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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:08 am 
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Hi all
This is melphs dad At last i have been brave enough to try my hand at using this computer as i am a complete novis .
I must say that this trip with my wonderful daughter has been the best thing that i have ever done and i will remember them for as long as i live, at least long enough to do one more trip.
On reading melphs trip report ,it has also made me laugh ,almost cry,due to the pleasures of meeting so many
lovely people and the teary farewells,the excitement of seeing all the magnificient animals.
One thing during the trip that makes me smile is that i have never heard so many stop daddy,back daddy,forward daddy ,quick daddy,go daddy.
well som much for now .
melphs dad.


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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:54 am 
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melphs dad wrote:
Hi all
This is melphs dad At last i have been brave enough to try my hand at using this computer as i am a complete novis .
I must say that this trip with my wonderful daughter has been the best thing that i have ever done and i will remember them for as long as i live, at least long enough to do one more trip.
On reading melphs trip report ,it has also made me laugh ,almost cry,due to the pleasures of meeting so many
lovely people and the teary farewells,the excitement of seeing all the magnificient animals.
One thing during the trip that makes me smile is that i have never heard so many stop daddy,back daddy,forward daddy ,quick daddy,go daddy.
well so much for now .
melphs dad.


Hello my Daddy!! :D :D :D
How wonderful to see you here 8) 8) 8) 8)
Your memories of me giving driving directions made me smile too :lol: :lol: :redface:


And to my lovely forumite friends - Melrockson, hilda, Magic Guarri, Heksie, john n poppy, PJL, Pumbaa, vinkie, Shi, saraf, Meandering Mouse, Lionspoon, lion queen, Spots and chirinda - my heartfelt thanks for all your kind words and support :gflower: :gflower: :gflower: :gflower:

I've lost a bit of my spark since Maxi left, so writing has stalled somewhat... :(

But Dad and I had a very exciting day at Olifants, so watch this space for another episode in the next day or so :thumbs_up:

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March 2012
Kruger, Karoo, Addo


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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:47 am 
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Leopard day!! :dance: :dance: :dance:

Dad and I absolutely loved Olifants, so we decided to spend the morning in camp rather than hit the road at 5.30am :D

Now, my SO will not believe this, but I actually WANTED to get up early to see the sun rise :lol:
And in fact I was the first person down at the look-out :thumbs_up:
The reward was a glorious light show 8) 8) 8)
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When the shop opened at 7am Dad went to get some bacon and eggs for our brekky. YUM! :D
And then we had to deal with our overflowing bags of laundry :roll:
So by the time we drove out the camp gates it was just after 10am. We realised that our choice to stay in camp probably meant we had no chance of seeing any cats. Oh well, we were just happy to be out on the road in our trusty Terios soaking up everything Kruger had to offer :thumbs_up:

Then what??? Only 500m from the gates there was a Kruger jam.
We drove up slowly and asked a fellow what they were all looking at. "A leopard" he said.
A LEOPARD?????!!!!!!! :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Of course, there were so many cars we couldn't see a thing :wall: I asked the fellow again, where was the leopard? "Behind those bushes over there" he answered :doh: So we waited patiently, hoping someone would move or the leopard would walk out in front of us.

And then yes, there it was moving from one bush to another! WOW, we had just seen our first leopard!!! :dance: :dance: :dance:
In all the excitement however, this was the best photo I got :?
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We sat trapped in the jam and waited for the leopard to reappear. Eventually some other cars moved off and we were able to get out. We parked just down the road a bit hoping the leopard might walk in our direction :pray: :pray:
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It didn't so we continued on our way thrilled to have seen our first leopard and wondering what else the day had in store for us :popcorn: :popcorn:

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March 2012
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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:01 am 
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Leopard day!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: Part 2

We had planned to drive the H8 and H1-5, but due to a part of the road missing from the flood damage, everyone had to take the S91-S92 loop. And I mean everyone :slap: It was like a highway :?
So we didn't hold out too much hope for great sightings.
Still we enjoyed every giraffe, zebra and impala along the way.

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It was on this stretch of the road that we got our Impala Pic of the Day :D
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What a handsome ram he is 8) The lustre of his coat is just gorgeous in the sunlight :clap: :clap:

Next stop was the Olifants River lookout. We spent quite a bit of time there taking in the magnificent scenery :mrgreen:
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It was fun watching the hippos too!
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Especially this mum and baby :D
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And a lilac-breasted roller posed nicely :cam:
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The only other humans at the lookout were a lovely couple - Bob and Sharon from Cape Town. They had been to Kruger many times and already this trip had seen scads of lions, but as yet no leopards. They told us how lucky we were to have seen our leopard that morning :thumbs_up:

And indeed we felt lucky - for seeing a leopard and for meeting these two lovely people. Bob and Sharon were to play a big part in our adventures over the next few days....

