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 Post subject: Steamtrainfan All my Kruger trips rolled up,1 BIG adventure
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:29 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm
Posts: 418
I have an old calender with 13 sketches by Oswald Gerber of buildings in the different rest camps. I now want to try and do a trip report which includes my trips prior to me joining the forum as well as my trip reports already done on this thread. This trip will start at Malelane Gate and end up at Punda Maria. I will be using Oswalds sketches, scans of old 35mm photographs and current digital photos. Please allow me some poetic licence as I cannot remember where or when some of the old 35mm photographs were taken so I will fit them in where I think they should fit in. I am still sorting through my old photos and will start as soon as I have Malelane and Berg en Dal sorted out. I trust you will enjoy this journey with me as much as I am enjoying putting it together.

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 Post subject: Re: All my Kruger trips rolled up into one BIG adventure.
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:01 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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This trip will cover the period 1980 to 2010 so some of the photos will not be so hot. I have now sorted through all my photos and have decided on the final 120. All I have to do know is sort them into where they were taken. This will mean that, for example, I will have photos around Skukuza but some taken in the 80's, others in the 90's and others in the 2000's. I will also try to write it in the style so that it reads as if it was one trip. In other words if I write that something happened which might have been in the 80's, in the next scenario something else might have happened but in 2010. I hope what I am trying to say makes sense as I am inclined to waffle at times. Please bear with me. The tale will start soon.

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 Post subject: Re: All my Kruger trips rolled up into one BIG adventure.
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:48 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 418
Well dear readers I am going to try something I have not done before but has been suggested on this thread. When one has a fairly long tale to tell rather write onto Word first and then copy it to this tale and then slot the pictures in inbetween. I am also going to incude:

Image
scan0101 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Hopefully you will join us as one of the passengers and enjoy this tale with us.

DATE – Sometime between the past and the present: Part 1:

The uneventful trip down from Pretoria seemed to have taken far longer that the 5.5 hours that it had actually taken. We had reached the town of Malelane and the air conditioning in the kombi was really struggling to keep us all cool. Although it was only 10:30 the heat was oppressive, only as it can be without a cloud in the sky in the Lowveld, and the urge to speed up in order to get to Malelane Gate was strong. However, there were traffic police all over the place. Knowing that traffic police love pulling kombis off the road I eased my foot off the pedal, with all of us trying to look as innocent as angels and trundled along until we reached the turn off to the gate. By the way, we were eight bodies in the kombi. This could be the reason why we were not pulled off. As we cruised past the golf course and around the bend the bridge came into view. We started to play that game of “What animal are we going to see first”. Reward for a correct guess was R50.00 from each person in the car. Impala are strictly excluded. We stopped on the bridge, opened the doors of the car and got out to see what was in the river. There was an immediate scream from one of the passengers who had forgotten that he had taken off his sandals in order to try and be a bit more comfortable. He had stepped out of the car barefoot and onto the tar which was at a temperature of almost melting point. Needless to say he got back into the car far quicker than he had got out. Our first sighting was some crocodiles lying in the river to escape the heat. At that moment, as the perspiration ran down my face and back I wished that I could be a crocodile.
Image
KRUGER PARK AUGUST 2009 071 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

The passenger who had said crocodile claimed his prize but there was an objection lodged. The objection was that were we not officially in the park and therefore this sighting was invalid. What followed was a slight disagreement and ended in a negotiated settlement that the river formed the boundry of the park and therefore the crocodiles were within the park. The passenger was awarded his just reward. We all bundled back into the kombi, with the winner stuffing R50 notes into his wallett, and headed toward the gate.
Image
scan0111 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Let's see how this comes out and if ok I will continue.

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Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


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 Post subject: Re: All my Kruger trips rolled up into one BIG adventure.
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:47 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 418
SAME DAYPART 2:

As we pulled up at the gate we tried to explain to the winner of “What animal are we going to see first” that one of the rules is that the winner pays for that days fees. This did not work either. Having paid all the neccessary, had a comfort break and a nice leg stretch we all bundled into the kombi again, waved at the guard opening the gate and we were in. There was not much to be seen as by now it was midday and all the animals were lying down in the shade of trees. A slow ride up to:

Image
scan0116 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

to check in. After unpacking and bite to eat it was off to the pool to cool off.

