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 Post subject: Elsa, Klystron and Jock's next Kruger Visit.
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:21 pm 
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Excitement is mounting and we are all but ready to start out early tomorrow on our next Kruger visit. :dance:

After a hectic and extremely busy schedule the last 2 and a half weeks we are more than ready for the peace, relaxation and tranquility of Kruger. :D

Penny has volunteered to post our sightings and hopefully they will be of the top order. :wink:

We look forward to a mini meet with Pumbaa and SO. :D

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:26 pm 
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My wish list for this trip

1. To see Duke
2. To see Sable
3. To see anything else Kruger wishes to show me

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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:31 am 
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Back now :( . Had a wonderful trip and we are now going through the hundreds of pictures and getting the trip report together. Will be a busy weekend as I am leaving for Oz on Monday, so spending time with family.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:45 pm 
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At long last I am finally more or less ready with my trip report. :?

This has to have been one of my most difficult in terms of the number of pics we had to sift through, but anyway we are finally done and I hope to be able to share some of what we saw and experienced in our 10 days in the most wonderful place on earth. :D

We, myself, SO Klystron, Jock and my son, who is now a registered forumite as well by the name of Scotty. :D left Durban on the 12th Feb. travelling a little way up the North coast of KZN to the town of Hluhluwe for the night.
Spent the afternoon in the HUP. :D
They do now accept the wildcard but as yet are not Sanparks controlled so no report on that. :wink:

13th FEB.

Arrived at Croc Bridge excitement mounting, signed in and attached the YR to the car and guess what, a Woodland Kingfisher is calling, the familiar and piercing call ringing and welcoming us home. :dance:

Part of our equipment now included our brand new Canon 400D with 100-400mm lens.
So please note altho its an awesome camera, we were really novices and still experimenting and trying out its capabilities. :?

Driving up the H4-2 all the usual animals are present and correct, despite it being in the middle of the day.
Zebra, Wildebeeste, impalas, Giraffe, Ellies and these Vultures sitting in a tree.

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and this Impala welcoming us with the cutest smiles!!

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'Ol Skinny neck the Giraffe.
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This gorgeous fella posing so beautifully for us.

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and one of Jocks favourite animals.

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and what would Kruger be without the usual road block. :wink:
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but he soon realised we were friends and allowed us to pass. :D Thank goodness. :wink:

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Never have we seen so many European Rollers as this year, there were literally thousands of them throughout the Southern end of the park.

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and then we have a road block of a different kind.

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Some of thes pics are Jocks which I include with her permission.

To be continued.....

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:05 am 
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Nice Elsa,

waited already sooooo long for your start which is of course a very promissing one - you are right with the European rollers we also did not see that many but all other the park as this year.

More please :popcorn: - I am looking forward to your doggies (ours will still take a bit longer)


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 10:17 am 
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Thank you all so much for the nice compliments.

Right, quickly a few more,
Where were we :?
Oh yes I remember now, up to L. Sabie.

Sunset Dam is a place we can never not stop at no matter how much or how little time we have available.

Apart from the usual Hippos, Crocs, Impala we found 2 types of Kingfishers sitting on the overflow pipe.
Pied and Woodland, both hoping to catch lunch.

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and then the beautiful Yellow Billed Storks

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Shortly after leaving SS dam we saw the first of the many Carmine Bee-Easters we saw this trip, definitely the most I have ever encounted.

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An Immature Snake Eagle, which was just one of the myriad of youngsters seen at this time of the year.

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Nearly at Skukuza now... more soon.

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Last edited by Elsa on Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:39 pm 
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Onwards towards Skukuza, and the park is extremly lush and green, so lovely to see. :D

The birds continue to be plentiful and we are surrounded by a continuous birdsong and flutterings from tree to tree.

The comical Yellowbilled Hornbill makes its presence known.

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And this Giraffe just keeping an eye on us all the while chewing away.

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It seems all the animals are watching us go by as if welcoming us back. :D :wink: Well, we think so anyway.

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Then a different road block again.
The beautiful Leopard Tortoise whose shell looks suspiciously like a Lion has had a go at. :roll:

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After passing a speed trap on the H4-1 not too far from the High Level Bridge we finally arrive at Skukuza, where we drop off the trailer and Jock and Steve's luggage in their rondavel.

Head on to the H11, where there is another speed trap, :shock: and the Lake Panic Road and then into the private road of Tinga Bush Lodge where Klystron and I will be enjoying some real spoiling for the next 2 days. :D
This beautiful lodge situated on the banks of the Sand river is the epitome of luxury and was gained through an award system. :D a real treat and not something one gets to experience every day.

I post the next few pics and some that were taken on the lodges private concession roads with permission from the mods.

