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 Post subject: Lowveldboy-A hop, skip and a "overdue" Daytrip ....Aug 2010
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:01 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
To really fully explain the trip we need to go back a week or so. So I'm starting the trip on

Saturday 21 Aug 2010
I First need to explain I dont have photos for this day! They are not ready. Will post as we go along, PROMISE!!! :redface:

This is the day we have been waiting for, for a very long time, since April. It is 04h00 and I am packing the car. Everthing in? (In order of importance) Camera, Bino, books, reservation papers, petrol, beer, food, LO and friend ... All good, but ... Oh yeah I forgot SO :twisted: . Ok, coffee made for road, SO in the car In pj's but who cares. It is 05h15 and we are late.
It is now 06h15 and we are at Numbi gate, there is only 5 people waiting, shouldnt be too long. In we go straight to mestel dam at a nice 25km/h. Stop at the dam, see some hippos just going back in the water and a lovely Saddlebill stork. Time for breakfast, So pours coffee and brings out the biltong. FIT FOR A KING!!. Breakfast is over and off we head north, take the road right towards Shabeni. Before we even reach there, we see Elllies, buffalo, rhino, kudu, steenbok and monkeys. Up to now everything is perfect, and then .......

LO starts complaining, she does not feel well. She never complains, something is wrong. Get to Pretoriuskop ASAP. Get there SO takes the children to the showers and gets them some Pronutro, maybe food will help. I will book in so log and come get the key later.

Receptionist - Sorry Sir but we cant find your booking on the system. WHAT???!!!! Not possible. She goes to the duty manager who ask me to be patient and he will sort it out. At least the staff is friendly and helpfull. 45 minutes later we find out I have 2 Customer numbers. :huh: Everything sorted, thanks to the staff at Pretoriuskop, who kept friendly and kept me updated the whole time. Why do people complain about the service in the park? I always had good service, even when there is a problem. WELL DONE TO THEM!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Children are feeling better, but we decide to drive to Skukuza at a steady 50 to not make the children sit for too long. Dayvisitor area here we come. Things can only get better .... or can it get even .....

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


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 Post subject: Re: A hop, skip and a "overdue" Daytrip ....
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:59 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
THANKS ALL

Just to clear the air, so that people don't get confused. Here read LZ. :twisted: The only reason we didn't camp is because the special on the 7 man tent is over. But there is alwys next time.

So lets continue...

We are driving a steady 45 to Skukzand only stop for clear sightings. We spot some pyjama donkeys and giraffes and then come to 3 very relaxed elephants having a nibble next to thr road. I switch off the engine and free gently past them to a safe distance. Time to take pics

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Then this litlle so and so decided he doesn't like photos, and he storms. Now although he look close on the pics, this was taken with a 500mm lens. Obviously I play it safe and get out of there. A quick stop at Mathekeyane and of to the swimming pool we go. See nothing not even an impala. But we are in the park who cares. At the day visitors area, I get a skottel and SO takes the kids for a dip. The food goes on and the tomatoes and onions are just finished when .....

Here comes SO in a hurry. LO is vomitting and has a hellish fever. We check her out and the tonsils is huge. Rush the food and make a decision right there, we need to get her on antibiotics ASAP. Straight out Paul Kruger gate and speed home. The speeding by the way was only outside the park. We phoned Pretoriuskop from the aget and said we won't be taying over.

Back home, it is off to the docter and then pharmacy to get the meds. And so ends what was suppose to be a family weekend in KNP on a Sat afternoon at home. Due to nobody's fault I must add. A total of 5 hours in the park and 2 of those was spent driving.

Thus start a horrible week, LO is very sick for the week and fever only breaks on Thur, work is horrible and I didn't get my drug :cry:

Then comes Thursday ...

Some more photos to follow ....

Thanks for the help with this LQ

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


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 Post subject: Re: A hop, skip and a "overdue" Daytrip ....
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:24 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
Here some more pics from the shortened trip.

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Can somebody please help with an ID? :redface: My birding knowledge is not yet up to scratch.

The rest will follow later this afternoon.

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


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 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A hop, skip and a "overdue" Daytrip ....
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:20 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
Thank You All!! :redface: Appreciate all the comments from everybody.
LO is luckily fine and back to her normal busy self.

Now lets get back to the TR, well this is where the actual TR starts..

I 1st have to apologise and say the 1st part won't contain any photos, reason to be provided as we go along.

