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 Post subject: AndreaB: A brand new page....more tales from KNP - Feb 2013
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:37 pm 
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So, the bookings are all made, the bags are packed and the plane leaves Friday night.
Hopefully we wont have the 24 hour delay of last year....

16 days in the park, our longest stint up til now, 16 days of adventure and excitement!

A new notebook and pen lies waiting in my rucksack together with a camera, hopefully we will be able to bring back wonderful tales of our time in Kruger :D

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 Post subject: Re: A brand new page....more tales from KNP
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:06 pm 
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Thanks so much for the kind wishes everyone :gflower:

Last year snow delayed us by a whole day and made us miss our own welcome back braai which really sucked, as there is talk of snow again on Friday I am starting to get nervous about history repeating itself :(

One way or another we will get there though and first have 4 days in luxury just outside Kruger followed by a leisurely drive up to Satara for 4 nights on a perimeter bungalow. We then move down to L.Sabie for 4 nights in a river view safari tent and will round off our adventures at Biyamiti for a further 4 nights.

Last year was the year of the cheetah on our roof, going to be hard to top that but I bet we can come up with something :D

So save us some sunshine and see ya on Saturday my beloved SA :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: A brand new page....more tales from KNP
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:25 pm 
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So I am sitting on the deck of our river view safari tent at L Sabie, I just watched the sun go down with a glass of Amarula in one hand and a thick rump steak on the braai. The hippos are chatting away to each other and there were a pair of fish eagles hunting in front of us. Can it really get any better than this?? :D

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 Post subject: Re: A brand new page....more tales from KNP
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:52 am 
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Did you have some good sightings while driving around the Satara area? Or perhaps from your bungalow?


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 Post subject: Re: A brand new page....more tales from KNP
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:53 pm 
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Yes, the first 500m down the S100 we saw a leopard with 2 cubs crossing :dance: unfortunately too quick for photos....
However..... we came across another one with a baby this morning and managed to get plenty of photos of them crossing a stream - magical :D

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 Post subject: Re: A brand new page....more tales from KNP
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:49 pm 
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Back at LS for a break. A buffalo is having a fat snooze in the river opposite our tent lucky thing, it is very hot at the moment, we have had up to 41degrees so not too many sightings today. Will head up to Tshokwane later for some more of their lekker carrot cake! Remind me to tell you about my VERY close encounter with a honey badger....


P.S Nkulu kitchen is closed for renovations in case anyone was thinking of stopping off there

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 Post subject: Re: A brand new page....more tales from KNP
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:05 pm 
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Well, that went quick! :?

As you can gather from my intermittent blogging we made it safely and on time to SA despite a heavy snow storm in Frankfurt that threatened to cancel our flight :sniper:

Everything went like clockwork through the horror that is otherwise known as passport control and within the hour we were on our way for a flying visit to good friends for a catch up and the odd drink or two...

Sunday morning we headed off towards Croc. Bridge to stay in M.Park for a couple of days just stopping off in Malelane to stock up on a few basics incl. the odd bottle of Amarula (you know we never touch the stuff anywhere else other than Kruger and even my teetotaller hubby has a dop with me :) )

We had planned having a few days of sun around the pool but how can you look across the Croc. River and watch the animals coming down to drink without actually going in yourself, so next day we packed our cameras and set off with great expectations!!

I was curious to see how the increased security would look so I was a little disappointed when I saw only one chap standing at the gate at CB and no packs of slavering German Shepherds armed with AK's.... We were waved through and immediately set off down the S28 heading up for L.Sabie

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It was already quite late and very warm so most of the animals had sought the shade but we did manage to find a few brave souls..

I would love to know what this croc was grinning about :D

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 Post subject: Re: A brand new page....more tales from KNP
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:09 pm 
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With no real plan in place we got a little over ambitious and ended up driving from CB to Malelane via LS and Skukuza. We would have exited via CB again as we wanted to check that the Biyamiti crossing was open but as we trundled along the S25 keeping a nervous eye on the clock we met a bakkie where the occupants eagerly told us about a herd of psycho ellies just down the road with one particularly evil individual who had chased the French guy behind him for about 1km :hmz: Taking one look at the aforementioned Frenchman's very pale face we decided that discretion was probably the better part of valour (not to mention that we were basically chicken) and we did a quick u-turn, deciding to leave psycho ellie for another day.....

