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 Post subject: Weltenman The good, the bad and the uninvited March 2012
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:35 pm 
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The planning for our visit to Kruger started with a special date for my father in October. He would turn 60 and what better way to spend it with the family in Kruger. So the planning was done, 1 night in Crocodile Bridge (instead of a bed and breakfast or hotel in the Nelpruit/Malelane area), 2 nights Skukuza, 2 nights Satara and finally 2 nights Letaba.

We booked a bush braai for the special evening in Skukuza and were looking forward to enjoying dinner in the bush.

Day 1: Not much to report, we picked up the hire vehicle with more space in the morning. Left around 10h30 from JHB and arrived in Crocodile Bridge gate at approximately 16h20. Just our luck that the Lions would play in their first Currie Cup Rugby final in 9 years so we had to find out if there was any chance that they would have a TV at camp that might show the game. No luck, however we were not the first people to enquire about the rugby and arrangements could be made that those who wanted to watch the rugby could go to Komatipoort and be back no later than 8pm. Rugby sorted! We did not go for a drive as we were all tired and there was little time before the start of the rugby, packed the meat in the freezer and those that wanted to watch the rugby left for Komatipoort. Good times all around for Lions fans...returned before 8pm and no problems at the gate.

At paradise's door...
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New rules!
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Day 2:

An early start as we decided to do a drive in the morning and return to camp for breakfast before departing to Skukuza. This way we could leave around 9h30am and not be at Skukuza too early for check in at 2pm.

The first animal we saw in the morning (at least took a picture of) was wildebeest and then impala and then a mystery bird.

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We saw more general game and another eagle in the briliant morning sunshine of Kruger. There is something majestic about kudu's.

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We came upon a few cars parked in the road and saw our first lions of the trip. 3 lions doing what lions do, lying around and not providing us any youtube worthy footage.

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We mayde a u-turn back to camp and saw a wet looking hyena. At least the hyena provided more action than the lions, even if it was only by walking past the car. We must have been near their den as another hyena made an appearance and promptly dissapeared. Before reaching camp we saw our first giraffe as well.


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After breakfast, toasted sandwich!, and with our luggage and cold food back in the car we set off for Lower Sabie. We decided to drive the S28, but due the the time of day and the temperature we didn't see much. We did see warthog, duiker (I think) and some nice scenery. Good to be back in Kruger.

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Before stopping at Lower Sabie we crossed the bridge, saw a bird (please excuse my ignorance of birds) and the wonderful view of the deck. :)

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Quick break at Lower Sabie and off we went to Skukuza. By now the temperature was getting nice and high and the animals all decided that their "standing in shade and being generally invisible" :roll: was the right action for the day. We did spot our first elephants on the way. Saw the smallest new born with his mother at the bridge crossing the H12. Tried to keep a good distance as he seemed extremely new to the world.

Another majestic kudu!
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We did get to meet Lowveldboy before reaching Skukuza :thumbs_up: . Upon arrival we checked in and confirmed the departure time for our bush braai. We got our stuff packed away for the next 2 nights and relaxed before we had to report for our bush braai. :dance:

To be continued....

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 Post subject: Re: The good, the bad and the uninvited...
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:46 am 
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Thank you to everyone that has taken time to read my report and especially those that replied! :gflower:


Upcoming...Day one part deux.


Day 2 - Bush Braai


When we booked the bush braai we were asked whether there would be a problem if other visitors joined us on the braai or if we would like a personal bush braai. We confirmed with Skukuza that having other visitors with us on the bush braai would be no problem at all. We would be 9 people going for the bush braai as a party of 4 would be joining us. Sam was our guide for the evening and advised that we would be going for a drive before heading to the designated braai area where the braai were to take place. We were all excited and couldn't wait for the adventure to start.


The Bad....


