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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:12 am 
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Thank you Sharifa, Puppy, Dan, Chappies for the comments.

Dan I will PM you...really very nice restaurant. :D

Its time to carry on with this report!!

We had a bit of a problem with "the monkey" not able to get the Sunday off work, so we had to fly him down to Nelspruit on the Monday. Luckily we had booked PKop so it was not too far to go.

So, Sunday - October 2, 2010 we (the 2 girls, husband and me) were ready to go! The children did all the shopping on the Saturday and we were loaded! Only 15km from my house to Croc Bridge gate and we arrived in no time, but a bit of excitement on the bridge.....I wondered if this was a sign of what was to come :D

This Impala was determined to go shopping in Komatipoort and did not seem to notice the cars coming in.....I took this pic through the windscreen..

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We were about 4 cars on the bridge and there was no ways we could reverse. I was hoping he would turn around and go back into Kruger, but he kept on coming....and the next minute he almost jumped over the bonnet of the slug, right over the rails of the bridge and straight into the water...

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We were holding our breaths waiting for the crocodile to jump up and grab this easy meal :D

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Unfortunately not :shock:

A quick check in at the gate where we were told that No Alcohol is allowed to be consumed in the car or at picnic spots... :thumbs_up: and we were in!!

Not even 500m from the gate....this Idiot :shock:

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Im sure someone who drove passed to the gate reported him as within a few minutes a ranger arrived...had a few words with him and escorted him back to the gate :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

Just before the Northern entrance of the S28...a few cars parked on the side....a Leopard...very far off and we only (well almost all of us, except for Ihaveacrazymom) got a glimpse of it!

Just before LS this immature Bateleur caught something and was gulping it down...first time I see a bird causing a traffic jam :shock:

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We had an early lunch at LS and carried on towards Skukuza and from there to PKop...Clouds were building and I was sure we were in for a very nice storm!! :D Something I always hope for when in South Africa as we dont get many (if any) of them here in Doha :?

About 5km other side of Transport Dam.....Another wild sighting...A pack of wilddogs!! :D There were so many of them...and it seemed like it was a den as about 9 adults and must have been from what we could see, as it was far off under the trees and bush....12 pups! There were not many cars so we waited...just enjoying it, the light was really bad with the clouds now a Big Black Swirling Mass!!

Just as I said, we better start going or we will miss the gate closing time...2 of the adults came running to the road....

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they were definately in hunting mode...and we had no more time :shock: :D , but wilddogs on our first day :D

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So while they were unning towards Skukuza, we had to go the opposite direction to PKop..



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We arrived at camp with minutes to spare and then had a bit of a "fight" with the manager as I had booked 2 units and they have put them miles apart?? :twisted: In the end...it was resolved and they gave us a 5 bed hut so we were all together...and by now it was late...the lightning and thunder was awesome and we decided to go to the restaurnat for a meal....What a disaster....They dont have a buffet at all....its the same menu you find for breakfast/lunch/dinner.....Really :evil: :evil: :shock: :shock: So we all settled for either a toasted sandwich or a burger :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:50 am 
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Monday, October 3, 2011

PKop - MPIA - Skukuza

We woke up early but took our time to get ready as Carmen and I were going to the airport to fetch the "monkey" while Ihaveacrazymom and SO left for a long drive down the S114 and back up to Skukuza. Carmen was very excited with the monkey coming and so was I, always nice to have a newbie in the car and she decided to show him an Impala and call it a Kudu...show him a Kudu and call it Sable or something else :roll: just to confuse him a bit and we could have a good giggle :lol:

I was just hoping to see something awesome to have him hooked on Kruger as well....I knew this guy many years ago as they were together in primary school (only 8 years old and were "dating" then), but you never know how ppl turned out...so I decided the best way to judge is to have the two guys have turns in making the fire and braai....if they could do that...they would pass!! :lol:

We arrived back at Numbi gate just before 12 and the excitement started building again.......the next minute...Wow MOM Stop!!!!! Look at that Sable :shock: "oh baby, that is such a rare animal, you are so lucky to see one of them :shock: many ppl come all the time to look for them and never see it :shock: I could hardly contain myself from bursting out laughing, never mind the row of cars now behind us all looking to see what is so special :roll:

Little did I know, that this phrase...."you are so lucky as its so rare" will become our slogan for the next few days :D

I was hoping that the wilddogs were still there and did not stop at Shitlhave dam, but continue on to see.....What luck!!! They were all out in the open...."Oh baby, you are so lucky, this is so rare...again.....I wont repeat this again as I actually got tired of hearing it, butwas so pleased with the sighitngs...

