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 Post subject: Janeli THE BEST EVER 38 DAYS IN KRUGER!!!July 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:33 pm 
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We planned this trip to Kruger in July 2011. We never thought it would turned out to by the most amazing of all our trips. Each day of the 38 days we spend in Kruger was special!!
If only all three our children could be with us …. Well, why do we not organise something they said!! And that is when the logistic planning started!! They took leave from their various jobs and stayed with us for a week (the eldest son for two weeks) in KNP. What a lovely time we had together!! There is no better place to spend time with the people you love most than in the wonderful KNP!
We and our eldest son departed from Cape Town on May 3rd 2012, our middle son flew from London and we met him on May 5th and the youngest flew from Cape Town on May 6th for a wonderful rendezvous at Berg-en-Dal on Sunday May 6th, ten months after we began our planning!!!

There were so many highlights and wonderful sightings. We saw 68 lions, 6 cheetahs, 4 leopards, wild dogs (a first for me) and many, many more beautiful animals. It was not only the many cats we saw that made this trip so special but to be in a special place where you can watch the interaction between the animals.
We were fortunate to see a few rhino. I will post one or two photos random between other photos taken at other places without saying where we saw them. I felt like crying whenever I watched these big vulnerable animals.

On the second day we saw our first leopard on Matjulu road, drinking water in the middle of the road. This sighting was a good start!!!

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 Post subject: Re: THE BEST EVER 38 DAYS IN KRUGER!!!
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:51 pm 
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Yes, what a great start for our holiday. Although we visited other parks, it was almost 4 years since we have been to Kruger. It was so wonderful to be back in Kruger!! Each sighting was special because we shared it with our sons.

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 Post subject: Re: THE BEST EVER 38 DAYS IN KRUGER!!!
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:30 pm 
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After Berg-en-Dal we spend the last days with our sons in Skukuza. They would love to see cats……As the one said: the animals with the fangs! On May 11th we drove to Lower Sabie. They saw their first lion. There was something wrong with this lion. He was either hurt or sick. Then on our way back we saw two lions walking near the river, they actually crossed the river. Wonderful sighting! My son predicted that they will walk to the rocks. So we drove to the rocks where there is an off the road parking and waited. They could go anywhere but suddenly the two lions were there on the rocks looking very pleased with themselves. This was so amazing.

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This was the sick/hurt lion. He was just lying in the grass and turned over a few times.
And then we saw these two beautiful lions crossing the river!

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 Post subject: Re: THE BEST EVER 38 DAYS IN KRUGER!!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:22 am 
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Thanks everybody for reading my TR.

Spargish said:
Quote:
A leopard drinking water in the road and swiming lions wow


Those sightings were so special. Now that I am looking at the photos again it feels as if it was a wonderful dream! But I remember our excitement and I know it was so real!
The best lion sighting is still to come .....

These photos were taken by my son.

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 Post subject: Re: THE BEST EVER 38 DAYS IN KRUGER!!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:29 pm 
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Time to say good bye.
Too soon it was time for two of our sons to leave. On their way out of KNP they saw 2 cheetas walking in the road near Transport Dam. (I will try to post a photo later.) What a wonderful way to leave KNP!!!!! On our last evening together we had a farewell Mothersdaysupper at Selati Restaurant at Skukuza. I will always treasure that wonderful evening. The name of the waiter that served us was Excellent!! That is the best word to describe the wonderful meal and the atmosphere that evening!!
We also had a braai with our neighbours from the Strand and their small children at Skukuza!


We all agreed that we were not ready to board the train to Cape Town!!!!!
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The Old Bridge at Skukuza
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The damaged bridge was the ideal playgroud for these little ones!
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I love to watch the impalas.
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 Post subject: Re: THE BEST EVER 38 DAYS IN KRUGER!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:06 pm 
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Thanks every one for your lovely replies!! Indeed we made wonderful memories!
KNP showed us the very best! :D :D :D


Our next camp was Lower Sabie. Near Lower Sabie we saw a male lion near the river. Lower Sabie is definitely one of the best camps for animal viewing!!

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The next day we took the S128 and saw a huge herd of buffalo crossing the road. At the crossing with the Salitje Road we turned right to the H10. A big ellie came towards our car and for a few minutes we were worried. To our relieve he suddenly turned away from us.

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Then as we turned to the H10 ………… a beautiful, beautiful leopard walking in the road and sniffing the bushes. The most beautiful animal in the world!!! We were so happy!! Our second leopard and we had the best view!!! He was so close to the car I could have touched him ….

