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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:05 pm 
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Day 101 (Feb 9th)
Today we woke up to a nice sunny day. Klystron had to go to the MTN shop to sort out a few problems, so again we were later leaving for the park.

We had decided to drive to Letaba for a picnic lunch, and then drive the Mingerhout and Shilawuri loops back to Phala.

Again the animals were very scarce (no Desi or Klippies at Erfplaas) and our first decent sighting was a family of Ellies wallowing in a mud hole way past the Nhlanganini turn.

We arrived at the Day Visitor's area at Letaba, and were very surprised to see how quiet it was for a Saturday.

We settled down and had a light meal of cold meats, cheese and salads, and while we were munching, a pretty little Kurrichane Thrush came to visit us.

When all the food had been eaten, we packed up and returned to the car for the next part of the journey.

We drove to the high level bridge to show Elsa and Klystron the damage that had occured during the recent floods, and then we drove back to the Mingerhout turning.

Sightings were few and far between, and soon we had arrived at Mingerhout Dam.
I have never seen so much water flowing, it was a sight to behold!!

Half way down the next section of the loop, we came to a small causeway with water flowing over the road, and to my left I saw a dear little Terrapin, with his body still in the water, and just his little head poking out.

Klystron suddenly remembered that he had intended to fill up with petrol when we were at Letaba, so when we got to the junction, we turned left and headed back to the camp.

With the beemer now full again, we headed back down the H9 towards Phala, and then turned off onto the Shilawuri loop.

We saw the occasional Impala, but not much else until we came across a Red-Crested Korhaan building up to his courtship ceremony!! We first heard the clicking, followed by the piercing call..............but although we waited with great expectation, we didn't see him fly into the air and plummet back to earth.

As time was now flying by, we decided to drop down onto the H9 via the S93, rather than continue along the dirt roads.

We also saw a nice Ellie, and then as we approached the gate we saw an amazing cloud formation. I took a photo, but sadly my camera hasn't done it justice, so you will have to wait till Elsa has sorted her photos out in her TR!!

Then it was back to the cottage for a well deserved sundowner, and a supper of home made lasagne, garlic bread and salad, followed by black forest gateau, and an Amarula.

Sadly that was almost the end of our visitor's stay with us, but we were very excited that in the morning all four of us were going up to Mopani to stay overnight.

To be continued...............



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Last edited by Crested Val on Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:51 pm 
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Day 102 (Feb 10th)
Today we were going with our friends to Mopani, for an overnight stay. Elsa had booked it all, and we were to be staying in a unit overlooking the dam.

After we had packed both vehicles, we set off up the H9 and soon turned off up the H14 towards Mopani.

We had not gone very far, before we saw a beautiful Tawny, sitting on a dead branch not too far away from the road. It posed quite nicely for photos, but when Klystron started up the beemer's engine, the poor thing got such a fright, and nearly fell off it's perch!!

We then saw very little until we reached Mopani, except a lone Ellie, who took no notice of us, as he was more intent on eating his breakfast!!

We checked in and went to our unit, which lived up to expectations with the magnificent view of the dam.

It was a three-bed unit, two with aircon and one with a fan, a dining area, a lounge area, and an indoor kitchen.

Elsa made us some lekker tuna, tomato and cheese rolls, and we sat and relaxed, deciding our plan of action.

We decided to do a late afternoon drive aroung the S49/S50/Capricorn loop, taking in Thiongonyeni waterhole, as Elsa and Klystron had seen Cheetah there on their last visit, and I have also seen in other TRs that Cheetah have often been spotted at the waterhole.

We arrived at the junction of the S49/S50 to find a large group of Egyptian Geese on the pond, and a huge Ellie in the distance, and another one a bit further back.

Neither seemed too worried to see us, and let us on our way, after we had taken a few photos.

We then saw a European Roller who was in the road, picking up his supper!! He soon flew back into a nearby tree, and began hungrily devouring his prey.

Then we saw a beautiful Carmine Bee-Eater, who took off before I could get a decent photo, but then returned, and flew off agin and returned several times. It was not on my side of the car, so I could not get the best of shots, but did my best!!!

We drove on towards the waterhole, and Elsa suddenly said "Stop....what's that?"

What a clever lady...........she had spotted a lone Tsessebe!! The sun was streaming into my eyes, and I could not see very well, so I just snapped a photo, and as you will see it's not the best!!

