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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:05 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Yesterday the sunset drive was for just 4 guests (from a local hotel). We did well considering the quiet previous drives. Ellies several times, close rhinos, and buffs in the distance....and 2 lionesses hunting! A 10-seater from one of the lodges was on the same route and had gone ahead of me (to my disgust!!!), and he missed the lions completely. They came towards the road, crossed in front of us, and began to take interest in impalas. It was just as darkness was falling. I heard the impalas give alarm calls and knew the lions had been seen. One lioness continued towards the impalas and the other crossed back over the road and began to move in the grass in a flanking movement. I knew our lights would give advantage to lions or impalas so told the guests I thought we should move on, and why.....and they all agreed with me. We had enjoyed the sighting anyway.

Also had civet, large-spotted genet, several duikers, hyena, giraffe, impalas, and scrub hares.

This morning the walk was also fairly quiet but we found several rhinos.....and a few came a bit close accidentally! We had moved around them to get a good look, and were on a rocky area when they suddenly began to run in our direction! I think they were just moving down a small drainage line and picked up speed as they descended and came up again, but it was exciting! They did not see us though, and veered off in the bushes. Also saw giraffe, impalas, and buffalo herd.

This evening I went down to the gate for the sunset drive only to find they had forgotten to tell me there were no bookings! Tomorrow morning I am going back to BnD for the walk.....

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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:23 pm 
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Yesterday morning we again found rhinos, and got close to a rhino bull that had been asleep. He sleepily looked for the source of the disturbance that had woken him, but did not see us. Later we saw ellies and more rhinos, giraffes, and 2 hyenas.

Last night I had a sunset drive for 4 guests from camp. It was nearly wall-to-wall rhinos!!!! A few ellies, more duikers than usual, and impalas and scub hares broke the pattern at times.

Again tonight I have a sunset drive with guests from camp.

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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:33 pm 
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As I finished folding blankets for the trip this evening 2 other campers asked about the trip....and ended up joining us.

The rhinos did come to play, but only a few tonight. Lots of ellies about. No hippos or duikers though. Lots more impalas than usual, and unlike the past few weeks all back in open areas too. The special treat was a lioness in the road, and she let us follow her for a while before veering off into the bush. As we moved off we found a steenbok, and stopped to watch it right next to a rhino midden. I talked about that, and the lioness reappeared - we had heard soft roars from her just before that! Finished my talk quickly, and she had now moved to the road again so we followed. She moved off next to a bush and I drove forward to watch her.....in time to see 2 excited little bodies welcome her!!!! She had been looking for her cubs (I had said it was unusual to see a lone lioness and she might have cubs...). There was no noise....she flopped down immediately and they began to drink. Scene of total bliss!!! Shortly after that a hyena ran out of the grass into the road and led us for a while too.

Unusually the tar road gave us absolutely nothing at all! The crocs at the main bridge were left to provide interest at the end of the trip.

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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:14 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
I have a night off! Patrick is back, but there were no bookings anyway.

Tomorrow I go up to Skukuza so I am there early for marathon duties - I expect I may be on the road near the nursery/Lake Panic as on the last 2 times. Have to take my small tent with me as I am staying out in the bush at the shooting range. There is a small camp set up for ranger training, and some of us are staying out there because of the problem of accommodation and needing to be available early.

Will be back here for Saturday and Sunday and then back to Skukuza for assisting at shooting practice and assessment days. A little bit of luxury for 2 nights as I am staying in a park home!

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If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:57 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
This past week has been chaotic! Slept at the old army base near Skukuza on Friday night before the marathon, and heard hyenas and lions during the night. I was in my little nylon tent, but inside a secure fence.

The marathon duty passed with no sight of animals....but some strange sights going past me at times!!!!! Came back via Croc Bridge so I could collect post, and found lots of folk protruding at various sightings......all advised to get back inside their cars immediately!

Sunday afternoon I went back to Skukuza to the HR park home on Lion Street in the staff village.....and it lived up to its name! Lions woke me early in the morning roaring very close to the fence, and later in the evening too I heard them. Hyenas were about and ellies too.

The shooting practice did not go as well as I hoped because it was so dry and dusty and my contact lenses were very uncomfortable and making my vision blurry a lot of the time. But the day of the assessment was better. I decided to just relax, and see what happened......and in the end, if I had not lost concentration and messed up one exercise I would have had the best scores on the day and sailed through my advanced level on the first go each time! As it was I did renew my Intermediate proficiency. And had the satisfaction of no bruises or shoulder stiffness after the 3 days of shooting heavy calibres - so I know I have got it right at last and will get through soon.

