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 Post subject: Picnicing across the KNP
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:18 pm 
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On one level it seems like just yesterday that we were bursting with anticipation for our 2013 trip to Kruger, and on another level it seems soo long ago...but the good news is that it is only just over 42 sleeps until we arrive on 17 October 2014!!

The excitement is tangible as our daily conversations constantly revolve around our top wish list for this year: Leopard cubs?! Cheetah Cubs?! Lions on a kill?! Honey badger?! Serval?! Porcupine?! Python?! Chameleon?! Black rhino?! BIG tusker?! ...in truth we just love it all and cannot wait for the wonderful smells and sounds and sights and whatever the bush may yield as our surprises for this year.

Our older daughter is celebrating her 18th birthday and bringing some friends, our 24 year old son is bringing his girlfriend for the first time to the Bush and our younger (15 year old) daughter is also bringing a friend who is new to it all - we are so excited to create new Kruger addicts to join us and to welcome our friends back who have been accompanying us for a few years now.

A new camera lens is carefully wrapped in readiness to capture this year's 'oooohhhh' moments ...and a brand new '15 000 lumens' torch is rearing to light up the night! We are currently compiling our shopping list for Pick n Pay and deciding where and when to picnic ....

On the subject of picnics...last year we stopped off on our way from Lower Sabie to Skakuza at Nkuhlu eagerly looking forward to lunch as we had been on the road since the gates had opened. It was bustling with people and while the adults sat down to prepare food the sub adults were stretching their legs watching a ververt monkey grooming her very new baby nearby. Suddenly there was a loud commotion as she swooped across the picnic site and stole a packet of Simba Chips from a group of people in the corner...the kids followed excitedly to watch what would happen - she was shooed by the irate diners and several vervets were now mobbing her to get their hands on the chips she had stolen .... she was desperately looking for an exit but what with our family and the other vervets blocking all routes there was nowhere to go, so she charged straight at my 24 year old son and gave chase ...it was hilarious - no matter which way he turned she followed with bared teeth and her baby holding on for dear life...this episode lasted at least five minutes until he ran into shelter and she finally gave up - he really got quite a fright but the rest of us were quite hysterical at this feisty little monkey's determination to get him! We wonder what we will see this year at the picnic sites that we visit....?! Some more amazing memories of another favourite picnic spot to follow - Mlondozi Dam....

ImageIMG_3467 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

ImageIMG_3492 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

Image9 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

Image11 (2) by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr


Image11 (4) by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

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An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~Martin Buber

Ngwenya Lodge: 17-24 October
Cheetah Plains: 24-26 October
Mozambique: 26 October - 1 November


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 Post subject: Re: Picnicing across the KNP
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:22 am 
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:) Divine7polo thank you for sharing your experiences regarding the Kruger picnic sites :clap: :clap: :clap: I wish you a great and safe trip in October and many :cam: opportunities :D :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Picnicing across the KNP
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:42 am 
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Very funny story Divine7polo! The Vervets are so cute, but so very naughty! Just look at that little one's cute face! But by now he is fully grown and very naughty as well! :lol:

Have a wonderful trip in October. Depending on where you are going, our paths might cross. Remember to fly your yellow ribbon! We will be up North from 17 October until the 24th. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Picnicing across the KNP
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:13 pm 
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@Grantmissy - thanks for your reply!

@Hilda - We will have our YR - hope to bump into you as our timescales overlap perfectly!

I have trawled through lots and lots of photos to revive Mlondozi memories...but have also tried to keep them to a minimum so as not to bore you...

Believe it or not, despite visiting KNP for my over 40 years, we had never ever stopped off at Mlondozi Dam???! As fate would gave it, in October 2011 we were stopped on the causeway just before Lower Sabie when one of the old fashioned and gracious park goers wound their window down, greeted us in Afrikaans and told us about a lion sighting up the road...I am Afrikaans by birth, but we have lived in the UK since 1992 and the children all speak English - when I translated the exciting news everyone insisted that we go on 'an immediate lion hunt'!

The sighting was on the S29 - but before we even made it that far there was a troupe of baboons and a croc to greet us on the other end of the causeway...