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March 2012
Kruger, Karoo, Addo


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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:13 am 
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Leopard day!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: Part 3

It was about 3pm in the afternoon when we pulled up at a little waterhole on the S93.
A lovely place. Not too far from the camp, so we could sit and have some refreshments, watch the antics of the resident hippo and croc for a while, and not have to rush back for gate-closing :thumbs_up:

Some terrapins were out and about but no sign of the hippo or croc we'd seen the day before :hmz:
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After sitting there for about 20 minutes, scanning the banks and surrounding trees with our binoculars I "spotted" something lying down in the shade on the far side of the waterhole.
OMG! I said to Dad. There is a leopard lying down over there!!! We could hardly believe it!! :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:
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(take note of where the leopard is lying, as an interesting event transpired near that spot a couple of hours later :thumbs_up: )

It was very hot at this stage of the day so the leopard was just happy to lie in the shade.
I took a million photos, trying lots of different camera settings and these were the best of the lot :cam: :cam:
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We were the only car there and even though the leopard wasn't doing much we were absolutely mesmerised.
We watched him/her grooming for some time 8) 8) 8)
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Then suddenly she was up and walking. Luckily I already had my camera in movie mode.
It is the only footage of a leopard we got during our trip so it is very precious to me and Dad :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Darn it. She had disappeared behind a large bush :wall: :wall:
We were so disappointed. We wanted to see more of this gorgeous animal.... :pray:

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:37 am 
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Leopard day!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: Part 4

Even though gate-closing time was getting closer we decided to wait a bit longer before heading back to camp.
And we were rewarded for our patience when our leopard re-appeared from behind the tree! :dance: :dance: :dance:

Only to flop down in some long grass again :doh:
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Several other cars had arrived by then and because the leopard was lying right down in the grass she was barely visible. We tried to explain where the leopard was located but a lot of people only tried to find her with their binoculars for a few minutes and then left again.

In the car next to us was a French family. Mum, Dad and 2 young girls. Even though there wasn't much of a view of the leopard, it was their first ever leopard sighting so they were as excited as we were! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Half an hour later we wondered how much longer we should sit and look at leopard ears poking up out of the grass when the French mum started gesticulating to us and pointing at a small herd of impala that were approaching the waterhole. Ooh, we thought. What's going to happen here? :shock:

The protective ram of the herd cautiously walked up to the water, stopping often, sniffing the air, looking all around. Eventually he neared the spot just where we had first found our leopard. The ram looked directly at that spot and sniffed hard.
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Our leopard had also seen the impala and was now sitting up watching them! :shock:
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After much pacing back and forwards, somehow the ram indicated to his herd that it was safe to drink?? :hmz:
The ewes also looked nervous, but eventually lined up at the water's edge.
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I wondered if they had any idea of the leopard's gaze upon them as they drank...

Alas, once the impala left, our leopard got up and went behind a tree :slap: :slap:
Still, this was 2 hours after we had first seen her, so we felt very very lucky :thumbs_up:

I was so excited when we got back to camp :D :D :D
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It was the first time I had added a "spot" to a sightings board :dance: :dance: :dance:
So excited in fact that I put the spot on the Yesterday map, instead of the Today map :tongue:
(which I only noticed when I went through the photos :lol: ).
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After all that we needed a nice cold beer :thumbs_up:
Dad and I sat on the verandah watching the sunset, both lost in thoughts about the day we had just experienced. Simply amazing :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Once we had calmed down a bit our thoughts turned to food. We had a piece of steak and a potato left. So I went to the shop in search of something green. All I could find was a tin of green beans. But that would do just fine :thumbs_up:

Dad braai'd as a storm brewed 8)
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Just as we were finishing our dinner the wind whipped up and the sky turned black.
Oh boy, were we in for a storm!
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With the storm raging outside, and memories of the leopards we'd seen going through my mind, it was a long time before any sleep arrived….. :zzz

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March 2012
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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:49 am 
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Olifants to Satara :thumbs_up:

Dad and I just loved Olifants so we decide to stay in camp and enjoy the morning at this magical place 8)
We had a leisurely brekkie and watched hippo walking down to the water, waterbuck wandering around, and a maribou stork in flight right in front of our bungalow!! :dance: :dance:
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Soon, it was time to leave :(
While I was packing up inside Dad got this great pic of some hornbills enjoying their reflection in the windscreen of our trusty Terios :cam:
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We set off for Satara just before 10am. To get there we had to take the S91 "highway" due to the road closure. However, we had the best sighting of the morning on this road - a yellow ribbon belonging to Daffy!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: We were headed in different directions so could only stop and chat for a short while. Daffy told us about his amazing sighting of the lion pride bringing down a wildebeest :shock: WOW!! What an awesome sighting :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Dad and I hoped we too might have a lion sighting sometime soon :pray: :pray: :pray:

From the S91 we turned onto the H1-4. Saw some lovely scenery and game :D :D
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After a few days in Kruger we were getting used to bum shots :lol:
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But no cats :?

