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 Post subject: Re: AUSSIES ON THE PROWL IN KRUGER FOR 36 DAYS
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:24 pm 
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Day # 29 3rd September Biyamiti - Crocodile Bridge

A Day of Excellent Sightings and a 100 Kilometer detour.

Today we had to move to Crocodile Bridge. We had planned to leave Biyamiti late and travel direct on the S25. However after the incident of yesterday, we had to travel via Skukuza Police Station to report the theft. Owing to the amount involved, this was a decision that took no time in considering. Funny, that when the bungalows next to us were being cleaned today there was only one cleaner and not two. We were told by a level of management yesterday, that this is normal and not two. We packed the van and set off via the reception. Not impressed to see that my written report from yesterday was still lying on the counter where I had put it at the Camp Manager’s (who was on duty) instructions. As the Manager was away today at a meeting, one would have thought that it would have made the manager’s office owing to the seriousness of the theft. :evil: We had some good sightings on the way to Skukuza.

We spent over an hour at the Police station giving a written report. As Katie is nearly through her studies as a LAW student, she knew the ramifications in giving false evidence. We were told that it would be investigated and we would be contacted. (We did get a call from the Detective on the case, on the 1st October to tell us they were going to the camp to investigate). When we told the Police, that we were told that the staff were trusted, they laughed. :hmz:

We departed Skukuza at 11.25 and set off for Nkhulu in search of Wacktazz & Buff Pies. Just a short distance down the H4-1 we came across a major traffic jam. A pride of 10+ Lions were walking along between the river and the road. They were being followed/harassed by over 50 vehicles. As we had to do this detour and time was getting on, we had little interest in watching. We drove down the wrong side of the road (when we could) to get around the spectacle that was taking place. Not an easy thing to do, when the observers thought that you were trying to get a better view than them. We eventually got past and continued on to Nkhulu. At last we found the buffalo hunter and enjoyed a buff pie. :dance: It was very busy there as a regular large group of game vehicles had arrived for the occupants to be fed. We had a short talk with Wacktazz before we continued on to Croc Bridge.

We booked in and settled into our bungalows. At 15.45 we headed out for a short drive down the S28. We had only gone a short distance, when a work contractor’s truck coming in the opposite, stopped us and asked a stupid question, “Do you want to see 2 cheetahs”. We must have looked like children who had found out how to take the lid off a confectionary jar. We followed their instructions and did a right hand turn on to the private road to Shishangeni Lodge. No we did not break any rules. There were no visible signs (as there is throughout the park) telling you not to enter. We only had to travel less than 200mtrs to find them lying under a bush. As it was hot, they had no intention of moving much. We spent about 40 mins with them, :thumbs_up: before a vehicle coming from the Lodge told everyone that the Lodges rangers were coming. We left and took a short drive further up the S28. When we returned back past the lodge road, one of the ranger’s vehicles was parked across it. We headed back to camp and had a box braai.
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Roads Travelled - S139, S114, H1-1, H4-1, H4-2 & S28

Sightings - 6 x Hyaena (through camp fence), Crested Barbet, Impala, Kingfisher, Buffalo, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Kudu’s, Giraffe, Dwarf Mongoose, 2 x Fish eagles, Kingfisher with fish, Egyptian geese, Elephants, Steenbok, Brown Snake-Eagle, Rey Duiker, Guinea Fowl, Banded Mongoose, +10 Lion, Nyala, Wacktazz, Waterbuck, Korhan, Vultures, Hippo’s, 4 x Lion, Crocodiles, Warthogs, Scrub Hare, Wildebeest, 2 x Cheetah, Rhino + calf, Large herd Elephants, Rhino & Zebra.

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 Post subject: Re: AUSSIES ON THE PROWL IN KRUGER FOR 36 DAYS
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:29 am 
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Day # 30 24th September Crocodile Bridge & Marloth Park.

The Early Bird catches the Worm.