Then nearby we saw an Amur Falcon, a first for us in Kruger, though we have seen them before in KZN.

It was quite far away, so I have cropped the photo, and it has reduced the quality, so many apologies!!

We eventually approached the waterhole to find a large herd of Zebbies and Wilderbeest, but no more Tsessebes or Eland or Roan, which are sometimes to be found there..............and no Cheetah either.

By now time was getting away from us, so we continued around the loop, and headed back to Mopani.

As we approached the turning, we saw a kombi reversing down the road, pull out and start to move slowly towards Letaba.

As we turned towards the camp, Elsa spotted something in the road which then ran into the long grass. She said it was "Cheetah shaped" , but by now it was 6.25pm, and as you know I am phobic about missing the gate closing, so very reluctantly we drove up to the camp, never sure what we might have missed!!

The sun was setting as we got back, and we sat with our sundowners, and watched the sky change to an amazing colour, before darkness finally descended.

Then it was time for Klystron and Dungy to get the braai going, while Elsa and I watched the Fireflies darting about near the water, and listened to the Lions roaring in the distance.

As we looked up, that African sky did not disappoint with it's miriad of twinkling stars!!!!

All of a sudden, I saw my first ever shooting star, and I was so excited I forgot to wish!!!!

As we sat there, I thought to myself "Surely life doesn't get much better than this. Sharing a braai with two wonderful people, in the most amazing place on God's earth.?"

(Well a Cheetah sighting would have made it perfect............but you can't have it all!!


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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:23 am 
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Day 103 (Feb 11th)
Today the plan was to drive to Letaba for lunch, and then Elsa and Klystron would head down to Olifants, and we would return to Phala.

The sun was already up when I rose from my pit, and Elsa and Klystron were on the verandah drinking coffee. I joined them, and watched some lovely birds coming and going in amongst the trees.

A Giant Plated Lizard crawled up onto a nearby rock and sat sunning himself, and we could hear Hippos just around the corner, though they were out of sight from the verandah.

We had a quick breakfast of cereals and yoghurt, and then showered and packed up the cars.

We set off for Letaba, and although we drove round all the river loops, we saw absolutely nothing until the waterhole that has two windmills, where we saw a large herd of Zebbies, and some Wildebeest.

We saw a group of Waterbuck in the river bed from the Letaba bridge, and a few Hippo wallowing in the distance.

We arrived at Letaba and headed straight for the restaurant. Lunch was delivered hot, promptly and with a smile, and was very tasty.

EJ was in Letaba running a course, so we were delighted to spend a bit of time with her on her lunch break.

It was then time to say goodbye to Elsa and Klystron for the moment, and make our way back to Phala.

We saw very little on the way (this seems to be becoming a habit!!) and we arrived back to the cottage mid afternoon.

We had so enjoyed our few days with our friends, and really look forward to catching up with them again next week at their timeshare near Paul Kruger Gate.


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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:42 am 
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Day 104 (Feb 12th)
Today was our anniversary, and we had a lazy day at home, followed by a nice meal at the pub.

Day 105 (Feb 13th)
Another day at home as Dungy had a bit of a tummy upset.

Day 106 (Feb 14th)
Dungy on the mend but had another relaxing day at home.

Day 107 (Feb 15th)
We just made a quick visit to Sable Dam and then on to Erfplaas. today.

We saw a few friends including a very muddy Wartie, an inquisitive Vervet, a pretty LBR, and a well balanced Klippie.

Desi was again AWOL, so we hope we see him before we leave on Monday!!


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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:26 pm 
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Hi Noel. :thumbs_up:


Day 108 (Feb 16th)
Day at home, packing up.

Day 109 (Feb 17th)
This morning we had a quick drive up the H9 to the S131 turning, and then drove the S131 back to Phala.

There was a nice group of Zebbies at Masorini Waterhole, and a small troupe of Babooons at Erfplaas. Sadly Desi and the Klippies didn't come to say goodbye, so we must wait till October to see them again.

Along the S131 we saw a raptor, which I think is maybe a Steppe Buzzard, and then an African Hawk Eagle and a female Red-Backed Shrike.

We also saw a lovely group of Giraffes and a lone Buff before we got back to Phala Gate.

We then called at the pub and grill for our last meal there...........fillet steak for Dungy and chicken stirfry for me!!