Boy did we see some beautiful birds though :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Lilac-breasted rollers
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Southern carmine bee-eaters
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Glossy starling?
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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 8:25 am 
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Olifants to Satara continued…with lions!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

By then it was nearly lunchtime so we took the S127 headed for the Timbavati picnic site :thumbs_up:
And who should we meet there but Bob and Sharon! :D :D :D

Bob asked had we seen the scops owl yet? No we hadn't. So he guided us over to a large tree and pointed out where the tiny owl was sleeping.
Wow, what a gorgeous little bird!! :clap: :clap: :clap:
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We thanked Bob for this wonderful sighting and sat down at a table to eat our left-over sausages in bread. I loved the feeling of living simply, eating up whatever we had left. It was a real change from having all you wanted to eat back home.
This trip was growing an enormous appreciation for everything I had in my life 8)

While we were enjoying our lunch and writing up the morning's sightings, Sharon wandered over and asked had we seen the lions on the S39?
No, we hadn't seen the lions!! :shock: We had taken the H1-4 tar road instead :doh:
Sharon then showed us on the map where to find the lion brothers :thumbs_up:

I have never gulped down my food so fast before and then it was "Let's go Daddy, lunch is over. Drive Daddy, LIONS Daddy!!" :lol: :lol: :lol:

Sharon had told us that the lions were "sleeping on the other side of the 3rd river cut-out on the left past the Piet Grobler Dam, where all the black storks were. They look just like sandy boulders under a tree".
OK, roger that - I think…? :? :lol:

So off we went on an adventure to see our first lions! 8) 8) 8)
I can't begin to tell you how much excitement there was in the Terios.
It was in the opposite direction to Satara, but we had to see lions!! :tongue:

Stopped at the Piet Grobler Dam for a look :cam:
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And then started counting the roads that cut down to the river on the left.
1, 2, 3… this must be the one!! Yes there are the storks.
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(and a hammerkop :wink: )

But where were the lions? :hmz:
We scanned the banks with our binoculars and couldn't see any sandy boulders under trees. I tried to remember what Sharon had told us…lions sleeping on the OTHER side of the river cut-out. OK, drive back out onto the main road and look directly opposite where we were just parked.

And OMG, there they were. Our first lions!!!! :shock: Sleeping, but still, LIONS!!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

They were a long way away, so I had to commit the cardinal sin of photography and use the digital zoom :whistle:
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True to form, and exactly as Sharon had told us, the lions were very very sleepy, and would likely sleep there all day....
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Nonetheless we sat and watched them sleeping for an hour.
Occasionally one would stir, or a tail would flick… and then suddenly one of the brothers got up and moved to a new sleeping position :D :D :D
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Spot the hornbill that sneaked into the picture! :wink:
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Oh so sleepy…
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And itchy….
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We felt so privileged to see these magnificent young kings :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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However, there was still a long way to go so we left our sleeping brothers and continued on our way to Satara...

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March 2012
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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 7:49 am 
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melphs dad trying again
i would to thank the following people for their very warm welcome.
ronnie for the great time we had with you as our guide ,and for the fantastic time at the aircraft museum
and the chance to sit in the cockpit of an f14 fightre plane just great
to the following people
hilda,magic guarri,saraf,pjl,meandering mouse lionspoon lionqueenmelrockson@bush buddies.
also two lovely people karin & steph and their little son maxie two great bbqs.
kind regards to all
melphs dad


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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 5:00 am 
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Olifants to Satara continued....the last stretch :thumbs_up:

Dad and I were so excited after our lion sighting :dance: :dance: :dance:

So we stopped at the Ratelpan Hide to calm down a bit :lol:
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There we saw the biggest croc of the trip so far :shock: 8)
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And some snoozing hippos!
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Next we turned onto the last 9km to Satara and saw these white-backed vultures 8)
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Plus lots of other lovely birds too! :D

magpie shrikes
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white-crowned shrikes
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red hornbill
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And a woodland kingfisher – I just love these gorgeous little birds :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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We also saw lots of leopard tortoises along the way 8)
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Dad and I had a good laugh at these two. They were making a fine attempt at setting a new land speed record :lol: :lol:
Here is a little video of the speedsters :D
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Finally we got our first good view of a waterbuck :dance:
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And our Impala Pic of the Day! :D :D
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As we were nearing Satara camp I saw something white stuck in a tree :hmz:

OMG it’s the Satara cam!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
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One of my beloved windows into Africa that I’d been glued to for the past 2 and a half years :D :D :D
Finally I was seeing it from the other side of a computer screen :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Apart from the lions, for me this was the sighting of the day :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Check-in at Satara reception for our 2-night stay was smooth and I booked a night drive for our last night while I was there :dance:

Paperwork overwith and Dad and I needed beers to celebrate our lion sighting :lol:

So we headed to the shop and who should we bump into there but Bob and Sharon!! :D :D
As it happened they had booked in for the same night drive AND were in the bungalow nextdoor to us!! :thumbs_up:

After we’d finished unpacking and settling in, we sat on the verandah and surveyed the scene.
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Some cheeky vervets had just launched a raid on an unattended bungalow and came away with a rockmelon :naughty:
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That night we had to eat up the last of our left-over sausages, with bread, cheese, tomato and beer for dinner :thumbs_up:

Then both of us needed a good night's sleep :sleep:

Goodnight gecko.....
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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 1:52 am 
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A big thank you to leervis, RonnieL, Lionspoon, Pumbaa, lion queen, Melrockson, barryels, hilda, Vlakvarkvrou, Magic Guarri, Heksie, RichardJ, Meerkitty, Sharifa and vinkie for all your support and lovely comments :gflower: :gflower: :gflower:

And a big welcome to Bob and Sharon :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Cape Leopard Toad wrote:
Hi Mel n Dave, managed to get through Sanparks Forum to Login (hooked)

Bob n Sharon are most impressed with your Leopard n Lion pics, I never saw what camera you had Mel but the photos of the two lazy Lions great !! Sharon was doing the photography, my son told me, "Dad recordings please".
I am looking forward to your Satara night drive tales, now looking back it was funny that we kept arriving at the same spot, must have been the Olifants n Letaba Kruger magic.

We've got Leopards (Toads) in our garden, Best Wishes Bob n Sharon


How fantastic that you joined the forum and it is just great to have you along for the ride :dance: :dance: :dance:

I hope you will all enjoy our next day in Kruger :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 1:53 am 
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Satara and surrounds :D

Perhaps it was because of all the excitement seeing lions for the first time that I barely slept a wink :?
So I wasn't exactly fresh as a daisy when the alarm went off at 5am.
Nonetheless I wanted to go find more lions and our first rhino so we were out of the gate just after 5.30am :thumbs_up:

Kruger put on another magical sunrise :mrgreen:
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We had decided to take the H7 to Orpen, but just as we neared the H7-S100 junction we saw a safari bakkie turn onto the S100. We thought they must have had some inside information about lions and rhinos so we followed them. Plus, the S100 is a cat hot spot right?? :hmz:

We came across a parked car and stopped to ask what they were looking at.
Oh no, we had just missed a rhino mother and calf by seconds!!! :slap:

But everything looked so lovely in the early morning light :D

A pretty waterbuck
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Striking zebra
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tawny eagle?
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Stopped at a Gudzani Dam hoping to see lions lapping at the water's edge after a late night feast :pray:
We scanned the banks with our binocs.

Saw some hippos playing :lol:
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And I was rather thrilled to find a giant plated lizard out basking :mrgreen:
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I was even more thrilled when I zoomed in and discovered that he had a basking companion on the rock next to him :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
I think it is a spotted-neck snake-eyed skink 8)
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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 2:01 am 
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Satara and surrounds continued.... :thumbs_up:

On the way back to camp we saw some lovely birds :D

another tawny?
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southern carmine bee-eater
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Plus, a bird that was very high on my feathered wishlist :dance:

I just happened to see a flash of red in a tree and there they were - Mr and Mrs Red-winged Bishop 8)
Far away and a very cropped picture but it was a “hooray” moment for me :thumbs_up:
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This was the only ellie we saw that morning...
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Also a lovely kudu and her 3 hangers-on :lol:
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Plus our first ever kori bustard :dance:
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And our first ever steenbok :dance: in very tall grass!! :?
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In fact it seemed that the grass was growing taller and taller every day :doh:
We thought there is no way we will see cats unless they walk out in front of us….

