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 Post subject: cheetah2111-The Early Bird Spots the Cat!-June 2011
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:16 pm 
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Enthuse! Enthuse! Enthusiasm!!!!!
Psych Psych Psyched!!! Image
Image
Just came back from a fanTASTIC(rice) trip to Kruger yesterday! 3 nights Tamboti. 3 nights Shingwedzi

First time going to Kruger Alonesome!
First time camping!
First time at Tamboti
First time at Shingwedzi!

A lot of firsts!! 8) 8)
Plenty of excitement this side! Image
Settle in with me and read this report of me being over excited and loving every minute of my Kruger Trip! Expect plenty of expressive emoticons!
:dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:



My pictures are not great, but you will get a good idea of the sightings I had! Which were really great! Because the early bird spots the cat as the old saying goes!

My Report will be told more through my stories than photos Image
Stories of the trials tribulations and joys of camping
The amazing and interesting friends I made
The ridiculous names for animals and the songs I sung in the car whilst looking at them! Image

If you read my report at all, please comment! I will respond to all topics Image

Credit:
Smiley training by Tannie Zetel (ZL) aka Elzet Image
Camping equipment lent to me by fellow formite Mama Fariu Image
And thanks to all the advice given to me!

Next up -
first installment 8)

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Kruger 2014!!!

16-23 August - Lower Sabi!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: The Early Bird Spots the Cat! Enthusiasm of rookie campe
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:08 am 
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Day 1

So off I go!!!!!!!!
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Left JHB at half past 4 in the morn!! Eager beaver I know. But thats always the case with me and the Kruger :D :D :D :D The early bird catches the Mopani Worm! As the elders say :thumbs_up:

I could tell you about the drive there ... but rather not :twisted: Lets just get to the aMiNals! :dance:

FIRST UP!
Greeted by the Kruger special!
Impi Warriors!
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This spurred on a song!
Impi! wo 'nans' impi iyeza
Obani bengathinta amabhubesi?


It doesn't take much to provoke me to sing :lol: And yes I had no idea how to spell it so google did the job 8)
Then as I cast my eyes away from the welcoming warriors, Pumba was here to greet me also! :dance: :dance:
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Its a problem free philosophy ... acuna matata

As I meandered forwards (the way of the mouse) I saw this very chilled out camel horse 8)
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Then before I checked in at tamboti I continued my obsession with these spider sacks
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They are so cooool. Its a comminity of spiders of varius species that share this space! Spiders are such agreeable creatures! Imagine sticking your hand in one of the sacks
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Then I checked in at Tamboti! What a place :clap:
My braai area from the porch:
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My view from my table on my porch!
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What a thing! :dance: Anyway I had a chill out session before another drive 8)

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 Post subject: Re: The Early Bird Spots the Cat! Enthusiasm of rookie campe
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:47 am 
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Day 1 Continued

A second game drive to commense for the day!!
ENTHUSE! ENTHUSE! ENTHUSIASM! Image Image Image

camera - Image
Animal list - Image
Bird Book - Image
Binocs - Image
Sharp eyes - Image

Sweet banas! Here we go!!!!

First up! I see this fellow
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Now I will have you know that these Black backed Jackals are hanging around the tamboti turn off by the H7 every day I was there! If there are two things I spot way more often than the average human its jackal and steenbokkies! In any case the people don't seem interested in the jackal. But I love these oaks! they always up to something. He was sacampering around but I have no idea what his goal was in life :huh:
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Just some 100m down the road I come across some other entertaining animals! Baboons! Which to me are Bobjins! 8) They were hanging out with these headless kudu in the background :wink:
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Next thing see a strange zebra dance unfold! Never underesimate the choreography of zebra Image Image Image
I could use some tips from the striped performers myself! What they were doing some would consider rather odd. Although I have embraced their dancing nature after this experience and it is no longer surprising!
These pictures hardly tell the tale but here they are
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bums out!
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and around!

Now this was their entertainment for the afternoon Image
They seemed to be doing a twirly dance routine. so you start here
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and then simultaneously move between the zebras in a circular movement and end up bums out position again! Simple! Who you circle depends on the call I am guessing :hmz:
Zebbie round your friend
Zebbie round your partner
opposites Zeb around
and back to the start!

Thats what it seemed like to me Image


Then moving on from the striped entertainers I had a really nice sighting :D :D :D
location - not going to be mentioned
BUT it proved to be my only sighting of this animal on the trip :shock: :shock: :shock:
In any case it was sunday the 19th of June - fathers day. And although I was far away from my father I was reminded of him when this father and son were doing what they love together
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I was the only car there. I switched it off and enjoyed a long sighting on my own with these beautiful aMiNals.
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Here lies the advantage of going to Kruger alone: you get to sit at a sighting as long as you please as there is nobody else to consider :D No need to have a little conversation about the sighting or comments. I could hear the grass crunch in ther mouths and even here the sound of grass crunch under foot. THIS IS KRUGER
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On the way back to camp not much happened. but be warned!!! That was the end of catless drives around tamboti for the trip :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

I headed home and started up the braai
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It was very nice to be greeted by a steak and my SO
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Yes it was ole blackie that would keep me company this trip! :D She really does bring out the jolly side of me :tongue: She doesn't mind sharing me with many just like her :thumbs_up:

That night I slept only until about 2 in the morning! When I was woken by the loud sounds of lion roaring!!!!! In paradise :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: Needless to say I didn't get much sleep, and when I got up to go to the urination station (all good TR's mention this aspect :wink: ) it was SUPER COLD!!! :shock: Very tired! Up like 2 hours earlier than camps opening! And negative about the cold! This is what I looked like
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what a flattering photo :wink: :lol:
Anyway little did I know that frown would be turned upside down as the early bird caught the cat! first out of the gates :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: The Early Bird Spots the Cat! Enthusiasm of rookie campe
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:35 am 
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Day 2 Morning
The Early Bird spots the cat! Vol 1

