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 Post subject: ihaveacrazymom Walking in a Moms' footsteps, sort of. Jul 11
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:03 am
Posts: 14
Location: Cape Town
Hi everyone,

I am a first timer when it comes to posting a topic, but I felt that even though my trip will be a short one, it is one that has alot of meaning. I started going to Kruger even before I was born - it is my 'happy place' and I know that this is true for so many other people.

One of these people has inspired me through her hard work, dedication and most of all passion. There are very few, if any, people in the world who are as passionate about Kruger as my mom. You know her as Mgoddard - the lady in the caravan.

I will be leaving Cape Town on the 5th of July to embark on a journey that will rejuvinate mind, body and soul. I hope that through my reporting I will be able to bring you a at least a fraction of the magic that she brought to your computer screens.

So the countdown begins.... 4 days....


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 Post subject: Re: Walking in a mothers' footsteps - Sort of...
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:21 pm 
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The excitement is unbearable...

I don't think I slept a wink last night going through all the plans in my mind. Like my mom I am a planner and a list maker, I try to organise everything to the last detail. Unfortunately I am also blonde and critically ADD which means while my mind is busy with one thing something completely off topic pops in.

My mom gave me a call this morning- battling to contain her enthusiasm - and told me that at 3 camps there are no utensils. I would have arrived with nothing but a camera and binocs!

As these trips go there is always a bit of negative excitement, before paying for the car hire I called to make sure if I could use my SO's credit card- with an abrupt no the panic set in. And the phone calls began. Calling one car rental place after the other with the exact same reply. At this point hyperventilating has become like normal breathing and I try one more place...

A very nice guy calmly let's me know that all I need is a letter of permission from my SO. Phew- crisis averted.

So with another day down I breathe easier knowing that in just 3 days I will be on my way.


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 Post subject: Re: Walking in a mothers' footsteps - Sort of...
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:58 pm 
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I hope I did not leave anyone out in the thank you above :( :) If I did please excuse me...as Megan said we are very ADHD...and confused at some times :shock:

Lots of phone calls and SMS this am...glad the car rental sorted out......but Carmen (bushbaby) was only visiting boyfriend.....(I think no 5 :shock: ) in Jhb and left her camera etc at Tiger Canyons with John Varty.....did not think she ever expected to be going to Kruger on such short notice :o

At least "the monkey", that is Megans SO....got a good cam and gladly offered for the girls to use that...not sure if he knows what he is doing.....I think ( from the position im in now)...you never part with your camera gear....its something like.....lending your husband or wife to another person :shock: not my idea :shock: :shock:

I know they going to have an awesome time...and just for the record...this is where they are going....

5th July- My Bush House at Marloth....as they only arrive at Nelspruit at 16:15 it was the obvious choice....after picking up the rental and driving out I think they will be very lucky to get to the house by 7pm!!!

6th Skukuza
7th & 8th Lsabie
9th Pkop

As Ihave a crazymom ,mentioned...they only have luxury accomodation the first night....the next 3 its a hut with beds, aircom and fridge...no utensils....so glad Megan only though about that and not the clothes she will need to walk to the ablutions :shock:

Once again thank you all for reading our or must I say her tail......wish I could be there with them....but sdadly no!!! :x :( :(

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Last edited by Mgoddard on Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Walking in a mothers' footsteps - Sort of...
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:21 pm 
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[quote="MATTHYS:]
Quote:
5th September - My Bush House at Marloth

Is this not 5th July or am I having it all mixed up ?[/quote]

No you are right and I just corrected it :shock: ...think Im getting carried away as I will be there in September :D Thank you Matthys... :D

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 Post subject: Re: Walking in a mothers' footsteps - Sort of...
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:03 am
Posts: 14
Location: Cape Town
We have arrived!

A journey that seemed to take forever... I left behind a warm sunny Cape Town to be greeted by icy grey jo'burg, I was more than happy that I didn't have to stay there too long.

Then disaster strikes... Bush_baby is lost! She somehow ended up in pretoria coming from fourways! I think she was quite brave to tackle the concrete jungle by herself but it got the better of her.

