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 Post subject: Dirk.V.E. Neethling- trip to Kruger-Feb2011
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:53 am 
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Location: Back where I belong....in my Beloved Kruger
I everybody that is reading this TR….

I have just returned to this awful deserts and all ready thinking of going home again and to with camps next on my list. Me and my So had n great time in Kruger and was so happy that will decided to do 2 more extra days and this time with the kids. Just need to up loads photos and then I will start the TR…..All I can say for now is that Kruger in Feb is great 8 and that means the animals( being a guide, we have all these little things we make up when you see a certain species of animals in 1 trip. You all now the big 5 but do you now the magnificent 7 or the great 8 as to what we as guides refer to….and NO NO not the magnificent 7 elephants. But will reveal all as this trip report goes on.) All I can say is that we saw the “great 8” and many more. Me and So was joking at our last morning as posting on Facebook…..”How do you want your lions this morning……but all will be told in good time.

Just a Quick thank you to Sanparks as everybody that help us was friendly and everything clean and in good order. Only thing that we can complain about was the Sanparks bush clearing truck that ref its engine and upset a very peace full elephant sighting, but that was is, not a lot of speeding, people out of there cars or drunks on the roads. Even extra clean picnic spots and very Friendly people and staff where everywhere we went. Thank you again and well done Sanparks.

Then also nice to have meet WildWings, Tiny, and Mpisi8, nice to have meet you guys…….and by the way Tiny you should have followed me that morning up North from Lower Sabe( but sure you had a good time where ever you went.)

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My TR:
The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)

Been More than 3000+ Days in Kruger and counting!!
Have slept more than 350+ night in Kruger and more coming!!


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 Post subject: Re: The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:16 am 
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Ok lets see How I am going to start this……

I arrived at 10h40 from Dubai in SA on the 28 Jan and met the SO and kids and after a couple of tears and hellos we were of to Makro in Pretoria. Now before going on have to tell you that the last 6 month had big chance for our little family of 4. We decided after 1year of planning and looking around to buy our self n D/Cab bakkie. Now this was not even a maid out deal once we decided to buy one, as the Question was with make? Now after a bad deal with Nissan and a very expensive trip for SO from Nelspruit to JHB and back via lowveld link, and Me climbing down her throat for not making sure about paper work, we ended up buying ourselves n nice Toyota. Now everything was set in stone as that we will keep the old car as second vehicle, and then So called 1 and half weeks before me coming home that she also need a new car, and well after lot of debating and working out the budget SO also ended up with New car. In the mean time I decided that it was time to upgrade my photographic equipment and also searching the web and reading millions of reviews, I ended up with a Nikon D300s and six lenses…… Now to make along story short here…..we did not have much time for shopping as we were of to Kruger on the 30 Jan….. I ask SO to drive up with her new little ford figo and my camera as I haven’t play with the new toy yet and needed some training before Kruger and also that we had to do shopping in Pretoria on our way back home to Hazyview…..Now picture this…..Big camera bag, my overseas luggage, a DHL 20kg box, 2 Adult and 2 kids, camping chair, Gazebo, 4 different appliances and couple of little bit and peaces al squeezed into to n Ford figo……Well lets just say it was a long drive back home with very little space, no time to play with the camera and back pain that will last me for most of my R&R at home…….and then I have a new D/Cab at home!!!! What were I thinking telling SO to pick me up in here car????

Well we got back home late and my back killing me and tired after 2 days travelling……I went to bed early as tomorrow is my birthday and the little time I had at home decided to invite most of the Family and friends and this will be a busy day. Well next day started had a great time with family and friends and it was of late to bed…..Well wake-up Sunday Morning 30 Jan a little bit later than hope for to start packing for Kruger just to realized that nothing was ready, nothing cleaned and only 3 hours left before we have to leave for the park to be able to make Lower Sabie before gates closing time. Well after going off on SO and trying to work out how I am going to do this, I decided that there was only one way……phone Lower Sabie and tell them we will not came today but only tomorrow. SO got onto the phone and with the help of n very friendly lady at Lower Sabie, we manage to move our hole booking 1 day forward with now extra cost( thank you again and great service SANPARKS)
Now we had time to sort out every thing and get every thing pack… Tomorrow will only be to drop of kids at school, drop of kids stuff at Mother in Laws house and get ice and then of to the park…..Next day started and everything went as plan and at 09h30 we were at Phabeni gate and meet with friendly smiles and sufficient check in……Last thing to do was to put on the Yellow ribbons take out the camera with I haven’t switch on yet, open a klippies of cola, giving SO a cocktail and ready we are…..

Did not take photo in the beginning but here is SO and the Bakkie and the yellow ribbons hanging from the side mirrors when we were at Rabelais hut....just to show we had the ribbon on

Image

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My TR:
The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)

Been More than 3000+ Days in Kruger and counting!!
Have slept more than 350+ night in Kruger and more coming!!