Now I see this posting of my morning photo has atratced much attention :roll: :roll: :lol: :lol: It is not easy for me in the mornings :wall: I am NOT a morning person!!! :evil: Do not even speak to me before I have had my coffee!!!!! :whistle: This is needed Image
Here is another example of me having my friend Mr Coffee at another Game park
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After this, I just need to pack another flask of coffee and dried wors, and I'm super!!!!
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Then I am more likely to look like this
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Thats my father and I. As you can see ... my SO has already been accepted into the family :wink: :wink:

Now there is only one thing that can cause a night owl like myself to get up in the morning, and that is the cats that walk around and then dissappear for the rest of the day!!!! Thus getting up is worth it! And on this fateful morning the getting up early paid off!
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So I arrived at the gate a whole 30mins before gates open because I'm extreme like that! The first car usually sees the cats in the road that nobody else behind sees :wink:
At the tamboti gate I had a cup of coffee whilst still hearing the lions nearbye :big_eyes: :big_eyes:
To my absolute joy, the security guard let me out early :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
Not a single car behind me!!!!!! 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
It was such a thrill to be driving in the pitch black with my brights on and not being about to see anything at all except the road. Wow I was even first to hit the tar on the H7! Nothing from the Orpen side.
All of a sudden a beautiful leopard comes out of the bush and in front of my car :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :dance: :dance: :dance: With absolutely nobody around! The leopard proceeded to give me a spectacular show of marking his territory! Walking up the road with me for about 1km walking to one side of the tar and marking in the grass, then walking over to the other side to do the same. I had this sighiting alone for ages :clap: :clap: :clap: My photos are all out of focus until there was some light.
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He was such a blessing :D :D Such stunning Rosettes on his coat! Not bothered at all by my presence just carrying on :D At last another car arrived but behaved perfectly well and enjoyed it alongside me :D The extra lights from the car created the photo opportunity
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Other cars arrived from behind us and the leopard left the road. Everybody else behind us had no idea what just unfolded. An AMAZING sighting!! If you have read my past TR's you will know my leopard sightings are few and far between. That sighting just made my life :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

That is Volume 1 of The early bird Spots the cat :wink: :D

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 Post subject: Re: The Early Bird Spots the Cat! Enthusiasm of rookie campe
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:46 pm 
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Day 2 Morning Continued

ENTHUSE!!! ENTHUSE!!!! ENTHUSIASM!!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
What a start to the day Image Image Image

So onward I go down the h7! Anything else I see will just be a bonus :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: Its still pretty dark and cold and the aMiNals not out in full force yet!! I pull onto the Timbavati road and was looking for a sighting to share my flask of coffee with :hmz: :hmz: :hmz:

I was just enjoying the scenery and being the only car around when I came across this burchell's coucal
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He was a jolly chap and proceeded to sing a song for me! Just the kind of musicalality needed on along the banks of the timbavati river at the time! Image like a G6 :thumbs_up:

Some would assume a Burchell's Coucal would sing a sweet melody Image When in fact the genre of choice with a Coucal is electro-pop. That is in actual fact what they like to sing! Image This is how the song went that he sung:

I'm a burchell's Coucal ... im not a lizzard
I'm a bird that has the tricks like a wizzard
At the Timbavati banks ... I'm within 3 clicks
Now I am gonna fly away like a G6


(If you don't know the song 'Like a G6' you won't appreciate the coucal's version)

So onwards again towards timbavati
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The next sighting was a sighting of ordinary game yet a special moment in the bush :D :D :D
I stopped next to this grumpy looking buff
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This Buff was so grumpy with me! Image

It was as if this battered and bruised old man, had dealt with enough troubles in his life and was not willing to deal with some unwelcome car and set of eyes! I switched off my car and sat dead still looking at this buff who was also standing completely motionless looking at me. He was determined that this is his turf and he wanted to eat the grass just here undisturbefd - things have always been that way. As the old grump stood almost looking like he would charge me another buff walked across and looked at me then nudged the grumpy one as if to say: "come on let the young boy be". Image Then old grumpy gave me one last stare before reluctantly conceeding and allowing my presence while he eats. It was then that I poured my coffee and enjoyed it with the old gang of what turned out to be 6 old buffs in the bachelor herd. The whole experience seemed as if there was a whole other world that I do not understand, some other world I was allowed access to observe that usually I would not. Very Special. Yet impossible to explain.
(you probably think I'm looney right now :lol: )

After finishing the coffee I headed off to Timbavati picnic spot where I had an interaction with one the most wise of residents ... one of the local witches of coarse! This one was the territorial female of Timbavati
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And in accordance with park rules all at the picnic spot sung her song :

Hulle noem haar "Liewe Heksie"
maar "Lavinia" is haar naam
sy kannie eintlik toor nie
en sy is 'n bietjie skaam
Blommie is haar maatjie
en Matewis die parmant
vergeet tog nie vir Karel Kat
kom kuier in Blommeland

Hier woon "Liewe Heksie"
en so lyk haar huis
waar al haar vriende saamwoon
in haar sterretjieskombuis

Hulle noem my "Liewe Heksie"
maar "Lavinia" is my naam
ek's die slimste heksie wat ek ken
en ek was al op die maan!

Nou ken ons Liewe Heksie
en sal haar nooit vergeet
kom kyk weer na ons storie
as julle nog wil weet.


(translation: an old song relating to a childrens story called "liewe heksie" or lovely witch)
BTW yes I do remember the words :wink:

The brewing witch was kind in her ways (as is custom with the witches in this part of the park. I once had a rather difficult one at Afsaal :evil:) and she shared with me knowledge about a lion sighting not far from the picnic sight! :big_eyes: :big_eyes:
And as quickly as she appeared ... she vanished!
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So I was off again on a little detour to the North! But did I find these lions? :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: The Early Bird Spots the Cat! Enthusiasm of rookie campe
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:42 am 
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So here Liewe Heksie sent me North of Timbavati on the s39 to look at these lions who had apparently just failed at an attempted zebra kill! :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:
So chances are they are active!
So I had my eyes peeled and was checking for these Golden creatures 8)

What is REALLY nice about this road in winter is the see cows and crocarocs in the sun!
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If you look carefully in the photo above you will see a crocaroc to the bottom left of the two see cows with open mouths! Now the see cows were having a bit of a box out Image
The one on the left lost ground and actually stood on the croc!! :shock: There I was thinking there would be drama when in fact the croc was hardly phased :?