Tomorrow we drive down the R40 and enter the park at Orpen. We will then drive out of the Paul Kruger Gate, to Burchells where we will be staying with Elsa for 4 nights!!!

Watch this space!!!


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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:26 pm 
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My goodness Val, has your time gone by already? Seems like just a couple of weeks ago we met at Letaba. Sad that our Phalaborwa reporter is going away, however you will enjoy the ocean for a few weeks.

That baboon looks sad, too, that you are going. :D :D Gorgeous shrike. :clap: :clap:

Enjoy the rest of your time in Kruger.


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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:52 pm 
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Had an interesting drive down from Phala to Paul Kruger on Monday.

Spent 4 wonderful days with Elsa and Klystron at Burchells.

Now at Malelane Camp............what a pleasure!!!!
Saw EJ briefly before she went off to do her Bush Camp.

Leaving here tomorrow, for an overnight stay in Ermelo, then Mkuze, then we stay again with Elsa and Klystron in Ballito, and finally arrive in Port Edward on March 1st.

I will not be posting our park trips from last Monday-Sunday until we are settled in at Port Edward, so please be patient!!! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:47 am 
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The story continues...............

Day 110 (Feb 18th)
Well the day had dawned when we must leave Phalaborwa, after four months.
We had enjoyed some wonderful visits in through the Phala Gate, with some amazing sightings, both human and of the animal kingdom!!

We knew we would miss it dreadfully, even though we were looking forward to the coast, our only consolation was that we were to be spending 4 nights with Elsa and Klystron at Burchell's near Kruger Gate, and then 2 nights at Malelane Camp.

We wanted to drive along the S100, so made the decision to drive down the R40 to Orpen, and enter the park there, instead of through the Phala Gate.

It was a lovely sunny morning, and after checking the cottage with the caretaker (just to make sure we hadn't stolen the family silver!!) we loaded the car and set off for Orpen.

We saw Zebbies, Wildebeest, Giraffe, Impala and Kudu just past the gate, and Warthog and a lovely raptor a little further on...............had we come to a zoo we wondered!!!

We had to take the detour around the dirt road to avoid the big hole in the H7, but saw absolutley nothing.

The S100 was very quiet, we were the only car, and the animals all seemed to be play hide and seek!!!

Eventually we had some luck in the form of a lovely lioness who was enjoying the sunshine!! What a beauty!!! The S100 had delivered!!

We made our way down the main road towards Tshokwane, and saw two amorous Hippos at the dam!!!

Time was getting away from us, so we continued down to Kruger gate, where we had arranged to meet Elsa and Klystron on the bridge.

Oh, and by the way, somewhere between Orpen and Kruger gate we saw a pair of White Rhinos.

We also saw what I am 99% certain was a Blackie, but he disappeared before I could properly check him out!!

Our friends were waiting for us on the bridge, and we followed them back to Burchell's, all set for four days of "fun friendship and Kruger " to coin a phrase!!

That night Elsa cooked us a lekker beef strogonoff, and imagine our delight when a cute little Genet paid us a fleeting visit!!

As we sipped our Amarulas, we caught up on what had happened during the week we'd been apart, and then it was time for bed, so that we would be fully rested for all that tomorrow may show us..............


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Last edited by Crested Val on Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:20 am 
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Hi Val, long time, missed you're stories!

Just love the bee-eater, stunning pic! and the raptor!

Stunning leo lady! in October we too only saw one leo lady on the entire S100 and not much else.....
Nice to see the S100 green!!!!!

We are off on Friday to Tzendze, can't wait!

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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:59 am 
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Day 111 (Feb 19th)
We woke to a sunny morning, and after a shower and brekkie, we set off for our day's drive.

As I got into the car, I had a call on my cell, which was a lady from Home Affairs in Pretoria, to tell us that our "missing permit papers" were now at Phalaborwa for us to pick up!!!

Good news in one way (at least our visa extension was now official) but we were no longer in Phala, but 200kms away!!

Klystron asked us how long we thought that it would take to drive up through the park and out through the Phala Gate and back!!! I could not believe how kind and generous he is!!

After much discussion, we decided that it would take too long to drive up through the park and back, but we would leave very early the following morning, and drive up the R40 to Phala, sort out our papers, and then take a leisurely drive back down through the park.

It is lovely to have such good friends!!

Anyway let's get back to this day!!!
We have never really explored the areas around P' Kop, so it was a nice change to travel along the many dirt roads in that area.

