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 Post subject: Magic Guarri-Marakele - really a peaceful place-Feb 2011
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:00 pm 
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This is a Marakele TR - mods if you think this TR is better to be in the rubric "Northern Parks" - please put it there! :wink: :D

In January we planed a trip to South Africa for Stef an me but without Little Satara. The little boy stayed with Stefans parents and they all really enjoyed it :wink: Stef had to work the first week and after that we thought to stay some days in Kruger. But with all the rain and the Malaria everywhere we were thinking about a Malaria Free park. We had two parks to decide Pilanesberg and Marakele - and Marakele was the winner :D :D :D

I was looking for some informations about that park but it was not easy to find some helpful tips. So we made our own experiences :wink: We had a wonderful time in Marakele but we also knew before that game spotting there is very, very difficult! So we were not as disappointed. We also had some sad moments but I will tell you the whole story.....

On the Valentines Day we were on the plane on our way to a new adventure Image

I visited a very special friend the first two days while Stef was working. During that time I also made a new experience: buying 6 pair of shoes in 20 minutes :big_eyes: Don´t worry, not all 6 pair were for me :tongue:

On our last evening before the bush we met some friends. They told us a very sad story... between 1.1.2011 and 17.02.2011 - 120 rhinos were poached in South Africa - and 17 were found in one place, black and white ones!!! Just for their horns.... That made me very very sad :cry: :cry: :cry: Our friends also have a little farm in the North and in February they could see Caracals and Leopards nearly every day there!!! :hmz: At once I was thinking about that maybe we booked the wrong "Farm" :tongue:

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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - really a peaceful place
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:12 pm 
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Sunday, 20.02.2011

It was time to leave J´burg. After packing all our stuff into our SANI (which was really a lot!!!!) we left J´burg to go to Marakele Image.
The drive was really very good and the roads were not too bad. We took the R510 instead the R511 which was a very good idea. The R510 was good to drive and also not too many potholes.

The sky was blue and the clouds were playing with the wind :D

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After a while we saw this sign and were really surprised :hmz: :D

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But that is another park and doesn´t belong to Marakele Nationalpark :?

Just before Thabazimbi you could see the mountains made from all the miens:

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Now we only had a few kilometers to Marakele and than.....we got it :dance: :dance: :dance:

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PLEASE NO HOTELS in KNP and PLEASE don´t change KNP into a Funpark!

KNP - Eyes and tracks behind the bush


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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - really a peaceful place
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:24 pm 
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Now we are back in the bush :D :D

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Suddenly we could see the differences between KNP and here. KNP is very busy with all the people and cars and here.....we were the only car nobody else was walking around :shock: :wink:

We went to the reception to check in. A very friendly lady was checking our booking. I was asking about my booking for the morning drive for the next day and she said the booking is already done and perfect. I asked if the drive will be because we were still 2 people and they needed a minimum of 4. No, she said the drive will be and we will picked up at 5:30. Okay, I thought for me, we will see if the guide will come tomorrow or not....... :wink:

After that we went to the toilet and checked the "map" of the park:

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The park is divided into two parts: the antelope part ant the predator part and our camp was in the predator part. The map was also very very bad and not really helpful! The roads in the antelope part were good but in the predator part you definitely need a 4x4!! For us Sanparks has to do some work in this park with the roads and the map, but thats another story...

The first animal we saw was this lady:

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to be continued soon...

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To be happy is better than to be a king. People who are happy own a real unique treasure:
A laughing heart


PLEASE NO HOTELS in KNP and PLEASE don´t change KNP into a Funpark!

KNP - Eyes and tracks behind the bush


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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - really a peaceful place
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:18 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: somewhere in Bavaria
Image Good afternoon everyone!!

Thanks so much CuriousCanadian, Micetta, Rookie2009, Pumbaa, MM, Barcud, Katja, Melph, JenB, FC and Lowveldboy for your kind feedback!!! :thumbs_up:

After the Ostrich Lady we could see some more differences between Marakele and KNP. We were the only car there :shock: 8) Which was not too bad! The landscape was beautiful and very, very green!

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Behind every corner we could see another mountain. It was just WOW and I was really feeling like at home :wink:

Than we saw the tunnel to the predator area :D

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After passing the tunnel we were feeling like we were in Jurastic Park now. :D :wink: So, where is the T-Rex? :wink:

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We had to drive up and down and the landscape was really breathtaking!!! But for the dirt roads you definitely needed a 4x4! We didn´t see any game till we arrived at Tlopi Camp.

