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 Post subject: PetraJ Surprises on low maintenance roads Sept 2011
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:54 pm 
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Location: Roodepoort
This past two weekends we've been trying out Scipio's new Jeep, and what better place than the low maintenance roads on the Phalaborwa-Letaba and Phalaborwa-Mopani road.

So, before I start with animal sightings, this is basically where you are driving...

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 Post subject: Re: Surprises on low maintenance roads
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:51 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:22 am
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Just a little filler,
Yesterday on the small roads, we encountered some rain.
A big storm brewing:
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Some hail???
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It turned out, a big hailstorm
Water everywhere:
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Flash Flooding:
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And a tear or two with the children:
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Sorry Petra, but these little roads are sooo good.


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 Post subject: Re: Surprises on low maintenance roads
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:53 am 
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23 September.

On this day Scipio and my son took the Jeep for a short trip while waiting for me to arrive from Johannesburg. The plan was initially to only go to Sable dam and then return to Phalaborwa.
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While there they decided to do the Masorini loop - that would be the first Low Maintenance route for the Jeep. Suddenly they saw some elephant dung in the road ahead of them ... which turned out to be quite lively...
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On the way back to the gate this is what they got on the Phalaborwa road.
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 Post subject: Re: Surprises on low maintenance roads
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:40 pm 
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Scipio wrote:
SMS to PetraJ: "The leopard was nice to see" :whistle:

SMS from PetraJ: "&$##@( *&^#@( #*^$# I am still at work." :twisted:

Hie-hie, but Petra was not dissapointed in the ensuing days. :wink:


Scipio... I do not know such long swearing words :wink:


24 September.
Today we didn’t drive any maintenance roads, but were just enjoying a day in the park with all the kids.
The only sighting that really stood out was this:

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 Post subject: Re: Surprises on low maintenance roads
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:46 pm 
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1 October
We entered the park this morning very early. It was me, Scipio and my two sons. We were spending the night in Shingwedzi and decided that we are going to do the long low-maintenance route today. This was now the first time that I’ve been on one of these roads, and let me tell you... it is heaven!! No other cars around, the peace and quietness of the bush was awesome. If you stop and switch off your engine and manage to get the kids quiet for a couple of minutes, it is a feeling you cannot really describe to anyone.

In the first few km on the road, I tended to grab on to something to hold my balance, but after I got a very dirty look from the driver I decided to rather keep my cool and trust him that he will get us to the tar road again without a problem.

I started to relax and there was a very good vibe in the Jeep. All the past few weeks’ tension was gone and we were enjoying the route tremendously. Suddenly Scipio stopped and told us the dung in the road was those of rhino, and not even 1km on, we came across them. They got such a fright of us suddenly appearing and started to run... 2 black rhino, a mother and a calf. I couldn’t believe my eyes, for years on I’ve been trying to spot a black rhino, and here... just next to us were 2 running for their lives. Unfortunately we cannot deliver any photo evidence, as they were running so fast and the branches and bushes were in the way.

You could feel and smell the excitement in the Jeep as we were continuing on our way down the road. Near the Letaba River look-out point, I looked to the driver’s side and my eye caught something in the bush. Dismissing it as impossible, I looked away. Then I realised what I saw and “very politely” asked him to please stop, there is some lions next to the road. He didn’t believe me!! By this time I almost shouted at him to reverse... hoping that I was right, and what I saw were really the faces of 2 lions.

And there about 30m in, was a pride of about 20 lions. We started counting what we could see in between the bushes and grass over about 100m, and stopped counting eventually at 20. There were lionesses and cubs of different sizes. We spend a long time with them, hoping they would get up for photo opportunities, but they were enjoying the day in being lazy. Every now and then you will just see a tail or leg or ear moving.
This was the best of our pics
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By this time there was no end to the chatter from the back seat with the two boys. And so we drove, and drove, and drove, when my one son screamed LION! STOP! No way, that is impossible? And there next to the road were the two biggest males I have ever seen! The one got up and moved a little closer (now about 5m from the Jeep) into the shade. Our day was made... no, our whole weekend was made!! We could hear the traffic from the tar road and we knew that this is almost the end to this road.
So we just switched off the engine again and sat there with them.
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 Post subject: Re: Surprises on low maintenance roads
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:00 pm 
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Thank you everyone for your nice comments.

The next part to follow:

Once on the tar road on the way to Shingwedzi we had some general game sightings like elephant
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And then another first for me, Roan.
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Nesting
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 Post subject: Re: Surprises on low maintenance roads
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:50 pm 
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Once again thank you for reading and all the nice comments.

On the road to Shingwedzi we had some sightings of the more general type of game.
This beautiful Nyala
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More elephant...
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Just love the next set of photo’s
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 Post subject: Re: Surprises on low maintenance roads
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:14 pm 
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Here is a few more pics from that day, as it came slowly to an end.
Elephants scaring me to bits
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And then the sun sets and we were at the Shingwedzi gate.
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 Post subject: Re: Surprises on low maintenance roads
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:45 am 
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As we are on our way to Balule this weekend, I need to finish with the last instalment.

I had to drive back to Johannesburg that day, so we just drove straight to Phalaborwa gate. On the way we met Flutterby and family, very excited about their trip that just started :thumbs_up: .

This is the pics we took that day:
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So, this is it for now. Hope you all enjoyed :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Surprises on low maintenance roads
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:22 am
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And this one, :thumbs_up:

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It was great, I loved every second of it, thanks PetraJ. :wink:

This weekend for Balule, then next weekend, 2 months in Kruger. :dance:


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