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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:20 pm
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Location: Edenvale, Joburg
Does anyone have further infomation on the hide? I would like to visit soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:21 pm 
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Honorary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
I have just been there. We are not far enough yet into out photos, but will post some soon.

But in a nutshell:
No long hard log up the mountain anymore, you can drive up, and park your car on the top.
From there 2 paths stretch out in front of you. If you go straight you will do a very long walk (worth it) to the escarpment, and will see the hide on the last bit.
Better go right, then after about 400 meters you will be at the hide. People in wheelchairs should be able to make it, but it is a cartrail only, so will be shake, rattle and roll. There are no intervening doorsteps or such.

When entering the hide you will see 4 benches and a lot of safety glass. The view is good (as are the smells if the wind is from the wrong direction), but the glass is slightly tinted.
There is ample place for placing your gear.

However, this is the viewing area only. You can photograph from here, but it might be a good idea to bring some stuff to clean the windows with.
The grass will be in the way. I think you should have your camera at least 30 centimeters above the table. I solved that by bringing photobag + beanbag and stacking them.

To your left there is a (locked) door, that is the photography area. I think you are supposed to get the key at Glen Rheenen, but I didn't know about that area till I left GG. :?
There you have desk chairs, as well as opening for sticking out your lens. Those can be zipped closed.
I think you will have the same grass problem, which is less easily solved as those openings are not high enough.
When we were there the carcasses were deposited in front of the viewing area, so anglewise you may not have the best view either.

Here is a recent blogpost by Tim Jackson and Morgan Trimble. That is about the area I was not in, but it shows it pretty well.

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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:20 pm
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Location: Edenvale, Joburg
Thank you for the info DeQues! I wonder If the hide for photography needs to be booked and how much it will cost and where you get the key from.


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:34 pm 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
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Location: Pretoria, RSA
Photos from the inside of the public area.

Stunning views.


Image

Image

Image

Inside of the photographer's area:

Image

Key from Glenn Rheenen reception.

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Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparkshr.org


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:20 pm
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Location: Edenvale, Joburg
Great thank you Imberbe !! Looks stunning


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:59 pm 
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Location: Centurion
Looks great! Will definitely have to schedule a visit to Golden Gate again... :whistle:


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:28 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 12:20 am
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Location: cornwall uk
I visited at the beginning of the month. As Imberbe says a great facility with wonderful views. I spent quite some time there on 2 consecutive days.
There was no remotely fresh carcase, just very old bones and sadly no lammergeiers.
The other problem for photographers is that the grass is quite long so that focussing is very difficult.
I got the key from reception at Van Reenen though the receptionist was very unsure about the procedure, but I'm sure once the hiccups are sorted, it will be a great facility.
AND I saw this from the carpark which is a few hundred yards from the hide. :dance:
Image
015 by jansp, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:19 am 
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Ohhhhh wow :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

Regards,
Divhani Maremba
Northern Cluster Communications Manager


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:23 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:03 pm
Posts: 1318
Location: Trichardt, MP
granjan,

You were very lucky to spot a Lammergeier even though not at the hide. Was there any cost involved in getting the key and how many parties do they allow in the photography section.

I would also like to find out how often do they leave a fresh carcass at the hide. During our visit at the Giants Castle hide we had a whole horse placed on the cliff near the hide. Unfortunately it was just to windy and only the next day the Lammergeiers came in when we did not have a booking. The pic below was taken at Giants Castle.

Image

We will be visiting the park end of this month and wish for clear skies and a sigthing of a lammergeier. The last one we saw at Golden Gate was nearly 5 years back while lying on our backs watching them passed over the cliff.

Another one on my wish list for my visit to GG is the Southern bald ibis. Has any one seen a southern bald ibis recently in GG. I've seen some before near Wakkerstroom, but my only pics were taken in Pretoria. :wink:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:18 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 12:20 am
Posts: 545
Location: cornwall uk
Hi Son Godin, great pics!
There was no charge for the key but the receptionist didn't seem to know what was happening. After a bit of discussion, she gave us the key and we gave her our mobile number and said to phone us if she wanted the key back.
We didn't get a call so dropped the key back early the next morning. [we were staying at the Mountain Retreat.]
She did say that no decision had been made about charging but gave the impression that this was likely in the future.
They do need to sort this out. There was another chap in the hide who came through to the photography section after we'd opened it - no problem as we asked him if he wanted to - but I can imagine there might be problems if the rules aren't very specific. :(
Great facility though and hopefully will produce fabulous sightings in the future!

Wonderful bald ibis pic! No luck for me, I'm afraid.
We had a wonderful trip up the Sani Pass, but no bald ibis.


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:58 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Pietermaritzburg
As far as I am aware at present there is no charge and no charge is likely until they organise toilet facilities. There is no sign post to the vulture hide although it's the only turn-off on the Oribi Loop (other than to Highlands) so can't really miss it. Lots of jackal in the area now as a result of the hide - we had a quick look in to check it out - no vultures but lots of crows! Certainly a bit of a smell but looks very nice. SO commented that the hide was not the cleanest but I didn't really notice. The photographers section was unlocked when we went there so I took a couple of pics - the carcasses were quite far out so you need at least 400mm lens and even then probably need to crop a bit. The flaps unfortunately fall down onto your camera body so may need some safety pins / velcro to solve this problem but no major issue
Such a pretty area and a real bonus to have the vulture hide there - hopefully it will encourage vultures over time - I have heard that while the vultures may not necessarily be visiting the hide as frequently as one would like, it is benefitting them as for example the jackals will steal meat / bones from the carcasses and take it off elsewhere and the vultures obviously can then also access this source so hopefully the population will increase!


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:10 am
Posts: 124
Location: South Africa
I recently visited gg n found the hide but sadly no sign of life....or death for that matter.lol. :lol: maybe better luck next time. As for the bald ibises I see them quite regularly in newcastle. Around here,even in the fields in town. Saw a few on the D96 about 3-4 weeks ago if anybody looking.


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:36 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 1:41 pm
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Location: Johannesburg - where they cut down trees and name streets after them.
Son godin, we found Bald Ibis on the entrance road to the Basotho Cultural Village.
Two weeks ago we found a couple in a field just before Harrismith so they are definitely in that area.

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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:21 pm
Posts: 41
Hi Guys,

Is there a best time of year to visit the hide?

Also I heard of some people being given buckets of bones to scatter. Is this only for VIP's and bloggers?

With a trip to SA planned for 6 weeks time I'm already planning my next visit, hopefully including some less well know parks and Golden Gate is high on the list.

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Gate Vulture Hide
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:38 am 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Posts: 14230
Location: Pretoria, RSA
Any time is a good time to visit. It has stunning views even when there is no wildlife around.

Visitors do not have the opportunity to scatter bones.

We have been there a number of times an twice had the privilege of seeing bearded vultures. Also jackal a number of times and smaller birds are almost always around.

The photography area is locked and you need to pay to use it. The key is at reception at Glenn Rheenen. The public area is however open and there is no fee.

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Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparkshr.org


One positive deed is worth more than a thousand critical words.


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