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 Post subject: Re: Eleven Lucky Packets, Forumites and Crazy People – KNP v
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:12 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Hi Barry,
Lovely birds again and congratulations on the Long Crested Eagle :clap: Snake Eagles have yellow eyes. Your Eagle is a Wahlberg :D

Picture of the mini-meet :D :gflower:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Eleven Lucky Packets, Forumites and Crazy People – KNP v
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:31 pm 
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Vlakvarkvrou wrote:
Hi Barry,
Lovely birds again and congratulations on the Long Crested Eagle :clap: Snake Eagles have yellow eyes. Your Eagle is a Wahlberg :D

Picture of the mini-meet :D :gflower:

Image


Thanks for the kind comments :thumbs_up:
Thanks for helping with the ID of the brown birdie (still learning) :thumbs_up:.
I just knew that you will save us and post a pic of the mites at the mini-meet :gflower: . If I may, the mites on the pic are as follows:

Back row from left to right
Timbits, Nighthawk2, WendyA, Vlakvarkvrou(VVV) and Sekhmet
Front
Hilda and me

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 Post subject: Re: Eleven Lucky Packets, Forumites and Crazy People – KNP v
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:41 pm 
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Second part of day 6

You guys/ladies will not believe how lucky and at the same time unlucky we were with leopard sightings. We had just turned onto the H11 and only crossed the N’waswitshaka River when a leopard crossed the road again in front of a car that was driving about 20 meters in front of us. I saw the leopard walking into the veld; however by the time I had the chance to take a pic, my camera just refused to focus. When I had it fixed, the leopard was long gone.

To calm me down I took a photo of this Jacaranda tree in Kruger !

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We drove in silence for a few kilometres and came across this bushbuck that ignored me flat and just keep on grassing.

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The next sweetie sighting was this kudu ram also minding his own business.

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We also saw zebbies and another rhino on the N4 without a chance of taking any (pic sign)
We stopped at Mestel dam and found these hippies on the bank busy with their daily sun tan.

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A bit further along the S3 we found another charm. Ellies crossing the road.

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To give us a chance to see some painted doggies, we took the S8 again; however we only saw this skillie on a mission.

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And at the end of the S8, this Ovambo Sparrowhawk?? send us back to camp, without any painted doggies in sight.

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Back at the bungalow the brown-headed parrots visited the tree in front of the bungalow again and I took a few pic’s of them eating seeds from the tree.

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It was time to light the fire, pour two glasses of ice cold white wine and with feet up discussed the day’s happenings. We were quite chuffed that we have met three new mites and although it did not feel like it, we did again saw four (4) of the Big 5 and some really special birdie sightings.
Another fruitful day in Kruger ended with a nice shower and soft bed to recharge for day seven (7) and Kruger surprises that await us.

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 Post subject: Re: Eleven Lucky Packets, Forumites and Crazy People – KNP v
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:20 pm 
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Hi again Barry and Hilda,
Love your Lizzard Buzzard (Akkedisvalkie) - they make nice photos :D

And I have to comment on your excellent Parrot photos ... they are really cute birds and you were lucky with this nice sighting :gflower: :gflower: My pics never look this nice :mrgreen:

Love

:popcorn: :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Eleven Lucky Packets, Forumites and Crazy People – KNP v
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:33 am 
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Awesome report, Barry! :clap: :clap:

You had some great bird sightings - love your birdie pics! :popcorn:

Agree with OWN - your "Jacaranda" is a Tree Wistaria, one of our most beautiful indigenous trees. Bolusanthus Speciosus or Vanwykshout in Afirkaans. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Eleven Lucky Packets, Forumites and Crazy People – KNP v
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:28 am 
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Sorry for the delay in the posting of day 7 :redface: . It was a bit hectic at work the passed few days :evil: .

KNP Sept 2012 day 7

We were up early to pack again for our last move of the trip to one of our special camps in Kruger, Biyamiti, for four (4) nights. The route that we followed on this day were the S8, S14 Loop and then along the H1-1, H3, S112, S22, S114 and H1-1 to Skukuza. From there we drove along the H4-1 until we got to the high water bridge (H12). Due to the road closure on the S25, we went down the H3 to stock up at Berg–en-dal, before we took the S114 and then the S25 to Biyamiti.

With everything packed and Hilda ready to open the lucky packet for the day, we were off at 06:00 to find the doggies along the S8. It was overcast with light Image some times.

