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 Post subject: Sparrows 2010 (World Cup) Migration Dec 2010
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:21 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 9:11 am
Posts: 2310
Location: Pinetown the Finetown in KZN
Sparrows 2010 (World Cup) Migration

Once again the clock radio sounded at 4.45am and this time it was straight out of bed as it was Kruger time once again.

Hitched up the caravan and set off at 4.20am a rather long 35 minutes to get going even when Sparrowhawk was not flying with me this time. (Poor chap was so :evil: :( :x ,but he had just started a new job and could not get any leave).

Out the gate and down the road and picked up Grandad and then onto the main drag towards JHB. It was raining as we set off and did not stop until we got to Pretoria. Wish those Gauteng people who drive their slinky little sports cars were forced to take an intensive driving course before being allowed on the road.

The drive had been uneventful until JHB where in a stretch of + 20 kms there were 5 accidents involving slinky type cars. (Oh what to be a tow truck driver in this part of the world).
We continued through to Pretoria and onto Phlokwane through Makhado and travelled at 60kms per hour for the next 40ks to Thohoyandou and until we reached the gate.

Image
063 by Russelg, on Flickr

Image
062 by Russelg, on Flickr

We booked in and took off for Punda.

The caravan had not even passed the gate and our first Ellie was just to the left of us. There were plenty of zebbies, impis and buffs on our way to camp but by this time all I wanted to do was get the caravan sorted make the fire and sit down with a lovely frosty.

This was all done in the rain but who cares, we are safely in paradise without a care in the world. No radio, TV and any of that city stuff.

Well as is tradition the langoustines were braaied and scoffed down with much delight a few cappies and coke but no star gazing as it was overcast a good long shower and off to bed in anticipation of what tomorrow will bring.

BELIEVE

_________________
Russel G

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished Lao Tzu

Next Trip still in the planning stages


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 Post subject: Re: Sparrows 2010 (World Cup) Migration
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:27 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 9:11 am
Posts: 2310
Location: Pinetown the Finetown in KZN
17th December 2010

This morning we slept in until 7.00am (a first for me) but after the long drive of the previous day it was essential that the batteries got a bit of an extra charge.
Well it was out of camp and onto the S 99 which delivered this lovely little group going about their business.

Image
071 by Russelg, on Flickr

We travelled onto Coetzer waterhole and encountered general game and a Martial Eagle that was not in the mood for the paparazzi and took off before I could even lift up the camera.
Onto the S60 which was completely dead , did the Klopperfontein loop with a couple of giraffe and then to Nyala Drive where we met this little fella.

Image
073 by Russelg, on Flickr

Once he had safely crossed the road we came across this proud mom and her little un

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086 by Russelg, on Flickr

and then met the dad with some other dads.

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090 by Russelg, on Flickr

At Pafuri Picnic Spot we met Frank and had a long chat before breakfast. He told us that a leopard had just walked past the edge of the camp and had given all the picnickers a great early morning treat.
Breakfast done it was back onto the H1.9 and off to Pafuri Gate.
This chappie

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099 by Russelg, on Flickr

seemed to be poking his head out from behind the bush and asking “ and what do you think you are looking at”

These trees never end to amaze me.

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076 by Russelg, on Flickr
They are so majestic and I`m sure if they could talk they would have us enthralled for many many hours with the tales they could tell.

This big boy was totally on his own mission

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103 by Russelg, on Flickr

and took no notice of us as we took his picture.

At Pafuri Gate we took some pictures just to prove that we had been there as this was my first trip right up to the North.

Grandad.

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110 by Russelg, on Flickr

Me about to sneeze

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111 by Russelg, on Flickr
(wasn`t posing for the picture as I do admit that I do have a little boep).

We then headed back to camp with no further incident except to stop for this delightful little creature

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120 by Russelg, on Flickr
who wasn`t at all shy.

Tonight’s supper was steak and baked potatoes in the fire with a couple of frosties.

