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 Post subject: Re: Cry (for) The Beloved Country
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:59 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:50 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Anaheim, California USA
Today was my daughter's 15th birthday. She's a beautiful girl and brings so much joy to our lives. I know that really has nothing to do with the Trip Report, but I just wanted to publicly wish her a happy birthday.

Now we can carry on.

Day 4 Part 2A - Shingwedzi to Mopani:

After 3 nights at Shingwedzi it was time to repack the cars and head off to Olifants via Letaba. The cars were jam packed again. While we had eaten some of the food, we had made purchases in the camp shops and we were nearly bursting at the seams.

We drove out the gates and stopped for a quick photo of the gates

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We drove towards Red Rocks and our first sighting was an Ostrich

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And then a Lilac Breasted Roller with breakfast

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And then some Zebra and Buffalo

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And then we arrived at Red Rocks

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There were Waterbuck off in the distance, but it was generally pretty quiet. I have read that the best time to visit Red Rocks is just after sunrise. We were much later than that and the weather was dreary as well.

We headed back to the H1-6 and continued south towards Mopani.

We saw a Gray Headed Kingfisher

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And a Black Shouldered Kite along the way

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_________________
Marakele May 2-4, 2014 (First time)
Tlopi Tented Camp

Kruger May 6-15, 2014
Satara May 6-10
Skukuza May 10-12
Crocodile Bridge May 12-15


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 Post subject: Re: Cry (for) The Beloved Country
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:43 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:50 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Anaheim, California USA
Day 4 Part 2B - Mopani to Letaba:

After a quick stop for fuel and a check of the sightings board at Mopani we decided to run out to Shipandani Hide as there had been Leopard spotted in the area. As soon as we turned from the tar to the dirt road we encountered two young male Elephants who were trying to prove who was the toughest. It was very interesting to watch the interaction between the two and to see them butt heads and "play chicken." At one point, the guy who was losing thought he would look tougher if he turned his attention towards us and made quite a show of telling us who was boss.

Unfortunately as the driver I decided to concentrate on being ready for a quick escape rather than taking pictures so I don't have any photos of the event. It was still quite and experience.

There was nothing going on at the hide so we drove a short distance down the Tsendze Road. There was a pretty good sized Elephant herd with some youngsters amongst them. They were on both sides of the road and I was concerned that we might get caught between a mom and baby, but they were all pretty chilled out.

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Back on the tar we saw a mom Warthog and her babies

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We came across another Saddle Billed Stork

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And another LBR, this time with a little better lighting

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We had been planning for close to two months to meet Crested Val and her family at Letaba as we traveled from Shingwedzi down to Olifants. After a few SMS messages we arranged to meet at the Letaba restaurant. Val wasn't hard to find, because Porridge and Jaxiedean had already found her and were enjoying a beer with Val and family.

We made some quick introductions and then I had a quick lunch with our group. After all of my negative comments about the food concessions in the Park I must say that Letaba wasn't bad. Although you would have to work pretty hard to mess up a toasted ham and cheese sandwich.

After eating I went and spent some time with Val and family. I must admit I am terribly jealous of Val and her husband......four months every year in South Africa. Hopefully I will be able to do the same some day.

Val's daughter and son-in-law were with them on a late honeymoon, which was to include a trip to Vic Falls as well. What an awesome honeymoon!!! It was really neat to put faces to the names that I've been reading on the forum for a few years now. It is funny, but it really does form a bond and a relationship. We were scheduled for a bush braai at Olifants later that evening and had been told to check in by 1600 hours, so we didn't have a lot of time to visit, but it was still a nice time.

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Porridge, Jaxiedean, me, Crested Val, Val's SO, Deamole

And you can't stop at Letaba without visiting the Elephant Hall....

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And now it was time to get back on the road and head to Olifants.

Stay tuned.....

Daron

_________________
Marakele May 2-4, 2014 (First time)
Tlopi Tented Camp

Kruger May 6-15, 2014
Satara May 6-10
Skukuza May 10-12
Crocodile Bridge May 12-15


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 Post subject: Re: Cry (for) The Beloved Country
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:33 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:50 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Anaheim, California USA
Day 4 Part 3 - Letaba to Olifants and the bush braai:

We left Letaba after a quick stop at the Park Shop. We quickly learned that as long as Veronica had a little time to shop, she could endure several hours at a time cooped up in the car with a bunch of rude men and all their silly jokes.