ImageIMG_6837 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

ImageIMG_6845 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr


....after snapping some pics we eagerly headed down the S29.... only to be met with a big ellie who certainly took his time crossing in front of us and heightening our anticpation for lions...

ImageIMG_0536 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

then we were amazed by what lay ahead of us acroos the open veld - a sea of black, white and grey.... we have only ever seen this may zebra and wildebeest in the Masaai Mara/ Serengeti during the migration – incredible!

ImageIMG_6972 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

Despite driving really slowly and keeping our eyes peeled we did not spot the lions that our friendly Krugerparkers had eluded to...and were feeling vaguely disappointed.

Eventually we reached Mlondozi – and were totally taken away by the stunning vista – we were the only people there apart from the Guards...as we looked across the savannah, we saw two giraffe kicking up a tremendous cloud of dust ...and in hot pursuit was a single lioness – hope you can see her from the only picture that we took because in our excitement we totally forgot about the camera!! It was a brief but exhilarating sighting!!

ImageIMG_6981 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr


We the settled down to look across the river and the following pics portray the paradise that we experienced!!

ImageIMG_6982 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

ImageIMG_6984 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

Followed by a delicious braai...

ImageIMG_0513 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0507 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

In 2012 we made it a priority to have a breakfast stop here – And we were not disappointed...delicious braai (in the drizzle) and the usual stunning vista...this time treated by elephants leaving in single file....

Image3 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

ImageMlondozi by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

In 2013, again a rainy day, we were treated to a super herd of buffalo crossing...fellow picnickers assured us that they had seen a pride of lions following the herd, but unfortunately we did not spot them....never the less it was as always one of our fav picnic spots....

ImageIMG_3625 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

It is not always the big mammals that capture our attention...my youngest found a Giant African Landsnail!

Image5 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

While my hubby cooked a delicuous brunch!

Image7 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

wonder what 2014 will yield?!!! ...and would love to hear what others have seen from this spot?! ...

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An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~Martin Buber

Ngwenya Lodge: 17-24 October
Cheetah Plains: 24-26 October
Mozambique: 26 October - 1 November


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 Post subject: Re: Picnicing across the KNP
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:59 am 
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Awesome sightings and lovely memories Divine7polo! :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Picnicing across the KNP
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:01 am 
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What a fantastic start. :D

Super sightings and really lovely pictures.

I had such a laugh at your son's expense. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: What a tiny, tiny baby.

I am looking forward to hearing more.

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Picnicing across the KNP
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:18 am 
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Stunning photographs Divine7polo :D :clap: :clap: :clap:

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Picnicing across the KNP
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:32 pm 
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Thanks for your kind comments Hilda, Meandering Mouse and Grantmissy.

Another favourite spot (which isn’t quite a picnic stop), but a place that we are certain everyone knows well because it is always wonderful to pull up for half an hour to have a coffee and a snack while watching the comings and goings in utter tranquillity ... is of course... Sunset Dam.

One year when we were on our way to stop off at Sunset Dam we spotted this chap:
ImageSouth Africa 18th October 394 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

So we were very happy and looking forward to seeing what we would find ...as you can see we were all riveted by the action...
Image1 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

A HUGE ellie sauntered past some buffaloe, which are also pretty big, but dwarfed by this chap!
ImageElephant and buffalo by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

This grey heron was unperturbed and continued his surf that he had hitched on the hippo's back while chatting to a fellow surf dude...
ImageIMG_6896 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7592 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

Then he suddenly took off...
ImageIMG_6902 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

to attack a rival!
ImageIMG_6901 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

We were so enraptured that we didn't notice what came up right in front of our vehicle....two curious faces that gave us quite a shock as the were so close that we could see the hairs on their wide nostrils!
ImageIMG_0555 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

Fortunately they lost interest and turned ouround to swim away
ImageIMG_0488 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

Meanwhile the zebras were enjoying a cool drink oblivous to all the other creatures...
ImageIMG_6930 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

We always have a giggle as we were told that the saddle bill stork is very rare indeed -- but we see them at every waterhole!!

