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 Post subject: Sweni Trail is superb! Trip Report August 2012
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:09 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:37 pm
Posts: 2500
Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2012)
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All the Kruger trails are special and to experience Kruger on foot is an experience of a lifetime. It is expensive, but definitely worth every cent.
This was my second trail after I did the Olifants trail a few years ago. All these trails are unique and special in their own way. Olifants has the rivers and beautiful scenery, while Sweni is flat and barren.
We were lucky enough to book our trip only 3 weeks before after a cancelation came in. Normally you must book at least one year in advance.
Back to our Sweni trip the beginning of August 2012.
The trail started on Sunday 15h00 until Wednesday 9h00 and we (me and my son) ensured we made the best of our trip. We stayed in the Park 2 days early, which gave us a few early photography opportunities.
We had great sightings the Saturday morning.
Lake Panic best hide in Kruger

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Sunday morning on our way to Satara.
We had a great breakfast at Lower Sabie and decided to make up time we will take the gravel road from Tshokwane to N’wanetsi.

N’wanetsi Birdhide.
Hippos on the rampage

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We arrived at Satara just in time for lunch and stock up on some ice and snacks for the trip.
The long wait was over and we met our two Rangers .Two people didn’t pitch, so it would be a 6 six man trip. Members of our trip were I, my son and 4 ladies from Johannesburg.
Packed and ensured we have enough ice and cold ones :D

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We packed all our stuff in the trailer.

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We left Satara on our way to the Sweni camp and couldn't wait :think:

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Hope you will enjoy the trip report...


Last edited by Jan van Wyk on Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sweni Trail is superb! Trip Report August 2012
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:51 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:37 pm
Posts: 2500
Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2012)
Tx every one for the comments and viewing so far....

The Sweni camp

We took one of those “no entry” roads and said good bye to civilization. The air was full of excitement as we made our way into the unknown...

It is about an hour’s drive from Satara into unfamiliar parts of Kruger. You then also realise that how slim your changes are to see animals along the main roads in the Park

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Cameras were ready for our first sightings.

Blouwilde bees

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Elephant

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We arrived at Sweni camp and immediately had a look around.

What a beautiful little camp it was in the middle of Lion country. The camp is fenced and there is warm water via a gas geyser.

View from the Lapa. A beautiful waterhole.

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Lapa

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First sighting in camp... lonely Hippo bull resting beneath the Lapa

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Hopefully we would get a few great sighting here at camp over the next days as well!

be continued.........


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 Post subject: Re: Sweni Trail is superb! Trip Report August 2012
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:26 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:37 pm
Posts: 2500
Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2012)
Tx for viewing and the comments....

Please bear with with me and I want to upload lots of images to give every one who was not on a trail before an idea of the camp and walks...

First night at the Camp

The huts where only accommodated for 2 people, each with a view of the surroundings

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Lapa

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We unpacked and drank a toast on our long awaited experience

We had a look around

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Our first sightings and visitors to the camp

Elephants drinking

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The one reason we loved Africa ...beautiful Sunset

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The evening they treated us with a wonderful supper and we gathered around the fire to get to know everybody.

The Ranger explained all the rules and regulations for the next morning. They would wake us up at 5:30am and there will be warm water in front of the hut.

The Lions started roaring, the Jackals crying and we knew we were in paradise.

We spotted a Sivet at the waterhole and later in front of our hut.

We will leave the camp at 6:30 for our first walk.

be continued...........may we will see the Lions on foot...


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 Post subject: Re: Sweni Trail is superb! Trip Report August 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:03 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:37 pm
Posts: 2500
Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2012)
Photobucket on again

Graham....we had a braai the last night. They have a brilliant cook and the meals were superb....potjie...curry chicken....

Day 1 - 6h15 in the morning
Everybody was ready and each person must carry a bag with water and some food for a pit stop during the morning walk.

The group

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Last words before we go......

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Beautiful first sunrise …………

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Finally on foot in Lion country

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be continued....