Now the busy weekend of gate duties.....with little or no help at the gate either. Several difficult folk, but most appreciative of what we are doing to try and smooth things.

And somehow in the middle of it all I found a replacement caravan too! Mine is showing the effects of constant use for over 3 years, especially the tent, and the one I have found should offer a little more space too. Next week I will get my car serviced and then drive through to the big city to get it. Then the fun of transferring things over and setting up all over again......

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:19 am 
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It will be a logistical nightmare indeed.....but I think I will sort it out by setting up my big tent, moving things into that, and then moving the old caravan before finally putting the new one in place and moving everything into it.

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:27 am 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Gate was quiet, so back home enjoying a hot drink before going off to church.

Maybe I should auction off my old caravan.....it can tell some stories!!!!

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:59 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
@DeleneD - pity about that luxury caravan.....it sounded so nice, and would have been great.....but I have an old Musketeer to collect now. Not so spacious, but still seems good - MM checked it out for me.

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:33 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Just back home after being invited out to dinner! I was doing a camp check (found we had a BnD camper here!) and while I was showing someone routes on the sightings board another camper invited me to join them for a spag bog meal. It was cooked on the braai! Ellies about near the fence (even taking branches from trees in camp!) and hyena whooping now at the fence too.

_________________
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:19 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Did a special drive last night.....and my nightmare scenario! I had 6 excited youngsters for a birthday treat - 4 boys and 2 girls and just 2 adults with them. The excitement was at fever pitch, the noise incredible..... But they did turn out to be good spotters, and already had a fair bush knowledge so were interested in what I told them. They asked questions and told me long involved stories (not all true of course - like the one about an impala jumping over 4 land rovers at once!).

One of the first sightings was a herd of ellies - and in the background 'one giving another a piggy-back' :hmz: Took my cue from the adults and said little......We had several more ellie groups and once I had to move off because the noise was too much.....but that was enough to make them better after that. Lots of rhinos, large spotted genet, several civets (2 very good sightings indeed), duikers, waterbuck, giraffes, impalas and scrub hares, and a spotted eagle owl. The group were very pleased and really enjoyed themselves - the vehicle was full of dropped crisps, popcorn, etc afterwards though.

Today in Nelspruit getting the car serviced. Waiting now for the needs spares to be fitted and then all should be well for a quick bit of shopping and then home. I have already done my shopping on paper and so know where I am going and what I want so it should be quick.

Then tomorrow through to Krugersdorp for the night and picking up the caravan on Thursday.....

_________________
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:18 pm 
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Will do..... just hope it is OK - will check tent and poles carefully tomorrow as well as other bits and bobs. Eventually got here safely, so should be able to get back OK as the road will be more direct and I know where I am going.

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:41 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Safe home. Had a bit of panic when I could not get door of caravan open....but a bit of brute strength was required!

Now need to get ready for bush braai tonight. Then tomorrow will start to think about logistics re change-over of caravans.

_________________
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:30 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Good bush braai drive, frantically tired though..... and despite rugby club function and the noisy campers (alcohol fueled) I expect to be asleep almost before I have finished a hot drink!

_________________
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:03 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Oh dear.....sorry! Yes, been busy, had some drives, tried to sort out caravans.....

Got replacement caravan in place last Sunday, with the help of the fence repair team. Then have been trying to move things around after staff helped me put up the caravan tent (I think they were more interested in looking over my things actually!!!!). Still a lot to do, but have managed to get the tent part mostly organised.

Off on a sunset drive again tonight I think.....missed call from the gate, and Patrick is away. Will try to catch up on things......

_________________
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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 Post subject: Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:30 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
It was a busy week, lots of drives and sorry I did not share...... black rhino (charging car twice, snorting.....and then turning into a chicken and running away when I did not move), 3 male lions, lots of ellies....giraffes, zebs, impalas......etc, etc

Tonight I did a BnD night drive. Cold and windy weather so was not too hopeful. It was not too bad though, with a couple of genets, duiker, impalas, scrub hares, reedbuck, hyena, hippos, buffalo...... and on my way home again ellie and spotted eagle owl. The crocs at the bridge also entertained us.

As I got home the windscreen showed misty rain, but I did not get wet at all. The tarps on the caravan are flapping a bit, but securely tied down so should be OK. Definitely going to be a noisy night weather-wise though.

_________________
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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