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 Post subject: Relocation and Kidney stones recoup in KNP
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:48 pm 
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:P :lol: I have been waiting long to start this pre TR as I had to move thru a "not visiting KNP for a year" patch.

During last year we relocated to a place known as 'Boiling Water'or should I say Boiling Boiling! As I lived about a hour and 15 min from KNP, I would visit the park up to 14 times a year(very fortunate). In 2007 I was very blessed to have seen wild dogs on 7 different occasions and many lions and gr8 tuskers. And now I have moved away and have not visted the park for a year! :cry: :cry: :cry:

To make matters even worse; I am totally addicted to the forum and all the different TR's :rtm: :rtm: (this is how I feel after reading the TR's and of coarse very :mrgreen: :mrgreen: ) of everybody from around the world and would day dream on a daily basis of my favorite place on earth!

Getting to know the new town with it's people is not always easy and working with people :huh: :huh: :huh: sometimes drives me :wall: :tongue: :wall: :slap: :tongue:

During this time I have learn't to love and appreciate my So tremendously for giving me three children. What I'm trying to say is that I developed kidney stones and it is well known that this is the closest to having birth pains and giving birth. My So says that if women would bare first and men second; each family would only have three children; because men won't do it again second time around. Well if that would be possible I suppose I would go with my So's statement as having kidney stones;; well let's say I am convinced :roll:

So after a very dry patch I am preparing for a nine night stay at Maroela and Satara.

I will be entering Monday 30 March and staying at Maroela for the first couple of nights.

Now I am working on my "to do before I go" list and my wish list aswell.

Any suggestions on roads to travel or not!

Michael

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 Post subject: Re: Relocation and Kidney stones recoup in KNP
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:41 pm 
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Yep, them stones them kidney stones!

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 Post subject: Re: Relocation and Kidney stones recoup in KNP
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:49 am 
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Been working on my wish list!

Top priority I would say is:
1) No more stones :naughty:
2) No more fender bending :(
3) No sick children :|
4) No naughty children :doh:

Here is my mammal wish list:
Wild dog :pray:
Cheetah :pray: :pray:
Leopard :pray:
Lion
Black Rhino :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray:
White Rhino
Up coming Tusker
Big Big Tusker
Sable
Reed buck
AWC :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray:
Caracal :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray:
Civet :pray: :pray:
Serval :pray: :pray:
Honey Badger :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray:

The list goes on and on....................

Have there been Honey Badger sightings in the Satara Orpen area?
Bird list tomorow
11 slapies (sleeps)
Michael

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 Post subject: Re: Relocation and Kidney stones recoup in KNP
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:57 am 
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Just organised a night in Hoedspruit Wildlife estate on the 29 March before we enter at Orpen on the 30th.

Some of last years :cam: and highlights!
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Sorry about this size!
On this trip we were very lucky to have seen leopard on 5 different occasions. The first leopard we saw was when these wild dogs chased it up a tree. 5 days later we saw lions chasing a leopard up a tree!
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Bush buck at Lake Panic (and this size aswell :redface: :whistle: )
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Lake Panic
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9 slapies (sleeps)
Michael

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 Post subject: Re: Relocation and Kidney stones recoup in KNP
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:48 pm 
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Thanx lp, yes can't wait any longer!!!!!!!

Well I'm working very hard these last couple of days and feel like running away, but then I just think of paradise just around the corner and start smiling :D :D .

Gettting the last things together so that I can pack the trailer on Saturday. I hope I don't forget anything!

A quick list of definite needs!
1) Biltong
2) Dry wors
3) Steak tjops and wors
4) Biltong
5) Dry wors
6) Steak tjops and wors
7) Biltong
8) Dry wors
9) Steak tjops and wors

.................... and some coldrink fosho!

6 slapies (sleeps)
Michael

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 Post subject: Re: Relocation and Kidney stones recoup in KNP
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:22 pm 
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Hi everyone, back from a very fruitful and wonderful trip!!!
The questions to be asked is:
What did I and what did I not?
The S100 :hmz: :hmz: ?
What on my wish list did see?

All these and more will be answered after the long weekend, I took many pics and will start posting after the weekend! Talk again very soon!

