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Ending off your perfect Kruger day....

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DinkyBird
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Re: Ending off your perfect Kruger day...............

Unread postby DinkyBird » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:08 pm

For us, watching the sun set is a ritual. We like to drive out of camp and enjoy a sundowner at a waterhole, or lovely spot, while the sun sinks into the earth. Often one sees baboon troops heading off to 'their' tree and hears the alpha male call his troop to order so they will all be safely up the tree by dark.

Back in camp, it is magical to sit sipping a drink as the last light of day disappears and first stars peep out while smelling the just lit braai fires. A whoop from a hyeana reminds one the night belongs to the hunters. I love the nights when the moon is full as one can see out into the bushveld and wonder at what dramas are being played out there.

If we are staying at a camp where one can get a great view of the sun dropping down, such as camping at the fence at Satara, we will also on some days, toast the end of a perfect day in camp.
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Re: Ending off your perfect Kruger day...............

Unread postby barcelona » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:41 pm

My favorite way to end a perfect day is with a guided sunset drive. Then, back to the camp at 8pm, set up the BBQ, and go over the day's magnificent photos while listening to the roar of the lions and whoop of the hyenas. A nice fire and roasted marshmallows tops it all off! I love to sit on silence and listen to the crackling of the fire and all the night sounds.....
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Re: Ending off your perfect Kruger day...............

Unread postby pnm » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:59 pm

I like to end with an evening walk around camp (with binoculars and camera) listening to birds and hoping for a new tick. Often I stop and chat to people as I walk - most people are friendly and enjoy a chat ( the most memorable last trip was a couple from Washington DC), then I sit on the verandah and go through my bird listings for the day while chatting to my SO about the general sightings of the day, followed by a discussion of what we plan for (but seldom do) the next day. After supper a night walk (at an ablsoute amble) around camp again just listening to the night sounds. (It is amazing how everythingin the bush seems louder at night.) A bonus on these walks is the possibilty of owls. Also I can hear my favourite night sound - the call of the "Good Lord deliver us" nightjar. Somewhere among all this we eat a simple supper.
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Re: Ending off your perfect Kruger day...............

Unread postby Elsa » Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:25 pm

Just last week, I sat out on the verandah of our chalet every night, watching as the sun sank lower into the park turning a brilliant crimson, orange through pink then blood red, the trees silhouetted against the darkening sky.
Crickets, frogs, Hippos start calling, Water thick-knees call out their beautiful good nights.
The Egyptian Geese adding to the general chorus.
Hyenas, Jackals and then the Pearl-spotted Owlet all add to the sounds that we are so very privileged to experience.
Then the stars, with the Milky way showing overhead like one can never see in the city.
Sigh.....
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Re: Ending off your perfect Kruger day...............

Unread postby Sundowner » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:32 pm

About a half an hour or so before sunset time, we would be sitting outside with SO uploading and looking at how our photos came out while I am pouring her a red wine/amarula/'bruital fruit' and myself a 'klippies & cola'/red wine/ amarula with LOTS of ice.

By this time the sun would be setting on the horizon and this is the time that I kickstart the fire. As soon as the fire is on its merry way we would sit down together and re-live our day by looking at our photos. Nothing beats sitting outside in the dark by that fire, listening to the bush while you have your favourite Sundowner. :thumbs_up:
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Re: Ending off your perfect Kruger day...............

Unread postby saraf » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:45 pm

We get back as close to gate closing time as possible. This is the time we shower and while I'm waiting for my hair to dry we'll sit on the veranda with drinks and I'll download the day's photos and write up my trip journal, while SO will catch up on some reading - Birds and Birding is favourite but Africa Geographic, Go! and Getaway are also devoured - and we'll sit watching all the braai's being lit and listening to the sounds around us. Off to the restaurant for dinner (we are both on holiday so no cooking or cleaning up for either of us), another drink on the veranda and then bed by about 8:30 to 9:00. In winter I'm usually to be seen wrapped up in the spare blanket but I will not miss out on sitting outside. In summer SO wimps out because he hates insects :roll:
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Re: Ending off your perfect Kruger day...............

Unread postby macktheknife » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:37 am

I normally get back to camp about 2 seconds before gate closing because as you all know, that's when you have your best sightings of the day! :wall:
After a quick shower it's time to light up the braai and gooi on the vleis, doing all this with a lekker Klippies and coke in the hand (except the shower, of course).
After the braai it's time to to put the lights off, burn a candle and sit and gesels about the day with another Klippies and coke. After that I just like to sit about half an hour in the dark while the Klippies numbs my senses and admire the night sounds and maybe the stars too if I'm lucky enough! :wink:
Then its off to bed so that I can get up early for the next day.
If I do a sunset / night drive then I just play it by ear but still make time for the shower, braai, Klippies and the rest!

