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 Post subject: Re: My Swansong???
Unread postPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 7:44 pm 
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Thank you for your comments again :clap:
Got back to the accommodation tired and hot shower and bed for me but the SO decided to sit out for a while innocently listening to night sounds and “guy” close by with a *cough*….. The next morning we were up and ready to go to but not before Bojangles SO came out with a little parcel in his hand..It was a bat that had fallen onto his face in the night :big_eyes:
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it spent the night in the bathroom basin after going under the bed
A young man who was walking around came over to see and chat, in the course of the conversation he remarked he had be stood a little way along the fence last night
Just "over there"
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(not far from our stoep)and had looked over and seen a leopard …………. *cough cough* :roll:
Then it was time to don our new shirts and go to a Cricket Match
Moose came too
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and spent time watching
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Other “sporting events” were happening
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and a dinky bird looked very pleased with her team …
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the Silent auction got underway
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Bloggers blogged
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spectators spectated
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Commentators commentated and scorers checked the field
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A special mention for ecojunkie who "manned" the Silent Auction beautifully :clap: and for prings His commentary was a delight and entertaining :clap: and for bert and skillie who sold the 50/50 tickets :clap:

Then back for a shower and to change for the dinner

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 Post subject: Re: My Swansong???
Unread postPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 6:08 pm 
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Location: another national park.. in England
It was a lovely warm evening and the venue was lovely
We were advised to get a table around the outside as it gets pretty warm in the middle (thanks DavenJan)
Mitchuk (moosie) sat taking everything in The table decoration was very nice and we stuck the flags which was quite appropriate as all people around the table were from SA and UK and some from UK who now live in SA
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The entertainment was very stirring it was young schoolboys doing a traditional dance Very colourful and here they are waiting to go on
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The food was beautifully presented and very well cooked
A gift of a traditionally dressed Ndebele dolls were given, with the proviso only one per couple.
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The dolls are made by Ndebele women to support themselves and their families. The beadwork is stunning, and she feels right at home displayed with my collection of ornamental elephants.
The dancers came out a second time and collected some mites to dance with them
Great fun and a collection was made for the boys The leader made a very sweet speech of thanks Saying it would help them buy meals at school
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We had a massive downpour of rain Which helped to cool the air, and after the speeches,awards, and accolades.We drove back to the Skukuza village it seemed very strange to be out after the gates were shut..but we were let in to camp with happy smiles and waves

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 Post subject: Re: My Swansong???
Unread postPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 11:14 pm 
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Thanks again all :clap: It really makes it easier to go on Next up the resarch camp
..............................
The next morning we had to pack up and leave ………………… but ………………..we had an extra 4days courtesy of SANParks because I couldn’t take the prize I won in a draw the year before. So very generous and much appreciated Thank you.
We left Skukuza with wonderful memories and went to find the N’WASITSHAKA Research Camp Nedret had given me documentation at the cricket which had missed us when we entered the park.
We found the camp easily enough but everybody was out doing what researchers do More of this later When Me and my SO did a bit of research ourselves.Then we spotted a guy working on his laptop outside one of the tents used for the researchers
He told us to go back to reception at Skukuza to collect the keys etc This we did and it was done quickly and efficiently
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the camp was very quiet
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These fellows greeted us on our patio
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After we settled in to some very nice accommodation,
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we decided to go for a drive as we couldn’t find Sandra McFayden who had arranged our stay.
We drove to Nkulu for a buff pie .
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oops not cooked yet,
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these were yummy
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and we decided after that just a sandwich for the evening .
The next morning it was very hot so we went to Lake Panic Hide
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my first Jacana
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and as we had a late pass we could take our time going home just like this
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 Post subject: Re: My Swansong???
Unread postPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 10:50 pm 
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Location: another national park.. in England
Many thanks for all your comments, I will explain the swansong eventually. Goodness know what that bug is
For our meal that evening we decided to go into Skukuza. Outside the restaurant they lots of beautifully coloured lizards
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the bats we saw were fidgeting
Getting ready for the night shift I think :wink:
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These little birds were so tame and very chatty :lol:

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We ordered our meal and after the butternut soup which was delicious but Bojangles began to feel ill She went outside and decided not to eat and went to the car ,Telling us to get on and enjoy. We ate the meal and went to find her. By this time she was feeling really ill.
So went drove straight back to the camp. Not taking advantage of our late pass to do a little night detour.

In the morning, there was no movement from our friends. We walked around the camp for a while and again we saw Purple Turacos So fast, so beautiful, a flash of colour through the trees. We went back to the accommodation for rusks and coffee.
From here I was so worried about my dearest friend that I stopped keeping my sightings book or as I call it “a we see book” as in we see a impala etc, etc.
She was feeling far too ill to go for a drive but was insisting that we still went out. So we did a few short runs.
So I am going to post some pics of what we saw and as a great comedian said all the right notes ( read pics) not necessarily in the right order.

