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 Post subject: Re: KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:19 am 
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November 23/10 Tuesday Urikaruus to Upington

It was another cool start to the day and as GavinW has stated, it was our final day for which the Kgalagadi was about to offer us a hook to make us return. KTP did not dissappoint.
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Jackals were the usual first participants at the waterhole.
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We left a bunch of leftovers and unused food with Marius and he was most grateful. Then we headed out for a last park drive, and what a special drive it was. We went north to the hyena den and saw katydownunder returning to camp.
At the den we were pleased to see a hyena in daylight…very special, and it had a kill.
Image - red is your colour honey...
Then we were most pleased to see it was joined by 2 other adults and then a small black hyena pup…so sweet. It tried to join in on the whooping on several occasions and all that came out was a high pitched squeak…ha…They were demolishing a kill, that was not hoofed…but didn’t know positively until we saw katydownunder later and she elatedly told us it was an aardvark…the only one she had seen and it was dead…sigh.

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KTF Hooked on KTP- 2008
KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure- 2010/11


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 Post subject: Re: KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:33 am 
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Kamadejo...you are fast on the reply button today!!

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We wondered if big Momma here was pregnant, but then realized that she was just stuffed to bursting!
There was great drama as we watched the interactions amongst these hyenas and their prize. One part of the kill was offered to supreme Momma, and she apparently didn’t wish to share…tails flared…whooping started…it gave me goosebumps as they fought over the kill.
Image Honestly, there is no love lost when it comes to food amongst hyena…grab your share and run like hell, whooping all the way!!
The matriarch eventually took some meat and lead babe away from the others to the den.
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Much to her disgust, we figured babe wanted it cooked- ha, cause raw meat was gross and it wasn’t ready for big boy meat..ha. Mom stood guard and encouraged babe to eat...
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Not so well done...Dad arrived thoroughly disgusted and made off with the offering, muttering something about an ungrateful kid as he went..ha.Ok, so it was early and you have to interpret these things. Note babe in the shadows...
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Canadian prairies...but prepping for some SA trips....
KTF Hooked on KTP- 2008
KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure- 2010/11


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 Post subject: Re: KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:49 am 
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Forgot another Mom and babe shot...
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Dad then thoroughly enjoying his dining adventure..while babe watched. He looks like a real softy to me...ha..not.
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Then the rest of the family got brave enough to descend on Dad and they erupted into more snarls and hyena love!
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Babe watched from a safe distance...Image
We chose to go further north to a waterhole and then return. When we came back, we first found hyena-made aardvark biltong being left in the sun to cure by the den hole. The family was flaked in the shade of a nearby tree, with enormous guts and still bloodied faces. One of the farted, we figured, and had to leave the pack, while the rest glared in horror..ha…aardvark gave him gas…ha. They all resumed the lion position…asleep.

As we went further south, it was neat to see the baby animals out exploring with their families. We saw a young ghemsbok, as well as a young hartebeest and wildebeest…out romping around.
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Meerkats also dug furiously as they are wont to do. Spotted owls hung out in trees.
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It was sad to leave the park. We saw quite a lot, and certainly had a few really special sightings, but we missed out on all the cheetah. Had all the rain chased them away…it seemed that only a month before…the place was dripping with them! Aw well…thankfully we will return in March- oh..that is next week!!!!
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As far as all the data for this trip…simply put…we owe R2100…and that is to be divided amongst issues in Bitterpan...a camplight ….and Urikaruus…cause Marius will use technology to share with his visitors!!! This will be paid today.

We drove back to Upington where it was 34C…the weather back home was -29C…so a 63C variation…nice. Stayed at our Band B and left the next morning for Cape Town…ah Kgalagadi NP…I am still hooked on you….thanks for showing us what you thought we could handle!!! Be back in March!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Canadian prairies...but prepping for some SA trips....
KTF Hooked on KTP- 2008
KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure- 2010/11


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 Post subject: Re: KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:54 am 
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Lionspoon, Kamadejo, Micetta and melph68...thanks so much for the kind words...we have a had a marvellous 2011 traveling and it is about time that I document some of it!
Unfortunately I have to pass over the January trips, as they did not involve National Parks... however we were so pleased to have had our neighbour from home join us for most of February and we saw a lot! We will call our neighbour Auntie Babs, due to her propensity for attracting or just noticing baboons everywhere we went!
Here is one of her sightings, after he had just chased the occupants of the car, back inside. He was a rather sizeable fellow and was certainly insistent upon needing a handout. Shame.
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February National Parks