A quick shower and seeing that it was a clear evening a couple of Cappies and some star gazing before bed.

To be continued.

BELIEVE

_________________
Russel G

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished Lao Tzu

Next Trip still in the planning stages


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 Post subject: Re: Sparrows 2010 (World Cup) Migration
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:21 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 9:11 am
Posts: 2310
Location: Pinetown the Finetown in KZN
Thanx all of you for your comments. They really are greatly appreciated and encouraging.

Oh I forgot to mention another of our traditions and that is that all who are on the migration get 2 packets of sugas sweets which are put into their own side door pocket. Once finished no one dare ask the other flying partner to share.

However this year changed as when we got back to camp this evening the windows in the car were left open and those persky little monkeys were in in a flash and the sugas stock was decimated. However this was solved by gathering what was left and then dividing this between the flying partners.

BELIEVE

_________________
Russel G

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished Lao Tzu

Next Trip still in the planning stages


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 Post subject: Re: Sparrows 2010 (World Cup) Migration
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:03 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 9:11 am
Posts: 2310
Location: Pinetown the Finetown in KZN
18th December 2010.
After coffee and rusks we were out of the gate at 4.30am and headed down the H1.3 to join up with the H1.8 on our way to Crooks Corner.

We hadn’t travelled more than 5 kms along the H1.8 when we were stopped by these 3 fella`s who were having a whale of a time and it seemed that the 2 on the road were trying to pull their other buddy out onto the road.

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127 by Russelg, on Flickr


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128 by Russelg, on Flickr

After about 40 minutes which these magnificent beasts they let us pass and we were once again on our way until we met this lonesome buff who seemed to want to be left alone to sleep it off.

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139 by Russelg, on Flickr

He did however give us the nod that something more interesting than an old buff was awaiting us further up the road. So without any further ado went set off once again.

We travelled a further 12 or so kms and just before Baobab Hill we met our first Kings of the jungle. (Let me state now quite categorically that I love Lions and can spend an entire day with them just observing their behaviour). I could fill this page with these magnificent beauties.

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141 by Russelg, on Flickr

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142 by Russelg, on Flickr

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148 by Russelg, on Flickr

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150 by Russelg, on Flickr

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155 by Russelg, on Flickr

We let them be after 2 hours and the amazing thing about this sighting was that only 2 other cars joined us whilst we were there with about 4 taxis whizzing past without even a glance or reduction in speed.

More to follow

BELIEVE

_________________
Russel G

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished Lao Tzu

Next Trip still in the planning stages


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 Post subject: Re: Sparrows 2010 (World Cup) Migration
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:30 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 9:11 am
Posts: 2310
Location: Pinetown the Finetown in KZN
18th December 2010 continued

We set off for Pafuri Border Gate and took a pic just to prove that we had been there.

Image
158 by Russelg, on Flickr

I was quite amazed at the tennis court and thought that the people who played here must be rather professional players or the ball boys were a very fit lot as there was no fence around the entire court.
It was rather a quiet drive up here with only a beauty of a bush buck who did not stay around for her picture and bolted off into the bush.
At Crooks Corner

Image
170 by Russelg, on Flickr

we were in for the surprise of our lives as we watched a couple of people walking along the river bank to get a better picture of a crocodile that was rather obscured from their view. I could not get a worthwhile picture of them as we were looking directly into the sun and with the reflection off the water it was impossible.

On our way to Pafuri Picnic Spot we were stopped by a young couple who told us that there was a leopard in a tree about 3kms further up the road but sadly it was not to be and that we would have to wait for Christmas day before we found one.

Nature never stops to amaze me when I saw this tree.

Image
172 by Russelg, on Flickr

The will to survive in the wild is so amazing.