It was just FANtabulous to see the big blobs and crocs!
:dance: :D Image
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Its the type of raod one should drive very slowly to carefully look in the water and river banks :D Scenic and so pleasant to drive even without seeing much I'm sure :D :D
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I also saw kudu, Impie Warriors and warthogs! This was all in about 3km :dance: So at the end of the day no lions, but heck it was such an enjoyable detour :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

MORAL OF THE STORY -
when a Liewe Heksie tells you of a lion sighting, do not rush there at 40km/hour :rtm: :rtm: :rtm: :rtm: :rtm: :rtm: More often than not they have moved on anyway, and the chances are there are many beautiful things nature would rather reveal to you on that road :D :D :D :D :D :D Image

So I decided to take the s127 back to the main road then stop off at satara 8) 8)

ENTHUSE!!

I just love the open plains of satara :dance: You can see for miles and miles and there is every so often something to look at :D :D :D

This is an open plains satara special
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The other nice thing was I found myself alone on the road :dance: In the distance I saw a speck of movement :big_eyes: So I slowed down to rolling forward in gear pace so as not to frighten little movement speck animal, and it was a jackal :D :D
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It looked a bit skittish like it might bolt! But then with my car off it decided to carry on its busy life :thumbs_up: Fascinating aMiNals are Jackals!

MORAL OF THE STORY -
Sightings are often better if you approach slowly and switch off your car Image

At Satara I had myself some breakfast! Image
This breakfast came in the form of a magnum ice cream! YUM! why not? :tongue: :tongue:

On the way back Nsemani was looking well different to the last time I visited :shock: 8)
But always nice to see the saddle billed stork pair are still here :D
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Things were rather quiet in the heat of the day going back to Tambots! But alas, not to have a morning without lions :dance: :dance: :dance:
Nearer to the tamboti side where there were about 5 cars stopped off at the lookout, I stopped and noticed the cause for traffic!
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Sleeping beauties! Far away yes. and not much happening - true.

But later that day when I returned to these lions I cannot promise it was all that boring :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: The Early Bird Spots the Cat! Enthusiasm of rookie campe
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:06 pm 
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Day 2 afternoon drive
One hour of cats, cats, cats!

Good afternoon everyone!! Image Image Image

Hope everyone is having a great Sunday afternoon! :D :D Yes I know ... tomorrow is monday BUT maybe I can help you escape from such considerations for just a little while as I tell you another tale of my favorite place in the world! :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

So do you remember where we were?? Image
Last I saw the sleeping lion on the H7 yeah! And I was scheming :hmz: That I should drop by that spot at about 17:00 when the girls might be more active! So I started my drive with my special guy! Every afternoon I can find my mate Jakalas in the open!
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He is the mascot of Tamboti! He is the fittest Jackal you have ever seen. No need to join Virgin Active or planet Fitness Image

Whenever another car comes to join my sighting he tends to disappear :hmz: Oh well! He is my mate 8)

Anyway, so I make my way on to the Rabaleis road and see the taaaaall guy taking a nice stroll
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Looong legs
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what fascinates me about giraff, is that they are so big! yet their behavior is graceful :D One would think big animals would throw their weight around! Like elephant :slap: And there was a lot of throwing their weight around in my direction at Shing :shock: Although thats coming up! And back to my point - I just love the graceful nature of the gigantic giraff :D :D :D :D :D

next I witnessed a massive crossing of bobjins!! It was a HUGE troop! They crossed in front of my car for about 10mins! The Rabaleis bobjins OWN this area! :rtm: Who knows where they are going!? But its happening at pace Image
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Well there they go! :D :D Thanks for popping by Image Image

OK so the time came to check in on the lions :dance: :dance: :dance:
When i got there most cars had given up watching sleeping lions :lol: But then i noticed movement :shock:
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Do you see that?? :shock: Getting up :dance: It didn't take me long to figure out there was some serious action here!! There was a front runner walking with low shoulders into the Bush! All the lions looking attentatively in one direction. They must be thinking: Foooood 8)
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The grass in the river bank and I could show you pics of them one by one walking in that direction, but you wouldn't see them :lol: But I have pics of when the lions reached pride rock and were in the open 8)
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One by one each warrior lioness made their way into position (a location which I cannot see from the road :wall: )

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So there they went! Off to find din-dins! Wish I could see the attempted kill :pray:
Anyway, had to move on as time was against me! :slap: Then I couldn't believe my eyes :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

1km later, lions in the road :clap: :clap: :clap:
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It was a young man lovey dovey with his girls. what a PIMP :thumbs_up: 3 girls! Good form :clap:
The attention got too much and they started moving off the road
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These Lionesses were much more impressive than the river bank hunters! Look at this beautiful powerful lady
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thats right by my open window! Then girl number 2
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Then the guy (pimp) decided to top the other two and come RIGHT next to my car :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:
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Off go the happy family :D
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And what is this??? A HUGE brute of a guy comes out of the long grass and also gives me a show :dance: Huge hairy guy! Image I could see those muscels shake with his footsteps 8) 8) 8)
Another blessing :clap: :D

But who would have thought ... my luck has not run out yet :big_eyes: This awaited me next
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Who is the cause of this traffic jam?? It would only be ANOTHER leopard :dance: :dance: Lying in the long grass well hidden and hard to catch on camera! do you have your glasses on? Image

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Check the eyes!
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That makes it 2 leopard sightings and 3 lion sightings in one day!!!!!!
:clap: :clap: :clap:

To top it all off the sweet taste of my SO - tall and skinny giving me the COLD shoulder every time with the company of delicious boerewors! Life doesn't get better
Image Image Image

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 Post subject: Re: The Early Bird Spots the Cat! Enthusiasm of rookie campe
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:32 am 
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Image Image Image
Hellooo to all my nature loving formites!!! Greeting from the brrr city of Joburg! It is not brrr coz I am drinking coke :wink: But the cold people! Reminds me of the cold on the 3rd day at tamboti ...