It looked like the adults made a kill earlier on and the puppies were having a ball playing with the head and some legs and only ran to the adults to eat whatever they were regurgitating.....

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I think some of the action of the pups made the adults ready to have a lie down..

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We spent close onto 2 hours with them and I was surprised that we were never more than about 5 cars at a time...so nice to be able to enjoy something special like this without the pressure of lots of people. A quick stop at Transport Dam, but no activity and we carried on...all the usual for us...but a new animal for the monkey, and I must say...we did correct him on what a Kudu realy is....unfortunately we did not see Sable, but I did show him a picture.

We arrived at Skukuza to a very full reception area, but what can you do....stand in line and wait for your turn. I had booked a GC6D for this evening and Wow, I was pleasantly surprised....Its one row back from the riverside units, but with a clear view onto the river where elephants were grazing....Big verandah, nice lounge and dining area...good size kitchen with all including an stove with oven. 2 bedrooms, each with a double bed and a sigle bed and on suite with a bath and shower....Real value for money!! I will definately stay in these again!!

After we unpackied alll and sat down to relax I broke the news...."Listen boys, now Im on holiday, so from tonight you make the fire and you braai :D It was decided that the SO will be first...

He made a very nice fire.....but then.....the heavens opened up..lightning and thunder all around us and I so much wish I had taken a picture of him standing next to the braai while the other monkey was holding the lid of the cooler box overr his head to try and keep him dry while he had the other lid over the braai to get the meat cooked. You did an awesome job and I had a feast!!! With that we settled down in bed with the thunder and lightning putting us to sleep. :D

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:50 am 
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Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - Skukuza - Biyamiti


We left just after gate opening time and right next to the gate at Skukuza our first sighting for the morning...

2 Hyenas coming back or going back to their den after the night shift of patrolling the fence :roll:

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A few cars had stopped and this one decided he had enough of humans and started running .

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Our route took us along Renosterkoppies road, back onto the tar and down some more gravel roads, back to the tar until we reached Afsaal where the children indulge in the pancakes. So much sweetness I actually felt a bit :mrgreen: and did not even had one!! :roll:

Sightings very slow but we did find this one somewhere along the way..

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and a beautifull Lilac Breasted Roller without any twicks around :D

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A strange sighting was this giraffe with some growths or something around his knee and ankle, maybe someone will know what is the cause?? :shock:

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We arrived at Biyamiti just before 2pm, but it was not a problem checking in...the guy behind the counted looked at me and said....Oi..you back again :D :shock:

We were allocated bungalow no 15 which is a 5 bed unit without a view, but in my opinion, probably one of the nicest ones I have stayed at in Biyamiti. Its the last one to the right and its got a little pathway going down to the riverbed. Its newly decorated and I must say a vast improvement on some of those which still got the old furniture etc.

The children took the flashlights after our very nice braai and went to sit at the fence waiting for anything to come around...I took my body and got into bed...nothing better than to get to bed early in kruger and just listening and imagine what might be lurking ourside your bedroom window :D

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:25 am 
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thank you for your replies Puppy and Pumba :D

Welcome to the forums Barryels!!! :D Now you can have your own say all the time :D :D

Hilda, this is a reply I received from posting the picture of the giraffe on facebook.

"It is probably Mycoplasma-associated Polyarthritis...
It eventually causes the animal to became acutely lame with swelling of all hock and fetlock joints...
Mycoplasma is the smallest self-replicating prokaryote, and it lacks a cell wall. It is ubiquitous in nature and may cause disease in a variety of wildlife, including elephants. Its pathogenicity is well described in domestic ruminants in which it can cause respiratory disease, mastitis, conjunctivitis and arthritis
, Ref: Journal of Wildlife Diseases" ...

