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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 3:44 am 
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Satara to Lower Sabie :D

Dad and I had both been too excited to sleep after all the night drive excitement :whistle:
So we had a bit of a lie-in and were on our way to Lower Sabie by 9am :thumbs_up:

Set off on the H1-3 and then took a slight detour to Sweni waterhole where Bob and Sharon had seen rhino :pray:

And OMG our first rhino!!!!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
Grazing right next to the road :shock:
Dad got this awesome photo out of his window :cam:
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Saw some lovely kudu along the way. This fellow had enormous horns 8)
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And what a cutie hiding under the tree :D :D
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We turned off the tar road to go look at the southernmost baobab tree 8)
It was only meant to be 1km to the baobab tree so after driving for quite some time we knew there was something amiss with our directions :roll:

Just as we worked out that we should turn around and go back we met a car coming the other way. The nice man said "Keep going about 5km and look out for all the erosion on the right side of the road. Then take the turn off to the waterhole and there you will find 3 lions".

LIONS??? :D :D :D

It was in the opposite direction to Lower Sabie, but we hadn't seen lions for days. So on we pressed. Ever hopeful :pray: :pray: :pray:

Finally ended up at the S125-S36 junction and knew we had gone way too far :slap:
And we hadn't seen any turn-off to a waterhole with lots of erosion on the side of the road :wall: :wall:

Oh dear. We had spent a lot of time chasing lions. But who can not? :tongue:
Dodgy directions or had we just missed all the signs? :hmz:

Either way, we had to turn around and continue on our way to camp :thumbs_up:

Saw plenty of the "usual" game so didn't pause for photos.

However, who can drive past lilac-breasted rollers posing so nicely :mrgreen:
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By midday we needed a pit stop and something to eat so we headed for Tshokwane picnic site :thumbs_up:
But oh dear, the floods had really done some damage so all the amenities were closed :?
Nonetheless, Dad and I were quite amused by the name of the company that supplied the porta-loos :lol:
(although I don't look too amused in this photo :tongue: )
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I'm not a big fan of the porta-loo, but I have to say these were the "nicest" I had ever used :thumbs_up:
Very clean and well maintained. We thanked the nice lady for keeping them that way, and emptied all our coins into her donation bowl :D

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 3:55 am 
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Satara to Lower Sabie continued.... :D

After lunch it was decision time again :?
Do we take the H10 tar road or do some dirt road loops along the way? :hmz:

As it was very hot by then we decided to take the tar, thinking we wouldn't see much out in the heat of the day anyway. And if we made good time to Lower Sabie we could still go out for an afternoon drive :thumbs_up:

Had a slight hold up for this giraffe bum brigade :lol:
Again, another of Dad's fantastic photos :cam:
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Stopped at Orpen Dam and wished we'd had our lunch there instead of in the company of the porta-loos at Tshokwane.
What a gorgeous place to sit still for a while :mrgreen:
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And here we saw one of my favourite South African skinks :D :D
A female rainbow skink :thumbs_up:
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Next stop was the Nkumbe look-out where the scenery was stunning 8) 8)
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Driving towards Lower Sabie and the scenery just seemed to get better :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Had another stop at a waterhole where we saw a grey heron :D
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And a white-backed duck (??) with little ones :D :D
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Finally made it to Lower Sabie gate at 3.30pm :dance:
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Check-in for our 3 night stay was smooth and boy were we excited about seeing our river front safari tent :D :D

But oh dear :?
Yes, it had a lovely view of the river :thumbs_up:
However, even a quick glance around as we were dropping off our gear told us that it was in quite a state of disrepair.
Nothing like the tent we'd stayed in at Punda.

Nonetheless, we didn't have time to survey the tent condition, we had lions to find!! :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 8:09 am 
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Lower Sabie afternoon drive :thumbs_up:

Well, we didn't find any lions that afternoon :tongue:

But we certainly did have some excitement :dance: :dance: :dance:

First thing out of the gate and we heard the sound of a helicopter overhead :shock:
Dad got this great pic of the SANParks chopper out on patrol :cam:
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Then, driving along the H4-2 heading back to camp a car flagged us down.
The fellow asked if we had seen the hyenas with kill at the second waterhole on the S130?
No! :shock: :shock: :shock:
"And…" he added, "there are 2 rhinos wallowing in the first waterhole along the road".

