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 Post subject: Nico & Yvonne Kruger Leopard Trip
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:45 pm 
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Now we count the hours till Sunday and than we will fly first to Frankfurt and with SA Airlines to JHB. When you see us struggling with the suitcases to reach the wight that is allowed :shock: When you have to pack for 6 weeks to KNP than it's a problem what is important and what not but we will manage. :roll: It's always a long trip but the reward after that makes it absolutely great. Yvonne has her new Canon camera 30D with her and the Canon 300D, so there is work to do as a photographer and cook. :twisted: I am the Taxi driver and Filmer with also two camera's and 20 X[1 hour films] so two jobs too.My son Kevin is our bodyguard when there is a naughty ellie or some pigheaded lions, you never know and he has also a Canon camera 300D so also two jobs. 8) We go to work there and you will wait and see till the end of August. See you all back by than :wink:


Last edited by Nico on Mon Sep 11, 2006 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 12:37 am 
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Goodmorning everybody, a few lines from a very tired woman, who just finished packing :( What a nasty job, but I managed to have just 2 kilos to many, hope they will forgive me for that.

Thanks a lot to all who wished us a safe trip and a great journey. Just a few hours separates us from leaving, CAN'T WAIT TO GET THERE!!

We will keep you updated through the coming 6 weeks, and a lot of you we will meet in SA. Looking forward to meet you!

See you back end of August, with (hopefully) a lot of nice stories and a lot of nice pics.

Stay well, Yvonne B.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:05 pm 
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Pffffffff.... we are home again after a very long trip and an absolutely great time in a great country and in a great park with so much unexpected moments, that,s what nature is, a big friend that likes to share his secrets with you when you're open for it. Hi guys, thanks for all the nice reply,s, sorry that we made you jealous about the leopards :redface: but as I said we're good friends with nature. 8) I know it is strange but believe me, they were there and we saw them all. JB thank you so much to put all our reports on the forum, thanks :littleangel: Tomorrow we will make a start of a very long report with lots of pics but now we have to make a long sleep to become human again. :roll: Yvonne made about 7000 pics and I have 19 hours of film with absolutely great moments. See you tomorrow. :wink:


Last edited by Nico on Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:10 am 
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HELLO EVERYBODY, Good to be back again.

First of all: Again JB, you are the GREATEST to have put all the reports on the forum for us, for such a long time. You are a true :littleangel:

I am sorry that we put so many forumites through so much trouble, by sending all the reports :cry: :lol:
We had such a fantastic time in Kruger, ofcourse because of the incredible things we have seen, but also because of all the old friends we met and the new ones we made.
Spring was very early so we have been seeing trees flowering what we never had seen before, irresistable not to take pics.
I ended up with almost 7000 pics, 39 cd's are full, and I REALLY DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START!!! :roll:

Today I spent the whole day with unpacking, washing (9 times) and sorting everyting out. But tomorrow I will start with the report&pics, promise.

Thank you for all your comments, I laughed my head off!! Some were hilarious. Seriously, we did not take any malaria pills, so that wasn't the trick.

We did a lot of hard work, we were out most of the day for 11 hours a day, and we were ever so lucky to be on the right spot on the right moment.

About my hand: in Lower Sabie our baboonproof duskbin was broken, the steel top was lose from the bottompart. Probably our neighbour in the evening put the steel part up and left it there. In the morning I wanted to throw some stuff away, it was still dark, I wanted to lift up the toppart and all of a sudden the steel part fell down, sandwiching my hand. Two iron pins went in my hand, and something cracked, I almost fainted (which I don't easily do). I didn't want to go to a doctor, eventhough the wounds got infected a bit, I could manage to sort that out, and we made a sort of a brace, and as long as it was on my hand tight and I didn't lift up heavy stuff I was doing quite good. I did not stop making pics, used my leftshoulder a lot, and it worked most of the time. Apart from that: when you are looking in the face of a leopard, you can deal with a lot of pain!
Its fine now, so again I was lucky.

