Here goes with the report
Firstly this trip was not planned. The Scots booked a flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg to go and visit SO's cousin in Pretoria. They wanted to go and find their mother's grave and put some flowers on it. We could not find the info about the grave before hand and it is impossible to find info at the offices of all the grave sites in Pretoria
3 days before they were due to fly to Johannesburg we called SO's cousin and found out he was not well. So they cancelled with their cousin and prepared themselves to loose the money
SO then decided that they should not loose the money they paid for airfares to Johannesburg and gave me strict instructions
to book myself a flight and make a booking at SANPARKS for accommodation, and he organized a hired car through a friend
That is how we landed up at Kruger
We arrived at Johannesburg airport 11:00am and rushed to the car hire section and got the car and sped off to Kruger - Did not speed only went 120 all the way
Had to make quick stops for the ladies and one of them also smoked
She kept on lighting a fag the minute we stepped out of the car, and with me shouting to her to hurry up
Arrived in Hazyview at 3:30pm. Stopped at the Spar and bought some meat, milk, coffee and the usual provisions for the first night. Again a few fags were lit by this Scot outside spar while we were shopping
At 4:10 I started to panic, SO told me that I have to leave Hazyview by 4pm to get to the gate in time
Shouted at the Scots who was still browsing around the centre to get into the car- guess who was last in the car, fag lady
Well I then sped towards Kruger Gate thinking that I am going to arrive late at the gate
Well I really started to panic when I had to go slow because of the slow vehicles and all the goats and cows on that road
Had the male Scot sitting next to me pushing the brakes on his side all the time
Poor chap thought he was in the car with Michael Schumacher
I was in a real panic when I looked at my watch and saw that I had 3 min to get to the camp and I was a few klm away. Well we arrived at the first gate and I noticed the gate was still open, went on and saw that the main gate was also still open. Jumped out and greeted the gate guard who was smiling and welcoming us to the park. I told him that I might be late when he just smiled and said " The gate only closes at 18:30
(I was in "winter" mode, the gates close in winter 17:30pm) While walking to the gate office I kept on telling myself ---you idiot, you idiot...
We had a whole hour to get to Skukuza after entering the gate
forgot my yellow ribbon at home
That is when the poor Scots felt the Lowveld heat
I told them to open the windows and smell and listen to the bush. These guys felt the heat hit them in the faces and the first thing they said was "Me Gods, it is hot here" on which I replied welcome to Kruger! I did let them suffer a bit with the heat before I closed the windows and put the aircon on
We arrived at Skukuza in good time and settled into the bungalows. Rushed off to the shop to buy them some "hooligan juice" before we started the braai. They were hungry and thirsty so out came the drinks. Well I started the braai and they poured the drinks. We had a lovely supper and lots of "hooligan juice"
What a job it was to get them to go and sleep early
Fag lady kept on smoking, more smoking than eating by now
eventually I told them that if they do not go and sleep now, I am going to wake them up at 5am to go out early. That worked because they then said no please can we only go out early the next day, they are tired. They went to bed after I promised to not wake them too early.
But I did wake them at 6:30 and and said I am going for a morning drive and who wants to come with...guess what...they all jumped into the car for fear they are going to miss out seeing animals
Day1) Drove on the Salitje road, did not see much in the big game, but the one Scot spotted a Scrubs hare and was very excited to spot her first animal
Had breakfast at Mlondozi. They enjoyed it there. We sat there for a long time, watching some Rhino in a distance and Elephant bathing. As usual the Vervets were a menace. I had a dishcloth in my hand when one cheeky one decided to come to our table. I shooed him away with the cloth, but he new it was not going to hurt him, and he challenged me making these grunting noises and eyes wide open. Well I grab one of the plastic chairs and his lordship then ran away shouting back at me
I am sure that they are still being fed by visitors
The Scots gave the vervets a new name: Blue nut monkeys
Sightings for the day: Impala, Warthog, Slender Mongoose, Scrubs hare, Vervet, Zebra, Elephant, Reed Buck, Giraffe, White Rhino, Baboon, Grey Duiker.