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To be happy is better than to be a king. People who are happy own a real unique treasure:
A laughing heart


PLEASE NO HOTELS in KNP and PLEASE don´t change KNP into a Funpark!

KNP - Eyes and tracks behind the bush


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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - really a peaceful place
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:28 pm 
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We got the first tent (Plover) and I was a little bit sad, that we didn´t get one of the last tents. Some people said that the view of the last tents is more beautiful. But when we arrived we were very surprised about Plover and suddenly we loved it! The view was AWESOME and we were lucky to have a closed kitchen :wink:

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The view from our veranda was really stunning and the place was so quiet.....till the Egyptian Goose arrived :wink:

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our kitchen:

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The tent was very clean and really a place to stay for 3 nights!

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I was looking for a fish eagle but the trees were empty. Only the mountain were watching us:

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We had lots of fun with our special neighbours in the afternoon, but thats another story... :D

to be continued soon!

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To be happy is better than to be a king. People who are happy own a real unique treasure:
A laughing heart


PLEASE NO HOTELS in KNP and PLEASE don´t change KNP into a Funpark!

KNP - Eyes and tracks behind the bush


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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - really a peaceful place
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:37 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Good afternoon everyone!
Katja, FC, Rookie2009, CB, JJ, Bushmom, Micetta, fenwickh, Pumbaa and melph - thank you all so much for your kind comments!!!

@Bushmom, Marakele is really a place to visit just for a weekend trip. We had to drive about 3 hours from J´burg and the roads are okay!

After packing all our bags and the kitchen stuff into the kitchen we decided to stay in camp for the rest of the day. We enjoyed the amazing view and were looking a little bit around.

Suddenly we heard a constantly PLOPP....PLOPP....PLOPP.......????? :hmz: what´s that???

Than I was looking from our veranda into the dam :big_eyes: :big_eyes: and I saw huge catfishes!!!

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The biggest one was about 70 cm and there were more about 30 fishes just below our veranda :big_eyes: And they did their PLOPP....PLOPP....all the time also during the night :?

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This little guy came every day to say hello :D

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pic made by Stef

Few days before the trip Stefan bought a new camera and played a little bit with his new toy :wink:

Image

_________________
To be happy is better than to be a king. People who are happy own a real unique treasure:
A laughing heart


PLEASE NO HOTELS in KNP and PLEASE don´t change KNP into a Funpark!

KNP - Eyes and tracks behind the bush


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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - really a peaceful place
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:56 pm 
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Some people said, that Marakele is a perfect place for birder - I am sorry to tell you its NOT :? :shock: anyway not in February. All in all we saw about 7 different birds also not much birds of pray :cry: That was the only thing we were very disappointed about Marakele.

This guy was our personal entertainer. He lived on the other side of the dam and Stef took some nice pics of this cormorant. We had lots of fun with him but sometimes he was very noisy :wink:

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White-breasted Cormorant - pic made by Stef

On this afternoon the Cormorant was not alone. I am not really sure which kind of eagle that is I am thinking about Tawny Eagle or Lesser Spotted Eagle. The distance was very far so thats why the pic is not the best but maybe one of the birders can help?

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After a while I was walking a little bit around the tents. Than I did a quick glimpse on the road. :shock: There is something close to our tent? The bushes are moving from one side to another, but its so quiet......than a KNACK and the most beautiful eyes were watching at me 8) :wink:

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pic made by Stef

The ladies came to the dam for a drink and till that moment we knew that there are animals in Marakele :dance: :dance:

Stefan was also walking around and took this pic of the Kudus. Than we left them in peace and went back to our tent. A few hours later Stefan went to the car to look for something. Than he heard something and was looking to the road. He took his camera – ready for a pic – and was looking through! :big_eyes: Two huge Kudus were standing just in front of him… :D He had the camera still on standby to watch the last pic and the last pic was the Kudus :tongue:

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To be happy is better than to be a king. People who are happy own a real unique treasure:
A laughing heart


PLEASE NO HOTELS in KNP and PLEASE don´t change KNP into a Funpark!

KNP - Eyes and tracks behind the bush


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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - really a peaceful place
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:06 pm 
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The day slowly became to an end and we started to prepare our first braai in Marakele of course with a nice, cold Black Label :dance: :dance:

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The braai was very LECKER :D and we went to bed early because we had to stand up early the next morning because of the booked Morning Drive.

We were really looking forward to the next day but first we had to endure the night which was also totally different to a night in Kruger so I couldn´t sleep at all..... :? :?

The next morning started with a surprise and a big big shock :big_eyes:

I know the pic is not the best one but look at the moon - he´s looking like he´s smiling :D

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And for all who are stil thinking about the new species :hmz: :hmz: we called it HLs :D

To be continued soon...

