Post subject: Tabs' visit to Kruger : 31st July - 10th August 2006
Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 11:50 pm
Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:21 pm
Unfortunately I failed to display a yellow ribbon during my 10 day trip to Kruger - we saw 3 cars with yellow ribbons attached but they passed us by on the opposite side of the road and we did not get a chance to see other forumites during the trip.
However, we had a great time in Kruger - especially whilst staying at Byamiti, Talmati and Sirheni bushcamps.
My favourite camp was Sirheni - it was so peaceful. We had so many sightings of buff, crocs, hippo, ellies, antelope etc and so many birds in camp that we were reluctant to go on game drives incase we missed something in the camp!
However - a warning! In Talamati there is a troop of +/- 17 baboons who live around the riverbed and who have learned how to open the doors of the cottages!
Within our 3 night stay they raided two cottages (including ours - what a mess!) and we chased them off from a 3rd cottage which they were attempting to enter.
There are no locks on the doors of the accomodation in Talamati and the baboons have learned how to open them.
We were lucky in that we arrived back in the camp shortly after the 17 baboons had entered our cottage - but the dominant male was in one of the bathrooms and we couldn't get him out.
Having locked him in the bathroom so that we could move to another cottage - ours was uninhabitable as the baboons had defacated in every room and on the beds - a Ranger was dispatched from Orpen to deal with it.
However, the Ranger was pretty inefective as he did not appear to know how to handle the situation.
The baboon was eventually released following advice from one of our party and one of the domestic staff in the camp, who had dealt with a similar raid on another bungalow the previous day.
The baboons at Talamati are a problem they arrived at our cottage within 3 minutes of us unloading and immediately tried to steal our food - they circle the bungalows constantly and we spent a lot of time chasing them away from our verandah during our 3 nights there.
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:21 pm
Bushpig and Brett saved the day however....
Not only did they connect well with Gordon and Nathan but they gave us the experience of a lifetime as they had booked us into 3 bushcamps in Kruger, which were all brilliant, and had booked the best available accomodation in the main camps.
In addition Brett, a Cordon Bleu chef, cooked us the most incredible food (I hate him for this as I have put on so much weight!) and bushpig put herself out so much to make our holiday enjoyable.
I had a lot of 'first' sightings during the holiday including a Black Eagle and a Grey Rheebok in the Cederbergs and too many other birds and mammals in the north of Kruger to mention here.
Nathan's, who is 15 years old, only desire was to see elephants - the Big 5 was not a consideration - and he saw plenty of them in addition to our great sightings of buffalo, lion, rhino and the many herbivores and small carnivores that we were priveledged to see and observe during our stay in Kruger......
Our favourite camp during this trip has to be Sirheni although we enjoyed all of the camps that we stayed in.
Gordon and Nathan were also very impressed with the knowledge that bushpig, Brett and myself had about the animals, the vegetation - read trees(bushpig's speciality!)- and the environment which we have learnt about via Wildlifecampus and EcoTraining.
They absorbed everything that we told them and eventually lost their fear of being eaten alive by anything that moved (or roared in the night) and were able to walk around the bushcamps alone without feeling at risk although they also learned to respect the animals and keep their distance.
On leaving Kruger *sob* we drove to Pretoria to be met by my dear freind Essie (a WLC student/Africammer)who had offered to put us up for the night and who had arranged a dinner in the Menlyn Centre for some of my SA friends.
Whilst in Essies garden I managed to see a few birds that I had not seen before, including a Golden Tailed Woodpecker which Essie assured me did not occur in her garden! However I had managed to get a reasonably good photo of it and, with the help of Essie's 11 year old neice, I had positivly identified.
I had invited a few Joburg and Pretoria friends to the dinner but, as it was on a Thursday, some could not make it because they had to be at work early the next day - or that was their excuse anyway!
Whatever - we had a great evening with Essie and Jacks, Paul (cameraman from Africam) and Antorika (ex-africam and WLC) and Lorraine.............
........and I am already planning my next adventure to Africa!!!
Nathan was particulary well advised on the day that 17 Baboons raided our cottage at Byamiti - by that time he had learned enough to know when it was wisest to stand-off or whether to confront problem animals!
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