More decisions were needed then :hmz:
Gate time was getting closer but we hadn't had much in the way of sightings that day :?
Should we risk it?
There was a unanimous “yes” in the Terios, so off we went on another wildlife spotting adventure :lol: :lol:

Drove up to the first waterhole which was crowded with cars. But yes, there they were!!!!
WOW, our 2nd and 3rd ever rhinos having a snooze at the waterhole edge 8) 8) 8)
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How awesome!!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: Such incredible animals.
We felt privileged just to watch them sleep :mrgreen:

But we still had to see the hyenas at the second waterhole :pray:

Just as we got there we saw a hyena running off into the trees and thought we had missed all the action :doh:
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Then we noticed a strange-looking lump on the grass :hmz:
I almost didn't recognise what it was at first, but of course, it was a hyena! :shock:
It looked hairless in places?? Does anyone know if that is age or mange?
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I was a bit worried about this old hyena lying alone out there :(
But after a few minutes, he/she got up and also disappeared into the bush :thumbs_up:

So we turned around and stopped back in at the first waterhole with the rhino.
By now there was only one other car there and the rhinos were up and moving about. Towards us!! :shock: :shock:
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One of the rhinos looked up at us, gave a snort and started running towards the Terios :big_eyes: :big_eyes:
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Daddy had the car in gear so we got out of there fast!!! :lol:
Whoa, what an adrenalin rush to see such a huge animal coming at you 8) 8) 8)

Our last stop of the day was at the bridge just outside camp. What a fabulous view of the restaurant deck 8)
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Both of us soaked in this magical experience :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Life abounded around us :D

Ellies seemed to be everywhere along the banks 8)
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And a little flock of Egyptian geese plus black-winged stilt were busy looking for dinner :D
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When we got back to camp we stopped in at the shop to see what was on offer for dinner.
We found a boer wors and some cheese grillers, a couple of tomatoes and a potato salad - YUM!! :D :D
Oh, and a few Black Labels :wink:
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After dinner we sat on the deck listening to the sounds of the African bush :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

And then it was time to say goodnight gecko....
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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 4:50 am 
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Lower Sabie Day 1 :D :D

Up and at 'em bright and early and enjoyed a quick brekkie on our deck overlooking the river.
Some hippos were out basking :D
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And this bird was in the tree next to our tent. A village weaver perhaps? :hmz:
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First we decided to go see whether there was any action at the waterholes along the S130 :pray:

On the way we saw this handsome waterbuck 8)
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And lots of tortoises were out and about. A large leopard tortoise sped off into the grass :D
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This one looked different to the other tortoises I'd seen :hmz:
So I did some research and I think it is a Bell's hinged tortoise. A new reptile tick for me :dance:
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Next up we saw our first giant land snail 8) 8)
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Unfortunately the S130 waterholes were quiet, except for this gorgeous woodland kingfisher :clap:
Even though the pic is far off I just love the splash of colour that the kingfisher adds to the surrounds :mrgreen:
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And a wildebeest posed nicely :D
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A bit further along the S130 a car coming the other way flagged us down. He told us that he had just been chased for a kilometre by a huge rogue ellie and that we should be very careful!! :shock: As we continued I felt more and more nervous about meeting this rogue :? The trees were right up against the road so we would have no warning if he rushed out.

Suddenly we came around a bend and there he was hiding in the trees!
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We drove past very cautiously, wondering what he would do. He swayed and flapped his ears but I think he was probably too tuckered out after running a kilometre to bother chasing us. Phew! :thumbs_up:

At the end of the S130 we turned back on to the H4-2 and headed to Croc Bridge for a pit stop.
And who should we meet there but Bob and Sharon!!! :D :D :D
They told us they had seen 2 black mambas - one that reared up in front of them, plus a leopard and a black rhino that morning!!! :shock: :shock:
WOW!!!! I couldn't help wishing we had some of their luck… :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

After sharing toasted cheese sandwiches, coffee and conversation with Bob and Sharon, we waved goodbye and headed for the S28 - a famous cat hot spot I told Dad :pray:

