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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:02 am 
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Thank you for your comments cheetah2111 and Elsa :D

September 15 - Letaba to Balule

I woke up very excited as first of all we were going to be joined by VVSG and SO for the next 3 nights and I was going to Balule for the first time :D :D

We started packing the cars when suddenly we had a Green Pigeon in the tree next to us. All the little birds flew away and eventually after a few tries, the pigeon posed for me without branches and leaves in front to get a clear picture.

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All done, ice bought and we were on our way. John (The Supervisor) told us about an Elephant that had died a few days earlier on the S93 and that is the route I took. All really very quiet, the only nice thing I saw along the road to Engelhard dam was this Brown Hooded Kingfisher...

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I arrived at the spot where the Elephant had died and lots of vultures around. I dont know how it died, maybe of old age. No jackals or hyenas around :( but I enjoyed watching the vultures fighting for a piece to eat, although there was still alot of food left on this elephant.

White Backed Vultures

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Lappet Faced Vulture

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I arrived at Olifants for check in just after 12pm. Very friendly staff who told me that it was OK to go to Balule to put the meat etc in the freezers and if the huts were ready, I was welcome to "check in".
:D

I took a slow drive down to camp and sat on the low water bridge for quite a while watching this Giant Kingfisher looking into the river for something to eat...

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and this Pied Kingfisher diving down into the water...unfortunately it did not catch anything..

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I arrived at Balule only to find a lady there who refused to open the gate as she said it was not 2pm yet :evil: :shock: I told her that I checked in at Olifants and they told me that I could come and put the meat in the freezer and see if the huts are ready, but she refused, saying the huts are not ready and I could not go inside :? . I eventually told her that I was going to call Olifants to tell them and she then reluctantly opened the gate. I unpacked the meat and while she was at the camping side, took a walk to the huts....and They were all ready!!! Spotless and clean and ready for occupation. I then started unpacking the slug when she came over again to tell me again it was not 2pm!!! I just ignored her and carried on...needless to say I had made an enemy for the next 2 days :roll:

Soon afterwards VVSG and SO arrived once again bragging about their excelent sightings on the way up from Malelane to Balule....Well I had a good birding day and once again was satisfied to have been in Kruger for another day!

After nice ribs on the fire and a very good potato bake made by M we went to sleep, well tried to, as M and I insisted that VVSG would tell us a bedtime story :D he was too tired and promised a story the next night :D It was nice to be with my friends again :D ...

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:19 pm 
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Balule September 16, 2011...

True to what I said at the beginning at this TR...I was going to relax...so woke up latisht the next morning, click click left at gate opening time...but we were very relaxed...even VVSG woke up after us!!!! We thought he might have died during the night as there was no movement from his bed :(

I only drove to Olifants camp for ice and then back to camp....no stress...that evening I got a pic of one of they Hyenas patrolling the camp....unlike click click who went down to the fence to see about 5 of them fighting over, what she said, looked like an Elephant ear :shock:

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A nice Potjie and we were ready for bed.....a Night time story with a very wicked twist....I dont think VVSG was in the mood.. :( Luckily for him, we were all very tired and did not push him too much.....a very restfull night in one of the most rustic camps with huts in Kruger.....I wish that Tsendze will have a few of these rustic huts, without taking the magic out of it.. :D

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:16 am 
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September 16, Balule to Timbavati Picnic Spot

We were all ready to leave for Timbavati where we knew we were going to have one of the most delicious breakfasts as only VVSG can prepare. It was cold, overcast and very windy :) but who cared?? We were all together in Kruger.

We arranged to meet at Timbavati at 10am as each were driving their own way. We took the S39 and was a bit shocked to be shaken so much on the first 15km or so, very much the same as the S36 :shock: Sightings were once again very slow until I got to just past Roodewal WH where 2 cars were parked on one of the little loops. They told me someone had seen 2 lions in the riverbed, but they cant find them now. I stayed a while to see if I could find them, but eventually carried on.....ONLY to find VVSG and SO and another car watching them right next to the road stalking some Impalas :( Both had crossed the road in front of VVSG :o

First this one sitting looking very intently at the Impala's in the bush

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and the other one coming from behind in a "stalking" mood.