Image
scan0003 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Our two boys in the pool are now grown up and married and our daughter is getting married next month. My, how time flies. After a refreshing dip and short snooze we were up and out for an afternoon drive. As we reached the junction of the S110 and H3 we saw a whole bundle of cars about a kilometre down the road towards Malelane Gate. This has got to be good and so off we went to see what it was. Here is what we saw:

Image
CSC_0796 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


After a short while he jumped down from the tree and walked through the grass next to our kombi. Suddenly the suspension on that side of the kombi took a whole lot of strain.

Image
DSC_0681 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

He then walked in front of our kombi, across the road and disappeared into the long grass.
Watching this guy had taken up most of the afternoon and on our way back to camp, via Matjulu Dam, we saw these fellows playing in the road:

Image
Kruger Park May 2007 020 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

and this guy having a drink at the dam.

Image
scan0001 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


While braaing that evening we saw this strange moth:

Image
scan0002 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Can anyone identify it?

Aaaaah, what can be better than a lovely braai, good friends and the sounds of the wild. Not long after eating we all said our goodnights and with air conditioners going at full blast we all fell into a very deep and content sleep.

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Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


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 Post subject: Re: All my Kruger trips rolled up into one BIG adventure.
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:41 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 418
Day 2 – Berg en Dal to Crocodile Bridge – Part 1

The kids woke us up before the “early bird could catch the worm” so we could be at the gate as they opened. A quick coffee and rusk to get rid of the cobwebs. It was still dark as we packed the car but we were at the gate just as they opened. Travelled very slowly in the dim light. On the road to Matjulu Dam someone else had stopped. They pointed out this leopard on a rock. Unfortunately the light was not at all good and this is the best we could do.

Image
scan0004 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

He allowed us only a few minutes of quality time before he got up, stretched and walked off the rock into the bush. What a start to the day. At the junction of S120 and S110 we turned right. A little way along we came across these guys still lying down with a few standing guard. The early morning sunlight had not yet reached them.

Image
Kruger Park May 2007 055 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

We moved on and joined the Crocodile River Road. Popped in at Gardenia for breakfast. Not a thing to be seen. Totally deserted. Finished breakfast and moved on along the Crocodile Bridge Road. Not much to be seen until we came across this nice clear shot of a giraffe.

Image
scan0005 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Not far from here we saw this Maribu Stork still resting in a tree.

Image
Kruger Park May 2007 017 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

It was now 09:30 the heat was beginning to soar and the air conditioning was put to work. Not much seen for the next 90 minutes until we saw this giraffe against the skyline.

Image
K30D454A98DF07_10 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


The temperature was now 38 and as there are no picnic spots or hides along this road we stopped in the shade of a big tree with a view over the river and had a rest and some lunch. Still not a cloud in the sky.

See you after our siesta.

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Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


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 Post subject: Re: All my Kruger trips rolled up into one BIG adventure.
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:43 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 418
Day 2 – Berg en Dal to Crocodile Bridge – Part 2/3

Our siesta was broken by the call of a fish eagle. Now let me tell that that was better than any alarm clock one can get. Also, waking up to the scene below made it just perfect.

Image
DSC_1677 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

We sat for a while taking it all in, the silence, the occasional call of a fish eagle across the river, the gentle rippling sound of the river as it wound its way down to Crocodile Bridge Camp. Pure bliss. Time to move on. Back on the sand road it was very quiet and only spotted a very handsome waterbuck and the odd impala.

Image
scan0035 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

We decided to pop down to hippo pools but it was also very quiet. On the way back to the main road we came across this roadblock with the captian directing operations from his lofty perch. Where had they come from? In a matter of minutes from the time we went down the road did a u-turn and headed back this huge herd had suddenly appeared in the road.

Image
DSC_0625 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

After what seemed an eternity they eventually decided to allow us through but only just I must add.
After a short and uneventful drive we arrived at the most welcome sight of:

Image
scan0095 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

and settled in. As we got out the combi it was like walking into a brick wall. There was not a breath of wind. This kind of heat certainly takes it out of one. Had another short sleep in the comfort of the aircondioned hut and then walked around the camp to explore. It was now late afternoon and got a shot of the Eagle Owl in a tree.

