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 Post subject: The 3 Bushwackers go North and South.
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:23 am 
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Its that time again when the excitement mounts to fever pitch and the count down to the departure begins with all the final preparations in full swing. :dance:
All going well Klystron, Jock and myself hope to head off North by 6am tomorrow morning at the latest for our annual trip to Kruger.

Our itinerary looks like
1st week at our time share lodge just outside Kruger Gate then
3 nights at Letaba
3 at Punda Maria
3 nights Mopani
2 nights Satara
2 nights Lower Sabie

Where possible I will do some hot off the press reports and any others will make sure I get them posted asap.

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Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

Kruger - May 24th - June 6th 2014.


Last edited by Elsa on Mon May 03, 2010 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The 3 Bushwackers go North.
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:10 am 
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Wow, finally the time is near to enter paradise. Can't wait. I am sure Kruger will open up and show us something new like it does everytime we enter those gates.

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Her Highness Jockelina


Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away


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 Post subject: Re: The 3 Bushwackers go North.
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:58 pm 
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Thanks so much for all the wonderful greetings and wishes, with all of those I am quite certain we cannot fail to have the best trip ever. :dance:
Off to bed now for a 4.30am wake up call.

So keep the :popcorn: handy and watch this space! :thumbs_up:

Cheers dear mites.

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Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

Kruger - May 24th - June 6th 2014.


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 Post subject: Re: The 3 Bushwackers go North.
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:05 pm 
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Hi everyone,

I apologise for the lack of hot off the press reports but we have a very slow and frustrating signal here at the lodge, but I will attempt a little report.

Thanks Penny for posting my SMS.

Today we had the most incredible storm en route from B & D, the worst rain, we even had to stop the car for about 10 minutes as the visibility was down to zero.
Lots of very wet and bedraggled animals after that.

Sightings have been difficult to say the least this week so far, but it seems as if everyone is having the same problems so our eyesight is not failing us. :wink:

Had an unusual sighting of a baby Scrub Hare yesterday and 2 of Pythons, the cats are still being elusive but lots of great birds.

Tomorrow is our last day in this neck of Kruger, on Friday we move up to Letaba.

I promise to either send in reports by SMS or direct as possible.

Had a lovely little meet and lunch at B & D with EJ today, sat at the dam and watched a pair of White faced Ducks with at least 10 to 12 little chicks following them around. :D

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Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

Kruger - May 24th - June 6th 2014.


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 Post subject: Re: The 3 Bushwackers go North.
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:57 am 
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Thanks Elsa :clap: :thumbs_up:
lp

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 Post subject: Re: The 3 Bushwackers go North.
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:02 pm 
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Hiya from a hot and humid Letaba, sitting here waiting for our steak to come off the braai and listening to all the night sounds around us, :naughty: I know, but someone has to do it. :wink:
Have had some awesome sightings but the cats in particular are proving challenging to say the least!! but we will get them and with determination.
Great Bird sightings today, visited the Makhadzi picnic site for brunch, and bought the cutest bunch of "tin flowers" for our table from Joseph the attendant and we have his pic for the forum. :D
Off to Punda Maria tomorrow for the next 3 nights, not sure of connectivty there but we will try and send SMS's where we can.
Cheers for now.

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Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

Kruger - May 24th - June 6th 2014.


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 Post subject: Re: The 3 Bushwackers go North.
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:26 am
Posts: 670
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Well hello forumites. I am sitting here drinking a glass of wine and listening to lions roar just outside Punda Maria, they are very close and what an amazing sound. They have been very kind to us and have roared every night we have been here, but tonight, they have plenty to say.
Went to Crooks Corner today and once again was struck by the beauty of the place. We found a Tropical Boubou after hearing it call and patiently worked out which tree is was calling from. A new tick for us all.
The most exciting news and one I cannot believe I am reporting is the sighting of two caracal (yes I said caracal) kittens on the S99 around Punda Maria. I don't think any of us bushwackers can actually believe but we have a few pictures for you to see.
We are amazed at the lack of elephants we have seen in the north, only seeing three today, one a promising tuskers which kept me happy. We also found a black backed jackal today and plenty nyala which are also so nice to see.
I hear Elsa adding the finishing touches to a great smelling dinner so I am going to love and leave you all. Tomorrow we are off to Mopani and hoping for a dam chalet.

