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 Post subject: BGS - A Special Christmas Trip Report Dec 2007
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:02 pm 
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I'm leaving again for Kruger on Friday the 21st for 8 days in the park. I will sleep over on Friday in Vereeniging and leaving early in the night to be at Malelane Gate to try and beat the rush at the gate :wink:
I'm looking so forward to this trip being my first time in the park over christmas time. And ofcourse the meet on the 24th at Roodewal :dance:
I'll be staying at Satara, Olifants, Pretoriuskop, Skukuza and Lower Sabie. And i really hope that this time i'll find Duke :)

I'll be bringing you all 'live' updates each day while i'm in the park, so, watch this 'space' :D

Now, if it was only Friday already :(


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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 7:46 am 
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BGS arrived safely yesterday and sent this sms last night!

Quote:
Had great day with cheetah, ellies, rhino's, 2 lions and general game.

Lion roaring tonight here. Sleep well. Will try to get on the forum tomorrow night. Connection bad.


:dance:

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Dalene


It is P A R T Y time!!


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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 2:49 pm 
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Day 1: 22 December 2007
Malelane Gate to Satara Camp

Morning Drive:

Yesterday morning i depatured at 12:30 in Vereeniging and arived at Malelane Gate at around 05:25. The roads were very busy and on two occasions were we hold up by accidents. The first one we were hold up by nearly 40 minutes.

The gate opend for me at 05:55 to let me through, and i was 'HOME' again at last! :dance:
Just before the S114 turnoff i stopped, turned off the car's engine and just sit there listening to the veld 'talking' to me. It felt so great to be back again and i have missed it so much.

I was on my way to Satara but decided at that moment to turn off onto the S114 to Skukuza.
Animal life weren't plenty at first, my first sighting was the Swainson's Spurfowl, no impala's at that stage. It was only about an hour later after i have entered the park that i saw the first impala's,and then Dwarf mongoose. I just love to sit and watch them,and i have possibly spend almost 30 minutes with them. :D

It was all quiet at the Biyamiti Weir,i turned off onto the S23 to link up to the S114 again.
My tiredness as well as the lack in animal activity made this road a bit.....let us just say there were nothing to be seen..... untill i almost reached the S113 turnoff. A big herd of ellies
were blocking the road, with lots of babies. It became very clear to me that they are not going to let me pass. Later on it were confirmed by a mother that took a charged at me. I had to retrieve and eventually i decided to turn around.

Back at the S114 i proceeded towards Skukuza. And then it happend....
I was still crousing so oh ever lazy, when i turned the corner and just a few meters infront of me a cheetah :dance: crossed the road! I thought i was dreaming. I closed my eyes and when i opened it again....yes it was still there. It reached the otherside of the road and stopped. At this stage i could however get my video recorder ready and started 'shooting'! ( ok, i'll let you know at the end why i didn't took pictures :redface: )
Then it turned around and walk back where it came from. When i reached the spot i could'nt find it again. But the precious few moments were awesome and oh so soon over.

I continued. At Renosterkoppies Dam there wer 4 white rhino's laying in the water near the edge.
First time i saw rhino's there and first time them in water. Just about 500 meters further there were a mini road block of car's. Due to a mating pair of Lions. They were a few meters from the road.

Then followed zebra's and more impala's. I've made a quick stop at Skukuza, first to used the bathrooms, but most importantly to get a 'cold one' for the road. The veld is so lush and green i could'nt believe it. And every few meters there's a puddle of water in the veld. At Sabie river i saw Hippo's and at Sand river a Pied Kingfisher and a Giant kingfisher as well
as a Hamerkop.
Made a quick stop at Tshokwane again -you know for what- and proceeded. No sightings to mention except for the impala's, bluewildebeest and zebra'towards Satara. The Mazithi and Kumana waterholes is full of water.

I reached Satara at 13:30 and were awarded bungalow G178. And i had a siesta

Afternoon Drive:

I took the road out of camp toward Olifants turning off onto the S90 and returning the same way. Lots of general
game like giraffe, impala's, ostriches, waterbucks, blue wildebeest and one nice ellie. Also could id for the first time a Wahlberg's Eagle. There were two of them.
Returned to camp and had a lovely early braai and slept like a baby.