I was awoken early in the morrow by the farm cock, which in the case of Tamboti is the local pride of lions!!! Nobody can sleep after the low bellowing sounds of the king of the savana pierce your ear drums and out of survival instinct sit up in self defense of the danger!! Or maybe thats just me :lol: Adrenaline rushes through my body! When I hear these lions (every night at Tambots) it causes me to grab the spotlight in haste!! I stumble towards the porch and shine with groggy eyes towards the Timbavati River bed whilst the ice cold dagger wind digs into your cheeks and causes you to question why the FLIP are you outside when its like 2 degrees :twisted: :twisted: Then as I peer over and see my SO that I enjoyed last night she gently reminds me - MAN up sissy city boy this is the bush fool!!!

Oh Black Label you are the best Image

After such a fat rebuke I kicked into gear and got ready for the early morning drive!! Hang on ... :hmz: isn't it like an hour and a half early for gates opening?? :huh: Then one look at my stern SO made me stop questioning :| Right lets gooooo!


Day 3 Morning
The Early Bird Catches the Worm Vol 2

Whoohooo!
Whoohoo!
Whoohoo!

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(Blur song 2)

This was in my head you see! I drink my friend Image Removing my famous morning face that formites just LOVE to talk about :lol:

And as I sat there drinking my COFE-ee I opened my window embracing the cold to hear the lions who sound very nearbye :big_eyes: Hereeee kitty kitties!! I'm cominggg

AND THE GATES ARE OPEN!
VROOOOOOM!
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Eyes peeled!! Where are you lion friends??
I had my brights on ... looking for the glint of cat eyes in the road!
But as it started getting lighter and Orpen buses started overtaking me I thought ... oh where art thou cats? Mrs Nature you woke me up so early as if you had an appointment with me to see your aMiNals ... :hmz:

Then as there were no cars in sight for a while I had divine appointment to see a beautiful creature! As if an answer from above that there were plans to see lions but even better than I imagined :dance: Not a busy shared sighting but all alone and intimate :dance:
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This Golden Boy walked from the left across the raod to the right and stood dead still for a long time looking off into the distance! I decided to put the camera down as he stood still close to my car. Don't want to scare off the guy! :naughty: :naughty:
He had a bit of a mane going on, that was moving in the crisp wind. he just looked so ALIVE! His muscular body standing there peering with clarity in one direction and grey skies behind him ... it made me think that THIS is what it is like to be alive! To breathe in the fresh morning air and to have a confident reassurance that you are the King of the creatures. Everything is as it is meant to be.
His beauty standing there as a perfect creature dwalfed the greatest achievements of mankind. Perfect coherence between the reason for his existence and the way he acts.
As I said before ... I had a divine appointment that morning :D :D Had a revalation that put my life in better perspective. The beauty of nature is powerful :D

The beautiful guy eventually left the road and came into the long grass looking all so happy with himself :D :D :D :D
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off walks the King :dance: :dance: :dance:
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Thanks guy!!! Image Image Image

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 Post subject: Re: The Early Bird Spots the Cat! Enthusiasm of rookie campe
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:50 pm 
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Day 3 Morning Continued

So where were we??? :hmz: :hmz:
Ah yes! I had just experienced a case of the ealy bird spotting the cat Image Image Image Image Image

Here he is
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Farewell good sir Image Image Image

You would not believe what happened next :big_eyes: :big_eyes: It started raining!!! At the end of June :? :? So I closed my windows which in turn caused my windscreen to steam up and I suddenly couldn't see :lol: It was like 2 degrees outside probably :lol: So every now and then I had to de-mist my windscreen which caused all the coldness in the car again Image Image Image


As I attempt to peer out of my windows and windscreen it becomes apparent that the rain is truly proving to be an obstruction :doh: :doh: Image Image Image

On my windsceen my wipers frequently: SwEeep SwEeep SwEeep and droplets form an alliance of vision obstruction on my side mirrors! At this point there was a song that kept me entertained whilst sightings were quiet


Rain, Rain, go away
Come again some other day
We want to go outside and play
Come again some other day


after repeatedly singing this I thought to myself :hmz: playing outside could be rather reckless and dangerous :hmz: So instead it turned to:



C Dm
Rain, Rain, go away
F
Come again another day
C Dm F
All the world is waiting for the Sun


Yes indeed this was the tune of the time!

I had pretty much completely forgotten I'm on a game drive in the Kruger when in front of me I see a shape in the distance ...
Between swipes of windscreen wiping and drops of Rain i see the shape of 3 lions crossing the road :shock: :shock:
How unexpected!

As I appraoch where they crossed I look right and see them already quite far into the bush! Sorry no photo due to rain conditions and a fleeting sighting!

But Image Image Image

More lions!! I think i was yet to see my first impie warrior when I'd already had my 2nd lion sighting of the day :lol: :lol:

I stopped off at satara for a stretch of the legs!! And off I was South of Satara now! Thankfully my singing requests worked and the rain had stopped :lol: :lol:
Then :big_eyes: dum dum dum! :big_eyes:
A VERY rare sighting in the Park ... there were two of them :shock: Could be brothers :shock: In the road :shock:









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Two humans :shock: :big_eyes: :wink: :lol:
Well done men :clap: :clap: You patrol these lands! :clap: It must have been pretty lame to be walking in the rain just now :hmz: ALthough they didn't look wet :hmz: How I would love to do walks in Kruger everyday :dance: :pray: (but not pay over R300 everytime :wink: ) my usual favorite road the H1-3 was VERY quiet on this drive. :? Ai this rain!
Then I had a 'sighitng' that brought back memories!

