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 Post subject: Re: Australia to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:25 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:26 am
Posts: 203
Location: Perth Western Australia
Well at long last I've got time to get back to my TR. I've been very busy with my art and craft - getting ready for our Art Group Christmas Exhibition and Sale of Work.

I really appreciate all the lovely comments from t-bal, hilda, Trrrp trrrrrrr, isinkwe, Pumbaa, Surf Cindy, Barrels, Rooikat, Meandering Mouse, Kaapsedraai, Cape of Storms, Toeelelfe, and Melph68.
I was so good that you could join us on the truck and that our driver showed us some wonderful sightings.

The next day we drove to from Satara to Skukuza. I think I must have worn out my camera finger the night before as I hardly took any photo's the next day. I think we were both rather tired and just enjoyed looking instead of trying to photograph at the same time.

Here's a couple of photo's on the road -


Image

Isn't it lovely how elephants appear to be smiling - I'm sure its just us humans seeing them in a human light not as a wild animal.


Image

This one surprised us - we didn't see him/her until we were really close. Luckily he didn't take offence at us being so close.

Image

I'm sure there must have been something to eat on these trees - but only a giraffe could find it.

Image

A lonely looking impala with only his oxpeckers for company.


Image

I'm not sure on this raptor. I think its an African Hawk Eagle but the markings and feathers near the eye's don't seem to fit my reference photo's. Any other opinions?

Image

And of course I couldn't resist a photo of Tchokwane (that's not us in the photo).


Eventually we arrived at Skukuza and found out we had the same chalet as we had about a week prevously.

Image

We quickly unpacked and went to find our granddaughter- she was out driving still. So then went and found the 2 couples we were doing the Bush Braai and sunset drive with. None of us had ever met before so it was nice to find that they were easy to get along with.

My next part of this TR will be on the drive with the 8 of us. Our granddaughter and her friend, a couple from England, a couple from Italy and us.
It was an amazing evening and will probably take up a couple of pages to tell about.


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 Post subject: Re: Australia to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:42 am 
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Nothing wrong with enjoying the sightings without taking pictures Impyim! :D

That Ellie really looks as if he is smiling! They are not bad without reason! It is human behaviour towards them that makes them angry. :thumbs_up:

Thank you for another lovely painting of your chalet! :clap: :clap:

Looking forward to your Bush Braai and sunset drive episode! :dance: :dance:

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"Happiness, I have discovered, is nearly always a rebound from hard work." - David Grayson


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 Post subject: Re: Australia to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:07 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Another lovely water color :thumbs_up:

Elephants certainly have a wide range of emotion. The elephant rumble is a very special sound.

I am looking forward to hearing about your bush braai. It sounds as though there is something good on the menu.

:popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Australia to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:16 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Some more great photos and a fabulous Watercolor!

Quote:
It was an amazing evening and will probably take up a couple of pages to tell about.
CAn't wait!

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Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: Re: Australia to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:29 am 
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Another wonderful drive with great :cam: all around :dance: :dance: .

Another lovely water color :thumbs_up:.

Can't wait to hear about the bush braai :popcorn: .

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 Post subject: Re: Australia to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:31 am 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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impyim,

Beautiful water colour. :clap: :clap: ..nice to have got the same unit again. :dance:

Looking forward to hear all about the Bush braai and drive. 8)

Thanks for sharing :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Australia to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:48 am 
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Location: Lost somewhere in the travel tales,and don't want to be found
:D to have you back again :thumbs_up:
wonderful painting :thumbs_up:
cant wait for the bush ImageImage

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28 July - 2 August - Maroela ( armed with Amarula)
3 August - 7 August - Crocodile Bribge


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 Post subject: Re: Australia to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:28 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year & Sighting of the Year - Small Creatures and Insects (2013)
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impyim, some lovely pics and enjoyable TR so far - love the art work as well. :clap:

There are some periods that one just want to observe and not look at things through a camera lens - that is also good as one tends to concentrate continuously and after a while you do not understand why you are so tired. :D

Look forward to you next few episode - seems to be bumper ones. :thumbs_up:

ps, o, I am seeing some family of some friends of us in the next day or two also coming from Oz to share with them some ideas as they will be going to Kruger at the begin of Jan'14.

