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 Post subject: Leaping Lizards Bliksem!!!October 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:57 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 175
Location: Too far away from KNP,KTP or KNP
Our Holiday in Paradise started in the most awful way.

We flew in from Cape Town, collected our rental, then broke down with no steering about 1 hour and 20 minutes out of Johannesburg. We informed the car rental company at 11h02 but for some reason, they could only replace the car 4 and a half hours later. So, there we were, stuck for 4 and a half hours. :wall: :wall:

_________________
Punda Maria 1 & 2 Sept
Sirheni 3 & 4 Sept
Olifants 5 & 6 Sept
Talamati 7 & 8 Sept
Tamboti 9 Sept
Satara 10 & 11 Sept
Pretoriuskop 12 Sept


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 Post subject: Re: Bliksem!!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:45 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 175
Location: Too far away from KNP,KTP or KNP
Well, we going to Kruger, so I am sure you all know that the tale does get better. What I can also tell you is that we got to know the Shell Ultra just after the toll gate very well. I think by the time we left, we also knew the rats and their extended families.

_________________
Punda Maria 1 & 2 Sept
Sirheni 3 & 4 Sept
Olifants 5 & 6 Sept
Talamati 7 & 8 Sept
Tamboti 9 Sept
Satara 10 & 11 Sept
Pretoriuskop 12 Sept


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 Post subject: Re: Bliksem!!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:13 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 175
Location: Too far away from KNP,KTP or KNP
Our first day was in Talamati. After calling the camp to update them on the, aahm, situation, we were informed that if we were not at Orpen by 17h00, we would not be allowed to come to the camp. We managed to get back onto the road at about 15h35 with just 2 and a half hours to get from Witbank/Middleburg to Orpen.

_________________
Punda Maria 1 & 2 Sept
Sirheni 3 & 4 Sept
Olifants 5 & 6 Sept
Talamati 7 & 8 Sept
Tamboti 9 Sept
Satara 10 & 11 Sept
Pretoriuskop 12 Sept


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 Post subject: Re: Bliksem!!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:28 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 175
Location: Too far away from KNP,KTP or KNP
Right! I have a another few minutes. Lets see, what happened next? :hmz:

We knew that we would not make it and the guys at Talamati managed to get us a 2 bed place at Orpen, we were 3 adults. We arrive at 19h30. Had to get the Duty Manager on the line to get through security at the first gate that lead into Timbavati.

Once through that gate, total darkness greeted us. We now had to drive the few kms to the rest camp in the dark. We could not see what was on the side of the road. It was a little scary being out there feeling like an ant in the big dark world. :pray:

To rush things along, security had our key and we checked into Orpen No5, explored the camp, watched the Province v Bulls game and I spent the first night of our long awaited trip sleeping on the floor. (Thank SANParks for the extra blankets and pillows)

So, what’s with the Title of this TR you might ask? Well, the answer to that comes on our last night.

_________________
Punda Maria 1 & 2 Sept
Sirheni 3 & 4 Sept
Olifants 5 & 6 Sept
Talamati 7 & 8 Sept
Tamboti 9 Sept
Satara 10 & 11 Sept
Pretoriuskop 12 Sept


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 Post subject: Re: Bliksem!!!
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:40 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 175
Location: Too far away from KNP,KTP or KNP
Hi there all. Thanks for the comments. It really was a trip full of misfortune. Of the 6 times we been in Kruger, this trip felt like the best adventure. Its the first time that so many things went wrong, but its those things that leave us with great stories to tell, and, well, we were in Kruger so all is good and you just go with whatever comes along.

If you were in the Letaba and Satara area in the first week of September, then you most probably know some of what is to follow.

