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 Post subject: moggiedog Donkeys in Pajamas and Super Goats Sep 2009
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:06 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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 Post subject: Re: Donkeys in Pajamas and Super Goats
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:12 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Sitting at work - board out of my bracket - I was lurking around on the forum (I wonder which one?) to pass the time. Reading all the wonderful TR's I realized just how few there are on the smaller gems that make up the crown of Sanparks.
From the forum I wandered through cyberspace to Flickr, which started me on a journey down memory lane.
The picture of the goat and the donkeys took me back to late 2009. I have no diary and no notes of this trip but I do have the memories and the photographs.
For many years we had wanted to go and see the flowers in Namaqualand. On a previous trip we had spent some time in the Richtersveld on our way home from Namibia. Although it was early in the season the flowers were a sight to behold - and this rekindled the flame to see them in all their glory.
It was another three years before we got back to this beautiful part of our country.
A year of planning and we finally had dates (with some juggling) that we could fit in our intended stop overs. We got bookings slap bang in the middle of flower season only to have to change them as one of the most beautiful parks did not have availability that fitted in with our plans. No matter - we changed our dates and hoped luck would be on our side.

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 Post subject: Re: Donkeys in Pajamas and Super Goats
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:39 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 9:12 am
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Location: Benoni
John (my car - so named because of the JFK number plate - hopefully I will not meet the same fate) was packed and ready to go. Sparrows f... and we were heading out of the concrete jungle. A serpent of car head lights undulated towards us. I sat with a smirk on my face - knowing I had a get out of gaol free card for a couple of weeks.
Our first stop would be Kimberley.
Although I am a born and bred Saffie - I have never seen the big hole - this was my opportunity to rectify matters. The stop/goes were a total pain in the rear end but we were not going to let the delays get us down. We were on holiday and every moment was going to be a pleasurable one - whatever the circumstances.
I will not dwell on our visit to the Big hole, the battle fields and the various museums we had the privilege of visiting during our short stay - but Kimberley is definitely worth a visit! First rate accommodation at reasonable prices, friendly people and plenty to do and see and not forgetting Mokala just a hop skip and a jump away.
The days passed rapidly and before we knew it the time had come to head to Mokala.
On all trips I have two GPS's at my disposal - One General Purpose Spouse - who comes in very handy at times. The other a Global Positioning System that is very reliable when there is a disagreement about the route we should follow. Unfortunately there is often conflict between these two acronyms.
Let me introduce you to Utur - Utur is one of the GPS's and when the human GPS or if you so prefer SO overrules her she has a wonderful habit of telling us to do a U turn at the safest opportunity - hence the name. Utur is female - why - because she is as moody and perverse as any female I have ever met. You should see what happens if you press the wrong buttons!
Fortunately both of my beloved companions were in agreement on the best route to Mokala.

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SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENT IN KRUGER !


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 Post subject: Re: Donkeys in Pajamas and Super Goats
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:33 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 9:12 am
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Location: Benoni
Bouncing through the potholes with John creaking and groaning almost as if she (all cars are shes :D ) was begging to get on to a road more to her taste. Finally we turned off the tar onto the dirt road and bombed our way closer and closer to the gates.
Sadly - like most of this type of road - there was way too much roadkill. Bat eared foxes, owls and other small creatures littered the road. Carrion eaters were not in evidence - but the smaller creatures of our world were performing the mop up operations.
I had been keeping a sharp lookout for aardvark. My mission in life is to see an aardvark and a pangolin in daylight. The towns and cities of termite heaps that flanked the road side I am sure took on a life of their own and did their damdest to confuse me into believing I was seeing some type of living creature.
Finally Utur did her warning peep and Makala's gates where in front of us. Using the radio to contact reception, the gates lumbered open and once we were positive the gates were closed we felt the stress and strain evaporate into the surrounding bush.
We trundled our way towards reception admiring the surrounding scenery. Stopping for buffalo and various buck on our way.
We pulled into a parking bay and made our way to reception to get the formalities of booking in behind us.
What a pleasure to be greeted by huge smiles and a welcome that contributed to global warming - which was counteracted by the welcoming drink of ice cold, fresh fruit juice. Paper work behind us it was time to move into our accommodation where more surprises awaited us.