We found out last night that 20+ Wild Dogs (including young) had been on the S25 for the past couple of days. So we decided to go and see what we could find. We left the 2 youngsters in bed and headed out the gate as soon as it was open. There was light misty rain, so the drive was expected to give little sightings. We travelled some distance down the S25 and came across 3 Lions at what was left of a kill. We were with them by ourselves for a little while before other cars arrived. We then left and went in search of the doggies. No such luck. All we could find was a lot of spore. :(
We decided to continue on down the S25 and saw something in the distance moving along the side of the road. It was a Cheetah. We followed it for several kilometers, with it walking on the road and in the bushes beside it. We were the only car, as everyone else must have been looking for the dogs. Eventually another car came up behind us. It followed us for some time, so I signaled for them to come up beside us. What did they do? They waved to us as they passed and raced up to the cheetah. This made the cheetah leave the road and disappear into the bush. :evil: We sat for some time (as did the other vehicle) to see if it would return to the road. After 10 minutes it had not and the other car drove off. Not long after they left, the cheetah returned to the road. It was as if it was waiting for the “threat” to leave. We were then blessed with having the cheetah to ourselves again. :dance: In time other cars arrived, so we turned around and left them with the cheetah. We headed back to camp for breakfast. On the way we came back to where the lion kill was, only to find a vehicle parked off the road in the bush so they could try and find the lions. Sadly this vehicle belonged to a forumite. :redface:

Just before 12.00 we headed out of the park to Marloth Park. We went and spent some time with Freda & Malcolm. It was great to look at the park from the other side of the river. Sadly time came for us to attack the “well maintained” road back to Croc Bridge, as we wanted to check the S25 for the dogs before camp closure. We had no success, as did many other cars. Overall we had a good day of sightings.

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Lets damage the bush....
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Roads Travelled - S25, S27, S28 & H4-2.

Sightings - Impala, kudu, Wildebeest, Elephants, 3 x Lions, Cheetah, 2 x Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Rhino, Giraffe, Vultures, Zebras, Warthogs, Dead Francolin, Rhino, Buffalo’s, Dwarf Mongoose, 2 x Rhino & Guinea Fowl.

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 Post subject: Re: AUSSIES ON THE PROWL IN KRUGER FOR 36 DAYS
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:30 am 
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Day # 31 25th September Crocodile Bridge – Pretoriuskop

Today we left for Pretoriuskop via Skukuza. We decided to give the S25 another check in case the dogs had returned. No signs of any fresh activity, so we headed back to the Hippo Pools. The Ranger was out with a group, so we did not wait. We headed for Skukuza, with 10 Rhino’s before Lower Sabie. We came across a number of cars stopped on the side of the road, looking for Lions that had been seen on the opposite bank of the river. As with many of the cars, we spotted nothing. We continued on, and just past Nkulu we came across more cars & game drive vehicles searching for lions that had been sighted. The typical stupid human behavior showed itself, with 1 woman in a BMW standing up through the sun roof of the car. :x Then there were some young children sitting with most of their body outside the vehicle. :roll: We had some lunch at Skukuza, then continued on to Pretoriuskop.

We arrived at Pretoriuskop and settled in. We had a rest period, then went out for a drive. Not far from the camp we had a Tsessebe. We went down the S10 and back on the S3 to Mestel dam. As we were approaching the dam, an ultra-light was flying along just outside the park. It then changed course and headed to the dam. When we got to the dam, the ultra-light was well past the dam into the park. It turned around and then headed back towards the dam, and after circling a couple of times headed back out of the park. As we headed back along the H1-1 we stopped and watched a Goshawk eating a lizard in a tree. As we were watching, a tourist bus approached at speed. I flashed the lights until he slowed down and spotted what we were looking at. I initially flashed the lights because of his speed, but then the driver showed his passengers what we were looking at.
We left the bus & cameras with the hawk and headed for the S8. A good decision! We had a sighting of a sable at some distance. We watched it for some time, before beating the gates. Back in camp we spotted a yellow ribbon, but did not find the owner until tomorrow. We headed indoors for the Bungalow wildlife – Cockroaches. :evil:
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Roads Travelled - H4-2, H4-1, H1-1, S10, S3, S20, S8 & S14.

Sightings - Waterbuck, Impala, Wildebeest, Warthogs, Francolin, Vultures, Rhino, Kudu, Vervets, Elephants, Giraffe, Zebras, Rhino, Baboons, Buffalos, Rhino, 3 x Rhino, 2 x Rhino, Nyala, 1 x Rhino & Calf, Fish Eagle, Crocodiles, 2 x Klipspringer, 3 x Bateleur, Slender mongoose, Tsessebe, Rhino, Goshawk & Sable.

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 Post subject: Re: AUSSIES ON THE PROWL IN KRUGER FOR 36 DAYS
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:22 am 
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Day # 32 26th September - Pretoriuskop

A Day of Smiles & Tears.

