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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:22 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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And a Steenbock?? Or is it a grysbok?


Looks like a steenbokkie to me :wink: :).

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:16 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Thanks once again to all of you who stop to read and especially those who take the time to add a line

The good news is - I have finished writing the report. There is just one more instalment after this one.

Part 16: 6 June contd & 7 Jun 08: Please, Sir, may I have some more………T
the Timbavati route has taken a fair bit of the day as well as the kids patience. Once more I look longingly at the S100 sign as we drive by. It just wasn’t meant to be on this trip. Maybe in 2017.

We stop at N’semani, or rather are stopped by a herd of ellies crossing over to the dam.
Image Image Image
On the way back to Tam we take the Rabelais loop – at the pan are baboon and impis and they seem to be on predator alert – regularly glancing all around as if they sense an intruders presence. We hang around for 20 mins, as I can feel something about to develop, but then have to leave as its approaching gate closing time. We only reach Tam at 5.34pm but the gates are still open. Phew! :roll:

After dinner we catch up with our Saffie neighbours who have been coming to he park since they were just a gleam in their parents’ eyes. Its dark and they have a spotlight that is the MOTHER of all spotlights. It would put my cars headlights to shame. As M and I are enjoying our after dinner Amarula they spotlight a civet for us. “I’ll have a hyena with my next drink, thanks” I holler, and they laugh. I also get some real good camp recommendations for my next trip. Yep, we’re already planning our 2017 adventure before we have finished out first one. :dance:

We hit the sack by 9.30 pm tired but happy.

At 4.45 am a management meeting has been called and I crawl obediently into M’s bed. :roll:
Our original plan for today, our last day in Kruger, was – H7, Rabelais loop then out at Orpen to be in the Blyde River Canyon area by lunch.

But we want some more Kruger magic to last us till next time. :wink:

We narrow it down to 2 options.
1) H7 to Satara, then H1-3 to Tshokewane then H1-2 to Skukuza and out of Paul Kruger. (I can see you guys shaking your heads - it’s a long detour). So, we go with
2) H7 to Satara with a side trip around N’semani (S12 then S40 ) then on to – yep you guessed – the S100, onto Gudzani Rd back to H1-3 via he H6 stopping at N’semani on the way back – it just has that ‘je ne sais quoi’ about it besides good sightings every time we pass.
5.15 am: Meeting over! We pack and are ready to leave Tam at 6.30am.
Oooooooongh! Oonngh! Ooooonnggggghhhh! No not lions. Me! :lol:
Another beautiful sunrise to welcome us on our last day. We see a number of impis and zebra crossings. We stop at Girivana and watch a couple of bush squirrels frolic on the trees, some klipspringer and a tusker at the tank drinking.
Image Image Image
I am busting to go for a pee and Satara is far way so I commit my first rule transgression. I just open the door, stand up and do the deed, with the family watching. No, not me, watching for predators! I realise I have stepped into some elephant dung in the process. :doh:
As I get into the car the ‘police’ arrive – a group of spurfowl. One of them gets onto the bonnet of the car and comes right up to the window to chastise me for my misdemeanours.
Image Image Image
At the N’semani we meet with a big tribe of chacma baboons. I have learnt from Ludwig that there is much to be observed from their antics and so we sit with them for a while. A Zebra herd are drinking from the dam and they frolic on the bank along with some gnu and impis.
Image Image Image
I love this spot – it is my Sunset Dam of central Kruger.

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Rusky's Kruger Ramble Jun 08 - a 1st timers dream trip


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:52 am 
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Part 17 : 7 June cont’d: The last hurrah.
2 Km from Satara I see it – the road to Shangrila – S100. :wink:
“Show me the cardboard cut outs” I yell. The family looks at me funnily. I explain “We are in Wildtuinman land”. Nala, taps her finger on her head and looks at Jnr with a “I think he’s gone bananas” look.
9.15 am: just at the turnoff – buffalo
0925: Bunch of cars. A kind lady points out a brown patch in the blonde sea of grass. “Huge lion lying down” she whispers. We look carefully and can see its ear twitching every now and then through the grass. This is our 15th lion/ess in 6 days!
0936: Giraffes on either side of the road. And vultures circling in the sky to the left about 250mm away.
0952:Gnu – mother feeding her baby in the middle of the road! Shot off before I could close my mouth and lift the camera. :roll:
0958: Waterhole – giraffe, waterbuck and zebra – a Kruger panorama.
1009:A Vulture on a tree. Stop to take a photo. Hey, this ain’t no vulture. A hawk like creature – Black shouldered kite ???? (bird experts help).
Image
1020 Family of Natal francolins with little chicks on a walk.
Image
This is a joke. Where are all these animals coming from. And then it strikes me. It’s the weekend! They all have the day off! So all the animals and birds are out enjoying the park with their families – just like we are. :doh:

1026: pair of kudus
Image
1030: Wahlberg Eagle? (not sure)
1040: spend 10 minutes at another waterhole enjoying the birds in a “balsam” bush. Gorgeous bush shrike, grey Go away bird, speckled mousebird, hornbills
1055: (On to Gudzani) Dip in the road. Hippos in water on the left 50m away and a monitor lizard on right.
1101: Zebra – mum and baby and impis
1103: Kudu pair – this time on either side of the road. This is too much for me I start singing to the tune of an ACDC anthem

“Kudu to the left of me. Kudu to the right…….. its S-hunded its dynamite”.

1115:Nwanetsi picnic area. Its already 28 degrees so we break and have some snacks and cold coffee. I wander up to the hide. It's such a pretty spot – overlooking the waterhole – a 100m down. To the left horizon are the rocky scrags and from the waterhole starts the bush to the horizon. Impis and some giraffe dot the open spaces.
Image Image
1215 on the H-6. Bye bye S-100. What a road. Thank you forumites for letting us in on this little treasure. :clap:
1220: ostrich and our first male. Hold on he’s making poo!
Image
At 1pm we have our special sighting at N’semani – see Part 1 of this report.

Then its time to go. We have bets on what our last animal and bird in the park will be. The money is on impis and starlings. And it looks like the favourites will win when just 30 m from the gate we see our first black backed jackal (in full light).
He’s very shy but pops his head up for Jnr’s ‘duck’.
Image Image
Then we see impis again. At Orpen we stop for the formalities and a look at the webcam – a bushsquirrel enters the race with some helmeted guineafowl. But just as we are getting into the car (and our cameras are packed in the boot) a Tusker crosses the H-7 30m from the Orpen gate headed for the waterhole. (In fact I check the Orpen highlights posts for 1535hrs on 7 June 08 when I get back to Melbourne and…there’s a whole elephant party on the webcam – check it out).

And then its over. As we pass the area where the new gate is being built we see a kudu – sanparks is wishing us …till next time.

I slip in a CD I have bought from the Satara shop and we hear the voice of Madiba
“…each of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the Mimosa trees of the bushveld….”

By the time the second track plays its lilting drum rhythm of Nkosi sikele i’Africa – I have tears in my eyes. Yes, they are tears of sadness for I have grown attached to this special place.

But they are also the tears of joy and accomplishment of a lifelong dream to come here.

And also the tears of longing – for now I count the days till my next coming.


PS
I would like to thank all you forumites for making me feel part of your family, for offering me help and advice to make this a wonderful experience.
Please allow me the liberty of thanking a few specifically.

Dinky Bird for keeping the forumites in the loop and for letting us know how much you guys were enjoying our txts.

This TR has also been written as a thank you to other trip reporters who inspired me to make this a task on the journey.
Arks – for her meticulousness
Ludwig – for his wonderful storytelling and ability to make the animals human through words and
Ilie – for a trip report that shows what the magic of Kruger can truly achieve in life changing ways.

Rusky

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Rusky's Kruger Ramble Jun 08 - a 1st timers dream trip


Last edited by rusky on Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:26 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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I think your eagle is an African Hawk Eagle - on the Martial the black extends lower down whereas the AHE has an all white chest .


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:51 pm 
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Rusky. This report has been fantastic than you. Just some help on Raptor ID: True eagles have feathers that go all the way down to the feet ( feet are actually toes, but we're not biology students) so your bird is a true eagle as the feathers go down to the "toes " I would go with a juvenile Martial eagle as in my book the African hawk eagle has more black markings on the chest. While the black goes futher down on an adult martial eagle, in the juvenile the whole chest and neck are white. BUT Raptors are notoriously difficult to ID as they change plumage from juvenile to sub adult to adult. So they get very confusing! :roll:

Once agin for this fantastic report. Please don't dissapear from the forum. We want to help plan your next trip :lol:

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:15 pm 
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HI R,

Not withstanding an excellent contribution to people who's clearly "in love' with wildlife, y'r Ps did it 4 me this time! :dance: :dance: :dance:


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:01 am 
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Syabonga (we thank you) for all the wonderful replies - we are moved by your responses.