The first sweetie delivered this Reedbuck couple. Only the second time that we saw Reedbuck in KNP.

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Our second sighting of the day was a hyena that dashed across the road without one of us even being able to pick up a camera from the ready position to a shooting position.

We did not have any luck on the S8 or the S14 loop again. The only sighting that we were sure of was the Jock of the Bushveld plague that can be found at the S14, Voortrekkerweg crossing.

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We were driving in silence along the N4 when Hilda pulled a huge charm from the lucky packet. We could not believe our eyes when we saw not one but two leopards crossing the road in front of us with the speed of lightning of course :tongue: .

It was again one of those (3second&$@ you) sightings. Our leopards are always on a mission to get away as soon as possible. If you look at the photos you will see what a (3second&$@ you) Els-leopard sighting looks like. At least we had some spots to show this time :redface: .

The first one crossing the road like lightning :shock:

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[b]The second one start crossing the road


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And leaving the road. :shock:

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Both of them already gulped up by the shrub next to the road :evil: .

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Quite chuffed with the sighting that lasted not even ten seconds, she pulled out another charm. This was a group of three of our best friends grassing.

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Next was a sweetie consisting of two vultures that were wondering when they will see the sun shining again.

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Then another charm consisting of a group of four of our friends, with daddy chasing the young ones into the veldt.

Daddy
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Young ones
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After saying goodbye to them, she pulled out another charm out of the packet. It was a small herd of ellies deep in the bush with only this one that was in the open.

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Three of the Big 5 and not cuppa and cookies time yet.

Saw another group of ellies, impala, zebbies and warties on our way to Transport Dam, but no opportunity for any photos.
At Transport dam were waterbuck, hippos that only surfaced to take a breath of air and African Jacana, without any photo opportunity.

We did take a picture of this breeding Blacksmith Lapwing at the edge of the dam.

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It was still overcast and quite cold when we decided to leave, when WendyA arrived. We had a quick chat about what we saw yesterday after the mini meet and this morning and then departed.
We also met Vlakvarkvrou, Sekhmet and their friend again, who were on their way home. After a quick chat we were off along the H3 to Renosterkoppies.

Along the way we met the following sweeties:

A small group of blue wildebeest of which some were not yet awake enough for breakfast and their impala friends.

At Renosterkoppies we came across these two guys that were busy with a wrestling match, whilst the referee had a manicure executed by a Red-billed oxpecker.

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There were nothing at Renosterkoppies Dam to speak of and after our brunch we were on our way to Skukuza.
Along the S114 we came across a charm for VVV and Pumbaa. Two warties grazing.

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We also came across these two lovebirds that later crossed the road graciously as only they can do.

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It was quiet for the rest of the ride to Skukuza except for these two Tawny Eagle charms that we saw on the way.

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We arrived at a busy Skukuza for a body break and to stock for the second stage with biltong and something cool to drink.
To be continued..............................

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 Post subject: Re: Eleven Lucky Packets, Forumites and Crazy People – KNP v
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:58 pm 
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Great here we go with the second stage of day 7:

Stocked with biltong and cool drinks, we were ready for our afternoon drive of the day to Biyamiti. We decided to visit the high water bridge (H12) before we drive south again. It is feeling strange not to be able to drive down to Croc Bridge and then to Biyamiti.
The only reportable sighting, other than our normal impies was this Fish Eagle, sitting like a cat, waiting for his food.
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At the high water bridge we only found these two White breasted Cormorants getting ready for a birdie party. It was the first time we saw them.

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They were joined by an Egyptian goose on the rock next to them. It seems as if he was thinking whom to take to the party.

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We turned around and on our way along the H4-1 we came across this Yellow-billed Kite.

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Hilda only pulled out sweeties thus far. She might have pulled out all the charms during the morning. Our next sweeties were these two Nyala rams showing off their beautiful coats.

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The next sighting was as unbelievable as sleeping with a real leopard in your bed. I truthfully had to wipe my eyes to make sure that I actually saw what I saw. This lady parked her SUV in one of the viewpoints along the Sabie River next to the tar road. Got out of her vehicle and nonchalantly walked to the river-bank and looked down the river to see if there was something she missed from inside her vehicle
:big_eyes: .
When she saw us with the yellow ribbon she ran back to her vehicle, however we still got her on film and reported her.

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This was our third crazy person we met in Kruger during this visit.