We delayed our morning drive today, as our AFL team (St Kilda) was playing in the Grand Final in Melbourne. We have only won the title once in 1966. The game was live on TV, but no such facility in this camp. So we had it live on the internet. As our team is so predictable (that’s why we follow the Cheetahs) we left for a drive after the first quarter. After our drive, we returned to suffer more of what we had endured earlier. WE LOST. :(
After the game we headed back out again. As we were passing the day visitors area, we found another yellow ribbon. It was Pookie. We passed on the flag pins, then we headed off. We went for a drive to Jock’s birthplace, then to Shitlhave dam. As it was getting hot, we headed back to camp.
We had entertainment supplied for us. The following is from Lorraine’s Blog.

"There were 2 highlights today and neither was captured on film.
Vervets sitting on the back of a chair at the next bungalow trying to open the door.
One was really determined…..bum on chair back ….legs on the door to steady himself and hand jiggling the lock.
Four vervets opened the screen window of the bungalow on the other side and were flying in and coming out with fruit.
David raced over and they made a hurried exit with the last banana. He pulled the screen down and as he was closing the window the smallest vervet crept up behind him and was about to swipe him on the leg. David turned to walk to the next window and the little bugger had second thoughts and scampered off.
As David was closing the second window he heard another commotion and thought he must have locked one in………no the occupant had been resting in the other room and missed the fun" :slap:

We went out for a late afternoon drive. We had heard that there were lions on the S8, on the loop around the rocks. Like others we could not find a thing. We were about to leave when someone pointed them out. They were up on top of the highest rocks under some little trees. Very hard to find. We then went to check Shitlhave again. We were sitting there for a while, when I thought I saw something move in the distance. I got the bino’s and spotted a Sable. This finished up being 5 Sable, but they stayed a long way over the back of the dam. The clock was not on our side and we had to get back. About half way back to the camp, we spotted another 4 Sable down in a gully. :dance: We arrived back at camp and made a wrong decision to go to the Restaurant for dinner. :evil: The other yellow ribbon we saw last night belonged to Wildone. There were also a couple of other forumites that we met today, but I lost their details. They had been kind enough to invite us to have a braai with them, but we passed it up for the Restaurant. At time one wish’s they could have wound the clock back and made a better choice. :pray:

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Roads Travelled - S20, S14, S8, H2-2 & H1-1.

Sightings - Grey Rhebok, Zebra, Impala, Kudu, Grey Hornbill, Waterbuck, Rhino, Black bellied Bustard, Rhino, Giraffe, Elephants, Baboons, Buffalos, Pookie, Steenbok, Hippo, Fish Eagle, Bronze-winged Courser, 3 x Lions, Korhan, Large Herd Buffalos, Goshawk, 2 x Rhino, Saddle-billed Stork, 5 x Sable, Warthogs & 4 x Sable.

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 Post subject: Re: AUSSIES ON THE PROWL IN KRUGER FOR 36 DAYS
Unread postPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 9:45 am 
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As promised here it is.

Day #33 27th September - Pretoriuskop – Berg en dal

A Horny Day.

Today we packed the van and headed out at 08.20 for our drive to our last camp for this trip, Berg en dal. Apart from the sightings & reasonably fast internet connection, we were not sorry to be leaving Pretoriuskop. Our first sighting for the day was 2 rhino. We continued on to check Shitlhava Dam, and not much further down the road, we had another 7 rhino together. After Shitlhava we checked Transport Dam. Not much activity, so we headed off for Afsaal for brunch. At 10.00 it was already 32c. We left Afsaal at 11.35, and it was now 37c.

We arrived at Berg en dal at 12.20 and moved back into our bungalow where we had stayed at the start of our trip a month earlier. We spent the afternoon settling in and doing some washing. At 16.00 we decided to go for a drive, knowing that the sightings would be poor as the temp was still 37c. We saw some more rhino’s, which made a total of 16 for the day. Our first & last sightings for the day were rhino. We did not get any cats, but in spite of the heat our sightings were plentiful. We went to bed early, hoping for a cooler day tomorrow for our walk with Raymond & Obby.

Roads travelled – H1-1, H3 & S110.

Sightings – 2 x rhino, steenbok, warthogs, giraffe, wildebeest, 7 x rhino, elephants, kudu, impala, Bateleur eagle, fish eagle, lapwings, waterbucks, water monitor, pied kingfisher, rhino, zebras, woollynecked storks, 2 hyaena, ibis, ground hornbills, rhino, buffalo, marabou stork, baboons, 2 x rhino, LBR & 3 x rhino.