So we left off on Thursday. Thursday is going, well, like any Thursday at work. The phone rings and it is mommy dearest. What did I do wrong now, I am a married man. :redface: Oops, maybe she just wants to know how things going. Hi Mom. The pleasentries out of the way, the following 2 questions gets asked, and no points for my answers to either.

1) I have a extra ticket for the rugby on Friday night, would you like to go? (Nelspruit 1st game in the new stadium)
2) We (mom and dad) are doing a daytrip on Saturday, interested in going since SO is working?

:big_eyes: :dance: :dance: :dance: Is this real? Of course I say yes. Now I did mention I am a married man and thus needed to confirm with So, mentioning to her I already said yes. :twisted: Luckily my wife is a very understanding person and allows me my pleasures in life - rugby, KNP, braaivleis and beer. Ok so I organise a babysitter for LO, then the beer for Friday and then the beer for Saturday. The parents will arrange some meat to braai and a snack for the road(biltong)

Come Friday, it is work in the morning. Skottel next to the stadium in the afternoon, rugby in the evening, and partying late at night. 12h15 yes it is after midnight it is time to eat again and 12h45 it is of to bed.

Saturday 28 Aug 2010
04h30 and the alarm goes off. Everything was prepacked, so all we do is load the car, have some coffee and wake up. After only 2 and a bit hours sleep it does tend to take longer than usual, which is not quick in the best of times.
05h10 and off we go, towards White River, at casterbridge and dad who always does the driving on the outside, wants to continue to Phabeni. NO!!!!!!!!! We will be there only after 6 and that can not happen. Being a mommy's boy I know how to say things to get her on my side and 30seconds later we are on our way to Numbi :roll: . On the way some idoit almost collides head-on with a truck as he tries to overtake us around a bend. :evil: We stay calm and make steady if a tad slow progress to the gate.
05h55 and we arrive and the idoit is the car immediatly in front of us. What did he gain? in front of him isabout 5 cars. Good it wont take long
06h00 Gates open on the dot. Standing in line with the idiot now behind me :roll: I overhear a guide promising leopards, lions, cheetahs, wild dogs and other special sightings to his clients. :huh: Where is the zoo? And he was not joking, because when confronted, by somebody else because I dont get upset over things like that when in relaxing mood, he made it clear he is a professional. :huh:
06h15 We are ready to go. A BIG UP to the staff at the gate that can work so quickly and efficiently so early in the morning. Quick check on all equipment, coffee and my turn to drive. Lets GO!!!

We turn left towards Mestel dam and there is the locals a huge herd of impala, wrong side for photos. Nothing at the dam, so we fill up the mugs and head on, turn right towards Shabeni loop and we see Rhino and buffalo.

We turn left on the loop and almost immediatly encounter kudu and 100m furter elephant. Everytime though the sun was against good pics. So we slowly carry on and then encounter my Fav. Hyeana, in the middle of the road. I was still busy lifting the camera when it ran off into the bushes. :doh: We keep searching on the rocks for klipspringer, but to no avail. There is some baboons and we stop, hoping for some nice pics. Engine off. Waiting. The dad goes - "Whats that there?" the rest goes like this:
Lvb - Where
Dad - Behind that tree
Lvb - Rock
Dad - No
Lvb - No could be rhino
Dad - no
Lvb - CAN IT BE!!!!!! It is a ........... :dance: :dance: :dance:
dad - YES!!!! :dance: :dance: :dance:
Lvb - They do exist! :dance: :dance: :dance:
Guide (same as earlier) - What are you looking at
Lvb (pointing) - ..........
Guide (while speeding off) - No its only a rock
Dad - Its moving
Lvb - It is. It is. We were right It is a ............

Well till next time. Enjoy the weekend everybody and stay tuned. :tongue:

:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


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 Post subject: Re: A hop, skip and a "overdue" Daytrip ....
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:39 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
Morning ALL

Sorry about the wait ... :twisted: Let's continue ...

I have been very lucky in all my trips, that 1 out of 2/3 trips I will see a 1st. And this trip was no different. I this sighting is one of the reasons we always try Pretoriuskop, searching for this. This was a 1st for everybody in the car. Sorry but this is the only pic that can show the actual animal.

So after the wait we SAW OUR FIRST EVER of hopefully millions SABLE :dance: :dance:

Image

This was reason to celebrate and the 1st Jungle Juice was opened. We kept on to Pretoriuskop, for a quick pitstop, complete the book at reception and off we go. To Skukuza. Along the way this beauty came for a visit

Image

and the usual customers

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We decided To turn off to transport dam and not very far, another special sighting. The favourite of this amateur birder - Saddle-billed Stork...