We had to stop for a few road blocks :wink:
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And this gorgeous carmine bee-eater playing with his food :D
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A bit further on we saw a car ahead, with an arm out the window wildly pointing into the grass at the side of the road. As we drove up we just saw a lion flop down under a bush about 10m from the road. A young male, with his mane just starting to grow 8)

We sat there for about half an hour hoping he would get up. But it was midday and really hot, so I'm sure he was very comfy lying in the long grass under the bush :lol:

After a 4 day cat drought though, boy were we excited just to have glimpsed a lion :dance: :dance: :dance:

We left the invisible lion to sleep and headed back to camp for some lunch :thumbs_up:

From our deck we saw a fish eagle and some saddle billed storks 8)
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Ahhhh, life was just perfect :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 3:04 am 
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Lower Sabie Day 1 continued... :D

Back on the road again by 2.30pm headed for another famous cat hot spot, the S128 :pray: :pray: :pray:

Well, we didn't see any cats :(
But how could we unless they walked out onto the road?? :lol:
The grass was thick and high as far as the eye could see...
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Thankfully, we had a great run of bird sightings :thumbs_up:

Our first ever ostrich!! :dance: :dance:
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I took a little video of the ostrich pecking around in the grass :D

Up ahead we saw vultures circling and as we got closer there were about a dozen vultures on the side of the road with the remains of a kill :shock:
Alas we were a day or two late for all that action :doh: :lol:

Still, vultures are very impressive birds and provided some great photo opportunities :cam:
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Even though Dad and I so wanted to see cats, how could we not simply just appreciate being in Kruger? 8)
The scenery was just so beautiful and so Africa!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Next we saw a brown snake eagle??? :hmz:
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And then WOW, our first ever secretary bird!!! :dance: :dance:
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He/she was difficult to see in the tall grass, but we were thrilled 8) 8)
Especially as we also heard the bird "calling". At first I thought it was some kind of cat growling.
I didn't expect such a sound to come from a bird :shock:

We were delighted when it came out into a little clearing for us :clap:
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And then it walked out onto the road for us!! :clap: :clap:
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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 4:12 am 
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Lower Sabie Day 1 continued again..... :wink:

We saw some more lovely birds that afternoon :thumbs_up:

A cattle egret posed beautifully :D
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And a grey heron :D
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Then this big boy 8) 8)
He'd just had a nice mud bath and was very relaxed browsing alongside the road :thumbs_up:
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Then we came upon a breeding herd. All we could see of the little one was the ears flapping behind mum :D
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Cute bum shot :wink:
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Finally I got a pic of a European roller :D
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And look at this beautiful expanse of African sky :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Oops, I've been forgetting the Impala pic of the day lately :wink:
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By this stage it was nearly 4pm and we thought why not go back and see if that lion on the S128 was still sleeping in the bushes :pray:

I remembered the muddy footprints in the road where we first saw him and Dad remembered the exact bush he flopped down under.
And what do you know? He was still there!!! :dance: :dance: :dance:
We felt very clever :D :D :D

Unfortunately the grass was so long that all we could see was a bit of an ear and his mane when he shook his head every now and again.

But then he stood up, walked behind the bush, pounced and carried some poor unfortunate creature back around under the bush and proceeded to munch and chew and crack through bones :shock: :shock: :shock:

The long grass spoiled all the action :slap:
But even just hearing him eat was exhilarating :clap: :clap: :clap:

I tried to get a video of the sound of him gnawing and crunching through bones, but only succeeded in making the world's most boring lion video clip :redface: :tongue:
As I mentioned in the clip description, please only watch the video if you really have nothing better to do with 2 min 26 seconds of your life :wink: :lol: :lol:

A few cars pulled up over the hour that we were there. We pointed out where the lion was and explained that if they listened carefully they could hear him crunching through bones. I think they all thought we were completely mad and there was no lion there at all :tongue: Most of them stayed for a few minutes and left again.