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Mokala Sunset

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SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENT IN KRUGER !


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 Post subject: Re: Donkeys in Pajamas and Super Goats
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:52 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 9:12 am
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Location: Benoni
I often wonder why so much bag and baggage is lugged along for our trips. This trip was no exception. Admittedly camping equipment takes up a lot of space and freezes and other odds and sods eat into any nook and cranny available in the vehicle.
Although we were not camping at Mokala (sometimes one has to treat oneself to a bit of luxury) we would be camping later on our travels.
Loading the trolley GPS (General Purpose Spouse) was soon giving an immaculate performance of a porter at a railway station. Whilst he bumped and bounced his way to our home for two nights, I organised our night drive for the following night.
Paraphernalia packed away -in a higgely-piggeldy order - we settled in for a late lunch and a few moments of R&R.
A little ground squirrel foraged his way across the open area in front of us. It was soon enjoying a midday snack.
Image
Time for an afternoon drive.
Our first sighting for the afternoon was a buffalo - we were soon in mortal eye to eye combat as he gave us "the look". Deciding we were no threat he turned his back and disappeared into the long grass.
As we bumbled along enjoying the birdsong and the approaching evening - a super charged roan flashed across my peripheral vision. Soon followed by a few more. All of them moving at high speed across the rough terrain.
This was something I came to expect. It seemed to me that the animals were intent on getting as far away from us as quickly as possibly. Plenty of blurred photos and "scenic shots" were created from this unfriendly behavior.
We did not stay out very long before returning home to get the fire started and food over and done with so we could enjoy the night sky.
What a pleasure to walk into a spotlessly clean room. Wood ready in the fire-place, beds turned down and a mint chocolate and small flower on our pillows. Amazing how these small touches make all the difference.
A good meal and a cloudless night with almost no light pollution - just the stars and the shadows of zebra and roan drinking from the waterhole in front of the chalet - what more could we ask for?

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SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENT IN KRUGER !


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 Post subject: Re: Donkeys in Pajamas and Super Goats
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:25 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 9:12 am
Posts: 524
Location: Benoni
Early the following morning we set out for a slow drive to see what hidden treasures we could find. Ground squirrel soon had us in stitches of laughter as the gamboled about. The early morning sun not yet creating a heat problem for them. A small steenbok lay motionless - his one ear so flat against his head it seemed like he only had one. Bright black eyes watched us with intense concentration. Were we friend or foe?
Leaving him in peace we spotted a strange creature in the middle of the road. Not small. Not a predator but its colouring was bright red. It looked like some type of two headed buck. We had no idea what this strange creature could be. As we inched forward we realised it was two wildebees. They had obviously had a wonderful time disguising themselves with red mud. A bit of sparing followed before they moved into the trees and shrubs.

Image

Birds serenaded us as we edged our way along the dirt roads. Small flowers tried their best to hide in the grass but their bright colours glowed like jewels as the suns rays bounced off their petals. We stopped for no other reason than to absorb the sounds and the smells that surrounded us.
Zebra and roan kept a wary eye on us before moving onto greener pastures.

Image
Kudu with horns that were incredible to behold graced the bush as they lifted their majestic heads from their browsing.
Springbok delicately danced across the open lands as gemsbok watched with a look of disdain at the antics of the smaller buck.
The hours passed all too quickly and it was time to return home and have a bit of quiet time before our night drive.

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SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENT IN KRUGER !


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 Post subject: Re: Donkeys in Pajamas and Super Goats
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:06 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 9:12 am
Posts: 524
Location: Benoni
Back to the beginning - in pictures:

The GPS (general purpose spouse)acting as a porter:

Image

Our home the next few days :

Image

A rather miserable buffalo :

Image

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A Conundrum before Tankwa

SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENT IN KRUGER !


