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 Post subject: The Bush family visit their other home...
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:13 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
The Bush family are getting ready for a weekend in the KNP… This time it will be the 2 Bushbabies and some friends (who are not fully “bush trained”yet :doh: ). They like their luxuries :roll: where the Bushbabies can rough it out if they have to :redface: . Their idea of a break away is sleeping in and just relaxing where ours are driving from when the gate opens till closing time. Well I hope they enjoy seeing the cats either on our photo’s (if we’re lucky :pray: ) or on the postcards in the shop! :whistle: :whistle: Thank goodness for two cars!

Just more than a week (11 days to be precise)to go and where I’m not much of a list maker, my sister is… :hmz: Can anybody also see temper thermometers revving up a bit in the near future?? :rtm: After years of going to the park together nothing has changed… I pack the day before we go and her stuff is probably already packed as I’m typing! :huh: I have made it my purpose in life to support Sanparks shops where I can because there is always something that jumps out of the car as we leave home! :huh:

We will be staying in Pretoriuskop for the weekend and hopefully there will be some nice sightings :cam: and interesting stories I can share.

Let the count down begin… :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: The Bush family visit their other home...
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:34 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
Aaahhh... The packing! First thing that was taken out was the brightly coloured pillow case. Brightly coloured with a reason… What reason you might ask? :huh: Well between the 2 Bushbabies we have “donated” about 5 pillows to SanParks through the years. :wall: Packing the car at 5 in the morning to move from one camp to another (for an admittedly not so morning person Bushbaby30) there is always something bound to not get packed and in our case it is either a pillow or a twin plug. So if ever you have a very comfy pillow in Satara, Tamboti(x2), Lower Sabie or Letaba … It was a pleasure!! :lol:
All packed and we were off… :dance: Going with the not fully Bush trained friends they took a little bit of a detour. Ok actually a lot of a detour… :big_eyes: Pretoria – Belfast – Dullstroom – Sabie - Hazyview – Phabeni gate. We eventually reached my other home at 2pm which was much later than I would have liked! :x My car knows only one way and that is directly there as early as possible. As we entered the park, the standard rule applied that the one to see the first animal gets the night off from cooking and doing dishes. :dance: That alone was encouragement enough for this Bushbaby! :pray: But not in my wildest dreams would I have predicted the first sighting…. :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

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 Post subject: Re: The Bush family visit their other home...
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:46 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:01 pm
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
Mellory: Leopard... I wish!
Supernova and Katja: Wild dog... In my dreams
JJ: Rhino... More likely but not quite
Micetta: Dung beetle... nope only dung

In all my years going to the park I have never had a sighting like this. I’ve read on the forum of people seeing them (and I must admit I did frown and laugh a bit) but as I came over a hill and saw something running in the road I couldn’t quite make out what it was. Going a bit closer I saw it and couldn't quite believe my eyes! :shock: Two goats running in the road. Yes goats!?!? Two real “boerbokke”! :huh: Shame, it was like they knew they were where they shouldn’t be. If I had opened my door they would have jumped in… I’m sure of that. I couldn’t help but think that they were going to be something’s dinner tonight… Or even late afternoon snack! :big_eyes:
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We carried on with the dirt road towards Pretoriuskop and just had a few sightings of McDonalds. Our name for impala... Not just because you get one on every corner but of the M shape on their bums! :lol:

When we got to the camp we booked in and went on to our accommodation. I was starting to get a bit worried about the Bush-sister who only left work after 1 and still had to make her way to the park (Luckily not the scenic route!) I made my way up to the gate just in case I had to bail out my big sis but she made it with 3 minutes to spare! :clap: Now our weekend could officially begin…. :dance:

Fires going, the smell of meat braaing, the sound of laughter mixed with the sounds of the night starting, an African sunset… Pure bliss!!!
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Sitting outside by the fence waiting for the patrolling hyena to make his appearance I was just looking at the stars and just enjoying some quiet time… Taking it all in and just being… I was exhausted and opted for an early night (the bat genes seem to have deserted this part of the Bush family these days) leaving the rest to chat away...