Elsa is a "mine of information" on matters of the bush, and it is a pleasure to travel with her and learn so much.

Sightings were not brilliant, but we did see a "lifer" for me.............a Broad-Billed Roller.......too quick for a photo sadly, but nevertheless an exciting spot by Elsa.

We also saw a cute but shy little bushbuck, a few Kudu, an Ellie, a Giraffe and several Southern Ground Hornbills.

We drove down a river loop at one point, and saw a large tree with a "growth" on it.
Elsa explained that it was a Gall, which is caused in response to irritation by an alien
organism like bacteria, fungi or insects.

We stopped at the new Day Visitor's picnic site near P'Kop, for a welcome break.
The photos that have been posted on the forums seem to be just of the parking area, and I think that has put some people off, but the actual picnic area is very nice, and we enjoyed a snack lunch and a drink.

We continued on our journey with even less sightings than before lunch, so decided to return to Burchell's, where we had an early sundowner, before preparing for a lekker braai.

We looked very hard for our little visitor from the previous evening, but he was nowhere to be seen. We did however hear a bushbaby cry (another first for me!!)

A generous measure of Amarula each, helped to make us ready for our beds, and that early start the next day!!!

To be continued..............


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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:00 am 
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Day 112 (Feb 20th)
We were up at "stupid 'o clock" and on the road by 5.30am.

Elsa and Klystron have a beautiful BMW 4x4, so we had a very quick and comfortable journey, and pulled into the Home Affairs car park not long after 8am.

Imagine our disappointment to find that the officials that we needed to see, had just left to go to the Tzaneen office for the morning!!!

We were told they would be back between 1-2pm, so that put paid to a leisurely drive from Phala Gate back to Burchell's!!

Klystron suggested that we go straight to the park and have at least a few hours there, before we were due back at Home Affairs.

We drove to Phala Gate, and Elsa bought us all one of the delicious pies that they sell in the local community shop, and then we set out through the boom into the park!!

Little did Dungy and I know that when we had said goodbye to the Phala gate on Saturday, we would be back again so soon..............life can be very strange at times!!!

We turned off down the S131, and made a plan to drive through to Letaba for an ice cream.

Sightings were very poor, just a small amount of general game, and as we were parked outside the shop at Letaba we heard other people say the same. It seems since the floods, and with the thick lush vegetation, it is becoming increasingly difficult to spot much!!!

I treated us all to an ice cream, and as time was moving on, we got back in the car and drove towards the Phala Gate.

During our four month stay, Dungy and I always stopped at Rhidonda Pan, and today was no exception. As usual there was nothing much there, except the Hippo that took up residence after the floods.

I scanned the area with the binocs, and declared that there was nothing to see, but just as we were about to get back on the road, I thought I could see something under a the tree in front of the pan!!!

I looked again and shouted "I think it's a cat.............maybe a Lion."
Klystron said he also thought it was a Lion, but then I thought I saw some spots, and as it was quite a large cat I said "No I think it's a Leopard!!"

I then got the binocs out again, and there staring back at me were two tear marks..............I could hardly believe it, but it was a beautiful Cheetah!!!!!

It was quite amazing, but after all this time, and when we had just about given up all hope, we had eventually found our elusive feline, and as an added bonus it was actually in the north!!!

If we hadn't needed to drive to Phala Home Affairs, and if the officials had been there at 8am, we probably would not have found this beautiful animal!!!

We wondered if it was one of the two Cheetahs we had tried to find the other day, after a BB notification that came via a friend of ours, but we could only see the one.

We spent a few minutes snapping away for all we were worth, but eventually our new found friend got up and sauntered slowly away into the distance.

We pinched each other, just to check that we weren't dreaming, but no, we had really just found our Cheetah!!

By now it was gone 1pm, so we drove back to the gate and made our way to the Home Affairs office.

My heart sank when I saw the long queue, and we sat down to prepare for a long wait, but luckily when we had been there early that morning, they had booked us in and so our names were actually first on the list!!

We were shown into the immigration office, and the official said "Oh I remember you, why are you here today"?!!!

I explained that we had received a phone call from Pretoria, to say our permit papers were there, but she said "Well I don't know why they would say that because they're not"!!!

We asked her to double check, but she was right they weren't there!!! I could not believe that we had come all this way, and still we didn;t have our permits!!!

Our only consolation was the beautiful Cheetah that had shown itself to us!!!