On the drive we came across giraffe, crocodile in the river and a beautiful sunset. We also barged in on a breeding herd of elephant that was relaxed and whilst not always happy with our presence they tolerated us. We had fun watching the dung beetles flying in to the fresh dung and landing. I wouldn't call it landing, more like hovering over the intended area where they need to go and then falling out of the sky and flopping down in the near proximity of the object of their desire... :D


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The object of desire for the dung beetle... :shock:
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We spent 30 minutes in the company of the elephants as it was getting dark. There is something eerie for me when it gets dark in the bush. Things you could see easily 20 minutes ago suddenly dissapear and the noises somehow seem more frightening. 8)


The magical dissapearing trick....
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We departed from the scene and the elephants and when we arrived at the spot where the braai was supposed to take place, it was eerily silent and extremely dark. Sam seemed perplexed and notified that maybe something had gone wrong and the braai was arranged for the boma at Skukuza or another location. We would return to camp where he would find out what is happening.


What was supposed to be a special braai and occasion for us, and our 4 traveling companions for the bush braai suddenly turned out all wrong. There was a "communication breakdown" between SANParks and the restaurant (Compass). A conversation ensued between us, the restaurant manager and blame was passed between the restaurant and Skukuza camp. :(

Our problem was there was now 9 people that did not have any food and we were refused entry to the restaurant on a warm night, not even to pay for a drink. Cedric Khoza of Skukuza confirmed on the phone that SANParks will pay for our dinner that night in the restuarant and provide a braai the next evening, yet still we were refused entry to the restaurant. Our group of 5 decided that we had enough and left for our accommodation to braai some meat.

We were visited by Cedric later to apologize for the whole event and to offer dinner at the restaurant and the braai the next evening in the bush. That was extremely nice of him to come to the unit at night after he had finished working to find a solution to the problem. Whilst we were upset that we didn't get to experience the braai, we were told we could apply for a refund if we were not going to avail of the braai the next evening. We were happy with the extent that Skukuza camp went to try and accommodate us and with the fact that Cedric came to our unit to personally apologize. Thank you Cedric for your efforts! I also appreciated the efforts of Sam and Oupa who were dealing with us, but who could not do much as the matter was out of the hands of SANParks.

It does seem that there had been miscommunication between Compass and SANParks on the procedures regarding bush braais. We were the unfortunate group caught in the middle of it all. We did receive a refund for the bush braai and want to thank Joep as well for his help with the matter after we had returned home.

A general consensus was reached that we would forget about the evening and the mishap and just get on with our holiday as these things happen and we would not let is spoil the rest of our trip.

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 Post subject: Re: The good, the bad and the uninvited...
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:22 pm 
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Thank you Hugh, Pumbaa, MM, Grantmissy, Boorgatspook, Div, GemmaT, Capeofstorms, Anri, Hilda, Radman, billyf! Thank you reading and taking time to reply! :)

Now now bomsevrou....you know who was where and uninvited.... :naughty: cannot spoil the story... :D


Here we go for Day 3...

Day 3

We decided to have a little lie in after the events of the previous night and left at around 9am to Nkhulu to have breakfast. The weather had turned cooler and cloudier and generally more pleasant (temperature wise) than the previous day.

Buffalo from camp
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Just outside of Skukuza a BIG traffic jam. Two lions having a feed. We wanted to find out what the sighting was and after confirming that it was lions we decided to take a couple of pictures and drive on through the parked cars rather than wait to get a good spot.

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Not much else to see on the way to Nkhulu, did see ground hornbill taking flight. I think the nest was in the tree branch...either that or I just wanted to take a pic of a tree branch... :tongue:

We also saw buffalo before Nkhulu...and seeing as we were at the "buff pasty" place we had a nice brunch of buffalo pies and chips... 8)

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After a hearty breakfast at Nkhulu we checked the sightings board and noticed that cheetah had been seen on the S21. The weather was quite pleasant for driving around and the temperature wasn't too hot we thought we would have a drive to see if we would get lucky.

We had a really pleasant drive, not much animal sightings but the scenery was nice and being in the tranquil bush made it worth it. We did see a snake, think it was a black mamba, moving across the road ahead. When we arrived at the spot where he crossed the road there was nothing left to see, a nice sighting nonetheless. I did take a picture of the bush the snake was heading to... :wall:

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We had a nice time driving in pleasant weather and in the beautiful surroundings of Kruger and the variety of animals.