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 Post subject: Re: Sweni Trail is superb! Trip Report August 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:28 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:37 pm
Posts: 2500
Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2012)
Thanks for the comments and views.

We hope to find the Lions after they kept us awake during the night.

We stop at some spoor and was confirmed by the Ranger as Hyena spoor..

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The Landscape is always changing through small rivers

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Try to find the Lions from last night

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We found some Lion spoor and wondered if we must follow. Adrenaline was pumping to say the least.

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More debate.

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The decision was made to follow the Lion Spoor.

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be continued....hope we will spot them


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 Post subject: Re: Sweni Trail is superb! Trip Report August 2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:12 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:37 pm
Posts: 2500
Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2012)
Thanks guys

Bush hugger will report on the Lions a little bit later.

Back to the first morning walk...

We stopped for a small brunch and rest. The bags we carried produced some, boerewors, cheese,biscuits,bananas and fruit juice.

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We ate everything. After woods I doubted if I could even walk...Luckily the bags were now also lighter.

The morning sightings were discussed.

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Quick pit stop...luckily there was nothing behind the bush.

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Time out before we go.

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Well deserve break after 3 hours of walking.

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Just making sure the Lions we heard were not nearby and watching us.

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We found some fresh Poacher spoor and with all the Rhinos killed in Kruger we knew this is serious, because most of the time they carry heavy weapons.

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To be continued...for some time we forgot about the lions!


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 Post subject: Re: Sweni Trail is superb! Trip Report August 2012
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:50 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:37 pm
Posts: 2500
Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2012)
Thanks for the comments and following the report.

Everyone was on the edge and personally I thought they must just report it, but they decided to follow the spoor. The Rangers only had rifles that could shoot 1 bullet at a time and wont be a match for the high caliber weapons of the Poachers.

Must we follow or walk away?

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They decided to follow the fresh spoor and we found new spoor.

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We followed them until we got to a small river.

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We were relieved when we turned back.

We stopped and a big Rhino dump site and learned that it is the marking post of the resident bull. The other bulls will now know this is his territory.

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When we walked away we thought back to the poachers spoor and hoped the rhinos would be safe.

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To be continued...still looking for the Lions!


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 Post subject: Re: Sweni Trail is superb! Trip Report August 2012
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:30 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:37 pm
Posts: 2500
Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2012)
Thank you for the comments and views.

We were on the Lions trail again and everyone kept a watchful eye out.

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More evidence that we were on the right track.

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We spotted some Wildebees and they were not happy to see us.

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View of the camp on foot with an Elephant Bull under the trees.

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Then the Ranger pointed at the bushes...

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The Lions saw us first and ran away. Still a great experience though! (hope you can spot them)

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We walk the whole morning and only to find them in front of the camp. Mission accomplished. Always wanted to spot Lions on foot and wonder how it felt like... All I can say is it is amazing with that adrenaline pumping, but still very glad we found them. Will remember this moment for a long time.

The beautiful view of the camp over the waterhole from the other side.(Elephant under the tree)

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Time for brunch and discussions around the table about the days sightings. The Rangers reported the Poachers and the SADF were immediately deployed to follow the spoor (Don't know if they tracked them down.)

To be continued.... Afternoon rest and then some Sundowners.


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 Post subject: Re: Sweni Trail is superb! Trip Report August 2012
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:02 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:37 pm
Posts: 2500
Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2012)
Thanks Lion Queen and Elsa.

We had a wonderful brunch and compliments to the Lady who prepared the food! :clap: :clap:

Sightings at the waterhole.

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The Zebra's know the Lions are nearby and were on there guard.

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Looking for the Lions.

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Time to take a nap..

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The afternoon we drove all the way to the N'wanetsi koppies for a sundowner and the most beautiful sunset.

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To be continued.... Sundowners :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: Sweni Trail is superb! Trip Report August 2012
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:50 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:37 pm
Posts: 2500
Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2012)
Thanks for the kind comments.

Graham the ablutions are clean and Gas is used for warm water.

