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 Post subject: Re: Two-timing the KTP and going to the Frontier Parks
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:09 am 
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This time we didn’t stay for long as we had got tired by now. It was 1.30 pm and we hadn’t had proper food yet and nature’s call was audible loud and clear. But not loud enough not to drive the 600 metres into Vukani loop to see whether Gina and her lot were showing off again. They did. Very much so!

Boy number 1 had decided that the grass is always greener on the other side and rewarded us with this:

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 Post subject: Re: Two-timing the KTP and going to the Frontier Parks
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:21 pm 
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The afternoon drive started with a magnificent sighting of elands.

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 Post subject: Re: Two-timing the KTP and going to the Frontier Parks
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:21 pm 
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The light was gorgeous and the zebras also on the mood to pose for some pictures.

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Even an ordinary collared dove makes a wonderful motif in the golden light:

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 Post subject: Re: Two-timing the KTP and going to the Frontier Parks
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:21 pm 
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After a while the critters started to move away from the road to return to their abode for the night – basically very much the same direction where we had first seen them the evening before. As they vanished one after the other, we decided to proceed and – yep, you guessed that one right – see if the lions were still around.

Well… Gina said re-hi:
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The Punk lifted his head for a brief moment as well, but compared to the photo of this morning, I gave posting him a pass.

One car after the other disappeared from the scene leaving Spots and me as only company with these majestic creatures. We got a sundowner out and settled for making the most of the remaining time until we had to leave in order to make gate time. Needless to say we were the last ones arriving at the camp.
We felt elated to say the least! The amount of lifers 8) , the beautifully posing general game 8) , the pretty close elands 8) , several highly entertaining ellie encounters 8) and lions 4 times a day 8) – magic! :dance: :dance: :dance:
As for the lions: The worst lies behind you now. We never saw them again that often. Image

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 Post subject: Re: Two-timing the KTP and going to the Frontier Parks
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:19 am 
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Addo
27/03/2012

The next day was moving day. We were booked for another three nights in the main camp. Also, we had arranged to meet up with Ronnie for the first time as he ever so kindly offered us to be our private tour guide through Addo. Image

Our second morning in Addo started the same way the first night had ended: dull and humid. Even the cameras and binocs were condensating Image which made screening and photographing a nightmare. We saw a BSK and a stone chat perched on a tree and shrub respectively, but the photos came out rubbish… Half an hour into the drive we bumped into a serious road block:

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We proceeded to Vukani, entering on the north. I didn’t really believe that the lions would still be around this morning and as we passed the site where we had seen them before everything was still. Therefore we moved on to where the elands and zebras like to graze to see if we could spend some time with them. But they weren’t inclined to grace us with their presence either Image, so we turned around in order to give the lions one last chance. :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Two-timing the KTP and going to the Frontier Parks
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:20 am 
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Approaching their playground there still was dead silence when all of a sudden I noticed a movement far off in the hills. Number one was approaching! Image We settled to wait for the others to arrive as well.

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These were not the lions from yesterday. But I only realized it when I sifted through my photos back at home. It was definitely Josie again – and Norman and Zwaai.

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 Post subject: Re: Two-timing the KTP and going to the Frontier Parks
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:20 am 
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At that moment a car approached from the front and pulled up next to us. As the driver was lower than us we weren’t sure if he had been able to see the lions. Therefore we told him what we were looking at. He had a bit of a cheeky air Image about him, but didn’t say anything more, just sat there with us.
It was just a few minutes past seven and I knew that Ronnie was now on his way up to meet us. So I sent him a text message to come to Vukani loop at the second entrance as we had found the lions again and that we were waiting for him there. As soon as my message had gone of the driver of the car next to us lifted his mobile phone and grinned. It was Ronnie!!! And he had known all along who we were but intentionally didn’t say anything. What a cheek! Image

It has been absolutely wonderful to finally meet Ronnie though. He’s got that calming and relaxed air about him, but is always in for a laughter or eight and we have learned incredibly much from him over the days the we spent together. It is a great pleasure and honour having you around, Ronnie. Thanks for the great effort you took, to meet us over three days and enlighten us with your vast knowledge of Addo. Even if it was just a tiny fraction of what you could have taught us. It meant a lot to us and it was a very special time that is imprinted deeply into our hearts and souls. Image You are legend! And I hope that we’ll be able to repeat this at some point.

We sat with the lions a few more minutes but then decided to move as the park has so much more to offer than snoozing cats. Especially when you have Ronnie as a guide with you! From Vukani we went on to Ngulube loop. First up was a speckled mousebird.

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We then wanted to take a photo of the magnificent red rock formation on Ngulube

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 Post subject: Re: Two-timing the KTP and going to the Frontier Parks
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:21 am 
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and Ronnie told us to follow him for the best spot to do so. We didn’t manage to get there as we were held up by… yet another lion!!! Image It was another one of the collared females and she just had made a kill which she was about to drag from one side of the road to the other right in front of our cars.

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 Post subject: Re: Two-timing the KTP and going to the Frontier Parks
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:21 am 
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By now I have her positively ID as Aardlam. But just look at her! She’s a real fighter – what a body.

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This whole encounter didn’t even last 10 minutes and she was gone into the bushes not to be seen anymore. But it was full of awesomeness. We could hear her panting from the labour dragging that hartebeest along. Right time, right place is all I’m saying.

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 Post subject: Re: Two-timing the KTP and going to the Frontier Parks
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:22 am 
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And the next kill happened right in front of us as well:

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The stonechat is another tick!

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 Post subject: Re: Two-timing the KTP and going to the Frontier Parks
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:54 am 
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The three of us meandered further up north, stopping regularly to enjoy the critters lining up at the side of the roads. This vervet looked a bit ouch though:

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For a change the hartebeests didn’t run off when I pointed my cam at them:

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Ronnie told me to hurry up with this one as I might not get a similar opportunity anymore on our trip:

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A fiscal shrike was shouting its head off:

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 Post subject: Re: Two-timing the KTP and going to the Frontier Parks
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:55 am 
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Then we stopped for breakfast at Jack’s where the resident plated lizard tried to warm up a bit on a overcast morning:

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After our break we got on our way to Hapoor dam. On route we found a hoopoe with a mangled claw. Still he seemed to be quite chirpy and SO was allowed to take this photo of him and until Mr. Crest decided he had enough:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Two-timing the KTP and going to the Frontier Parks
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:56 am 
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Further along the road we met up with a very well-kempt buff. Just look at that neat eyebrow lining!

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I reckon the next one didn’t like me all too much…

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 Post subject: Re: Two-timing the KTP and going to the Frontier Parks
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:57 am 
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And them two had obviously gotten up the wrong foot first:

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Would you, please, take your horn out of my eye?! NOW! :evil:

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Well thank you very much! If I had know, I wouldn’t have bothered. :roll:

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Rasp, rasp. I kinda… yap… can’t breathe anymore.

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What did you say??? Can’t hear you. Your horn is in my ear. :doh:

And inbetween the buffnipresent black-headed heron:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Two-timing the KTP and going to the Frontier Parks
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:59 am 
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So we got to Hapoor dam which was once again deserted, but a kind OSV driver told us where to find a mongoose:

Image

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