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:21 am 
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Biyamiti - Olifants Camp

Yes, a loooongg drive again!! I did it with MIL and now with the children. We left camp very early and drove up to LS where we stopped for a cup of coffee (I had my yearly cup of cuppocino!!) and took the H10 up to Tsokwane where we planned to stop for breakfast.

Just after the low water bridge a movement caught my eye. My camera was not on my lap as usual, but next to me under my jacket as I was having my coffee :roll: :roll: We quickly reversed and there sitting next to the road a Honey Badger :D I was far too slow to put my coffee down and pick up the camera to get a picture :( We went forward and backwards looking, but could not see it again. Carmen and the monkey were a few hundred meters behind us as too late we saw them flashing their lights....the HB crossed the road right in front of them...far too fast for her to get a picture as well :(

This told me the "monkey" was really having such good sightings and it was a sign that he is here to stay and belong with us in Kruger :o

Then a few monkeys playing in and next to the road. This poor guy had a run in with something. Im not sure what. Although he is a bit disfigured, he seemed to be doing fine, eating and playing. Must have been very sore previously.

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With that we continued and did not stop at Nkumbe as we wanted to get to Olifants early enough so that they could enjoy the view from the lookout deck...but before we got there...a roadblock..

Carmen was telling us the previous night that while working with John Varty she learned how to "chuff" Tigers and how to calm elephants down. She made a kind of "gooorh, gooorh gurgling sound. This was her time to show us how it works....from the pics you will see it did not seem to be working, so I will definately not be trying that one..

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or maybe id did work but the monkey was going to wet himself with fear :shock: who knows

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A few km further on....another great sighting.... A cheetah had made a kill close to the road and the vultures were swarming down into the bush and trees next to it.

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All of a sudden a few of the vultures dashed down ontop of the cheetah and he made a quick escape, leaving the rest of his meal behind.

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With such an amazing sighting again we carried on to Tsokwane where we once again had a delicous meal with great friendly service in a very clean and spottles location!! :D

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:03 am 
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On with this report. So many exciting sightings this day that I wish the page to turn quickly so that I can show you all!!

We left Tsokwane and as usual my next stop will be at the Most Southern Baobab! :D Im still hoping that one day I will see the leopard that is hanging around the area.

Today was not the day to see it...we drove slowly and I was scanning all the trees just incase it was having a midday snooze :D

Then as we got close to the main road again...Carmen and the monkey were flasing their lights furiously :shock: :shock: Can you believe...the "monkey" spotted a lone lioness behind a tree, close to some Impala grazing...

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I wonder if you can see it?? :lol:

I quickly made a u turn and parked on the opposite side of the dip so that we were facing the lion stalking the Impala.

It came closer and lay down next to another tree....the Impala still very unaware of this lion so close by.
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The next minute this lion charged.....unfortunately it had a big fallen tree infrom of it and had to quickly decide if it was going to jump over or duck underneath :roll:

I could not believe that this monkey was going to see a kill as well!!!

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Unforunately the fallen over branch proved to be in the wrong place for this lion...and all she could do was sit and watch her lunch running away!!! But what excitement for us :D :D

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With that we left for a still long drive to Olifants....what a day...and its not even halfway finished yet :D

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:21 am 
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Thanks to all for your comments and helping in turning the page :D :D

Not long after all the excitement from the lion chase we were greeted by another awesome sighting...The pride of 18 lions I saw about 3 weeks ago, but the difference was....No Adults around. All the young and little ones stretched out on a rocky outcrop next to the road!!

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I started snapping away and after a while checked the pics to see what they looked like and to my surprise.....They were black and white :roll: :shock: I have no idea what button I pushed or what I did, but luckily I checked...