A few of the sights during our marathon sprint...

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Look away arachnaphobes!!

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Spa bliss...

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High noon..

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Beeeeeeeeg sky country ...

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 Post subject: Re: A brand new page....more tales from KNP
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:39 pm 
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Destination Satara! A lovely, long trip entering at CB lay before us, we decided to take the tar road up towards LS. Again it was very hot and by ten or so it was already 34 degrees!!

The SO spotted this cutie trying to hide in the long grass:

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Before we came across this pair having a trunk wrestling competition:

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A quick stop off at Sunset...

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We made good ground and decided to push on past LS to Tshokwane and have a lekker lunch there. I always used to love their kudu wors rolls and pap but since kudu is now officially my favourite buck it's off the menu so I was looking forward to some of that lekker melk tart! I was however, terribly disappointed to find the shop closed until further notice!! We saw some guys wrestling with some enormous cables across the river so I think that the electricity was probably off. By this time we were starving so we pressed on to Satara to have a quick bite and get out on to my favourite road in the park, the S100 :dance:

I know its a bit like supporting Man Utd but there is just something about the S100 that fills me excitement and expectation everytime we take that left turn coming from Satara! We had literally just made the turn off and were checking out some stunning vultures in a tree:

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The SO then squinted and mentioned that there were monkeys up on the road so we slowly moved on, suddenly it became very apparent that we were dealing with something quite different. Ahead of us a leopard was crossing the road with 2 tiny cubs! Despite frantic grabbing of cameras we were unable to get a shot as they disappeared into the tall grass on the other side :(

Despite our disappointment we carried on determined to better next time :?

As we drove under some shady trees I spotted this lot hacking around on the branches, digging out great chunks of wood and then contemptuously throwing them on the ground...

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 Post subject: Re: A brand new page....more tales from KNP
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:20 pm 
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We had a perimeter bungalow and I was busy making supper that evening the SO shouted "Honey badger!""I rushed over and believing I saw a shadow crouching in a bush I took a photo praying I would be able to recognise something. When I checked the photo I found that I had a lovely selection of photos of a big rock..... :redface:

We woke up to another scorcher and jumping in our trusty rental car we set off in search of further adventures. As we bowled down the S41 we encountered these ladies and gents off on a mission:

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Somewhat further on we then across our first (documented) pussy cats:

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We cut across and headed for the Timbavati picnic site, it was getting hotter and hotter by this time:

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I have never driven the Timbavati Road before and I absolutely loved it, due to the heat we didnt see a lot of game but the scenery alone was worth the while. It has shot to number 2 in my list of favourites now :D

Coming to the bottom of the road we found a very large herd (?) of giraffes and had a good giggle at watching one particular courting pair trying to get cosy. Apparently she had vaseline or something on her back because any time he mounted her he slid right off again :redface:

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This handsome chap was chilling:

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I am also developing a bit of a thing for baboons :D

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This BB Jackal flashed in front of us and was gone in a heartbeat

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And some more birdies....

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 Post subject: Re: A brand new page....more tales from KNP
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:28 pm 
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Off to the Sweni Hide and we met a lovely couple there who had recently taken over the management of the restaurant. We had a very enlightening talk which made us understand far better the challenges that they were facing. They were kind enough to share a tipple of Amarula when we were trapped for a while as a violent storm blew in from nowhere, drenching us and dropping the temperature significantly.

Somebody told us that 3 poachers had been killed close to Sweni in the previous week. Personally I think they deserve everything they get, I save my tears for the rhino...