Michael

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 Post subject: Re: Relocation and Kidney stones recoup in KNP
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:24 pm 
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Hi everyone, I'm back from the long weekend conference and busy uploading my pic's so I'll start my TR tomorrow if everything goes well!
I have recouperated and ready for new challenges, although I have made a decision to leave "them stones" alone!!!!!!

Speak soon.

Michael

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 Post subject: Re: Relocation and Kidney stones recoup in KNP
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:10 pm 
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Ok here goes, the second time around :big_eyes: Was three quarters done when everything dissappeared of my reply screen!!!

29 March 2009

Today,we; SO and 3 kido's aged 16, 13 and 6 finally let for Hoedspruit. Tonight we sleep over at H/spruit Wildlife Estate. It was quite a long trip of about four and half hours to reach our destination.

I couldn't get my trailer fixed in time for the trip and therefor had to make use of afriends. When I went to fetch it Friday evening it was in worse condition than mine! :big_eyes: :( :wall: . Ok now I started panicking :wall: :wall: and saw my whole trip going down the drain (that's putting it mildly). I mean, we are a family of 5 and I only drive a little Meriva 1,6 and won't be able to fit all the camping equipment, 1 wife, 2 teenagers :wall: :wall: and a very busy 6 year old into 1 teeney tiny Meriva. Where am I going to put my camera??? I saw myself in an institution for I would go crazy and :sniper: 1, if not all 3 the kids if we had to squash everyone in together with all the camping equipment!
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This is my teeney tiny Meriva

I'm not a panicky type of person, but this was enough! First the relocation and all the stress accompanying it (and not being able to go to the park for a year); KIDNEY STONES; my SO's accident with somebody elses BMW :big_eyes: :big_eyes: ; and now no trailer; OH MY GOODNESS; I CAN'T HANDLE IT ANYMORE!!!! I NEED A KNP FIX QUICK!!!

Luckily I had a friend visiting for a day or two and he calmed me down and together we organised another trailer and fetched it Saturday morning and had it ready to go in a jiffy :thumbs_up: . Started packing and loading the trailer and was ready to leave :D :clap: Yippee!!!

Only draw back I could only leave the next day (sunday) Aaahhhh!

Left town on 29/3 at 12H15 only to arrive at our destination 16H45. On the way to H/spruit we past Moria where the ZCC would congregate in little over a weeks time, but now all was quiet! Thank goodness.

Arriving in H/spruit I didn't know where H/spruit Wildlife Estate was and therefore drove to Kapama only to hear that we drove past the entrance in H/spruit! The gate security at Kapama informned me! He said that I needed to turn right at the waaathaaa's in H/spruit! Me: "the what?" He: "the waaathaaa's"; me again: "the what and where?" He: " the waaathaaa's; the pigs!" Me: "Oh :slap: silly me, the warthogs!" he: "Yebo Yes".

Drove back and turned right at the "waaathaaa's". Booked in and had a braai at this beautiful house. Slept well! Tomorrow............

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 Post subject: Re: Relocation and Kidney stones recoup in KNP
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:06 am 
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Here I go again! Let’s pray everything works out.
Thanx Lp

30/3/2009 Part 1

We awoke at 6am and had breakfast at the restaurant at about 07H30. Then did some last minute shopping at Pick ’n Pay; (as the old saying/cliché goes, my wife picks and I pay!!!), well she stayed true to that statement! Left for Orpen in gr8 anticipation and entered the park at about 10H30. The all new improved gate entrance was gr8. We managed to change all the days to stay and camp at Satara. Went to the loo and had a whistle; checked the sightings board; bought a cold drink and checked the webcam and off we went!!!! We were now officially in the park. FINALLY!!!!! :clap: :dance:

First up as per usual at Orpen are the Blue wildebeest and not forgetting the Impala’s which we call Mc Donald’s because of the m on their rear ends; if they were lying on their backs it would be a w for Wimpy. Or just plain “alweer bokke” as we so lovingly call them. :lol: :lol:
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A little further down the road a black backed jackal crossed the road at the same spot where I have seen them many times before. Got a couple of pics, but not gr8 ones so I won’t post them.