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To be happy is better than to be a king. People who are happy own a real unique treasure:
A laughing heart


PLEASE NO HOTELS in KNP and PLEASE don´t change KNP into a Funpark!

KNP - Eyes and tracks behind the bush


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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - really a peaceful place
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:06 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: somewhere in Bavaria
Good afternoon everyone!
Once again, thank you so much for your comments Micetta, Eagle Owl, Katja, Elsa, Rookie2009, melph, fenwickh, FC, PetraJ, Pumbaa and michel367 :clap: :clap:

@Katja, Stefan bought a Lumix FZ50. Very nice camera :D I had to post 3 episodes, because the text was too much for one posting :? :D

@melph, OH YES....the catfishes were very noisy :shock: :D

@PetraJ, we drove about 4 hours to Marakele because we took the R510 instead the R511.


We went to bed very early but I couldn´t sleep. I was so tired but I couldn´t sleep.... PLOPP....PLOPP....PLOPP.... the catfishes were very noisy!

But the strange thing was, I missed something :hmz: I was thinking about, what´s different here to KNP. I heard the normal night noises of the crickets and some birds, but.... than suddenly I knew it. I missed the call of the hyaenas :dance: :dance: It was too quiet here in Marakele. And I also missed the Jackals :wink: Its really strange how you can be used to some noise when you often spend time out in the bush.

After a while I felt asleep but suddenly :big_eyes: :big_eyes: GOODNESS whats going on now??? The wind was blowing like he wanted to put our tent on the other side of the dam! It was terrible noisy and the trees around the tent were going from one side to another. Also Stef couldn´t sleep. Maybe the wind had fun to play with me because he was there the whole night :wall: :wall:

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To be happy is better than to be a king. People who are happy own a real unique treasure:
A laughing heart


PLEASE NO HOTELS in KNP and PLEASE don´t change KNP into a Funpark!

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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - really a peaceful place
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:20 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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After a while I woke up because the wind was gone. I took a look at my watch and knew we had to stand up because of the morning drive. We put all our camera stuff into our bags and went to the kitchen to have a nice warm coffee...

... :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: AAAAHHHHH The fattest rat I have ever seen was in our kitchen to look for something to eat :big_eyes: She saw us and schwups....disappeared!

I said to Stef "honey, sorry, I don´t need a coffee anymore, I am awake now!" :tongue:

We were standing outside on our veranda, drinking the coffee and were enjoying the morning in the bush. It was quiet and really peacefull. And the time was running....and running....and nobody was coming to pick us up :wall: :wall: :wall:
At 6 am we decided to do our own morning drive. We wanted to do the Mbidi Loop and go up the mountains to the Cap Vulture.

I had the map and told Stef the direction. For the Mbidi Loop we had to turn right. Okay, the first road on the right side was not in our map, but we thought its the right road :? ...and we saw...

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We continued with that road but suddenly the road was gone and we had to turn :shock:

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We drove back to the main road and took the next road on the right confident that it’s the right one because there was a sign to the other bush camp. But also after a while we had to turn, because the road was so bad the we couln´t drive there even with our 4x4.

So, what can we do now? We decided to drive to the Vultures on the tar road and do the loop on the way back to look where the right road is.

The next sighting made us very proud. Our first chameleon 8)

Image

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To be happy is better than to be a king. People who are happy own a real unique treasure:
A laughing heart


PLEASE NO HOTELS in KNP and PLEASE don´t change KNP into a Funpark!

KNP - Eyes and tracks behind the bush


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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - really a peaceful place
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:34 pm 
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The way up to the vultures was really an adventure and nothing for people with faintly nerves :wink: :D

The view was breathtaking but the road was very small. Stefan was very concentrated and I was busy taking pics because the abrupt sheer was on my side and I have got a little bit acrophobia :shock: :? I asked Stef "Honey, what will you do when a car will come or when some ellies will cross the road?" "Jumping out of the car as fast as possible...." :D Okay, no car came, thank god no ellies came and even no rhinos :tongue:

Here some pics from the landscape and the top of the mountains. We drove about I think 1.800 m high but sorry for you it was very cloudy but therefore you can see the abrupt sheer and the beautiful mountains... enjoy the following pics :D

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pic made by Stef

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pic made by Stef

We couldn´t see any Cape Vultures because of all the clouds :cry: :cry: so we drove back down...

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To be happy is better than to be a king. People who are happy own a real unique treasure:
A laughing heart


PLEASE NO HOTELS in KNP and PLEASE don´t change KNP into a Funpark!