If you look carefully in this picture you will see the remians of an old elephant carcass!
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That has been there for AGES now! :shock: On my last trip report Elsa told me this Ellie died in February sometime! Here is a picture of the carcass at the end of March
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Didn't the hyena, vulture and jackal moms not teach their children to finish their food :rtm: :rtm:

Next up I had a bulky bulging Os Du Rant
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Yoh I am OBSESSED with these old Os Du Rant males!! You can check their scars hey - wow respect! Thick horns and muscular! They are mighty creatures :clap: :clap: :dance: :dance: I bet you the local lions have been told stories about this Os. He was probably once the commander of a massive herd that would mow the lawns South of Satara here. Lions would consider first hunting a stinky waterbuck before a buff from Os's herd! After word has spread down a generation of lion rumors about the Great Os Du Rant nature has had a complete cycle ... now Os is just part of a bunch of rejected grandpa's. All the battles and pride of the past mean very little now. And Os has a grumpy attitude to show for his distaste of the present in favour of a glorious past. Having dealt with the responsibilty of mothers giving birth and vulnerable youngsters in the past, Os has used up his altruistic tank and couldn't care much for any fellow being anymore.

Dont get in my way! I am the Mighty Os!

I leave the mighty warrior veteran behind and turn on to the s125.
The riverine bush is thick! I have been told drive this road very slowly making sure to check carefully under every bush by wiseman ADW! And what an enjoyable drive it was :D :D :D :D

This Mongolian was taking tips from the tamboti Jackal academy and a very busy guy!
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Scurrying here and there who knows what thoughts go through a Mongolians head :huh: But they certainly seem entertained :thumbs_up: the Road bends towards the river at time and large trees shoot up out of the ground!
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Old souls they are that have resided here for so long! They have been home to leopards and cast shade for impies! If you drive very slowly and peer under the thorn bushes, there is something to see every so often! A little Steenbokkie, or grey duiker or pimpilled hogs.
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I enjoyed drifting along at 15km/hour on this raod and stopping to look at interesting birds, dung beetles doing wonders for the environment, big impressive trees and sometimes skittish game. What a privelledge to be in nature :D :D :D :D :D :D

Then my favorite antelope payed me a visit :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
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Looong twisted horns to show a Kudu in his primi! looong eye lashes and hairs under his neck. a beautiful animal :clap: :clap: :clap:
His girlfriend was not too keen on me! :big_eyes:
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But then problem solved by switching off the car :wink:
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Next I had a sighting which was proving quite rare in the central area of late! Elephhant!
This guy only had a left tusk
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Nice and calm and relaxed :D

Then I arrived back at camp
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Not for long before an afternoon drive! A meet the family drive :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: The Early Bird Spots the Cat! Enthusiasm of rookie campe
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:35 pm 
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Day 3 Afternoon Drive

I was tiiired after quite a long drive and a early morning Image So its time for a nap :whistle:
After the nap I was all refreshed and ready for more wonders of nature :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

So I pack my cooler bag:
1. ginger beer Image
2. Dried Wors Image
3. 2 apples Image

(you need these fruit in your life when you not eating veggies :naughty: )

And off we goooooo!!!!!
ENTHUSE!! ENTHUSE!! ENTHUSIASM!!!
Image Image Image Image Image

Expect anything at anytime in the game park they always say. Buttt when you drive down one stretch of dirt road EVERY time you go on a drive and you NEVER see anything! You start to expect verry little :lol: :lol:

Then there I was about 200m outside camp when
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I'm like 2minutes into my drive!! :big_eyes: Lions already! On the dead road! :D :D Of coarse there were other cars there. Then the big lioness crossed for us :D
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Low and behold there are like 6 of them :dance: :dance:
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It was an amazing sight as the lions showed their love for one another by rubbing up against one another with purs of affection :D :D :D :D So nice to see the loving side of lions! I bet they are a force to be reckoned with in these parts simply because of their healthy bond :D
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There go the candidates who keep me awake at night 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)

Wow there is nothing like STARTING your afternoon drive with lions :dance: :dance: Everything else now is a bonus :D

Next I moved on and had a look at Mr. one horn wilde
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As my car was off and Mr One Horn stood there it looked as if he was telling me a story! I bet he has a lot to tell me this guy! The ice breaker would be for me to ask him about his mising horn :lol: He would probably reply "you should have seen the other guy" :lol: But after that I'm sure he could tell me stories about the bushveld!
The thing is that us sharing a moment together he told me a whole lot without saying a word. Thats the amazing thing about nature is that it does not speak with the mouth yet tells us so much :D :D Thanks Mr One Horn for the memories :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

I watched Mr one horn join the rest of the herd on the left of the road
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As the herd galloped off it was not just a sighting of blue wilderbeest. It was a group of wildebees each with a life story. I will probably never see one horn again. But I bid him well. Take care Tamboti wildes!
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I planned to go (as per norm) on the Rabaleis road in order to come back on the Cat road at the best time of the day 8) 8) 8)
Even in the winter of June the swampy long grass on Rabaleis was almost long enough to hide a zebra right next to the road!
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Then let us not overlook the Kruger special!
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Further down the road I was greeted by the long ears of Rabaleis Kudu girls!!!
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My favorite antelope! They must be careful because of all the lions in the area :pray:

Then it was time for the H7 which produces something special every morning and afternoon!! :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
Today I was blessed wit these CUTIES!
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I'm gonna be a mighty king
So enemies beware!

Well, I've never seen a king of beasts
With quite so little hair

I'm gonna be the mane event
Like no king was before
I'm brushing up on looking down
I'm working on my ROAR



It was so wonderful to see these playful little lion cubs!!
The one would go find itself a really impressive looking stick that it could hardly carry, then parade around very proud of its achievement :dance: :dance: Then the effort would be hijacked by another cub who would steal the stick and so the game continued :D :D
That was behind the trees and couldn't get on picture. But then this little cutie pie looked very interested in me :D
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I don't know why I am so interesting :huh: But we had a long staring contest :lol: Had to make it back to camp before closing though!
Where I was greeted by SO and a steak waiting to be devoured!!!