See you soon


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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:04 pm 
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So here we go.
Sunday 16th of July
An early rise, the caretakers for our animals have arrived, and there's so much to tell. Some of the dogs and cats seems to know. Believe me, it's hard to move around with a 70 kg Great Dane in your inner circle. Always a hard moment when we leave. Part of "my family" stays behind, and 6 weeks is long.
I am clumbsey again on the airport. My blouse stays behind the doorknob in the ladiesroom as I turn around, and I manage to strip myself in a wink of an eye, soooo happy that the guys are not around :roll: We leave on time, we're in the back of the plane, with a lady behind us, being sick for a few hours (nasty when you have dinner) and a man in front of us, who collapsed in the middle of the night (diabetic). A long night.

Monday 17th of July
After a quarrel with a porter on Domestic ( he wanted 100R for his services because he was special, and start to threaten us)
we arrived at 1200 hour in Phalaborwa. Picked up our car, Imperial found us the last Condor they had (our favourite car). Picked up a lot of grocery's and walked into this odd sign.
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Around two we passed the gate: WE ARE HOME AGAIN!
The first animal we met was this ellie (we allways make a bet, this time Nico won, for once :wink: )
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There were two more ellies, lots of impala, zebra and a few vulgers. Maybe there was more to see, but we were nearly finished. Arrived at Mopani at 1600, got to our cottage, unpacked, had a light meal, and tumbled into bed before 1900 hour, exhausted but soooo very happy to be back.


Last edited by Yvonne B. on Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:53 pm 
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Tuesday 18th of July
As usual I woke up at 4.00 (looks as if I don't want to miss a second). Nico and I went out at 6.00 (Kevin needed a bit more sleep), for our favourite first-morning-drive: the Shongololo-loop. Long and beautiful, no other cars had been there that morning. Hyena, steenbuck and bushbuck. I thought I picked up a sound, and was still trying to figger out if I heard an ellie, as we found out that I heard an ellie indeed. A lot of trumpeting made us speed, to get in front of an elliebull. We slowed down a bit, and I turned around in my seat, as our hair stood up: with ears wide out, trunk rolled up and in deadly silence, a big bull start to pursue us. Nico drove off fast, and after the ellie stopped, we did as well, on a safe distance. I made the first pic of him
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As I made the second picture, he started to roll up his trunk again, as this picture shows, and the whole thing started again.
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The thing that scared us the most (and we are not so easy to scare off) was the silence when he came after us. After a while he stopped, and so did we, this time on even a safer distance, and I took picture number three. And than he started again, so we decide that this was no fun, and was getting out of hand, so we left fast.
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We found waterbuck, squarrels having a ball and a redcrested korhaan. We heard in Camp that a few weeks before an ellie had attacked a car not far from where we were, and that it might have been the same guy.
We met Sharks and Mirelle and invited them for dinner that evening.
We went out for a late drive and met this gentle elliebull who was in musht and pretty much damaged at his trunk and face. Maybe a battle over a nice lady :wink:
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Just before we got back to Camp we found this little pearl spotted owl. I really love them
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I made a potjie, Sharks and Mirelle arrived, and we had a great evening. When we wanted to drink the Amarula, which I keep in the freezer, it turned out to be deeply frozen. So we had to wait patiently, but it was GOOD! We had lost our YR, and Sharks was so kind to give us a spare one, so we could drive around from that day with a visual sign of this forum.
A great day and a great evening!


Last edited by Yvonne B. on Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:48 pm 
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Wednesdag 19th July, Bateleur
While we were packing the car to move to Bateleur, Nico tripped over a stone and his knee hurt a bit. We drove to Bateleur via the Old Main Road, which was severly burned. Not a lot of animals to see. At the end a pretty squirrel posing for me and a very nice waterbuck. And FINALLY a Purple Roller close and one that was willing to be on a picture. Sometimes one has to be patient :roll:
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We arrived at Bateleur at 1200, and after a warm greeting
from the Dutymanager, we were told that the cottage wasn't ready, but we could have a look to see how far it was. It is hard to discribe the mess that the people before us made in the cottage, we had never seen something like that. The poor housekeeper worked her head off, we helped as much as we could. Around 1330 hour everything was done. We took a rest and when we wanted to make a late drive, Nico twisted his knee very badly. He could not walk anymore, so we stayed in camp for the rest of the day. It worried me a lot, I can tell you, there was still 5,5 week to go. He had to take pain meds to be able to sleep. What a bad luck! The atmosphere in camp is great, you can feel the bush, it is so quiet. We love the bushcamps the most. We have not seen one ellie today.