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Unfortunately the Impalas got wind of them and the lions walked off into the bush...By now we were really late and had to rush to get to Timbavati where click click and Aunty Dot were already waiting for us.

The attendant was very friendly and got us a spot next to the big tree in the middle of the picnic spot so that we could start the breakfast with the wind howling all around us.

VVSG makes the most awesome mushrooms filled with garlic and cheese....apart from the bacon, eggs, sausages etc that goes with a Kruger breakfast....1 mushroom left in the plate and all looking at it....This was my time..I looked at VVSG, his SO, click click and aunty Dot and very elegantly picked it up and popped the whole mushroom into my mouth....Oh I wished click click had her camera ready at that time to see the shock on their faces :wink:

I returned to Balule via the S127 and with no sightings returned to camp just after lunch time...where, once again.....I had a snooze until all arrived back later that evening :D :D

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:41 am 
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Some pics of our stay in Letaba:

Martie & Aunty Dot
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The fire
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Martie with John and Norma after we have surprised them in Letaba
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Norma
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22-25 June 2013: Talamati Bush Camp, KNP


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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:58 am 
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Balule camp
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Relaxinging at Balule
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VVSG wondering what he need to unpack
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Braai in Balule
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Hyaena with something that looked like an elephant ear outside the fence at Balule.
This one was carrying it around, laying down on it, then carrying it again, but didn’t allow the others to have it. It looked like he was not sure what to do with it.
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22-25 June 2013: Talamati Bush Camp, KNP


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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:04 am 
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Timbavati picnic brunch

HH were cutting the nice homemade bread
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VVSG cooking the delicious breakfast
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Those mushrooms!
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I have a pic of Martie with the last whole mushroom in her mouth, but I would rather not post that one for obvious reasons :whistle:

Aunty Dot had so much fun in Kruger
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Yellow billed hornbill without tail feathers at the picnic site
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22-25 June 2013: Talamati Bush Camp, KNP


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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:51 am 
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September 17, 2011 - Balule to Satara

Another exciting morning as I woke up as we had arranged to meet up with Hilda and SO at Satara for the evening. I looked very much forward to meeting them as I missed them during my stay in Kruger :? I decided to drive down the S90, then onto the S41 - Gudzani road and down to Satara via the S100

I have heard alot about Bangu wh and really wanted to see what was so special about it. Really not much happening..just a cement dam and no animals in sight, but I can understand how special it must be if you do see something there :)

Along the way a Jeep Jockey came from the front and to my utter surprise it was a very good friend that I met during Kruger, Toby from Just About Nature....what a lovely down to earth Kruger loving person :D We chatted next to the road for about half an hour and I wonder what his guests were thinking :lol: It was nice seeing you again Toby....hopefully again next year.

I found a few elephants deep into the bush, a rhino on the horizon, far away...and a buffalo or 2...not much else.

I turned onto Gudzani road and there were about 15 cars parked a little way up ahead, but so many Giraffes, Zebras, Blue Wildebeest and Impala...it really looked like the Serengeti Migration :shock: I then saw a Saddle Billed Stork busy feeding two young birds. Immediately I stopped to start taking pictures. They were not very close to the road, but I enjoyed watching them....

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about 10 minutes later one of the cars from the front drove up to me and the woman said...Why did you not look up? :hmz: I was too busy taking :cam: of the Saddle billed stork....she then told me....2 Cheetahs crossed the road inbetween your car and the cars in the front :shock: :shock: Oh My....how could I miss it :shock: Apparently they crossed the road and dissapeared into the bush.

I tried to look driving very slowly, but could not see them, so I continued up the road...

Not long after a black backed jackal running next to the car, stopping every now and again to smell and then started trotting again. I followed him all the way to Gudzani WH whereafterr he dissapeared into the bush.