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Due to us having arrived too late to go on the evening/night drive we had to be content with settling into our suite, the size of a small cottage in itself, with deck and private plunge pool all overlooking the river.

As it was getting dark and while sitting on our deck enjoying a sudowner we noticed this little bird sitting on the branch above us, ah, a little Kingfisher is joining us for the night.

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Getting up early the next morning for our early morning drive we noticed it was still there and strangely enough hadn't moved a muscle, :?

only to discover on our return some time later and in brighter light that our little Kingfisher had turned into the most amazing ......

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log Kingfisher. :lol:

More tomorrow....

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:57 am 
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Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Feb 14, Valentines Day. Image
but the days start early here so we find ourselves on the back of the truck by 5.15am and ready for the start of our morning drive.

We go down the lake Panic road and onto the H11 and what looks like the start of a lovely day.

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Then after about 1 or 2 kms we come across something we had been hoping for......

Still very sleepy

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Come on, wake up!
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We watched as the dogs all gradually woke and started romping with each other, a delightful scene. Then 2 more arrived and were greeted most enthuiastically.

There were 13 dogs altogether in this pack.

So absorbed were we in this wonderful sighting that it was only a bit later that I noticed this white double cab parked on the other side of the road to us...with a yellow ribbon attached. :D
Much waving and gesticulating then ensued, much to the funny stares from the other guest on our vehicle, as we realised it had to be none other than Pumbaa and Timon. :dance:
Anyway with only hand signals we managed to set up a meeting for later in the day back at Tinga. :wink:
OK, with a bit of help from Jock and Steve via cell phone later.

We have some wonderful footage of the dogs on video, will see if Klystron can organise a little video clip for us tonight.


I think I am going to have to continue with this a bit later as we are about to lose power. :evil:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:28 pm 
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Sorry about the interruption,
I actually posted my report with mere minutes to spare before getting it dumped by Eishkom. :shock: :roll:

Anyway, I have been scratching through all the pics to see why I only have 2 pics of the dogs, as I have a nice few more, will see what I can get sorted out tonight and do a little back tracking with a couple more. :wink:
I'm sure Pumbaa will have some stunners for you all shortly. :D

After spending at least 20 minutes with the dogs we moved on as our ranger had heard there were Lions on the road up ahead.
But unfortunately by the time we arrived there they had been disturbed and were moving off into long grass, so it was just a fleeting glimpse as they disappeared, but it looked as if there were about 4 or 5 females.

We then deviated onto the concession road and an already great morning just got even better. :dance:


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The she got camera shy and tried to hide behind a leaf. :wink:
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We did go back later that afternoon but she had gone :( and all we could find were the remains of her Bushbuck kill was up a nearby tree.

Still on the morning drive, this startled Steenbok, which didn't hang around for long.

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And then this lovely bird which I believe is a Wahlberg's Eagle.
How nice. :D
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Back at the lodge, and a little later we had some guests,
a lovely little meet with Pumbaa and Timon and Jock and Steve came visiting. :D
This was our last chance to meet them as they, Pumbaa, were moving higher up the park the next day.

After lunch and standing on the deck, suddenly we hear lots of loud trumpeting so we all quickly ran to one of the other suites which gave us a wonderful view across the river of what all the commotion was about.

Ellies at play and the most delightful half hour was passed.


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Do you think I should slide down this bank?

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Oh go on, don't be such a sissy!!

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Even the little things are so pretty.

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Last edited by Elsa on Wed May 07, 2008 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:31 pm 
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Just a quick digress and back track as promised with a couple more of the doggie pics of the morning.

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These ones stood right next to the truck and at one point looked up at me, Sorry but I couldn't even breathe, never mind take a pic. :?

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Then suddenly this collared Hyena appeared on the scene, but took one look at all the dogs, turned tail and headed back where it had come from.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:46 pm 
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Right, on we go and before I do, with regards the brown Eagle I was not sure of, it seems from good authority that it's a Wahlberg's Eagle. Thanks WTM. :D

This is our last day at Tinga and its another early start to the day.

Not far from the lodge we saw an unusual sight, well I thought so anyway, this Rock Monitor at the base of a tree, which it then decided to climb right to the top with amazing ease for such a big heavy looking reptile. But I guess on thinking about it they do eat birds eggs so it does make sense. :wink:


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Then a Yellow Billed Kite of which there were plenty but usually seen flying and swooping overhead.

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and a Saddle Billed Stork.

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We, the ranger, then nearly drove over what looked like a branch in the road and as we passed it saw it was no branch but a by now very annoyed Mozambique Spitting Cobra. :shock:

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Shortly afterwards, this lovely Nyala Bull crossed.

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An inquisitive female Kudu. What lovely big ears you have.

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Then this ellie with a bit of eye decoration. :D

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We noticed this ellie with a notch in its tusk which I believe is caused by the way they pull up and eat the grass. :?