Along the H1-1 we came across these birdie charms:

A Dark chanting Goshawk looking around and called for dear life; and

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An immature Martial Eagle, very uncertain what we were up to and not waited long before taking off.

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When we reached the crossing of the H1-1 with the H3, we saw a few vehicles at the koppie where the klipspringers normally strut their stuff and we decided to have a look as well. When we neared the koppie, Hilda told me that she saw a lioness walking on the side of the road and is busy to go into the veldt behind a rock. I concentrated on the lion that should re-appear on the other side of the rock when Hilda exclaimed that the lioness is going up into the koppie. I could only see her when she disappeared behind a rock high up in the koppie. We think that she has cubs that she hides amongst the rocks. We could not take a single photo.
We drove to the top of the road and could not believe that the klipspringer was still there with the lioness in the vicinity. Here are all three of them as proud as ever.

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Along the way to Biyamiti, Hilda pulled out another birdie charm. I think it was another Tawny Eagle.

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The next birdie that I think could be used in the Bird ID challenge is a real challenge. I knew it was a raptor of some kind, getting ready for his girlfriend I presume. Can one of the mites ID this bird?

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The next item from the lucky packet was a charm again. This time it was herd of buffs grazing against the side of a hill.

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This completed our Big 5 sightings for the day.

We also came across these friends of us again.

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We also saw ellies twice again, as well as a family of five warties on the way.
It was already quite late in the afternoon when we drove along the S25 and came across these impies, all looking in the same direction to the corner of the road, with ears like TV dishes. We stayed with them for a while but nothing happened.

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We booked in at Biyamiti and stayed in bungalow no 10 which is not far from the bird hide. This is one of the camps that we really enjoy. When it gets dark it is pitch dark and the stars as bright as spotlights in the sky.
After unpacking we had a niceImage with some veggies to go with.
Then it was time to sit on the stoep, our feet up and with a cold one in hand, discussing the day’s sightings and how wonderful it is to be at Biyamiti again.
It was a full day and after a nice bath we were off to bed in anticipation for what the next day’s lucky packet might deliver that we could share with one another, as well as our forumites when we write our TR.

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 Post subject: Re: Eleven Lucky Packets, Forumites and Crazy People – KNP v
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:16 pm 
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noel wrote:
Barry and Hilda, Just catching up. Man (and woman) that lucky packet is loaded with charms. 2 Leopards. Never seen two at a time yet. never mind that they are in a hurry. just seeing them, however momentary is memorable. And all those beautiful birdies. Raptors galore-very satisfying to me :thumbs_up: . Biyamiti is a gem of the best kind. I thought it was even more quiet than any other camp in Kruger. Stayed there for my ?0th birthday. My guess on that raptor would be a Forest Buzzard, or an immature Bateleur, but I would go for the first one. That short barred tail I think is of that bird. And is'nt it just wonderful to see Nyala in the south :thumbs_up:
:popcorn: :popcorn:


Thanks for the visit and all the comments Noel :thumbs_up: . Yes I do agree that Biyamiti is our favorite camp by far :D . Thanks for the ID of that deurmakeer voël (confusing bird) :thumbs_up: .
To see two ntala's so close together was a real bonus :D .

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 Post subject: Re: Eleven Lucky Packets, Forumites and Crazy People – KNP v
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:59 pm 
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My apologies for the delay of our first full day from Biyamiti, but here goes:

15 September Day 8

First night at Biyamiti was a dream with all the sounds of nature so close you can feel it in your bones. The route we decided to take today will be along the S139 to the S25. Along the S25 to Berg-en-Dal and with the back road to Matjulu water hole. From there we took the Matjulu loop and up with the Steilberg road till we met up with the H3 tar road. From there we drove to Afsaal and then via the S113 onto the S23 (Biyamiti loop) to the weir and back to camp along the S139.

It was quite cold this morning, cloudy and some drizzle along the way. Not to good sighting wise some would say.

Your first charm of the day was this Tawny busy with his early morning breakfast.

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We had a quick detour to the damaged Croc Bridge road bridge that was still under repair. One can see that there are a few stabilizers missing along the bridge, however the road was already repaired.

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We turned around and on our way we came across these two birdies. Might be another Tawny

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And a Steppe Buzzard maybe??

