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 Post subject: Meandering Mouse and Trusted Beauty hit the road
Unread postPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 8:11 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Two sleeps to go and so much has happened.

In case you don't know, this is trusted beauty :D
Image

I was meant to be relocating to Mpumalanga and had my first two weeks centred around Hazyview.
A familiar voice on the phone put an end to that.

"Please", the voice said, "just listen to what XX has to say and keep an open mind"

so after a very exciting talk and trying to keep an open mind, it looks as though MM has to put her plans on hold for a while.

Kruger is however still calling and MM needs to get to know Trusted Beauty more intimately. She also needs to try out her new tent and camera 8)

so before the rat race calls again, MM will be hitting the road.

The plan
:dance: :dance:
3 nights Pretorius Kop
2 nights Croc Bridge
3 nights Maroela
2 nights Letaba
2 nights Punda

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Unread postPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 7:02 pm 
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I was sipping a water (I'm such a good boy) in Pretoriuskop when a very special lady popped in to say hi. (We heard about the raptor ID, I still think you saw a juvenile martial).

Thanks MM for visiting us on 13 May. As you predicted our rhino luck changed. Besides a couple of whites, we had half an hour with two lovely black Rhino on the H3 the next day.

Greetings from Nicola and Jules as well.

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Unread postPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 4:51 pm 
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Well, I am back.

I'm not sure how I am feeling right now. I think the word "culture shock", comes to mind.

I am very happy to see my cats and dogs and will be seeing my children over the weekend, but I am also feeling like I have left a long lost love behind.

My little runt went ballistic when he saw me.
There is nothing like a little runt to make you feel like you are the most special person in the whole world. :lol:

and why did you leave me, abandon me? he says, adding a touch of Jewish/Catholic/doggy guilt :wink:

Last night I fell asleep to the sound of a lone Ellie bull munching on the Timbavati River bed, now I am listening to my cats munching on "Purina One, Chicken and Rice forlmula".

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Last edited by Meandering Mouse on Fri May 23, 2008 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 5:49 am 
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Thank you Bunny Hugger, Pikkie, Dotty, Nats, Matthys, Aboon, Annalie, Ingrid60, Dreamer, Anna Marie, Sable, Elsa, Pumbaa, Wanderw, Batmad, Foxy and African Dreams for your good wishes.
Sawubona, I have a story to tell about the Olifants trail :wink:

Senyetse, I am convinced that the little primate blighters have learnt how to pick out the Woolies stuff first :evil:

Anne Catherine, I seem to have managed to collect a few interesting pictures and I am really very happy with my camera.

Firstly, my best moments were those meeting yellow ribbons 8)

Christo, it was lovely meeting up with you and your clients. I am so pleased that they got their Rhinos, and a black one nogal :clap: :clap:
the moments just flew by so quickly.

Eco Junkie, we might have missed each other at P'kop, but I'll always think of you at Nhlanganzwani Dam. It was good to hear of your growing involvement with Sanparks :clap: :clap:
good for you.

Ngala and Katja, I hope that your last two nights were pleasant ones. I feel very fortunate in having caught you just before you left the Park. Looking forward to more 8)

Moggy Dog, you have stories there sista, I hope to see a lot more of you in future. I think that you would have lots to give.

Graemy and Sonja, what a pleasure to have been able to share a meal together. I hope read more of your adventures in "traveller's tales"

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Unread postPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 6:56 pm 
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Let me share my most hair raising moment..


Image

this was the point when my camera said, "memory full" :shock:

one of my loveliest moments was arriving at Pretorius Kop and being greeted with a big smile.
The young lady at reception passed on the most lovely parcel, tied with a yellow ribbon.
It was a most special gift from two very special people 8)

Image

this is how special and good I felt at that moment.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 10:55 am 
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Before I start with my serious trip report, I need to have a bitch session. :evil: a big bitch session :evil:

Most of us have experienced roads that are not entirely "bladder friendly", (Freda's words) and might have had the need to :redface: :redface: protrude...

but :evil: :evil: put the bl**dy toilet paper back in the car :evil:

Kruger is starting to look like a cess pool at all look out points. Leaving toilet paper for other people to view is an irresponsible, disgusting, despicable habit that reveals an attitude of blatant inconsideration and thoughtlessness.



It is not biodegradable and harms animals and the environment. It is an assault on good taste and common decency.

One of my worst moments was looking at an African Green Pigeon at a river view site. This beautiful little bird was nestled in the branches above me, while strewn at my feet were six pieces of used toilet paper and one discarded baby's nappy :evil:

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Unread postPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 7:41 pm 
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Image

Sorry guys for the wait. Believe it or not, I have been having problems with my computer security and it won't allow me to do very much at all :(
I'ts treating me pretty much like a big mama with an errant teenager :evil:

Let me start with the Pangolin sighting. Nothing like starting in the middle of the story, if it's where the action is :wink:

I was in my second day at Maroela and slap bang in the middle of my stay.
I had had an extremely productive day and was feeling very satisfied and happy.
I decided to pop into the Rabelais hut on my way back to the camp and just "look around"

While I was looking and thinking of the great dept we owe to the Orpen family, I heard the excited voices from a car outside..
there was a sound of acceleration and I heard the unmistakable noises of "Krugermania", lets get to the Lions.