Thursday 20th of July, Bateleur
We got up early, Nico had slept poorly, his knee was very swollen. We figured that there could be no walks for us this stay in the Park, a pitty, but all we wanted on that moment was that he could walk again. Driving the car was not easy.
Soon after we left camp I found another Pearl Spotted Owl, what a great birds they are.
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On Red Rocks we ended up in a large herd of buffalo, warming up in the early sun, always very impressive.
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We ended up in Shingwedzi where we bought a walking stick for Nico, so he could move around a bit. Met all our friends, except one, who we were visiting (outside camp) and had a great stay with them. On our way back we discovered a
two-headed-fisheagle, very funny, as they kept moving their heads opposite of eachother.
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Halfway Red Rocks we met the first breedingherd of Ellies on the other side of the river. We stayed quit a long time, there were several youngsters and baby's.
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As we drove on the last part of Red Rocks, slowly and looking around us intensively, Nico noticed a tree just in front of us, that act pretty strange. All of a sudden we saw the tree coming down!!! Nico speeded up and just behind the car the tree came down. We sat there just try to figger out what was happening, as we saw a dark shadow behind the tree. Next thing we saw was a young ellie bull, looking around the fallen tree, almost as if he was surprised to see us. We started to laugh, and I took quit a few pics. Finally he started to eat from the tree, well that was what he intended to do in the first place.
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We just hoped that this was the last unexpected encounter with an ellie, because what more was there to expect?
We ended the day with a few drinks, what better of a medicine if one has a lot of pain? In the evening a friend that work in the Camp came to join us to and we had a great evening. Nico started to feel better and better :wink:


Last edited by Yvonne B. on Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:41 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:09 am 
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Friday 21st of July, Punda Maria
A very early rise, up at 4.00 again. It's very cold. We leave Bateleur at 6.30, and drive along Red Rocks Loop. We have to pass 4 herds of buffalo, takes quite a bit of time, but we are not in a hurry. Just before the mainroad we see Tawny Eagle. We stop in Shingwedzi to spot for Mashangadzi (he is not there) and have a coffee, we meet a friend again. We are entertained by a Yellow Billed Hornbill.
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On our way up to Punda, we discover a hyena-denn next to the road, with 2 cubs, only one stays outside. He is still very dark of colour.
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A little bit further on I discover our first lion, a resting lioness, far away. Pretty nice spotting, if I can say so :wink:
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We see a lot of impala, giraffe and zebra's. One of them was pretty damaged, but it didn't seem to bother her at all.
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On the H-13 several male nyala, were back in Nyalaland. In Camp we had a very warm welcome from Mike, duty manager, who told us we were going to be stay in the nicest house of the Kruger. AND HE WAS RIGHT! We knew the cottages were rebuild, but what a beautifull house it had became, with an upside deck that you just didn't want to leave anymore.
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But yeah, the bush was calling, so we went out for a late drive again. A very quiet drive, some nyala, some kudu and impala and our first ellie of the day.
Our sundowner on the topdeck was great, we made a nice meal and we feel just GREAT. Nico's knee was doing a bit better.