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And then on the H4-1 an all too familiar road block.

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And then here come Mr Cheeky trying to assert his authority. :wink:

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And then he found it all very funny and had a good laugh at us. :wink:

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More tomorrow if possible. [/img]

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:20 pm 
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Elsa - again me....

Great day again - :hmz: The base tree of the Rock monitor was it outside of Skukuza around one kilometer before the H11 turns into the H1-2??? One of those had his base in a whole in a tree - every time we passed the tree we looked after our friend.

Great Cobra sighting also :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:34 pm 
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Onwards, same day.

After the Ellies we turn off onto another one of the Tinga concession roads and wind our way through really wonderful Kruger scenery and little known roads, in fact I had absolutely no idea where I was. :?

Driving slowly down a very narrow little dirt track with thick bush on either side, our ranger stops the truck to show us these little birds which altho a new tick for me this year were very plentiful throughout our trip.

Redbacked Shrike.

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and when I mean stop, he has the engine switched off and has his door partially open with one foot on the running board, turned around and telling us all about this bird when all of a sudden we hear breaking branches and trumpeting and looking to the side, we see this ellie coming straight for us in a charge that looked to me like it meant business. :shock: :shock:
Well, when they say you see your life flash before you, I now know exactly what that means because at that moment I seriously did. :roll:

Anyway, I must admit between the ranger and the tracker, a LOT of shouting and clapping they somehow managed to get the Ellie to change its mind somewhat and it veered off. :clap:

There was absolute silence in the vehicle, I never knew my heart could beat that fast and I was shaking like a leaf, as when that ellie stopped I don't think it could have been more than a few metres from the vehicle.

Without a word being said the ranger started the vehicle and before we could even take a breath, someone from the back shouted that it was coming at us again and sure enough there appeared the now familiar large frame of this very angry ellie crashing through the dense bush. :shock:
Needless to say we didn't need any more encouragement to take off and get out of the there in double quick time, with the ellie trumpeting furiously from the back.

The poor ranger could hardly talk after that as his voice was totally gone after all the shouting and he did admit that it was a close call.

After getting a bit of distance between us he decided to stop for a coffee break and we all got off the truck with very wobbly legs. :roll:

After being fortified with a nice strong cup of coffee and biscuits we started to regain some composure and look around us to see we were in rather a lovely spot. :D

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and Klystron spotted these Golden Orb Spiders.

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After that it was a bit more of the smaller things, thank goodness!! :wink:

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Brown Snake Eagle.

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Tawny Eagle
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That was more or less our morning and time at Tinga, and shortly after we returned from our drive, and had breakfast, it was time to say goodbye to the wonderful staff and Lodge, Jock and Steve arrived to pick us up for the rest of our 7 day trip.

But before I end this instalment I must add a few of Jock's wonderful pics that she took in our absence. :clap: altho they are also scattered throughout my report. :D

On the H1-1 they came across a troop of baboons who first off tried to hi-jack the yellow ribbon, thankfully unsuccessfully and then this delightful scene with the little one, who seemed to be saying, "Help Mom, here comes that bully again" :wink:

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Then also on the same road this very dirty/wet Bushbuck from what I can see. :?

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and then on the S30 this most tiny Tortoise.
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They were also lucky enough to have a meet on the S30 with TB and a litle chat. No pics. :(

Also on the S30 a Coqui Francolin, :mrgreen: which I don't have ticked yet. :roll:

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At Kruger Gate a little chat with KNPSM's SO who recognised the YR. :D

Then on the S1 the sad scene of a baby Rhino who somehow seemed to have lost his Mom.
He was calling and running around clearly very lost and confused. :cry:

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On the H11/S1 at the the Hyena den.

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See what the pups do to her poor ears and mouth. :roll:

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Right folks, unless I want to get into trouble with the mods I think I had better keep some more for another page. :? :wink:

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Last edited by Elsa on Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 10:14 pm 
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Location: Ballito, KZN, RSA
Hi to all,
Thanks for the kind comments re the pics in Elsa's report and I agree with all who think she writes an entertaining report. I am glad that I usually go with her as she makes it sound such fun. This has been a slow report to write due to the number of pictures that I needed to go through, about 2000 between my two cameras and Jocks plus of course the power cuts, usually 9 per week of 2.5 hours each. I am busy installing UPSs to keep the computers working during the breaks but the ADSL link goes down and prevents posting each time.

@ anne-marie; Jock did not stay with the baby rhino long enough to see if it found its mother, it moved into the bush.


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 Post subject: Elsa, Klystron & Jock next Kruger Visit
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:12 pm 
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Without a doubt - extremely :mrgreen: with envy at the awesome sightings you had. We can only hope to be so fortunate when we visit in May/June. Looking forward to the next installment.


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