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DB's Mountain Zebra Trip Report : June 05

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DB's Mountain Zebra Trip Report : June 05

Unread postby DinkyBird » Fri Jun 17, 2005 8:28 pm

Hi from Mountain Zebra!

This place is Special with a capital S!

Arrived late afternoon and received the greatest SANPark welcome I have ever had by the man on duty at the gate. The lady in reception was also so polite and efficient .

My special YR then set to work and the magic started. We saw springbok, vervets, a small antelope I did not id and an aardwolf, a first for me!

There are 20 camps sites here. Three are occupied tonight . It is really cold here now! The camp is lovely. I really hope I get some pics that will do justice to it.

Jacov - tell J jr the ants say hi - there are plenty here in the camp. Nice big ones!
Last edited by DinkyBird on Tue Jul 04, 2006 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby Jaco V » Fri Jun 17, 2005 9:39 pm

Glad you got there safe DB, I agree Mountain Zebra is Special.

WOW aardwolf!!! You are lucky. Keep that YR for all your future park visits, it obviously works :D

Only 3 camp sites occupied, now that should be nice and quiet. We only spent 1 night there, but it is a really nice place to camp. We had Zebra next to the camp when we got up the next morning :)

So the ants came by to say hello, :lol:, did they greet you in their unfriendly way? :x
Will tell J jr. He still remembers them!!

Enjoy, I would not mind visiting MZP again :( Any park will do :)
Jakes

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Sat Jun 18, 2005 5:54 pm

Today started off really cold. I was not able to record the temp as my SO does not know what he did with our thermometer last night...what is it with you musketeers??? Anyway, when we ventured outside this morning the oil in our oil lamp was frozen! But the cold did not spoil the wonderful experience of being here. We set off for a drive up to the Rooiplaat loop. What wonderful views! We saw a lot of antelope - Kudu, Black Wildebeest (very different from the Blue Wildebeest), Eland, Springbok, Blesbok and of course Cape Mountain Zebra.

Midday was very mild. This afternoon we went in search of the 5 Black Rhino in the park - there is a little calf with them too we were told - but we were not lucky enough to see any of them. We did see a pair of Bateared Foxes though, another first for us.

It is cloudy now with a few spots of rain so we are off to the restaurant for supper.

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Sat Jun 18, 2005 6:07 pm

Jacov - the ants are going to have to get through all the layers of clothing first so it is round 1 to us so far...

Gwen - we came well prepared for the cold with gloves, scarves and warm jackets as well as a little heater...

There are some very exciting developments on the cards for MZNP. Will try get more info and fill you all in when I get home.

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Jun 19, 2005 8:20 pm

Today dawned cloudless and calm. We took a lazy drive along the Kranskop Loop. What a beautiful drive with the most breathtaking views. Did not see a great deal of game but the
views made up for any lack of game.

We stopped off for a picnic lunch at one of the two picnic sites in the park. There were a fair amount of day visitors enjoying their Sunday braais there.

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Jun 19, 2005 8:25 pm

The camp here is not fenced but has a ‘gate’ that one has to be in by 6pm each evening.

I took a walk to the little shop here this evening and just 5m from me stood a Kudu ewe!! If we were to ever have a ‘forum bokdrol spitting competition’ in SA this camping area would have to be the venue. Plenty of ammunition on the ground here!!!

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Jun 19, 2005 8:31 pm

Just outside the camp is parked a SANParks helicopter. We drove past an area that has been set up for game capture. Talking to the staff here I learned that they have been
capturing game to move to other Parks such as Addo over the last two weeks. Perhaps we will see some of the action tomorrow morning before we leave for home!

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Jun 19, 2005 8:40 pm

We did not add to our sightings list today. We did however see another 5 Bat-eared foxes!

The game here are less accustomed to vehicles than the game in Kruger so getting close to them for pics is not easy. They tend to move off as soon as a car approaches. There are many wide open areas that make viewing very easy though so with a good pair of binocs one can see a lot.

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Jun 19, 2005 8:48 pm

Bouf wrote:Hi DB,
Hope we'll be as lucky as you on our visit in November. Enjoy the rest of your stay!

Hi Bouf - I really do encourage anyone visiting SA to try and include this Park on their 'must visit' list. It is very different to Kruger and Addo and for that reason alone is worth a stop over. The views are wonderful. Don't come here expecting to see a lot of game and then when you do you will be very surprised. I hope to post some pics and further info once I return home.

We are the only people in the camping area tonight. Last night there were four sites occupied - I think the fact that it is winter here has a lot to do with that. The cottages seem busy. It is so peaceful and quiet here and one does not have to contend with a lot of other cars and people on game drives.

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:47 pm

Had to defrost the ice off the windscreen this morning before setting off on our morning game drive! We turned onto the Rooiplaat Loop as in the distance we could see the helicopter and trucks busy with game capture so thought we’d go and have a look and see how this sort of thing was done. Not too far onto the loop we were met by a very busy ranger who told us that the loop was actually closed while they did the game capture. He did say that we could park where we were and watch!! Wow!!! Special!! He also asked that we stop any other cars from driving along the Loop - my first SANParks ‘job’. I did it with pride and so well too!! No one else bothered these guys (hope they noticed and offer it to me in the future too).

So we spent the morning watching the game capture - but from a fair distance. I have never watch one of these ‘live’, only on TV. They move so fast and let’s face it, they chap piloting the chopper is one hell of a pilot!! An informed observation as I am married to one.

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Mon Jun 20, 2005 9:06 pm

We had a wonderful, happy and comfortable stay at Mountain Zebra. We saw a lot of game even though they were very nervous of vehicles (probably also due to the game capturing that has been going on there over the past two weeks). There are no large predators there however the fantastic views and the fact that the Park is quiet and very peaceful makes it so special.

The staff are extremely friendly. The reception area, little shop and restaurant as all housed in one building and one can see the reception from the dinning area. The chalets all look out over the mountains.

We were told by staff that presently suitable fences are being put up so that cheetah can be introduced in a couple of years time to the Park and that the chalets are to be renovated.

We did not see snow Bert but were told that it does snow in the Park and sometimes even in the camp (which is in a valley). July and August are the coldest months with snow even falling in November in some years!

And another point - the gate closes between 1-1.30pm!!!!

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Tue Jun 21, 2005 8:18 pm

As promised some photos from our visit to MZNP:

The reception, shop and restaurant building in the camp:
Image

The camping area:
Image

The view from our site:
Image

The chalets:
Image

The petrol 'station':
Image

One of the many beautiful views from the drives:
(The white house is the guest house)
Image

On top of the world:
Image

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Mountain Zebra National Park sightings : June 2005

Unread postby DinkyBird » Tue Jun 21, 2005 9:08 pm

Here are some photos of the animals we saw at Mountain Zebra this past weekend.

Please note that these are Eastern Cape animals who are not schooled in the art of posing for pics like their cousins further north :wink:


The endangered Cape Mountain Zebra:
Image

Black Wildebeest:
Image
Last edited by DinkyBird on Sat Apr 29, 2006 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Tue Jun 21, 2005 9:12 pm

Bat-eared fox:
Image


Springbuck:
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Unread postby DinkyBird » Tue Jun 21, 2005 9:14 pm

Eland:
Image

Red Hartebeest:
Image


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