That 4 lion sightings in one day. :shock: Thank you :pray: It was time to pack everything up for the long trip to Shingwedzi tomorrow!! :dance: I said goodbye to cat sightings already having 9 in 3 days at Tamboti! Not expecting any more in Shing. Just going exploration style! But of coarse the drive through the H7 did not let me escape the area without another cat sighting for farewell sake :lol: :lol: 8)

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 Post subject: Re: The Early Bird Spots the Cat! Enthusiasm of rookie campe
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:27 pm 
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Day 3 - Last night at Tamboti
Neighbours and their tales

The time has come to leave my location where the Tamboti lionesses wake me with mighty roars that penetrate the cold winter air. I am sad to leave this place that has captured a part of my heart. :( :( Yet I am excited to see Shingwedzi! :D :D Never been there before and I have read such good things about it on the forums!

I have a small little Corsa Lite and a LOT of stuff to pack!
So after my magnificent rump steak accompanied by my lovely SO I will do anything to procrastinate the packing process. :roll: :whistle:

So I decide it is necessary to get on BBM and inform Wild About Cats about my sightings of the day. :lol: She is slightly upset and jealous that I had 4 lion sightings in one day! :wink: I use my cunning BA diplomacy to steer the conversation in another direction. I proceed to complain about how much I have to pack in the dark and cold tomorrow morning! :doh: She proceeds to tell me I can pack a lot then instead of the next morn! A short engagement ensues where I propose problems and she offers solutions. A bit of a Dear Liezer situation really. Eventually I overcome lazyness and get to packing! Image

I am surprised at my competence in packing this time around! The car is filled to the brim with all sorts of a thing – mostly camping equipment. Now I have a minimal amount to pack the next day. :clap:

After coming back from my packing I see a great big spotlight shining into the river bed! :shock:
What are they seeing?? :big_eyes:
I cannot see through the bushes to that point from my angle. :slap:
I come to where my neighbours are shining and observe a lone buffalo and a couple of elephant peacefully grazing in the dark in the river bed.
My neighbours greet me and I realize a test of my Afrikaans has arrived :slap:
I can understand absolutely every word they say but struggle to communicate what I want to say!
None the less it seems nature lovers have so much in common we understand each other quite well without perfect wording. :thumbs_up:
We talk about Tamboti, the things we have seen in the river bed and the calls we have heard at night.
They recall a situation where from the very hut they are sleeping in now ... they saw hyena kill a buffalo calf in the river bed!
The story continues as narration switches to the husband and the sister of the original story teller. In their story lions arrive at the scene and bully off the hyenas as almost the whole of Tamboti set up camp chairs spectating the event with multiple spotlight shiners illuminating the violent scene!
An epic story! They are the type of story teller that does not rush to the point, but create the appropriate atmosphere and stare off for periods without words as they extract these memories. Such story tellers know just when to tap their pipe they are puffing and when to provide a tag question like: ne skat? (right darling?). This is the cue for the wife to confirm the validity of the story but alter certain parts according to how she remembers the situation. New aspects come to life in the story and it is as if husband and wife are required in partnership to tell any story. Sometimes the two recollections are like two complete different stories altogether! Since every story must be told twice, and there are so many Kruger tales to tell, they offer me a seat near their crackling wood fire.
With the act of sitting down I realise my aspirations to have an early night have gone out the window! :slap: :roll:


The man starts off the story about the trip that Oom Johan forgot the billtong. This was a tale of multiple unfortunate incidents and as hilarious as stand up comedy! Including the chapter where Tant Sannie returned from a shower at the communal ablutions with only a towel and plakkies on, only to stroll accidentally into the wrong tent! :big_eyes: They were not the type of story tellers to immitate the screaming and faces of horror in these cases but underplayed the eventfulness of the historical event as it is only one of a thousand stories.

The next chapter involves the 'hitchhiking baboon'. Where near Pretoruiskop a baboon jumped on the car roof and refused to get off! :shock: No matter how the people tried to remove the baboon, the baboon seemed content to sit on that particular roof and go for a drive. Apparently the baboon was in for a good drive as he sat relaxed enjoying the sight of elephant and buffalo. As the story goes the baboon eventually got off and approached a tree where he ate the fruit. I'm sure he was grateful for the ride to his favorite tree. :D

One cannot be sure how long the story took of “the trip Oom Johan forgot the billtong', but the fire was distinctly less impressive than before the story. As the subject turns again to Tamboti they exclaim they have not seen lion around here before!
They then turn this into a question … Have you seen lions around here?
:redface: :redface: :redface:
Oh dear … I might have seen one or two :redface:
I discover the reason why they never see lions is because they do not go on early morning drives! Well that explains a lot! :rtm:

The evening draws to a close as the flames that once burned brightly, turn into dying embers. I depart from Johan and Sannie for a short sleep before heading off at dawns crack to Shingwedzi! A rewarding sighting awaits me that late risers like Johan and Sannie would not likely see. :wink:
Another case of the early bird spots the cat. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: The Early Bird Spots the Cat! Enthusiasm of rookie campe
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:49 pm 
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Day 4 Morning
The early Bird catches the Bird Volume 3
Goodbye Tambots and H7!


After a short doze it was time to pack up the last things and be off! :dance: :dance:
Goodbye Tamboti. Know that I will one day be back! I will tell many people about how great you are. Many of my friends will come visit you yet. Do look after Oom Theuns and Tannie Zetel when they come to spend time with you. May you reveal to them marvelous creatures!

I get to the Tamboti gate in pole position with a flask of coffee to start to remove the famous morning face! :lol: :lol: :lol:

The kind Sir opens the gate slightly early for me again – you legend you! 8) 8) 8) Righty tighty keep those eyes peeled for the glint of cheetah eyes! I have my spotlight next to me on my passenger seat for when I think there is something in the darkness! It is the end of June and the gate opening time is about to get later. So every morning I enjoy a good amount of darkness!