We drove out the S94 to the S46 to the H1-5. This was the view of the river

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We had a great male Kudu that posed nicely for us

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And a couple of Bee Eaters on a dead branch

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Then a large Elephant that caused a little bit of a road block before deciding to move out of the road. He was very chill though

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And then a good looking Bataleur perched in a tree

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As we were traveling along the H1-5, Dave suddenly yelled "STOP!!! LEOPARD!!!"

He told me there was a Leopard next to the road on the passenger side of the car. I threw the car into reverse and tried to back up, but couldn't see anything with all of the luggage in the back. I tried using the side mirrors, but all I could see was elbows and heads leaning out to look for the Leopard. By the time I got back to the area both Dave and Mike saw it moving off into the deep bush and it was long gone before anyone got a picture. We stayed around and looked for quite a while, but he/she never reappeared.

The mood for the rest of the drive was pretty somber. I felt terrible for not being able to get them in a position to get a good view of the Leopard. They all tried to assure me that it wasn't my fault, but I still felt responsible for scaring the thing off.

We arrived at Olifants with very few additional sightings. When we arrived, the radio stayed on when I took the key out of the ignition and the car doors would not lock. I think there was a gremlin somewhere in the car.....

We checked in and were assigned bungalows 38 and 39 and Cottage 18C. The camp has been revamped since I was last there and was absolutely beautiful. The staff were great and the accommodations were very well maintained. The cottage had an awesome verandah with a sweeping view of the river below. Everyone loved it. The river overlook by the restaurant had been rebuilt with a nice thatch overhang and was a very nice setting.

By the time we got unpacked and settled it was time to meet at reception for our 1st bush braai. John, the Head Guide at Olifants was going to be our guide. He explained that we would be driving about an hour from camp to a remote area where the braai had been set up. In addition to our group of 8 there were two German couples and a South African with an American Journalist. We didn't quite figure out what their relationship was.....

We drove along the river past Balule and had a great sunset. We also saw Bataleur, and Elephant.

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And then a Pearl Spotted Owlet

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As we continued on the drive to the braai site we saw Hippo, Nightjar, Hyena, Impala, and Genet. All of a sudden Mike yelled "STOP LEOPARD!!!" That was the second time I had heard that in a matter of hours. This time I got a glimpse of the tail end of a Leopard as it slinked deeper into the bush. I saw it briefly, but it wasn't a great sighting.

We finally arrived at the braai site in the middle of nowhere along the river. We tried to get John to join us for dinner, but he said the site was unpredictable and he remained vigilant with his rifle at the ready throughout our meal.

The meal consisted of chicken and beef, pap and sauce, potatoes, salad, mixed vegetables, and malva pudding. It was VERY good!!!!

After dinner we returned to camp with relatively few sightings. Even still the atmosphere was perfect and everyone raved about the experience.

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By the time we got back to camp everyone was exhausted, but it was a really cool day.

Stay tuned for more......

Daron

_________________
Marakele May 2-4, 2014 (First time)
Tlopi Tented Camp

Kruger May 6-15, 2014
Satara May 6-10
Skukuza May 10-12
Crocodile Bridge May 12-15


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 Post subject: Re: Cry (for) The Beloved Country
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:14 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:50 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Anaheim, California USA
Thanks again to everyone who is following and commenting on my TR. It really makes it a worthwhile experience.

Day 5 was another awesome day in the Park. Due to the number of photos I am going to have to break it down into several segments again. Ready to start????

Day 5 Part 1 - Around camp and along the river:

We decided to take it easy today and didn't leave camp until around 0830. I was up early and once the sun was up I took a stroll around the camp. Olifants is an absolutely beautiful camp. I had been there before, but this was my first time staying there in at least 30 years. The only thing the camp is lacking is a swimming pool and apparently plans are in place to have a pool by 2014.

They have completely redone the river overlook since my last visit with a thatch overhang. It is very peaceful with amazing views

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And looking the other direction

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And you can't skip the baby ellie

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Our bungalow

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And the view from the verandah at 18C

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We all had breakfast looking over the river. Then there was this lizard sunning on the wall outside

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A shot of the gate as we left camp

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We drove over the bridge and saw Hippo and a Vulture feeding its youngster

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Sorry for the number of pictures of the Vultures, but I wanted to put the sequence into perspective.....