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 Post subject: Re: The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:02 am 
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Location: Back where I belong....in my Beloved Kruger
Ok here we go…..Day 1 31Jan Phabeni to Lower Sabie..
After getting our self ready we were set and off we go. If I can remember correctly the first animal we saw was n Warthog running across the road just before the S3 junction with the Diospane road. We decided that we did not have Breakfast and that a stop at Skukuza will have to do and that we will not wast to much time taking little loops. Our first photographed animals was a of impala…
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Then we popped in at Nyamundwa dam and It was very full. Havent seen this dam this full in a long time. (for some reason did not take a photo, but it seems to have been the norm on this trip not taking photos of everything as I was learning the camera and me and So did not have a lot of time for our selfs since I got back to SA so we chatted quite a lot and also think So was getting irretated with Me giving orders to hand over the Big camera on the back seat the whole time)
Then just pasted the dam we came across our first big one….(1 down 7 to go)
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Then about 5km futher this lonely bull standing next to the road enjoy the Marulas…(2 down 6 to go)
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url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/56751320@N07/5467185121/]Image[/url]
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Now must tell you this that SO is not a big favourite of these Giants close to the road and must say I did get the stare after this stint. I think SO starrted to get better after this trip because this was one of the trips we have seen our most Elephants ever. Thinking of it now we must have seen more Elephant than impala but with SO giving me the “Stair” and looking threw my photo now, I did not take to much photos of these gentle giants(in my eyes not SO).

I did take a detour down to watergat drinking hole on the S65 and we found elephant, zebra, wildebeest, impala, vervets down the road and back to the Diospane road. One thing I did note as we where driving was the lack of traffic we saw on the roads. The whole of the diospane we only saw 4 vehicles and not once that we did stop were we more than 2 cars at n sighting. Not that there was to much to see as it was mid morning and not to much movement around and if we did see something and it was not in the road or next to it you could hardly see it. Species of animals we saw as we joined the Kruger gate road was:
Elephant
White rhino
Impala
Wildebeest
Warthog
Steenbok
Vervet
Giraffe
Slender mangoose
And of course loads of birds life. (have to love Kruger this time of year as all the migrants are here and most of the males are in breeding colors)

The list stays the same until we reached Skukuza and what a suprize did I not get. :big_eyes: The new road and conference area that has been build leading to the shop at the buttom made me feel really stupid not knowing if I was driving in the write direction. How can this be? I was n guide for 7 years in the park how can I not now how to get to the shop? Well after a couple of wrong turns we finally came to the shop parking area. Must say the new centre looks good but are concerns to what type of visitors it will attract. Just never seen Kruger as the destination where I will have my yearly conference at and also bring in exstra people to the park with will not be there first porerty to look for Animals. But the Park needs money to function so not all to bad I guess. Just hope there is not to much extra traffic on the roads…After I nice hamburger(the first since beeing back in SA) and friendly staff and good service and some more ice we were of to Lower Sabi via the famous Eloff…..

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My TR:
The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)

Been More than 3000+ Days in Kruger and counting!!
Have slept more than 350+ night in Kruger and more coming!!


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 Post subject: Re: The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:27 pm 
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Ok where was I…….OOOO leaving Skukuza via the new road out of camp. Still cant get over it how things can change in 6 months. There were just now sign 6 moths ago. Before I go on I must just explain how we as guides called all the little loops along the Sabie river down to lower Sabie. Actually very basic as long ago we decided we will start with the first one closest to the low level bridge as being Alfa loop and as you drive down to High level just call them in alphabetical order as you get to them. So you have Alpha loop, bravo with is the fist loop going to the right as you drive from Skukuza side, then Charlie with have been closed in 2003 as to Tinga consestion across the river not wanting to see private vehicles from there side(must say this was the loop with the most sightings) then Delta with is also running the other side of the road and not the river and then ego with is the one starting from just before High Level and then going away from the river and coming out about 1km past High level bridge……

I wanted to see how the river was flowing so went to low level bridge and just did the drive over and back. There was not much to see and I was scanning the river edge to see if my friend the African finfoot he was not around( Have seen this rare bird many times over the years at the low level bridge). I then took Alpha loop and again nothing, drive down towards High level bridge and at the entrance of Bravo loop( we as guides also call all the loop entrances on the Skukuza side entrance and the sides on the Lower Sabie side exits) We finally came across our first mammals for Ellof. A small breeding herd of Elephant down in the river. Now for the rest of Ellof all the way to Lower Sabie was very, very Quiet and except for some nice bird life, the ever presence impala and 2 bush buck running over the road, we did not see much on this 40km+ section of road to Lower Sabie. The first real excitement come at sunset dam as the dam were pretty full and very nice croc, hippos, impala and like always bird life galore….

It was around 13h30 when we got to LS and was not sure if they will allow us to do the early check in thing but we decided to try any way…….and what friendly staff and sufficient check in did we not have. We had to renew our wildcard, were 30 min early for check in and ask to see if we could not get the river view tents( wish we did not but they gave as one of the other with was very nice) and all took as only 10min and we had the keys in our hand on the way to our tent. Me and so unpacked every thing and around 16h00 decided to take a short drive up and down the croc bridge tar road. I did want to do the duke but we were stop by n fellow park visitor telling Us of n LIT about 15km from Croc bridge on the tar road. Not really thinking we had a chance, we still decided to try and see what happens. A long the river section we saw hippos and a very nice fish eagle on the bend were the tar road turn away from the river. Had a quick look for Duke and Shafika leopard at the Mabyandzawu bridge(read there TR and look at the lovely picas they took) and a few km later came across this slow down sign….
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Then 30min later we came across what we later define as Feb traffic jam as there was just no vehicles in the park. 2 vehicles standing on the side of the road. What could this be?....and yes there 100m of the road in a large Marula you could just see is legs hanging down…….the LIT that we been told about earlier…
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He was very far of the road and you could really only making out he’s silhouette with the naked eye. With binos you could see little better and he did lift he head from time to time. Well we where hoping for a little closer but in Kruger you take what you get as n leopard 100m off the road in a tree is better than NO leopard at all( 3 down 5 to go)

