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 Post subject: kesheshe Dirty Valentine's Weekend Feb 2011
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:44 pm 
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I asked SO what she would like to do for Valentine's weekend. After 128 years of marriage i was expecting her to say lets go somewhere romantic.

i got a surprise when she said lets go to KNP - she is even more addicited than me at least that is the excuse i am using. :lol: :lol:

This is the closest i got to seeing any romance:

Image


:naughty: :naughty:

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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Valentine's Weekend
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:44 am 
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Location: Pretoria
Kamadejo – it was a very last minute decision to visit KNP as it is still summer so we went with no real expectations. Thanks for comment on the photo it is a little different.

Jungle Junkie - Do Wild Dogs regurgitate for the pups? – My understanding is yes but maybe someone with more information can confirm this. This was not the case it the photo it was 2 dogs playing.

Micetta – It is always nice to be in KNP regardless of time.

Lionspoon – thought about not using the title but my previous trip reports are always very serious so wanted to lighten this one and have a bit of fun and wanted title to match the photo. Glad you decided to look.

JenB – It was some examination and came totally out of the blue. One of things that you just hope the shot comes out.

Foxy – not sure it was romance but i like to think it was.

Mellory – thanks for the comment on the photo and it is very easy thank goodness when your partner has the same passion.

Elzet – thanks for the nice comments.

CuriousCanadian – thanks for coming to see the post i just used a bit of poetic licence on the title – something different

Onewithnature – it feels like it is 128 years –(think i should delete that comment in case SO reads it) – oops to late she just came and saw me typing. Let’s just see how dirty it gets!


There really was no planning for the trip i discussed what SO wanted to do on Friday morning when we got up – not very romantic (need to work on that) and she said lets go to KNP.

We checked on line and got accommodation in Skukuza for the 3 nights to come back Monday morning. As we wanted to arrive the same day as the booking we had to phone Skukuza directly so we sat around nervously till we could phone. We were lucky and got the booking so things were now on track.

We quickly packed a few things and departed from Pretoria at 11am and arrived at Malelane gate at 3pm. It was a nice feeling to be back in KNP as it feels like our second home.

As per normal we got out all the reference books and sorted the cameras and entered through those historical gates.

Now the normal guessing game begins what will be the first sighting?

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2011 September KTP - 17 days

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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Valentine's Weekend
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:39 pm 
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I am still sorting through the photos but decided to post this one to see if you guys agree that this would qualify as dirty enough :hmz: :hmz:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Valentine's Weekend
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:58 am 
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We decided to take a slow drive from Malelane gate to Skukuza and not make any detours. Our first sighting was a surprise as it was White Rhino. We just enjoyed a very relaxed drive and as it was still hot so sightings were limited and as is becoming our norm we did not take many photos as we just relaxed and enjoyed being in the bush.

We arrived at Skukuza just after 6pm and as it was Friday night the check in process was busy and took 30 minutes to complete. We reached the chalet at 6h40pm and soon realised that we had no outside table. As the van has a built in table we decided not to fuss but to just unpack and relax. We were unpacked in good time and had the fire lite by 7h15pm.

It had been quite a long day so we were quite happy to be in KNP staring at the fire with our chilled wine. We decided on steak and salads as it was still hot even as the sun disappeared.

After a very enjoyable braai we both showered and hit our beds quite hard as by 9h30pm we were fairly exhausted. As it was still hot we turned on the aircon and soon realised something was wrong as it was blowing only hot air. It was a very uncomfortable night’s sleep – but i spent quite a lot of time sitting outside during the night which was very pleasant and relaxing.


Not a great photo but first sighting had to take it


Image


Image


Image

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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Valentine's Weekend
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:36 am 
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Location: Pretoria
PetraJ – hope you are not disappointed – it was a short weekend but we did get lucky

Blommietjie – yes KNP was good to us considering it was summer

Onewithnature – i think the one providing the bite!

Flutterby – Sad to say me and SO would rather be in any Sanparks location

lee lewis – thank you and yes it was a very close inspection

john n poppy – it was as if KNP said lets reward them for deciding to visit

Lionspoon – thanks for the nice comment - glad you like the photo

Kamadejo – thanks for the nice comment - glad you like the photo. I will explain who the aircon issue got resolved in future post

Gunner – thanks for the nice comment.

Luren – thanks and we were very surprised to get a booking. I promise i will reveal what the lion was eating in the trip report a little later. I think i got some nice shots

Micetta – could not agree with you more on your comments. Will explain how this issue gets resolved in awhile.


I will provide a list of all animal and bird sightings at the end of the report.

As i was outside most of the night i got SO up at 4h45am for coffee on the patio so we could enjoy the noises as the bush started to come alive. I must say it was fairly light well before the gate opening time of 5h30am which seems a bit too late for this time of year (maybe 5am would be better).

We got the map while having coffee and decided on the following morning drive:

H11, S65, H3, S112, H4-1, H10, S29, S30, H4-1

We departed as the gate opened and our first sighting was these spotted hyenas with cubs busy finishing off bones (could not tell from what). It was humorous to watch the pups try to steal the biggest bone for mum.


Image


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Image

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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Valentine's Weekend
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:19 am 
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They may get ugly but they are the most amazing animals. :tongue:

Spot on regarding the shower :dance: :dance:

As we continued with the drive we had somehow managed to avoid most of the traffic and therefore we could start to focus on stopping to observe the birds. It is something we have started to focus on even thou photo opportunities are sometimes limited it really fascinates us and is quite a challenge.

White Winged Widow (Can anyone confirm this ID is correct?)

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Lesser Grey Shrike (Can anyone confirm this ID is correct?)

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Egyptian Goose

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Image

European Roller (can someone tell me what it is eating?)