At Pafuri we once again made our acquaintance with Frank (What a wonderful , knowledgeable man, a great asset to SANparks). He took us down a little path to the right of the picnic spot as he had seen a Black Eyed Flycatcher there earlier in the morning but alas once again disappointment.
We had a late full English breakfast with our toast only done on one side (As Sting likes it) as a no tailed monkey cavorted around just like his brothers and sisters. His balance was not in the least impaired. Once again the will to survive.
As we were pulling out our river bank strollers pulled in and did I give them a piece of my mind. They were completely surprised by my outburst as if they had done nothing wrong and that it was just natural to stroll where ever one pleased.
Grandad eventually calmed me down and advised me to take a deep breath or I would mess up this picture of a

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176 by Russelg, on Flickr

Crested Guinea Fowl (a first for me). That`s the C.G.F. as I`ve botched many a picture in my time and still am.
We continued on our now merry way back to camp and came across this gentle giant who had the patience of Job as he sauntered from one side of the road to the other without a care in the world.


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192 by Russelg, on Flickr

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193 by Russelg, on Flickr

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196 by Russelg, on Flickr

(Who would if you were so BIG). Eventually he let us pass only to travel a further 30 minutes and come across the beauty. Pity about the power lines in the back ground. This one got cropped.
Once past this spot we came upon these flycatchers who had commandeered the road and the surrounding bush which was to my delight because I haven’t seen these birds in yonks.

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212 by Russelg, on Flickr

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215 by Russelg, on Flickr

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231 by Russelg, on Flickr


Then around the corner this pair of Bromvoels were catching scorpions and flying off to feed their young ones.

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239 by Russelg, on Flickr

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244 by Russelg, on Flickr

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245 by Russelg, on Flickr

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266 by Russelg, on Flickr

Just before we got back to camp we found this Pied Kingfisher and I tried to do a bit of abstract art picture taking with the camera.


Image
280 by Russelg, on Flickr

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292 by Russelg, on Flickr

Once back at camp the fire was lit meat braaied with jacket potatoes and sweet potatoes done in the coals alongside a butternut.
Showers were had a couple of Cappies under the stars and two very happy oldish men retired to lala land.

BELIEVE

_________________
Russel G

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished Lao Tzu

Next Trip still in the planning stages


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 Post subject: Re: Sparrows 2010 (World Cup) Migration
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:46 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 9:11 am
Posts: 2310
Location: Pinetown the Finetown in KZN
19th December 2010

Slept in until 6.00am hitched up the caravan and with rather sad hearts we left Punda Maria and set off for Shingwedzi.

Image
295 by Russelg, on Flickr

This was also a first for me as I had heard a lot about this camp but had never been there before. This has now all changed as we will be back there in 29 days time.

There was not much happening which was not a problem as we had the caravan in tow except for a bit of general game.

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348 by Russelg, on Flickr

And one for the botanists

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344 by Russelg, on Flickr

We arrived at

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425 by Russelg, on Flickr

Set up camp right on the fence, and when I say right on the fence it was as we used the fence poles to secure the tent . Once this was done we headed out along Red Rocks Road and found this couple doing some angling.
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329 by Russelg, on Flickr

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326 by Russelg, on Flickr

This crocodile

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327 by Russelg, on Flickr

And these duelling impis

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351 by Russelg, on Flickr

We headed back camp to via the low level bridge and in through the back gate.
However before we went into camp there was a bit of a traffic jam at the bridge and we were able to capture these delightful creatures before retiring for the day.

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340 by Russelg, on Flickr

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342 by Russelg, on Flickr

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361 by Russelg, on Flickr

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352 by Russelg, on Flickr

Still more to come so keep tuned in

BELIEVE

_________________
Russel G

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished Lao Tzu

Next Trip still in the planning stages


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 Post subject: Re: Sparrows 2010 (World Cup) Migration
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:53 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 9:11 am
Posts: 2310
Location: Pinetown the Finetown in KZN
20th December

Seeing that the next 5days were rather quite I have decided to put them all together in one episode. Also that we are running out of time to get this migration finished.

So here goes.