Hopefully I can post another episode when I get home from work. Till then.....

Daron

_________________
Marakele May 2-4, 2014 (First time)
Tlopi Tented Camp

Kruger May 6-15, 2014
Satara May 6-10
Skukuza May 10-12
Crocodile Bridge May 12-15


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 Post subject: Re: Cry (for) The Beloved Country
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:13 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:50 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Anaheim, California USA
OK it is 0430 and I just got home from work. I'm very tired, but I am committed to getting this next episode posted. If I start sounding delirious I'm not drunk, I'm just exhausted.....

Day 5 part 2 - Olifants to Timbavati:

So we left camp and drove along the S91 to the H1-5 and on to the S39. We had some very good sightings, although there were long periods in between with absolutely nothing. The sun was up in full force today and it was the hottest day of the trip reaching up to 38 degrees.

On the bridge we saw more Hippo

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Egyptian Geese

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An Eagle of some sort soaring overhead

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And the lighting was terrible, but we saw a Trumpeter Hornbill

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And then a tiny newborn Impala

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Once on the Timbavati Road we saw Zebra

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Steenbok

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Baboon

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Wildebeest

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A Kori Bustard

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And a series of a couple of Impala Rams trying to show who the boss is

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And then we arrived at the picnic site for lunch. All in all I would say it was quite a successful morning.

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Stay tuned for the next episode coming soon.....

Daron

_________________
Marakele May 2-4, 2014 (First time)
Tlopi Tented Camp

Kruger May 6-15, 2014
Satara May 6-10
Skukuza May 10-12
Crocodile Bridge May 12-15


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 Post subject: Re: Cry (for) The Beloved Country
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:46 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:50 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Anaheim, California USA
Here we go again....

Day 5 Part 3 - Timbavati to Olifants via Satara - The Birds:

So after lunch at the Timbavati Picnic Site, we made a brief stop at the Ratelpan Hide. It was scorching hot and while the views were good, everyone was cranky out in the heat.

There was a Heron fishing for lunch, and while we didn't see him catch anything, he was making a good effort

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And some other residents

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And then back to the bridge where two Fish Eagles were fighting over dinner

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And on the other side of the bridge a Yellow Billed Stork in flight

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I must admit I am quite happy with the way the stork series turned out. Hopefully you will enjoy them as well. While on a quick pit stop at Satara we searched for the resident Scops Owl, but were unable to find him.

Off to work again. Stay tuned for the next installment of our four legged friends from this drive.

Take care,

Daron

_________________
Marakele May 2-4, 2014 (First time)
Tlopi Tented Camp

Kruger May 6-15, 2014
Satara May 6-10
Skukuza May 10-12
Crocodile Bridge May 12-15


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 Post subject: Re: Cry (for) The Beloved Country
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 5:36 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:50 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Anaheim, California USA
Well I hope you are all enjoying some wonderful summer weather and spending time with family over the holidays. It is cold and rainy here in California.

Day 5 Part 3 Continued - The Other Animals:

We had excellent general game viewing between Timbavati and Satara.

We saw Ostrich, Zebra, Widebeest, Impala, Giraffe, Kudu and on and on....

Here are some of the general game photos

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And then a HUGE herd of Buffalo that stretched as far as the eye could see on both sides of the road. This was by far the biggest Buffalo herd I had ever seen

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On the way from Satara to Olifants we saw a Spotted Hyena, but did not have a good photo opportunity

Somewhere along the way at an undisclosed location we had this mother and calf Rhino

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It was so nice to see the Rhino with her calf. It gave us hope that these poachers will not win!!!

Anyway, that's enough for now. Stay tuned for Part 4 - The Sunset Drive.

Daron

_________________
Marakele May 2-4, 2014 (First time)
Tlopi Tented Camp

Kruger May 6-15, 2014
Satara May 6-10
Skukuza May 10-12
Crocodile Bridge May 12-15


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 Post subject: Re: Cry (for) The Beloved Country
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:56 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:50 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Anaheim, California USA
Well my friends it is Christmas Eve here in California, but for many of you it is already Christmas morning. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Thankfully, because of the true meaning of Christmas, there is reason to celebrate!