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Image

Image

Image

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2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Valentine's Weekend
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:56 pm 
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Location: Paulshof, Gauteng
Great shots! :thumbs_up: I would agree with Kamadejo...that pink colour makes me think it's a mole. :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Valentine's Weekend
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:48 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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We had spent the last couple of hours on birds until we can across a family group of very relaxed white rhino (not like black rhino otherwise we would have been in big trouble) basically right on the road.

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We tried in vain to get a response from Skukuza on the phone to advise them about the table and aircon issue. We eventually in desperation phoned the emergency cell phone number. Mari Morland (hope i got spelling correct) answered and was very nice and promised it would be sorted before we arrived back from our morning drive.

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2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Valentine's Weekend
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:59 pm 
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Thanks everyone for the nice comments. :clap: :clap:

We then drove to sunset dam and sat there and had breakfast while observing the goings on.

Pied Kingfisher

Image

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Image

Image

Image

Image

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Bird (can someone help with ID please?)

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Valentine's Weekend
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:22 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Lizard

Image

Image

Hippo

Image

White Crowned Plover

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African Pied Wagtail

Image

We arrived back in camp at 11h40am and when we arrived at the chalet we soon realised that the issues had not been fixed. We went to reception and found Mari – to say she was cross they had not fixed it would be an understatement. She asked us if would prefer to move and we said yes so she took us to the counter and arranged for them to move us. While we were there we could hear her on the phone to housekeeping and she told ten in no uncertain terms what she thought.

We went and collected our stuff from the chalet and as we were moving i think have the maintenance and cleaning staff arrived to bring the table, chairs and fix the aircon. We really want to thank Mari for the fantastic service and yes the new chalet was in perfect condition.

After settling in again we had a light lunch and a nap.

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2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Valentine's Weekend
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:57 am 
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Location: Johannesburg - where they cut down trees and name streets after them.
kesheshe wrote:
Bird (can someone help with ID please?)

Image

I think you have a beautiful pic of a Wood Sandpiper. :clap:

Love all the dirt! :lol:
:popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Valentine's Weekend
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:51 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria
Vgstephens – i am maybe getting to fussy with my photos – should be happy to just see a rhino. The young hyena was really cute but naughty and thanks for comment on the birds. Agree it does look more like a rodent / mole and i promise more dirt to come.

Kamadejo – Glad you liked the roller – maybe a mole still not sure. I was very glad we moved regarding aircon – my question why was it like that in the first place. The kingfisher photos look strange but that is why they appealed to me as most photos are side on. For once the lizard gave me a chance to get a half decent shot.

Micetta – it is sad in a way that i see so many people not bother with the birds – it is a challenge never mind the different colours at different times of the year and also identifying male / female. The kingfisher photos look strange but that is why they appealed to me as most photos are side on.

Jungle Junkie / Flutterby / Rookie2009 / Crested Barbet – thanks for the suggestion as i said so quick and photo not clear enough

Onewithnature – thanks for the nice comments and could not resist taking the rhino from a different angle / view point.

Flutterby – i think the green marks maybe from the polluted water at a dam – maybe someone else can take a guess

Gunner – thanks for the nice comment

Lionspoon – thanks regarding comment on kingfisher

Foxy – thanks for comment on the roller and i was so happy when we had aircon that worked.

Micetta / Kamadejo / Lionspoon / JenB – thank you all very much for your assistance regarding the wood sandpiper ID.

AKadwa – As the saying goes better late than never. I promise more of the lion.

We departed for our afternoon drive on the following roads:

H1-2, S83

Bird (can someone help ID the yellow behind the eye is confusing me?)

Image

European Roller

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European Bee Eater

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Bird (can someone help ID please?)

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We arrived back in camp at 6h20pm and went to the shop to stock up on ice and few other items. We arrived back at the chalet at 6h45pm. We had a braai tonight with chicken and salad. It was still warm but at about 7h15pm a slight breeze arrived which made it a very pleasant night.

We shower and were asleep by 9h45pm and looking forward to a good night’s sleep.

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2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Valentine's Weekend
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:33 am 
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Location: Johannesburg - where they cut down trees and name streets after them.
I agree with Kamadejo, female Wattled Starling it is. :thumbs_up:
The last pic I would say is a juvenile Red-backed Shrike.

Lovely bird pics again! :clap:
Keep them coming!

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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Valentine's Weekend
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:34 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria
We got up early with coffee and rusks on the patio as SO packed the picnic basket and i rearranged a few things in the van. We departed as the gate opened at 5h30am on our morning drive which would take us on the following roads:

H1-2, S36, H7, S12, H1-3, H1-2

Bird (can someone help ID please? – Wattled starling?)

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Bird (can someone help ID please?)

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Various Birds in Tree

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Bird (can someone help ID? is this a shrike – if yes what type)

Image

European Swallow

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Large flock of Birds

Image

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2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Valentine's Weekend
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:48 am 
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Location: Pretoria
Lion

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Image

Elephant

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We had completed the entire length of the S36 – what a drive. We saw many birds and 4 of the big 5 never mind the fantastic scenary.

Insect

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We came around a corner and this was flying straight at us. We slammed on the brakes and after coming to a stop only then did we realise what was happening. The Bateleur had dropped the snake on the road and then came back and landed. We were not sure whether we could get any closer as we did not want to scare it even thou we knew if we could get closer the shoots would have been really close.

We choose to rather stay the distance we were at and accept what we would get as just watching this would be a real treat – it provided to be exactly that.

Bateleur Eagle

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The whole episode lasted 30 minutes and it was fascinating to watch how the bateleur opened the snake and eat some of the inside first. We never for one second thought it would eat everything but it did. The traffic that arrived was very good and to our surprise no one did anything to spook the bird – what a sighting.

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