_________________
Punda Maria 1 & 2 Sept
Sirheni 3 & 4 Sept
Olifants 5 & 6 Sept
Talamati 7 & 8 Sept
Tamboti 9 Sept
Satara 10 & 11 Sept
Pretoriuskop 12 Sept


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 Post subject: Re: Bliksem!!!
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:44 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 175
Location: Too far away from KNP,KTP or KNP
Day 2

We woke up a little groggy but glad to be in Kruger and not in some guest house or even worse, stuck along the road. With good spirits we were up and exploring the camp during in the daylight. Proof that being in Kruger sooths the soul. What a little gem this camp is. Its always been just a gate to us on our way to or from Talamati or Satara.

We found it quite interesting that in Kruger, the critters break in, and the fridge has to go to jail
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So we start our day, rather unexpectedly, from Orpen. We packed up and after an awesome cup of coffee from the coffee hut, ventured into the park for the first time, a day later then planned.

We hit the H7 on our way to Talamati. Just a km out of camp, and we met this fellow posing for photos next to the road.
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Two more noble animals to announce our arrival in the park (Our daylight arrival that is)
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Oh no…… Car trouble looks to be brewing again…. We decided to sms the Regional Manager and just chance it. So we pretended that we did not see the Battery warning light or the Mechanical warning light.
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_________________
Punda Maria 1 & 2 Sept
Sirheni 3 & 4 Sept
Olifants 5 & 6 Sept
Talamati 7 & 8 Sept
Tamboti 9 Sept
Satara 10 & 11 Sept
Pretoriuskop 12 Sept


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 Post subject: Re: Bliksem!!!
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:48 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 175
Location: Too far away from KNP,KTP or KNP
Hi there OWN. Thanks for the good words. (OneWithNature not Opora Winfrey Network)
I can believe your story. In the time we were there, we noticed that there is always a lot of people mulling around with lots of to and fro. It is never quiet, always people moving around so someone can easily slip into a car and no one would ever know.

Hi there Hilda
Thanks for pointing the colour of the giraffe out. I really did not notice that before. When taking this picture I was just thinking "Awesome! Two cool animals in one pic" and thats what I always noticed when looking at this pic.

We are very lucky with BBJ. I will post another one a little later in the TR I think.

_________________
Punda Maria 1 & 2 Sept
Sirheni 3 & 4 Sept
Olifants 5 & 6 Sept
Talamati 7 & 8 Sept
Tamboti 9 Sept
Satara 10 & 11 Sept
Pretoriuskop 12 Sept


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 Post subject: Re: Bliksem!!!
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:15 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 175
Location: Too far away from KNP,KTP or KNP
Hi all.

Thank you so much for joining us this far.

I am new to this, so I have reposted the pics below.

Cooler in the slammer
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BBJ
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2 tone Giraffe and Kudu
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_________________
Punda Maria 1 & 2 Sept
Sirheni 3 & 4 Sept
Olifants 5 & 6 Sept
Talamati 7 & 8 Sept
Tamboti 9 Sept
Satara 10 & 11 Sept
Pretoriuskop 12 Sept


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 Post subject: Re: Bliksem!!!
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:26 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 175
Location: Too far away from KNP,KTP or KNP
As the H7 came alongside the Timbavati, we saw this young elephant “running” down the river bank holding a stick. He decided to toss the stick just as we took this shot.
Image

The first Elephant of our Kruger 2012 Album.

A little bit of argee-bargee on the opposite side of Timbavati.
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We planned to have Breakfast at Muzanszeni picnic spot just off the S36.
We were one of only 2 groups at the picnic spot, and immediately became the centre of attention to the local scavengers. Its sad to see, but it looks like these little fellas have learned that it is easier to get food from people than to get it themselves.
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After breakfast, and some entertainment from the local flying bananas a large elephant visited the waterhole not far from the picnic sight, which gives people an excellent opportunity to view these beautiful creatures on foot, under close supervision of the guards on duty no doubt.
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From Muzanszeni we took the S36 south and just before hooking a right onto the S145 to Talamati our companion, Eagle Eye Mike, somehow saw this owl sitting in a tree. I bet the owl thought it was pretty well camouflaged.

