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 Post subject: Re: Too Late at the Gate Stories
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:00 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Maddie SO and I wouldv'e gladly slept in the car BUT we had Mother in Law with us and she liked her home comforts and was not easy to get along with..and she most probably had left all her pillies that old ladies take back in Skukuza.
We didn't mind passing all those animals cause we wouldn't have seen them otherwise.
Elizabeth

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 Post subject: Re: Too Late at the Gate Stories
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:42 am 
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During 1996 my wife and I toured Zimbabwe for the first time. During our tour we arrived at Hwange National park and drove to Sinamatella where we had booked for the evening. One walk around the camp made us decide it was not for us and we left driving to Robins camp hoping for the best.

We has no problems getting accommodation and after unpacking we had just over a hour left and decided to go for a short drive before pitching the tent an getting settled.

We drove to the salt pans drinking spot and as we approached the rise just before the pans we encountered three Cheetahs strolling down the road. Watching and taking photos took up time and we eventually drove over the rise to the pan giving us an unbelievable sight of the whole area.

We saw Elephants and more and more. We both started counting and both stopped when we got to a thousand. They just kept pouring in and leaving after having a drink. We were eventually completely surrounded and could not move. I have seen large herds in Botswana but never anything like this. This was our first trip outside of South Africa and as time passed we got more and more worried about the gate closing. We need not have worried, at 9.30 when we were at last able to leave, we encountered a Ranger and no explanations were necessary as he had also been surrounded by the herd and could not move.

He took us back to camp and did all the explaining. The guard was still at the gate waiting as he heard about the Elephants; two other tourists arrived shortly after us having encountered the same problem. Needless to say not much time was spend sleeping. We were to busy swapping nervous stories about the afternoons events.


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 Post subject: Re: Too Late at the Gate Stories
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:36 pm 
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1997, On the Mavumbye waterhole road north of Satara, Lions in the road but very aggro. (Found out late a rental motor home killed a cub & picked it up to take to camp :doh: ) One Camry & one BMW damaged, I am alone in a teeny Nissan 1400.

As it gets dark I take my chance & get through but nearly run into the night drive Cabstar driven by a 5foot blonde girl named Kim. :hmz: I tell them about the lions but Freestate Farmer in back seat laughs at my still shaking. :naughty:

2 Minutes later the Cabstar hauls me in & takes me to the gate, apparently the stench in the truck forced them to go back to camp. :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Too Late at the Gate Stories
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:11 am 
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Location: Germany (Bühl) - but dreaming of Africa!
great stories! :clap:

myself being german I haven`t got any too-late-at-the-gate-stories as I´m diciplined and always on time...
:roll: :tongue: :lol:

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KNP-trip No. 7: 2013!
4+5 September: Tamboti
6+7 September: Satara
8-10 September: Metsi-Metsi Trail
11 September Lower Sabie
12 September Berg n Dal
13 September Pretoriuskop

1993, 1995, 1998, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2013. Next trip when?


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 Post subject: Re: Too Late at the Gate Stories
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:54 pm 
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Great stories :D. We also prefer not to be late but I guess anything can happen whilst in Kruger and there might always be a first time.

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 Post subject: Re: Too Late at the Gate Stories
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:57 pm 
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We usually make the gate with about 15 seconds to spare... we're good about things like that :angel: :twisted:

However, once at Lower Sabie... We've just bought a new map book (we're fairly heavy on the map books, and the previous one disintegrated on the last trip), and this new map book had the expanded map with the transfrontier park roads and gate times etc. in addition to the more strict KNP gate times. Of course we looked at the wrong set of gate times! :roll: So after spending a nice 20 minutes or so at Sunset dam, with little happening, it was steadily getting darker, and we decided to go to the low water bridge before returning the camp (with plenty of time to spare, or so we thought). Coming around the corner from sunset time, we spied this okie in uniform standing in the middle of the road in front of the camp gate, looking rather cross. We were on our way past at a steady 20 km/hr when he waved us down and asked where we were going. He was not impressed with our answer. Said it is already 5 minutes past gates closing time! :naughty: :shock: I was wondering why we we're suddenly allowed outside after dark :hmz: , but as it was the first time visiting during October, I put it down to the time of year :lol: . It only the next day that we found out that there was two sets of gate times in the new map book, and that on the Mozambican side, one can stay out half-an-hour later than in KNP proper at that time of year :lol: :lol: :redface:


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 Post subject: Re: Too Late at the Gate Stories
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:29 am 
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Dabchick wrote:
We usually make the gate with about 15 seconds to spare


Whilst at Satara this July every evening there was a long snail paced queue of cars approaching the camp gates moments before gate closing time.