We stayed with him for about 20min and then it was time to go back to camp. We did find same wildebeest.
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And then the smallest one I ever seen..
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And also the only Lilac-breasted roller that wanted to sit still to be photographed.
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After the roller we had a distant white rhino again, elephant and a zebra crossing..
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We arrived 1minute late at the gate and the guard just checked our permit and said……2minute early tomorrow. We were quite tired after along day and SO decided that a quick pasta/chicken alla king was on the menu tonight. We did have same very busy visitors that night and had to duck and dive couple of bats making there home on top of our tent. I remember we did not sleep well that night as 3 mael lions decided that they will just lay out of site close to camp and kept on roaring every 20min during the hole night sounding like they were in the tent at one point……Was lying there really hoping that we could see them tomorrow but o boy did we not see them but who could have thought what Kruger at install for us the next day…….Much better than a lion!!!!!
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Promise next installment will have much more photos……….Day 2 and only needing lion to complete the “magnificent 7”

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My TR:
The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)

Been More than 3000+ Days in Kruger and counting!!
Have slept more than 350+ night in Kruger and more coming!!


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 Post subject: Re: The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:16 pm 
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Location: Back where I belong....in my Beloved Kruger
Thanks to All for leaving such nice comments and glad to see that you are enjoying it……Let me get started with day 2…….see there are some people still trying to find out what the “great 8 “ is…..all will be revealed in good time folks!!!

Day 2 and only needing lion to complete the “magnificent 7”.......Ok so let me tell you about how I do Kruger when not on n guided tour. First is that I am strong believer of expect to see anything any time of the day or year, but also do believe that you can improve your luck with doing some extra things. Ok then so when sleeping in the park with the knowledge of the areas and with ones is more lucky to see certain thing different times of year, I still go and talk to the gate guard, speak to some of the staff and follow the sightings board to see if my choices of road for the next day is any good. Other things to do that also help you chances is being up early and waiting at the gate to open and being first on n road. Now don’t get me wrong no need for speeding but if you choose to drive a certain road and to many people are in front of you just take the next…..Now to be able to achieve this you need to wake up at least 1 hour before gate opening with everything for breakfast pack the night before. Now for me no problem but for my SO…..completely different story. She is NO morning person and is one of those people that will press the snooze button 4 times before actually standing up. So with great effort the first morning I got SO up at 04:40am and helping her to get dress and guiding her slowly to the “ bakkie” we were at the gate 05:10 with about 4 cars in front of us. My plan for the day was to take the tar road to croc bridge and then cut across the randspruit(H5) to the S25 al the way to Berg en Dal but decided that we want to be back at camp around 11h00 for brunch so still do the same but take the S25 back towards croc bridge. Now as the gate open at 05:28 the rest off the cars in front all turn right towards Skukuza and we the only ones going left…..

Glad that we were in front and wondering way the other 6 cars behind also turn right. Did they now were these lions of last night where? Is there maybe a leopard with a kill we don’t know of along the river as the sighting board did show that 4 different leopards were seen between LS and the picnic spot. Well Kruger got much more than just lion and leopard, and I will lie if I say I didn’t want to see them but decided we will find our own.

Now 45min later and I was starting to regret my choice this morning and was I wondering if I should turn around and do something else as up to now we saw nothing, no suicide birds, no elephant dung on the road, not even the ever present impala. Just nothing. Was I driving to fast? Was everything by SO side of the road us by this time she is back in lala land. Well the next 10 min wasn’t improving until I reached the H5 junction. Hope fully this will be better. Well first 3km still nothing and then came over a little bend in the road and yes finally life in the road…….
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Zebra in the road. We stayed with them for a minute and I could see further down the road there was same Giraffe standing. Well as luck would have it for us this morning as soon as the zebra moved the giraffe in the distance did as well. Well getting to the site where the giraffe was and looking around this 1,5ton of animals disappeared…. Now must tell you that up to now we haven’t seen one other vehicle and the lack of animal sightings made up for the peace and quite of no other vehicles around. We then come to the S108 junction and turn left and 800m down the road in the shade of large tree on the road is……..WHAT…….Liefie word wakker!!!!(lovely wake up) kyk kyk(look ,look) kan dit nie glo nie( cant believe)…….
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Two young brothers of cheetah lying in the middle of the road.( 4 down 4 to go)

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We spent about 30min with them with now other vehicle.
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They finally did stood up and started walking towards us when the first vehicle come from behind them. They stood for a minute and off they went.
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Happy that it seems this morning is starting to change for us we went on still talking about how we were with them for 30min and no other vehicle( by this time SO was now finally fully awake). When I got to the S26 junction I turn right towards the S114 and wanted to go to the first little view point about 3km down. Got to the view point and way in the distance we saw one lone bull white rhino grazing. Now I did take a photo of it but for same reason did upload it to the flash drive I brought back with me.