More to come later on day two, thats today :wink:


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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 9:17 pm 
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Hi all you crazies :lol: Sorry for not posting an update tonite,but i promise to do it tommorrow :D Just let me say today was a day for kitties and ellies. :wink: Thinks the kitties likes me...... methinks the ellies don't :shock:
Tommorrow is our meeting at Roodewal, looking so forward to it and to meet all the peeps. Btw, WAC sms me at just after 12:00, they have arived safely, staying at Orpen and saw BBJ with babies! Sitting here and listening to the Olifants river and a few moments ago a lion roaring, btw the lower causeway at Olifants river is flooded and can't be crossed. I had to turned back on my way here this afternoon and crossed it at the high level bridge. The Olifants river is a great sight to see......

Have a great evening and day tommorrow all!


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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 9:26 pm 
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Spotted Cat wrote:
Have a puff-adder free holiday :wink:


:lol: Thank you SC! .... But can i just mention the word python.... wait untill you read :wink:


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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:23 pm 
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Now i must make a confession :redface: I will post some images from my video cam from my trip when i'm back in Bloemfontein, but don't expect much! I forgot my camera at my brother's house when i left there :redface: . I'm so mad and fustrated with myself, luckily i still have the video recorder with me.... so i'm afraid this trip report will have to do without any quality pic's :(

Btw.... the meeting today was great at Freda! Now i can also add a few more names to my list. Thanks Freda for inviting us and to spend the day with you, i loved it every minute! You all are very special people! More later on this....

Cheers for now, update on day 2 later today!


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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2007 7:47 pm 
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Hi all :D Just before you're thinking again that i have disapperd i got my borehole in Kruger... well i didn't :lol: I'm still enjoying every minute.... but had slow connection speeds and yesterday evening i was to tired to post :redface: Well here goes day 2


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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2007 8:04 pm 
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Day 2: 23 December 2007
Satara Camp to Olifants Camp

Woke up just before 04:00 after much needed rest and was ready to leave at 04:30.
I was third in the que. The plan was to drove the S100 but after some car's have passed me and turning off onto the S100, i continued to the S126 (Sweni) road.
This was plan B. Often i would stop and listen to the early morning sounds, take in every minute...... Then i turned the corner and there it was....

Cheetah!! :dance: Walking in the road, but as soon as it saw me it disappeard into the veld. But the veld was open and by reaching the spot where she was, i could see her walking in the
veld. Very often she would stop,look around her and then walk onwards again. I watch her for nearly 15 minutes alone before another car approached.
I was in heaven, my second cheetah on this trip! General game were a plenty on the road, like impala's,giraffe's, zebra's, blue wildebeest, some warthogs and later a lonely ellie. Made a quick stop at Muzandzeni and then it was back to Satara along the H7.
Only general game were to be seen on the H7.

Packed that was needed and headed out for Olifants via the H1-4, S127 and S39. It was already qiute warm at this time but general game were plenty on the S39. By reaching
the H1-4 again i opt to drive via the S89 towards Olifants, but by reaching the low level causeway over the Olifants river i found it in flood, :shock: so i had to turn back as i came
and crossed it over the high level bridge. I have never seen the with so much water.

Just turning off onto the H8 to Olifants i had an amazing sighting though a bit short and quick! Just a few meters infront of me an python crossed the road. :shock: By the time i had my
video camera ready i could only catch the last seconds as it disappeard into the veld!

I were awarded bugalow number 65 for the two nights. Was quite exhausted and had a afternoon siesta. Just after 17:00 i went out for a afternoon drive. Animal activity weren't plenty as i drove along the loop road on the S93. But the scenery made up for this. An Ellie blocked the road and again made a charged at me :roll: , and at the end i was about 5 minute late. :roll: For me was today a all 'cat' day even though i have seen only the cheetah.

Had a lovely braai and slept like a baby.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2007 8:35 pm 
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Day 3: 24 December 2007
Olifants Camp

For my morning drive i yet again decided to drive the loop road on the S93. And as yesterday animal activity was very slow, except for an ellie and the impala's. Haven't yet seen any
Buffalo. As approach again the H8 there were a few car's parked. I were approach by Zolbol (Hi, Zolbol, i only managed to see one) and he told me about the lions. Eventually i could managed to see one.... just about.... could see the top of it's head and ears moving. By that time i had to get back at camp to make myself ready for our meet at Roodewal. Packed some cold one's and meat and i was on my way via the tarr road and then on the S39 to Freda.
Pieter Steyn and Wild about Cats were already there as well as a few other people whose names i can't remember now. :redface: Pardus showed up a bit later. Btw, she had some awesome sightings that have made me quite green. :mrgreen:

We chatted, had a braai and some few cold ones and shared our sightings. After many have left i stayed untill just after 15:00 when i left as well. It was really great to put some faces to names. Looking now forward to our next meeting which will be at the cricket! Thanks so much Freda for a lovely day and that we could spend with you at Roodewal :clap:

My afternoon drive took me yet again along the S93, but decided to miss out on the loop road, insteed i continued towards Letaba. I drove out about 10 to 12 kilometers before i turned back. General Game were be seen like the impala's, giraffes, zebra's ect. Just as i approach the turnoff to the left of the loop road i saw a male lion lying just a meter or two from
the road. I had some lovely alone time with him before another car came from the loop road.
And then i caught sight of the other one. It was lying in the road at the back of my car.
I even didn't saw it came from the bush. I thaught what Zolbol told me and i was wandering if it was the same two of the morning of which i just saw a glimpse of the one. Think it's quite possible because it is just about six kilometers from the spot of this morning.

I made it back to camp in time this time and went to bed a very lucky person.... 1 and a half lion sighting and a great meet today..... life is good! :wink:


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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2007 8:58 pm 
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Day 4: 25 December 2007 (Christmas Day)
Olifants Camp to Lower Sabie Camp


Happy and Merry Christmas all from Olifants! Hope all will have (had) a blessed one filled with Love, Peace, Health and Joy! I was feeling just a way bit tired this morning so i slept in
untill just after 05:00. I was on the road at 06:25. Again it was the S93 and again missed the loop road. I was still traveling Oh So Slow and about half asleep when i saw....

ok.... i'm tired now, so, time out for me, will continue tommorrow nite..... :twisted:


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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 1:56 pm 
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Thanks all and....
Hi Gwen :D
anne-marie- thanks
CC- hope the snowstorm isn't that bad today
MM and Ludwig - thanks guys

ok... time to continue! I forget to mention that last nite i went on a night drive, departing at 20:00. So Gwen thats why i was just a bit tired...
Hadn't seen much on the night drive except for hyena's, a cameleon (that was nice) some scrub hare and spring hare and..... a shooting star....

Back to the present day of 25 December....
Just after the loop road turnoff to the right i saw it. Leopard!! :dance: Walking causally minding it's own bussiness untill i interupt it. When it saw me it laid down behind a bush. I wanted to get a bit closer(foolish of me), and unfortunately it got up and quickly disappeard into the bushes. :( Netherless it was a great prezzie on Christmas day. The rest of the drive went by without any other sightings worth mentioning.

Got back to camp, packed my belongings and made my way to Lower Sabie, where i would stay for this evening. Decided to use the back roads via S92, S90, S41, S37, S35 and then the H10 to Lower Sabie. On the S92, S90, S41 and S37 only general Game were to be seen and the progress was good. Some ellies in between. It was on the nearend of the S35 that i saw two more ellies, quite a distance from me. I don't know exactly why i stopped, maybe just the reason that one did made a quite impression on me. I took my bino's and looked.... and looked again. Can it be?
I just had to looked again to make certain and then the old man turned and looked straight at me. Now i was sure, it was the old man.... DUKE!!!! :dance: Somewhere i've read that he does go wandering quite far from his special waterhole sofar as Tshokwane area, but i didn't expected to find him here. I had a quite long time spending there and watching him and his
fellow askari munching away on the delicious green grass. The only let down was that he was so far away, would loved to see him close up. But now i know where to find him and will
attemp again on the 28th.

After this exciting moments i continued to the H10. Driving along the H10 with great memories still fresh in my mind of Duke. Just after the Nkumbe viewpoint i stopped, opting to have a look, but because there were several cars parked there i've opted to proceed.
And then it happend..... :D


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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:42 pm 
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Dotty and MM - what happend next.....? Well i stopped again, lit a siggaret, opened an very ice cold one.....

and then it really did happend! Something that you don't expect at 13:00 in the day, something or someone you would rather see at night....
A Large-spotted genet :shock: came running across the road a few meters infront of me from the right to the left. I almost dropped my siggaret on my lap and spilled some precious drops of my cold one. It happend so fast, it seemed to have an appointment somewhere sometime. My first sighting of one and that in the middle of the day, how extrodinary? I was still shaking my head while i continued towards Lower Sabie. Maybe i was still on a high after seeing Duke and after i have made a prost on him with a cold one, and just to make sure he understood my grattude i had another one :roll:

And because i wasn't sure by now if i did saw the Large-spotted genet or not or if i was on a high or not, i made the best of the cold one that was still left......