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So glad I did as just then 2 of them decided to play a bit!!! :D It was so nice to sit there with no many cars enjoying the interaction of these little ones :D

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One of them was maybe a little bit to enthusiastic and the other decided he had enough :)

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Time was running and we were not even at Satara yet....we carried on for a quick pit stop at Satara and obviously more ice as we have been driving much longer than expected. No complaints from anyone with all the sightings we were having :D :D :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:30 am 
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thank you for all the comments and replies.!! :D

hahahaha Dan.....I should have told a little white lie ...I also like the black and white pics

Flutterby...no it was not the S100, but the tar road between Tsokwane and Satara :D

After a quick stop at Satara we carried on...at Nyamarhi wh we found a hyena den unfortunately the little ones were tucked away behind some bush on the other side of the stream and it was not easy to take pics, although we could watch through the bush and see them playing and nursing.

This one came out from behind to smell the cars and ppl....I managed one pic before it went back into hiding

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We took the S90 (I think) the gravel road that runs via Balule to Olifants and all was quiet. On the low water bridge a very seriously injured hippo! :( I can only think that it must have been a bull fight.
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With that we arrived at Olifants and good not have wished for a better day :D

It was "the monkeys" turn ot make fire and braai....and I felt very sorry for him as the wind was howling around us..another storm was on its way :D He managed and while sitting around the fire enjoying a meal that I did not cook and staring into nice coals of a fire I did not make it was mentioned that his grandfathers ashes were scattered at the Olifants Gorge lookout ...he really wanted to go and see where it was....I have been there before and directed tham to where to go and we decided to meet for lunch at Letaba. The girls have been to the Elephant museum many times before, but always go again and again when we in the area. It was going to be something new for "the monkey" and the SO....

With that and the sound of the wind howling and the distant roar of thunder we fell asleep :D :D

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:15 am 
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Thank you Hilda, Sharifa and Bushbuddies. Glad you all like the B&W shots :D :D

October 6 - Olifants to Satara via Letaba

It was our last full day together in the Park and I was very hopefull that we would still find that elusive Leopard for Ihaveacrazymom :( :roll:

We left just after 8am..(slept a bit late) and we took the S93 while Carmen and the monkey took the S44 so that he could go and pay his respect to his grandfathers ashes......we agreed to meet at Letaba around 11am as it was only a 35km drive or so...

Sightings very slow.....an eagle close to the road in a tree, but the SO stopped too late and it flew away so I did not get a picture :roll:

Its a very nice scenic drive all along the river and this funny pink looking hippo...(think it stays in the water too long so the sun does not get to its tummy??)

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at the Engelhard Dam wall a nice size Kudu crossing the road....

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at one of the little loops I found a new bird for my list (birding was not that great this trip and I hope to see more in October this year :D

A collared Pranticole

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A little while later a few very lazy male lions on the opposite side of the river...

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At Letaba they all went to the museum while I was enjoying the view from the deck, thinking back about 34 days ago I stayed in the little huts to the right and how quickly time has gone by :shock: I wished again that it was only the start and not the end of my trip :(

We had a very nice bruch and then set of on our way to Satara for our last night in Kruger :(

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:31 am 
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My apologies for keeping you waiting so long!! :( Unfortunately work comes first or I wont be able to have another Kruger holiday again :shock: :lol:

Thanks for all the comments, really appreciate it.

We left Letaba for the drive to our last night at Satara :( Apart from the last night in kruger it would also be another year before I would see the girls again...so mixed feelings all around.

Again not a very exciting pm for sightings, but we still enjoyed the smell and sounds of the bush.

At Ngotso WH these Elephants coming in for a drink...

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and closer to Satara a BBJ running in the open veld..

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We checked in at Satara and the girls decided that they have to make the most of the time left, so they all went for a drive while I started preparing all for our last braai..

Ihaveacrazymom took my camera and set off to see if they could find the still elusive leopard..

At Girivana dam they sat for quite a while and watch the elephants playing in the mud..

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:03 am 
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Well we reached the end.....

October 7, 2011

A very teary goodbye to Carmen and the monkey as they were leaving through Orpen gate as the monkey had to be at work by 5pm that evening. Ihaveacrazymom, her SO and I were driving down to Malelane Gate to spend one more night at My Bush House before I too would have to say by to all my loved ones and return to Doha!!

On our way down we had the following sightings....

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a very slobbering Hyena...