I don't see anything for quit a while until my headlights catch a familiar shape in the road! Its the nursery school run by MRS Golden.
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These must be the same cubs I saw yesterday afternoon! But this time with a dose of meet the parents. They were all lovey dovey in this family.
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There are two females and a male that I can see besides the littlies!
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See in this photo the smaaaalie sitting with dad!
There are also those that take after mom and are busy bee's and a daddy's girl!
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It started getting lighter and I could not believe I had this sighting all to myself!!!!!!!
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They started moving off into the bush where they would find shade from the harsh sun that they know is coming!
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Dad gave me the beady eye as I pulled up next to him. I had been with these folks for a good while now and had to move on if I was ever going to arrive at Shing!
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I drive a couple of K's down the road and do my Liewe Heksie duty!Image In exchange for a handful of their breakfast billtong I will give these people the lion sighting they seek. Image

They had come from the Satara side and judging from the bored expression on their face had not seen much! But once the Heksie message was delivered that frown was turned upside down. It is always the wife in the passenger seat who shows the greatest excitement at such news. The driver must learn – The Hekse on this Tamboti side are not as deceiving as the Timbavati lot! :lol: :lol:

In the bad light heading towards satara I see the typical aMiNals of the open plains. What a pleasure to see some of these guys! :thumbs_up: Blue Wilderbeest and Zebra gang together in their usual solid partnership. Had I known this would be the last Wildes I would see for the next three days I might have stopped for longer!
I stop at Satara to do my Lion Man duty of pinning up the lions on a pin up board that is empty! :thumbs_up:

The H1-4 North of Satara is one of my favorite roads in the park! :D I see a bunch of game quite far off – too far to get a photo. Warthogs, Giraff and Zebra are in attendance. :D Further down the road I see Ostriches, steenbokkies, and Impi Warriors! :thumbs_up:

Look at the beautiful Olifants River flowing strongly even at the end of June!
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Image
T
here is a massive herd of buffalo that is peacefully making their way down to the river and grazing along the way! The herd is widely spread out and trees obstruct a perspective shot of how large the herd is, but I would guesstimate 2-300! I was the MOST happy to see these guys! Some people drive past buffalo without a bother but I really love these mighty creatures!
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All heads down eating until the big boy comes and gives a grunt of an instruction. Just then all the buffs in unison look at at the boss. I'm not sure what he had to say, but everyone knew what it was!
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As the road moved away from the Olifants river the Mopani forest started. I don't know if Bushbuddies has been converted to a Mopani lover … but as for myself it still aches my life! :roll: :slap:

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I stopped off at Letaba and visited the Urination Station (sorry Bushcraft this TR has really been lacking mention of this but I plan to put in an effort from now onwards :lol: )
After the station where urination is in operation I take a quick visit to the Elephant Hall where I am once again amazed by how long Mufunyane's tusks were! :shock:
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The familiar old Bushbuck lady with the black ring around the neck is walking over the flower bed. :roll: I know I can shout at my dogs when they do this at home but what does one say to a bushbuck?? :huh:
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On the road again! Two camps away from Shing!
Just North of Letaba I see more familiar faces! The same old troop ob Bobjins I saw almost exactly here in the road in November. I recognize Mr Limp-along!
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They always entertaining! :D Mopani had a welcoming committee of two big Ellies!
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After visiting the station where urination is in operation (there we go again!) I had a look at another beautiful landmark of the Kruger! The poioneer dam!
I was wondering how many crocs live in this vast expanse of water.
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The next place where I did the touristy thing is at the tropic of capricorn!
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Have you ever read this board? It is super interesting! It is at this latitude that the suns rays strike the earth vertically on only one day of the year. At noon on about the 21st of December.
Pretty cool hey? :thumbs_up:

After this the Mopani forest dominated in combination with the extreme heat nothing much to see until I got to Shing. But I was very happy to get there at half past 1 in the afternoon! :dance: :dance: :dance: Giving me enough time to set up camp and go on a drive to Kannidood dam I have heard so much about! :D :D 8)
First time camping – doing it alone! So much adventure!

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This was the place where I would stay for the next three nights! Plenty of unforgettable sightings, friends made, hilarious and unexpected moments I shared at this amazing place!

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 Post subject: Re: The Early Bird Spots the Cat! Enthusiasm of rookie campe
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:41 pm 
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Day 4 setting up camp!
I drift along the road in Shing to find the camping area :D
There are only a few tents that have been set up, but those tents are all along the fence looking out into the wild :doh: :roll: All the way from the left most spot that has a veld view. Luckily there is a nice fence view spot on the far right that borders the swimming pool fence. :dance: In fact there are two spots left there with a view of the fence! :dance: Another plus point is that there is a line of trees on the swimming pool side which will cast shade down on my tent – win! It was still early in the day and the campsite was quite empty!

I cast my eyes back to where the electricity box is … oh dear. :shock: That is rather far back. I take out my adapter and three extension cables to see if I can reach the fence. Alas, not long enough! I measured out it was 17meters or something like that … still not long enough! :sniper:
Oh well, at least I still have a clear view of the bush! :D :D :D

So I set up the tent (Mama Fariu's tent) the same way I practiced in my garden at home. :lol: 8)
The wind made life hard. But after 15minutes or something I was all set up! Image


Here is the distance from the power box to where I set up my tent :shock: (Little corsa casper over there)
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This was my fence view :dance:
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Here is my protector :big_eyes:
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Monkeys came into camp, but never came to my tent! Thats because snakes rule my friends 8) And nobody ever came to clean my braai eaither :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Ready to rumble in the jungle!!!
First ShInGwEdZi drive coming up 8)

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 Post subject: Re: The Early Bird Spots the Cat! Enthusiasm of rookie campe
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:36 pm 
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Day 4 afernoon drive



It is now time to take a slow sail down the Shingwedzi river to Kannidood dam Image
(BTW what kind of a random decides to call a dam - connotdie :? :? :huh: :lol: )
ETHUSE! ENTHUSE! ENTHUSIASM!! Image Image Image