I felt awful when we got back to the car, and had to tell Elsa and Klystron that it had all been a wild goose chase, but they also were very philosophical, and said in view of the fact we found our Cheetah, it was meant to be!!

We looked at our watches, and decided that if we made good time back down the R40, we could go back into the park at Phabeni, and have an hour or so before the gate closed.

Klystron put the car into reverse and released the parking brake....at least he tried to!!!

To cut a long story short, the parking brake would not release, so we were going nowhere.

By now it was 34c, so we all piled out of the car to find some shade, and the staff brought us some chairs and some cold water.

They were quite bemused, but I don't think they quite understood the problem with the car, seeing as it was such a technical problem.

More long stories cut short, initially we thought that a breakdown van would be needed to take the car to the nearest BMW approved garage at Nelspruit, and that we would need to hire a car to get us back to Burchell's.

However after a few conversations on his cell phone, Klystron was advised by the on call BMW mechanic to cut the parking brake leads..............something that sounded a bit drastic, but actually worked, although it took a long time to find some cutters and actually carry out the job!!

Eventually just before 5pm we were on our way...........but of course with no hope now of going back into the park that day!!!

As we drove back it was gradually getting darker, which made driving through Bushbuckridge very unpleasant, as it was difficult to see pedestrians and livestock in the fading light. Klystron is however a very good driver, and just before 8pm we arrived back at Burchell's safe and sound.

We had planned another braai that evening, but decided to do a quick meal of stirfry steak strips and pasta in sauce, though sadly an untimely power cut meant that the sauce had not thickened as much as we would have liked!!!

We were all so tired that we didn't even have our usual Amarula, and we were all tucked up in bed by 9pm.

As we drifted off to sleep, Dungy and I reflected on a very strange day, that definitely had given us mixed blessings.

We had been on a wild goose chase as far as Home Affairs was concerned, but had it not been for them, we would not have found our beautiful Cheetah!!!

So our mission was now complete......we had found Cheetah and Painted Dogs, although strictly speaking the dogs has been in the south, however that magnificent, beautiful wonderful Cheetah was most definitely found in the north!!!!

We wondered what tomorrow would bring us....................

To be continued................


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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:12 am 
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Val,

:gflower: Bravo!!!!! Cheetah mission accomplished in the North. :clap: :clap: ...So glad for you yipee!! :hmz:

Lovely :cam: ...happy that he/she obliged for the photo session. :thumbs_up:

What a disappointment with Home Affairs :( ... :big_eyes: having to go all the way back to Phala again!!!!.....Maybe another quick trip into the Park will reveal the painted dogs, this time in the North. :hmz:

Thanks for sharing your detailed report so enjoyable. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:39 am 
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Day 113 (Feb 21st)
There was still no electricity when we woke up, and we had spent a very uncomfortably hot night as of course there was no aircon or fans!!!

I therefore resorted to my usual trick of soaking a towel and wringing it out, and laying it over me!!!
It just about worked!!!

Anyway, after a quick cool shower and some cereal, we all piled into the car to see what the bush had to show us that day!!

We drove the H11/H1-1/S114/H5/S102/S26 and back onto the H3/H1-1/H11 (as far as I know!!)
Elsa can correct me if I'm wrong!!

Today was mostly a bird day......... we saw some Barn Swallows, a family of White-Faced ducks (a lifer for me!!) a lovely Hamerkop, a Fish Eagle in the distance at Mpondo Dam, and from the animal kingdom, two lovely Waterbucks!!

On our way home we called in at Lake Panic..............a must if we're in the area, and found a Tawny-Flanked Prinia's nest, with two chicks and two very attentive parents. They were flying back and forth from the nest with tempting morsels of food for their offspring, it was indeed a very specila sighting.

We also saw a Green-Backed Heron sitting on a nest with two blue eggs, and she was not very impressed when two other GB Herons were trying to remove some twigs from the tree her nest was in, to start their own west!!

There was also a male Thick-Billed Weaver who had just completed building his nest, and was calling for a mate.

While we were watching all these birdies, there was a family of Hippos enjoying the waters and they appeared and disappeared at regular intervals.

The resident darter and Goliath Heron were nowhere to be seen though, and I didn't spot even one species of Kingfisher, which is the first time that has ever happened!!

Eventually we left this wonderful place, and headed back for Burchells, as Elsa was cooking us roast lamb, and she wanted to get it prepared and in the oven.