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372 by Russelg, on Flickr

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374 by Russelg, on Flickr

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375 by Russelg, on Flickr

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381 byImage
389 by Russelg, on Flickr Russelg, on Flickr

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390 by Russelg, on Flickr

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394 by Russelg, on Flickr

This gentle giant turned rather nasty and put his ears back and chased us for about 500 metres. I never new that Volkswagens came with 2 reverse gears.

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397 by Russelg, on Flickr

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407 by Russelg, on Flickr

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415 by Russelg, on Flickr

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419 by Russelg, on Flickr

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424 by Russelg, on Flickr

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200 by Russelg, on Flickr

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198 by Russelg, on Flickr

21st December
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430 by Russelg, on Flickr


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431 by Russelg, on Flickr

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438 by Russelg, on Flickr

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440 by Russelg, on Flickr

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441 by Russelg, on Flickr

We felt like a resturarnt cooked T bone steak so we went into

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451 by Russelg, on Flickr

and had one at the local steak house. What a good meal they serve.

On our way back we thought we had found a lone lion after what seemed like an eternity but it turned out to be a Bell.

Image
454 by Russelg, on Flickr

22nd December

This I found rather intriging but it put the wind up grandad as he suffers from arachniphobia unbeknown to me. Excuse the spelling but you get my drift

Image
456 by Russelg, on Flickr

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458 by Russelg, on Flickr

Just run out of uploaded pics so will post these in the meantime and upload some more.

Believe

_________________
Russel G

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished Lao Tzu

Next Trip still in the planning stages


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 Post subject: Re: Sparrows 2010 (World Cup) Migration
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:17 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 9:11 am
Posts: 2310
Location: Pinetown the Finetown in KZN
22nd December 2010 continued


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462 by Russelg, on Flickr

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466 by Russelg, on Flickr

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464 by Russelg, on Flickr

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472 by Russelg, on Flickr

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475 by Russelg, on Flickr

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486 by Russelg, on Flickr

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477 by Russelg, on Flickr

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487 by Russelg, on Flickr

and so another day came to an end with a couple of beers around the fire and this magnificant sunset

Image
496 by Russelg, on Flickr

Believe

_________________
Russel G

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished Lao Tzu

Next Trip still in the planning stages


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 Post subject: Re: Sparrows 2010 (World Cup) Migration
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:56 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 2310
Location: Pinetown the Finetown in KZN
23rd December 2010 Shigwedzi to Satara

We left this profoundly beautiful part of the Park with saddend hearts as it was the first time that I had bee so far North. I secretly made an oath to myself that I would return and with Sparrowhawk this time.

Oh I forgot to tell you a little story that i found quite hilarious.

We met this couple that were on a practice honeymoon as they told us.

The story goes like this.

They had arrived at Shing on the 20th and had set up camp in what they thought was quite a secluded spot only to discover that when they returned from game viewing a school group of twelve year olds had set up their tents all around them.

It was too late to re-locate so they decided to do the move thing the next morning which was done and out they went again.

On returning there was peace and quiet so of to do some shopping and whilst they were away the Rolenda Hotel pulled in and set up everything right on their doorstep.

Needless to say they then joined us for a braai and drinks which lasted till 10.30pm in the evening.
They assured us that they would be back but this time on an official honeymoon.

Well after quite a late night as Park standards go we were up at 5.30am dismantled camp and set off for Satara.

First up were these delightful baby clowns

Image
517 by Russelg, on Flickr

Image
517 by Russelg, on Flickr

There was not much except for mopani bush and being quite a long drive we pushed on towards Satara.
Once there we booked in set up camp and went out for a short drive where we found these philistines

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521 by Russelg, on Flickr

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536 by Russelg, on Flickr

looking at this

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540 by Russelg, on Flickr

not a good picture as the light was bad and I was mad but it was a lion.

Back at camp Grandad made the fire so he had to cook whist I got the dops and tried to forget what idiots visit our pristine paradise.

Well a bit of star gazing with the Cappie mellowed things a bit and a good nites rest was had by all.