Image
scan0006 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

It was now 45 minutes before closing time so we decided to take a short drive along the Crocodile Bridge Road. This proved to be one of our most excititing drives but more of this tomorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: All my Kruger trips rolled up into one BIG adventure.
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:59 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:39 pm
Posts: 224
Location: Bristol, United Kingdom
Your moth is NOT a Lunar Moth, but an African Moon Moth (Argema mimosae). Here's a link to an article on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argema_mimosae

Dave

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Too far from the Kruger.... ahh memories of this trip....
Punda Maria - 3-4/11/2011
Pafuri Tented Camp - 5-6/11/2011
Shingwedzi - 7-8/11/2011
Letaba - 9/11/2011
Olifants - 10/11/2011
Satara - 11/11/2011
Skukuza - 12/11/2011
Berg-en-dal - 13-14/11/2011


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 Post subject: Re: All my Kruger trips rolled up into one BIG adventure.
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:50 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 418
davejenny - thanks very much for the clarification of the moth. Sent you a P.M..

Flutterby - So glad you could join us and thanks for your kind comments.

Micetta - Glad to have you along as well. Thank you for your comments.

Kamadejo - Thanks so much for your comments.

D.V.E.Neethling. - So pleased you are enjoying the trip. Plenty more to come - still have to get Punda Maria.

Day 2 – Berg en Dal to Crocodile Bridge – Part 3/3

We decided to take a 20 minute ride out along the Crocodile River Road and this would allow us 25 minutes to get back. We had hardly gone a kilometre on the sand road when, just after a 4x4 had roarged past us , one of the kids shouted " CHEETAH". It wasn't a cheetah but his spotted brother that :

walked out of the bush,

Image
(Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

headed toward our car,

Image
(Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

walked in front of the car,

Image
(Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

and then dissappeared off into the bush on the other side of the road.

Image
(Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

It was all over in 5 minutes. After this we drove back to camp in an absolute trance.

Back at camp we set up the fire and while braaing saw the sky in the west being lit up like a major fireworks display. Looked like Berg en Dal was getting quite a storm. All we had was quite a heavy wind and a few drops of rain just enough to really make the car look like it had just been through rally.
Maybe tomorrow we would get some rain to cool things off. Until then, cheers.

P.S. We had a very similar sighting to this very recently in another game park.

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 Post subject: Re: All my Kruger trips rolled up into one BIG adventure.
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:50 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 418
vgstephens - thank you for your kind remarks. You are so right, timimg and patience is of utmost importance in Kruger. Stop - Look and Listen is our motto and of course listen to what other people tell you.

Kamadejo - thank you for your comments. Looking at these photos now still brings a smile to my face.

Micetta - Five minutes is a long time but it seemd like 5 seconds. Thank you for staying on board.

cheetah2111 - Thank you for your comments. Joan and I love the Crocodile River Road and it has never dissappointed us.

Kate Howells - Thank you for your comments and I can assure you there is still plenty to come - something like 120 photos and 10 more camps to visit.

Vlakvarkvrou - I am so honoured to hear that my T.R. was mentioned at Gauteng meeting. Please put your old photos of Skukuza up on the Old Photos Of Kruger section under the thread Kruger National Park. We would love to see them.

Day 3 – Crocodile Bridge to Lower Sabie - Part 1/2

Woke up a little bit later than normal to the smell of bushveld after rain. The slight breeze was blowing from the west where there had been rain last night. We were still in a complete “dwaal” (not sure of what the English translation is) after that amazing sighting yesterday afternoon. Not far to go to Lower Sabie so we took a slow drive and also did most of the detours. Besides the normal impala, zebra and wildebeest we came across this very sad looking lady. She was lying right next to the road and she did not look at all well. There were no other lions in sight. Had she been kicked out of the pride as she could no longer contribute to the good of all?

Image
DSC_0146 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

On the S137 we saw this handsome fellow. We were actually looking for Duke but he was not to be seen.

