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 Post subject: sable The leopard’s tale November 2011
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:40 pm 
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Back to Kruger again
The first time in my life the start for my holiday was delayed more than half a day. Due to electricity outage of the plane we had to stay a night at the airport hotel in Frankfurt until we could start the next day for Johannesburg at noon. I prefer the night flight, but now 14 hours delayed we arrived at Joburg by night. Fortunately we had a great recommendation for a wonderful accommodation close to the airport when we got our car.
We were glad that Kruger was not first on our route through South Africa.
No day lost of our Kruger adventure.

4th September
As planned we arrive at Kruger National Park at Sunday 4th September.
It is always very exciting to visit Kruger, our last visit was in 2008.
We arrive at 10 o’clock in the morning at Phalaborwa Gate.
We purchase our new Wild Card, a piece of paper that soon gets my sheet protector and off we are to the park. We are lucky, today is a sunny Sunday with very comfortable 24 degrees Celsius.
The first animals we see right behind the gate are impalas and guinea fowls.
We watch elephants at Masorini,

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and zebras near Erfplaas.

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It is very dry all over, green grass only were the area is burnt.
At Nhlanganini we see the second of the Big Five during our this year's holiday, a herd of buffalos.

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We arrive at Letaba at noon. From the terrace in front of the restaurant there is always a lovely view of the Letaba river bed.
Today there are two elephants, impalas and nyalas browsing in the river bed.
The elephant close to the camp has only one tusk.

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With my binoculars I watch a far away giraffe close to the banks.
It is always hard to leave this wonderful place, but we soon are heading for Olifants Camp.
On our way there are more elephants and giraffes and a lot of hippos enjoying the sunny day in spring.

At Olifants camp we get drinks and sweets for a pause at the view point.
The shop is now much bigger and more comfortable as it has been during our last visit.
In addition there is a new terrace at the restaurant which offers a lovely view over Olifants river.
But there is not enough time for the restaurant today and we walk to the view point.
Elephants and hippos in the Olifants river bed!

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At N'wamanzi Lookout these two ones are busy with grooming.

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Again many hippos are enjoying the sun at the river banks of the Olifants river.

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At Olifants river bridge there are crocs in the water. You can see this one walking in the river bed,

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whereas the other one just stocks up on some sunshine.

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There are elephants in the thick green in the Olifants river bed and more impalas at the river banks.

On our way to Satara we see ellies at Nyamhari waterhole. It was great to watch them rest and drink unhurriedly.
It seems they have a lot of time to satisfy their thirst.

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It is always the same when I watch the waterhole at Satara from close to the fence, no animals at all.

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Many hornbills are attracting the visitors of the camp. Nice birds and they are real photo models.

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This one already started with a lizard for the afternoon. :shock:

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Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: Back to Kruger again
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:56 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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4th September cont.

Soon we are on our way to Orpen. It is still very busy.
We see many kudus. This beauty was browsing close to the road.

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The fresh new green seems to be very tasty.

A little ellie is hiding in the shade whereas the rest of the family enjoys the bushes.

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Suddenly baboons are crossing the road.
This youngster gets swinging on a branch of the tree right next to our car’s window.
What a cute little fellow!

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Time goes by very fast and we are to leave the park to get to our accommodation in Hazyview.
Close to the gate there are some cars, everybody is watching a sleepy lioness in the deep grass.

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We leave this sighting soon, it is already five o’clock in the afternoon and there is still a long distance to our accommodation.

On our way west we see a nice sunset, wild dogs close to a fence and then we arrive at the first road works heading south on R40.
Waiting time is half an hour. :shock:
… and soon it was pitch dark outside.
In our row we are the second car waiting in front of the red light of the robot,
but there are two more rows with cars waiting to enter one lane of the remaining road.
Every now and then cars arrive from the other side.
Suddenly there are cars driving against the traffic, ignoring the red light. :big_eyes:

The route down the R40 to Hazyview from this junction is a real nightmare.
We have traffic against our direction, very narrow lanes and sometimes deep gravel road on our way through a very busy area.
It seems everybody and everything is on the road that evening.
There are a lot of pedestrians and cyclists on the road, bicycles without any light.
I see a lot of fires near the road. Is it time to prepare dinner?
When I look to a hillside close to the road I can see the area is burning.
I get my lesson this evening … never be that late again! :naughty:

We finally arrive at our accommodation at 7 pm after a terrible drive on the R40.
Lucky we are, there is still time for a shower and at least we manage to get dinner that evening.