Until tomorrow

Believe

_________________
Russel G

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished Lao Tzu

Next Trip still in the planning stages


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 Post subject: Re: Sparrows 2010 (World Cup) Migration
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:35 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 9:11 am
Posts: 2310
Location: Pinetown the Finetown in KZN
24th December 2010 Christmas eve.

Well we woke up early and were the first out after coffee and rusks at the gate and were greeted by this magnificant sunrise as we turned onto the H6

Image
542 by Russelg, on Flickr

It was another rather slow day with plenty of game on our return back to camp along the S100 but no cats to be seen.

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548 by Russelg, on Flickr

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550 by Russelg, on Flickr

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551 by Russelg, on Flickr

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553 by Russelg, on Flickr

I don`t think that these boys even knew we were there or they were just taking no notice of us.

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567 by Russelg, on Flickr

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568 by Russelg, on Flickr

Some you win some you lose.

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573 by Russelg, on Flickr

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586 by Russelg, on Flickr

We returned to camp for a swim and a short snooze as we were doing a night drive that evening.

After a small snack the cooler box was replenished and we boarded the truck with Tevin our driver and guide who proceeded to tell us the whole complete life cycle of the wildebeest.

Once on the road again we virtually bumped into this family of about 40 individuals with some babies.

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594 by Russelg, on Flickr

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596 by Russelg, on Flickr

We set off again and after about 10 minutes a voice said LIONS and there they were in very long grass.

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607 by Russelg, on Flickr

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620 by Russelg, on Flickr

Other glimpses were serval, hyena and porkypine (sic) but no chance to get a :cam: and then the last :cam: of the day was this beautiful sunset that you can rely on whilst in our paradise.

Image
622 by Russelg, on Flickr

Well 2 very happy people had a few more cappies under the stars and went to bed without the slightest idea of what would be revealed the next day. Hang in there for the best ever Christmas day in paradise.

Believe

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Russel G

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished Lao Tzu

Next Trip still in the planning stages


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 Post subject: Re: Sparrows 2010 (World Cup) Migration
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:53 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 2310
Location: Pinetown the Finetown in KZN
25th December 2010 Christmas a day like never before.

This is a day that I have been waiting for and wanting to share with you since I started my first migration on the forum.

I said to granddad the previous evening that we were going to be the first out of camp on Christmas morning as I just had a feeling that we were about to experience one of the bestest days in PARADISE.

So we were first in line at the gate with our usual cup of coffee and this time Christmas cake and strong cheddar cheese (another ritual dating back to the late 60`s when I visited with my parents).

Gates opened and we set off down the H1-4 and onto the Orpen road H7 passed Nsemani Dam and then left onto the S36 with the idea of having breakfast at Nhlanguleni Picnic spot.
However before we arrived there we came across this rather tied fella

Image
834 by Russelg, on Flickr

who seemed to be sleeping off his Christmas Eve party and a bit further on these okies

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808 by Russelg, on Flickr

who seemed to think that it was just another day.

We got to Nhlanguleni without further much to do and had a scrumptious Christmas English breakfast with all the trimmings and Champagne and orange juice. (Can`t do that anymore).

Whilst there this delightful little creature put in an appearance and gave me a photo session to remember. Could not stop thinking about Crested Val

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626 by Russelg, on Flickr

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633 by Russelg, on Flickr

His mate also pulled in but was a bit camera shy and only offered the one side of himself to be photographed.

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638 by Russelg, on Flickr

Once everything was washed up and packed away we set off for Lugmag dam and were apprehended by this slow coach.

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642 by Russelg, on Flickr

I thought to myself another slow day was about to be experienced. NOT TO BE.

The best part of the day is about to be revealed.

Believe

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Russel G

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished Lao Tzu

Next Trip still in the planning stages


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 Post subject: Re: Sparrows 2010 (World Cup) Migration
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:48 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pinetown the Finetown in KZN
Christmas day 2010 continued.

As we approached the dam from the top end we noticed a bakkie just pulling off and went and stopped where they had been.
There they were, Three beauties.