Alas, soon the time was 5.30pm and we had to get back to camp for gate closing :(

At this stage we still hadn't discovered Sunset Dam :whistle:

So we stopped on the bridge for some sunset pics :D
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A lone hippo breaks the glassy river surface under a setting sun…… :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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And our last sighting of the day, just outside the gate 8)
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We went to bed that night hoping for a better cat sighting tomorrow…… :pray: :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 4:52 am 
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Lower Sabie - Lion Day!!! :dance: :dance: :dance:

Had a terrible "sleep" thanks to noisy neighbours :slap:
So even though my mind was willing, it was getting harder and harder to drag my sleep-deprived body out of bed :?

Nonetheless, we had another full day at Lower Sabie and lions to find!! :pray: :pray: :pray:

Not far out of the gate we had our first roadblock for the day :D
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We didn't mind the hold up at all :thumbs_up:
The baboons were very entertaining and who could not go "Awww" at the cute baby baboons :D
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But then we felt a "thud" on the car, followed by a "thunk", and OMW we had baboons swinging from the rear window!! :shock: :shock:
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Well, that woke me up better than a strong coffee!! :lol:

Next we saw a fish eagle 8)
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And then we headed for the S28 in the hope of finding cats :thumbs_up:

It started off very quiet :? Not even the usual usuals? :hmz:

We stopped to photograph this warthog 8)
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But then what was that ahead? :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:
Lots of cars and…..joy of joys, exactly as we had hoped for, a lion walked out of the tall grass onto the road!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
And he was walking right towards us!!! :dance: :dance: :dance:
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There was a line of cars following him, but we were the only car facing him :mrgreen:
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Our Kruger lion sightings were few and far between so these are precious precious memories 8) 8) 8)
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As he neared our car...
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He looked right at us! If looks could kill :shock: :shock:
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I like this image because you can see the pads of his front paw – very impressive! :thumbs_up:
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After another 100m he left the road and headed off into the bush, marking his territory as he went.
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And then all too soon he was gone….. :(
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But WOW WOW WOW :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Dad and I were a couple of very happy Aussies :D :D :D :D :D

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:47 am 
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Lower Sabie - Lion Day continued... :D

We drove on in a bit of a daze after seeing that magnificent lion 8) 8) 8)

A kori bustard posed beautifully for us :thumbs_up:
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And a grey lourie that didn't go away :wink:
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A gorgeous waterbuck was munching away on breakfast :D
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And a cute little giraffe was staying close to mum :mrgreen:
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Then our second Big 5 of the morning :dance: :dance:
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Followed soon after by our third Big 5 of the morning!! :dance: :dance: :dance:
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The young male seemed quite calm but then he turned and stared at us.
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When he started waving his ears and trunk at us I knew he was going to charge. And he did!!
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Dad floored the Terios and we were away….my goodness what an exciting morning we were having :shock: :lol:

A moment later we saw a car coming towards us and thought we should warn them about the ellie they would encounter down the road.
As the car pulled up we saw a yellow ribbon and were delighted to meet Nicolette!! :D :D :D

It was indeed our lucky day :thumbs_up:
Nicolette told us about some lions on the rocks at the Crocodile Bridge river :shock:
Could we possibly be that lucky to see more lions this day??
Oh please let them still be there…. :pray: :pray: :pray:

On the way we saw this guinea fowl family with a little one trying to keep up the pace, his little legs were all a blur.
The scene made Dad and I giggle :lol:
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Wildebeest and zebra sharing some tucker in a nice scene :thumbs_up:
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And by our Impala Pic of the Day :D
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But of course, Dad and I were only hoping for one thing - LIONS!! :popcorn: :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:34 am 
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Lower Sabie - Lion Day continued again.... :wink:

As we approached the first thing we saw was the Kruger jam of cars on the bridge :?
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Thankfully we were able to sneak into a little opening and then got out the binoculars.
So where were these lions then?? :hmz:

Dad got this photo, which shows the perspective of the sighting. Can you see the lions there?
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Luckily my camera had a little more zoom :thumbs_up:

WOW, it was a mating pair!! 8) 8) 8)
And our first ever lioness!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
What a handsome couple :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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They had obviously been working very hard at making baby lions :wink:
So despite all the noise the humans were making, sleep was of the essence :lol: :thumbs_up:
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We’d been watching the happy couple snooze for half an hour, when our attention was diverted to the croc in front of them.
It looked weird :hmz:
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But then all attention was back on the lions :thumbs_up:
Their slumber was constantly interrupted by cars coming and going :?
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Ahh, back to sleep again….
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And then joy of joys, the lioness stood up!! :dance: :dance: :dance:
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What a feisty young lady with her tail swishing about 8)
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While her man gazed at her adoringly :D
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:popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:16 am 
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Lower Sabie Lion Day continued yet again.... :whistle: :lol:

Our attention was again diverted from the lions when a troupe of vervets marched across the bridge :D
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The little ones are just so entertaining :wink:
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I already knew about the male vervet’s pretty blue… er…ornaments :whistle:
But it was the first time Dad had seen them.
Dad laughed and laughed as these blue bits bobbed up and down behind the bridge railing :lol:
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It was at this point that Dad and I were also distracted by a yellow ribbon on the car facing us :dance: :dance: :dance:
Our cars were nose to nose and completely parked in by the Kruger jam, so we couldn't talk.
But by writing our forum names on paper and holding them up to the windscreen, we met click-click and mum :D :D :D
By the smiles on their faces they too were having a delightful time watching these awesome lions 8) 8) 8)

Oh yes, back to the lions…. :mrgreen:

The male yawned and we hoped we might see some action :pray:
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Eventually he got up and walked over to the female...
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And in a beautiful display of tenderness they nuzzled heads :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Although at one point it looked as though he might bite her ear off!! :shock:
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A moment later she got up and started leading him down the garden path, I mean, river bed…. :whistle:
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Before flopping on the sand again :doh:
Huh??? the big guy is thinking.... :wink:
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May as well conserve my energy and go lie down again then…
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Women!! :wink:
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Another large safari bakkie drove up making a lot of noise :?
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Again the lioness showed her feisty side 8)
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Before heading off to leave her mark in the grass :thumbs_up:
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He had a good sniff...
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Then they both walked around behind the bushes and the show was over :(

But my goodness 3 lions in one day!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
Dad and I were so so happy :D :D :D :D :D

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:19 am 
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hi all melphs dad again

i must say that i did laugh when i saw those blue dangley bits do you suppose it is because they are
cold ? anyway back to the lions ,we could have stayed there all day but the got very crowded
and we had a lot more stop dad go dad to go.

mel i am still loving all your comments keep up the good work.

melphs dad


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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:50 am 
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Lower Sabie - that afternoon....

After all that lion excitement, Dad and I decided to visit Croc Bridge for some refreshments.
We had a yummy toasted tomato and cheese sarnie and then it was back out on the road to see what else we could find :thumbs_up:

We saw this lovely chameleon on the way 8)
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Then up ahead we saw a parked car, so we drove up slowly to see what was there....
Oh WOW!!! A mother rhino and calf!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
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They gave us a superb double bum shot as they ran off :lol:
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Also another "first" for us. A lappet faced vulture!! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Last edited by melph68 on Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:52 am 
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Stopped back in at camp where we had an hour's break from driving.
A lovely lizard paid us a visit :D
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We sat on the deck and spied some buffalo :cam:
Our 4th Big 5 of the day :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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All we needed on our last drive of the day was a leopard :pray:

Does a leopard tortoise count?? :whistle:
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The drive was relatively quiet, except for these lovely ladies :D
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And a pretty giraffe at the grooming salon :wink:
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In fact, the Kruger oxpeckers were very hard at work that afternoon.
This looked like mum and 2 youngsters helping rid the impala of a tick or two :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: Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:53 am 
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Then up ahead we saw something in the road.....
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Oh WOW, a little group of bee-eaters were having a dust bath!
Such gorgeous birds :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Then another lovely kudu with cute little one :D
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One of our most exciting sightings of the afternoon was this water monitor :D :D
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Rather than moving away, this reptile actually swam towards us and then crawled up onto the road right next to our car :dance:
I got a little video of his expedition on land before returning to the water.

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March 2012
Kruger, Karoo, Addo


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 Post subject: Re: The webcams made me do it!
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:54 am 
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Award: Cammer of the Year (2012)
We stopped at the bridge before camp to admire the ellies 8)
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Then the local baboon troupe turned up for the family grooming session in the afternoon sun.
Now that's what I call love!! :tongue:
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The big fella was contemplating the world…
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And his toenails…. :lol:
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March 2012
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