This is one of the most enjoyable drives/sails of the trip Image It was a completely different kind of viewing experience to before :D :D
This is how its done my friends. You exit the back gate (Shing has 2 gates) and you come to the famous causaway.
You drink in every drop of beauty nature provides while opening up a ginger beer
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You close your eyes as the sun warms your cheek and take a deep breath and smell the smell of the bush! (yes you might smell elephant dung but thats cool too 8) )
You need to take out your binocs and focus in on the Saddle Billed Stork pair that are always present :D :D :D :D They not fishing right now. I have seen pictures of water flowing over this causaway bridge. But now in June it is but a small puddle of water! Nature and its cycles 8)
I observe another aspect of the cycle of life
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Lions :hmz: You are here :hmz:

Back to the kannidood road! Immediately this waterbuck gives me a greeting
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I look to my left and see the individual who blessed me with the fresh smell of dung on the bridge :lol:
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This is a drive unlike the others in the park! I'm going to go off topic now but READ ANYWAY yeah 8)
This morning my mom woke me at the ridiculously early hour of 10am screaming at me Image
apparently I have an optmitirist appointment at 10:30 :slap: What a soul crusher! I went to bed after 3am!
So I rush off and when I get there, the guy says ... go have a little walk and some coffee and come back :lol: Anyway despite my tiredness the result was that my eyes are as near to perfect as can be 8) This is why I've got the game spotting eyes yeah 8)
Strangely on this drive it was my ears that were more vital than my eyes in animal spotting
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As you drive down the Kannidood road you are surrounded by shrubs and tall trees
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You can hardly see anything especially with the sun in your eyes at times Image
But if you amble forwards very slowly with the windows open, you will hear the animals before you see them :D :D
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It is the young elephant that are really stroppy :roll:
This next guy charged me without me even knowing he was there :big_eyes: I just hear trumpeting and bush crashing :big_eyes: I reversed and he appeared in front of me! What your problem oak?! I give him lots of space and he goes back to eating Image Some elephant are just bullies :roll: :slap:

Another stroppy Ellie
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Hearing more aMiNals I stop every five minutes and have fleeting sightings of Impala, waterbuck, monkeys and bobjins! Then a real special one! :dance:
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A Nyala :dance: First one of the trip :D She was very pretty and calm with me :D

There is constantly action on the river side of things! Countless crocs and hippos and birds!
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I turn around and see playful squirells. I love these guys!
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What a fruitfull drive! Sooo many sightings :dance: Quite relaxing under the shade of the huge trees in the afternoon :D The sun goes down and its time to get a conversation going with my SO 8)
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That night I had an unexpected camp visitor :big_eyes: But very welcome 8)

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 Post subject: Re: The Early Bird Spots the Cat! Enthusiasm of rookie campe
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:53 pm 
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Day 4 - Night
Neighbors and visitors!


After the afternoon drive I came back to camp and shock is written on my face as the camp is suddenly full of people! :shock: Most spots were dimly lit by the familiar glow of a braai fire, other spots were about to follow suite as tbe afternoon drivers rolled into camp. I spot the folks who shared a few sightings with me on the Kannidood road and decide to get out and greet them. They immediately recognise me and give me a friendly greeting! :D How nice that they are English too! We exchange names and agree on what a nice drive to Kannidood that was just now. 3 Minutes in and the man offers me a beer. Hmmm … It depends which type of beer … can't be cheating on the SO now :wink: … But hallelujah we have another Label Drinker! Salute! Image Image Image

Over the sweet taste of Lager we share more stories regarding the beauty of the Kruger and its magnificent aMiNals. These folks have come from Punda before Shing and revel in explaining the peace and beauty of the place. I ask the predictable: any special sightings? Their response brings a wide smile to my face – yes at about 10 this morning we saw a beautiful leopard on Mphongolo Loop. :dance:
This is wonderful news! That is where I'm going tomorrow! 8) After an SO and a nice chat I decide I had better no overstay my welcome, as well as get a braai going myself. I bid them farewell and a good night as I amble towards Casper the Corsa and my Rookie skew tent.

I crack open my giver of cold shoulders and hear branch crunching off in the darkness. Must be an elephant. With the taste of beer upon my lips, the smell of braai meat being sizzled and the sound of Elephant overpowering a tree I realise I'm about as happy as can be right now!

During the set up of firelighters and charcoal I hear more rustling in the bushes. What could it be? Doesn't sound massive. I fetch my spotlight and shine it towards where I guestimate the sound came from. But no, nothing there. I carry on lighting the fire but as I strike the match against the box and fire springs to life I burn my finger as I freeze in shock on account of the blessing which has just arrived at the fence!

I spring to life stealthily and grab my camera. I stalk softly behind the aMiNal as it moves from my side to my neighbors. My neighbors are silently doing the same and we simultaneously flash our cameras like paparatzi at the celebrity.

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The flashes attract attention and in seconds about 30 people are at the fence with spotlights and cameras but not the quietness which was here a moment ago. Of coarse the Civet goes off into the bush frightened by the masses of humans.

I stay at my neighbors caravan as I excitedly explain this is my first Civet sighting ever!! The conversation progresses to all rare sightings and special sightings and time flies by as I enjoy the company of Sharon and Louis. As time goes on I have pulled up a camp chair and brought my meat to the fire to braai with theirs. They are very kind people and fascinating stories about the bush! Hot chocolate is shared as we stare into the flames and speak about that which we love. Conversation stops abruptly as our civet returns close to the fence again. None of us reach for the camera in fear that we scare the creature and attract half of Shingwedzi towards our peaceful sighitng. He is busy looking for insects or other types of food in the grass. Thank goodness he doesn't seem to be beginning for human leftovers. As we quietly sit and enjoy this phenomenon of nature Sharon Louis and I share the best conversation about that which we love, no words need be said. I thank Sharon and Louis for their hospitality and retire to a surprisingly comfortable blow up matrass for a short sleep. :D
The Early Bird must rise dark and early! :thumbs_up:

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Kruger 2014!!!

16-23 August - Lower Sabi!!!!


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