Just for the record.... i did make it to Lower Sabie in one piece.... :wink: and were awarded hut 42.

will continue later, have to do some shopping now.....


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Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:56 pm 
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Hi, all and many thanks for the comments :D I must just say that at this moment it seems that my luck has run out, or i'm on the wrong place at the wrong time after i've seen the genet :roll: So, the next installments is a bit boring, but any ways here it go......

Still 25 December 2007...
The afternoon drive on Christmas day took me along the H10, S122 (Muntshe Loop) and the S29. It was a very quiet afternoon drive with only one sighting of ellies, almost lions on the S122, but the grass was too long and just saw a quick glimpse and never again. And then a kori bustard on the S29. Spend Christmas evening very quietly with a braai, a cold one and thinking of family and friends.

Day 5: 26 December 2007
Lower Sabie Camp to Pretoriuskop Camp

The route on my morning drive were H4-1, S21, H5 and to LS on the H4-2. Yet again animal activity were slow, with only a hyena on the S21. Then a few ellies with babies and almost at the end of the S21 again an ellie road block. I waited about more than 20 minutes for them to clear the road before i could continue. There were no mammal life on the H5. On the H4-2 saw again some impala's and two ellies just off onto the Mativuhlungu loop (S82).

Back at camp, i had packed quikly and then it was off to Pretoriuskop on the main road via H4-1 and H1-1. Just saw general game again and even that were slow. Checked in and
were awarded hut 52. Had a lazy day at camp before the afternoon drive.

The afternoon drive route were the Fayi loop and the S10, S7, S3 and back to camp on the H1-1. Even this drive lacked animal with the only sightings those of impala's, some warthogs with babies (which i loved to watch as they came up the road and the little one's came screaming past the car :lol: ), and then finaly and Buffalo that crossed the road with high speed as well. My first sighting of an buffalo and sofar the only one. :roll:
Ok.... i know this is borring stuff..... but hey, thats how it sometimes works in Kruger!
Finished the day with a braai....


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Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 7:42 pm 
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Day 6: 27 December 2007
Pretoriuskop Camp to Skukuza Camp

Woke up this morning with an overcast day and light drizzle. Took the Fayi loop again (very scenic indeed MM :wink: but i tend to skip the part where one can't see the lights of the Rat Race part p@m :wink: , I always feels like this road can deliver big time not this time tough, had previously wild dog and lions there) and it started to rain harder. Saw impala's and thats that. Took Sabeni hill road again,saw kudu's and then the rain came down heavily and the dirt roads started to become slippery. Opted to drive back to camp and sleep a bit more, which i did. Woke up again just after 08:00, it stopped raining, altough it was still overcast. It was time to pack and leave for Skukuza. Took the S7 road and S3 road. Saw more kudu's, giraffes and zebra's.
It was a little better now. Continued on the S3 (Sabie river road) and altough i didn't saw much, it was a spendid and very scenic drive along the Sabie river. 8) Saw a green snake that
was in the middle of the road but could'nt id it yet. (had seen more snakes than buffalo at this stage :roll: ) Saw also kudu. Turned off onto the S4 to linked up with the S1 and finally the
H11 to Skukuza. Checked inn and were awarded bungalow 168. Got some rest before the afternoon drive.

The afternoon drive route were the H1-1, S114 to Renosterkoppies dam, then the S112 towards H3 and finally back to camp on the H1-1. Sightings were some impala's and then an ellie and zebra's at Renosterkoppies dam, some kudu's and baboons. Stopped on Mathekeyane view point to take inn the last moments of the day. Yet again it was time to lit the fire and to end the day with an cold one.....
It's still heaven..... 8)


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Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 8:43 pm 
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Day 7: 28 December 2007
Skukuza Camp to Lower Sabie Camp

Route of the morning drive was again out on the S114 to Renosterkoppies Dam, then the S112, H3, H1-1, S65 and back to camp on the H11. Atrenosterkoppies Dam there were one
ellie and some impala's and blue wildebeest. Just after the S22turnoff on the S112 i came upon two white rhino's sleeping. I don't know who woke who but they did get up rather quickly. On the S65 i saw some kudu's, klipspringer and more impala's.
When i reached the H11 i saw hyena, actually mom,dad, little baby and the older bro/sis. 8) I have spend quite of time with them, i loved the inter action between mom and baby. On the
H11 back to camp more kudu's were seen.

Once back at camp i got the packing thing done and head out for Lower Sabie. But then it happend at the crossing just out of camp.... :dance:


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