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We arrived at Shirimantanga and went for a stroll and to be mesmerized by the view.


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On the way back we dropped in at the lion sighting and they were still there, sleeping off their food.

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Got back to camp around 2pm and had a nice rest for the afternoon. I did meet Puppy when walking through camp. :)

We were going to be up early the next morning to pack and head up to Satara and the gate opening times changed to 04h30 and we wanted to leave as early as we could get anyone up.

End day 3.

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 Post subject: Re: The good, the bad and the uninvited...
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:31 pm 
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Day 4 Skukuza to Satara

Today was our trip up to Satara. We were out early as the new gate opening times started for summer. Today it rained in Kruger. Almost all the way from Skukuza to Satara. We have had mixed results when it rains, some wonderful single sightings but nowhere near as many general game sightings as usual. Today would be no exception.

We left as early as we could muster everyone out of bed. Just as we were busy packing the car the rain started. It wasn't a downpour the whole way but a steady drizzle to moderate rain that lasted the whole morning. Our sightings were few and far between, but we did see waterbuck and right next to the road, lions!

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The lions were looking just miserable in the rain and were more determined than ever not to do anything. In their defense I would have been just as miserable if I were out in the rain and a car full of tourists came to view me... :D

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We spent almost 30 minutes with the lions and decided to move on. There wasn't too many cars at the sighting and for those that were lucky enough to come upon the sighting, they would have enjoyed a close lion sighting without too much traffic.

On our way again and Kruger seemed deserted...or at least hiding from the rain. We did see this marabou stork and vulture with carcass.

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Doesn't this vulture look like a skeleton itself? :shock: :)
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Stopped at Tshokwane and had breakfast, we decided to buy breakfast as we were not too keen to have a bush breakfast in the rain. After we left Tshokwane we drove the S35 to go past the site of the attack on Harry Wolhuter. The gravel roads by this time had become very wet and slippery in some places and my attention as the driver was more focused on not sliding into the bush than watching for game. The breakfast also seemed to have a sleeping effect on the rest of the occupants in the car so for the next while I was trying to stay awake...and not slip off the road while also trying to keep an eye out for animals. The lack of sightings mean I was failing in one area, but the car was fine and I stayed awake almost all of the time...(for a man that is some task...multitasking) 8)

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I decided to turn onto the S37 back to the tar road instead of heading all the way up to Nwanetsi as the road was really slippery and didn't want to take a chance if the rain got worse. Back on the tar road our sigtings did not improve much up to Satara. Before heading for camp we decided to see if anything was stirring at Nsemani...good choice!

Just after the dam on the left hand side we saw our second lion sighting for the day! Along with the lion we saw a fish eagle, hippo and terrapin. Closer to camp we did see a very muddy wildebeest.

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We arrived at camp and settled for lunch as check in was still an hour away. Closer to 2pm we made our way to a highlight of our trip, Frankel Guest House. What a wonderful house and for anyone that has the opportunity to stay here I would strongly advise you to do so. The waterhole in front of the house (shared by Stanley Guest house) was great, although we came in one week too late as the recent rains meant the animals did not need to come to the waterhole for their water needs. We did have this visitor in the afternoon.


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A short drive in the afternoon didn't produce much as it was still raining intermittently. We did see giraffe making its way slowly and carefully across the road.

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The next morning I would be going on a morning walk with my brother. I was a little concerned that the walk would be cancelled due to the rain, but there was nothing I could do about that and went contently to sleep...well as much as I could after reading the visitors book in the house mentioning mice and snakes and mambas and all sorts visiting the house...

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 Post subject: Re: The good, the bad and the uninvited...
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:08 pm 
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Anri, Vlakvarkvrou, Pumbaa, MM, Radman, chirinda, ossendryver, Sharifa thank you for reading the report and for replying!

hilda, we also always look for klipspringers on any boulders, but no luck this time.

Boorgatspook, it doesn't even matter if the scenery is a bit bland either, the bush still fills you with inner peace.

I found a couple more pictures from the evening drive...