Finally with minutes to spare she arrived sweating mildly from her run.

Booked in and ready to go- our flight was... Not pleasant - a lot of turbulence that made us both queasy. We joked about how my mom would have handled it. Luckily it was a short flight and in no time we landed.

Sorted out my renta car and went to go load the luggage.

Horror struck once again...
They had given me a Renault! After exchanging cars, which they did willingly we were on the road.

It was a long and slighly scary journey with lots of trucks and overtaking. Within just under 2 hours we arrived at the bush house. It is amazing - I would highly recommend it to anyone traveling out this way.

As we sit outside now on the porch breathing easy we are lullabyed by the sound of the bush.

An animal symphony of frogs, birds, crickets and hippos. I am sure the lion will follow suit soon.

Goodnight until tomorrow where I will be reporting from within kruger.


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 Post subject: Re: Walking in a mothers' footsteps - Sort of...
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:03 am
Posts: 14
Location: Cape Town
Greetings from kruger...

After a lovely night's stay at the bush house - my body somehow decided to wake me up at 2.30 am - we exited Marloth eager for our trip in Sept. On our way out we saw duiker, impala and Zebra. With all the animal noises we heard last night I am sure there is an abundance of wildlife that travels through. At one point my eyes shot open with the roaring of a lion, only to discover it was bush_baby snoring!

After waiting long enough it was time to go... We did some shopping in Malelane and headed through to Malelane gate.

Before I go any further I would like you to please note that I am posting through my blackberry and unable to load pics. Mgoddard (mom) will sort it out when I get back.

The gate was quiet, only one other car, as we drove over the bridge the excitement stirred inside me - I am actually here! :)

We took the H3 up to Skukuza spotting impala, zebra, a nursery herd of elephant with the cutest babies (getting through the herd was rather comical with a few choice words escaping from Bush_baby's mouth) and buffalo. All this within the first half an hour.

We then took the S120 loop with very little sighting wise but the smells and sounds of Kruger keeping us intrigued.

Carrying on with the H3 we took the renosterpan turnoff and true to it's name it deliver. A gigantic (possibly pregnant rhino and baby rhino.

We stopped at afsaal for some rejuvenation and replenishment and carried on with our journey. The road was quiet with regard to animal sightings but the roads were coursed with 4x4's.

By 2pm we arrived at skukuza with amazing accommodation and a great view of the river. (Slightly obstructed by refuse bins)

We relaxed a bit and were on the road again but not before grabbing a toasted sandwich. At first the price alarmed me but when I opened the box and saw that the sandwich is made using 3 slices of bread and chips it became worth the money.

we journeyed through the H1-4 to try find our elusive feline friends.

Unfortunately we didn't have any luck but we did see a rare sight... Bush_baby was beside herself, of all the years we have been to Kruger we have never seen a honey badger - until today. It was great to watch it scrounge around during the day.

Time was running short and we had to head back.

We decided to go to Selati for dinner considering it was so good the last time (Dec 2009) Both the food and service were good but I was disappointed by the change of menu- I was under the impression that Selati was a more up market place to dine - I guess not. :(
Sitting here now in front of the fire Bush-baby built listening once again to the kruger sounds the only way to describe it is by quoting from the bible: in genesis it speaks about how God created everything and after it day God looks at his creation and says 'it is good'. I can fully understand this when I look at the splendor of what is around me and agree that 'it is good'

Tomorrow we travel to Lower Sabie, so for now goodnight and God bless.


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 Post subject: Re: Walking in a mothers' footsteps - Sort of...
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:46 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
Good evening from Lower Sabie.

What a beautiful day in Kruger! I would like to start by thanking all those who read and comment- I really enjoy your feedback and hope that I am meeting your expectations.

We started the morning off a little later than anticipated, but when we finally got on the road we didn't have to wait to long to see something. Our first sighting was small but special - 2 little steenbokkies followed by duiker. This was a small taste of game we would see today.