Lp will post photos for the day


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 Post subject: Re: AUSSIES ON THE PROWL IN KRUGER FOR 36 DAYS
Unread postPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 10:09 am 
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More from day 33 in a little while

lp :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: AUSSIES ON THE PROWL IN KRUGER FOR 36 DAYS
Unread postPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:45 am 
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lp :dance: :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: AUSSIES ON THE PROWL IN KRUGER FOR 36 DAYS
Unread postPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 4:21 am 
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Day #34 - 28th September Berg en dal

A Forumite Day

Up early as we had a walk to attend. Raymond and Obby met us at reception. Lorraine & I were joined by 3 others. Away from camp by 5.30, and a short drive to the area past the bush braai turn off. The day was overcast and windy. Raymond decided to walk up the hill. Now we don’t mind a walk, even a brisk walk, because our beagle Callie takes us on a 3k brisk walk every day at home and sometimes twice a day. We also walk a hill or two. Away we went. Up the hill…..”mmmmm rhino have just passed this way, we will try and follow”. Down the hill, round the hill, up and down and around. Doesn’t Raymond realise he has two oldies on this walk? Around 7am we had reached a high rocky outcrop and stopped for our break. What an incredible view of the area and also the camp itself. Soon it was time to move and game to be found. Success… We find two rhino not too far away, but they know we are near and run away. After the rhino ran off there was a herd of impala. Down the hill we go and Raymond sights another 2 rhino camouflaged in the bushes. They moved off and we tried to move downwind of them to get closer. A kudu calf and then its mother are next. We were now on our way to rocks overlooking the bush braai area.

One of the guests on the walk then broke a few rules…..fell out of line and then picked up an empty snail shell that was well off the track we were walking on. Obby explained what the shell was and Raymond moved to the rocks. He quietly beckoned us to come to the top of the rocks. Three rhino were in the clearing….Mum, dad and the calf. We observed quietly for ten minutes, and then spent fifteen minutes walking down to the vehicle. We must admit, that we were (to use an Aussie term) “bloody knackered”, but what an experience to be so close to the last group of rhino. Today was a no camera day for Lorraine and her pics from the walk were taken with Katie’s camera that slipped easily into her pocket.

Back in camp after the walk, we met Stephen Nel as we were driving to our bungalow (26). He is a great guy and explained that there was a slight problem with some of the bungalows in our area (sewerage pipes were suffering constipation. They were blocked and backed up to the rims) but the matter was being attended to. This didn’t bother us because we were going to drive to Malelane after a quick coffee. Katie & Lorraine were in the kitchen and lounge area, laughing at the thundering sounds made by the squirrels as they chased one another over the roof, down the walls and up into the trees. Next minute a small clump of thatch landed in front of Katie, while she was standing at the sink. As she looked up, a bushy tail flicked and bright eyes surveyed the scene. It then ran along the main beam, did a quick turn and scurried back and out the hole. We rang reception and within minutes a worker was assessing the situation. Ladders and wire appeared and the squirrel entrance was closed.

We made our trip to Malelane and had lunch at the cafe near the Spar (a regular stop for us when we were in town) and then collected chicken to have for supper after our drive. We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, as we had a drive booked for the evening.

Raymond had asked us to be at the drive collection point at 4.30. We arrived at the same time as Martie. She had made the trip from Pretoriuskop, and had spent the afternoon getting battered and bruised setting up her van. Raymond had arranged that he take only our group and Martie in the small vehicle. A Forumites Drive. We enjoyed hearing first hand from Martie the stories from her first 150 days in Kruger. We were hopeful of great sightings, but I think the wind, cold and mist were against us. We managed to find elephant, rhino, Wahlbergs eagle, breeding herd of elephants with the young ones shaking their heads at our vehicle, kudu, impala, 2 white tail mongoose, 2 hippo a long way from water, buffalo with both horns broken off, giraffe and 1 small and 2 large spotted genets. Another great day comes to an end, and our rhino tally was again 16.
We also managed to stay one step ahead of the squirrels.

Roads travelled - S110, H3, S120, S118 & S114.

Sightings - 4 x rhino, 2 x rhino, 2 x rhino, 2 x rhino + calf, kudu, impala, wahlbergs eagle, breeding herd elephants, scrub hare, greu duiker, 2 x whitetailed mongoose, 4 x rhino, 2 x hippo, giraffe, buffalo with no horns, 1 x small spotted genet & 2 x large spotted genets.

Photos to follow.


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 Post subject: Re: AUSSIES ON THE PROWL IN KRUGER FOR 36 DAYS
Unread postPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 4:46 am 
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 Post subject: Re: AUSSIES ON THE PROWL IN KRUGER FOR 36 DAYS
Unread postPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 7:14 am 
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Day #35 29th September - Berg en dal

Doggies and An Evening Meal to Remember.