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 Post subject: Re: The good, the bad and the uninvited...
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:24 am 
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Day 5 - Satara

Is there anything worse and at the same time better than the alarm waking you up very early in Kruger? The sheer madness you feel from the blaring noise is immediately replaced by the knowledge that you are in Kruger and there might be something exciting just down the road... 8)

The rain stopped earlier the previous evening and whilst it was still wet I was hopeful that the walk will go ahead. We reported to reception at 04h15am and was happy when our guides were also present and the walk was on! :) I have trouble recalling both guides names, although I remember one was Metwell. (This is the problem when you procrastinate for 5 months after your return before you start the trip report) :slap:

We turned right on the tar road (H1-3) out of camp and enjoyed(?) the freezing wind of the open vehicle on our faces. Suddenly the vehicle was stopped and we were told that there is a leopard on the right. As one we all look 100m into the bush trying to find the leopard. Eight blank stares into the bush and the question, "Where?" "Right next to the road" came the reply. Almost as one everyone gazed down right next to the road and there was the leopard, right next to our vehicle on the edge of the road. A collective "ah okay" from everyone and before anyone can get their camera out the leopard disappeared into the grass. Wonderful sighting in the almost dark!

We drove on to the walking site and didn't see anything else on the way, arrived at the get out point and received the safety briefing. It was a very windy morning. A full group of 8 walkers today and as we started our walk one of the party decided this was a good time to have a cigarette :roll: ....the guides quickly stopped us to show us some spoor and to ask everyone to not smoke or talk loudly. They did give the smoker a chance to finish his cigarette. Luckily this was the only mishap from the group and we had an enjoyable walk for the rest of the time.

As we were walking we heard lions roaring in the distance. There is something special about hearing lions roaring, but hearing them when you are on foot somehow has the intensity going up a few notches. Naturally all the guests wanted to sprint in the direction of the roaring, but the guides advised that it could be quite far away as the wind might be giving us some false hope. We continued on and as we were being shown spoor we heard the roaring again and you could sense that everyone had decided we wanted to try and "chase" the lions, even if it means we miss everything else.

Elephant tracks...
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Previous meal scraps... :)
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We continued on in the direction of the lions and we were all excitedly enjoying the anticipation of what might be. Unfortunately we didn't get to see the lions on foot, but we had a nice walk and a wonderful spot for our break. We did see rhino far off on the break, so it is one for the list...

Our view for breakfast.
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On the way back to the vehicle we passed a dam with hippo that was wearily eyeing us and egyptian geese as well.

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Before long we had returned to the vehicle and was a little sad that it ended so quickly. I made another mental note for the umpteenth time that before long I have to do a walking trail.


On the road back we did get to see our lions, although from the vehicle and not on foot.


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On our way again our guides once again gave us a wonderful sighting, asking us to check to the right hand side of the vehicle at a tree in the distance. In the fork was another leopard! This time the camera's were out and ready!

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We arrived back all satisfied with a wonderful walk, altough once again missing our on sightings on foot we had great sightings on the drive and a good time on the walk.

After breakfast we decided to drive a square, the S100, S41, S90 and then H1-4 back to camp. We have been hit or miss on the S100 and once again it was a miss in terms of wildlife. We only took pictures of zebras so that not much too report.

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Turning onto the S41 a bit more luck. More lions, again at a kill and doing nothing...


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A little way on some birds...hope someone can help with an ID...


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Further on we came across a wonderful kudu bull. The last pictures from the trip was of some road runners blocking the road and being themselves...a nuisance...


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We returned back to camp at around 1pm to relax and enjoy the wildlife from camp. We had a great time looking at a yellow hornbill "attacking" itself against the glass for some strange and inexplicable reason. What funny things the animals or birds we sometimes think of as boring do. We kept hearing this strange sound sitting on the patio overlooking the waterhole. As we investigated what the source could be, we came across the offender staring at the glass. What we could think of is that the hornbill saw its own reflection and decided to take action. It would swoop down from a distance and knock the glass. Good entertainment for the afternoon..


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At 5pm a afternoon drive seemed in order and on to Nsemani it was. Seems as though there are always giraffe on this road, so customary pics once again. We also saw zebras, francolin and...hippos.