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Just before Gudzani dam on one of the little bridges over a stream, I found yet another Immature Saddle billed stork...I was very surprised to see so many young ones on this trip.

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A quick stop at Gudzani dam where alot of hippos and crocodiles were basking in the son. Then this African Fish Eagle came for a fly by...

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The S100 was nothing but a dust road...no even an Elephant in sight, but I was happy with my memories and the awesome sightings I had on this road before...so I did not mind.

I arrived at Satara and checked in and was allocated no. 172 and 173....little did I know that the people we were to meet, Hilda and SO was allocated nu 174 :D The first thing I saw when I arrived at the bungalow was a YR next to me.....I walked over and what a surprise...Hilda and SO.....

VVSG had told me that he was cooking that evening and what a meal he made....Roast pork in the Weber..and SO made rice and veggies....A great meal....Hilda made the most amazing little snack called Spekkies...its a mixture of dough with bacon and lots of other little things in deep fried in oil....Yummy...luckily she gave me the recipe and I cant wait to make it for my friends...Thanks Hilda

While we were sitting around the fire, enjoying the smells and sounds and listening to the nice chatter....a movement caught our eyes....Can you believe....An African Wild Cat right there infront of the braai of another bungalow...I quickly grabbed my camera....now this is not the most amazing shots...but proof of the AWC in Satara camp...

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and as it walked away, I got one more shot..

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What a perfect sighting to end an evening with such special people :D :D

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:58 am 
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September 18, 2011 Satara to Roodewal

This whole trip came about as click click had a very special birthday and had booked Roodewal bush camp for us. We were joined by her parents, friend E who also had her birtday the same day as click click, her parents and brother and fiancee. Also ME...the guest of honor?? :lol: and our other dear friends Norma and John.

Sunday morning a quick good bye to VVSG and SO as they had to get back to work on Monday, but I was not sad as they would join us again at LSabie later in the week. I missed the departure of Hilda and SO, think I was still dreaming by the time they left :redface:

We were told by the staff at Satara, where you book in for Roodewal, that they had no guests at Roodewal the previous day and we were welcome to go anytime we were ready. It was nice as I had coolerboxes full of ice and lots and lots of food for the 12 ppl for the next 4 days. Apart from what everyone else was going to bring :shock: I have spent many hours working out the menus and the shopping lists and click click and I ordered the meat before hand, E did the shopping for the other items and click clicks parents did the shopping for all the fresh fruit and vegs.

I think Roodewal is only about 55km from Satara so it would be a quick drive. I left camp around 8am and made my way to Roodewal. Not many sightings on the way, but it was ok as I very much looked forward to seeing Roodewal as I have never stayed there before.

I stopped at Nyamarhi wh to watch a few zebras being very nervous....and before long these 2 lionnesses came walking out of the long grass and lay down next to a tree. I must tell you it was a real scorching hot day!!

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I knew I could not stay very long and watched them for a while, hoping they would come up to the waterhole and closer to be to get better pictures....when all of a sudden from behind the long grass a Sanparks vehicle came out of the bush, almost right next to the lions...

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They got up and dissapeared into the grass again....

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With that I left and made my way to Roodewal. I was the first to arrive and had a good look around. 2 Attendants and the camp who were extremely friendly and helpfull, but I could not carry on with Roodewal unless I give you my impressions.

It consists of a kitchen area, where you have the washing up sinks, lots of cupboards, workspace on top and all the cutlery, crockery, cooking utensils etc. In the back corner a big freezer.

Next to that a big dining room with tables, chairs and 2 fridges.

4 individual bungalows, which are very, very nice. Each consist of a lounge, dining area, fully equiped kitchen and 2 bedrooms each with its own shower etc.

I think Roodewal was the perfect choice for the celebrations, but I would like to see, especially for the price you pay that a few items needs to be replaced.

The one cottage only had a freezer, no fridge, so in the morning when you would like to have your tea...the milk is frozen!! It is also standing almost in the middle of the dining area as it wont fit into the space that is obviously designed for a small fridge!