Day 5 Part 4A - The Sunset Drive:

At the conclusion of our bush braai yesterday we spoke with John and arranged for a sunset drive the next evening. John said that he would assign Travis to be our guide and as it would just be our group of eight, we would be in one of the smaller vehicles.

We met at reception at the appointed time and Travis came out and introduced himself. If you have the opportunity to enjoy an activity at Olifants camp, you must ask for Travis as the Guide. He is a rising star in the SANParks! He is young and energetic, is very knowledgeable and personable, and enjoys interacting with the people. Of all of the activities that we took part in during this trip, Travis was the absolute best Guide!

We drove along the river to the Balule bridge. The bridge is still closed to the general public, but being part of an organized drive, we were allowed to cross.

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We had some good general game sightings and the animals weren't too shy and stayed close for some good photo opportunities

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We came across a Hyena den with two young cubs, but one quickly disappeared while the other was more curious

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After a few minutes the mother came closer to the den and the cub went out to meet her. The interaction between the two was amazing to watch

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I need to limit the number of pictures to each episode so the rest of the Sunset Drive will be continued....

Till then.....

Daron

_________________
Marakele May 2-4, 2014 (First time)
Tlopi Tented Camp

Kruger May 6-15, 2014
Satara May 6-10
Skukuza May 10-12
Crocodile Bridge May 12-15


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 Post subject: Re: Cry (for) The Beloved Country
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:12 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:50 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Anaheim, California USA
Merry Christmas everyone. For most of you your Christmas Day is coming to an end, while ours is just beginning. Our family tradition is to start the day by reading the story of the birth of Jesus from the bible in Luke Chapter 2. We try to keep the kids focused on what Christmas is all about before they get to open their gifts.

Now to continue.....

Day 5 Part 4B - The SUNSET Drive:

You can see that I capitalized the SUNSET part of the title in this episode. You will see why shortly.

So after our time at the Hyena den we continued in our search for the cats. Our trip was half way over and our cat sightings were the Lion way off in the distance at Kanniedood and our two Leopards that fled immediately and didn't wait for pictures.

Travis knew that we were hoping for cats and drove to areas where they had been seen recently. Our hopes were raised significantly when we came upon two trees that were full of Vultures. In fact, there were Lappet-Faced, White-Backed, and Hooded Vultures all sharing the same trees.

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Travis told us this was a good indication that there was a kill nearby. We looked and looked, but never found it. However, what we did see is an image that will forever be ingrained in my memory. It was the most beautiful sunset I had EVER seen and I doubt that it will ever be topped. The sky was bright red and orange and put on a show that only God could provide.....

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And my personal favorite....

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On the way back a storm started brewing with a beautiful lightning display. No pictures of that. But, we did see Large and Small spotted Genet, Hyena, Spring Hare, Scrub Hare, Dung Beetle in action

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And then right before camp this interesting bird. It moved just as the shutter snapped so it is a little blurry.

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We returned to camp in an absolutely joyous mood. I don't think anything could have ruined the mood created by the stunning sunset. Once we got it was off to bed. This was our last night at Olifants as we were leaving for Satara the next morning.

Again, Merry Christmas to you all!!!

Daron

_________________
Marakele May 2-4, 2014 (First time)
Tlopi Tented Camp

Kruger May 6-15, 2014
Satara May 6-10
Skukuza May 10-12
Crocodile Bridge May 12-15


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 Post subject: Re: Cry (for) The Beloved Country
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:03 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:50 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Anaheim, California USA
Just got home from a great family Christmas with my brother and his family and our parents. Time for a quick episode before bed.

Day 6 Part 1 - Olifants to Satara:

We woke up at a decent hour and planned to hit the road by about 0800. Unfortunately we found that one of the vehicles had a flat tire and it needed to be repaired. The staff at Olifants were great and had it fixed very quickly.

So we headed off down the H1-4 towards Satara. We had some good general game sightings including Giraffe

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Zebra

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A Baboon with a hitch hiker

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And then as we got close to Satara, a MASSIVE road block. The same huge herd of Buffalo were crossing the road. We sat for probably 20 minutes and they kept coming and coming and coming. Finally there was a small break as they stopped to graze and we were able to pass through

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We headed on to Satara and came across a Wildebeest just outside the gate

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and a closer view

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When we arrived at Satara it was too early to check in, but we went to reception to provide our Wild Cards to expedite the process. The staff were friendly and efficient and let us know that when we returned at 1400 hours, everything would be ready and we would just need to collect our keys. We also learned that a sunset drive was available that evening. Everyone was keen after our drive the night before with Travis so we signed up immediately.

