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 Post subject: Re: Cape to Crooks Corner : a pilgrimage
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:14 pm 
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Hello everyone :yaya:

And we all are - camp set up under a lovely shady tree, on the fence at LETABA!!! And, it is cooler today. Only 34 degrees. Yesterday temps again soared to 44 plus!

Rain fell in the Satara area last night, not only cooling the veld but also leaving lovely pools of water for the (is it an African bull frog?) frogs to sing heartedly from.

If it is animal sightings you are after, Satara area is the place to be right now. We expected to see more birds, but as far as the big five and antelope go, we could not have wished for better sightings. And judging by the talk around the swimming pool where everyone gathered in the heat of the day, all visitors were not disappointed. Leopard sightings, lion sightings, cheetah sightings ... and a lady I am so :mrgreen: of, saw a baby impala being born on the S100.

Yesterday we decided to go against the traffic flow (not that the park is busy now) and went down the S90 and then turned onto the S41. At Gudzani East waterhole we were blessed with a wonderful cheetah sighting. The four cheetah had been there for a good while already, and they were active and most entertaining. Observing them for a couple of hours, Hawk and I learnt about cheetah behaviour.

We sort of knew cheetah would not go for wildebeest ... as a herd came by to go to the waterhole the cheetah gazed on at them, dreaming of great wildebeest feasts. As the herd passed by, they stopped and grouped and turned towards the cats, staring them down. After the herd had moved off the chief wildebeest remained, snorting and lecturing the cheetah and warning them that they would come off second best if they tried to nab any of his herd.

Then a lone impala ram came by (the cheetah were grouped under a shady tree at this point) ... we watched with breaths held as the cheetah eyed the ram and went into the crouch position, and suddenly two cheetah gave chase after the ram, but it was the ram's lucky day; he got away.

I said to Hawk; they will take warthog I am sure ... and not long after, a very confident wartie came tripping by, tail up and headed directly towards the cheetah. Camera's poised for the great scoop, Hawk and I held our breaths once more.

Ha ha ha - the joke was on us ... and the four cheetah. Mr Warthog also proceeded to stare down the cheetah, speaking to them in hogneese, which we could not understand, but it was clear he felt superior. He did irritate one cheetah who made a half hearted attempt to chase off the hog. But that round went to the warthog.

Hawk has this on video, so will post clips when we are home.

To add to a really special morning, we saw the Superpride of the S100. They were resting under a tree by the time we got to them. We were able to appreciate the size of the cubs, and the lionesses. We had been told earlier by an American visitor that he had seen them walking down the S100, go down to the water to drink and then go lie in the shade. He told us he counted 18 lion in total. 12 cubs and then the adults. Seeing this pride move must truly be an awesome sighting.

Clouds are now coming up, perhaps more rain tonight.

As I sit here and type this, I can hear a 'spookvoel' calling. A 'chicken' (Natal francolin), two squirrel and many other birds are going about their business right here. Impala rams are chasing each other a few metres into the veld.

The camp is quiet - despite it being weekend.

Hope you are all having as great a weekend as we are!

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 Post subject: Re: Cape to Crooks Corner : a pilgrimage
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:46 pm 
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Trying out the connection here, which does not seem to be as slow as at Satara ... some pics.

Lower Sabie leopard sighting: (This we had all to ourselves)
Image

A bat in the tree above our campsite at Croc Bridge:
Image

A white faced owl in the tree next to the road near Satara:
Image

One of the four cheetah:
Image

Cheetah dream of a feast:
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Cape to Crooks Corner : a pilgrimage
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:18 pm 
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Thanks Matthys, Elsa and Foxy!

Cheetah on the move:
Image

Newborn with mum:
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Cape to Crooks Corner : a pilgrimage
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:22 pm 
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DB, Just a wonderful pic of the cheetahs eyeing the wildebeest herd. Thanks for sharing all those pics. Just wonderful!


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 Post subject: Re: Cape to Crooks Corner : a pilgrimage
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:56 pm 
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Thanks everyone for the kind comments. I m not the most creative photographer.


Right now we are having a cold sundowner at camp with the sun setting to the west of us behind the lovely trees on the camps border. A lone dagga boy is grazing at the fence as well as a bushbuck ram. It is really hot (the story of our trip). A 'chicken' is yelling not far off and doves are coo'ing. Otherwise the bush is still.and quiet.

A little later we are going owl spoting around the camp.

*clink* everyone!