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Her Highness Jockelina


Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away


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 Post subject: Re: The 3 Bushwackers go North.
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:43 pm 
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Hiya everyone and thanks for all the comments and remarks so far,

this from a very hot and humid Mopani camp for the next 3 nights, we have been lucky enough to get #49 with an fantastic view of the Pioneer dam. :dance:
First a cooling swim in the pool and then then a sunset over the dam to die for.

Last night at Punda was amazing with Lions roaring just outside the camp for hours on end. :D

We stopped off at Shingwedzi for lunch, went via the back gate low level causeway where we had the amazing scene of at least 20 crocs and various birds feasting on the fish which were jumping up over the bridge, what an experience to remember.
Think we have some awesome pics.

Of course whatever we see from now on will have to compete with our Caracal sighting which remains a total highlight for us all.

So apart form a slightly tempermental car with an intermittant computer problem all well and having a totallly fantastic time.

Will try and do another report tomorrow night.

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Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

Kruger - May 24th - June 6th 2014.


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 Post subject: Re: The 3 Bushwackers go North.
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:26 am
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Well forumites, we are back in Durban, another great trip is done and the horrible task of unpacking has become, sorting out pictures and beginning the TR. As usual Kruger gave us a great specticle and has ensured we are even more hooked (if that is possible) then we were before.
Have two weeks in Durban to catch up with family and friends before flying back to Australia for another year of studing (I am now doing a two year vet nursing course) and caring for sick horses, keeping me often way to busy for the forum but I have promised myself a little time each week.

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Her Highness Jockelina


Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away


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 Post subject: Re: The 3 Bushwackers go North.
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:36 pm 
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We've been fortunate to have had a sneak peak of some of their pics. You guys are all in for a real treat.


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 Post subject: Re: The 3 Bushwackers go North.
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:44 pm 
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Ok, before any riots start the little teaser as promised, not the best pic we have but one of a truly special highlight of all our trips. :dance:
Words cannot describe this sighting at all. 8)

Due to the hectic life style of late while Jock is still here I will really try and attempt to start the report by Monday, no promises but I will get to it asap. :wink:

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Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

Kruger - May 24th - June 6th 2014.


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 Post subject: Re: The 3 Bushwackers go North.
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:57 am 
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I am heading off today, and Elsa just has to deal with Klystron's birthday tomorrow and then, she can begin our trip report. I have gone through those pictures several times now, I whenever I see the caracal, I still can't believe we where that lucky to see them. For nearly five years I have seen forumites see those really special sightings, and have always felt :mrgreen:, but the sighting gods smiled on us that day, and I now owe them big time.

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Her Highness Jockelina


Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away


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 Post subject: Re: The 3 Bushwackers go North.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:30 pm 
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Ok everyone, I think I have faffed and fiddled waaay to long and its time to get this report on the go.
Thanks to you all for your patience but things were just so hectic in the weeks post trip that I really would not have done justice to anything remotely resembling a TR.

The week leading to our departure was not without its moments as well, what with Jock having just arrived, throwing the family into feverish reunion activity. :wink:
but the day finally dawned and as per usual, not much sleeping gets done the night before, so its actually a relief when one can get up and start the last minute packing.

Arriving at Crocodile Bridge gate, seeing the river and bridge, albeit in a sad sight of dis-array, still gives us such a feeling of elation and high expectations of what lies ahead.
Check in quickly, rearrange the car, cameras at the ready, tie on the yellow ribbon and off we go en route to Kruger Gate and our time share which will be home for the next 7 nights.
The temp is reading 37C bright and clear so we are not really sure of what we will see today but anything is a bonus and before long we have ticked off Impala, Wildebeest, a bicycle riding Daniel, returning from his duty at Hippo Pools and who points out some Rhino for us, gives a big grin and a thumbs up. :thumbs_up:
Huge amounts of Elephant cooling off in the river, Zebra, Buffalo, Baboons, plus loads more of all the usual animals.
We notice that they have marked many of the trees close to the road with name tags, a very good idea and way of learning trees.

By the time we reached Kruger Gate the temp was sitting on 39C and we were quite glad to be out of the car after a long day.
Anyway after unpacking, a nice braai supper and a good nights sleep we are up bright and early for our first full day in the park.