We went up to tshkwane for their legendary wors and pap with shieba... Great value for money meal and the people there are very friendly. Just before we arrived at tshkwane we stopped at kruger tablets to let the people who were about to climb out of their car know you can't. We are not sure if it was this or leaving a little later that made us miss a golden photo op. Just around the corner a lovely gentleman signaled to slow down- he then let us know that a stunning leopard had just crossed the road. We dashed off and managed to catch a glimpse of it as it turned back to look at us as if to say, sorry.

Things were quiet on the way down so to make it more interesting I thought I would give you some interesting collective nouns of the animals we saw - a crash of rhino, a journey of giraffe and a dazzle of zebra. We also saw blou wildebeest, waterbuck, elephants and warthog.

We arrived at Lower Sabie just after 2, unpacked and headed for sunset dam at about 3.30.

It was quiet for a while as cars pulled in and out. We had just started relaxing when a combi of guys pulled up. They spoke loudly wondering what the yellow ribbon was for...(I have not seen any yellow ribbons yet... :(. )

Then to our surprise one of them was standing next to our car with a camera, his words shocking Bush_baby and enraging me...he spoke afrikaans so I have translated "gee whizz I have not seen anything this pretty, I have to take a picture." How corny and how illegal, we both laughed and joked about a leopard coming out the bush and scaring him...

We headed back to camp with the sun setting behind us - echoes of hippos entering the water and the calls of birds enjoying the last bit of light.

Tonight we are eating spatchcock chicken, grilled veggies and mielies.

Goodnight and God bless.


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 Post subject: Re: Walking in a mothers' footsteps - Sort of...
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:30 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
Good evening one and all from a very chilly Lower Sabie.

I am writing to you slightly exhausted as we were up at the crack of dawn and have had just about a full day of driving. This morning we headed down to croc bridge, taking the S28 with high hopes of seeing cheetah, leopard and lion that have been spotted on that road. The air was cool and a crisp breeze blew- another beautiful morning in Kruger.

The road blessed us with many sightings intermittently - we were never bored. We saw kudu, impala, steenbok, blou wildebeest, zebra, giraffe as well as rhino and elephant.

As we headed closer our anticipation grew waiting for a leopard/lion/cheetah to reveal itself... But there was nothing... Until we reached a waterhole that is impossible to pronounce. A man had stopped us and told us there were 2 lions on the other side of the 'dam'. We sped off and secured a spot. We scanned the area trying to find the cats. Bush_baby saw it but it took me a little while and 3 different people to explain to me where it was. Finally I saw it - a beautiful male lying in the grass, it was quite a way off but I could see it. There was no sign of the female.

After a while we continued on our journey to croc bridge. Once we arrived we went to order our lunch - was still from a chicken sandwich I had eaten earlier but bush_baby decided she wanted a burger. She said that I must report tonight that it was an amazing burger! The chips I ordered were less fantastic but the burger is definitely a winner.

While bush_baby was waiting for the food I went to fill up with petrol. I had the pull the car forward for the hose to reach, about half way through filling up I realised the car was still on! I Quickly switched it off to avert any explosions!

We had a quiet drive back with many of the same sightings. We arrived back at camp and decided we would rest before our sunset drive.

We had a really great guide - martie (MJ) she made the drive fun and was very knowledgeable. On our drive we saw buffalo, elephant, many rhino, the usual hooved animals, a bush baby, large spotted genet, african civit and lastly a hyena.

Completely frozen we decided that it was too late to make a fire, luckily the restaurant was ala carte tonight. We both ordered the chicken snitchzel and were extremely satisfied. After dinner we returned 'home' deciding to warm up in bed and try catch up on some sleep.

So tonight I greet you all curled up in bed keeping warm, excited about the possibilities tomorrow brings.


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 Post subject: Re: Walking in a mothers' footsteps - Sort of...
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:10 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
Good evening to you all from Pretoriouskop.

Before I start I would like to confess... I recently cut my hair and it has been driving me crazy, so I took off our yellow ribbon and used it as an alice band... There I feel much better now that I have got that off my chest.