Hugh, luckily we drove to the top from the other side and no need for climbing.

Please sit back end enjoy the wonderful Sunset on our first Sundowner on the Koppies near N'wanetsi.

The view is unbelievable with sun hanging for ages and enabled us to drink an Ice cold one. The opportunity to capture every moment of an African sunset was breathtaking.

Enjoy

View to the left side

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View to the other side and Ranger keeping guard.

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Wide angel view.

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Portrait.

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The red ball hanging for ages.

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To be continued...Day two.


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 Post subject: Re: Sweni Trail is superb! Trip Report August 2012
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:30 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:37 pm
Posts: 2500
Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2012)
Thanks for the comments...appreciate them all.

3rd day alongside the Sweni river.

Early morning coffee and ready for another exciting walk.

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100 meters from the gate we had our first discussion.

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The mega pride killed a Buffalo a week ago.

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Sweni river.

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Last remaining water.

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Elephant and Rhino scratch pole.

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Zebras running away.

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Shadows in the morning.

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Beautiful flower.

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Ready for a small brunch before we head back to camp.

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To be continued....back to camp.


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 Post subject: Re: Sweni Trail is superb! Trip Report August 2012
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:22 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:37 pm
Posts: 2500
Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2012)
Thank you for the comments and all the views.

Leaping Lizards, if you plan ahead it is best to book 1 year ahead. The trails are very popular.

We look every day for cancellations and were lucky just 3 weeks before the trail....

Brunch.

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Time to reflect on the morning.

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Time to go.... luckily the bushes were nearby and Rangers on guard.

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The walk back was in the Sweni river. It was not so easy to walk on the sand specially when you knew it is about 8km back to the camp.

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Way of nature...Blouwildebees scull

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Last remaining water in the Sweni river.

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Everybody were relived when we saw the Vehicle around the corner.

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Back in the camp for brunch and rest, before we set out for another sundowner.

Visitors at camps waterhole.

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To be continued....Sundower and more Lions


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 Post subject: Re: Sweni Trail is superb! Trip Report August 2012
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:07 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:37 pm
Posts: 2500
Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2012)
Thank you for the comments and views

We set off for the Sundowner and found these mating Lions 100m from where they picked us up this morning.

Scary thought that we didn't see them in the long grass.

The light was perfect and allowed me to post a few images of the golden light.

The Male.

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The Female looking not very happy.

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If looks could kill...

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You can see the vehicle in his eye.

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The Yawn.

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That is way we didn't see them this morning.

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Golden light.

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We sat at the two Lions for an hour and after voting decided to go to the dam for the sundowner...(was not happy but it was a democratic vote... :cry: )

To be continued... sundowners with the most beautiful sunset.


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 Post subject: Re: Sweni Trail is superb! Trip Report August 2012
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:03 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:37 pm
Posts: 2500
Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2012)
Thank you for the comments and views.

Missed out on the mating, but it was our last sundowner for the trip. We heard it is snowing in Joburg and a ice cold wind was blowing.

We went to a dam and was just in time for another magnificent Africa sunset.

Few images

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As said before there are many dams the normal tourist doesn't know about, but are visited while on the trail

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Lone Hippo in the dam.

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The light was fading and we saw a Rhino come for a late afternoon drink. (Image not so clear)

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Deep in discussion..........(Maybe why did we leave the Lions...)

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My last shot of the sunset...

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To be continued... next morning it is back to Satara.


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 Post subject: Re: Sweni Trail is superb! Trip Report August 2012
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:30 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:37 pm
Posts: 2500
Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2012)
Thank you for the kind comments

Everything doesn't happen only when your on foot and we had some wonderful camp sightings.

Hippo in front of the camp.

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Baboons near the camp.

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Zebras on the edge with the Lions nearby.

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Blouwildebeeste.

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Finally he can drink.

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Jackal had a drink

The pose to say ...thank you for visiting..

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The last night the Lions kept us awake to say good buy

To be continued... time to go home.


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