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We were still discussing what birds it could be when Hilda pulled out one of those scarce charms.
A Wild dog team came from the front round a corner in the road to meet us. They were only four and as always nearly on the run in their pursue, looking for food.
Luckily we could take a few photos before they were gone again.

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This guy had quite a big fresh wound on his left front leg.

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The next charm from the packet was six really big hyenas that came through the bush from the river’s side. They came right past the bakkie and are quite a scary sight from so close that you could actually touch them.

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These two sightings had the adrenaline really flowing and both of us wondered what is still in the lucky packet for the rest of the day.
Not far from the hyena sighting Hilda pulled out a sweetie from the bag and this time it is another hyena, all alone. Just look at the difference between the first group’s size and this one.

This one

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One earlier

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Then something very strange and unexpected happened and we thought long and hard about the incident, before we decided to share it with the mites.
Just a reminder, we are both very sane people and had nothing to drink that might have influenced our judgement. So here goes:
We stopped at the Lwakahle Outpost and Hilda decided to take a photo of the plaque, whilst I searched the veldt on the right hand side for any animal movement when the radio suddenly starts playing. Not one of us was even close to the radio’s dials. I quickly shut down the radio and both of us were just sitting there in silence. We will always wonder what happened that morning and if anybody else also encountered something like this in their lives.
Here is the plaque.

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We drove in silence, each with our own thoughts, until the silence was broken with this Fish Eagle charm to the left.

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Not far from the first Fish Eagle we came across a couple, braving the weather. Whilst the female birdie on the left was sitting with her head shrunk into her shoulders, the male on the right gave her the look as if to say what is wrong with you women.

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Apart from a kudu family that was too deep in the bush for any pic’s, the rest of the S25 was quiet. The next sighting was a White-breasted Cormorant at the Matjulu Bridge in the river.

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The next charm that Hilda produced was this herd of approximately 130 buffs of all sizes

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After a body break and something to keep the jaws busy, we took the back road to Matjulu water hole. When passing through the second drift we had another rare sighting. In the sand were various two legged non-predator spoors visible (Human footprints).

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It was still drizzling and Matjulu water hole was dead quiet.

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We moved on and found this wild cotton plant next to the road.

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Then another charm from the packet delivered this ellie mom and little one struggling up the hill, whilst the rain still poured down on them.

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Then we had another ellie charm, consisting of moms and young ones.

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And Hilda totally overdid the charms by pulling out this friend of us from the packet.

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When we arrived at the Steilberg outlook we had some brunch and took this photo of the valley below. Quite clear how wet and misty it was.

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To be continued after brunch...............................

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 Post subject: Re: Eleven Lucky Packets, Forumites and Crazy People – KNP v
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:23 am 
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Invigorated we were ready for the second stage of the trip and hopefully still a few charms to pull from the bag.

On our way to Afsaal we came across the craziest person ever. He drove along with his son standing on the seat with his head and shoulders through the sunroof of his SUV. His friend was driving approximately 20 meters in front of him in a little Nissan bakkie at that point in time.

Hilda asked him to please obey the rules and him muttering something about a paper that he signed at the gate he instructs his son to climb back down into the vehicle. We did not even drive a kilometre when I saw him flashing his lights at his friend in front of him. The next moment he climbed out of his vehicle and walked to his friend’s vehicle and start talking to him as if he was in a city traffic jam and wanted to kill some time :evil: .
I was so disgusted that I just drove further. We came across a traffic jam where a baboon was spoiling a lioness with seven cubs’ hiding place that was off the road in the veldt.

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We could not see the lioness and the next moment our “friend” drove straight into the traffic jam with his son again through the rooftop. He was crazy person no 4 for the trip.

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It was really quiet along the tar as well as the S113.
We drove along the S23 Biyamiti loop when Hilda pulled out another charm for the day.
It was this lady lying in the riverbed all alone, taking in everything around her. Both I and Hilda thought that she must have cubs in the rocky area behind her; however we could not detect any movement of any cubs.

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A bit further along the road we came across these White-crested helmet shrikes

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and in the next scrub a Southern Black Flycatcher

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There were some ellies; kudu and giraffe on the other side of the river that was too obscured to take photos.

Biyamiti weir was also quite and only this pair of Egyptian geese was visible

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Hilda also took this pic of some water lilies.

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The little koppie that is normally visited by a leppie was also dead quiet. We did however come across this kudu bull next to the road.

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The next charm was an elusive birdie called an African paradise-flycatcher. For me the most difficult little bird to capture on film.