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This was not to be the only magnificent sighting of the day!!!!!!
What a day it turned out to be ........

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 Post subject: Re: THE BEST EVER 38 DAYS IN KRUGER!!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:06 pm 
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We continued on the H10 and took the Muntshe Loop. After a few km and seeing nothing at all SO suddenly said there was something moving on his right side! A cheetah, then counting: one, two, three, four!!!! We followed them for a while. All the time they were looking around. At last they climbed on a few rocks and were facing us!! A mother cheetah with three young cheetahs!! There were no other cars, only us and this precious sighting. They were looking in all directions before all four of them finally looked directly at us and we could take this most beautiful photo.
After a while they walked towards the road and eventually crossed the road. The young ones stopped and looked at us in an inquisitive way before disappearing into the grass. We were speechless!! Actually I am still speechless just looking at the photos!!


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What a sighting!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

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 Post subject: Re: THE BEST EVER 38 DAYS IN KRUGER!!!
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:56 pm 
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While still talking about the amazing cheetahsighting we saw a big ellie on our way back to the camp. Goodness he was huge!!!

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We realised that we have seen two elephants and earlier the day we have seen rhino and buffalo. That means we only had to find a lion to make it the Big Five and Four Cheetahs in one day.

Now we have to look for lions!!!! Again it was our lucky day. At the Sabieriver near the place where the children and I saw the two lions crossing the river we saw them: two lions and crossing the river again!!!! (possibly the same two lions). When we saw the vultures in the tree we knew they were protecting a kill. It was difficult to take photos because there were many cars. I had to take photos with leaves blocking my view. What a frustration, but here are the photos!!!

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We got our Big Five and Four Cheetas!!! It was only 11.00am!

When we passed the Sunset Dam this beautiful picture …… our second sighting of buffalo that morning.

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 Post subject: Re: THE BEST EVER 38 DAYS IN KRUGER!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:34 pm 
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The next morning we decided to drive to Crocodile Bridge. One kilometre outside Lower Sabie we came across this male lion. He was obvious still half asleep! After a huge yawn, he stretched against the tree and disappeared into the bush.

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Near Crocodile Bridge two male lions. There was a terrible traffic jam. We stayed for a while and were entertained by the one male roaring……

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CB is a lovely camp with a tranquil atmosphere. I felt the tranquillity while watching this bird drinking water. CB will be our last camp before leaving Kruger. But that is still to come.

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On our way back we saw that the two lions were still there. Because of the traffic jam we didn’t stay too long.

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There were warthogs at the Duke Waterhole who enjoyed playing in the mud!!

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In the afternoon we went to Sunset Dam. There is always something to watch. There are the usual hippos, crocs, baboons or birds. Then the most amazing thing happened! Two cheetahs suddenly appeared. They casually walked to the dam, looked around for a few minutes and then disappeared as quietly as they came ….. I think this tableau in front of us did not last longer than 5 minutes!!! I am sure everybody watching held their breath…… especially with the crocs so near the cheetahs!
Then my cellphone rang. It was my son from London asking what we were doing. I told him that he won’t believe me if I tell him that we just saw two cheetahs at Sunset Dam. It was so good to share it with our son.
Cats at Sunset Dam? Who would have believed that!!!

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A beautiful way to end the day at Sunset Dam.

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 Post subject: Re: THE BEST EVER 38 DAYS IN KRUGER!!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:50 pm 
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Our last day at LS. We followed the same road hoping to find the beautiful leopard again!! That was asking a bit too much.!!!!
All that we could find was these footprints on the gravel road before you turn to the H10 where we saw our leopard two days ago.
Could this be the footprints of a leopard???? Have we missed our leopard? :( :(

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From the N’wagovilla Hill this view.
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On our way back a huge herd of ellies were going in the direction of the N’wagovilla Hill.
We turned back to the viewpoint. It was amazing how fast these ellies were moving.
They never stopped, not even to drink water before crossing the river.

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Another big ellie near the N’wagovilla Hill. I was looking at the photo of the big ellie which I posted with the cheetahs.
Could it be the same ellie?
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It is amazing what you can watch in the camp. Early one morning we watched this mother feeding the "baby".
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The diversity of animals that you usually see at Sunset Dam.
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Some interesting sightings:
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Maybe this little one says: Enough for today!!!