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There was reports of a leopard a few km's down the road from the dam so off to investigate...nothing :evil: :D . On the way back we got a hyena.


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After the dam and before the turn off to camp zebras once again and what seems to be the same marabou from the previous evening.


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That was the end of the drives. We arrived back to enjoy the braai and hope for more interesting sightings at the waterhole. We were lucky as we spotted an Africa Wildcat from the patio, no picture possible as it was too far away for the measly flash we have and I didn't want to scare it away.

Another visitor was the hyena and we had a great experience where my mother and I decided to go towards the bench on the corner close to the waterhole to see where the hyena would go. We quietly approached the bench and my mom sat down and I stood behind her. The hyena then decided that it was not going to go for a run past the fence but the interesting "animals" on the other side of the fence are much more fun to look and smell. Less than 2 metres away with only a fence between us was a wild animal that has no qualms with raw meat (humans)...luckily the hyena had the more pressing engagement of trying to catch the bugs that was attracted to the spotlight. For a good 5 minutes we were extremely close to the hyena catching bugs. Finally the hyena decided to move off for more interesting activities and we returned to the house, having satisfied our need for adventure for the night.

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 Post subject: Re: The good, the bad and the uninvited...
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:21 pm 
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MM, I have video of the hornbill, trying to upload it and as soon as I can I will share...

Thank you Luren!


Day 6, Satara to Letaba.


The next day we needed to travel up to Letaba for our final two nights. Isn't it amazing how quickly time passes when you are in Kruger. Once again, due to check in that only starts at 2pm and the fact that the camp gates open at 04h30am we decided to go for a early morning drive and return at around 8am, have breakfast in the house and then pack and get ready to go to Letaba.

We decided to take the H-7 to Orpen as we had good sightings on this road last year. Another Kruger lesson, previous roads that had great sightings does not guarantee the same on your next trip :naughty: . Going down to Orpen we saw the same stork in the trees, no photos as we had some already... :)

Further down the road a unexpected sighting, and a first for my SO, nyala.


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On the road again, baboons with their young.


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And our last sighting before Orpen, Black-bellied korhaan. (At least last photo's as I do recall general game being seen) :redface:


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We arrived at Orpen and had ourselves a coffee and tea break. On the way back we drove the S106 Rabelais loop for some variety and to stop off at the Rabelais Hut. Some interesting information at the hut and a nice stop. Further on we came across giraffe and zebra.


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It get's desperate when you take pictures of road works machinery... :tongue:
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That was it, we were back in camp after a very quiet drive.

After breakfast and as we were packing my parents informed us of an uninvited guest they had in their bathroom this morning. A mouse had decided it was taking up residence in their units ablutions. Luckily their was another open room so bathroom activities could be completed. What happened to our uninvited guest? Not sure, we did report it to the cleaner, but reading the guest book there might have been more guests attracted to the mouse and we weren't sticking around to find out... :twisted: :whistle:

On the drive to Letaba, the weather wasn't too bad. The day was getting warm but not excessively warm. We had more luck on the drive up the H1-4 than the morning.

We came across this little bird, beautiful colors but I cannot find it in my map book (mental note number 2 for the trip, buy a proper bird guide...), is this a bee eater? :redface:

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A bit further on some banded mongoose entertained us. (I hope)

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We had been a bit short on elephant sightings so far on this trip but we had our first one of the day in the distance. This was quickly followed by jackal and another lion!

The way Bomsevrou likes her elephant sightings...I think Sharifa prefers this distance as well... :twisted: 8)
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We were extremely lucky with lion sightings, we had lion on every day and almost every drive.

It was proving to be a good drive, even for the time of day as we saw leopard.....tortoise as well... :D

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This was quickly followed by more elephants.

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On the bridge over the Olifants we had a leg stretch and spotted crocodile and swallows(?) flying around.

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Lunch was had at Olifants, who can resist some nice food on the deck overlooking the river? After our mishap at Skukuza our remaining contact with Compass was good, except that they ran out of bacon at Satara (we didn't order any so no problem for us, but still not good...).