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and then a movement caught my eye....not a great pic...but proof...

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Shortly after we received a BBM from the monkey....It said.."You wont believe this??"

with that signal dissapeared again....we were all wondering what happenend...but had to wait for signal before we would know...

And now I have to wait for this page to turn to bring you the last of images for our last day in Kruger :(

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:25 pm 
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Before I get to the end of this report....let me give my sincere thanks to all my friends....and all those I have met on the road.....for making this such an unbelievable trip :D

I think about the surpise visit to Norma and John....seeing Aunty Dot again and spending time with her in Kruger and now thinking back about her brandy peaches.....the girls for coming all the way from CT to once again enjoy what I do most...Kruger!!! The Chappies who could not join us due to ailments......VVSG and SO for once again being there for me!!!! Click click for being just her...and Im glad I could give a sparkle to you special birthday.....Hilda and Barry for the amazing braai we had at Satara...and I think the AWC visiting us that night was a true sign of what and why ppll come to Kruger....Norms for our quick meet at Tsokwane...it will never be the same again for me without remembering you.....MIL for coming with me to Kruger again...SIL or should I now call it S's IL...(sisters in law) for the amazing time..and your time Im glad I could show you a bit of the luxury Kruger has to offer :D Penny and all others I met along the way......Toby from Just Nature Tours....alll of you will always be special to me as we share the same passion!!!!Once again...if I forgot to mention your name..please forgive me..... :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:31 pm 
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This is the page turner........I forgot to mention that Carmen had a problem with her Canon cam....always and forever gettingg an Error 99 message....I googled the prob and tried to clean the contacts...but it did not work.....for some reason...the morning they left..it worked...and pics coming up...please excuse the quality as they took it as they could through the bush.......She had the amazing experience of working with John Varty at Tiger Canyons and apart from getting so close to Tigers, she learned a lot about photography, but there is something in nature that always gets in the way......bush in the way the minute you dont need it!!!!! What an amazing last minute sighting for the monkey.......

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 Post subject: Re: From being a bushwoman to Kruger with a few B's?
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:58 pm 
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While we were wondering and speculating about the BBM message we continued on to Afsaal...the only thing that ihaveacrazymom SO could talk about was the amazing pancake he was going to have again!!!! :shock: That boy can eat I tell you....... :shock:

As we were turning onto the Skukuza road another YR/.....it was Penny...a very good friend of Elsa....she told us about the buffalo kill close to the Tjunction.....we were going that way anyway..but did not look fwd to the traffic jam she was explaining to us.....Can u believe.........lots of cars coming from Skukuza, but the traffic from LS the way we were going was not existent.;......we drove right up to the kill and parked on the side watching the traffic coming from the front...A police officer was on duty and made sure ppl did not block the road.....but.....sorry to say...he did not act on anybody out of the cars, the sunroofs etc...........

I was told during my Year in Kruger (well almost a year) that lions when mating do not eat, drink or do anything during that time....this prooved it to be wrong.........or did they start mating after they made the kill :shock:


This female enjoying what we could see through the bush.....Yes you guessed it right...all of the next pics taking through the bush.. :shock: :shock:
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and with full tummys and probably tired of the mating they moved out....into the road and on their way to the river for a drink....


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Then we got the rest of the BBM mesage.....a car was parked on the side of the road...the ppl noticed a leopard stalking something from the other side of the road.....then it ducked underneath the drain water pipes and the nest minute.....he had a warthog in its mouth

Apparently it happened so quick and the monkey could not belive his luck again :shock: Y They just sat there listening to the death cry of the warthog.....and the growling of the leopard.....

With this...the last images....0f what Carmen took.....I felt very sorry for ihaveacrazymom who really just wanted to see a leopard and here she was with me on our way back to Marloth....and she did not see a leopard...and the monkey with his first visit...to witness this....

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At least the SO could console his sorrows with that sighting with a caremal, sticky and whaterver pancake from Afsaal and that is the end!!!!!! :D :shock:

I thank once again all of you enjoying our trip and sharing in our sightings....I look forward to the next trip starting in exactly 8 months time....

Martie

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