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 Post subject: Re: Donkeys in Pajamas and Super Goats
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:15 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 9:12 am
Posts: 524
Location: Benoni
After an early meal we were soon both looking like the Michelin man ready for our night drive. What a pleasure to have the young lady (sorry my brain is like a sieve and I cannot remember her name) we had as our guide. Not only was she extremely knowledgeable but she had the most wonderful sense of humor.
Our first sighting of the evening was a couple of nyala that would soon be relocated as they do no belong in the area. this was followed by more sighting of different buck. As the darkness got deeper and deeper the side of the road was soon filled with burning red eyes. Demons dancing in the grass - no - little kangaroos - or should I say the hares - bouncing around the shrubs.
Owls hooted in the distance as we peered into the darkness - but no luck. No aardvark, no pangolin.


Image

Image

A strange clicking sound could be heard up ahead. We soon realised there was more than one creature making that sound. The eland eyes flashed in the spotlight as a huge herd (which ourguide estimated at about 100 animals) burst through the bush in front of us. We watched these beautiful beasts as they blended into the shadows of the trees and once again there was silence.

All too soon it was time to head for home. It may not have been a night of predators and shy creatures but it was still night to remember. Cold and exhausted we fell into our warm beds and were soon lost in a world of dreams.
Early the next morning we set out for our game drive. Once again it was a day of plenty. From ground squirrels to Eland - it must have been the same herd of Eland as the previous night. This was the largest herd I had ever seen.
Image
I had my answer as to why the animals were so skittish. Having previously been a hunting lodge - at the sight of humans the animals ran for their lives. The fear of the hunter was firmly embedded in their brains. Hopefully in time they will learn that they have no need to fear but have found a sanctuary for the future.

One little buck that was hiding in the grass
Image - jumped up and took off at the speed of light. It was so afraid it fell head over heels only to bound up again and vanish in a flash of brown. It was disturbing to see so much fear in an animal.

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SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENT IN KRUGER !


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 Post subject: Re: Donkeys in Pajamas and Super Goats
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:29 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 9:12 am
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Location: Benoni
To backtrack a tad - on our drive prior to our nightdrive we had seen an unusual buck. It looked like a springbok but at the time it didn't. Our young guide had confirmed that it was either a black or a copper springbok.

Image

We were then on a mission to find these springbok. It seemed to me that we had had a brief sighting of a copper springbok but is appeared we would not be gifted with this sighting again. The Sun was sinking on our last night and it was time to return home to have something to eat and pack our goods and chattels for the next leg of our journey.

Image

Fortune smiled on us. Against the setting Sun we caught a glimpse of a springbok that looked a bit odd. - yes - you got it - a black springbok. Unfortunately he was too far away to get a photograph but his image was burned into our memories. It wasn't ten minutes later when we saw a copper springbok. How privileged to have seen both in less than an hour. A farewell present from this gem of a park.

Besides the end of the day sighting of the springbok we had had a good day with many sightings of giraffe, warthog and various buck species.

Image

Back at the chalet I sat and watched the super goats and donkeys in pajamas come down for their late afternoon drink.

Image

As the Sun sank lower and lower painting the skies in vivid hues of purples and oranges a lone eland made his appearance at the waterhole. Accompanied by the unmistakable clicking of his hooves.

Image

The time had come to say a last goodnight to the small kangaroo that bounced around in front of our chalet - not sitting still for more than a few seconds.

Early the following morning we were all packed and ready to hit the road. GPS complaining bitterly about dragging his trolley uphill to the car.

Next stop - Augrabies - I picked up some pamphlets from the reception that we had promised to deliver to Augrabies. The rising sun, that morning, was no match for the smiling faces that waved us goodbye.

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SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENT IN KRUGER !


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