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 Post subject: Re: The Bush family visit their other home...
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:33 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
We had an early start the next morning, leaving just after the gate opened and decided to take the Voortrekker road. I felt a bit crowded with 3 cars behind me but there’s nothing like a little pressure to make you peel your eyes even more. The first sighting of the was a double delight, on the right hand side was a herd of buffalo and on the left a beautiful Kruger sunrise. :lol: :thumbs_up:
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Next we had a visit from some family members of ours…:wink:
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Then the feast of rhino began. Before we reached Afsaal we already had 12 rhino on our list! Including one that almost ended up inside my car! :shock: She came down a hill as I came around the corner and we both slammed on breaks together. On a fright scale of 1-10 that was a certain 8. :big_eyes: I could already see the guys face from the insurance when I tried to explain the big dent in my car!! :huh: As we stopped at Afsaal some people told us about a carcass with lots of hyena and we quickly jumped back in our car to go see if they were still there (any emergency stops would have to wait for a bit) Bush-sister found them well hidden away in the grass… about 8 of them in total. Unfortunately not clear enough for any photos. Our hungry tummies (and Mother Nature calling us loud and clear :redface: ) got the better of us and we went to Afsaal to make some brunch… We had a few hornbills coming closer very eager to see what was on our menu but it wasn’t their lucky day. :naughty: :rtm:
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 Post subject: Re: The Bush family visit their other home...
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:42 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Hi Bushbaby,

Great TR so far. Why didn't you stop to say hello when you saw the goats? :lol: I have similar photos of them, also in the same place. We were also in P'kop the same time. Did the same morning route as you and were in Afsaal about the same time for lunch!!!! Bet we missed bumping into eachother by minutes each time! Did not see any other Yellow or Red ribbons though? We reported the Goats to one of the scientists in Skukuza who was going to arrange for the vets to go out and search for them. Must admit, we were a bit confused at first, but laughed out loud when we realised what they were. We also got the feeling that the mother knew she was not supposed to be there. They would have made a quick meal for any predators that came across them. If I find out if the Vets caught up with them, I'll let you know the outcome.

Saw the owl in Afsaal, but did not hear about the Hyenas ( I just learnt something new there, Hyena can also be spelt Hyaena according to the dictionary, either way is correct!)

Hope the rest of your weekend was just as good as the start was.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bush family visit their other home...
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:00 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:01 pm
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
Dankbaar: I posted the pic to show you.
fenwikh: I'm sure she has recovered... She had the distinct size advantage! :wink:
Crested Barbet: Sunrises and sunsets are my absolute favourite... It has happened a few times now that we will sit at a sighting and I will be much more interested in the sun! :wall:
Pumbaa: Glad you are enjoying it!

Here is my unique (not to be repeated) attempt to having something yellow on my car...
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With our tummies satisfied we took the tar road up towards Skukuza. The first stop was the Mathekanyane look out point. I actually didn’t want to go up there because the road was so bad in December. I knew my car would get up there (ssshh don’t tell him he is not a real 4x4 8) ) but wasn’t sure about the rest (They raised their brows at the idea of going on a dirt road... in the Kruger!! :huh: ). I was pleasantly surprised to see the road was in a much better state because the view from there is always nice. :thumbs_up:
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The not bush-trained friends (NBTF's) were getting a bit restless that we haven’t even seen a single elephant… So I decided to drive a bit on the Skukuza – Lower Sabie road (the NBTF's had no choice as they were the ones asking for elephant :whistle: ) They weren’t disappointed! We saw 2 sets of elephant along the way and on the bridge another big herd of buffalo.
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It proved to be a magical road! On our way to the bridge a warthog was having a drink at a watering hole and while we were gone he turned into a bushbuck. :huh: :lol:
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The most amazing part of going to the Kruger for me is the fact that you can drive for kilometres and not say a word to anybody in the car and nobody will think anything of it… Just you and your thoughts. Clearing (well ok, trying to clear) your head of all unnecessary clutter, that has been building up over the months since the last visit. Just briefly stopping off at Skukuza to have a look at the bats and get something to drink before heading back to Pretoriuskop.
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 Post subject: Re: The Bush family visit their other home...
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:47 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:01 pm
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
On the way back the not bush-trained friends had enough of me going like a snail in front of them so they passed us and made their way back to camp. Their loss because a klipspringer posed very nicely for us on the rocks and at the Transport dam a fish eagle gave us a beautiful call and showed us his photogenic side…
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We knew we couldn’t dawdle to long because the bushbabies were in charge of making the “potbrood” for supper. :lol: Ok this bushbaby did all the mixing while the other bushbaby made sure that we didn’t all end up in hospital with food poisoning… The end product was really yummy though and as a bonus everybody was ok! :dance:
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The bush was alive that evening… An elephant grazed right next to the fence and a lion made his presence known throughout the night.