KNP - Eyes and tracks behind the bush


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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - really a peaceful place
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:47 pm 
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The way down. We hoped that no other car will drove up when we will go down again and again that no ellie or rhino will be on the road :wink:

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We were back down and back from our adventure a quick visit in the sky :D :wink:

It was really awesome and I have to say, if you will visit Marakele go up to the Vulture Mountains :wink: Its also the one and only road in that part of the park where you don´t need a 4x4 :wink:

to be continued soon...

_________________
To be happy is better than to be a king. People who are happy own a real unique treasure:
A laughing heart


PLEASE NO HOTELS in KNP and PLEASE don´t change KNP into a Funpark!

KNP - Eyes and tracks behind the bush


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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - really a peaceful place
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:06 pm 
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Location: somewhere in Bavaria
Good afternoon everyone!
Katja, Grantmissy, Jo, Rookie2009, Pumbaa, FC, melph, PNF, CB and Sammy – THANKS again so much for your kind reply!!! :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

@PNF, you really have to visit Marakele, I am sure, you will like it!

@Sammy, its so great to have you back here!!!! :D


We were on our way down again. I was busy watching the sky to spot some of the Cape Vultures. But the sky was just awesome blue. Suddenly Stefan stopped the car. “Hey honey, YOU are the spotter and I am the driver and not the spotter, didn´t you see the animals just close to the road?” :redface: :redface: “Sorry, no I didn´t! I was busy looking for the vultures. What was there?” Stefan drove a little bit back “That” :dance: :dance:

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Two beautiful Klippspringers were standing just next to the road!

Here the female:

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We continued the drive and enjoyed the landscape:

On the other side of this mountain was our camp.
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Image

After a while we came to the Mbidi Loop and took that road to look where she will end. Someone told us yesterday that a Rhino with her baby was there in the middle of the road to have a little nap. We saw no rhino but we saw lots of Rhino shit! So I said to Stefan, WOW, here must be lots of Rhinos! :D :wink:

The first animals which said hello was this little striped group! :D

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_________________
To be happy is better than to be a king. People who are happy own a real unique treasure:
A laughing heart


PLEASE NO HOTELS in KNP and PLEASE don´t change KNP into a Funpark!

KNP - Eyes and tracks behind the bush


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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - really a peaceful place
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:22 pm 
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The loop was full of life and we were very happy!

Image

We also saw lots of youngsters and it was funny when they played with each other. Than suddenly I saw them!!!! Three vultures were doing their circles up in a wonderful blue sky. But sorry, for a good or clear pic they were much too far away. We were watching them for some minutes and contined with the loop. The way went up again and the road changed into a bad road again :shock: :? . But the view on the view point was STUNNING STUNNING STUNNING :dance: :dance:

We could see our camp and the dam and some long necks very far away :wink:

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We saw another cute little youngster

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and finished the loop and came back to the main dirt road. :hmz: Now we also knew our mistake in the morning :wall: :wall: We had to drive a little bit longer on the main dirt road and than turn right to the Mbidi Loop. But as I told you before, you cannot trust the map you will get at the reception :|

We still had lots of time so we decided to make a quick visit in the antelope part of the park. So we drove back to the tunnel and just a few kilometers before we met a big and noisy family :D

Image

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To be happy is better than to be a king. People who are happy own a real unique treasure:
A laughing heart


PLEASE NO HOTELS in KNP and PLEASE don´t change KNP into a Funpark!

KNP - Eyes and tracks behind the bush


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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - really a peaceful place
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:39 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: somewhere in Bavaria
After a few minutes a put the map into the glove box of our SANI because the road names and the map was not the same or most of the signs were gone :? :shock: So most of the time we didn´t really know where we are :roll:

But also here the first animal which said hello was this :hmz: :hmz: I thought very pregnant lady

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:hmz: :hmz: but than, MOMMY I am hungry!!! :D

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I am sorry I don´t know what happened with the coat of the foal :hmz:

After we did the Tsessebe Loop - with no Tsessebes :cry: :cry: we did the Gnu Loop with lots of Gnus :dance: :dance: Also here we found lots of youngsters :D

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The next road usually needs the name Giraffe Loop :wink: :D

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Giraffe with 4 ears :D
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All in all – we really had a very successful morning!!! :dance: :dance:

The way back to camp ended with a nice surprise! :big_eyes: :D

To be continued soon…

_________________
To be happy is better than to be a king. People who are happy own a real unique treasure:
A laughing heart


PLEASE NO HOTELS in KNP and PLEASE don´t change KNP into a Funpark!

KNP - Eyes and tracks behind the bush


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