Image
DSC_1256.1JPG (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Near the junction of S28 and H4-2 we came across a bit of a traffic jam. There were lions all over the show. In the bush and in the road but really scattered around. Some were in amongst the cars.
Here are 3 of them amongst the cars.

Image
scan0008 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

A youngster walked beside our car a while.

Image
scan0009 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Then we came across this female playing hide and seek among the cars. You can see the guy in the car is looking to his right at other lions not aware that there was a lioness almost walking into his car.

Image
scan0010 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Having enjoyed watching these lion for about an hour they slowly all walked off into the bush. We moved on up the road and turned onto the H10. At the low level bridge we got this pied kingfisher waiting for his lunch.

Image
Kruger Park April 2007 073 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

I will not be doing a posting tomorrow as I have to go into hospital so they can do a biopsy on my prostate. I hope that on Tuesday I will be able to continue this report. Until then my dear readers please stay safe and happy.

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 Post subject: Re: All my Kruger trips rolled up into one BIG adventure.
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:38 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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This is now the third time I am trying to post this tale. Every time I type it out and attach the pictures and press submit I get the message " Internet is unable to ................" Let me try again.

First things first ;

Kamadejo - thank you very much for kind comments.

flying cheetah - thanks for you kind comments and it certainly was one of the best hours we have spent in the Kruger.

Vlakvarkvrou - thank you for your positive comments.

Fotomaljohan - Thank you very much for your kind comments.

fenwickh - Thank you so much for your positive comments - really appreciated.

I am feeling so much better having read all these positive comments. Just as good as I must get up at the crack of dawn and report for my UIF payment in the morning.

Day 3 – Crocodile Bridge to Lower Sabie - Part 2/2

After watching those lion we moved on up toward Lower Sabie. Stopped at Sunset Dam for lunch. Not much to be seen in the heat of the midday sun. The skies were clear again with not even a hint of rain. Took these two shots below.

Image
K30D454A98DF07_148 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
K30D454A98DF07_153 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

After lunch and some relaxation we decided not to go and check in but to travel a little further up the H4-1. Got this lovely pose by a roller – not sure which one.

Image
Roller Lower sabie 2 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

A little further up the H4-1 we met up with this lonely fellow.

Image
krugerparkandsabietripkenandclaudia 099 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

After this it was very quiet and we decided to turn back toward Lower Sabie. At the bridge over the Lubyelubye River we saw this:

Image
DSC_1323.1JPG (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

We sat watching him/her for almost an hour and took plenty of photos but I have chosen only the best one to include on this trip. I am sure many of you saw the other photos on my previous trip report. You will notice that I do not say "Woweee - 3 leopards in 3 days" as that would not be quite true. This story and the pics take place over a period of 30 years.

We had to leave as at it was getting close to gates closing time. Opposite Sunset Dam we took some quick shots of this group making the most of the last of the afternoon sun. As can be seen clouds were gathering and there was promise of rain in the air.

Image
krugerparkandsabietripkenandclaudia 086 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

We made it to

Image
scan0098 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

just in time as the guard was closing the gates. Due to our late arrival we decided to try out the restaurant and we were not disappointed. To bed on full tummies with the distant flashes of lightning, rumbles of thunder and the smell of the bush made for a good nights sleep.

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Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


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 Post subject: Re: All my Kruger trips rolled up into one BIG adventure.
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:01 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 418
My most sincere thanks to all the mites who have sent me good wishes. It is really appreciated and gives one faith to go forward. It’s kind of like having an invisible family out there in cyberspace. I have still not received the results of the biopsy but I am looking forward to a very positive call from my urologist soon.

Day 4 – Lower Sabie to Pretorius Kop - Part 1/3

Another day in paradise. What more could one ask for? A vehicle with a bunch of happy passengers and off we go. We had decided to head for our all time favourite picnic spot , Nkhulu, for breakfast. However, there was one minor obstacle in our way that had us backing back quite a distance before he calmly wandered off into the bush as if nothing had happened.

Image
Kruger 2010_0183 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

We moved on slowly and saw the usual impala, more impala and even more impala. We arrived at Nkhulu just in time as the noise from the tummies could have been mistaken for a pride of lion nearby. Got the skottel out and prepared a real slap up breakfast.