The others wanted to sleep late the next morning so the Bushbabies were the only ones that were up an out of there as early as possible… :huh: We took the road down to Numbi gate. The dirt road was quiet animal-wise but the reason became quite clear when we saw the traces of a fire that must have happened during the night.
We made a quick stop at Numbi gate, filled up our coffee cups (oh, how I love hydro-boils! :lotsocoffee: :thumbs_up: ) and just have a bit of a stretch. These flowers caught my attention and to bush-sister and her ASO’s (Almost SO) frustration I had to take some photos first. :slap:
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The circle road was next … We saw the tracks of last night’s lion but he was no longer there. Luckily for me just being there is enough and whatever you see is a bonus. We were rewarded with a troop of baboons walking in the road with us for about a kilometre. They are such interesting animals!
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A little futher we saw “fluffy tails” :whistle: or more commonly known as Reedbuck. :redface: We had to turn back to make it in time for breakfast with the NBTF… It seemed as though we always had to stop to eat. :hmz: Normally we just eat on the go… There is no hole that Marie biscuits and biltong can’t fill! :lol:

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Last edited by Bushbaby30 on Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bush family visit their other home...
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:07 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Unfortunately not in KNP so I had to settle with Jo'burg
I think I’m taking so long to finish this report because of that heavy feeling (the one I always get when it’s time to leave the Park for real...The car is quiet and you can sense the others feel the same as you…) reappears even if I’m only thinking about the last day. :wall:

The NBTF’s decided to drive straight to Numbi gate and make their way back home… We on the other hand were definitely not ready to go home :huh: (hello, we’ve only been here 2days!!!) so we took the scenic route (and this time I’m not complaining). :lol: I’m still waiting for the day where I head straight for the gate to go home (don’t hold your breath because it’s going to be a looooong wait!) :whistle:

We took the tar road up towards Skukuza and went in at the Shitlave dam. The only (visible) inhabitant was this terrapin catching a few morning rays…
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When I was little there used to be a poster up everywhere with the big 5 sitting behind a bush with binoculars looking at tourists in their car and at the bottom of the poster it said: You might not see them but they see you! It made a big impact on me because if I get to a sighting like that of the lonesome terrapin I always wonder what else is looking at us. :hmz:

Something that is fascinating about the KNP is the big boulders you find… Take this Napi one for example. It is as though it has been especially put there for us to see how trifling we are...
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We had a few Kudu sightings but there was clearly either a big rugby match or a bachelor’s party somewhere because we saw only cows (that’s kudu cows). Hey, we did see goats so you never know! :lol: This oxpecker just had to share the latest gossip…
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Transport dam once again didn’t disappoint… A few ellies were having a bath and the resident fish eagle was home again.
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A quick stop at Skukuza’s shop for the last time and I treated myself with a "To me From me" birthday present (and high time I think). The one on the right is about 4years old… Some people have comfort pillows etc I have a comfort shirt… :redface: Now I have the coloured-in version again! :dance:
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Then it was time to head to the gate (slowly… very slowly). A big herd of buffalo having an early Sunday afternoon nap
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Our last sighting which was strangely enough the first of this particular trip…
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All to soon we reached the gate and it was time to leave… :cry: :cry: :cry: We swopped seats and bush-sister's ASO had the duty of getting us back home in one piece. :pray: :pray:

As of today it is just another 52 sleeps till it’s time for some mother and daughter quality time at our other home… :dance: :dance: :dance:

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