On our way we were all getting tired and sleepy after a long day that started bright and early. The mopanie bush was looking wonderful with beautiful green leaves blooming after the good rains. The road to Letaba from Olifants after lunch only offered up elephants, but seeing as it included a beautiful big tusker we didn't complain.

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Before we could blink our eyes we were at Letaba. We checked in and enquired about an afternoon walk for the next day. They were fully booked but were empty on the morning walk. After some deliberation we booked three spots, me and SO and my brother. Would it be third time lucky sighting wise?

We got to our accommodation, Fish Eagle Guest House. WOW :shock: , what a nice house, what an entrance! Big door that welcomes you into the living area and the rooms that lead off the patio to the left and the right of the living area. A wonderful hide on the corner of the property for our personal use! Who needs a drive! We quickly unpacked our stuff away and relaxed for the rest of the day. Tomorrow morning would be an early morning again for the morning walk and it promised to be a scorching hot day according to the weather reports.

Edited: Spelling

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Last edited by Weltenman on Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The good, the bad and the uninvited...
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:55 pm 
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Day 7 Morning walk Letaba

Once again the early alarm blared me awake at 03h30am to wake up and get ready for the morning walk. At that time of the morning as I gently prod the SO to wake up I feel the curses flying my way for waking her up early... :evil: :D

A quick check in my brothers room and there is nothing. I checked the living area and he spent the night on the couch. No problem as there is a bathroom conveniently located next to the entrance for night time ablutions (and day time bathroom needs). A guest update and it seems as though we had another guest, a bat was flying around in the living area that night and it had an unfortunate run-in with the fan. My brother decided to move the poor fella outside as he seemed to have lost the battle of life :( , but a few minutes later he was gone. Hopefully only a knockout and he is flying around Letaba as I type this.

Everyone was awake and sleepily we got ready and off to reception to report for the walk. We were joined by two other visitors and our guides are Saskia and ?. My apologies as I am not sure about our second guide's name.

It was a little chilly that morning and on the open vehicle it was freezing. Our drive to the walking area takes us down the S131 and on the way in the early morning dark we come across a hyena den.

Trying to stay warm...
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Little one peeking out...
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Sunrise over Kruger.
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We drove on and were rewarded by an nice sunrise. We arrived at the get-out spot, and parked next to the road. While it is nice to drive down a no-entry road there is something silly about getting out at the side of the road in Kruger. :tongue:

Safety briefing again, much like the safety video/display when flying, even if you have flown hundreds of times it is always advisable to pay attention and make sure you know where you stand, and off we go.

There are elephant tracks that lead off to the "other" side of the road that the guides normally walk. We are going to new territory. We follow the elephant tracks for a little while until we come across some bufalo tracks.

Checking the other side...
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Bufalo tracks...
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It is fresh tracks and we cut through the bush hoping we "run" into either of the animals. The guides senses are on high alert trying to listen to any sound that might indicate where the animals are. We are also advised to let them know if we hear anything, a crack of a branch or animal noises. We come across a mud hole, which seems to have been the object of desire for the bufalo. No one home though.

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We arrive at a nice termite mound and have our break for breakfast. Once again no luck but a nice walk. It is starting to get warm and we are greatful for the break.

Breakfast of champions...
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Essential equipment.
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We return the way we came from and finally...some luck. In the bush ahead we see shapes that does not look natural. Three big grey mounds moving quickly through the bush.


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We watched the three elephants move across us in a silent and eerily quick and graceful way. It seems like they are sliding from right to left and not really walking. I enjoyed the encounter, even if it only lasted a minute or two at most.

We moved on and crossed the path of more tracks and experienced some of the smaller things, spider nest and spider.


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We arrived back at the vehicle and I am satisfied. My first experience of big game on foot. A big thank you to our guides!

We took a longer route home as our walk was relatively short, due to less than expected sightings I think. We drove down the S131 and the S96, Shilawuri Loop. We come across a big breeding herd of elephants at a hill slowly making their way across the road. We are parked in the perfect position to enjoy the elphants crossing close by us.