Last edited by Yvonne B. on Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 12:51 am 
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Saturday, 22nd of July, Punda Maria
Today we are going to visit on of our most favourite places in the Park: PAFURI!! Leaving at 600, and it is cold but very bright. Close to Baobabhill we see two klipdassies, warming up in the sun,they are soooo cute.
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First we do the Nyala Drive, such a beautiful road, close to Thulamela we see 5 big male Nyala's. Some kudu's and impala's and a group of baboons grooming and warming up. Driving along there's much more big Nyala males, Guineafowls (but not the crested :cry: ), warthogs and more kudu. And there's more big Nyala male, females and calves, at the end of the Drive we have seen 25 big Nyala males, it is just incredible. It's hard to pick out one photo, but this is my favourite
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Ofcourse we went to the bridge crossing the Luvuvhu, still so much water, always a magic place, and now you may alight your vehicle, which ofcourse we did. We had a coffee, sat down and enjoyed it, the sounds, the light, the smell, all.
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We went on our way to Crooks Corner, loads of baboons and many many more Nyala, we have never seen so much big males
on just one day. Just can't stop making photo's.
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At the end of the morning we counted more than 50 big Nyala male, apart from all the females and calves.
This is really new to us, but what a joy.
About 5 km away from the picknickspot, on our way to Crooks Corner, driving very very slowly, and just by ourselves, we came around a turn in the road, AND THERE THEY WERE: our first TWO LEOPARDS!!! A female and her cub were crossing the road. We never get used to the boost of adrenaline that hits you when you see a leopard. Not just because they are so special, but also because you just know that most of the time you have only a few seconds to react. We could not film/make photo's of the mother, she was very shy, and at first so was her cub. They both disappeared in the thick bushes, before we could do anything.
Nico drove the car to the place we saw them disappearing, shut off the engine, and we were just listening and looking. By the alarm of the birds we knew they were still close.
Kevin discovered the cub as first (he is a real good spotter), meaning he could see an little ear. Nico and I both focused, and than the cub came back to have a look at us, very careful. I could make a few pics, and Nico filmed, he thought.
Something went wrong, the camera had a repair just before we left, and now it let Nico down. I was happy to see that the camera survived this, because Nico wasn't happy :roll:
There was so much grass and bushes, this was one of the moments that I would have liked to do some gardening overthere :wink:
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I couldn't decide which photo I liked the best, so I figured that you guys maybe wouldn't mind that I put all three in the report :redface:
We could hear the female calling her cub, and he disappeared again, we were so happy that he had been naughty.
At Crooks Corner a lot of crocs and hippo's. On our way to the picknickspot, a single buffalobull tried to walk through our car, he was very upset for some reason. More nyala's. A great breakfast at Pafuri (I really get better with the skottelbraai, eggs look like eggs now-these-days 8) ) There was a group of vervets robbing other people constantly. At some point they took a big bag of chips out of the car, climbed in a tree, opened the bag, and than it was snowing chips, over the heads of the people. FUN!!!
On our way back to camp just one ellie and a lizard taking a swim. Our late drive (Mahonyloop) was very quiet again, a lot of traffic and dust, and not a lot of animals.
A great day again.


Last edited by Yvonne B. on Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:46 pm 
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Sunday 23rd of July, Punda Maria
We decide to drive to Pafuri again, mainly because we love to be in that area, and love to make breakfast overthere. And I must admit, I hoped for a second chance for Nico to film the leopard and her cub. It feels awful if your camera let you down on a moment like that, I know.
We left at 6, and it was very cold and misty. We took de S60 to the mainroad. We did not take the S59, as usual, because Sharks had warned us, cause he got stuck overthere.
We did not see one animal, not even a hornbill, until we were close to Klopperfontein. Then the sun break through and we met impala, giraffe, zebra and a single buffalo, walking with the zebra
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We took the Nyala Drive again, what a magnificent spot that is, specially the first part, looks like a gorge. We stayed some time on the spot were the vehicle parks if you go up to Thulamela. We spotted a group a nyala, females and calves. And by waiting still, they came very close.
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Driving to the bridge, there was a lot of impala, many more nyala, baboons and warthogs.
The nyala looked a bit scared, and kept staring in a certain direction, but how hard we tried we could not discover why.
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Another break on the bridge, and what a great view it is!
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On the way to Crooks Corner no sign of leopard, but an unusual lot of male nyala again!
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There was a lot of traffic, and speeding!! We had breakfast very late, and this little vervet had a different approach: he did not rob, but tried the seducing act!
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On the way back it was very very warm, did not see a lot of animals. At Camp, the electricity went down, on the moment we were in the shop, buying some water. Every went down, shop closed, took several hours before everything worked again. Our late drive, Mahony loop again, brought us Steenbuck, Sharp’s Grysbok, two ellies (only two today!), two Duikers, and some impala. But it is always great to drive there. It’s our last night at Punda again, time starts to fly again!