I to do not believe we are going to last till 2017. :roll:

Since we have returned (17 days ago) not a day goes by when we have not relived parts of the trip.

At our home we "wake" the kids with music. For the last 16 days they have woken up to one of 3 CD's

1) The essential Saf Road Trip
2) Soweto Gospel Choir
3) The Lion King

No other music has been played in the house or in the car. :redface:
I have sourced a shop in Melbourne that sells Saffie groceries (with some direction from Prings) - so I can have a regular supply of rusks. :redface:

The kids have been scheming on how we can come up with the money - its really the airfares that causes the Hole in the pocket. Accommodation, food etc is very affordable as the Aussie dollar is very strong (1 AUD = 7 ZAR).

I have come up with a brainwave (read as far fetched plan) - get a job in the Middle East (Dubai) for a 10 year stint. No taxes, cheap patrol, furnished accommodation, cheap cars and.............so much closer to Kruger.
Psssst - don't tell anyone about my brilliant idea!

From a lion king song

"Wait!
There's no mountain too great
Here these words and have faith

.....he (Kruger) lives in you.......

He lives in you, he lives in me
He's watching over every thing we see
In your reflection
in every star

he lives in you..........."


Some more photos of the hawk/eagle so hopefully it can be identified
Image Image

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Rusky's Kruger Ramble Jun 08 - a 1st timers dream trip


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:10 am 
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IMHO I think that is a juvenile Martial.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 1:46 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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rusky wrote:
Part 17 : 7 June cont’d: The last hurrah.
2 Km from Satara I see it – the road to Shangrila – S100. :wink:
“Show me the cardboard cut outs” I yell. The family looks at me funnily. I explain “We are in Wildtuinman land”. Nala, taps her finger on her head and looks at Jnr with a “I think he’s gone bananas” look.


LMAO!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

:clap:

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:09 am 
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Dankie again to all those that have enjoyed the TR.
@DB - the whole deo saga reminds me of a Seinfeld episode where Kramer comes up with the idea of a deodorant that will smell like the "beach". I am thinking of marketing a deo called "kruger thatch" :wink:
@WTM - I've posted a few recommendations for the S-100 cardboard cutouts (cc's) under the S-100 thread.

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Rusky's Kruger Ramble Jun 08 - a 1st timers dream trip


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:06 am 
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Sawubona
To the regulars on this trip report. I have finally managed to upload a part of the Mlondozi Lion sighting on youtube.

This was part of a series of J & S's documentaries all done with their 'best' David Attenborough accents.

They are still mastering the art of camera technique but the commentary will give you a sense of the excitement of this wonderful sighting.

Keep in mind in this part all you can see is the first 3 lionesses and a glimpse of the 1st lion. I will try an upload the 2nd bit later (its a bit tedious).

Enjoy
Rusky
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE7Uh3RszLg

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Rusky's Kruger Ramble Jun 08 - a 1st timers dream trip


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:04 am 
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Must have been temporarirly down. Okay now. :thumbs_up:

Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE7Uh3RszLg

and part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROiSYND3hvk&feature=user

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Rusky's Kruger Ramble Jun 08 - a 1st timers dream trip


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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:26 am 
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@all 'mites that have posted feedback since my previous one - Syabonga.

Here's a couple of Nala's "combination animals" that kept her occupied inbetween sightings.

ImageImage

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Rusky's Kruger Ramble Jun 08 - a 1st timers dream trip


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 Post subject: Re: Ruskys Kruger Ramble May-Jun 08
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:09 am 
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Just wanted to thank all you 'mites and the FAC for this reports nomination .

What started out a a "thank you' to this forum for all the help in putting together our special trip becam a small "book with pictures" and memories for us to go back to and relive the special times and remind us as a family of what is really important - to enjoy time together and have a laugh.

I cannot wait to write my next TR :pray:

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Rusky's Kruger Ramble Jun 08 - a 1st timers dream trip


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 Post subject: Re: Ruskys Kruger Ramble May-Jun 08
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:30 am 
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Congratulations Rusky on a very well-deserved award! :clap: :clap: :D


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