We then headed out the S100. Our friends had been hearing us talk about this road for the past several days and everyone's expectations were high. Hopefully we wouldn't let them down.....

We saw Waterbuck and Impala together

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And an adult Southern Ground Hornbill with a juvenile

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More Wildebeest trying to stay cool in the shade

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And some great scenery

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I have to tell you that the next episode is one that I'm dying to share, but it is bed time now and I want to make sure that I get it right. You're not going to want to miss it.....

Till then......

Daron

_________________
Marakele May 2-4, 2014 (First time)
Tlopi Tented Camp

Kruger May 6-15, 2014
Satara May 6-10
Skukuza May 10-12
Crocodile Bridge May 12-15


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 Post subject: Re: Cry (for) The Beloved Country
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:34 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:50 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Anaheim, California USA
Day 6 Part 2A - Mike's wish comes true:

As we were preparing for the trip we met as a group to plan some things out. During that meeting deamole and I tried to warn everyone that you never know what you are or are not going to see in Kruger (or any other park for that matter). We explained that while we had trips with excellent sightings, we had also had trips where the sightings were not so great and it was all about the experience of being in the bush.

When we entered the Park six days earlier, I had asked Dave, Veronica, and Mike if there was anything in particular they wanted to see. Dave's immediate answer was Rhino, Veronica's was Giraffe, and Mike's was Cheetah. I told them I would try my best and that based on where we would be in the Park, I was confident we would see Rhino and Giraffe, but that we would have to be very lucky to see Cheetah. In all of my previous trips over the past 8 years we had seen Cheetah once, and it was a very quick sighting as it ran across the road.

So by now it is mid-morning and the weather is starting to get pretty warm. The S100 has delivered some very nice general game sightings, but we were secretly hoping to find the mega pride. I was thinking that it was getting a little late in the morning and our chances of seeing cats was rapidly diminishing. Deamole was in the lead vehicle when he stopped all of a sudden and calmly said over the two-way radio - "Cheetah."

Yeah right! Sure enough about 20 meters off the road chilling under a tree was a young cheetah cub. It wasn't small, but was certainly still a cub.

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Wait a minute. What is that? Is that another little nose sticking out from behind the other one's head? Sure enough. There wasn't one cub, but two.

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No way. You've got to be kidding me! Is that another head that just popped up? Not one, not two, but three Cheetah cubs chilling under a tree. Is this for real? Mike was going WILD in the car. And by the way, we were the only two cars there.

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We sat watching the cubs for about 20 minutes. The entire time they were calling and calling for mom. We could hear mom replying from the other side of the road, but we couldn't see her. We waited patiently hoping she would make an appearance, knowing she would have to cross the road to get to the cubs.

One of the cubs seemed to be the dominant one of the group and the other two followed his/her lead. After about 20 minutes the "leader" started moving off deeper into the bush and the other two disappeared.

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We tracked as best we could and after a minute or two the leader popped up on a stump and sat there calling for mom.

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After a few minutes one of the other cubs appeared at the base of the stump

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I hope I'm not boring you, but there are still plenty more pictures to come of this most special sighting.

I must admit that I am not 100% happy with the pictures. I was using the 300mm 2.8 lens with the 2x converter for most of them. The images looked fine on the camera screen, but once they were on the computer they were not as clear and crisp as I had hoped. After seeing the image degradation from the 2x converter after I downloaded, I took the 2x converter off and replaced it with the 1.4x. The quality was much better. Lessons learned......

More to follow later tonight. Till then, thanks for following......

Daron

_________________
Marakele May 2-4, 2014 (First time)
Tlopi Tented Camp

Kruger May 6-15, 2014
Satara May 6-10
Skukuza May 10-12
Crocodile Bridge May 12-15


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 Post subject: Re: Cry (for) The Beloved Country
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:22 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:50 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Anaheim, California USA
Hi Everyone,

I have no idea what happened, but I posted an episode last night before bed and it disappeared. It actually posted because I was able to pull it up and show the pictures to my son, but when I logged on today it was as if it never existed. So I guess I will have to re-post l;ast night's episode now.