Image
scan0096 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

This was a very special trip for us as it was the last one we did together as a family. It was 1992 and our two boys were in Std 7 and 8 respectively and we all know what boys are like at this age. They want to do their own thing and not be around their parents. Well at least I hope that’s what they are like. While making breakfast we heard a rustling in the leaves on the bank of the river.

Image
scan0011 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

We also spotted this fellow gliding past eyeing us humans out with his beady eyes. Wonder what he is thinking of having for breakfast?

Image
Kruger Park April 2007 066 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

An amazing breakfast followed by taking a seat at the fence and just listening to the river gurgle its way on down toward Lower Sabie. We decided to back track down the H4-1 and cut across to the H3 via the S21. This was to be new territory to us as we had always thought it looked a very dead road. This was to prove true as we hardly saw a thing except for these few lion just lazing in the morning sun. A bit of water in the hollow. Must have been from last nights storm that we heard at Lower Sabie.

Image
scan0012 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

We did not stay for long as they were in no hurry to go anywhere. By the time we reached the H3 it was registering 40 on the cars gauge. Again, not a cloud to be seen. Fan was on high and temperature at its lowest. We reached Afsaal without any further major sightings. Time for lunch after which we all sat around the map wondering just where the cats were. We had forgotten that we had just seen a few lion a couple of hours ago. The heat was really getting to us.

Image
scan0017 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Can you believe that the little blonde guy is now 33 years old, married and lives in England. He arrives tomorrow morning for our daughter’s, that’s her on his left, wedding on 26 March.

Well dear invisible friends that is it for tonight. Until tomorrow stay well, stay happy.

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Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


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 Post subject: Re: All my Kruger trips rolled up into one BIG adventure.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:55 pm 
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Posts: 418
Well my invisible family, the doctor phoned tonight and he is not happy with the results of the biopsy. He did hasten to add that there is no need to hit the panic button yet, but it is malignant. His receptionist will phone me tomorrow morning for me to go and see him so that the matter can be discussed in full. Any way , back to our trip.

Day 4 – Lower Sabie to Pretorius Kop - Part 2/3
Maybe we should sit and study the map more often. As time was on our side we decided to double back up the H3 to the S113 junction. In 1981 we saw these on this section of road. A mommy cheetah with three fairly big cubs.

Image
scan0013 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
scan0015 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
scan0016 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

In 2011, thirty years later we saw this cheetah on almost the same spot.

Image
scan0093 (Medium) (2) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
scan0093 (1) (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

In 2010 we saw these wild dog also, on the same section of road between the S113 junction and Afsaal.

Image
DSC_0220 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
DSC_0239 (Medium) (2) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
DSC_0231 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
DSC_0260 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

We now do a u-turn at the S113 junction and go back the H3 and turn right onto the
H2-2.

I have found some black and white and colour photos of a trip we did in 1966. I hope you do not mind but I will add these to this report.
Just as an example, if we can back track to Lower Sabie. Here is the entrance to Lower Sabie Camp in 1966. Note that the road is still a sand road.

Image
scan0104 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


Dear fellow passengers, until next time – Stay well, Stay safe.

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Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


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 Post subject: Re: All my Kruger trips rolled up into one BIG adventure.
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:25 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 418
Just got back from the urologist and the results were not too good. Of the10 specimens sent for testing from the left prostate 7 had cancer. Of the 12 specimens sent from the right prostate all 12 had cancer. The way forward – chest x-rays and bone scans to be done on the morning of the 24 March after which I go and see the urologist again that same day. Need to find out if the cancer has spread or is still limited to the prostate. If no spread then surgery will be needed to remove the prostate. If it has spread then we must weigh up the different options but surgery will not help depending where it has spread to. Anyway le’s move on and enjoy the rest of day 4.

Day 4 – Lower Sabie to Pretorius Kop - Part 3/3
There must be rain coming soon. The heat is unbearable and those huge thunder heads are on the horizon. The distant rumble of thunder can be heard in the quietness when one stops and switches off the engine. Onto the sand H2-2 and up toward Pretorius Kop. The first animal we see is the Sable. Sorry about the quality of the photo but this was the first and last time we had seen Sable in the Kruger. At least we think this is a Sable.