Only once before have I seen a giraffe lying down at that was at Mapungubwe. Now was the second time!
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Now progressing down the H7 and driving next to the Timbavati River we came across a very big herd of about 200+ buffalo in the river bed, on the bank and in the veld. Always gr8 to see a herd of this majestic animal.
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My SO is very nervous and afraid of elephants. Now having a trailer behind the car made the situation even more tense. This resulted in my wife :pray: that we wouldn’t have any elephant encounters, especially in the road and I also :pray: together with her for the sake of my ribs!!

Reaching Nsemani dam I felt my ribs pounding in agony for a sizable breeding herd of elephant started crossing the road about 200m ahead. That blow to my ribs resulted in a very quick stop, I mean real quick! So I had to take pics from a distance (now I sound like Bette Middler). My ribs, SO and the car and trailer survived.
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Moving on and getting closer to Satara on both sides of the road, the veld was full of Maribu storks or as my little one would say: “Malibu Sporks”. They actually look like Funeral undertakers, especially on the dead tree.
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A little further I came across a giraffe with a runny nose. I suppose he has the Flu! He didn’t have a hanky so he used the next best………….
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Now just before the H7 and H1-3 T-junction I saw these two hornbills and a Carmine Bee-eater in the same bush.
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Reached Satara checked in and set up camp close to the fence to get as close as possible to the wild! Took the kids for a swim and then went for a late afternoon drive!

Did I or didn’t I?
The question arises; S100?......................

Michael

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 Post subject: Re: Relocation and Kidney stones recoup in KNP
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:23 am 
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Thanx lp
Yes Ria Smith I also saw it as something special.
Totally agree TheunsH
Pumbaa this will answer your :hmz:

30/3/2009 Part 2

Leaving the camp and turning right onto the H1-3, taking a slow drive towards the S100; I was contemplating (don’t know what it means, but it sounds intelligent) :lol: if I should do the S100. Reached the S100 turn off and automatically my Green Tjaloppie turns left onto the S100.

I didn’t run to have a quick squiz at the sightings board; therefore I was in two minds! About 200m down the road………………………………................ I was stopped by another car coming from the front. They told me that the road was quiet and that they had seen two big male lion on the Nwanetsi tar road at the Sonop water hole. Ok; family meeting! It was unanimously decided that we should turn around and go in search of the two male lions.

Sorry guys; so I made a quick U’ie and proceeded down the H1-3 towards the H6. Still on the H1-3 next to the Nwanetsi River another car from the front informed us that a pride of lions had just killed (in the morning) a giraffe in the road on the S125 about a kilo and a half on the gravel. O boy!!!!!! Decisions decisions!!!!!! :wall: :wall: Ok, another family meeting! Looking at time we saw that there was sufficient time to go down to the S125. So off we went! :whistle: :whistle:

Reaching the kill there must have been 3000 vehicles :big_eyes: , or so it felt! Could not get close the kill, but was able to see some lions in a bush, not very clear but able to identify those big brown things as lions! It was chaos there and tempers were flaring up and therefore we decided …………………… to stay; even if it was only to have a good laugh.

:shock: People were hanging out of their vehicles to have a look and take pics. :naughty: :rtm: :sniper: Silly mom allowing her kids to do this!!!! :big_eyes: :naughty:
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Waiting patiently as time was running out people started leaving and we edged our way closer and closer. I felt like a buzzard waiting in line to get to the kill. Finally it was clear and we were able to take a couple of pics.
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Now it was time to head back, satisfied at having seen 3 of the big 5 (sorry, yes I do enjoy seeing the big 5). Got back to camp in time with 10 min to spare, bought ice and headed to the tent. Had a gr8 braai and saw the hyena patrolling the perimeter fence. Had a shower and was in bed by nine. Heard the lions roar in the distance and fell asleep with this sound in my ears WOW WOW. It’s gr8 to be in paradise!!!!!

I left the decision of which road to drive in the morning to a morning feeling!

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 Post subject: Re: Relocation and Kidney stones recoup in KNP
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:30 pm 
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Thanx lp.
Sorry for not posting yesterday, but here goes!