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There was actually still a lot of water in the Biyamiti after the rain in January by the looks of these photos

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Back at camp, I did my rounds with camera in hand and this is what I came up with:

A resident lesser striped swallow couple that put up home under the roof of bungalow no 10 where we stayed.

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Here is there nest (quite a masterpiece) to keep them safe and sound.

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I also caught this little White-bellied Sunbird between the branches of a tree in front of the bungalow.

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And last but not least, this Vervet monkey, plucking away on the seeds in the tree.

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We had another full day to look back at in the most beautiful place in the park to unwind in and that was exactly what we did. With the fire lit and wine and amarula in hand we had time to relive the day’s sightings.

I normally walk around the bakkie before we go inside to make sure everything is fine. Tonight I detected that the left rear tyre does not have the same air pressure as the others. I decided to wait till morning to see if I am right or wrong because most of the camps air hoses are faulty.

After a great meal and a warm Image (Hilda just love the bath instead of only a shower) we were off to dreamland.

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 Post subject: Re: Eleven Lucky Packets, Forumites and Crazy People – KNP v
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:08 pm 
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16 September day 9

I think that everybody at some point in their life encountered that feeling of “I wish that I stayed in bed” type of days :tongue: .

This was one of those (I wish that I stayed in bed) days for us and it will become quite clear why, if you stay with us for today’s trip, however the opposite of getting up and going whatever happens when in Kruger, might just also be true :hmz: .

We were up and busy as per normal by 04:00, when I remembered that I should have a look at the bakkie’s left rear tyre. It was still raining and wet outside when I went to investigate and found the tyre totally deflated :shock: .

Although already dressed, I had to change clothes to be able to lie in the mud to get the spare, situated underneath the bakkie and change the flat. For safety purposes I had a special lock installed that you have to remove to get to the spare wheel. I kept the key separately in the glove box.
The nuts of the wheels also have a special spanner to remove them, because I had maggs fitted and then I also have another set of nuts to fasten the spare wheel (no magg) with.

This was a lot to think of that early in the morning and that only to change a tyre.
Tyre changed and put in the back of the bakkie till repaired.

Everything worked out fine and we were on our way by 06:10. This changed our whole plan for the day, because we had to drive to Skukuza to repair the flat :whistle: .

It is funny how one retraces one’s steps, when you did not follow the exact opposite, at finishing a job.

We were already gone out the gate along the ups and downs of the S139 when I remember that I left the lock key on the back bumper in all the haste to leave and the lock was back in place. The spare key was in the safe at home. I had to overcome this obstacle by reshuffling the packing space :doh: .

Lucky for us, Hilda did not forget to take a lucky packet with.

First out this morning was this shy Saddle-billed Stork.

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Then the first birdie charm, which was this Tawny Eagle that was not happy at all.

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The next item was another birdie charm. I think it is an African Hawk-Eagle which is another first for us.

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Next is a photo of the Croc River just to show how beautiful it is along the S25.

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Then she pulled out the first Forumite charm for the day. It was stu and family from the UK in a combi. We had a nice chat and he told us that we just missed a leopard that was sitting next to the road.
This was mite number 10 for the trip thus far.


We came across this little birdie charm just before we crossed the Mlambane River.
It was a really wet Spotted Thick-knee. (quite a funny looking bird).

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The Mlambane River’s bank resulted in a steep incline in the road to overcome if we want to go any further. It rained for 3 days non-stop and this incline was really wet and slippery due to the type of surface material used during road building.

I was chuffed that I could use the 4x4 and went for it. Half way up the hill I felt the bakkie slide off to the left side of the road and going nowhere. (I forgot to activate the diff-lock) :slap: .

Hilda gave me the look and said to me that this is not the time to make way for other people to pass, because it feels as if the bakkie is falling over. I dare any man in my position to differ with any women at that point in time :naughty: .
We did make it to the top in crab like style and I turned around to see if Stu will also tackle the hill, but with no surprise he only made it 5 meters up the hill and had to turn back to the Biyamiti road.

This is how the bakkie looked after the muddy patch.

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We were on course again and another birdie charm was on offering. This time a Bateleur

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And some ground Hornbills

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We visited the Gardenia Hide that only consist of a mud pool and no birds at all

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Renosterpan was also quiet with only a drenched raptor in a tree.