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This is accommodation at the research camp, with the handbag I tried to fill with apple juice and drowned my cell phone Luckily my sim card survived but the phone died :( Other survivors were the camera, passport :shock: and numerous other things :tongue: :roll:

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From our window at the Research Camp a waterbuck. First one end

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then the other
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 Post subject: Re: My Swansong???
Unread postPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 10:06 am 
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A pop top, spout thing, bottle of apple juice (don't know the proper term) :roll: didn't pop and tipped over in my bag and being silk it held the liquid :evil: Salamander It must have been an inch deep when I emptied it :x
MM she is OK now but...............more later

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 Post subject: Re: My Swansong???
Unread postPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 10:18 pm 
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Thank you again for your comments :dance: :dance:
yes Micetta Lake Panic :thumbs_up:
Other sightings inc
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One place as we made a transition from dirt road to the tar a small white car with 2 young ladies drove by The driver put her head out of the window and yelled 4 kudus and a baby croc over there!
As we looked the kudus crossed the road and we looked down a bank and saw this
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We took our time and did a close up
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So somewhere there is a person who believes she saw a baby croc. :roll:
.
Next up we find Sandra Macfayden who takes us out trapping animals………….

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 Post subject: Re: My Swansong???
Unread postPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 9:56 pm 
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Bojangles was still ill but insisted we didn’t go home till our time was up She said she could lay in bed there just as easily as at home. She managed to come out with us for a very short drive but looked dreadful and worried me even more.
But she was pleased to see this

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We have been told it was a baby python and he wasn't happy.
He tried to kill our car tyre :shock: , as we drew close to protect him from oncoming traffic.

When we got to back to camp Bojangles went for a lie down and her SO said we could go look for Sandra in the research centre. After asking we were pointed to her office…
What a lovely young lady. :clap:
We hadn’t been able to find her before as she had been away for a wedding and there was a huge conference at Skukuza about conservation/global warming, (not politicians, scientists) and she had lots to catch up on.
She wondered if we would like to go out later to set some traps. :hmz: :hmz:
We thought about it long and hard and said we would let her know …
.
.
.
..
.
.
.
.
I tell awful fibs :twisted: …. we jumped at the chance :dance:
Sandra would pick us up later with cages, bait, etc

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 Post subject: Re: My Swansong???
Unread postPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 10:11 pm 
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Another episode :thumbs_up: : as you are all so kind to read and comment :wink: :clap: :clap:
----------------------------
After a quick meal, we changed into something that would cover us up( in case of mozzies). We waited …Sandra arrived and we piled into the back of her car.
Off we went down roads we didn’t know and normally wouldn’t be allowed down. We passed buildings we didn’t realise were there, a huge recycling plant a massive laundry, lots of administration buildings and other places.

We were going to try and trap feral cats.

Quite a long while ago rangers were allowed to keep pets, and several had cats. When the rangers were out in the bush some cats (left to fend for themselves) went feral..
This Project funded by a UK wildlife association (which seemed very apt) was to find out if feral cats had mated with the African Wildcat and weakened the bloodline .
So traps would be set in ever widening circles from the staff village area, and DNA taken if any were caught.
By this time it was beginning to get dark
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We had 10 traps to set in various points along the way.
The cages had been put out earlier by Sandra’s husband Llewellyn. Each cage was sprayed with male or female cat’s urine and had to be baited.
My SO volunteered to do the smelly bit. I used the cybertracker to record all the details.
A cybertracker is a handheld computer used by rangers etc to record details about the park and is programmed according to the task. As English isn’t always a ranger’s first language or maybe they can’t read well, it can be programmed with small icons to depict animals i.e, spoor, and leaves, trees, maps etc
This one was programmed with
1. Number of the cage
2. Location
3. Male or Female urine
4. baited yes/no
Of course I had to ask the question how to depict male or female urine :roll: ( a little loo with a man or woman stood by it) :tongue:
Sandra found the first trap and hopped out of the car after putting the tailgate down, she opened a plastic bag full of the most rotten chicken you could imagine.Image Each piece had to be broken open and a crushed up sedative inserted, as it was more than likely a Genet or a Civet might enter the cage, and panic and hurt themselves, so a sedative would keep them calm until release

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the cage was opened carefully and set

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Then the meat was carefully put in using long handled tongs behind a metal plate Which the animal had to step on ..making the door snap shut behind them.
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We were then taken back “home” Sandra telling us she would pick us up later to see if we had caught anything.We waited chatting about the evenings "work" and Sandra and Llewellyn's dedication to their careers. :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: My Swansong???
Unread postPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 8:22 pm 
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:thumbs_up:Thanks all. SO said The chicken was a bit ripe :roll: but the cat urine almost masked it :lol:
__________________________________________
We sat talking over what we had done and seen, and soon it was time to go out and meet Sandra. Her SO had come too for “protection” did we need it had they ever been “disturbed” whilst busy in the bush? She told us of her close encounters with animals. Whilst riding her bike in the staff village an elephant, a leopard one late night when on foot…….and several others.