31/03/2009 Part 1

There was drizzle during the night which made the night a lot colder than usual. Woke up early because this was the last morning that the gates open at 05H30! So I made coffee for the family to ensure that they are all up and ready to go. Got to the gate 05H25 only to find that we were about 15'th in line!! Can you believe it? :big_eyes:

I was in two minds (so who says men can’t do two things at the same time :twisted: ), do we go up the S100 or down the S100 (Nwanetsi tar road and then onto the S100)?

There were about 30 vehicles leaving the gate at this time of the morning of which 99% turned right towards Tshokwane. We were about 7 vehicles; that I could see that turned left onto the S100. Would the S100 be kind to us this morning?

This was our very first sighting on this road:
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I slowed down completely to let the rush go ahead of me. It was still pretty dark and a lot of cloud still around. Saw a lot of general game like Waterbuck, Wildebees, Impala, and buffalo lying down in the grass but because of the conditions I couldn’t take any :cam: .

Went to Gudzani dam and on the way there saw these giraffe, SO’s favourite animal, I love this pic just because the setting! Waterbuck cow and calf was next and then a very dry Gudzani!
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I then turned back onto the S41 towards Nwanetsi. This road was exceptionally quiet except for oncoming vehicles racing past. What was especially sad was to see how dry the Gudzani River was. Took a break at the picnic site and then down the H6. I met people at the picnic site that said that they saw 2 male lions that were in a terrible condition :cry: :cry: . So in a certain sense I hoped to see them but more of me didn’t. Luckily we did not see them.

In my first trip report last year I mentioned that my youngest loves ostriches and always asks me when we’ll see them, and:
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Further down the road I saw this elephant bull with a reasonable pair of tusks. This was the best pic I could get:
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Up to now, I had not seen any Waaathaaa’s! But all this changed; still on the H6; in fact a whole family of Waaathaaa’s.
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Namaqua dove?
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Got to the H1-3 and turned left to go to the S125, for people reported seeing the pride males at the giraffe carcass. On the way there I did the N’waswitsontso Loop; S86. Lovely road but without any sightings today. Reached the carcass and yes the males were there, unfortunately I could only see one male between the bushes. I got myself a spot and settled for a while in anticipation of this male getting up and moving into the open as he was getting restless. Yes he got up and settled under a little thorn tree in direct line of sight with me and my camera!
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Saw this spider’s web with these 2 spiders on it. What I would like to know is what kind of spider is it (orb?) and what is the smaller one doing there?
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People started getting noisy and the male started getting irritated.
Then people with a fairly large vehicle stopped behind us and climbed through the sunroof :rtm: :rtm: :sniper: :sniper: to get a better view. Man did this cheese him off!
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Started wagging his tail in irritation.
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While I was busy watching this situation through the camera lens, he growled an almighty growl and mock charged. If I had a full bladder I would have wet myself. Got good :cam: though!
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Took a couple more pics and headed back to camp! Got this Dugga boy along the way.
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Will try and do part 2 later!
Michael

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 Post subject: Re: Relocation and Kidney stones recoup in KNP
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:33 pm 
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Pikkie, I just love those Rednecked Francolins and agree with you on the Namaqua dove. :whistle:

Those spyders are Golden Orb but I don't know what the other one is doing there - perhaps junior. :hmz:

It must have been great watching the king in action. :clap: :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Relocation and Kidney stones recoup in KNP
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:28 pm 
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Thanks once more Pikkie,

great lion sighting - the male is looking indeed very handsome but also love your waaaaaarthaaaaas and always a pleasure for me to see waterbucks.

Regarding your spider the little one is the male :whistle:


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 Post subject: Re: Relocation and Kidney stones recoup in KNP
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:50 pm 
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31/03/2009 Part 2

Back at camp we noticed that the guilty noisy bunch of the lion mock charge incident had become our neighbours!!!! It was very hot today and the kids wanted to swim. Maybe it’s just plain common sense or tradition that you don’t swim at the warmest time of day. We then decided to take a short drive and when we come back the kids can go for a swim! This really tested my love for my kids because meant that we would be back long before the gates close. The love for my kids won after an intense conscience battle!! :wink:

We decided on the Old Main Road S90; turn left on the S89 and left again back onto the H1-4. Good, with ice, cold drink and snacks packed in we set off on this scorcher of a day.