Anyway I started off with a Happy 60th Birthday wish for Jenni, aka Eco Junkie. I was fortunate enough to be able to meet her and walk around Malelane with her for a short while before she left the next morning for her birthday trip. Her actual birthday was December 27th, so now I'm late....

Day 6 Part 2B - Mike's wish continued:

So as you know we were watching the "leader" calling for mom from the stump with one of the siblings below. After a few minutes the other sibling joined and we had all three in the same frame again

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They stayed together for a few minutes before the leader decided to jump off the stump and head deeper into the bush again

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The leader vanished for a short time and then re-appeared on top of a small hill

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There is some fuzziness on the last one because of the long grass blowing, but it kind of frames the Cheetah's face so I think I like it.

The leader stayed there for a short time and then......

Stay tuned for the next episode.....

Daron

_________________
Marakele May 2-4, 2014 (First time)
Tlopi Tented Camp

Kruger May 6-15, 2014
Satara May 6-10
Skukuza May 10-12
Crocodile Bridge May 12-15


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 Post subject: Re: Cry (for) The Beloved Country
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:50 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:50 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Anaheim, California USA
Ok friends, I have to do one more episode with the Cheetah cubs. It was just too special.

Day 6 Part 2D - Mike's wish the finale:

Within a few minutes the other two cubs re-appeared again and the three were together once again. This time the leader walked out onto a tree stump and called for mom while the other two waited behind the leader.

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The leader stayed on the stump for a while and the two others got bored and went to chill under a tree

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After a while even the leader got hot and tired and went to relax under the tree with the siblings

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We stayed with the cubs for nearly an hour. At one point another car arrived, but we never had more than three cars total. Mom never showed herself.

We later learned that there were a total of 5 cubs in this family, but we only saw the three. Everybody was in a great mood for the rest of the day and we couldn't stop talking about what a great sighting we had.

We eventually moved on along the S100 to the S41, but that will have to wait for the next episode....

Till then, another big thank you for following and for your comments.

Daron

PS..... I received a pm asking if I meant to post a picture of a lady mixed in with the cheetah pictures. I did not post a picture of a lady and I have reviewed the TR from two separate computers and do not see a picture mixed in so if others are seeing it as well, I have no explanation.

_________________
Marakele May 2-4, 2014 (First time)
Tlopi Tented Camp

Kruger May 6-15, 2014
Satara May 6-10
Skukuza May 10-12
Crocodile Bridge May 12-15


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 Post subject: Re: Cry (for) The Beloved Country
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:14 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:50 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Anaheim, California USA
Happy New Year everyone!!!!

It is New Years night here in California and we have had some cold nights the past few days.

I still have not heard back from the mods and have no idea what the issue was/is with the "picture." Some have suggested that it might be browser related. I would be curious to see if those who have seen it are all using the same browser.

For a while I thought it was something to do with the SA server, but I have now heard from people in SA that have not seen it either. Based on the fact that it was limited to a few people who were affected, and that it appears to be limited to one picture in one episode, I have decided to risk continuing and moving forward. I trust that if anyone sees anything suspicious you will let me know immediately.

Day 6 Part 3 - The S100 to Satara via N'wanetsi:

So after our time with the Cheetah cubs we continued along the S100. We had good general game sightings including Giraffe

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and Waterbuck

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As well as an LBR in some pretty good light

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We turned onto the S41 toward N'wanetsi and had more Waterbuck, Zebra, and Giraffe as well as Impala

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At one point we crossed a low level bridge and there was a Heron with Terrapins

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We made it to N'wanetsi and had lunch at the picnic tables. I suggested that we should go up to the lookout and everyone was amazed by the view. There were Elephant, Zebra, Giraffe, Waterbuck, and Weaver Birds within view.

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The scenery was good too

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We stayed for about 20 minutes before we needed to start heading back to camp. We had to get checked in to our accommodations, and we had the sunset drive scheduled.

We drove back via the H6 and had more general game sightings including Buffalo and Kudu.

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Somewhere during our travels we saw this guy

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Once back at camp the staff at reception had everything ready for us as promised. Check in was smooth and the accommodations were clean and well kept. Interestingly, there was a customer satisfaction board posted in reception. Generally the camp had high marks. However, the restaurant had a less than 45% customer satisfaction mark......

deamole, Mike, Garrett and I were in unit D89. It was a two bedroom unit with a full kitchen and a lounge area. Very nice!