Last edited by Yvonne B. on Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 5:23 pm 
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Monday 24th of July, Shingwedzi
Everything packed, but before we left, we felt like driving the Mahony-loop again. Kudu's, Nyala, duiker, one ellie, a lonely hyena, hamerkop, two Cougal's and a Waterbuck in great light
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On our way to Shingwedzi we took the Mphongolo loop, we met a small breedingherd of Ellies. It is pretty warm, and there is a lot of wind.
At Shingwedzi we arrive at the Cottage, and it feels like we have never been away. Spend a little time at the low-water bridge, and there was a croc posing nicely, and all of a sudden a tortoise raced away in front of him. Such an action asks for a picture to be taken
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On our late drive we went to the Kanniedooddam, not a lot of animals. There was a French tourist (we met him already in camp) who was trying to impress his girlfriend a lot. At some moment he went very close to a few ellies, too close at our opinion, and than all of a sudden a young male broke through the bushes, and he was REALLY close. The guy's mouth was wide open, was fun to see
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One ellie took a swim, and the light was stunning
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Just in front of the gate we found a group of baboons grooming eachother, and one of them was really down and out
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Last edited by Yvonne B. on Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:54 pm 
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Tuesday 25th of July, Shingwedzi
I woke up this morning at 3.30 by the lions roaring, and stayed up, with a coffee outside listening to the lions life is beautiful 8). Nico and I drive alone this morning, Kevin needed some extra sleep. We went to Red Rocks. It's very cold again, and on our way to Tshange Outlook we only had a few impala, A Sharpe's Grysbok and 2 Nyalafemale. We had a coffee and a few crackers at the Ourlook and had a good time. Did not see one car this morning, SUPER. The light is very good and there is no wind at all. On our way to Red Rocks I took this pic
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At the lookoutpoint there were two Harlequin Quails (gone before we could take a pic) bee-eaters and stirlings (glossy??) and one of them kept us company all the time
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Driving back to the mainroad (the longer part of the S52) there were some giraffe and impala, quite restless.
We drove slowly, looked around us carefully, and just before we were going to cross the river again, there was a bird alarm.
Nico stopped the car immediately and we listened. All of a sudden there was just a glimp of a spotted coat, and we both almost jumped up: A LEOPARD AGAIN! He/she had gone down to the ground behind a thick piece of wood, in a very dense bush. I went to the backseat, so IF there would be an opportunity to make a shot, we would both have it. After a few minutes, the francolins still got ballistic, we heard the cracking of bones, loud and clear. It was actually very close were she was, not more than 10 meters, but totally invisible.
We both start to wonder, how many leopard had we missed since we came to SA in 2001, because if we wouldn't have payed attention to the birdalarm, and picked up a glimp of the leopard, we would have never known. We stayed there for more than 1,5 hour, while he/she was having brunch, and we were roasted in the sun, and afraid to miss a second, not taking a drink or anything, while it was in front of us. We were focussed at all times, so our muscles started to protest more and more. Than all of a sudden he/she came up, holding a small brownish prey (we think steenbuck) and disappeared in the even thicker bush. Nico filmed it and I was able to take 1 pic, but since I had to focus manually, I never got the time to focus properly, so sorry for the blurrish pic, BUT it is a pic of leopard (and how could we know that there were 11 more to come?)
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We went back home, seeing loads of animals: lot of giraffes with babies as well, zebra, 5 male kudu, herd of buffalo, purple roller, impala and a giraffe that almost choked in on of those green and yellow balls. He spitted the out at last.
Kevin was not too pleased with us, getting his breakfast at about 12.30 :redface:
On the late drive we went to Kanniedooddam again, again more people than animals, and loads and loads of dust.
Before we came back through the backgate I noticed a squirrel with a painfull load in his mouth
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I cooked a lot of food, there were several friends coming for dinner. While I was doing so, the door opened (the cottage has an inside kitchen) and I found myself talking to a strange man :redface: who was totally surprised as well: it was our neighbour that took the wrong door (where did I here such a story again :wink: )