I hesitated for a minute, but the thought of juggling with masses of cars for maybe a glimpse of some predator, did not appeal at that moment.
"Let me go back and relax with the sunset", I thought.

As I was about to turn into the gravel road going towards Maroela, a "jeep jockey", bless her :D , motioned towards a spot next to the road.

"Pangolin", she said, eyes ablaze with excitement :D

"Pangolin" :dance: :dance: :dance:
out came my camera, and yes, I was one of the first ones there :dance:

I clicked away, following the little critter in ecstatic disbelief. Not only was it close to the road, but it did not seem at all phased by the gathering group of cars.

Now, let me tell you, these little guys are cute.
They walk like little dinosaurs with their little front paws curled up a the chest. This little critter was walking on his hind legs 8)

I followed for quite some time, but as the car crowd was increasing, I left so that more people could see the little guy.
It was breath taking.

Image

Now, as for this creature.
This is how I slept after my Pangolin sighting.
Happy and content.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 6:00 pm 
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Annelie and Pumbaa, I was very fortunate this trip to have a few very unusual sightings.
Anne Marie and Wanderw, my next story will illustrate just how much I need to be ready with a camera.
Anne Catherine, it was a strange creature and I feel so priveledged to have been able to observe it for so long and so close.
JenB and Dotty, I sure am looking forward to comparing notes in the not too distant future :wink:

I am going to tell you another story about another very exciting sighting.
I left Pretorius Kop on my third day for Croc Bridge.
I had just had a rather hilarious experience of dismantling a tent, so I was a little distracted as I hit the Voortrekker road.

My previous experience of this road has taught me to expect the unexpected, but you might also fall asleep from boredom in the attempt.
I stopped at the historical sight where the unfortunate German died as a result of infection following a self inflicted bullet wound.
He had been trying to kill a Lilac Breasted Roller.
I sipped my cup of coffee, feeling very reflective before leaving to hit the road again.

I was really not looking for game at all when this apparition appeared.

Image

At first I thought it was a Kudu, then
:shock: :shock: :shock:

I couldn't believe it
:shock: :shock: :shock:

I grabbed my very unprepared camera and took some lovely photos of my steering wheel :roll:

The two buck walked right up to my car, teased me by remaining tantilisingly close, but half hidden behind my mirror.

Image

and then as quickly and as silently as they arrived, they disappeared into the bush

Image

I found it very frustrating that I could not get the shots I wanted. I also realised that when with a camera, the motto is "be prepared" at all times.

On the other hand, how lovely to see this rare, shy creature so close and so relaxed.

It is my only sighting ever of a Lichtenstein Hartebeest.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:04 am 
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Freda suggested that this might be a Tsessebe.
As you can imagine, these are not animals on sees everyday and I've had to rely on books for my identification.

Unfortunately, I did not get a good shot of the horns.
Image

Here is another picture.

I made my identification due to location, as Lichtensteins are known to be in this area.
According to "Exploring Kruger" Tsessebe is far more north.
If anyone could give futher input it would be great.

Certainly, if this is a Tsessebe, then they are far more south than expected.

By the way, the horns did look Lichtensteins to me, but then it was just such a short moment and I could easily be mistaken.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:34 am 
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Hi MM

Those look a lot like Tsessebe to me. The giveaway is the Lichtie's horns that curve back almost horizontally:

Image

Whereas those in your pic go almost straight up. The horns of the Lichtie are also set a lot closer, dorming almost a heart shape.

A Lichtenstein's hartie:


Image

Great sighting in anyway, being so far south! :D

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:27 am 
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Senyetse, thank you for that response.
One of my ambitions is to see all the buck and antelope species in Kruger, so that is very helpful.

To everyone else, I have downloaded another couple of pictures of the scaley little beastie.

Image

I tried to get one that was not quite such a bum shot.

Image

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:35 am 
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A pan .. a pan ... a pango ......... Image


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:07 am 
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Jenb, your room is ready any time
you too Gwen and Dotty :lol: never know what you might see.
Candy, the toilet paper issue kills me, what do people think?
Anne Catherine, the bushes didn't help, but I found that towards the end of my trip I was managing the camera much better.
Annelie, keep tuned :wink:
Pumbaa, Wanderw, Anne Marie, Suej, Salva and Senyetse, thank you for your input.

Since we ended on the Hartie/Tsessebe moment, I am going to continue from there.

What a day it turned out to be.

I stopped at Afsaal for a quick lunch. I still could not wipe the satisfied smile off my face :D My reckoning was that I could reach Croc Bridge by at least 3:30 and maybe plan a short late afternoon drive.