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We have a very nice and close encounter with the matriarch that is a little upset by our presence and we are asked to refrain from taking pictures for a little while as she eyes us suspiciously.


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Finally she decided we are not worth her time and she crosses with the rest of the herd and moves into the bush. We drive on back to Letaba, now fully satisfied after a great morning walk and sightings.


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We take a stroll back to the house and arrive back for breakfast and to relax. The conveniently located bathroom is visited for a post walk break.

The Uninvited....

We have had a few uninvited guests on this trip. There was the frog that decided the wall in Crocodile Bridge was just right for him. Then the hornbill, squirrels and the mouse in Satara. And in Letaba we had the bat visit the previous night.

Nice cosy spot...
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Visiting squirrel...
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The bathroom that is so conveniently placed at the entrance was visited by everyone that morning. As I was taking drinks to the hide I heard a commotion from the kitchen area as voices were being raised and swearing was commenced. I didn't think much of it as my father and brother seems to have episodes where loud "conversations" are the order of the day so I thought they were discussing the fact that the milk was not replaced in the fridge or something to that effect.

I will try to play out the scene of the next few minutes.

Scene: Man walk into bathroom and relieves himself. As he is waiting for every drop to drop...he spots a little piece of animal dung on the floor. He wonders what animal could have left the dung and thinks back to bat the previous evening that had disturb his sleep and knocked itself out on the fan. He gazes up towards the ceiling at the grass thatch thinking the bat might be hanging there for the day. Nothing, but something catches his eye over the window. It is an animal of some sort, it is longish and thin, small head with two eyes. Man takes a second to registers...SNAKE. Man flushes toilet and exits.

Man 1: "There is a @£&%$%& snake in the @£&%$%& bathroom!"
Man 2: "Why are you swearing like that? What? Noooo!"

Man 2 goes and has a look for himself. He returns.

Man 2: "There is a @£&%$%& snake in the @£&%$%& bathroom!"
Man 1: "I told you so!"

Man 3 returns from outside to see what the "fight" is about and to try and ask the others not to spoil their last day in Kruger.

Man 3: "Why all the shouting?"
Man 1 and 2: "There is a @£&%$%& snake in the @£&%$%& bathroom!"
Man 3: "No."

Man 3 checks to see, unbelieving of such a story. Man 3 sees the snake and remembers he was in the bathroom not an hour ago. Man 3 feels the urge to go to the bathroom again, but seeing as the location is not ideal at this moment in time he wills the urge away and retreats.

Man 3 to Man 1 and 2: "There is a @£&%$%& snake in the @£&%$%& bathroom!"
Man 1 and 2: "We know, we told you so."

Man 1,2 and 3 get their heart rates under control, checking every few seconds that there really is a snake and decide someone has to tell the others.

Man 3 goes to the hide, checking every tree and every few metres for more snakes. Man 3 enters hide and goes by telling the others, of which one is deathly afraid of snakes, that we have one in the bathroom.

Man 3: "You know that list of animals, what we have seen this year? We can cross off another species...African Rock Python"
Woman 1: "Where, When, How?"
Man 3: "In the bathroom in the main house."
Woman 2: "Whaaattt??? NOOOO!!!"
Woman 1: "No way, stop lying. I will check this myself."

Man 3 and Woman 1 walks to the house to check it out, Woman 2 reluctantly follows as curiosity always seems to kill the cat...

Woman 1 checks the bathroom.

Woman 1: "There is a @£&%$%& snake in the @£&%$%& bathroom."
Man 3: "I told you so."

Woman 2 plucks up the courage, checks the bathroom, sees the snake and proceeds to make high shrilly noises and backs away quickly to the farthest part of the house while still keeping an eye our for the entrance of the bathroom, in case the snake decides to have a human snack and decides to leave the bathroom...

End scene.
Man 1-My brother
Man 2- My Father
Man 3- Me
Woman 1-My mother
Woman 2-SO

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So there we have our uninvited guest. A beautiful python that decided the bathroom is the place to be. We alerted reception to the snake and they said they would send someone to remove him from the house. In the mean time more staff are hearing about the snake and came and investigate. The reaction are always roughly the same as ours, except the ones that scream out when my father decides to tickle them, as if it was the snake that slithered into their arms. The general reaction then is a loud scream and a run to the outside.