Last edited by Yvonne B. on Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:31 pm 
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Wednesday, 26th of July, Shingwedzi
Woke up at 3.30 again by roaring lions. We left at 6.00 to go to Grootvleidam (S50), where we had been only one time before, a few years back. On our way to it we had one buffaloherd after another, amazing. We past this artwork of nature, wished it was in my backyard
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We had a redcrested boskorhaan close, but this guy just refused to pose for me. We came across a place that is, for some reason, very special to us. We noticed it for the first time in July 2002, when it was full of water, I took a few amazing pics than. After that, we have visited that spot every time when we were in Shingwedzi, but it was always dry, even when there was a lot of water everywhere. So we were so excited to see that there was water again, eventhough it was very green and there were no animals.
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Nico is going to make a painting of this place, with a leopard on the tree, think it will be a great painting.
All of this time we had been alone, no cars at all, what a treasure! We stopped at Nyawutsi Birdhide, which we had never visited before. What a great place that is, beautiful spot, great atmosphere.
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There was a kingfisher fishing quite far, and there were lions roaring quite far. A car stopped, and a man and a lady came in.
After a few minutes the man came to us and asked us if we were forumites (because of the YR), we said yes, and he introduced himself as Greysbok, a new forumite. We had a great time, and ofcourse at some moment the conversation came to Leopards. Greysbok told us one of his favourite sightings, last year August, between Satara and Olifants, when a Leopard make a kill on warthog. Than he said that some lady from Holland put a pic on the forum which he had recognised as the same leopard. Can you imagine that our mouths were open of amazement? Because it was us that were there too, and I was the dutch lady that put the leopard pic on the forum. We were all pretty amazed by such a coincidence, two forumites being on that same very rare occasion.
We went to Grootvleidam, had a coffee overthere. There were zebra, impala and Fisheagle, but very far. It got very warm and we went back, seeing a lot of animals, buffalo, impala, steenbuck, nyala, baboons. A large breedingherd of ellies was playing around in the mud and water close to camp. We took a lot of pics but the light was terrible bright, so the pics were not so nice, but we had a great time watching them. We stayed about 1,5 hours, so we had an even later breakfast this morning (this is getting a bad habit).
We had a phonecall from one of our friends in Shingwedzi that Kevin's graduationparty would defenitely be tomorrow night, so there was another thing to look forward to.
The late drive we spend on the low-water bridge at Shingwedzi, we love being there. There was Hadeda ibis and crocs, and sometimes they got close together
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We spend part of the evening making a list for food and drinks for the party. There was such little stock in Shingwedzi shop (it even would be hard to make a braai for 3 people), that we had to go shopping next morning, a plan that neither of us liked a lot. We decided to go to Mopani next morning very early, and if we couldn't get the things we needed, we would drive to Phalaborwa, to get the rest.
A very surprising day it was today.