We soon understood, as we left the camp we saw the biggest Hyena I had ever seen! Off we went visiting the traps again. Of course by now it was pitch black so we stayed in the car and Llewellyn got out and checked, we used the light to check for eyes.
Every cage was empty. :(
Sandra said they usually went out a lot later so that was probably the reason.
As a consolation prize she would take us on a night drive.
We drove through the village to see a huge Elephant pruning the trees in somebody’s garden a Hippo mowing a lawn and another big Hyena trying to empty the dustbins. Domesticated workers.(not)
Then we were taken to the far side of Lake Panic where people don’t normally go. We parked up and switched off the engine and the lights. Do we all go to the park for
peace and quiet? HUH!! It was so noisy I couldn’t believe it ……….frogs and crickets it was cacophony!! and so dark.
We asked if they had ever done a bush walk. Only once said Sandra’s SO, and it was an emergency. Some workers who were out destroying non-indigenous plants had misjudged the light and time and were lost in the reeds. It was touch and go as the reeds were so tall and the noise so loud they couldn’t be found. The search party turned the transport around to leave and the work party stepped out of the reeds. One hates to think what could have happened if they hadn’t been found. :big_eyes:
Jumping the gun a little. When we got back an email awaited me with a photograph attached

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Llewellyns photograph


And a note saying that the very next morning this is what was in cage 1 :wall: .
At this point I would like to say a BIG thank you to Sandra and Llewellyn for giving us a most memorable time and to SANParks for arranging it. :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: My Swansong???
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:46 pm 
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The next day we were to pack up and leave but our friend came round and said there was no way Bojangles could travel back to Jo’burg. I thought hard and we decided to go ask Sandra where we could find the Skukuza doctor. She directed us to another part of the village and We made an appointment for her. The Doctor immediately put her on a drip He said she wouldn’t have made it back home if he hadn’t. :shock: :( He was not sure without tests what was wrong but malaria tick bite fever and other scary things were mentioned. :big_eyes:
We left her with the doctor and went to wander around Skukuza not really thinking about much.
Then we packed the car and went to collect Bojangles, the journey home was horrendous with a very cold clammy sick lady. We got to Jo’burg after what seemed like ages and eventually persuaded her to go to emergency. The prognosis was septicaemia and nobody could explain how. It was touch and go for a day or so. However, after a week of drips and meds, she made a complete recovery. Thank you :pray:
Thanks all who wished her well. Also, a huge thank you to Sandra McFayden and to the Skukuza doctor for being so helpful, :clap: :clap:
So our trip was over and I do have a lot of good memories too. :)
Next are some photos that I particularly liked, and an explanation of swansong.

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 Post subject: Re: My Swansong???
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:46 pm 
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What are these two doing on a rock together?
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Bum shot
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Moose watching the sun come up at Pretoriouskop
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Fire in the distance
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My favourite tree
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Well, Hello there!
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A very grumpy "who are you looking at"
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Surprised to see us Oxpecker
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What a wonderful place Kruger Park is, but due to a lot of reasons, including rising airfares, long journey with arthritic bones, and my that my wonderful friend,( who introduced me to the most beautiful place I have ever been).Is coming back to her origins for personal reasons.
A voice in my head says never say never..but….

I shall probably not come back to the beautiful country of South Africa.
So that is why my Swansong…
I shall hold my memories in my heart forever and cherish them.
Thank you for your hospitality South Africa and SANParks.I love you.

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 Post subject: Re: My Swansong???
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:50 pm 
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Thank Mi :wink:
there is a little red dragonfly if you look very carefully

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 Post subject: Re: My Swansong???
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:24 pm 
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Phew. Finally got to read this thread again and finished it.
This is a great piece of work Dotty. :thumbs_up:

Dotty wrote:
I shall probably not come back to the beautiful country of South Africa.
So that is why my Swansong…
I shall hold my memories in my heart forever and cherish them.
Thank you for your hospitality South Africa and SANParks.I love you.


Although your body might never set a foot
on the sacred South African soil again.
Your mind will always wander
to the place of our forefathers yet again.
Never will your life be the same
without the scent of the plains
It's animals
and it's people


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 Post subject: Re: My Swansong???
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:16 pm 
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Thank you
Shi ........never say never :wink:
Lorraine........It was a pleasure to meet you and prings and D_prings I still feel guilty about beating her bid at the silent auction :redface:
MM................ It's always been a pleasure to meet you,thanks (you could 've told the wild dogs to wait for me :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: My Swansong???
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:35 pm 
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Dotty, thank you for your cherished reminiscences,
And for sharing some of those with me in person!
You are a lady of honourable distinction,
A benevolent and joyous aura hugs your presence.
Perhaps a fortuitous meeting will grace our futures!

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