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Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13


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 Post subject: Re: Australia to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:39 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:26 am
Posts: 203
Location: Perth Western Australia
Its so nice of you all to comment on my TR. If the other readers of our TR realized that it makes a real difference (their comments) I'm sure more of them would give us feed back.

Kaapsedraai - I'm sure you gave my fellow Aussies some good advise. Its good to get first hand knowledge. Most Australians I talk to think that the only way available to see the animals and birds etc of Africa is with private game parks and operators. Most of the ones I tell about our experiences are amazed that there is other ways i.e. via SANparks website. and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

Back to my TR -

We left Skukuza about 5 p.m. and were informed that we would do a sunset drive and then go to the braai about 6.30.

The first animal we saw on our drive was this hyena and when we came back the same way (about 2 hours later) she was still in basically the same spot.


Image


We drove south and here's a couple of photo's of the sun setting + my very poor version of it (I had a very limited palette with no black in it)


Image


Image



Image


We stopped at Mathekenyane (Granokop) and watched the sun finally set. Here's a photo of all of the passengers on the drive - on the left is my husband, then G'daughter, her friend, myself and then the other 4 people.


Image

and our G'daughter and her friend admiring the view

Image



Just after we left the view point a private car stopped us and said if we took the Malalane road and continued down for about 10 km's then we would see ????? (I'll leave you guessing for awhile).

We were all very excited and really wished that we were allowed to go faster. We were worried we would miss the sighting.

As we came around one corner - we seemed to have gone further than 10 km's our driver/ranger spotted a vulture in a tree (it was nearly dark)


Image


We pulled over to the right hand side of the road and saw an amazing sight. A mother cheetah and her 3 cubs (about 1/3 to 1/2 grown I expect) on an impala kill. We were so pleased that no other predators had driven her off. She was very alert and didn't eat the whole 1/2 hour we watched them. Even the cubs were really watchful. The mother disappeared behind the bushes after about 1/4 hour.
We could just see her occasionally. Sometimes one of the cubs would wander back to where she was and then come back to the hill.

Here are the photo's - these are not very good but the best of the ones I took (I took heaps more) and I'll also try and upload a video (its a bit shaky as I was standing up).

This is the mother


Image

and this not very good photo of all 3 cubs


Image

After that there was usually only 2 of them at a time eating


Image


Image


If you look on the left hand side of this photo there's a 3rd cheetah (don't they blend in well)

Image



Image


Image


By this time I was getting nervous for the cheetah's - I was worried that us being there would attract other predators. I also felt like we had had a great viewing and that we should leave them in peace to finish eating. All told we were there for 1/2 hour or more.

As we left the driver said we had better get going as the braai would be waiting for us.

Well the adrenaline rush was amazing. We (us 4) had never seen a cheetah in the wild, and to see a mother a cubs on a kill was just mind blowing. We couldn't stop talking and babbling about it. We had been so quiet while looking at the sighting that we all let off steam at once.


To be continued.I


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 Post subject: Re: Australia to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:14 am 
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What a wonderful experience it must have been to be with the cheetahs busy eating :dance: :dance: .

Beautiful sunset :cam: and water painting as well :clap: :clap: .

Thanks for sharing :thumbs_up: .

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 Post subject: Re: Australia to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:11 am 
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What a special, special experience. Mathekenyane is my favorite spot for sundowners. I do not believe there is a place more magical.... and then to be followed by such a beautiful and graceful animal/animals..

Love your watercolor. :thumbs_up:

:popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Australia to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:28 pm 
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Wow impyim! What a stunning Cheetah sighting! Absolutely amazing with the three young ones eating! :clap: :clap:

Love your sunset pictures, especially your water colour! :dance: :dance:

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"Happiness, I have discovered, is nearly always a rebound from hard work." - David Grayson


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 Post subject: Re: Australia to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:34 am 
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How great that you could spot the cheetahs - Indeed a lovely sighting, impyim :clap: :clap: :clap:

Great picture of the hyena as well :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Australia to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:38 pm 
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Spectacular night drive and more beautiful water colors

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Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: Re: Australia to Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:08 pm
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Location: Amsterdam, NL
Have just caught up with your lovely TR and am really enjoying it. You have had some wonderful sightings and I am sure there is much more to come. I just wanted to check if it was just me but it would appear that most of your watercolour pictures are no longer visible? It says that they have been removed? I loved the 2 or 3 that I could see :-)

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