The dining area needs mayor revamping as the tables and a few chairs are in dire need of replacement. I would like to have a fridge in the kitchen area as its a real pain walking up and down to get the vegs from the dining room, then the meat from the kitchen/freezer etc...

Monkeys are a BIG problem, so much so, that it is impossible to sit outside under the beautiful trees having something to eat. Im sure E did not enjoy her stay after one tried to attack her as she was carrying some food from the car into the dining room :evil:

Its got a very nice deck under some some big trees and we spent many hours there watching anything that came around...Hyeana, Impala, Elephants, Bushbuck and a few baboons.

It was time for me to get everything packed and sorted once the other 4 cars arrived with all the other food....I wished we had more fridges!!! I was shocked to see the amount of food that came out of all the cars as I think that all thought of something else to bring :shock:

At last everyone was settled and it was time for the first fire.....Roodewal has 3 normal braais, like the ones you have at any accommodation in Kruger, and also a bigger brick braai next to the wall. Our first menu consisted of Steak and Chops with E making a potato salad and a sweet carrot salad. We also had a mix salad and some rolls.!!

The next morning John drove me to Phalaborwa as I wanted to make a breakfast with a bit of a difference for click click and E for their birthdays. I dont think I lifted my camera during the whole drive there and back......

Little did I know that I was not going to touch my camera during the next 3 days...I was too busy with organising, cooking etc to even think about that :(

I will ask click click to once again post pics of our stay at Roodewal, including the food. So with this I give you the menu''s we had for the days at Roodewal :D

Monday - Salad rolls for lunch and Lamb , Oxtail and Chicken potjies for dinner
Tuesday, Birthday breakfast and that evening I made a spit braai with Deboned leg of lamb and 2 Beer can chickens, and with that a variety of vegetables in foil.

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:24 pm 
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So here we are, the Roodewal pics. I have reduced the sizes to be able to post more pics.

What a beautiful, peaceful camp.
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The bungalows.
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The slug and one of the bungalows at night.
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The viewing deck.
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Next up – the food pics!

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22-25 June 2013: Talamati Bush Camp, KNP


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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:44 pm 
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The potjies on the fire
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The chef deep in thought... :gflower: :clap: thank you so much Martie! for everything
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A quick peek into the pot
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My parents, Norma, Aunty Dot, John
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Dumplings, thanks Norma!
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Lamb, Oxtail and Chicken potjies, DELICIOUS
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22-25 June 2013: Talamati Bush Camp, KNP


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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:56 pm 
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The birthday breakfast, what a spread, I felt so blessed!

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In the kitchen making a huge pan of scrambled eggs
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Aunty Dot gave a short speech at the breakfast
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Thanks again Martie for a wonderful birthday present, you are a very special friend, and nobody gave me a breakfast they cooked themselves for my birthday before. You even remembered that I like haddock and smoked salmon! :dance: :gflower:

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22-25 June 2013: Talamati Bush Camp, KNP


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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:16 pm 
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My birthday dinner

Beer can chicken
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The spitbraai
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I made a campfire :dance:
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Martie and I
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Aunty Dot and Bobbejaan preparing the peaches in brandy before they flamed it :lol:
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Or tried to :redface:
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John & Norma enjoying the peaches with custard
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22-25 June 2013: Talamati Bush Camp, KNP


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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:14 pm 
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Roodewal to Satara 21 September, 2011

I left Roodewal as soon as all was packed and took the short drive to Satara, but I decided to go the long way...S90, then S40 Gudzani road and down the S41 and H6, then onto Nsemani as I was determined to drive the whole day!

Not much around until just before Nyamarhi WH where I found 2 cars stopped on the side of the road...they told me a Leopard in a tree...You could hardly see it...but I found it and waited...as with Murphys Law....as it started to move...another YR pulled up next to me....it was Cody, Mel and Tim...sorry it was the wrong time to talk as I was focuced on the leopard on the move......in a tree...

Its strange to see how similar Cody's pictures are to mine....but you know...we were there at the same time.....In this pic you can see part of the kill in the tree before he/she started climbing down the tree..