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We had a quick body break at Afsaal and was on our way again, when Hilda pulled another charm from the packet. This was two buffs testing their strength against each other.

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Another charm from the packet revealed mom and youngster, grazing in the veldt, wet or not.

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The next item from the packet was this real sweetie of a zebbie. You could see that he did not enjoy the rain at all.

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When we arrived at Skukuza we decided to draw some money at the ATM before fixing the tyre. I put my card into the machine and activate the transaction to be done. I heard the machine counting the notes but nothing else happened. The machine went silent and then started counting again. I started thinking about the (I wish that I stayed in bed) day when the ATM did the counting process six times and nothing happened :big_eyes: .
After a seventh time of counting by the ATM, it pushed out a stack of notes that was all crumpled and lying in all wind directions. With a sigh of relief I quickly removed the cash that was correctly counted and wondering what will be next on this scary day :hmz: .
We went to the garage and the tyre was quickly fixed and after visiting the shop we were ready to take on the rest of the day.
What will the rest of the day deliver after such a morning......................... :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Eleven Lucky Packets, Forumites and Crazy People – KNP v
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:24 pm 
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Second stage of the day

The slow puncture was as a result of a screw that I picked up during our Satara stay where they are busy renovation some of the bungalows :wall: .

We drove slowly along the H1-1 back to camp. The first item from the packet was this Pumbaa in the long grass.

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Then Hilda pulled the 3rd Big 5 charm from the lucky packet. This was an ellie family and mum was learning her little one how to eat tree roots. It was stunning to see how the little one coped with breaking and eating this unfamiliar stuff.

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Then this sweetie was pulled from the packet. A Black bellied bustard. This was the first and only bustard that we saw for the whole trip.

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As we turned down the H3 we saw a YR from the opposite direction. I tried to flag him down, however he just went past without even blinking. I quickly turned around and only caught up with him past the koppies to Pretoriuskop. This was Foreigner, also from the UK. We had a nice chat and he was telling us that we were the first YR that he met in a week in the park. Wonder why.
This was our eleventh (11) mite we met during this trip


Next from the packet were three raptor charms:

The first one was an Eagle of some sort, sitting as if frozen to the branch. ID please??

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The second one was an immature Martial Eagle

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And the third charm was our friend the Fish Eagle

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We were on a gravel road somewhere in Kruger, minding our own business when we came around a corner and Hilda pulled these stubborn charms from the packet. They were on a mission and we were not allowed near them :naughty: .
We were forced to turn around and use an alternative route :evil: .

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Hilda’s motto in life is that “everything happens for a reason”. Maybe this is one of those reasons again :hmz: .

We turned onto the alternative route and I was still thinking of the “everything happens for a reason” when she pulled a diamond of a charm from the packet. In front of us in the road was this slender figure walking away from us.

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You could see that she was at a very late stage of pregnancy and was looking for shelter to give birth, but everything and everywhere was wet.

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We were the only car with her for the next 8, 5 kilometres, staying a fair distance from her not to spook her. This was one of the best and unbelievable sightings we had in a long time. :dance:

Another vehicle came from the front and I flicked my lights to draw his attention. The occupants were ecstatic and thanked us because she went into the veldt and when I stopped them she came back into the road right in front of them. She was looking around all the time and you could see that she became more stressed by the minute. Here are some additional photos.

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What happened next??
To be continued.................................
:whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: Eleven Lucky Packets, Forumites and Crazy People – KNP v
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:19 am 
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Mommy cheetah felt trapped between my vehicle and the vehicle from the opposite side and decided to leave the road to our right, but still moving forward with us.

The next moment I saw a blue car with a yellow ribbon on. It was none other than RiaanF31 and SurfCindy from the UK, with their moms on a special visit to Kruger.

This was great to have met you in person at last, although briefly.


We exchanged words very quickly and then I told them about the cheetah on their left. I made way for RiaanF31 to turn around because I know that she will be coming back to the road and they will have a chance to drive with her.

They were ‘mites numbers 12 and 13 that we have met so far during our trip.

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Here are a few photos of her back in the road and walking in the veldt on the left of the road, still looking for a safe place to give birth.

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We left her after being in her presence for 9,5 kilometres to enable Riaanf31 and SurfCindy to enjoy the sight of her on their own.

Our next charm was this Fish Eagle having an early supper on the rocks at Biyamiti weir.