Well, never plan anything too well in Kruger :roll: :roll:

I decided to drive via the Gardenia hide, and pop into see if there was anything of interest. I remembered that when I drove with Jeanus, I really enjoyed bits of the road very much.
At some point, close to the hide, I decided to find some trees in order to have a little catnap.
I am the master of the 10 minute cat nap. :wink:

I was over looking a dry river bed and no catnap I'm afraid. My time was taken by a group of Ellies digging for water.

Image

They were intent on getting something from the ground.

Image

No cat nap it seemed, just too much adrenaline here.

Image

So off I continued to the hide.

Shortly before I reached the hide, I saw them 8) three "this is a big sighting" group of cars.

I stopped next to the last car in the row,
"Wild dog", he mouthed..
:dance: :dance: :dance: went MM's heart..

and there they were

Image

I could not believe my luck.
:cam:

We stayed still for a looong time. First one car left, then the other car. I was all alone with these most exquisite creatures.
I noticed how skittishly they slept. Their ears followed sounds depite the resemblance of sleeping.
I admired their lean, lean muscular builds.
Not an ounce of fat here, just pure sinew, bone and muscle.

every so often a dog would stand up, stretch and go back to sleep.

Image

A water bird cried in the distance and the one dog jumped up.
As quick as lightining he was gone :shock:

I waited with baited breath, would he return with a tea time snack for the group?

and return he did, empty mouthed, but looking oh so good.

Image

I snapped away :D
and then,
:huh:
I looked at my camera and it said,
no more memory
:big_eyes:

stay tuned for the next episode :wink:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:46 am 
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Thank you all for your very kind comments.
Bucky, I did get more confident with the camera as time went on. This was early days.

Now that my wireless connection has been installed and I'm not worried about running out of gigs, I can continue.

If I look at an enlargement of my one wild dog, I am fairly sure that she is pregnant. I can see little enlarged nipples and a bit of a tummy on that lean body.
Image

I think that's the one.

Anyway, to continue...

Much to my amazement, I was able to get a cellphone signal. I phoned my clever cyber/daughter.

MM: sweetie, hi, do you have a moment
daughter: why are you whispering? are you in trouble?
MM: I am watching a pack of wild dogs and I have no memory left in my camera
daughter: oh %**
MM: help :pray:
daughter: you have to delete pictures
MM:how? :huh:
daughter: where's the manual?
MM:*&%*
daughter: now listen to me, :naughty: find your manual, put it in your cubby hole, keep it in your cubby hole and never, never let this happen again. :rtfm:

Needless to say, my manual is still in my cubbyhole.

I spent the next loooong while deleting old pictures and watching my dogs.

I was eventualy joined by other cars and I realisd that I would have to move onto Croc Bridge.
Image

This is part of a road block I encountered. I have never seen so many really big herd of buffalo as I did this time. In this case, they just poured and poured out of the bushes and then quitely disappeared into nothing on the other side.

A little Croc Bridge note
Image

No Croc Bridge experience is complete without a meeting with this man.
I saw Daniel later that day and he tlold me that shortly after our meeting a Leopard walked accross the road. :(
that was a bit of the Leopard theme of my trip.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:36 am 
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Thank you Mgoddard,anne-marie, AfricanDreams, Suej, Illie, anne-catherine andNightjar for your encouraging words.

I am going to start with where I left Daniel.
It was the most perfect morning and I was still buzzing from the experiences of the previous day.
My first non human sighting was a Jackal hastily scutteling across the road.

I parked at the Nhlanganzwani Dam where I enjoyed a cup of coffee or two and just listened to the awakening bush.
I heard a car pull up next to me and a familiar smiling face peered through the glass.
It was Ecojunkie :D
We had missed each other at P'kop, but managed to meet unexpectedly in this abandoned ex-dam.

We chatted for a while, caught up on news before Ecojunkie left for the Sand River bush camp.
You go girl, :clap: :clap: :clap: Ecojunkie really is getting down and involved in bush stuff.

This was a rather quietish day. This is one of my more comical sightings
Image

I did see many of these most alarming birds on my trip.

One of the reasons why my day was so quiet from a game viewing perspective, was due to an emergency trip into Komatiepoort for more supplies.

While I was in P'kop I had been robbed :shock:
They had taken all my fresh produce, my Woolies seed biscuits, Woolies meuslie rusks, cheese, nuts and had left me with some boring Provita and tinned peas :cry:

Image
the culprits in action :evil:

These little agents of destruction had also ripped out a poor campers caravan window and turned my neighbours fridge over trying to get at food.

My woolies chips and my meuslie were stolen at N'wamanzi look out by a group of monkeys. :twisted:

I will say at this point that I had tried my best to be primate proof, but they are really very crafty. I was robbed while I was talking to the camp manager a few metres away from my tent. It took one unguarded moment.

Image

Just to let you know how easy it is to be distracted. This is a sunset from my tent :wink:

Image

and a quick look at the lovely bush grass lining the road.

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