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And then the jump down...

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I stayed a while having a quick chat with Cody and family and hoping to meet them again when they were in Skukuza....unfortunately it seemed liked we missed each other again :redface:

I carried on on the Gudzani road and before long found this old man lying under a tree....

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and a zoomed in pic of him not having a problem in the world...he was just rolling around, scratching and stretching and enjoying the African Bush....

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I so much wished I could scratch his tummy like I do with my Yorkies.... :shock:

All the way pass Gudzani dam and on the low water bridges, no hippos in sight as no water.....I stopped at the next one and remembered how I saw a leopard take down an Impala, but today no leopard in sight.....still some time left....nothing at Sonop WH....I love that place..so peacefull but deadly for some.....
I continued on to Nsemani dam as it was still about 3 hrs to gate closing time....what a good decision

A pride of about 15 lions...some on the left next to the dam and others on the other side of the road, not very visible.....but the 4 females on the left with some cubs...they all have been well fed as we were told about them taking down 2 buffaloes in that area during the last 4 days!!! :shock: A guy in a big campervan had the best spot and was obviously there to stay....maybe one day I also have one of those and will be able to get pics without grass infront of the lions :D

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Eventually the mothers got up and walked towards the road...they lay down next to me....and I got one pic before they and the cubs crossed the road to the other side to join the fathers.....

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With that I was sattisfied about my drive in Kruger that day...a quick SMS to click click to tell her about the lions at Nsemani.....little did I know they have not seen any lions that day...Im glad I could share it with them....and they got to see it...even more that what I did....but....another day in Kruger and I was looking forward to not cooking that eve as click clicks friends were making a pasta pot and I was just very tired and wanted to eat and get to bed.....I knew tomorrow was going to be another exciting day as first of all I was going to meet and see again my very good friend Norms!!!

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:47 am 
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September 22, 2011 Satara to LSabie

We woke up to a light rain and it was great after the few days of intense heat :D As mentioned I had made arrangements to meet Norms at Tsokwane around 10am so I had no rush. Everyone else left to go back to Nsemani dam while I had a slow shower and packed the slug to leave for LSabie.

I love driving in the rain in Kruger, not so nice for pics, but everything look more clean and fresh..

Somewhere along the way I stopped for this one wanting to cross the road...

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and an Impala enjoying a drink of fresh rain water....(not sure how clean it is on a dirty tar road?)

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At Mazithi dam a few buffs in the water...today not for cooling down as it was still drizzling and very overcast.

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I sent SMS to tell Norms I should be at Tsokwane in about half an hour :D .....but it was not to be...about 5km from Tsokwane I was greeted by this site....and only about 4 cars watching....

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More to come once this page has turned.... :D :D :D In this picture aobut 15 of them...but there were 19 in all!!

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:19 am 
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So this was the 2nd large groups of Lions I saw....first the 15 at Sweni and now this :D It was turning into a real lion holiday......but.....the best still to come :D :D

It was still very overcast and drizzling on and off....I had no batteries for the Speedlite :cry: so I did the best I could.....

Lots of young ones, but they all seem different ages...cuddled up together to protect them from the cool air and the rain..

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To the right of these another young one by himself..

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And the father of the pride...or so it looked like??

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And with his harem :) :)
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To the right of this group and the young ones....another female lying by herself..

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I was already late and decided to move on....really happy with seeing all these lions .. :D About 500m further on, on the other side of the road this old male lying by himself. Im not sure if he was kicked out of the pride and was following them closely, or if he just had a headach and wanted to be left alone :( :shock:

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Just then Norms came driving from the front....he said he knew I was late as I was sitting at a sighting, so decided to come look for me...Norms it was so nice to see you again :D :D

We had a few cups of "coffee" and spoke about everything and anythng for the next hour or so sitting in Norms car as it was very nippy outside...but sadly the time came for me to move on as I still had to get to LSabie where VVSG and SO were waiting for us and I had no idea whatelse I would see on the way :D

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