A lazy and late start today. We decided to drive to Crocodile Bridge along the S114 and S25. We had lunch at Crocodile Bridge and purchased a few gifts to take home. At
1.50pm we retraced our steps to Berg en Dal, via the hippo pools. Lots of sightings, but there was one that was a highlight. A leopard crossed the road in front of us and into the bush on the side of the road, walked along a few meters, looked back at us and vanished.

We drove the section of road again but could see no sign of him. This was the first time we spotted a leopard ourselves. We continued on and were entertained by a group of banded mongoose crossing the road. They were a circus in the making, with their jumping and running.

Sadly we witnessed the never ending problem of speeding. It seemed that the S25 was the straight at Kyalami. We continued on to the S114. About 250mtrs from the intersection with the H3, we came across a small traffic jam. DOGGIES. There were about 6 of them sleeping under the bushes. We spent some time with them, before we had to set off for our long awaited “home cooked meal” with Martie Goddard. She is a wiz at whipping up a delicious meal and cooking on campfire. 3 courses all cooked at the same time. We enjoyed a lovely evening of great food, drinks & conversation. Raymond K joined us after his evening drive. Thank you for your hospitality Martie.
What a great way to finish the day. Our second ever sighting of wild dogs, and great friendship.

Sadness was starting to descend when we return to our bungalow…..only two nights and one day remaining for us in the park.

Roads traveled - S110, S114, S25 & H4-2.

Sightings - Hoopoe (only one sighted in 36 days), impala, rhino, elephants, buffalo's, giraffe, guinea fowl, tawny eagle, fish eagle, brown snake eagle, slender mongoose, vervets, banded mongoose, kudu, wildebeest, warthogs, zebras, hippos, 4 x ground hornbills, leopard, rhino, group of banded mongoose, 2 x ground hornbills & 6 x wild dogs.

photos to follow.


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 Post subject: Re: AUSSIES ON THE PROWL IN KRUGER FOR 36 DAYS
Unread postPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 7:40 am 
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More in a minute :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: AUSSIES ON THE PROWL IN KRUGER FOR 36 DAYS
Unread postPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 7:59 am 
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 Post subject: Re: AUSSIES ON THE PROWL IN KRUGER FOR 36 DAYS
Unread postPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 5:59 am 
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Day # 36 30th September Berg en dal

Our last full day in Kruger & The King

We did not hurry this morning, as that would happen tomorrow instead. We decided to travel out to Malelane to get some "liquid" for Martie G, lunch and for me to have a haircut. Once done we were on our way back into the park for the last full day.
We had a quick stop with the dogs who were still on the S114 and headed up to Afsaal picnic spot. We did a bit more last minute shopping and had a quick chat with Jappie the manager(rugby and cricket) before heading off on the H2-2.
We again had all the usual sightings. Our first special for the afternoon was a rhino emerging from his mud bath at James pan. This sighting was followed by a herd of more than 40 ellie.
The dogs again were doing what dogs do best.
Lion and lioness on the Berg en Dal road.
Then the sighting of the day. The King had been on our wish list and it was great to get some photos of him. He wasn't close to the road and the camera with the bigger lens died after a few shots. Quite happy with what we got though.

Time was moving and we needed to get back to camp. We had invited Martie to the restaurant to share our last meal in the Park, and we still had the task of packing our bags for the trip to Pretoria and to drop off the "liquid".

We enjoyed our meal together at the restaurant. We also enjoyed a special sighting at the restaurant. A large spotted genet strolling past the back window.

Upon returning to our bungalow, we noticed an incident waiting to happen at a nearby bungalow. Sunroof left open in a new Volvo. Could have been an interesting story here if the vervets and squirrels had been more observant, and the overcast weather had delivered what it promised.

Spent some time packing for our early departure to Pretoria in the morning.

Roads traveled - S110, H3, H2-2 & S114

Sightings - warthogs, buffaloes, zebras, kudu, wild dogs, giraffe, impala, 1 x rhino, 40+ breeding herd ellies, guinea fowl, 1 x male & 1 x female lion, bateleur eagle and THE KING.

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 Post subject: Re: AUSSIES ON THE PROWL IN KRUGER FOR 36 DAYS
Unread postPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 6:17 am 
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More photos to come :thumbs_up:
lp

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 Post subject: Re: AUSSIES ON THE PROWL IN KRUGER FOR 36 DAYS
Unread postPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 6:36 am 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 12:52 pm
Posts: 629
Location: Canberra Australia
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lp :dance: :dance:

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The King
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