Instead of the usual daily accounts, I will just hit the highlights of our trip with Auntie Babs- especially since my time to post these are limited...but it doesn't diminish the fun we had and the wonderful sightings along the way.
We did the usual visitor Cape Town/Table Mountain hikes and surroundings tour of Boulders Beach. So firstly I will show some of those photos...I think they are mostly self explanatory. Some views of Table Mountain- orange breasted sunbird:
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table mountain cableway:
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clouds boiling up through Plettiklip Gorge on Table Mountain:
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looking back up to the top:
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Canadian prairies...but prepping for some SA trips....
KTF Hooked on KTP- 2008
KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure- 2010/11


Last edited by KTF hooked on Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:11 pm 
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Some scenes from Signal Hill of the city below, once the clouds passed...
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a sneak in of the Vand A waterfront on the way to view the National Parks from the ocean side...how is that for a stretch?- ha:
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the aforementioned National Park properties..Lion's Head and Signal Hill:
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and the whole scene of Table Mtn Nat Park with Lion's Head and Signal Hill:
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Moving along...we went south to Boulder's Beach to admire those attractive little birds in formal attire:
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There was one area when I was uncertain if the people were there to admire the penguins, or whether the penguins were having more interest admiring the people. Either way, it was fun and the penguins let everyone know, in a way only they could!!
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Canadian prairies...but prepping for some SA trips....
KTF Hooked on KTP- 2008
KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure- 2010/11


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 Post subject: Re: KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:32 am 
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So we will begin by saying farewell to the Western Cape area:
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and then move eastward to Tsitsikamma National Park on the Garden Route. Recall we were there as researchers last year, but this time we went as paying guests and found the accommodation to be very nice. The tell tale streaks of little paws on the windows reminded us to close up windows whenever we left or enjoy the remnants of baboon or vervet monkey parties.
At Tsitsikamma NP, we hiked multiple trails, especially in some eerie fog.
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Yes the suspension bridge was opened again and afforded some moody scenes of the river.
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We enjoyed the bushbuck feeding close by to our chalet. They seemed quite pestered by flies and ticks!(first photo courtesy of Auntie Babs)
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Canadian prairies...but prepping for some SA trips....
KTF Hooked on KTP- 2008
KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure- 2010/11


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 Post subject: Re: KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:43 am 
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I think we saw every kind of weather possible here in our few days. Clouds set up some spectacular scenery and sculpted interesting sunsets.
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Crashing waves were always intriguing, especially when we got stranded on a rock built for 3 by some large incoming waves. Our tentative calls for help, as we giggled at our self produced predicament, were not answered…but eventually the water subsided and we could escape.
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Onward to Addo National Park... for 5 days of some interesting game viewing. The weather varied incredibly from temperatures in the 40’s on the first day, to stormy, to rainy and cool and then warm and sunny later on. So again we saw just about every climatic condition on offer, and noted how that affected the viewing. We were very fortunate here with many sightings of some nearly 2000 intriguing animals. We stayed in the north of the park at the Main Camp in a Forest Chalet. Very comfortable accommodation and well maintained, but a bizarre layout with your refrigerator outside (in the sun) and the communal kitchen a walk away. It was fine for braaiing though. We also had access to a nice pool nearby for the hot days.

The park Game Viewing Road Map is excellent having labeled points of interest by number, so you can easily plot your route.

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Canadian prairies...but prepping for some SA trips....
KTF Hooked on KTP- 2008
KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure- 2010/11


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 Post subject: Re: KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:43 pm 
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Thanks LionQueen, yes it was...and michel627 thanks for your input. Clouds can be mesmerizing...I love how they race over mountain tops like here in CT...hmmm...not going to be fun to go home to the prairies...sigh.