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Re: Ending off your perfect Kruger day...............

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:16 am

I have no same way to end the day. I do often go for a walk though. Sometimes very, very late. I tend to struggle more with the night than the morning.

A memory that comes to mind is siting close to the fence at Satara just watching the stars, hearing the night. It was magic. Later I closed my eyes to a deep rejuvenating sleep, hopeful and excited about the next day.
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Re: Ending off your perfect Kruger day...............

Unread postby painter » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:25 am

We often stay in bungalows and, as most people, end our day with a couple of drinks, a braai - relishing the sunset and nocturnal bush sounds. But two or three times a year we go caravanning and to me the atmosphere of the camping area in the evening is extra special. The smell of wood fires, potjies and braais, the muffled chatter of people going about their chores and the sounds of the bush that somehow just seems closer than when staying in a bungalow.

And then there is Tamboti ........
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Re: Ending off your perfect Kruger day...............

Unread postby Rooies » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:22 am

The perfect day ends with, firstly a "Jungle Jooz" (Smirnoff and Just Juice) in a beer glass with lots of crushed ice. Then start the fire with genuine hardekool (leadwood), which I get from a secret source outside Kruger. Whilst the fire is going, I normally read one of my old Kruger books, like "A game ranger remembers" or "Veldwagter". One understand and get the "feel" of the book better, if read in Kruger. No loud talking around the fire.

After dinner out comes the obligatory Jagermeister frozen so cold that the contents becomes syrupy (according to Wikipedia, it is a digestif spirit :tongue: ) I then sit outside and read my book with my headlamp until almost everybody has gone to bed. Then I take on duty as perimeter fence scout to listen to the skopsies, nightjars, hyenas, jackals and all other wild things. While standing in the darkness, I always thank great visionaries, like Paul Kruger, Stevenson-Hamilton and the hundreds of people after them, for preserving this heaven on earth.
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Re: Ending off your perfect Kruger day...............

Unread postby GlenD » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:51 pm

After crawling back to camp at the last minute (kinda like getting a kid out of a sweet shop) I light the fire and open a COLD beer (a beer that was put into the freezer before departing on the afternoon drive, slush cold).
Watching the sun set and how the sky changes a million shades of deep blues, yellows, orange, reds..... (we have the best sunsets in the world right here).
I listen as the crickets start chirping, the fruit bats start pinging, the nightjars begin their bushveld song, and if im REALLY lucky, the whoop of a Hyena (I seriously think the visitors with their recorded hyena calls dont visit anymore).
Braai, eat and head to wash the dishes, hoping to find others who share in their sightings for the day.
Then I sit back with a scotch and smell the late braai's on the go, making me hungry all over again. While I am sitting there I will revisit my planned route for the next morning, working in a backup plan just incase the whole camp heads in my same planned direction. Then there is always the nightime walk around the camp. After the walk, sink back into the campchair with another scotch or two just listening and being so gratefull to be there. Then its off to bed, falling asleep to the sounds of the bush.

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Re: Ending off your perfect Kruger day...............

Unread postby JustNature » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:55 pm

Get in as close to gate closing time as possible. Will usually have a braai and spend a good portion of the evening out under the stars taking in the sounds and night life. Will prepare the next days food and then head in for a good nights rest for the next day. :D
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Re: Ending off your perfect Kruger day...............

Unread postby Weltenman » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:05 pm

Just sitting on your veranda, with those Kruger chairs (not very comfortable and feels like they want to tip over as you try to lie back :mrgreen: ) with a cold drink in hand, watching as others start making their fires. You are able to hear your neighbors talking about their day and the elephant that mock charged them on the road you are planning for tomorrow :big_eyes: , your fire is nicely burning and the smell of charcoal and wood fills the air. You are thankful that you are in the Park tonight and wish you never had to leave....that is how I remember the end of the days in the Kruger.
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Re: Ending off your perfect Kruger day...............

Unread postby Pjw » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:27 pm

I love to watch the sunset, either from the veranda of my unit or from a "lookout" point near a camp. An Amarula or glass of wine is a necessity :lol: . Then an evening relaxing around the fire, discussing the days sightings and planning the next days route. An early night is essential as the next morning requires us to be up before dawn . Now you've made me wish I was there and I've only been back for 4 days :roll:
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Re: Ending off your perfect Kruger day....

Unread postby TheunsH » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:40 am

The best time of the day for me is getting back to camp late in the afternoon and having a nice braai with at least 2 bags of wood burning away while enjoying a few cold ones in the company of my SO and little one!! :dance: :dance:


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