The snake was safely removed from the bathroom and heads back to the bush, hopefully terrified of the house in future and hopefully to live out his days in peace and quiet.


He is in there...slithering away...
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After that excitement we have a rest on a scorching day (35C plus) and take a nap as well. No drive this afternoon as we are off early in the morning and the combined snake episode and early walk has tired us out. The fact that the next day is our last in Kruger also plays its part. In the afternoon the SO and I decide to take a walk in camp and have a dip in the pool. On the way to the pool we spot an elephant bull with beautiful tusks having a feed on the fence. Back to the house I go for the camera and to let everyone know.


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SO with elephant in the background...
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Once again people are enjoying being close to the elephant with only the, what at the time looks small and flimsy, fence seperating us and the elephant. He is calm and relaxed and he is giving campers on the fence a braai of a lifetime!

A quick swim for me, walk back to check that the elephant is still there and back to the house to try and enjoy our last braai in Kruger. We have a great time reliving our trip around the braai and wishing we had more time.

After dinner and a little relaxing when we went to bed for our last night, tomorrow would be our drive home. :(

_________________
Study the past, if you would divine the future.
Confucius


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 Post subject: Re: The good, the bad and the uninvited...
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:02 pm 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 5:53 pm
Posts: 1335
Location: Netherlands
Weltenman,
Someone pointed me to your TR about the tusker near the fence.

Good news !! You have seen one of the named tuskers.
This one is named : NGONYAMA
I maintain the tusker site where many mites go trying to ID tuskers they have seen.
Link is with my name down here.

Last update I got is dated december 2009, so good to see he is still around and in good condition.

If you can find some minutes to send these pics to me I can update his page.
Please add your name, date of sighting and location , makes it easier for me to add the credits and right info

mail to:
tuskers@zeelandnet.nl


thanks ahead
btw: on first page (main) of the tusker site you can find documents to download for next trips...
(right top of main page)

_________________
Next trip to Kruger NP 2014
Skukuza: april 21-22, Satara: april 22-26, Mopani: april 26-30
Shingwedzi: april 30 - may 4, Satara: may 4-8, Skukuza: may 8-9


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 Post subject: Re: The good, the bad and the uninvited...
Unread postPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 11:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:11 pm
Posts: 1007
Location: Here...there, somewhere, where's my GPS?
Thank you everyone for the replies and everyone that read my report.

Here is the final chapter...

Day 8 Drive home

We arrive to our last day in Kruger. We had 2 options driving home, we could go the short route via Phalaborwa or have a longer drive via Orpen. We, I decided... that we should go via Orpen to try for better sightings and have a little more time in Kruger.

We tried to leave as early as possible to gate opening times, but through a variety of reasons, packing up all our goodies and checking every room to see if the snake didn't reappear, we left about 20 minutes after gate opening.

On our way down we were stopped at our first elephant sighting, along with a beautiful sunrise, and a little further on some bufalo on the road as well.


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A stop on the Olifants bridge and a final goodbye to the river.


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The sightings weren't exactly jumping out at us, although the half hearted attitude of everyone in the car may have played a role...who is excited on the day they exit Kruger? We did see zebra at a waterhole.


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A little further down the road we saw another nice kudu bull and a exciting hyena sighting.


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Finally it seemed as our luck had changed and we came across another elephant doing his elephant thing next to the road.


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If we needed more evidence that lions are lazy, no better example than the same lions we might have seen 2 days previously at the same spot...


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Some random...for me at least, bird sightings and we arrived at Satara for breakfast.


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At Satara for breakfast and the restaurant didn't have any bacon. My father was quite upset by the development....even if he ordered the fruit and muesli... :roll:

On the H-7 we had no luck. The only pictures I have is bufalo.


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So our trip ended for this year, a strange and sometimes disappointing but most of the great with wonderful new experiences. We took the road to the big city, with sadness in our hearts and a longing to the bush, already planning our next trip.

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_________________
Study the past, if you would divine the future.
Confucius


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