Ok so now the day really starting to get better and even the impala and bird life started showing them self’s. I turn back and joined the S25 heading towards croc bridge. Just about 6km down we came across 2 OSV,s and one small bakkie driving very slowly……..Then it came…..out of her little mouth……in a loud voice……WILDE HONDE(wilddog)……me…Where?.....SO reply: There…….ME: There were??? Don’t tell me there point in a direction……..and then the hand came out pointing directly into to middle of the road towards the OSV……..and yes just seeing one coming out into view from the OSV…..6 doggies in the road.(5 down 3 to go)
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The dog was on a mission by marking and smelling most of the grass and bushes next to the road.
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We followed them for about 2km went suddenly they all just stop and head down looking strait down the road.
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On n crest in the road about 400m in front there were a small herd of impala standing in the road looking our way. Now the dog stood dead still and the impala as well except for one of the dog deciding he/she is going to lay down.
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Now this movement made the impala trying to stretch he head even longer to see what was in the road. This went on for about 30sec and then that snorting noise(alarm call) came from the impala ram with all hell brake loose. Impala going in all direction and the dogs not waiting either……Well I think it was 10sec later and gone, nothing no impala or dog in site, not even sounds came from the direction in with they disappeared. We hang around for about 15min when n nice Oom came past and told us of 2 male lions 700m from croc bridge on the tar road….Well seeing that the doggies didn’t want to came out we where off to see if we can have more luck than we just had……cheetah and wilddog in 1 hour……..what can beat that…….TO BE CONTINEED.

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My TR:
The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)

Been More than 3000+ Days in Kruger and counting!!
Have slept more than 350+ night in Kruger and more coming!!


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 Post subject: Re: The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:37 pm 
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Day 2 continued….
Ok, so after the wilddog we decided to try our luck with the nice Oompies sighting he told us all about. Now the rest of the S25 we did not see much until about 1km before the tar road. Here we found one lonely whiteback vulture, big herd of impala, zebra, wildebeest distant Black back jackal en two white rhino also in the distance. It was like the Serengeti plains with much more than just the wildebeest and zebra. We turned towards the camp and tried our luck with the 2 lions, but they where long gone. We made a quick coffee brake at Croc Bridge and here we met our first YR!!! wildwings with his guests. Had a quick chat and we were of again. Now wildwings told us that there were not much happening on the S28 and not much either on the tar road towards LS. So I decide lets do the Gomondwane loop(S130). But before we came to the bridge just before the S28 we had big number off vultures feeding on something about 20m off the road.
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There were no other cars inside and I could not help but wonder if we maybe have just missed a kill here. There was still loads of vultures coming and what ever killed what here must have been scared off by the vulture.
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I try to look to see if I can make out what it was but with all the vulture fighting over it I cant be 100% but it seems to have been a baby impala. Till today I can only speculate as to what as killed the little whatever it was. So we stayed about 15min and then headed for the Gomondwane. Now for the first 8 km there were only bird life and impalas to been seen. Then Just before the Duke road we saw 1 car standing still…..We slowly came forward and yes our fist for this trip and also n nice big herd…
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There were at least 200 buffalo(6 down 2 to go) all over the place and they were all in the nature pan area with one Elephant bull with them. Well being in the south and quite close to the dam named after him, I just had to look threw the binos to see if this was not the Big Man him self…….but now it wasn’t Duke, Just n nice looking bull in his prime.

We spend about 20min here and then off we went and I decided I want to go to Ntandanyathi bird hide. On our way on the Duke we came across these little ones.
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Then this sighting of a different sort…….
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As we got to the bird hide, there was one other vehicle. Me and So stop climbed out and in the hide was two young Afrikaans speaking couple bubbling about what we just have mist. I could see that there were two groups of hippos. 2 on the right hand side and about 5 on the left. Now a cording to the young couple the 2 big bull just had n big fight for about 20min long and basically stop as we arrived at the hide. I could see that the two were keeping a distance from one a other but unlucky for us they did not have ago at one other again.
Here is the bull of the right hand side almost in frond of the hide.
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And here the one on the left giving us a little show….Just sad that Weavers nest was in the way…
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After spending some time here we were of to LS for Breakfast by with this time have basically turn in to lunch but with chicken liver, pork sausage, egg and toast.
At camp I Quickly went to the shop to get ice and just had to get this photo of the birds having a good time in the water bath just outside reception
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Then we enjoyed Breakfast AKA lunch and rested for about 2 hours…….
Next episode….Afternoon game drive……almost part of the mudhollow……second YR almost wanting to shoot me……………and the pork sausage coming back to hound me……..

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My TR:
The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)

Been More than 3000+ Days in Kruger and counting!!
Have slept more than 350+ night in Kruger and more coming!!


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 Post subject: Re: The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:51 pm 
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Location: Back where I belong....in my Beloved Kruger
Well being gone for a couple of month(not that I went any where) and being a bit busy at work I realize that I had a TR to complete. All I can say sorry………and for all those how have reply to my previous post thank you for watching and reading my TR…..Let see maybe can get one or 2 completed today.

Ok day 2 pm drive.

