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DB's 72hrs in KNP : June 2006

Tell us about your breathtaking experiences in the parks

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DB's 72hrs in KNP : June 2006

Unread postby DinkyBird » Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:26 pm

Leaving really early tomorrow and due to arrive in Kruger on Wednesday about lunch time. Meeting DQ and GP on Friday at Balule. Will sms my sightings in and see you all again next week!
Last edited by DinkyBird on Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby Jaco V » Wed Jun 07, 2006 2:16 pm

Just in from DB:

Last time we were here I had tears in my eyes....right now my heart is singing! Croc River, Malelane Gate
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Unread postby Jay » Wed Jun 07, 2006 7:15 pm

just in from DB:

"This afternoon the air was hot and still, the sky blue and the veld...Eden. Perfect. Cool in camp now. Listening to hippo's and bats."

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Unread postby gwendolen » Wed Jun 07, 2006 7:15 pm

Loving it. Stars are so bright even tho it is a half moon.


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Unread postby Jaco V » Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:57 am

They saw 3 of the big 5 yesterday. Lion, ellie and Buffs
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Unread postby gwendolen » Fri Jun 09, 2006 1:49 pm

Came in last night:

It is magic here at balule. Camp is so quiet and peaceful. Just fires, hyena calling...so special.


18.32 Aborted our braai, puring with rain now.

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Unread postby Jaco V » Fri Jun 09, 2006 3:47 pm

Ok, now I am seriously jealous!!!

DB:
Had a fab leopard sighting this morn. A young one stalked impala...did not see if he had any luck. Where only ones at sighting the whole time :D. 7km from Olifants
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Unread postby gwendolen » Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:54 pm

Just came in:

Just left the park. :cry: 2 rhino sightings makes big 5 for us this trip. also large herds of zebs and male lion today. Park is looking stunning. Had a great evening with DQ + GP.

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:06 pm

bert wrote:Could be their best trip by far
The big 5 and DQ and GP as bonus 8)
Wonder if it was a quiet nite :?

It was not...and if you are arranging a meet in Kruger...Balule is not the camp for it. By 8pm one can hear a pin drop and we had not started on the red wine yet!

What a bonus to meet those two tho - had a super great evening with them.
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Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:08 pm

Home after a jolly long trip - four days of complete driving to get up to Balule from EL and back, but worth every minute. Kruger is looking lovely and I will post a report asap. I need to really thank my SO who drove every one of the 3652Kms without a single complaint....95% towing a caravan. Oh and the Landy - you did well old truck!!
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Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:32 pm

A quick pic to just show you all how beautiful the Park is looking....Sunset Dam, lunch time, Sat 10 June 2006:

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:06 pm

The First 24 Hours:
We left our overnight stop when it was still pitch dark outside (and below freezing) and headed towards Johannesburg. A tip for those like ourselves who are not used to the “traffic” – allow extra time for the Johannesburg traffic. We were stuck, moving forward inch by inch and covering a couple of kilos in just an hour!! Granted it was 7.30am but it meant less time in Kruger :evil:

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My heart burst with joy as we crossed the Crocodile River at Malelane and I felt that surge of excitement one feels upon arrival at Kruger. We were check through the gate in no time by very efficient and friendly staff.

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Keeping to posting 4 pics a post so the report will continue in different posts.
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Unread postby DinkyBird » Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:22 pm

Next thing was to crack open a Windhoek and celebrate our arrival and the start of our 72 hours in Kruger. It was wonderful to be back – the sky was blue and clear and stretched all around me, the air was hot and still and the veld looked like Eden. After the monkeys at the gate our first sighting was of impala – I love the graceful antelope with their huge eyes.

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A slow drive along the H3 and then the H1-1 took us to Pretoruiskop and along the way we saw a herd of buffalo, ellies and a lioness walking very purposefully along the veld. There was the usual traffic jam at the sighting so we moved on (hope we don’t sound too blasé here).

We arrived at Pretoruiskop with an hour to spare to gate closing time and set up camp, explored the new restaurant area and noted that new cottages were being built and greeted the resident impala herd. As dusk fell the camp was quiet and peaceful and we enjoyed our first braai of the trip listening to a hippo not far off.

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The yellow cloth ensures a constant supply of YR - I cut it up into strips.
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P/kop is a lovely clean camp - I had to smile at the brightly coloured brooms being used out in the wilderness.

Early the next morning we were up and outside brewing a pot of coffee long before dawn …. I love watching daybreak. After packing up we stopped at Shitlhave Dam for a second coffee and rusks before heading up to Balule.

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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:11 am

Just a thought DB, and for non Gauties, if you are overnighting in Joburg, try to stay on the East Rand, like Benoni (from where our Charlise hails - she is a patron of My Acre of Africa, but I digress).

It is easy to get on to the N10 and the traffic is going in the other direction, hence more time in Kruger.
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Wed Jun 14, 2006 7:59 pm

The next 24 hours or so...
Our drive from Pretoruiskop was uneventful and, unless I was really blind, lacked any sightings of any significance. I really missed seeing the baboons on the bridge over the Sabie River, the herds of impies, giraffe etc along the way to Satara. Perhaps it was due to the unseasonable shower of rain that fell? The skies had cleared by the time we arrived at Tshokwane for brunch. (I am really going to try one of those Kruger brekkies that were being cooked at the picnic site – the air smelt so good!! Yum!) And the starlings at Tshokwane were delightful and I always love meeting them there. What chatterboxes! After leaving the picnic site, we passed an ellie, 1 buff, some impies and a lone warthog at Kumana Dam…..

Balule – ah…… my favoruite camp site from this day on. We were greeted with the warmest welcome and told we needed to book in at Olifants first. We choose a site carefully, parked the caravan and set off to book in. Halfway through our braai that evening the heavens opened and it poured! We aborted our attempt to braai!

Balule is delightful, the smell of paraffin lamps in the ablution blocks and the pure silence is so special. I fell asleep with the curtains wide open and a wonderful view onto the moonlit veld….hyenas whooping in the distance, a hippo laughing and far off...a lion roaring….

Next morning it was coffee before dawn at the fence at Balule and then we set off on a drive over the low water bridge near the camp…..

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