Also had a lovely braai that night with lots of "hooligan juice"
Well after the braai I took out my bottle of Amarula, big mistake, they drank it as if there was no tomorrow
Between 3 of us we finished it in no time. Only got to bed at 12:30pm.
Day 2) I got them up early, at 5am to go for a morning drive. Glad I did because they saw their first lion that morning
Took the S114 to Renosterkoppies dam. Saw our first Lioness a few metres down that road, already in the shade, it was so hot! We could just see her sitting under a bush. She was peering at us through the bushes, panting from the heat and it was still early in the morning
We sat with her for a while and drove further down to the dam when I noticed 3 cars parked all over the road. There we saw two big males also lying in the shade on the sand road. What a sight it was for the Scots:!: Camera’s was clicking away at high speed
That is when the Jeep Jockey’s arrived by the dozens. I must say they were well behaved.
One then drove over to my side and asked if I have seen lots of animals coming along the S114. That is when I greeted him “Hello Jeep Jockey” He smiled and said that he knows that we forumer’s call them that name. I think he does go into the forum website and read all the postings. He then explained to me why they rush around the park. They pick the visitors up at the airport early in the morning and drive them into the park to view animals, then in the afternoon they have to have them out the park, back to the airport again. The pressure is on them to find the big 5, thus the radio contact they have with each other, and that is why they “chase” from one sighting to the other.
Sightings for the day: Impala, Warthog, Zebra, Elephant, Giraffe, Waterbuck, Hippo, Bushbuck, Wildebeest, Lion, Kudu, Dwarf Mongoose, Squirrel & Peters Epauletted fruit bat.
Had a braai and lots of Amarula’s again. Went to bed late again.
Day 3) took a slow drive to Lower Sabie and had lunch there. They loved the camp and decided that it is their favourite camp, even if they have not been to the other camps.
Drove back to Skukuza, and on the way we met a little heard of Impala with little ones. Well we stopped to take some photo’s of the little ones when one of the little males started to “talk” The one Scot lady then said in a Scottish voice “Hello” and it answered her back, it sounded like “hello”, well she again said hello and he again said hello back. Well we were in stitches by this time, the tears was running from all the laughing
This went on for about 15 minutes, she saying hello and he answering hello back!! Wish I had my video camera with me then, left it at home. We then went back to camp and had a rest. At 4pm we went to Lake Panic and sat there for the rest of the afternoon. It was so peaceful there.
Sighting for the day: Peter’s Epauletted fruit bat, Impala, Warthog, Elephant, Giraffe, Waterbuck, Hippo, Wildebeest and Squirrel.
We went to the restaurant for supper and must tell you the food was good. I had some of the Kudu steak, it was yum! The service was excellent and “Bettie” who served us was friendly and helpful. The Scots gave her a nice tip
Thank goodness the Scots were too tired to drink too much so we had an early night
Had 1 bottle of white wine and 1 bottle of red wine at the dinner table between 4 of us
Slept like a baby.
Left the park at 9 am
and stopped at Hazyview for breakfast. Lovely little shopping centre next to the Numbi Hotel. It was one of the ladies birthday and while we chatted at the table (the waitress must have heard us talking about her birthday) the manageress game out with a lovely little bunch of flowers with a hand written “Happy Birthday” card and gave it to the birthday girl. What a lovely gesture!
After brekkies I again had to go and hunt for the “fag” lady! She was strolling around looking at all the little shops, fag in hand.
Arrived in a wet and rainy Johannesburg airport at 4pm, glad the drive was over.
Not glad to have left Kruger though! I will be in Kruger in 3 month’s time again.
Got back to Cape Town at 7pm and SO had a surprise for his cousin, booked dinner at a restaurant looking onto Table Mountain.
Well they had a lovely time in Kruger and said they want to come back in 2008 in our winter time to go to Kruger again and stay longer.
Hope my report was not too long!