For reasons given on the forum I will not mention the road nr and will only say we went north for our drive. It was really hot and still struck ling to get use to the weather( and food) of the slowveld, thing were also not going our way this afternoon. I stopped for quite a lot of birds but even they didn’t want me to take there photo. Like usual there were loads of impala and not much else. I told the So that I know of a little nature pan on one of the gravel roads and thought to go and have a look if something was not hanging around…….and O BOY were we surprised. Now from my guiding days that this area is good for rhino I have never seen more than 2 together on this section of road. We guides have found one specific rhino here at this nature pan and we gave him the nickname Clive(one of the guides working with us was also old and had the same temperament as this guy) and also the nature pan the name “Clive Jazzacusi”

Ok so when we arrived at the pan there was not much going on here accept the pan being over full with water and loads of Bird life. I told the SO I want to drive past the pan for about 3km en then turn back. Now as we came out of the loop going down to the pan I have spotted a rhino(white) 40m of the road on the northern side. Image

I decided to drive past and make a u-turn and stop on the side of the rhino by with this time came closer to the road and now have multiplied to 3 rhino. There was a little puddle of mud just on the side of the road with I did not pay mush attention to it as I thought maybe these guy are on there way to the pan. Well, lets put it this way to make the story short……They came straight to the road and by now we show that this was n crash of white rhino consisting of 7 animals. And they decided that the pan the other side of the road was just 50m to far and that the puddle of mud 4m in front of my bakkie was much closer and decided to take a mud bath in it and couldn’t be bothered if we were watching or not. These things came so close that at same stage I thought they are going to take the bakkie as part of the bath episode.

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I took a video of this but cant upload from Iraq and my lovely SO is not the best of TECH. Girl you know(How can you be 28y and not be part of the TECH world??) don’t now quite how to make the file smaller and upload it to Ytube. Sorry will try next time when I am at home. In the mean time with all 7 animals trying to get in to one small mud puddle, 2 vehicles arrived, one from the front and one OSV from the back that stop right next to me. Among the animals was a female and calf that thought that the mud was not that big Of attraction as what we where. She and the calf came in to the middle of the road and slowly coming closer and closer, before stopping 2m from us, gave us the stare, turn around and walk back in to the direction they came from. The rest of the group saw them walking off , stopped bathing and followed them……WHAT A sighting it was for us.

While sitting there and looking at each other one of the passenger on the OSV try to get our attention. He spotted out YR and ask if we where forum members in with I reply yes and he then introduced him self Tiny. I remembered reading one of his TR and then also the logo of the OSV. He ask me where I posted most of the time and how long I have been a member. Told him that been a member since 2006 but haven’t posted much and mostly under the Kruger park section. Next moment he ask the driver to give him the “GUN” with at first did not get the joke(look the rhino sighing was great, but the heat was getting to me and the pork sausages of breakfast was doing same move on my stomach) and before trying to work out on what medication this guy is he told me that I must post more!!!!. Well the SO had n good laugh and me 5 sec later as well. We talked a bit and they left the sighting. Buy this time it was getting late and also had to push on back to camp. Also did not see to much back to camp except this little guy

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And a another YR…..impissi88!!! We introduced our self quickly and then went of to camp. About 15min before camp I could feel something was seriously going wrong with my body and stomach. I was getting cold sweat and with every second passing my stomach started cramping more and more. About 500m before LS gate I almost stop and jump out but the big troop of baboons think put me of to at least keep it in till inside the camp. I didn’t even look what was going on at Sunset dam. Just past the Bus parking area towards the Safari tent I stop the Bakkie and got out in a flash as it was serious pizza building time for me. I just point with my arm to the SO to take the bakkie and go to the tent. It took me about 20min to finish my episode before arriving at the tent with a very worried SO looking at Me from the deck of the Safari tent. Well feeling like the world came down on me and SO put off any food after my Pizza building episode , it was a very quite evening with Me talking a shower, trying to pack the Bakkie and going very empty stomach to bed very early……..really hope I feel better tomorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:43 am 
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Day 3 Move from LS to Tambotie( or So I thought)
During the night I woke-up a couple of times wondering if there were lions in our tent. The king of the jungle was on a serious mission and sounded like they were right at the back of the tent. It did not bother me at all, it actually made me feel better as this is the reason I love sleepovers in Kruger.
At 0430 the cell phone alarm went of and the first words I here is……How do you feel? My reply…..give Me 10 min then I tell you…..SO…” don’t you think we must sleep in?” :naughty: …..Me…”no I feel oriaat”. I am just one of those you have to be 15min before the gate opens at the gate….SO as mentioned before likes her sleep FAR to much, so she was hoping that I feel so bad and will give the OK for a sleep in this morning. Well I did feel better but could feel that the body was bruised but seem find to get up. 45min we were at the gate and ready to go. We have decided that it will be straight up the H10 this morning and Breakfast at Tshokwane. We met Tiny again at the gate and he and friends was going to do the S128 to Salitjie and back down Eloff again. We only had to see lion to complete the big 5 for our trip so we were really hoping our luck would change. Not that we could complain as cheetah and wild dog beat lion by far. When the gate opened, we turned left with about 5 cars in front of us. When we got to the bridge only Tiny and mates turned on the H10 and all the rest went down towards croc bridge. I was very happy as this meant Tiny will turn Left on the S128 and We will be in front on the H10. The sun rise was beautiful over the lebombo mountains. :D
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Up to the S29 junction was very Quite but this was about to change…..
200m past the junction I got the fright of my life :big_eyes: when out of no were a young male lion came out of the long grass straight in front of the bakkie. Well I must have been doing 35km and hit the brake so hard as it was cooler boxes, camera, binoculars, books and cell phone flying all over the cab. SO was half asleep and also woke up..and the first words were….WHAT YOU MAD!!! :huh: And then that famous look only a woman deep to your heart can give you. I didn’t say any thing and just pointed to her side of the road and the face expression she made when she saw the young male lion right next to a door…..well….priceless.
The young male gave us one look and started walking down the road north wards and was about 30m down when he suddenly dropped flat down on the road. At this stage we were still trying to restore order in the cab an manged to snap this one of him.
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While I was trying to get more photos, SO was shouting …..there a another one in the road.
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Up in front about 80m stood an big black main Lion sniffing the air, and then he saw the young male lying in the middle of the road. He came flying towards us in full roar, and the young male jumped up and started running south down the H10. We waited for the big male to pass us and then turned around to follow.
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By the time we turned around, the young male decided He was going down the S29 towards the Salitjie, and with us following the big male he also turned down the gravel. By this time boty lions was doing about 25km and I did not get time to take photos as the task of keeping up with them was hard enough . The SO manage to get same video bud again trying to get it on YTUBE is a discussion for another day. The big male almost got to the young male before is turbo kick in and when 100m in front of the male again. They went on for about 500m down the gravel before the young male went into the long grass and older bigger male followed. It took them 2sec and all was gone.
At this stage our hearts were pounding and we were happy as we now had completed the big 5 plus wild dog and cheetah (7 down one to go for the great 8). We turned around and went up north again on the H10. 2kim further we found a small breeding herd of elephant and also the first car from being caught up with us. We left the elephants and continued until the road turn and start running parallel with the Muntshe mountain, and then in the distance in the middle off the road we show a shape….. :big_eyes:
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Can you believe it…..lion case, elephant and then cheetah strolling along the road only 30min in to the morning. We waited for the other vehicle that was just behind us to came along side us and we followed him for about 10min before he also went of the road in to the long grass
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 Post subject: Re: The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:31 pm 
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Day 3 continue……