Yes, there were a few elephants (429 sightings over our time in Addo)…ha…and we enjoyed the elephants from young to old…some young ones...
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and not so young: including the one intent on gathering grass right next to our car until another car arrived and its engine whined like a hive of bees, scaring the thing into running away.
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It stopped at a distance, flared its ears, urinated on itself…such an attractive action and stared back at us. We didn’t mean to scare you.
A more serene encounter of younger and older elephants.
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Surprisingly elephants were rather scarce on rainy days…we heard someone say they couldn’t see any!! Oh my goodness, we saw 160 in one day when it was sunny…but another animal which was always plentiful was kudu (279 sightings)- no matter what the weather…they were usually the first beast viewed everyday.
Loved the magnificent spiral horns of the males, and the females who have those wonderful alert ears. Here is a less than flattering view of a female clearly enjoying her food!
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Canadian prairies...but prepping for some SA trips....
KTF Hooked on KTP- 2008
KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure- 2010/11


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 Post subject: Re: KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:56 am 
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Elephants created a little bit of dung and this formed the source of pleasure for hundreds of dung beetles (337 sighted intact and alive). Signs were posted which warned you to help keep them that way by not driving over them or dung. So many times driving in a straightish line was just not an option.
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Morning and late afternoon were the greatest time for these flightless beetles to do their thing. They added a lot of laughter to our car, with their unique method of maneuvering dung balls to undisclosed locations. Usually we found them trying to navigate some form of elevation, resulting in either run away dung balls down roads or beetles bowled over by balls while they fought gravity.
ImageDung beetle parties sprung up quickly when fresh deposits hit the ground. The sloppier the deposit, the better. Ack…such a lovely topic. Well butterflies also thought dung was appealing and you could often see varied species on particularly choice dumpings.
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Zebra (39 viewed) also enjoyed the park…mainly residing on the Gorah loop, Carol’s Rest or on more remote sections of the southern part.
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Image- can't for the life of me figure why this photo went sideways...sorry
ImageSuch a peaceful little grouping...

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Canadian prairies...but prepping for some SA trips....
KTF Hooked on KTP- 2008
KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure- 2010/11


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 Post subject: Re: KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:07 am 
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Cape buffalo (223 seen) were observed in huge numbers on several days…and other days were not recorded at all. Clearly they need to learn how to read, as we usually saw them at a distance down laneways with a ‘No Entry’ sign visible.
Image Somehow they just don't have any sense of humour, do they...and this one was peacefully munching away until it noticed us, and went stone still. We definitely got the message to move on.

We enjoyed the antics of jackals (27 of them)…some not overly pleased to greet each other (photo courtesy of Auntie Babs)
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...some finding disgusting items to chew on, which they choked down anyway (photo also by Auntie Babs),
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and others we disturbed from their morning nap on sunny portions of the roadway- sorry but ya gotta not sleep in the middle of the road.
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Eland were even more elusive, but we did see 15 over our time in the Park….always at great distances from the road. Thank goodness..cause we pay for these things. sigh...

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Canadian prairies...but prepping for some SA trips....
KTF Hooked on KTP- 2008
KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure- 2010/11


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 Post subject: Re: KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:17 pm 
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Warthogs (146 viewed) were everywhere and usually had a few young’uns along for amusement. We loved their mustaches and the wonderfully confused manner in which they reacted to a car. Some ran one way, then doubled back and ran in circles…they were a scream. Their erect tails are the funniest thing to watch, elevated as they ran and then collapsed when they stopped.
Some sweeties...Image
Oh my goodness...car...panic...go this way....no
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go this way...no...can't decide....MOM...
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some more settled warthogs...
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We had several really special sightings…our first was that of a caracal. Of course our camera batteries...yes both,- one was used and the full one...well, was on holidays... decided to malfunction at this point, so thank goodness for Auntie Babs. Most of these photos are hers. We were mainly alone with it for almost 15 minutes, on the Domkrag loop, right near the main camp entrance in the early afternoon...as it ventured out in search of food. Lovely sleak cat- we (I) was a touch excited cause our only other encounter with one had been fleeting, and mainly of a backside...
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Image- our last before no battery
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Canadian prairies...but prepping for some SA trips....
KTF Hooked on KTP- 2008
KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure- 2010/11