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 3:41 am 
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Satara and surrounds continued again.... :wink:

We got back to camp around 10am and checked out the waterhole through the fence :pray:
No animals, but still I got such a huge thrill out of just seeing the cam there :lol:
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Lack of sleep provided the greatest challenge for me on this trip :wall: :wall:
I can go a few days on little to no sleep, but it was now 2 weeks since I'd had a decent sleep and my mind and body weren’t functioning very well on the sleep deprivation regime :?

So I thought I would try to have a nap, to perk myself up a bit for the night drive that evening.
Dad couldn’t sit still so I suggested he go out lion hunting and meet back at camp for lunch :thumbs_up:

Unfortunately, due to the nice lady who came to clean our bungalow, I didn’t get any sleep :slap:
Nor did Dad find any lions. But he did see ground hornbills!! :dance: :dance: :dance:
Awesome sighting Dad!! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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When Dad got back we went to the shop for supplies and to check the sightings board.
But I almost wished I hadn’t.
When we took the S100 that morning, all the lion sightings were on the H7 that we had originally planned to take!!! :doh: :wall: :wall:

So that afternoon we took the H7 hoping the cats might still be lazing around :pray:

Stopped at Nsemani Dam and watched maribou storks doing their thing :lol:
Such intriguing birds :wink:
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And who could go past taking a pic of vultures against such a beautiful cloudy blue sky :mrgreen:
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Driving along and all of a sudden we noticed a familiar smell :hmz: Like a cow paddock back home in Oz.
And then everything made sense when we came round a bend and saw a huge herd of buffalo :dance: :dance:

This one seemed fascinated by the bottom in front :lol:
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Big daddy buff 8)
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Quite an impressive bum shot :wink:
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And a cute bubba buff :D
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A little further on we came to a waterbuck family, complete with little ones :D :D
They were very shy and scampered off into the tall grass before we could get any decent photos.
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But Papa waterbuck seemed very relaxed resting in the grass 8)
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Had a slight hold-up at a zebra crossing – a real one!!! :lol: :lol:
The little one was just so cute on it’s dainty little legs :D
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And finally a warthog posed for us :thumbs_up:
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This handsome fellow showed us his awesome set of horns 8)
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And I think this is a yellow-billed kite?
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March 2012
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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 2:26 am 
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Satara and surrounds continued again..... :whistle: but finished off with the night drive :dance: :dance: :dance:

Next we stopped at a lookout, where we were advised by the sign "to leave the car at our own risk" :?
We’d stopped at a few of these get-out points by now and I’d never felt nervous about hungry lions lurking.

But I have to admit that when we got out of the car just metres from a baboon troupe in a tree, I did feel a tad wary.
Afterall, baboons have VERY big teeth :shock:

However, they all seemed completely happy to munch away and were taking no notice of us humans at all :lol:

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Mmmmm yum :D
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I also got my first decent pic of a grey lourie while we were there :dance:
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I’d seen a few Burchell’s cuckoos over the past days, but had never been able to get a pic :doh:
Not a great pose but a pic nonetheless! :thumbs_up:
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Look at this pose though?? :mrgreen:
A hornbill superstar in the making :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Arrived back at camp just before 6pm and bumped into our mate Bob at the shop :D :D
He asked how our luck had been that day?
Well, we’d seen quite a few “firsts”, which was fabulous :dance: :dance: :dance:
But no cats :(

And how was your luck today Bob? we inquired.
He and Sharon had taken the S100 that afternoon (when we took the H7) and they had seen 8 lions and 9 rhino!!!!!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
We took the wrong road again!! :wall: :wall: :wall:
Oh, such is the heartbreak of Kruger…. :tongue:

Bob and Sharon were on the drive with us that night so we hoped their good luck would continue and we would see some cats :pray: :pray:

And we did!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
Just not the big ones :wink:

Martin was our guide and he was just incredible :thumbs_up:
He could see things in the dead of night that even under a spotlight we found hard to locate :?
Even a tiny chameleon perched in a tree! 8)
It was an awesome drive :clap: :clap: :clap:

All up we saw a genet, a civet, 2 hyenas, 2 steenbok, a duiker, a waterbuck, zebra, wildebeest, impala, a spotted eagle owl and 2 nightjars 8) 8) 8) 8)

Here is one of the nightjars on the road :thumbs_up:
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But the most exciting sightings of the drive were 5 African wild cats :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Two of the wildcats were on my side of the bakkie so I was able to get these photos :cam:
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And to top it all off a porcupine!!! :shock: :shock:
My first ever porcupine bum shot 8) 8) 8) 8)
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Then who could sleep after all that excitement?? :lol: :lol: :lol:

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