Well after the cheetah, the road up north went quite, real quite and we didn’t see much until Nkumbe look out. Down in the valley was 2 of the big 5, wildebeest, family of ostrich and about 20 giraffe we counted. The view was amazing and was clear skies but for some reason I forgot to take a picture. It seemed by this time the previous days episode was making me feel weak and was not really in the mood for much except getting to Tambotie.

We left the lookout and the road was uneventful till just past the Orpen dam turn of when we find this Tawny Eagle sitting in the middle of the road.

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At first we thought what he was doing here, then SO spotted something by he’s feet.

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At close inspection we sow that it was n baby puffader that the Eagle must have spotted trying to get over the road. He was picking it up and shaking it, as it seems that the snake was still alive.

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After about 10min the little puffy showed no more life and he Flew of with is kill.

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Now we are big Kruger park people and being in Kruger as some traditions that have to be followed, like making a real skottel braai at one of the picnic spot. I did pack everything for a nice Breakfast but seem that the body was still in no mood for any fatty foods nor trying to unpack and wash everything. So when we got to Tshokwane we broke all traditions and went for a toasted ham and cheese. I now, not that it is less fatty but it seemed like a good idée at the time.

After the quick stop I told the SO that I don’t think I am going to make it one more day in this heat( and really it wasn’t that hot) As much as I would love to stay at Tambotie, I needed an AC or I will not get sleep tonight. Well making a long story short again we decided that we will try to book in a chalet at Orpen.

From Tshokwane we took the upper Vutomi(S33 as this is what we guides use to call the 2 roads leading close from Tshokwane to the Nhlanguleni(S36) the S34 we called the lower Vutomi) and then up the S36 till the S145 , then the S140 till S106 and lastly H7 till Orpen. I wanted to get to Orpen to see if there was any Accommodation for us. The all way we saw nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. Even the impala that keep you busy when not much else happening seem to have disappear. This was starting to put a bit of an anti climax on to our sightings early of the morning.

Well at around 14h00 we arrived at Orpen and to our surprise there were still plenty of space available. If memory serves me right there were only 4 vehicles standing that night inside the camp.
We got unit 4 and the closest people to us was in unit 8. The SO and I unpacked the bakkie and around 4pm went out for a afternoon drive, by with to my surprise, I was starting to feel better.
I first drove down to N’wamatsatsa windmill and we find loads of general game down here. There were, warthogs, impala, kudu, wildebeest and plenty Zebra.

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From here we went down Rabelais and at the waterhole we had the lone bull feeding of the long grass.

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From there we went down the hole S106 and back down the H7 to Orpen. The only real sighting we had again was some BB close to the Maroela turn of.

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After the drive I felt like the powers was returning to me and tonight I was not going to skip dinner, to night was pottjie kos night.

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Just as I was about to start the fire n very serious woman voice come from behind me with the world’s …… Hyäne, Hyäne,Hyäne and pointing directly at me :big_eyes: .........

TO be continued........ :thumbs_up:

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The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)

Been More than 3000+ Days in Kruger and counting!!
Have slept more than 350+ night in Kruger and more coming!!


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 Post subject: Re: The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:58 pm 
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Ok this peace is little story waht happend to us during the night........no pic......promise next installment will have, it is ready just need to upload....

Day 3 evening and early next morning…..