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At the dam itself there was Waterbuck (sorry no pics) and a few thirsty "transporters". Again Transport dam delivers

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to be continued ...

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A hop, skip and a "overdue" Daytrip ....
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:05 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
Lets continue shall we ...

We left Transport dam and decided to drive up waterhole road, what seemed quiet at first became a very good decision ...

We 1st came up to these beautifull girls ...

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we let them be after a while and was driving very slowly and then the next special sighting. We have all seen them but this was right next to the road and no other car, meaning we could spent some time and relaxed.

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Notice the extensive burning which was all the way on this road. They were feeding on a piece of Zebra. After a while and a few cold one, it was really hotting up at this stage, we drove off very satisfied. We got stopped by a car complaining he has not seen anything, so we told him about the vultures, and he seemed dissapointed. :huh: We left him and next thing in the dip, there it was. How could he have missed it. In open sight and so beautiful. My favourite :dance: :dance: . They are sooooooo cute

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She must have fed from the same carcass as the vultures. Look at that tummy, now that's full. There was some more deeper in, but to far for pics.
We were now joined by some cars and the hyeana decided crowded is not fun and left. We headed for skukuza, as the cold ones were having a big influence on us. Pluse we needed to stretch our legs and get Ice Cream. We stopped at Skukuza at about 12h15. It took us 6 hours to travle the +/- 60 km from Numbi gate to here, and the legs was wobbly. Had nothing to do with the beverages of chioce The teprature was also at 38 degrees and climbing :big_eyes: :big_eyes: . We decide to spent some time, cool down and planned the next route.

For which you will have to wait till tomorrow. :tongue:

:thumbs_up:

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A hop, skip and a "overdue" Daytrip ....
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:58 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
At last, thanks for the help guys.

So lets continue with the last part.

We left Skukz and decided to do the little roundabout along the Sabie River (You all know the road), then past Mathekenyane and to Numbi gate again. We get to the T-Junction and decided to go left as that was the hand that kept the beer :P . Not far there was some kudu and Impala and then a very cute little visitor coming to say HI.

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We let her be and then. THE BLOODY IDIOT!!! :evil: :sniper: Notice how calm and relaxed he looks and how far from the car, with the doors closed. The relevance will be revealed.

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I Take the pic, and get there to give him a piece of my mind. Stopping next to him, we saw what he was admiring. A HUGE ELEPHANT BULL IN MUSTH NOT 20 METERS AWAY!!!! :big_eyes: :big_eyes: He said he didn't know he is not allowed out of the car, I told him :rtm: and the fines and how quick that bull can get to him. His answer, BUT THEY'RE SO BIG
:big_eyes: :slap: We left him and hours later was still amazed. We saw nothing for some time and then a single car parked. We pull up and ask him what he saw, and before he could answer this boy came across the road.

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He dissapeared on a clear mission and we left as well. At the turn-off back to Skuks (H14) there was a stunning Nyala bull between the other game like Zebra and Wildebeest, but alas I could not get a pic. We kept going and saw not even an Impala up to mathekenyane. We had a quick pitstop and I mean very quick as we measured the temp at 48 :big_eyes: . We left and started the last leg of the journey with hearts getting heavier. We saw some Giraffe and warthog.

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And then up in the tree an owl. I unfortunatly have not been able to idetify it as yet. :redface: Still new to the birding thing.It is far off and the best angle we could get.

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Around a corner and then in the rocky outcrops enjoying a lazy afternoon.

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We left and 50m on,

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I only noticed the sore on the back leg when working with the pics. Hope it's not a bulklet wound, but does look suspicious if you ask me :( . We then ran into some elegant male models doing the perfect pose.

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We continued on and in the harsh, dry and burnt landscape these stood out like a sore thumb.

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Not much further down the road, our second last sighting as it turned out, these guys was wandering down the road.

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We got to the T-junction and on the side to say farewell

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The last 2km to the gate was spend with each person in their own little world of thoughts and reflections of another day in this amazing place coming to and end. The mind playing tricks on you, making you believe you can hear the bush calling, saying please don't go. Stay, please just a bit longer.

Is it in your mind or does mother nature really call, with only a few priveliged to be able to hear her voice. That is what I believe in any case.

The check out gets done as quick possible to make the pain of going as easy as possible.

And as we leave the gate getting smaller in the rearview, the voice starts again. This time with a whimper and a tear - Goodbye, come again. And me saying the last word - THANK YOU, I WILL BE BACK, SOON, I PROMISE. Then all goes quiet. :cry:

THE END.

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


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