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 Post subject: Divine7polo-Annual October trip to Kruger-2011
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:46 pm
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Location: United Kingdom
Thursday 20th October to Saturday 22nd October
Finally! Thursday 20th October arrived and we were on the flight to South Africa!We were particularly excited as this year 3 families were joing us at our timeshare at Ngwenya Lodge. The first challenge was getting on board our connecting flight which was departing 1 hour after us landing in Jhb...this was already cut to 30mins as our flight was delayed for take off... :roll: On arrival there was yet another delay :doh: while they waited for the stairs to disembark - PANIC! Luckily we only had hand luggage and all our friends were holding the domestic flight back for us - we sprinted to the Domestic terminal after checking in and thankfully managed to board to the sound of last calls for our family! Phew!

We collected our hire cars and set off to Pick n Pay where the General Manager had arranged for all our shopping (for 17 people!) to be packed and ready - marvellous! What a great service and timesaver!

After a swim and welcome drinks we had a wonderful braai on the balcony planning our route for Saturday while enjoying views of the resident bushbuck and the 3 dagga boys on Crocodile River bank as the sun set.

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An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~Martin Buber

Ngwenya Lodge: 17-24 October
Cheetah Plains: 24-26 October
Mozambique: 26 October - 1 November


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 Post subject: Re: Annual October tip to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:48 pm 
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Saturday morning: everyone was up at 5am and on on the road to Croc Bridge Gate. We purchased Wild Cards (after much ado and confusion at the newly opened entrance)
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and then we were finally on our way!
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The first thing we saw on the H4-2 was this little fellow - you can imagine the excitement from our friends for whom this was the first trip to SA and first time in a Game Reserve - it was sooo good, it felt like our first time too!! :lol:
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Then, a fortunate sighting of two Secretary Birds - I do love the beginner's luck that accompanies newbies to the bush!
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_________________
An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~Martin Buber

Ngwenya Lodge: 17-24 October
Cheetah Plains: 24-26 October
Mozambique: 26 October - 1 November


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 Post subject: Re: Annual October tip to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:46 pm
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Location: United Kingdom
Next we stopped off at the Nthanyathi Hide....as we approached we saw what looked like a plastic snake wrapped around the gate...our guests nearly reached for it thinking it was a hoax - luckily we stopped them and this is what we saw:
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After much deliberation as to whether it was the highly venemous Boomslang, we all agreed that it was actually the spotted bush snake...phew! We spent an hour enjoying the peace at the hide with rhino in the distance and watching an elephant who was loitering nearby and the monitor lizard was feeding on catfish...peaceful bliss. Bumped into a fellow forumite with a yellow ribbon on their car: 'Skip' - hope they enjoyed therest of their trip!
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_________________
An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~Martin Buber

Ngwenya Lodge: 17-24 October
Cheetah Plains: 24-26 October
Mozambique: 26 October - 1 November


Last edited by Divine7polo on Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Annual October tip to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:46 pm
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Drove on towards Lower Sabie and found a cluster of cars - so pleased - Leopard in Tree! But only just visible from our distance...
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A kilometre later: I just LOVE this stretch of road!
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After a quick stop at Lower Sabie we headed to Sunset Dam, which as ALWAYS did not disappoint! :dance:
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Not to forget several rhino sightings to make the BIG 5 in one morning drive! :clap:
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_________________
An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~Martin Buber

Ngwenya Lodge: 17-24 October
Cheetah Plains: 24-26 October
Mozambique: 26 October - 1 November


Last edited by Divine7polo on Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Annual October tip to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:46 pm
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A quick stop on the bridge on the way back yielded much entertainment from a troupe of baboons

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and a big croc

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also a dead hippo which apperade to have suffered from a serious head injury -perhaps from a fight with another bull??

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_________________
An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~Martin Buber

Ngwenya Lodge: 17-24 October
Cheetah Plains: 24-26 October
Mozambique: 26 October - 1 November


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 Post subject: Re: Annual October tip to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:46 pm
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Headed back to Ngwenya for a swim, G&T sundowners and a lovely braai including Mozambique prawns and fine South African wine!
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It is bliss to be back....fell asleep to the tuneful sounds of the bush....
More tomorrw for Sunday's adventure!