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Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: Re: The leopard’s tale
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:17 pm 
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cheetah211,
we only took the tarred road from Olifants to Satara,
and then the Satara Road towards Orpen.
As there was not that much traffic in the park
we saw many animals close to the road.
It seems the grass near the road is always the best. :wink:

Tawny,
we never had so many road works before as during our this year's journey
which finally was a trip of 6000 kilometers.
But as this was the beginning of the holidays I didn't know
that there will be no day without roadworks this time.
After the nightmare in darkness at R40 we decided to have a late sleep the next morning. :)

Pumbaa
Which street? :wink:
With this experience at the road works with the cars driving against the traffic
in one lane routes we were not that surprised to see the same during day light.
Maybe this happens because the road works often cover very long routes which results
in long waiting times.
Sometimes there were little trees and rocks layed on the road to prevent
that someone drives on the frechly prepared road when moving out of the way
of the opposing traffic.
You see even outside the parks we had a very adventurous time.

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Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: Visit at Lake Panic Hide
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:32 pm 
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5th September
At a quarter past 9 we arrive at Phabeni gate. Close to the gate we see our first warthogs, impalas and elephants for today.
As you can see there is very high grass in this area, we are glad that there are big ellies. ;-)

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On our way to Skukuza there are a lot of zebras and kudus. We see these giraffes enjoying the fresh green.

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A beautiful lilac-breasted roller on a thorny branch gets a lot of sunshine today.

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When we arrive at Lake Panic there are a lot of visitors at the hide.
We finally get a seat and see some of the old friends from our last visits.

There is always a tortoise at the left. :)

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The African darter found a partner and is now sharing the tree close to the hide with him.

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The goliath heron walking at the banks of Lake Panic is a new sighting for us.

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It is great to watch the family of grey herons with the nest at the other side of the water.
Mrs. Grey Heron is not in a good temper today. She shouts at him and he leaves the nest very quickly.

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Shortly later you can see him having a ride at a hippo.

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There was a bushbuck at the right side of the hide checking the scene very carefully, a very alert animal.

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And you can see our well known African jacana at this picture. :)

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Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: The Sabie River
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:27 pm 
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At noon we arrive at Skukuza. It is really strange that we see no fruit bat any more.
During our former visits we saw them at the thatched roof at the terrace of the restaurant.
At the last visit when we stayed over night at Skukuza we even had a fruit bat in our rondavel.

At the well-assorted shop I get another nice South African TShirt. :D
As the area at the river is under construction, we leave shortly after the visit to the shop.
On our way to Lower Sabie we see more ellies, giraffes, buffalos in deep grass and kudus.
This kudu has wonderful horns.

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As we arrive at the parking area of Nkuhlu picnic spot I hear SO say “They already prepared the parking for you!” :roll:
This sign is right behind me.

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At the picnic area there are vervet monkeys

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and baboons watching the few visitors very carefully. Our neighbours lost their potato chip bag.
The area is very frequented by baboons.

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We see this one sorting the waste.

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Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: Sunset Dam
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:06 pm 
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On our way to Lower Sabie we see this very successful African Fish Eagle. :)

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A Grey Lourie watches the Sabie River area

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As we arrive at Sunset Dam we see a lot of crocodiles and hippos.
This Yellow-billed stork youngster watches the scene together with mum.

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The hippos are close to the banks to enjoy the spring sun.

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Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: Lower Sabie - Paul Kruger Gate
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:48 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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This one welcomes us at Lower Sabie.

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The view from the visitor terrace is always great. Today it is very quiet at the Sabie River, but very busy at the terrace.
As always I have to see the shop and then Sunset Dam is calling again. :wink

A croc is looking for a nice place in the afternoon sun ...

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... but keeps a good distance to the neighbour.
Close to us there is a bird family on the afternoon walk, Egyptian geese.

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I wonder how old the little ones are.

Sunset Dam is still very busy, but we have to leave to be not that late at the gate today.

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On our way back we see many elephants, buffalos,

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impalas and more beautiful kudus :D

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This little steenbok is a great challenge for me. There are always branches in front.