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We were quite drained from all the excitement and just went with the flow for the last 18 km of the day. We came across this longneck friend of us, pretending that he does not see us.

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I was really giggling at his attitude of ears pinned back and an eye turned just in case we were up to something.

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Then we found this little steenbuck posing like a klipspringer.

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Next we came across a group of vultures that was mauling underneath the shrub to get to something killed. Here are two sitting in the trees above.

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We arrived at camp and as per usual I walked around with camera in hand and here are a few photos we want to share and clear lucky packet no 9.

First the resident little bushbuck

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Then this beautiful LBR

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A White-bellied sunbird

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Last but not least, the sun struggling to get through after three days of cloud and rain.

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We prepare dinner and relive all the strange happenings of the day. Just to show that I actually am able to braai, here I am concentrating not to overdo the meat. (Hilda took this without me knowing of course)

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I was actually happy that the day ended as wonderful as it did and after eating and cleaning the kitchen, Hilda went for one of those Image again, whilst I was planning our last full day in Kruger.

The next moment a Image announced his presence by uttering one of the closest and biggest roars I have ever heard :big_eyes: .

I think he was in the riverbed right opposite our bungalow. It really felt as if he was right outside the bungalow.

Needless to say that there was water all over the floor in the bathroom as a result of somebody making sure that she is dressed before her life is ended Image.

What an ending to a really strange starting day we had, but we did not query any of it in the end. Now for a great night’s sleep before we tackle our last full day in Kruger.

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 Post subject: Re: Eleven Lucky Packets, Forumites and Crazy People – KNP v
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:19 am 
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17 September day 10

We had a good night’s sleep behind us and when I went out to make the first cuppa of the morning, I could see stars in the sky. This is an indication that we will see some Image today.

Today’s route will be along the S139 towards the S114 and then up to Biyamiti weir. From there along the S23 until the S113 and left to the tar H3 for a body break at Afsaal. From there we will go back to the S113 and then onto the S26 for a visit to Mpondo Dam for brunch. Then we will take the H5 towards Croc Bridge and down to Hippo pools and all the way home via the S25; S26; S114 and then the S139 back to camp.

When we left camp we saw the first sunrise in three days which looked like this.

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Next are two photos to get us in the mood to open that lucky packet and remove as much charms as possible. The veldt was as clean and fresh as a pile of washing just done. Is this not what we all are dreaming about till we enter the Park again :hmz:

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I was still with my own thoughts when Hilda pulled a sweetie as well as a charm from the packet. This was a kudu and Rhino family all at once.

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Then it was the turn of the birdie sweeties and charms. First up was this beautiful Emerald-spotted wood dove sweetie,

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Then an African barred owlet charm.

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It was really quiet this morning and the next sweetie from the packet was this giraffe that seems to be quite drowsy, maybe too much of a party animal last night :hmz: .

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When we got closer I could see that his right eye was not that well anymore.

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I was still hoping that we will see our spotted friend along the way, but no luck today. The only resident at the Biyamiti weir was this lonely hippo. This was the perfect time for a cuppa and rusks and just enjoys the beauty of the weir.

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It was soon time to move on and Hilda pulled out one of our most pleasant charms from the bag. It was not one, or two but three little klipspringers.

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The little ram stood up and turned around as if to say he doesn’t want to be disturbed

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Just look at his tippy toes as he stands his ground.


Followers of the trip will remember the lioness in the riverbed that we thought had cubs. Just to refresh the memory, here she was.

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The next item from the lucky packet was to me one of the most enjoyable sightings you can have. It was about 80 meters from where we were that we saw these little golden kitties. We had these guys all to ourselves.

The first two cuties appeared from their “room” and went over the rocks into their playground,

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And then the second pair did the same.

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And here are a few photos of them playing without any worries in the world

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Mom was not home during that time and we didn’t want to leave them but we still had a long way to go.

Next on the list were two birdie charms again.
The first one was a Burcchell's Coucal and the second one a LBR.

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Then another charm was pulled from the packet and this time it was our rhino friends again

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The next was another charm and this was one with the King of the jungle’s name on it. (Must say he was not young anymore).

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We had a quick body break at Afsaal and were on our way to Mpondo Dam when we came across this very crazy lady, hanging from the car to take a photo of an ellie that was standing about three meters from her, busy eating some grass. I was so shocked that we did not even take a pic of the ellie ourselves :evil: :shock: :evil: .

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This was the fifth (5) crazy person of our trip.