_________________
An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~Martin Buber

Ngwenya Lodge: 17-24 October
Cheetah Plains: 24-26 October
Mozambique: 26 October - 1 November


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 Post subject: Re: Annual October trip to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:46 pm
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Location: United Kingdom
Sunday 23 October

A LONG day ahead - driving to the Panorama Route but through the park....BIG mistake - :naughty: you can never travel quickly through the Park - it will always thwart you! We had just started and saw a lovely rhino settling down for a rest
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Not much further along and we saw two lionesses...the photos are blurred and not worth sharing...but what a treat - there were brand new cubs meowing ... amazing sighting! The H4-2 just got better with many elephants enjoying the water from the river, as well as this herd of buffaloe:
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We can never resist a stop at sunset dam:

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_________________
An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~Martin Buber

Ngwenya Lodge: 17-24 October
Cheetah Plains: 24-26 October
Mozambique: 26 October - 1 November


Last edited by Divine7polo on Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Annual October trip to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:13 pm 
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...you can try to hurry ...but the Kruger won't let you...these Kudu were putting on a fine show rutting in front of a potential harem of females:

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Now we were running over an hour behind schedule but as we turned on to the H10 someone told us of lions on the Mlondozi road, so of course we HAD to take a detour and have a look for ourselves! No lions BUT thousands of zebra and wildebeest with their young - we haven never seen this many in one place in the Kruger (indeed the last time was in Masai Mara at the time of migration!). Young everwhere. We stopped at the Mlondozi Dam viewpoint - my first time here ever and have been visiting this park for over 40 years on an annual basis! What a treat!! The photos just don't so it justice!
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It just goes to show that there are always hidden gems in this park - a definite breakfast / lunch stop for every trip from now on! Elephants bathing, rhinos drinking, an endless trail of zebra and wildebbest coming to the water's edge - we were transfixed...then we noticed giraffe galloping in a cloud of dust - and following them a lioness ! What a stunning vista across the African plains...an incredible picture etched forever in my memory bank - this is why the Kruger is so special!! The lion is the tiny white spec in the centre of the picture below...!
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_________________
An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~Martin Buber

Ngwenya Lodge: 17-24 October
Cheetah Plains: 24-26 October
Mozambique: 26 October - 1 November


Last edited by Divine7polo on Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Annual October trip to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:56 pm 
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Now we were running over two hours late after spending an hour at Mlondozi bathing in its glory- you just cannot rush! We'd agreed that we'd have to progress at a steady 50Km / hour if we were to get to the Panorama Route...BUT as we hit the H1-3 we saw a giraffe craning his neck in a very uncomfortable manner with his eyes fixated on a spot in the distance...we followed his line of vision and saw a pride of 14 lions!!
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A couple of the younger members of the pride made a half hearted attempt to run at the giraffe who cantered away gracefully...well, that took another good half an hour out of our day - but we had stopped caring!

Soon afterwards, we saw this little family:
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Whilst viewing them a car with a yellow ribbon stopped beside us - Buffaloe Soldier - who told us about all his excting sightings and which I have already had the pleasure of viewing on the forum!

We maintained a steady speed passing 4 Ground Horn Bills, several rhino, many elephants
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and a very lucky Sable sighting:
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Unfortunately we were too late for most of the the Panorama Route vistas whichhad closed at 5pm - but we climbed over the gate at Lowveld to get this photo as we could not be completely defeated after such a long (but highly rewarding!) day of driving.... :lol:
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_________________
An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~Martin Buber

Ngwenya Lodge: 17-24 October
Cheetah Plains: 24-26 October
Mozambique: 26 October - 1 November


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 Post subject: Re: Annual October trip to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:46 pm
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We woke up very excited on Tuesday 25th October because we were heading off to Biyamiti Rest camp for the 1st stay ever - and we have always been far too law abiding and never travelled down the S139 private road!! We couldn't wait for what was in store for us!

But before we left, our daughter's friend found this in her bed when she woke up:
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She calmy scooped it up with a piece of paper under a glass and asked what it was!! VERY brave!

On arrival at Biyamiti we were allocated 4 cottages for our 4 families and our family were fortunate enough to have been allocated with Cottage 7 along with our friends who had no. 6 - the BEST in our opinion! On arrival a large herd of elephants were at the fence...we watched them for over an hour - so stunning. There was a tiny new born baby slipping and sliding everywhere - so cute!
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Reluctantly we left the elephants to join our night drive....SANP had very kindly brought in a much bigger vehicle to accomodate our group - I love South African service! Sonika is the Camp Manager and is absolutely divine! Contact her directly and she will try to get you the Cottages of your choice. She also arranged our bush walks for our two large groups of people at very short notice - if you read this, Thanks Sonika!

Within a minute of driving out of the gate we saw and heard a lioness calling - the Ranger thinks she may have lost a cub :cry:
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She soon lead us to her pride:
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Alively bull coming out of must:
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Handsome hubby ;-)
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Ended with a braai under African skies with lions roaring loudly right next to the fence!! Here are our friends...
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_________________
An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~Martin Buber

Ngwenya Lodge: 17-24 October
Cheetah Plains: 24-26 October
Mozambique: 26 October - 1 November


Last edited by Divine7polo on Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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