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 Post subject: Re: KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:50 am 
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Meerkat (25) were seen next right after the caracal - what a day and yes, our camera was still out of commission..isn't that always the way.- ha... Auntie Babs to the rescue again...
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The sentinel ran up into a bush right beside our car, searching for predatory birds and muttering the watchman’s song continuously. A very neat sighting- love the way they cock their heads and stare intently.
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We later learned that friends of ours had had meerkats hop up on top of them, for better viewing of potential predators, when they went to the Meerkat Manor location in the Northern Cape. Such opportunistic creatures with their mobile lookout towers...ha.
One evening, as we were having supper a genet quietly arrived on our deck, and sat ever so politely watching us. Then it sat and waited on the ground, while I got the recharged camera. It was disgusted by the lack of handouts, so moved on, but it was neat to see.
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Later that evening another creature made an only appearance…a tiny little scorpion took a ride on a bag from the floor of our cabin to the bed. This thing was no bigger than half your baby finger but it was clearly a scorpion, with a fat tail and large enough stinger. Ok…this we could have done without. It was unceremoniously returned to the outside.
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A scrub hare was found basking in the sun after a chilly wet evening, and it hoped that we had not seen it. Busted.
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Canadian prairies...but prepping for some SA trips....
KTF Hooked on KTP- 2008
KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure- 2010/11


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 Post subject: Re: KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:23 am 
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We also sat with an elephant troop, and watched as one brave beast decided to have a swim.
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It seemed that the rest of his family wasn’t so comfortable with that idea- except for the young ones, who thought they wanted to try too- but were firmly stopped by the matriarch from copying their weird uncle..ha. I think he clearly enjoyed his weightless self as he snorgled and blew bubbles and totally submerged himself; tip of trunk excepted. Oops wrong photo..but a good one too
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A terrapin was another unique critter...this little one was strolling down the road.
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One of the most unique sightings we had was of a pair of spotted hyenas- and this one stands out in my memory as a highlight... They appeared out of the forest early one morning along the Gorah loop- clearly intent on finding food. (photo by Auntie Babs)
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We followed along as they walked parallel to us, snapping shots along the way.
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a stunning photo by Auntie Babs-
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Then they started to cross the road, so I was in the process of switching from a long lens to a short one, when my SO, who was driving, kindly put up my window. Why…because instead of continuing on its path to the other side, the hyena came directly along the back of the car right to my “was a minute ago open” window…nose on the glass.
I will call this one...'can I eat you for breakfast'...
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Thank goodness SO had been watching.
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This hyena sniffed at me for a while, deciding whether or not I was edible, and then moved to my SO and checked him out as well. Eventually they moved on, but it gave us quite a thrill. Cars came up to us later and commented on us not passing the hyena breakfast test. Still gives me goosebumps.

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Canadian prairies...but prepping for some SA trips....
KTF Hooked on KTP- 2008
KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure- 2010/11


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 Post subject: Re: KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:21 am 
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Breaks were usually taken at Jack’s Picnic Site, near the south end of the northern section, where you could get out of the car in a safe environment and stretch your legs. Jack was a black rhino, who had passed away and this area, now a botanical reserve, was his favourite place to rest. Here the birds came out in force to grab your attention…or any unguarded food. Red necked francolins, and mocking chats were pretty relaxed around people.
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Image-forget photogenic..I'd like to take the photo
The other rest area was Zuurkop…a hill near the northern main camp, but this was not fenced. It did give some terrific views of the surrounding area. Love the 'alight from your vehicle with caution' sign- that covers things nicely. We had breakfast here one day, and later learned that lions had been located on the hill. Nice.. tourists..ha. You were allowed to get out of your car here and we were on high alert.
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Rainy weather gave rise to beautiful flowers…some just popped out of the ground with no leaves at all.
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Canadian prairies...but prepping for some SA trips....
KTF Hooked on KTP- 2008
KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure- 2010/11


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 Post subject: Re: KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:40 am 
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Rain also encouraged interesting fungus to sprout out of the fertile dung piles. Yes we photograph everything..ha.
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Giant land snails (15 viewed) found that climate very appealing and appeared in great numbers.
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Rainy water droplets outlined multiple spider webs, like this apartment web…no flying bug would have had a chance here.
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Elephants in rain and fog had a very eerie look, which was intriguing.
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Ostrich (88) in the rain just look pathetic.
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Sunny weather brought out some animals in force. Tortoises (55 viewed) especially enjoyed the sun. 36 animals of that total were seen on the last sunny day. Love how they delicately ate flowers, but one was just a road hog and refused to yield to traffic.
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Canadian prairies...but prepping for some SA trips....
KTF Hooked on KTP- 2008
KTF Hooked's Most Anticipated Adventure- 2010/11


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