As we passed the H11/S1 junction, I said "This was where we saw our leopard with our daughter and SIL last month" and Elsa said "We also saw a leopard last time we were here".

I jokingly said ".........and there he is again"!!! and Klystron said "Yes, up in that tree"!!!

Sure enough when we looked, there was a magnificant leopard sitting in a nearby tree!!!

He kept moving to get a comfortable position, so my photos are not very good, but you can definitely see he is a big boy, and through the binocs I had a marvellous view!!!

We got back to Burchell's late afternoon, and we were very pleased to find the electrics were back on.

Elsa put the lamb in the oven on a low heat, while we went to the nearby Protea Hotel for sundowners, and a view of the Sabie river at twilight from the sundeck.

It was a magical experience, even though on that occasion we did not see any wildlife coming to the river to drink.

We arrived back at Burchells to a wonderful aroma of roasting lamb, and while the potatoes and roast veggies were finishing off, we had another sundowner a piece, and reflected on the last three days.

As we tucked into the lamb which was so juicy and tender, we caught a quick glimpse of our little Genet, before he ran off into the night.

This was our last night together in the park, as Elsa and Klystron were leaving in the morning for KZN, and Dungy and I were heading down to Malelane Camp for two nights.

We had a large Amarula each, and though our sightings had not been extra ordinary, we had spent quality time together with like minded friends, and had so enjoyed our time at Burchells.

To be continued.................


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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:36 am 
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Day 114 (Feb 22nd)
We woke to a lovely sunny morning, and after a shower and brekkie, it was time for us all to load up our vehicles, and say a temporary "goodbye".

As I said previously Elsa and Klystron were going back to Ballito, and we were going to Malelane Camp, but it was not so difficult to say goodbye to our friends, because we knew we would be seeing them again soon in Ballito.

We had so enjoyed our stay at Buchells, and hope that maybe we can do it again sometime!!

We were all good to go about 8am, so we said our farewells, and Dungy and I set off for Skukuza, where we needed to do some shopping, before making our way down to Malelane.

Shopping done, we set off down the H3, but sightings were again scarce, and we eventually checked in at Malelane Gate at about midday.

We then drove the few kms to the camp, and were delighted to get a warm welcome from Eco Junkie, who very kindly changed our bungalow, as the one we had been given wasn't as disabled friendly!!! Thanks EJ!!!

Sadly our meeting was brief, because she was just going off for the weekend on a bush camp, but it was great to catch up and it's lovely that I can picture where she is now, when we chat online.

The camp was very quiet, and stayed that way the whole time we were there.
It is such a pretty little camp, and we will definitely be staying there again sometime.

That night we ate cold meat and salads bought from Skukuza, and the following night we ate lovely juicy lamb chops, corn on the cob, and the remains of the salads.

We did some laundry the following morning at B en Dal, as we had needed to take our car there to check a flat tyre, so we killed two birds with one stone.

It was a shame because we had been due to meet WendyA and her Mom at the gate, but sadly it wasn't to be as things took longer than we thought they would!!

We had a very hot and tasty toasted sarmie at the restaurant, which was brought promptly with a smile.............well done B en Dal!!!!

Sightings from then, until we left the park the following morning were scarce, so I will just post a few photos, rather than bore you with the details!!

On our last night we sat drinking our Amarulas, listening to the sound of the bush, and watching the wondrous African sky, with it's myriad of stars.

We reflected on our four months in Phala, our four amazing days in Shingwedzi, Punda and Pafuri with our kids, then the few days with them in the south, our time with Elsa and Klystron in Phala and Mopani, and finally the last few days at Burchells and Malelane.

We had found our Cheetah and Painted Doggies, and had seen so much more.

We had spent quality time with family, and friends, and met many forumites, some for the first time, some for the second time or more.

We had many wonderful memories and photos, to sustain us during the months that we will be away from our beloved park.

Four months is a long time, and though a little part of us was sad to leave, we were now looking forward to the last part of our holiday at the coast, and while there we would start to plan our next visit to the bush.

Thanks to all my faithful followers..............you know who you are!!!

When I get the time, I will look through my photos and maybe post a few that I haven't already done...............till then farewell dear friends.


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 Post subject: Re: In the North in Search of Cheetahs and Painted Dogs!!
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:24 am 
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The amorous young man seen on the H14 late December. :thumbs_up:

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