The road leading to the S90 was fairly quiet, delivering general game. Then we were very fortunate to see2 Secretary Birds. Only took pic of one that was the closest to me. Man I need another lens for my camera! :cry:
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About 3km down the S90, 2 vehicles were parked next to the road in the scorching sun. After a while we saw what they were looking at. You needed Bino’s to see that it was 2 lionesses lying in the shadow of about the only tree in that area!
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The S90 produced nothing and I felt disappointed and very sleepy at the same time! (There I go proving; again, that men can do more than 1 thing at a time!). When we reached Bangu water hole there were 3 bulls converging onto this cement dam for a drink!
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S89 produced a couple of irritated noses of all the dust on that road! Turned left towards Satara, with the hope of seeing leopard at Ngotso, but it was so hat that the baboons were falling out of the trees and looking very weary. If I were a leopard I would take a chance on old bobby while they were so weary of the heat.
No leopard, but this elephant bull that was bathing in the mud.
Image

Got back to camp and stocked up with ice and cold drinks while the kids had a swim. Had a braai and went to bed early dreaming of tomorrow’s sightings!

Michael

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 Post subject: Re: Relocation and Kidney stones recoup in KNP
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:47 pm 
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Hi everyone, sorry for the :redface: slackness in my posting but with all these holidays nothing can go according to plan.

Had to see the specialist on Thursday and he enlightened me that I will have many more recuperations in Kruger for there are still many stones in my right kidney and one in the left! EISH! But don’t worry everything is under control! They will use a laser to disperse of all these stones.

So KNP here I come!!!!!!!!!!

A SLIGHT APRIL FOOL: 1 April 2009

It was dark and cloudy which would make photography :cam: difficult for the morning!

So and my two gals decided to sleep in this morning; so my son and myself were up and out of the gates at opening time. This was made a little easier for the fact that gates now opened at 06H00 and that there were no women to wait for! :wink: (Sorry ladies, but I can’t understand why you need to put on war paint {make up} in KNP)

We turned left at the gate, up the H1-4. The usual suspects were at the water hole. Travelling north, the sun was on my right and I had an opportunity to snap the rising sun. A real pity was the telephone lines in the back ground!
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Next up on the left were zebra and wildebeest. Then what was a lovely sighting was five Kudu bulls also on the left. These bulls all had a large pair of horns. Coming towards Ngotso and in agonisingly concentration and awareness, my eye caught something in the road and my heart started pounding for I was intensely looking to find a leopard; which together with the Cheetah is my son’s favourite animal! Many people have reported a resident leopard in this area, therefore my great expectancy! Well the excitement was turned into disappointment, but admittingly it’s always gr8 to see old bob!
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The rest of the road towards the S39 was very quiet. We turned left onto this road all the way listening and wondering what the April fool prank is going to be on the “Just Plain Breakfast” on Jacaranda. Listening to all the Just Plain Nonsense they speak (sometimes) and enjoying the mood and laughter on the radio and being in the most beautiful place on earth; arguably, made the recoup and trip for the morning absolutely most enjoyable. (I’m starting to sound like a soutie!) :whistle: The road was a bit corrugated and bumpy, but the scenery made up for it. Seeing Batteleur, fish eagle, wildebeest, impala, giraffe and many other bird species that I could not id, due to my lack in birding knowledge, made me enjoy this time alone with my son! Here are a couple of pics of what we saw.
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About 2km before the Piet Grobler dam, there were 3 cars parked on the side of the road. Approaching slowly and cautiously we soon saw what they were looking at. A lovely pride of lion!
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Terrapin in a puddle in the road.
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Down the S40 to the H7 we heard what the April fool prank was. Every half hour they would call the time five min earlier, which resulted in many people phoning and trying to correct their time. Some people even fed their babies earlier than usual! Ha ha ha! :lol: :lol:

The rest of the road was uneventful. We decided to have coffee and then take the woman to see the lions!

So what was my slight April fool experience?

Wait and see………………………..

Michael.

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