Image
Kruger Park May 2007 069 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

He was very comfortable in the shade and had no intention of going anywhere so we moved on. We then came across this ginormous stick insect. It must have been at least 28-30 cm long.

Image
DSC_0022 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Our iced water and cold refreshments had run out and our tongues were parched. It must be agony to be in a desert without water. However our thirst was forgotten when we spotted some lion lying a little way in the bush but thankfully it was quite clear. However, our arrival seemed to disturb them as they all got up and walked off further into the bush. Only managed to get this one decent shot.

Image
Kruger Park May 2007 066 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Just past the Komapiti waterhole we saw this mother with her cub and followed them for quite a distance before they too walked into some thick grass and were gone.

Image
2009_0303NOSKRUGERPARKMAY20100006 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Just outside camp we saw this Scops Owl (we think) getting ready for her nights hunting.

Image
K30D454A98DF07_45 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

It was now starting to cool down as clouds had moved in front of the sun and it was late afternoon when we arrived at

Image
scan0104 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

but still no rain.

Checked in and then it was the 100 metre dash as we raced into our huts. Thankfully the staff had already switched the air conditioning units on. A lovely braai with some ice cold refreshments and the distant storm still grumbling in the background.

Tomorrow we make our way to Skukuza, so please join me again then.

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Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


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 Post subject: Re: All my Kruger trips rolled up into one BIG adventure.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:50 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm
Posts: 418
Emily86 - A warm welcome aboard. I hope you enjoy the rest of the trip. Thank you so much for the cyber hugs. :thumbs_up:

bambazonke - Thanks very much for your positive comments and kind words. I am so enjoying doing this trip report as all those wonderful memories come flooding back.

Day 5 – Pretorius Kop to Skukuza - Part 1/3

Even at 04:00 it was hot and humid. The temptation to stay in bed with the air conditioner on full blast was great. However, the temptation to go out and look for great sightings was even greater. After a quick cup of tea and a rusk or three we were at the gate. We had decided to take the S7/S3 up to Phabeni as on last nights sighting board there were the red dots of lion being seen on this road. On the way up we got this shot of the sunrise. Believe me it was as hot as it looks, even this early in the morning.

Image
DSC_0235 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Just past the S3/S7 junction there is a waterhole and it was here we saw the lion. We saw these five walking off into the bush where there were another five lying in the shade of a tree. Too far to get a good pic. Did not have 500mm lens in these days.

Image
scan0098 (Medium) (2) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Suddenly this lady came from the opposite side of the road. At first we thought she was stalking some impala but looking at this picture it would seem as if she had no interest in the impala at all.

Image
scan0102 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

She also then went off to join the others under the tree which by this time was getting pretty crowded. Eleven lioness together but some could have been adolescents. We sat and watched them for an hour but they were settling down for the day. A little further along the S3 we cam across this lovely pair of klipspringer who showed no signs of fear at all. They posed very nicely for us.

Image
scan0018 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

It was getting on for 10:00 so we thought we would get to Phabeni Gate for a comfort break BUT not a chance. Just before the S1 we came across this major roadblock. These two rhino standing like book ends had decided to have their midday snooze in the middle of the road. It was quite a while before a bakkie coming from the opposite direction, waited for about 10 minutes, and then moved right over to the opposite side of the road and inched forward. In so doing the rhino, with a lot of snorting, moved off the road into the bush.

Image
krugerparkmay2006 054 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr

Image
krugerparkmay2006 058 (Medium) by Richard Gillatt, on Flickr


We eventually arrived at Phabeni at about midday for a very welcome comfort break.

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Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


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 Post subject: Re: All my Kruger trips rolled up into one BIG adventure.
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:55 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm
Posts: 418
Pumbaa - Thanks very much for your comments especially pointing out that the sable is actually a roan. Never the less, I have not seen roan before or again. So this photo is still special.

Kamadejo - Thanks very much for your ongoing comments. It is such a pleasure to have you on board.

Flutterby - You are so right. Thanks for staying on board.

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Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.


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