, so immediately turned away and headed in another direction completely.

While we heard lions every night we saw none and only old tracks. A saddle-bill stork female spent time at the waterhole, and 5 ground hornbills visited the last morning. We heard them every morning.

Other visitors were warthogs, giraffes, and kudus while we were in camp.

It was an immense privilege to be allowed to camp and walk in the area......and we are very grateful for the opportunity. We trod lightly, left as little evidence of our presence as we could, and took away many memories.

_________________
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the gate leaflet? Do you KNOW the regulations?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I were normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:35 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Riebeek West
WOW fantastic time had :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

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And now KTP, March 13, in living colour


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:59 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Absolutely awesome experience EJ. Thanks for sharing it,


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:29 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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What wonderful experiences! As you say, probably once in a lifetime, but then, it is Kruger!
It has compelled even your silent followers to comment!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:57 am 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Location: 2012 km..... to Paradise
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:gflower: Thanks EJ for giving such a detailed and exciting commentary on this exciting time you had in the bush. :thumbs_up:

Some of your report was... :big_eyes: :roll: :lol: :lol:. ( Full of adrenalin ...heart pounding moments...with wonderful memories made for you and the team.) :clap:

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“Nature is a volume of which God is the author.” ~ William Harvey


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:58 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: East London, South Africa
Hi EJ. What a trip with memories to last forever. Great heart stopping moments!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:23 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 150
Location: Calitzdorp, Little Karoo
Hi EJ
Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. Sounds as if you had a fantastic time and learnt lots from being out in the wilderness.
How are your eyes coping and getting on.
Looking forward to more of your posts

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MY get up and go has just got up and gone
Be Positive and Keep Smiling
Terry


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:56 pm 
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Location: The planning is on again.....
WoW EJ,

this is pure bliss and is making us extreme :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:32 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Oh wow, what a fantastic experience :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: although I doubt I would be as calm and collected ..... Kathy mentioned about the leopard sighting this morning when I saw her.

Thanks for sharing.


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