We left Lower Sabie just after 6 this morning, once again with our hopes high. We drove up to nkhulu and saw thge usual suspects on the way - impala, kudu and steenbok. After getting our food ( which was great and excellent value for money - except the scone I ordered that turned out to me an orange muffin yugh!) Bush_baby had to finish filling her lungs with poison when the baboons attacked! Their victims 2 little boys trying to guard their uncooked breakfast. The baboons descended like a gang on the 2 little boys who bravely tried to fight them off with little sticks. Unfortunately the 'baddies' won this time.

As we left the site the road was littered with baboons - it was so interesting to watch them interacting. A little way down the road were a troop of vervet monkeys'. A little cuter than their cousins and up to their usual antics.

From here on the road was quiet apart from a lovely elephant who almost gave Bush_baby a heart attack. It was right next to the road when we went around the corner and I gasped, Bush-baby looked and almost crashed the car. I had a good laugh. Just after this episode we saw 2 rhino's next to the road - remembering a time when we wouldn't see rhino I really felt blessed with all our sightings.

No sightings for a while which made me think... I would really like to commend the rangers on their artistic ability. They have done beautiful carvings and sculptures of the furry friends we are in search of! Now if only we could find the real thing. :)

After leaving skukuza I started to get a massive headache... I tried to carry on searching but after a while I had to go to a dark place - those of you who suffer from migraines will understand this. I think I had just fallen asleep when I heard a loud crash/scraping sound. My head shot up to find Bush_baby driving off road! It was a loop to a dam and I thinl
J some 4x4's had made their own road - used to bundu bashing she tackled it. I was wide awake and watching every move she made.

The rest of the drive down to PKop was slow and somewhat labourious with very little sighting wise. The most exciting thing we saw was a snake - it was dark grey on top with a pale belly and small head- any ideas what it could be?

I
We checked in at camp and I just had to lie down for a bit to try to regain my strength and sanity. Our afternoon drive was uneventful apart from a lone buffalo and seeing the Romans family! It was so nice to see them again. Sorry we couldn't visit you but as things go when we got back to camp things were a little crazy trying to get organised for tomorrow.

This evening we proved ourselves as mgoddard's daughters - by 6 our fire was blazing - a true work of art. Our neighbors were having some difficulty so we decided to show HIM (a young afrikaans gentlman) how it's done. He was embarrassed but greatful for the help.

Our food is on the braai now - chops, borewors, chicken sosaties, butternut, mielies and toasted sandwiches - we were not ravenous but had to use the last of our food. Tonight we eat like kings.

Our last day in the park tomorrow so I will report from the airport.

Good night and God bless!


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 Post subject: Re: Walking in a mothers' footsteps - Sort of...
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:36 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
Goodbye... For now.

This afternoon I report from a very noisy kruger airport. Sadly my journey has ended and already I long for the tranquility of the bush. Thankfully I will be coming again in Oct - I can't wait! :)

Our trip down from PKop was a little more eventful than yesterday. There was an array of game and we were taking in everything we could. We left the camp just after 6 so that we could witness our very last sunrise. True to form it was magical! The powdery whisps of clouds were made translucent by the peach pink rising sun. It was one of those WOW moments.

Under the instruction/suggestion of mom we headed down to malelane on the dirt road, witnessing game here and there. (Impala and zebra) as we turned the corner there were 2 4x4's stopped. Yay - finally, a huge herd of buffalo! I had been waiting to see them up close. They even greeted us with a loud 'wild' moo!

We arrived at afsaal for our last pit stop, while getting coffee and looking at the sightings board a man told Bush_baby that there was a group of young lions next to the road near the gardenia hide. We rushed off to find them, drinking our coffee on the way. As we turned into the road a car came out and said that they couldn't find them - we thought we would try our luck anyway.