On our way to Mpondo we saw lots of general game such as impala, kudu and zebies.

Then another charm from the packet revealed these friends of us.

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Then we ran into our 14th mite of the trip. It was none other than Click-click that decided on the spur of the moment to visit Kruger for a few days. We had a great chat and went our ways after we told her about the golden kitties.

In and around the water’s outflow from the dam we found the following birdie charms.

Saddle-billed stork sitting on his haunches

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A Fish Eagle getting ready for a party

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A Black Crake looking for breakfast

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A Bateleur minding his own business

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There was also this terrapin that thinks he is a tree stump.

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We stopped at Mpondo Dam to have our brunch and just to enjoy the silence and the bush.



Second stage to be continued...................

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 Post subject: Re: Eleven Lucky Packets, Forumites and Crazy People – KNP v
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:11 pm 
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Refreshed after a nice brunch at Mpondo Dam we were on our way to try and find some additional charms and sweeties for the ‘mites to enjoy.

Mpondo Dam

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The first from the packet was this little longneck all alone, not knowing what might be around the next bush.

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Further along the road we came across this energetic little slender mongoose.

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We came to a clearing next to the road and found these two Pumbaa’s joined by an impala to keep them company.

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The next item is another Rhino charm all by his lonesome.

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Along the road we came across some Blue wildebeest and an impala family plus rhino again.

We quickly had a body break at Croc Bridge without seeing any lion, leopard or cheetah that should be visible according to other visitors to the park.

We went our merry way and decided to detour to the Hippo Pools and to visit Daniel and give him an ice cold coke bought at Croc Bridge. We had a long chat with him about his retirement in three years’ time. I think he will be missed by lots of visitors in years to come.

We drove along the S25 when somebody from the front in a double cab waved us down. It was none other than Dupacc. What a great surprise to at last meet another of our reading/writing friends in the park.
He was ‘mite no 15 and the last new ‘mite we met in the park.


He told us where we could find another charm for the day, if we stay on the current road.
We came to an incline in the road and the road turning to the right.

There were about six cars on the side of the road, all looking at these spotted doggies amongst the brush. You could only see two clearly enough. The rest were only ears moving.

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I decided to turn around and go down the hill round the corner again to see if I could not find a better vantage point, when we saw this guy lying in the open on the left side of the road. After taking some nice kiekies we turned back to the people on the corner and told them about the doggies in the open.

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What a great doggie sighting again. The rest of the lucky packet revealed the following two charms to us.

Firstly it was this African Hawk-Eagle

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And then another bateleur that flew off where he was perched on a branch and my attempt of photographing him in flight.

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Next was a charm again in the form of one of our good friends

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We also came across some ellies and buffs along the route, but not able to shoot them.
We did however found some kudu sweeties to go with.

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When we arrived at the weir again, Hilda stopped me right in my tracks with another huge charm for the day. This was a most unusual sighting for us and I think it will be for most of our ‘mites as well.
Amongst the rocks on the left of the weir was a Hamerkop busy circling around a water monitor, whilst pecking at the monitor continuously. Every time that the hamerkop reaches the water he took a sip and then starts to circle the monitor again, pecking away.

From our viewpoint it looked as if the hamerkop already opened up the side of the monitor and Hilda (very small heart when it comes to animals getting injured) was talking to the hamerkop, telling him to kill the monitor because it has already suffered enough.

It only became clear what was actually happened on close inspection. The water monitor caught a frog and was busy eating it, when the Hamerkop saw what had happened and was only trying to take it from the water monitor.

Here are a few photos to try and reconstruct what we saw.

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We just had to leave in the end because it was getting close to gate closure time.

One of our final charm sightings of the day was ellies in the riverbed

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An inquisitive kudu

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And a Brown Snake Eagle to clear the lucky packet for day 10.

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This was our last full day in the Park and what a day it was.

We normally leave the park at gate opening time to get home in time to fetch the car and then 46 km back along the N4 to fetch the 4x4 kids at the kennels. We decided to upgrade the single cab to a double cab, which allow us to stay in the Park until 12:00 before we have to leave for home and to pick up the 4x4’s on our way home.

This is how the 4x4’s looks in real live

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That is why we will have lucky packet no 11 to open and empty before we leave for home tomorrow.
All that is left was to finalise the packing to be ready at gate opening in the morning for our final drive before we have to leave for home.

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