Friday 13th Feb.

As we crossed the bridge before the gate an African Harrier Hawk slowly flapped its way up river heralding the start of our day.

At the gate I was very happy to see that there seemed to be more care taken when checking in staff/taxis than in previous years.
but unfortunately despite several speed checks there is still a lot of speeding on the H11.

At the S1 junction a Glossy Starling is taking advantage of some road kill.

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Crossing the Sabie Low Level Bridge we see
Pied Wagtail
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a Common Greenshank
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(The quality is not great but as this is not a bird one sees too often I thought to include it)
all waiting to greet us.

Soon after the bridge Jock calls out "Leopard Cub"
What!
We slowly creep backwards and see 2 little ears and a pair of eyes peering at us from over the top of a bank, then suddenly it breaks cover and we see its little back as it disappears further in.
"Come back" we silently hope.
We wait not daring to even breathe, but then more cars arrive and our hopes start to fade, the cars leave, we stay and creep backwards and forwards in the hope it might have moved a little but unfortunately it was not to be and despite going back several time during the week, it will have to remain our special fleeting glimpse.

Carrying on up the H1-2 a Bateleur Eagle is also finding its breakfast on the road.

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and off.....
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After a quick pit stop at Tshokwane I almost stand on a dead snake, Jock yells snake and enjoys watching me leap in the air, nice one Jock!!! :naughty:

We take the S34 a road I don't recall ever having been on before, not sure why, as its a nice road to travel, good surface and lots of potential.
See the usual animals plus this cute little Steenbok
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S36 Will we find some Sable?
We saw Giraffe, Baboons, Impala, Wildebeest, we looked and looked, but didn't find Sable. :(

Then at Lugmag Dam
we found some Elephants enjoying themselves immensely!

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It was a delightful scene and we stayed as long as we could in the growing heat.

It was getting hotter and hotter by the minute and by the time we arrived at our turning point Nhlanguleni the temp was a scorching 40C!
Almost didn't need the skottel to cook our Boerie rolls! :wink:

On the way back down the temp actually rose to a high of 43C

Back at the dam this nice tusker was enjoying the shade.

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and at Jones Dam
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Heading back we drove the Moroela Loop but nothing out of the ordinary there today.

We had to stop in at Skukuza as Klystron had some computer work to complete and Jock and I sat on the bench sipping something cooling by the river and watched an Ellie in the reeds and the Baboons doing some acrobatics on the old bridge.
There were some nice Green Pigeons in the wild Fig Tree but difficult to get any decent pics.

Back at the lodge we relaxed, too hot to even go for a swim.

Big storm clouds building up so hopefully relief in sight.

Continued tomorrow.

_________________
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

Kruger - May 24th - June 6th 2014.


Last edited by Elsa on Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The 3 Bushwackers go North.
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:56 pm 
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Many thanks to you all for all the kind comments.
I do really appreciate them all.
@ Anne Marie, yes it was a snake the Starling was eating, but we think it had been run over rather than killed by the bird.

Without further ado..

Sunday 14th Feb Valentines Day and what better way to spend it, with loved ones in the park. :D

Thunder rolled and lightning flashed around us from the early hours of the morning and when we peeped outside it was to see light rain falling and a much cooler 24C quite a change. :wink:

We decided to take the S3 River road today, confident of seeing some of the cats on the road due to the dripping wet vegetation.
So we crept along at a snails pace as due to the rain the windows had to be mostly closed which is not conducive to good viewing.

As could be expected the Tortoises were out in droves.

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Jock and Klystron were lucky enough to see a huge African Rock Python lying on the side of the road but as soon as we stopped it made a hasty retreat back into the long grass.

Francolins/Spurwings of every description were also out enjoying the cool and wet weather but where were the animals?

By the time we reached the 20 km mark we had not even seen an Impala yet, then round the corner, a roadblock. :doh:

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In fact there were 2 trees down, a smaller one a little further on.

There was nothing more we could do other than phone the info into the emergency # and turn around and retrace our way back to the
S4

Jock's sharp eyes then picked out the unusual sight of a
European Nightjar altho we have also seen one on an earlier trip.

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By the time we had reached the S1 the rain had stopped but the temp had dropped to only 22.5C positively chilly.
One could hardly believe it had peaked at over 40C the day before.