Last edited by Yvonne B. on Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:06 pm 
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Thursday, 27th of July, Shingwedzi
Woke up early again by lions (these guys are really busy here), and when we were having our coffee, we noticed a car was leaving camp at 5.30, with high speed. He went in the direction of Punda, and we could hear him accelerate like a racingcar. We were not very pleased by that, since there are already so many animals killed in that area. Looking at the time it must have been a staffmember.
We left at 6.00 for Mopani, figuring this was going to be a very dull morning. Who likes to go out for shopping when you are in Kruger? We were the only ones going in that direction, and it was very cold and misty again.
After about 20 minutes we noticed a large group of Francolins scattered all over the road, thick in their feathers, and not intending to leave. So we stopped for them, feeling sorry that they were so cold. Than we heard sound and before we even could figger out what was going on, just in front of our eyes, a Sanparks truck (the one that is used for drives) RACED RIGHT THOUGH the group of Francolins, and several birds were bounced trough the sky and felt in the grass. We couldn't believe what we saw. Either the driver was blind, fast asleep or total ignorant. We felt disgusted about it and next moment we got furious, and Nico started to persuit the truck. There was a long right stretch of road in front of us, and for a minute or so Nico tried to see if the truck was driving 65km, so that the distance would stayed the same between us. But the truck disappeared in little time, and this vehicle must have been driving AT LEAST 80 km an hour!! We were so angry, and we decided to make a complaint against this driver when we were back at Shingwedzi. Since there were people in the back, we figgured that they would go for a walk, and we kept looking to the truck, to tell the driver off when we found him, but there was no sign of it anymore.
About 10 minutes later, still feeling angry, we did see something in front of us: A LEOPARD WALKING THE ROAD!!! A large male, very relaxed
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We drove very slowly and turned a bit, so Nico could film and I could take a few shots, but I already knew: this is not going to work for me, there is too little light. Next moment we spotted A SECOND LEOPARD, obviously a female
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and we got a bit crazy: this was a mating couple, because normally they don't walk together. Nico turned the car, and I went to back to sit at the same site, and since my worst worry came true now (seeing something ones-in-a-lifetime, while it is too dark to make good pics) I told Nico to don't bother about me, and just do anything to make a good film.
So drove slowly with them, giving me an extra problem: too little light AND from a moving object, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE!
Than they start to mate right in front of us, underneeth some trees, so even less light now, but WHAT A BLESS TO SEE THIS, it was amazing, the sounds the anger towards eachother, we will NEVER forget this, it made our flesh creep
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Specially the moment he steps off, there was such a rage from her to the male. I managed to take this pic on the right moment but by the lack of light every movement gives a blur
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Than they walked for a while, and the whole process repeated, but now almost hidden in the bushes. Afther they walked on again. At some point it almost looked if you saw one animal double
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Another mating was there, again in the bushes, and they walked on again, and there was sun coming in, to my relieve, but the car was till moving, so the results weren't going to be a lot better, but yet so unique
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Than both the leopards started to cross the road, and walked a little while in front of us on the road, they seemed totally undisturbed by us all the time, which felt great.
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Than they got to the other side, and disappeared in a blink of an eye, as only leopards can do, leaving us in total euforie, we couldn't take in what we just witnessed, AND NOBODY ELSE THERE!! We felt this somuch as a special gift, words can't tell.
We went on to Mopani, had breakfast and did our shopping. We went back to Camp and had a conversation with the Dutymanager about the truck that morning. He was shocked and angry, and said that this was not to tolerate, and would make report, but advised us to make complaint with the head fieldguide. We found him only late that afternoon, and he was shocked as well. He knew the guide that was driving that morning, and told us that it was no morningwalk, but a truck full of staff going to Phalaborwa to shop, droven by one of the guides, Juluka. He would take this mather to him. Unfortenately we haven't heard anything afterwards.
We spend the whole afternoon making slaai and other things.
Later that afternoon we drove to the place where we had the party and it was GREAT, good company, good stories, good braai, good drinks, lions roaring, hyeana busy and ellies breaking trees right in front of us.
Late late at night we were escorted back to camp, which was a very new experience to us, the guard let us in, and we sneeked through camp back into our cottage, we felt like we were in highschool again :lol:
This was a day to remember always.

@hope it is not too boring, just having leopard pics this time :roll: :wink:


Last edited by Yvonne B. on Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:51 pm 
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Friday 28th of July, last day in Shingwedzi
Inspite of our "wooden heads" of the evening before, we went out at 6.00, to drive on of our favourite roads, the Mphongolo loop, it was very misty, so we drove over the mainroad to Babalala, and wanted to take the loop back. Didn't see a lot of animals, until we came about 5 km before Babalala. There was a huge buffaloherd, walking beside the road. They made a lot of dust, and with the sun right into the camera, that gave a special effect (I think)
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There was a calf with them that was just born, it was still wet, and could hardly walk, and was kept perfectly hidden between a few cows. It was such a joy to stay with them for a while.
But than an other beautiful creature draw our attention, my favourite bird, the Burchell's Cougal. And eventhough most of the time they are a pain in the b... to take pictures, again we were so lucky, because this one wanted to be a model
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I took about 30 real nice pics of this guy, and I had real trouble in picking one, so I hope you forgive me that I put on a second one as well
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We had a kind of breakfast at Babalala, which is always a great place to be, with a lot of hornbills, and I really like this birds. We drove back to Shingwedze over the loop, an amazing road with trees that are so amazing. There was still a lot of water, and it was all quite green, great to see. There was a few more buffalo's, two big male kudu, some impala's and one elliebull (the first one today). Nearly at the end of the loop there was our luck again. Two white-fronted bee-eaters hunting, and a Brownheaded Kingfisher (quite far). The bee-eaters were busy, and after a little while ignoring us totally. Again took a lot of pics, and again trouble with making a choise
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This was really a comical duo and we had some good laughs about them


Last edited by Yvonne B. on Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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