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 Post subject: Re: Too Late at the Gate Stories
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:35 pm 
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The closest shave we had, was when we misjudged how long the Mahonie Loop would take to drive!!!
We could see that the gate was closing, as we drove up the road, and we were ready to accept a fine, but low and behold, the gate opened again, and a smiling guard let us through!!!! :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: Too Late at the Gate Stories
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:55 pm 
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It was our last full day in the park so we took our last drive in the late afternoon, we somehow got carried away saying "goodbye" to all our favourite places, we made it back to Tamboti as the "gate keeper" was closing the gates, we told him it was our last day and he said he understood 8) 8)

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Letaba 23 - 26 December 2014
Olifants 27 - 29 December 2014
Tamboti 30 December 2014
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 Post subject: Re: Too Late at the Gate Stories
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:47 am 
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While staying at Berg n Dal we took a late drive to Afsaal and back. Went into the shop to buy a ice-cream and lo and behold a elephant was standing in the car park right next to our car. We ate the ice-creams in the shop!

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 Post subject: Re:
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:43 pm 
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Gerber wrote:
What if...

You get blocked on a small gravel road by an elephant near Pretoriuskop. The first elephant you see after 4 days on a 5 day stay in the Park. Eventually he lets you pass and now you have to travel at at least 38km/h tomake it in time for the gate.

After 4 km you spot a leapard in the tree. Your son has not seen a leopard (that he can remember) and it lies in a tree close to the road. (the first cat you see since you entered the park). The kids want to see more, dads want to look longer but mother says you have to go. So you leave. an uneasy silence fills the car.

Dads now driving 40km/h (on gravel) and will have to accellerate to 50km/h when we hit the tar raod or we will be late. At the jusction with the tar raod, dad barely stops (as not to loose time) and turns onto the tar accelerating to 50km/h.

Around the first bend the car comes alive with shouts of exitement as a nother road block appear, this time a male and two female lions lay lazily in the road. The second cat siting in minutes after 4 days of rooibokke, rooibokke & more rooibokke :twisted: (rooibokke=impala).

Dad has to stop, your son is excited and even mother forgot about the gate for the moment. But then reality sets in and you have to leave to get to camp (now late :!: ).

The uneasy silence return to the car as mom blames dad for now having to spend hard saved holiday money on a fine at the gate just because a crocodile was interesting at the dam.

We have to stop again, this time at a closed camp gate. hearts are pounding and the gate guard appear dad explains and plea not giving the guard a chance to speak. When eventually dad stops talking the guard opens the gate and let us in, smiling and saluting as we drive past straight to the shop. :shock:

This was about 24 years ago, I was the little boy and surely one of the best gate closing moments I remeber (and there were many others) :wink:


I haven't gotten past the first post yet....

Just had to comment on the "first elephant sighting after 4 days in the park"..... just too unreal :twisted:

More likely scenario... "P'-ed off elephant bull, sick and tired of cars and people, decide to be difficult and block the road for an hour just for the hell of it" :evil: ... or..

"Huge heard of elephants on the way to water.... lots of mom's with calves.... could not pass without getting into serious trouble...." :shock:

Or maybe it's just that way near Shingwedzi and Letaba? :hmz: :twisted:

:lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Too Late at the Gate Stories
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:06 pm 
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Location: Edenvale
August 2010 and it is our first proper trip to the Kruger in 3 years. Our first night was booked at Olifants.
We entered through Orpen gate and stopped for a quick comfort break at Satara as our little one was 11 months old. As we exited Satara SO suggests we go up the S100, her favourite road and take the S41 and S90 all the way up to Olifants. We had about 4 hours so I was sceptical that it is enough time but eventually she convinced me.
Nice sightings up the S100 and just as we approached the S41 junction a huge elephant bull is standing in the middle of the road, not moving. We were to far in to turn around so we had to wait and wait and wait.
After nearly half an hour he moved.
Now we were in trouble to make the gate in time and went up the S41 and S90 between 35 and 40 km/h and did not look for animals because we could not bear missing a sight, so pretended there was no animals on the road.
As we passed the Balule turnoff a pack of wild dogs come running down the road. A first for SO in KNP and my first sighting since 1998. We made up some time so we enjoyed the moment for a while.
We entered the camp at 17:59.

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 Post subject: Re: Too Late at the Gate Stories
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:44 pm 
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Many, Many years ago, somewhere in the 80s we had a reverse late gate story.

This was at Lower Sabie with the camp gate only opening half way through the morning, as to the thrill of us kids, a pride of lions deciced that the gate posts made comfortable pillows. If I can recall the pile-up of cars trying to get into camp finally got them up and going.


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 Post subject: Re: Too Late at the Gate Stories
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:31 pm 
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There may be a few delays at this time of the year as people may be more relaxed and forhet about proper time-keeping

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 Post subject: Re: Too Late at the Gate Stories
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:38 pm 
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When you are under time pressure to get to the gate on time, you are almost guaranteed to get great sightings!

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