Ok there I was standing making fire when this elderly women came running to Me screaming Hyäne,Hyäne ….! First I was like…Me? :huh: ...Then like turning around in a flash to se if there was not maybe same beast attacking Me from behind, but nothing. Now as being a guide, you learn through the years the different accents’ of people and also words they use for Animal. You cant always understand what they say but make out more or less what they talking about. Now the women was for sure German and was in a stage of panic. She went full on talking German and it took me about 5 min to get to her that I can’t really understand her but know she is going on about a Hyena. Ok then she calmed down and still there were a language barrier but it sounded like she was telling me that there was a hyena standing behind me and as she come running towards me he turned around and disappeared between the chalet next to ours and the one next door. Now I listen to what she had to say but took it with a pinch of salt and as she left went on with making the fire when the next minute the Kingfisher spruit section ranger and one of the gate security guards turned up. The guy introduced him self and ask if I have seen the hyena? To which I reply no but the lady in the third chalets down did. He then told us that the staff left the back gate open and that a young Hyena got in to camp. ……….So I am like OK :hmz: ………that means the poor old German lady might just be right?

Well the ranger left and I started the potjie. By now with the excitement and my body slowly recovering, I really started looking forward to it. Also did not eat much the last 2 days and was really, really hungry by now. The section ranger and security guard patrolled the whole camp for about 2hours but had no luck with the poor Hyena. The potjie was just about ready and me busy washing my hands when SO started shouting…….LIONS AT THE PAN!!!! :dance: :dance: ....... can you believe it two females showed up at the pan drinking water. We watched them for about 5min from the swimming pool before they disappeared in the night and Me and the SO settling in for a nice dinner. Afterwards it was to wash up and get the stuff ready for the next day. Now Me and SO have a big problem as we never can just make food for the 2 of us and with the potjie it was no different. There was half a pot left and we decided to give it to some of the cleaners. We couldnt find anyone and decided to leave it on the wall outside hoping that they will take it the next day. All was set and ready for bed at 22h00. Stomachs full and quite tired from the day driving, I fell a sleep like a baby when at 0200 heard one last BANG!!! :big_eyes:

First reaction that time of morning from Me was…..Hoe is shooting when the SO said no something is on the stoep of the chalet. I quickly jump up and open the curtains slowly, but nothing only the potjie top lying on the stoep? I scanned the area and told SO to put on all the lights for out side, and still couldn’t see any thing. I then slowly open the door and grabbed the hand torch standing by the kitchen counter but could not see a thing. Ok then me and SO had a quick discussion as to what it was and decided it must be the local honey badger with is causing havoc at night time in camp as there are loads of poster :rtm: :rtm: every where talking about them. I pick up the lid and took the pod and place it on the kitchen counter and we went back to bed.

0430 and the alarm of the cell phone went of. Feeling 10 times better than I felt on this hole trip, I was looking forward to the hole day out in the park and also for our sunset drive this evening. I got dress and about 04h50 went out side to get the cooler boxes ready. I pick up the one to take to the bakkie when I turn around and almost had a heart attacked and was inches away of dropping the cooler box… :big_eyes: :big_eyes: .
There around the comer was this big head staring at me with dark yellow eyes……….

Mr. hyena was looking at Me, and only 3m away……well first reactions took over and I screamed like a girl :redface: at SO to tell her that a hyena was starring at me(not sure what I was hoping she will be able to do as I am the guide and should be used to animals. I did bush walks for n living, got trapped on a termite mound by elephants, got charged many times by elephant, buffalo, rhino and one time by a big male lion what seem to be the problem now and why call SO to come and help :hmz: ? Well SO come running and with Me screaming like a girl the hyena decided that this was not for him, and he went a round the comer. SO came out and I told her that he went around the corner. We slowly started walking to the bakkie and as we got to the back we saw him again walking towards the old picnic spot in camp. Well after a couple of giggles and SO wanting to know what she was suppose to do when I called her, we were set to go and stand by the gate at 05h10.

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The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)

Been More than 3000+ Days in Kruger and counting!!
Have slept more than 350+ night in Kruger and more coming!!


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 Post subject: Re: The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:41 pm 
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@Salva- :thumbs_up:

Day 4…….Morning start.

To our surprise the gate was all ready open. The normal time for FEB is 0530 but it seems that either they where still on Jan times or decided to leave the gate open for the hyena to get out. Well not going to argue about that to any body we exit the gate. The plan for the day was to go straight down the tar until the S39, then do the hole S39 with a quickly stop at Timbavati and late brunch at Oliphant’s. As we left the gate our first sighting was this guy going straight for the gate…

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Now from here until the bridge at the olifants river I did not take one picture. It wasn’t that we didn’t see anything it was for same reason me and the SO was enjoy the company of each other plus just enjoy the scenery. We did see, Zebra, wildebeest, warthogs, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, impala, slender mongoose, bushbuck, water buck, hippo and kudu but completely forgot to take any photos. I think the new camera thing was over and didn’t need to test it anymore, but the main reason I can come up was that since I landed in SA time have been sort and we didn’t have much time until now to talk about things that have been happening the since the last 6 months I have been here.

When we got to Olifants bridge I did take a photo of this guy.

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Not a very good one but needed a photo in hers some where. From here we went straight to Olifants for out picnic, but as we got there, we find a place started unpacking the cooler boxes and basket then realizes we forgot the eggs and bacon. SO look at me and I look at her and without saying a word to each other repacked the bakkie and drove to the cafeteria. Got our self’s each a toasted Sandwich and a juice and decided to take away and off we went again. Our route from here would be the S92, then S90,S89 and then down the H1-4 to Satara. Our thirst sighting was these Giraffe just of the H8 on the S92

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From here again not much until we reach the Ngotso dam where we find a large flock of white storks and Marabou’s with loads of general game.
Not very good photo.