Judging by the white unibrow, we have this as a Pearl-spotted Owlet. Help please?
Image

_________________
Punda Maria 1 & 2 Sept
Sirheni 3 & 4 Sept
Olifants 5 & 6 Sept
Talamati 7 & 8 Sept
Tamboti 9 Sept
Satara 10 & 11 Sept
Pretoriuskop 12 Sept


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 Post subject: Re: Bliksem!!!
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:07 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 175
Location: Too far away from KNP,KTP or KNP
If you have not been to Talamati, then you are missing out. Peace, quiet, only 15 cottages widely spaced apart, no cell phone reception and no traffic or other cars coming or going. Total tranquillity (That’s why we love the bush camps) There is comfortable furniture on the massive verandas and for some lucky people a view of the fences on both sides of the camp. This Kudu was at the waterhole just after we checked in.
Image

The baboons were onto us within 15 minutes of unpacking. Thanks to Patrick however, our friendly neighbourhood rubber snake, the baboons fled for the trees, and did not return for the rest of our stay.

We enjoyed an afternoon of relaxing, reading and snoozing. We booked a Sunset Drive, so at 4ish we took a slow walk to reception for the nights festivities.
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The drive as always was pretty special. It was slightly overcast, so the last rays of the sun broke through the clouds looking like the straight lines on a child’s painting. Our pictures could not quite catch the magic. Our troubles of today was that we could not get the polarizer off the lens of the camera, so we could not take pictures during dusk or at night. We did get this Giraffe.
Image
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We did spend some time with an elephant which showed us how it stripped bark and also that it could use its trunk to balance objects on. We also saw a lone lioness who used the cover of the 4x4 to stalk impala. One of the impalas saw her and sent out a rather urgent Alarm call.

We returned to Unit 15 and spent some time making dinner and deleting out of focus shots :cam: :cam:

_________________
Punda Maria 1 & 2 Sept
Sirheni 3 & 4 Sept
Olifants 5 & 6 Sept
Talamati 7 & 8 Sept
Tamboti 9 Sept
Satara 10 & 11 Sept
Pretoriuskop 12 Sept


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 Post subject: Re: Bliksem!!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:49 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 175
Location: Too far away from KNP,KTP or KNP
Day 3


Instead of getting out early, we opted to stay at camp for the morning. On previous occasions we were richly rewarded for just being patient at the hide and allowing the animals to come down to us. So we decided to fill the flask with some coffee and spend some time at the hide. Below are a few pictures taken in the 60 minutes that followed
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Impalas showing the Springboks that they can do it better (It seems that these days anyone can do it better than the Springboks)
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Alas, no Sable this year. Last year they also came down for a morning drink and were even kind enough to have a bit of a sparing session on the plains in front of the Hide.

This Kudu male on the riverbed next to the fence.
Image

Next up is the "Big Drive" of the TR.

_________________
Punda Maria 1 & 2 Sept
Sirheni 3 & 4 Sept
Olifants 5 & 6 Sept
Talamati 7 & 8 Sept
Tamboti 9 Sept
Satara 10 & 11 Sept
Pretoriuskop 12 Sept


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 Post subject: Re: Bliksem!!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:28 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 175
Location: Too far away from KNP,KTP or KNP
Today was the day of “The Big Drive.”

Our journey would take us from Talamati along the S145, S36 to the H7 to Satara for an early lunch, up the H1-4 onto the detour to Olifants for an ice cream and then back onto the H1-5 up to Letaba.