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We arrive at Kruger Gate at 5 pm and there is a nice sunset on our way back to Hazyview.

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Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: Entrance at Numbi Gate
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:30 am 
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6th September
Today we are leaving our accommodation early in the morning and take breakfast packs with us. We are heading for Numbi Gate. It is planned to take the Voortrekker Road to Afsaal picnic spot and have breakfast in the shade of the wonderful trees there. But this is only the plan ...
As we arrive at the gate at half past six we see our car has a tyre damage at the passenger's side. :shock:
There is no decrease in pressure, but it is no doubt we can't continue with such a tyre damage we have to see a tyre expert first. :(

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It is no nail and no screw, just an unidentifiable piece of metal.
Will there be a chance to return today?
Will I see the scops owl at Afsaal today?
We don't have the faintest idea. :cry:

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Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: Entrance at Numbi Gate
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:31 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Germany
Back to Hazyview we stop at a petrol station with tyre service.
We are a bit too early and wait until a South American looking tyre expert arrives and looks at our tyre.
The piece of metall which he pulls out is really big.
The bubble test with spit shows no bubbles and we hear the tyre is ok. :o
There is no falling pressure. Unbelievable that there is nothing to see at the tyre.
This is the piece of metal

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Yes, it is a part of a well known German car.
We wonder where we got this tyre damage.

So we are tremendously lucky there is only one hour lost of our time in Kruger.
We arrive again at Numbi Gate at half past seven,
happy that there is another chance for a Kruger visit. :D

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Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: Numbi Gate to Afsaal
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:08 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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After breakfast in Pretoriuskop we are heading for Voortrekker Road and discover that it is under construction.
So we take the tarred road. We see a very shy Common duiker.

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On our way to Afsaal we see the next of the Big Five, a lovely rhino family.
It is great to watch them enjoying the fresh green.

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We watch a beautiful giraffe for a while.

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This giraffe is hiding deep in pollen.

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A very delicious meal ... :wink:

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Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: Afsaal picnic spot
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:03 pm 
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On our way to Afsaal there are more elephants, more kudus and impalas..
When we arrive at Afsaal we have the rest of our breakfast pack.
There are always the same interested parties when you have something to eat. :wink:

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The scops owl’s tree is pretty much overcrowded. There are a lot of hornbills.
If you see these busy birds you immediately know it is impossible to find the owl in such a restlessness.

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The scops owl moved to a more quiet area.
It was not that easy to find out, but at first you discover it’s outline up in a tree at the border of the picnic spot.

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First it had the eyes closed but later on you could see it stretching the feathers.

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It is always a great pleasure to watch the scops owl at Afsaal. :D

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Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: De Laporte Waterhole
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:15 pm 
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After watching zebras and kudus at a waterhole on our way back we finally arrive at De Laporte waterhole.
We are too late to watch the giraffe drinking, it was leaving as we arrived.
But there are still impalas drinking.

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... and a wonderful raptor is walking up and down

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As the impalas leave this big raptor takes a chance to drink. Is it a Wahlberg's eagle?

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I never saw such a beautiful raptor at a waterhole before. :)

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Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: Lake Panic again ...
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:06 pm 
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There seems to be a magnet at Lake Panic for me, we have to see it again.
The viewpoint was unfortunately as busy as during our last visit the day before.
But Lake Panic is always worth a visit. :D
As we arrive the bushbucks are leaving, but the lake is still busy.
Today the tortoises rest in pairs. :lol:

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A typical view over Lake Panic ...

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This is my favourite picture of this visit, pied kingfishers waiting for prey.

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Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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 Post subject: Lake Panic again ...
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:43 pm 
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The grey herons are still close to their nest ...

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and a bird, this time not the African jacana, walks along roots and leaves.
I hope there is someone of the forum who can identify it for me.

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Thank you anne-marie for identifying the Black Crake.

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Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


Last edited by sable on Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: From Lake Panic to Phabeni Gate
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:43 am 
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On our way from Lake Panic to Phabeni Gate we arrive at two tour vehicles and six cars, everybody watching something on the left side of the road.
What is it? They don't look at the grass, it must be something in one of the trees.
I take the binos, but I can't find it. Someone points to a tree.
I pass the binos to SO and it took a while until he says „There it is!“
Look at this tree ...

Image

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Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


Last edited by sable on Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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