These hippos were just chilling with the yellow billed stork:
ImageIMG_6876 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

He then decided that he was hungry and went fishing...
ImageIMG_0619 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

...while the other yellow billed storks were aggravating sleeping crocs!
ImageIMG_9703 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

Yum - lunch!
ImageIMG_0810 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

This handsome white crowned plover / lapwing (?) was also looking for a bite to eat...
ImageIMG_0466 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

This chap popped up for a quick hello next to our car
ImageIMG_0453 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

A brand new life...
ImageIMG_3754 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

and sadly one that is over...:-(
ImageIMG_4032 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

This carcass next to the dam absolutely reaked when we drove over to a slightly different view on the other side of the dam
ImageIMG_3602 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

The hippo looking nervously at the huge croc next to him!
ImageIMG_0472 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

This poor fellow had obviously been squashed by a car that had stopped by earlier...:-( Is this a puff adder? No sure?
ImageIMG_4073 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

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An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~Martin Buber

Ngwenya Lodge: 17-24 October
Cheetah Plains: 24-26 October
Mozambique: 26 October - 1 November


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 Post subject: Re: Picnicing across the KNP
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:42 am 
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More amazing pictures. You seem to all be having such fun.

I just love the fishing birds on the hippos. They always make me smile. The baby hippo is just adorable. :thumbs_up:

Ah yes, and the images of death. Kruger certainly spares no detail. Life, death, rebirth... all is one.

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Picnicing across the KNP
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:35 pm 
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Love your pictures with the view onto Mlondozi dam, Divine7 polo :dance: Alway time to take a deep breath and sigh there :tongue:

and the hippos and all the birdies :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Picnicing across the KNP
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:42 pm 
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You bet ya, Kruger is always full of surprises!

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 Post subject: Re: Picnicing across the KNP
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:33 am 
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I am going to give a bump for the next page. :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Picnicing across the KNP
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:41 pm 
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3 weeks, 4 days...not that we are counting!! :D

Another lovely spot to stop at is Nhlambanyathi Hide...on one ocassion we arrived at the hide and Paul (my gorgeous British hubby) hopped out of the car and said to me "Look someone has put a rubber snake on the gate" - and reached out to touch it...I grabbed his arm and reminded him we were in Africa and it was a REAL snake!! He was a little embarrassed when it slithered away...at first we thought it was a boomslang but after checking our book we realised that it was a spotted bush snake which is non - venomous...but still...!!!

ImageIMG_6798 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

ImageIMG_6810 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

We were very saddened to read that the 3 resident rhinos that we always spotted near the hide had been poached :(

ImageIMG_0790 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

One morning I hopped out of the car in excitement to enter the hide...but an ellie was also hoping to visit.... :|

ImageIMG_0649 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

Look at his eyelashes! He was so close that we could have touched him...

ImageIMG_0651 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

The water hole is always different every time we stop here...here is a iguana fishing!

ImageIMG_0644 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

...and a ververt looking for a tasty meal or just a drink of water?!

ImageIMG_0661 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0659 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

some fungi on a rhino midden...

ImageIMG_0810 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

a shongololo....

ImageIMG_3294 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

Agama - handsome blue headed lizard....

ImageIMG_7200 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

can ayone identify this bird? Beeater?

ImageIMG_6817 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

or this one? Crake?

ImageIMG_3202 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

Egyptian goose...

ImageIMG_3181 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

bateleurs grooming each other

ImageIMG_0806 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr
fish eagle....

hornbill....

ImageIMG_0658 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

fish eagle

ImageIMG_0647 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

and just a stunning Kruger sunset to end this post....ahhh, can't wait to be there!

ImageIMG_0722 by tracy@earwaker.com, on Flickr

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An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~Martin Buber

Ngwenya Lodge: 17-24 October
Cheetah Plains: 24-26 October
Mozambique: 26 October - 1 November


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 Post subject: Re: Picnicing across the KNP
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:09 am 
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Oh dear, your rubber snake story needs a thread of its own. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Good that it was not a mamba. :wink:

Another lovely episode with beautiful pictures. Your sunset is too divine.

I always love meeting mites, so pleased to meet you.... :gflower:

:popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Picnicing across the KNP
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:33 am 
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Stunning photographs :clap: :clap: :clap:

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

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