Our eyes have never been so strained, but it seemed that they had moved off. Bush_baby stopped at the hide for more poison, I was not going to chance getting out when lions had been spotted so near by! As she got out the car I gave a loud roar which made her jump - hilarious I thought. She cautiously entered the gate to the hide. Not even 2 mins later she was at the gate again, her face pale and telling me to open the car door. It turned out that I had freaked her out and on the way to the hide she heard scratching noises (a tree scraping against the fence) and as soon as she lit her smoke 2 Egyptian geese landed in the water. In less than no time she was back in the car. :)

We left the hide still meticulously as possible combing the bush for any sign of the lions.

That's when I saw it... I yelled STOP! Brilliant emergency stop by Bush_baby and there it was... A stunning Bataleur on the ground with what looked like a mouse. Bush_baby was disappointed to say the least. Just then another winged creature landed behind the Bataleur, a Saddle billed stork! What luck I thought, then not even 30 seconds later a second saddle billed stork. What a stunning photo, a bataleur in the foreground and a pair of saddle billed storks in the background. I managed to snap a few pics before the bataleur took flight. What an awesome sighting!

The rest of the road was quiet apart from a few elephants. As we approached the gate a feeling of impending doom came over me. It's over.

I feel so blessed to have been able to spend time in the park. It has most definitely given me the rest and relaxation I needed.

I would like to thank all of you for travelling with me and would like to give special thanks to my mom who sponsored not only the travel and accomodation expenses, but also our utter passion for the park.

I would also like to thank my dad for sponsoring our fuel - for the car and ourselves. This trip would not have happened without these contributions.

So, until October... Goodbye and God Bless!


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 Post subject: Re: Walking in a mothers' footsteps - Sort of...
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:56 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
Thank you all so much! I wuld just like to 'make an exuse' for the photo's...

I myself am not quite a budding photographer and was using a tiny little Nikon coolpix and Bush_baby who is defineatley more capable had to use my SO's Sony cybershot as she left her 'real' camera at Tiger Canyons... we made due with what we had and hope that even though they are not nearly as brilliant as my moms, that you will be able to traverse our journey through them.

Lastly I would like to say a BIG THANK-YOU...seeing that I forgot :redface: to Bush_baby for all her driving and putting up with my 'instructions' (she might call them orders.) I enjoyed spending time with my lil sis and cannot wait for Oct to spend more time with my family - this time bringing my SO with...

My mom will be posting the pics soon... enjoy... God Bless


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 Post subject: Re: Walking in a mothers' footsteps - Sort of...
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:11 pm 
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As mentioned by Ihaveacrazymom (Megan) ...still getting to grips with that name...but its true....Bush Baby (Carmen) has got magical equipment...a Canon 450D with 18-55 lens and a 70-200 (on loan from me), but she never expected to be going to Kruger (and she is currently working with John Varty at Tiger Canyons, I know that she is capable of taking pics far far better than I can ever dream off!!)...I think they did very well with getting these pics!!!

Lets start with the night before...think Carmen is tired of chasing Tigers, so she had to try and pinch a Rhino with the braai tongs :shock:

Image

Next morning, the most important "part" of this trip, not just to show and tell ppl you on the forum, but I believe now also to be used as a hairband :shock: Here is Megan tying the YR to the car

Image

Now u have met Ihaveacrazymom and bush baby...so lets get on with the "real" animals :D

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 Post subject: Re: Walking in a mothers' footsteps - Sort of...
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:07 pm 
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Thank u Cheetah2111 I also think the "girls" are very funny as Im sure u will agree if you read the report... Now I dont know when or where the pics were taken, but Im going according to the sms's received...

A breeding herd of Elephant...with a little baby...

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Walking in a mothers' footsteps - Sort of...
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:40 am 
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Image

Image

Image

Image

More to follow later!!

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 Post subject: Re: Walking in a mothers' footsteps - Sort of...
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:24 am 
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Thank you all so much for your compliments and encouraging words. Most of these pics can be attributed to Bush_baby- she did well for what she had to work with and I am sure that in Oct she is going to capture some brilliant images along with mom.

I think my SO and I will have to go in a separate car because there just won't be enough room for us with all their equipment.

Thanks again to mom for sorting out and posting pics - helps to relive the experience.

Hope everyone has a killer day...

11 weeks till my next trip!


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