Stay tuned because the sunset drive was magnificent!!!!

Daron

_________________
Marakele May 2-4, 2014 (First time)
Tlopi Tented Camp

Kruger May 6-15, 2014
Satara May 6-10
Skukuza May 10-12
Crocodile Bridge May 12-15


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 Post subject: Re: Cry (for) The Beloved Country
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:48 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:50 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Anaheim, California USA
Well since the page has turned are there any objections to me continuing???? OK here we go.

Day 6 Part 4A - The Sunset Drive:

So we met at reception as scheduled to begin our Sunset Drive. I was very excited when I walked out to the truck and saw Irving standing there. Irving is the Head Guide at Satara and was previously the Head Guide at Lower Sabie. We did a night drive with him at Lower Sabie several years ago and it was one of the most memorable experiences ever. The sightings were decent on the trip, but what made it so special was Irving's ability to get everyone involved and share his love of the bush.

Unfortunately, Irving told me he would not be our guide on this trip....

Our Guide was Martin. He was very good and interacted well with the group. He pulled out of camp and stopped a short distance outside the gate to go over the rules. And then we were on our way. We were really hoping for Lion. We still hadn't had a good Lion sighting and we were definitely in Lion country.

A short distance into the drive we saw Elephant

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Baboon

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And Vervet Monkey

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Martin was very knowledgeable and informative and would stop and talk about whatever animals we were seeing. He was also very considerate of everybody getting a good view and would move the vehicle as necessary.

As we approached the Sweni Bridge we could see several cars stopped on the bridge. The anticipation started building as we got closer. I was secretly willing the vehicle to go faster so we could get there before whatever it was disappeared.

No need for that though. When we arrived a gentleman told us that there were four cheetah chilling in the riverbed. Fortunately we were in one of the larger vehicles so we could see over the tops of the other vehicles that were stopped. Sure enough there were four Cheetahs lounging around in the river bed. Martin said it was getting to the time where they would get up and start moving so we watched and waited.

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I couldn't believe it. We had the great sighting this morning of the cubs and now this....

We talked with some of the other people on the drive about our cub sighting and learned that there were actually 5 cubs in that family. The other two must have been with mom and we just didn't get to see them. I was now in total disbelief. As I've mentioned, my Cheetah sightings in Kruger have been virtually nil and now these great sightings all in one day. WOW!!!!

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We had only been there for a few minutes when we saw an Elephant approaching the riverbed. Martin laughed and told us to watch because the Elephant would chase the Cheetah away. Not a minute later, the Elephant started trumpeting and charging and chased the Cheetah away. I wish I would have been taking video instead of still photographs, because you have to hear it as well as see it to get the full essence of what happened. It was amazing!

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Sorry for the creepy eyes. The red eye tool in photoshop isn't fixing them and I haven't figured another way yet. I am new to Photoshop and just ordered a book to try and learn more.

The Cheetah didn't go far and remained on the far side of the riverbank until the Elephant went on his way. We then saw the most incredible display from the Cheetah, but I am going to put that in its own episode(s). It was just too cool to limit to one or two pictures.

We crossed the bridge and literally within 50 meters of the bridge were more cars stopped and they told us there was a Leopard in a tree. After a lot of moving backwards and forwards and side to side, we finally got a glimpse of its tail. So Leopard sighting number 3, but still no photographic proof.

So on we go with our sunset drive. Somewhere alon the way we came across a very healthy looking White Rhino

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And a nice sunset

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And we capped the drive off with a Chameleon.

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We also saw Genet, and had another sighting of Cheetah. It was most likely one of the same Cheetah we had seen earlier, but it was far off, was moving, and it was really dark so we didn't get any more pictures.

Everyone was impressed with Martin and would certainly recommend him again. The drive was so awesome that an Amarula nightcap seemed the most fitting way to celebrate.

Stay tuned for more special Cheetah interaction.....

Daron

_________________
Marakele May 2-4, 2014 (First time)
Tlopi Tented Camp

Kruger May 6-15, 2014
Satara May 6-10
Skukuza May 10-12
Crocodile Bridge May 12-15


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