As we eventually pulled out of Sweni we ran into a military vehicle patrolling the area, it was full of some heavily armed, extremely fierce looking soldiers, would not like to be a poacher running into those guys :clap:

A beautiful, relaxed ellie with no psycho tendencies..
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These horns are really handy for some serious scratching
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A very elegant birdy
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This little one had such an angelic face
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We also discovered a new species, the PushmiPullyou Guinea Fowl :D
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Pulling into camp I reminded the SO to keep a camera handy in case the honey badger came back that evening. I was walking around the corner of the rondavel to the entrance with my arms full of camera bags when I literally bumped into the honey badger coming from the opposite direction :shock:

I screamed, he snarled and we both fled in opposite directions. :? Quickly grabbing the camera I ran after him, he had run behind the rondavel and came out a few huts further. He didn't seem too bothered by all the attention and carried on with his mission of scavenging his supper:

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The SO managed to grab a quick snippet of video, check out those claws!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tOLMEWNZ6E&list=HL1363288998&feature=mh_lolz

Well, that made my day, honey badgers must be the coolest animals in the world, love how he struts his stuff :dance:

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Last edited by AndreaB on Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A brand new page....more tales from KNP
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:15 pm 
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AndreaB wrote:
This BB Jackal flashed in front of us and was gone in a heartbeat

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Thanks for TR ! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Someone may correct me if I'm wrong, but me thinks that ain't no BB Jackal.
Looks like a SS Jackal to me....

Good sighting !!! :clap: :clap: :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: A brand new page....more tales from KNP
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:07 pm 
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We had 4 nights at Satara that went by in a flash, for me that area has the most diversified drives and game and it will always be top of my itinerary!

2 strange incidents however whilst we there, the infamous, mysterious car accident outside the gates which SanParks seemed to want to sweep under the carpet... Also, our neighbours said that when they were looking at the sightings board your average, middle aged white male was asking everybody if they had seen any rhino ??? Bizarre and a little disconcerting....

So we were off to Lower Sabie and a safari tent, my favourite accomodation... :dance:

To be continued!

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 Post subject: Re: A brand new page....more tales from KNP
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:16 pm 
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Sharifa - I couldnt let a chance like that go by :-)

Trrp-trrrrrrrr - Honey badgers rock :dance:

Sheenaugh-Lee - I read so much about the honey badgers at Satara and was thrilled to finally see one in action :D

One last glance at the wonderful view from our rondavel, it was fantastic to sit drinking your coffee in the morning watching the game from your own stoep..

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One last drive down the S100 and then down towards LS via the Sweni Hide and the S37, it was another hot and sunny day but a few hardy souls had still ventured out.

More friendly elephants...

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More feisty elephants, luckily busy with each other :pray:

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An Out of Africa scene

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A cheeky chap

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Even the wildebeest youngsters didnt want us to leave :(

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And this grasshopper did his best to stop us by blocking our view through the windscreen...

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The baboons were offended and completely blanked us!

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 Post subject: Re: A brand new page....more tales from KNP
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:25 pm 
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As we travelled down the S37 it was very quiet, a few giraffe and warthogs as well as the ubiquitous impies. I spotted an elephant or two and as I looked more closely I saw more and more, it was the biggest herd we had seen to date, around 70 ellies munching their way through the bush. No photos as the SA is becoming a real elliephobic and just wants to get past them as quickly as possible :?

Suddenly I spotted something unusual, 2 men dressed in camoflage holding some very serious looking weaponry... My heart stopped for an instant, could they be poachers?? Then the brain kicked in and I realised they must belong to the anti poaching units. Nudging the SO I hissed - smile and wave!! Waving like loonies at the men they gave us the once over and raised their arm in recognition. Sad that you have to contemplate who are the goodies or baddies whilst driving around the park but rather bump into the good guys than the dementors :evil:

A couple of miles out of Tshokwane we sat and watched this family crossing the river:

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Stopping off at Tshokwane we were thrilled to find it open for business this time, one large slice of carrot cake and milk tart later we headed on down towards LS stopping occasionally to meet a few of the locals:

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This bunch posed nicely for a family photo!

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And this poor baby was not looking terribly healthy:

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As we crossed the bridge the SO spotted this croc trying to finish off his dinner, he seemed to be using all his energy just to hang on to it! We waited for a while and eventually he managed to get a good grip on it and swam off, hopefully to eat it! Talk about biting off more than you can chew!

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