Bush fast food
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Lilac Breasted Roller
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Then this big guy would not allow us to continue. We gave them their space and watched them for a bit until Mr Elephant let us pass.
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Image

As we approached Satara we seemed descend onto a herbivore convention.
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After an early lunch we headed up the H1-4 and saw a few marvellous elephant sightings. These 2 big guys at Ngotso South
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and a family bathing on what was to be our last hot/warm day of our trip at Ngotso Dam.
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Kori Bustard. These birds are so impressive when you first see them in the veld. Its difficult to believe that a bird this size can actually fly.
Image

_________________
Punda Maria 1 & 2 Sept
Sirheni 3 & 4 Sept
Olifants 5 & 6 Sept
Talamati 7 & 8 Sept
Tamboti 9 Sept
Satara 10 & 11 Sept
Pretoriuskop 12 Sept


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 Post subject: Re: Bliksem!!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:52 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 175
Location: Too far away from KNP,KTP or KNP
We left Big Bird to do what Big Bird does and continued our journey north, which brings one to the Olifants high level Bridge and “O my word” was there a weird site there.

What is it?

Image


Well, it’s a Giraffe that has been in the river for over a week. We watched some crocodiles take a bite every now and then, but could not get a shot.

What the crocodiles do is; they stalk the carcass, then move closer very slowly. Then they stare it down for what seems like ages, and BAM!!! They strike very quickly and we miss that perfect shot.

We saw some very big crocs as well as a few hippos, on the other side of the river.

Image
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We stopped at Olifants rest camp for some ice cream and took some pictures of the legendary view.

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This is a pic of one of the Olifants Guest Houses (We think)

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After ice cream it was a pretty uneventful drive to Letaba.

_________________
Punda Maria 1 & 2 Sept
Sirheni 3 & 4 Sept
Olifants 5 & 6 Sept
Talamati 7 & 8 Sept
Tamboti 9 Sept
Satara 10 & 11 Sept
Pretoriuskop 12 Sept


Top
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 Post subject: Re: Bliksem!!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:06 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 175
Location: Too far away from KNP,KTP or KNP
We checked in at Letaba and then immediately hit the road in search of a leopard, guided by 3 dots on the sightings board. No leopard, and for the rest of our trip, the sightings board was renamed “The Board of Deceit” and throughout the week lived up to our more accurate title.

Anyway, there were some great sightings of Fish Eagle just off the road next to the Letaba River. The was one just chillin in a tree
Image


and about 100m down the road its partner in the nest looking very restless. We figured that the one was suppose to be out hunting for the wife and kids, but instead decided to hide/chill in a tree where the other could not see it.
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We returned to Letaba, passing confused looking giraffes,
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and saw these 2 gents from the Letaba deck.
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Tonight was the night of our first braai in the park and off to the shop for suppliers. We tried to draw cash, but there was no money available in the ATM. After paying with the card, not wanting to use our petrol cash, we proceeded to have a great braai.


We met 2 forum members around our fire. They were walking through the camp spotting Bush Babies and the likes. They introduced themselves as 3 Dogs and shared sightings of the day (They gave us some pointers on sighting in the camps)

A slow/long exposure shot of stars through the giant mopani tress.
Image

_________________
Punda Maria 1 & 2 Sept
Sirheni 3 & 4 Sept
Olifants 5 & 6 Sept
Talamati 7 & 8 Sept
Tamboti 9 Sept
Satara 10 & 11 Sept
Pretoriuskop 12 Sept


Top
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 Post subject: Re: Bliksem!!!
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:03 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 175
Location: Too far away from KNP,KTP or KNP
FLASHBACK! (Back at Talamati as seen through Mike’s lens)

The veranda at Talamati showing the tables and chairs for outdoor breakfast and behind it the comfortable couches which also has a coffee table at the centre of the arrangement.
Image

Michael went down to the Hide about 15 minutes before us and got these shots before the buffalos came down.
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And finally, as per request, a picture of Patrick, our Friendly neighbourhood rubber snake (who valiantly protected us from hording baboons)
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Day 4 awaits

_________________
Punda Maria 1 & 2 Sept
Sirheni 3 & 4 Sept
Olifants 5 & 6 Sept
Talamati 7 & 8 Sept
Tamboti 9 Sept
Satara 10 & 11 Sept
Pretoriuskop 12 Sept


Last edited by Leaping Lizards on Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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