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644 by Russelg, on Flickr

They were about 200 metres away but who cares. They were beauties.
We sat there for about 45 minutes when suddenly out of nowhere this one appeared.

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665 by Russelg, on Flickr

The clan of three gave him the look and one of them also gave me the look.

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664 by Russelg, on Flickr

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672 by Russelg, on Flickr

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675 by Russelg, on Flickr

To our surprise a lioness took centre stage and sauntered of to back stage right with her lover boy to relax under the trees.

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682 by Russelg, on Flickr

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701 by Russelg, on Flickr

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703 by Russelg, on Flickr

This was not to be as Black mane followed with his two brothers close behind to try and charm our heroin.

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708 by Russelg, on Flickr

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717 by Russelg, on Flickr

As the script had already been penned she took no notice of them got up with lover boy and disappeared over the ridge.

Just as lover boy was about to disappear he cocked his butt and showed the rest of the cast who the lead actor was in this soapie.

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722 by Russelg, on Flickr

This whole saga was watched over and directed by a very aware director.

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715 by Russelg, on Flickr

Seeing that all the actors then decided to take a rest out of sight we decided to push on.

As we took off a car pulled up beside us and said that there was a leopard on the Vutomi Dam road. So without any further ado that is where we headed. It was now 12.01pm and about 3kms up the road when out of the corner of my eye I got a glimpse of this.

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752 by Russelg, on Flickr

Which turned out to be this.

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724 by Russelg, on Flickr

I will let her pictures tell you the story as we are still in awe of what Mother Nature presented us with for our Christmas Present 2010. Enjoy

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728 by Russelg, on Flickr

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729 by Russelg, on Flickr

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754 by Russelg, on Flickr

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758 by Russelg, on Flickr

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761 by Russelg, on Flickr

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762 by Russelg, on Flickr

Eventually at 2.05pm she got up

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764 by Russelg, on Flickr

turned around and presented us with a different side of herself.

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769 by Russelg, on Flickr

All this in 2 hours 4 minutes with only one other car that only stuck around for 10 minutes. What BLISS.

To be continued.

BELIEVE

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Russel G

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished Lao Tzu

Next Trip still in the planning stages


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 Post subject: Re: Sparrows 2010 (World Cup) Migration
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:15 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pinetown the Finetown in KZN
Christmas day 2010 continued

Well after that Leopard we travelled onto Vutomi Dam but the lions had already moved on so we decided to take a slow drive back to camp and relish our good fortune.

Just before camp Grandad mentioned that we had not seen a single Ellie the whole day and that we needed one to complete our Big Five for the day. We decided to drive past camp towards Oliphants and to our surprise there he was.

Image
021 by Russelg, on Flickr

BIG FIVE for Christmas.

That evening we decided to eat at the restuarant because of a storm that hit us. Venison Pie and a barrel full of draught cold shower and off to bed at 8.05pm. Two very happy and contented campers.

More to be revealed

BELIEVE

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Russel G

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished Lao Tzu

Next Trip still in the planning stages


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 Post subject: Re: Sparrows 2010 (World Cup) Migration
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:43 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 2310
Location: Pinetown the Finetown in KZN
Hey I think its about time I put this migration to bed and start the 2011 migration ( What a trip we had)with a short interlude to the cricket 2011 as the next 2012 cricket episode is about to happen.

Image
762 by Russelg, on Flickr

What say you lot?

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Russel G

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished Lao Tzu

Next Trip still in the planning stages


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 Post subject: Re: Sparrows 2010 (World Cup) Migration
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:09 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 9:11 am
Posts: 2310
Location: Pinetown the Finetown in KZN
I think I will just post the dates and let the pics tell the story of the day. Maybe a couple of coments in between.
December 26th. With muddy shoes to boot.

Image
773 by Russelg, on Flickr

Image
774 by Russelg, on Flickr

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Russel G

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished Lao Tzu

Next Trip still in the planning stages


Last edited by Sparrow on Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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