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We then continued to Satara were we had lunch and some nice visitors looking to grab whatever was left behind

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At Satara we met one of the Guides we met when we were at one of the Private reserves my previous visit to SA. He talked about some lions on the S40 11km from the H7. He did say there where loads of vehicles and did not know if the lions will stick around. Seeing that we haven’t seen that much lion on this trip and we didn’t want to be back to early at Orpen before the night drive we decided to go and have a look but with no expectations.

Well far from 11km down and only 800m past the s12 turn of on the S40 we find 2 vehicles standing next to the road. We slowly approach and looking deep in to the bushes. Next moment SO said lion and right next to the road about 5m of under a Acacia tortillas laid a pride of 11 lions very relaxed.

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We probably stood there for about 2 min when both cars drove off and we had the sighting to our self’s for the next 20min. The lions were asleep and laid flat down that there wasn’t much photo opportunities and only now and then could get one.

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From here we went via the S12 and took the H7 all the way to Orpen…..

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The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)

Been More than 3000+ Days in Kruger and counting!!
Have slept more than 350+ night in Kruger and more coming!!


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 Post subject: Re: The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:57 am 
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@Pumbaa, Tawny, PetraJ, cheetah2111, Elzet, Kamadejo, buffalo_soldier, Elsa, Meandering Mouse- Thank you all for reading and following my TR :thumbs_up: ......more coming now

Have to apologize before hand that this part of the trip was the really bad part and ended up in a bi@^*ing episode…….I promise next installment will go better.
Ok, then let me continue,

Day 4 “The sunset drive” from being an angel to the devil him self!!!!.
After the lions we basically took the shortest route back to Orpen. Along the way we found some general game, but nothing major. We where back at Orpen at around 16h30 and had to get ready as the sunset drive was about to leave at 17h30. On the drive we would end up being ourself’s, 3people from outside the park, one lady from Marula and a Mom and sun from Tamboti. We went out on one of the 25 seaters which to be honest is not quite my scene for a game drive but dew to so little people, everybody ended up having their own row. Now I have done plenty of Night drives my self but mostly in a Private reserve next to Kruger. I am not a keen favorite of Kruger night drives as I believe you cant do it at more than 20km and if you go faster you will not spot any thing and also you need a trained person in my opinion behind the light. But I decided I just going to do it for fun.
So after pick and all introductions the drive started. First sighting( witch cant give the location) we find impala and rhino together. The guide sounded to know his stuff and gave good explanations of the animals and also could make a good joke or two.
Here’s some of the first animals of the drive.

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After this we where stopped by a staff bus of Hamilton’s concession telling us of some lion 1km down the S140. We where all excited as we have only been 20min on the drive and already there is prospect of lions. Well needless to say our search ended up in nothing. After that the drive went at n nice pace and like I said the guide gave us good info. We saw nice pair of Tawny eagle, lone big elephant bull, distant giraffe, water buck, zebra, wildebeest and Black back jackal all before the sun went down. Buy the time it got dark we were at the end of the S106 and would go down the H7 back to Orpen. We stopped at the tar road, the guide gave spotlights to some of the guests and with no instruction what to look for, nor the way to point the light at animals we started driving, well not driving but speeding. Suddenly we went from 20km driving at daylight to 50 km driving at night. Our first sighting was of n heard of elephant, for with we had to reverse for 500m, as it took the guests for ever to stop the guide and he went on such n speed. We stopped for 30sec and then starting speeding off again at even faster speed. We then almost ran over a scrub hare which we stopped for about 10sec and no info given started speeding of again. By this time the SO and I started looking at each other as to what had caused this sudden change in our guide. Well after this it was a nightmare drive as we almost run over n small spotted genet, 3 scrub hare and n big male Giraffe that he didn’t even stop for.
About 1km before you reach the S107 entrance again, the guide started shouting…”Lions in the road”… which got me excited for a sec, before I noticed but he is not slowing down. When we were about 50m from the lions doing at least 60km he suddenly tried to stop but was to late, with cause the lions to run off the road, looking at us as if we where the bats from hell disturbing their peacefull sleep on the road. It was 2 young males and luckily could get some pic of them.

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The whole sighting lasted about 2 min and then gone they were and we started speeding again!!!. We didn’t stop from here for one single animal and basically went threw the routine of dropping of every one at there camps. Now being a guide I now that your biggest part of the money you earn is from tips, and a reminded that you never work for a tip, as if you are good, people will reward you out of their own, but there are that little disappointments if you don’t get one. Now once he drop us off I was really considering not giving him anything, but it just a in my human nature not to give something. I also don’t like criticizing other guides and for the daytime section of our drive he really was good, but what happend once the Stars and moon came out is a question that probably will never be answered.

Being skeptic of doing the night drive in the first place, I don’t think I will being doing one again any time soon in Kruger if I cant do it myself. If you never done one, please do one but don’t get your hopes up and if you can try one of the 10 seater and try to keep away from the 25 seaters at all costs. That roof is unbearable on the sand road and driving anything more than 30km hour will feel like flying at a 100km. Sorry I now there are people loving them, but for me there is only on place you can do them, and in Kruger in that 25 seaters is not the place….

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The " Great 8" in one trip to Kruger(+2 nights extra)

Been More than 3000+ Days in Kruger and counting!!
Have slept more than 350+ night in Kruger and more coming!!


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