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 Post subject: Re: THE BEST EVER 38 DAYS IN KRUGER!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:52 pm 
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MAROELA is one of our favourite camps. Our stay at Maroela was very special. Not only did 4 of our friends from the Strand joined us at Maroela but I saw wild dogs for the first time in my life!!!!!!
I want to thank our friends for the good memories we shared, even a very bad tempered ellie next to the fence …… We were scared, it was dark, he trumpeted and came charging for the fence. All lights were switched off, even the candles. Nobody even dared to whisper!! He came back and stood near the fence. That fence was not strong enough to keep an angry ellie out!!! Never shine sharp lights in the eyes of ellies. People are so inconsiderate.

The wild dogs were a highlight!! We saw them lying in the grass near the road. We waited for a long time before they eventually stood up and we could see them clearly. Then they disappeared into the bush. I have seen wonderful photos of wild dogs that other forumites have taken. I envy them those wonderful sightings, but I am so glad for the few minutes that we could see them!!

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We also had a quick glance of a hyena before he disappeared. The next day we saw another one.
We also saw a jackal near Orpen.

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The warthogs are always such fun to watch. I love them!!! These photos were taken at Girivana.

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The Scops Owl at Timbavati picnic spot.

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Impi’s showing off next to the fence at Maroela.

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A lioness with 3 cubs on our way to Maroela. Unfortunately we could not see them very clearly.

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 Post subject: Re: THE BEST EVER 38 DAYS IN KRUGER!!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:15 pm 
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After Maroela 2 of our friends went south on their way back to Cape Town.
Our 2 other friends remained with us for the next 12 days.
My eldest son already left for Cape Town. He departed from the East Gate Airport in Hoedspruit

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A few more photos of our lovely sightings in the vicinity of Maroela.

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 Post subject: Re: THE BEST EVER 38 DAYS IN KRUGER!!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:24 am 
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Tawny and Sharifa: The Impala Lily is beautiful.
At Shingwedzi I saw a "real" impala next to the impala bush.
I thought it was cute!

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Hilda: I see you are almost on your way to KNP. Have a great trip.
Bring back beautiful memories and photos!

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 Post subject: Re: THE BEST EVER 38 DAYS IN KRUGER!!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:43 am 
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RHINO:
I dedicate this post to all the rhino who have been butchered and those who hopefully will survive this brutallaty.


Because of the terrible way the rhino are being butchered we were not sure if we would see any rhino during our stay at KNP. Fortunately we saw a few. Whenever we stopped to look at a rhino I felt very sad. How terrible that unmerciful and greedy people kill these animals for their horns. What a sad thought that they may become extinct in a few years. What if the next generation can only look at pictures ……
I have read The Last Rhino by Lawrence Anthony, who also sadly died earlier this year. I do not know him but he must have been a great person and conservationist. I have also read his other book The Elephant Whisperer where he saved the matriarch Nana and her family. And the book Babylon’s Ark: the incredible wartime rescue of The Baghdad Zoo.
I hope that somehow this brutal barbarity against the rhino and all other animals will be stopped.

When there is danger this small bird can fly away, but the big, beautiful rhino is the vulnerable one ..........
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What a privilege to have seen these rhino. When I look at these photos I wonder if they are still alive ........

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 Post subject: Re: THE BEST EVER 38 DAYS IN KRUGER!!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:03 pm 
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Our next camp was Satara.
On our first morning at Satara giraffes were strolling near the fence next to our campsite.
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Every night we had the regular hyena next to the fence. We called him "Wagter".
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Even this special visitor came to our camp …..
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And of course the most photographed scops owl at Satara.
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Thinking about the Nsemani Dam I have mixed feelings. During our previous visits at the dam we were blessed with wonderful sightings.
We have seen a herd of more than 300 buffaloes drinking water. That was very amazing.
We have also seen the cruel side of nature. I wrote the sad story about the two lionesses in a previous TR. The one lion had a broken hip. When the sister tried to make a kill, they were chased by ellies. It was sad to see how the injured lioness tried to run. They were already weak. I will never forget whenever the lioness failed to make a kill, she came back and lie in front of the injured lioness as if to say: “I am sorry.”

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One afternoon while sitting at Nsemani Dam a lioness appeared out of the bush.
She looked around, disappeared again and reappeared on the road.
She walked to the other side of the road, she look bewildered with all the cars near her.
Then she disappeared into the bush!

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The next day we took the S100. It turned out to be a good day. We saw lions mating next to the road.
We stopped for a while, but they were very lazy.
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Then we went to the N’wanetsi Dam where we met our friends for a brunch.

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On our way back we stopped at the lions again. They were in no hurry and very playful.
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This was our 19th day in KNP. This means we are in the middle of our holiday!
At this stage we have seen 16 lions; 52 still to go ……!!
!!!

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