A little way further this most beautiful and majestic King of the skies.
Martial Eagle

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Then some of Jock's favourite animals

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S3 Albasini Road

A very wet road and testament to the good rains of the night before.

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Then another of the numerous Tortoises all enjoying the wet roads.

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Making our way back on the H1-1 Napi Road and a stop in at
Shitlhava Dam were we sit watching 2 Hippos having a bit of a fight very near the edge of the dam.
A tourist pulls up and to our horror promptly jumps out of his car and walks to the edge of the dam to take some pics, plus he was standing right next to very tall and dense grass. :shock:
I called out to him that he must get back in his vehicle immediately,
his answer, "Why"
Well, let me think, :hmz: "Apart from it being against the rules, it is very dangerous" I answer.
He looks at me as if I am not quite all there and continues standing taking pics.
So we take his pic, it has been sent in and reported.
Then to take the cake, when he eventually gets back into his car, he turns to me, and says, "There's some Hippos over there"
"Yes, we know" I reply! :slap:
He was an overseas visitor and clearly did not have the slightest notion that he was in an extremely dangerous wildlife area.
A classic case of the pamphlet with the rules not being read or understood. :(

Anyway, we eventually made our way back to Skukuza where Klystron still had work to be done so Jock and I found ourselves on the bench by the river once again.

This time we watched a huge 1 tusker enjoying the reeds.

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Then a Hippo made its way slowly up the river but could not resist a tasty snack on some vegetation.

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Driving back towards the gate on the H11 we came across some
Lions lying quite some distance in the bush.

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Not the best pics, but hey, it was our first Lions of our trip. :dance:

Arrived back at the lodge for a bit of a rest and then for our pm drive
Lake Panic.
We have some super pics which I think I will leave until a bit later, don't want to put too many pics on this page and upset anyone.

So until later then.......

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Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

Kruger - May 24th - June 6th 2014.


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 Post subject: Re: The 3 Bushwackers go North.
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:12 pm 
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Thanks Micetta, Sparrow, Baffers, Salva, for your kind comments and help to get the page turned. :D

Right, we are refreshed and about to take a drive to Lake Panic

On the road leading to the hide we find a little Purple Roller
sitting on the wire and just asking to have his pic taken.

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This is a place we like to go and sit at, especially in the hot afternoons only leaving at 6pm in time to get back for gate closing.
Always so beautiful with an abundance of birds and of course the chance of seeing something out of the ordinary.

We arrived, got ourselves comfortable and suddenly a crash of thunder had us sitting bolt upright, then another flash and a crash and before we knew it we were in the middle of an afternoon thunderstorm.
Before long the rain came lashing down and it was certainly a very strange and unusual feeling to be sitting in the hide in these conditions. :?

The first birds we see are a Juv Green-backed Heron
who at first seemed rather startled by the weather
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but seemed to settle down and accept the conditions

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and then decided just to carry on fishing...

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The Hippo were rather non committal about the whole affair an simply took it all in their strides. 8)

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But a family of White-faced Whistling Ducks had just about had enough of it all and when another male neighbour came visiting there was chaos. :shock:

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It was quite a noisy affair with lots of biting and amateur kick boxing and the loser was eventually sent on his way with much quacking and input from the female, back to his own side of the dam.
but with as much dignity as he could muster!

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Unfortunately the referee was rather laid back and didn't seem to mind who won and who lost!

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So eventually the dam settled down to some of its wonderful peace and tranquility.

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and a rainbow even appeared.

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But the thunder clouds still looked fairly spectacular on the other side.

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The Green-backed Heron was intent on making sure it looked at its best after the storm.

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and it did.

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and then to get in on the act some young Hippos decided to do some sparring just for practise for when they were much bigger.

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Look Ma, no teeth!

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By this time our time was up and we had to leave this magical place.
but by the time we reached the tar road there was more magic in the air.

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On the way home an Elephant Herd crossing the road

and some folk have absolutely no idea how to behave under the circumstances. :shock:
The matriarch was even trumpeting and getting very upset at one point but this didn't seem to deter the foolish who it seems have no respect for our wildlife other than to get that close up pic of an ellie's eye at any cost.

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And so the end of our second day...

What will tomorrow bring?

To be continued.

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Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

Kruger - May 24th - June 6th 2014.


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