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Dalene

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 Post subject: Re: Cape to Crooks Corner : a pilgrimage
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:18 pm 
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Good eve all :yaya:

We have been on the move! Since I last posted here, we spent two nights at Shingwedzi. Magic! Although it rained a fair bit of the time we were there, Hawk and I were enchanted by the beauty and birds in the area. The drive along the river and dam was one of the nicest we have ever done - no big five, just a very special Kruger.

Today we moved to Punda. It is not as lush here as at Shing, but still green and our drive this afternoon around the Maybe Loop was so pretty. Great bidding here too.

Right now we are listening to the most amazing frog chorus. I will try record it. Bushbabies yelling not far off, and crickets and Christmas bees calling.

Tomorrow, Crooks Corner. See you all there :-)

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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Cape to Crooks Corner : a pilgrimage
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:22 pm 
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Haha. My post above reads funny. Sorry. Blame my phone. Sure u guys will work out the correct wording.

The baboons are barking like crazy. Wonder what is up.

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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Cape to Crooks Corner : a pilgrimage
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:03 pm 
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Maybe AM ... and thanks EJ, will keep a watch :dance:

..... and guys, we made it. Today, we stood at Crooks Corner. Went there twice in fact. Just some pics to show you all what it looks like after the good rains this week. Until then the area was really dry, and hopefully now the grass will shoot again.

Image

The river is running so nicely - taken from the bridge:
Image

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Sawubona
Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Cape to Crooks Corner : a pilgrimage
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:09 pm 
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And we are home! A few days ago. 7195km, 6 SANParks, 12 rest camps and five weeks later. I have much to share with you all since I last posted here :dance:

Firstly - thank you for following our report, and thank you for the generous and thoughtful comments.

I am now sorting thro the pics we took. Although the pics have my copyright on them :twisted: , I must give credit to Hawk for taking the landscape pics. He really has a good eye in that regard.

Hawk's passion is to video. He will be adding some clips.

And so, lets go right back to the beginning - our first stop over, Karoo National Park. To add to what I wrote while in the park, I have a few pics to share with you.

The sky stretches all around one in the Karoo. It leaves one with such a feeling of freedom.
Image
Karoo sky

We stopped off for lunch at the picnic area.
Image
Picnic site - Karoo

Image
Picnic site - Karoo

The camping area is really lovely, with birdlife and good views.
Image
Karoo camping area

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Sawubona
Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Cape to Crooks Corner : a pilgrimage
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:32 pm 
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Indeed yes, Billyf, the Karoo is looking good and seem to be over their immediate water crisis for now.

Duke and Sharifa - you do need to make a plan to fit in a visit to Karoo .... if you guys can seeing you just about live in SANParks :tongue:

Tranquil is such a perfect description of the Karoo, Tawny.

Thanks Jen, Elsa and AM.

Our next stop on our journey was at Mokala National Park. This was a first visit to this park for us. I had been told by a couple of folk that I would love Mokala, and I really did!

I wrote this from Mokala, and promised pics. Here they are. First of the camp we stayed in, the new Motswedi Camp.

The view over the waterhole from the most left campsite (no 1) Note the low buffalo proof fence:
Image

Looking back to the left (facing the waterhole) of the camp.
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The private ablutions/kitchen with solar geysers. Two ablutions/kitchens to a building.
Image

A gas fridge and cooker top is provided.
Image

Sunset over the camp - pic taken with my phone ;)
Image

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Sawubona
Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Cape to Crooks Corner : a pilgrimage
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:24 pm 
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Some more pics taken at Molaka - this time of the Haak en Steek camp. One can camp here for R95 a night. There is no electricity and the camp is not fenced. Another camp perfect for those who love to really get away from it all.

This camp is situated on a waterhole.

Image

Image

Image

The waterhole:
Image

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Sawubona
Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Cape to Crooks Corner : a pilgrimage
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:57 pm 
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Indeed, Spook it has. :)

Quote:
There is a picnic site in the park – unfenced, wild, and basic ... but it does have a loo. Take chairs (there are benches provided, but not ones to encourage a long comfy sit) and take tables ... no tables are provided. Braai areas are.


Image

Image

Image


Quote:
The birdhide is lovely – and one is entertained all the while there with antelope coming down to drink and very active birdlife.


Image

Image

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Sawubona
Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Cape to Crooks Corner : a pilgrimage
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:54 pm 
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My favourite bird pic from Mokala, a white backed mousebird:

Image


And what for us was an unusual sighting, a black springbok:

Image


And a video from Hawk:


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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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