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 Post subject: Wildheart show and tell, KNP : Jan 2007
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 11:30 am 
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We stayed at Mopanie from 23 – 29 Dec 06, 29 in Shipandanie hide and 30 – 7 Jan at Shingwedzi. Bushveld braai 31 Dec and morning walk 5 Jan…. Languages have never been my best subject so I decided to tell the story behind the picture, much easier.

The trip to Kruger was very long, the last km or so I had my hand out the window rowing in the hopes that we will get there faster. When we entered at Phalaborwa gate I wanted to get out of the car and kiss the ground but instead I said a prayer to say THANK YOU.

Now there is a problem when I am in Kruger, I forget and I mean I forget everything (and in the process loose allot of things eg. The car keys, my watch, my classes etc.) My hubby made me a nice window attachment for my camera, cause the camera gets a bit heavy, and not even 500m into Kruger I forgot about it and rolled down my window all the way and it ended up, broken, in the middle of the road. I was really sorry…

We traveled up to Mopanie and at the Letaba river we had our first sightings. This beautiful baby ellie was right next to the road. Image We didn’t stay long cause mother was watching
and in the water was these two guys. Image Image
Mopanie was more than what I expected. We stayed in no. 13 and it was surrounded by the bushveld, no lawns, just incredible. Pioneer dam took my breath away. There was constant movement of buffalo, and crocodiles and hippo was always insight. Image

As soon as everything was unpacked I was back in the car, “Come now!” ,my hubby, Craig, always takes his time and all I wanna do is GO!... Now!.... So, eventually off we went. Saw allot of buffalo in the road. I forgot how massive they are. Craig is, imm, what is the word, very ‘cautious’ and if it wasn’t for me we most probably would always be on the run > away from the animals. We were surrounded by buffalo and the next moment they started making allot of noise. They were chasing each other and it seemed like they were coming straight for us! Would have had great footage but Craig, in his panic state, just dropped the camera and off we went... ‘Got the footage of that, drop and all. Will post it with the animal sounds’ I just have to laugh at his panic attacks cause the buffalo’s were just playing, promise... Image


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:13 am 
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The Mopanie bush are very thick so for that reason we decided to spent allot of time at Shipandani hide and at Pioneer lookout. Shipandani has got such a relaxed feel and we felt right at home.
If you are there early in the morning then you can watch the bats come back from there night outings.
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They are so cute.
I love hippo’s and had my camera on the tripod, ready, for every yawn. And oh my colly, they were not shy, I counted 7 yawns! Thank goodness for continuous shooting.
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Once again I had to laugh at Craig, cause by the time the hippo were finished yawning, only then he had his cam going, all 7 times!

Image Beautiful bee-eaters kept us entertained. They were diving into the water the whole time. Water-buck also came around for a drink every now and then.

Our Christmas Day couldn’t start better. Lions next to the road.
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3 Days in Kruger and still no rhino.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:45 am 
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At Sable dam we had the pleasure of watching ellies play.
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And having a scratch afterwards.
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We found the gravel road leading to Grootvlei dam as the most rewarding. There we found allot of ellies, buffalo, impala, kudu, zebra and warthog.
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This ellie was very special to me. Image We watched him almost every day.
We also came across this ellie
Image With the foot curled in, eyes closed.
Precious.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 8:40 am 
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Thank you for taking the time to comment about my report. :lol: I am so bad at English that I though the mods were going to throw it in the dustbin the first day! :redface:

Yes Boulder I also think that the area is ‘rather drab and dull......’ Soon after arriving there I realized that only with luck and persistence will come sightings.

27 Dec, Craig spotted this male in one of the loops that goes to the river. He was lying in the dry riverbed. Well done Sweetheart!
Image That was such a lekker sighting cause there was nobody but us. We pulled the car as close to the edge as possible and sat back and enjoyed. After watching him for about 2 min. a female came through the bushes on our left. Image and then another came from the front. Image But, like it always is, we ran out of time and had to go back to camp….

Grootvleidam is definitely one of the most beautiful places to me in Kruger. The colours, dead trees, everything, was just perfect.
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We finally saw our first giraffe’s around Mopani. Its just amazing how they can hide behind the Mopani trees!!! Now you see them > now you don’t. Image

....... but still no rhino..... :cry:


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2007 8:28 am 
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arks wrote:
Fascinating to see your pix from Grootvlei, when I was there in April, the dam was very full :(


Could you see all the dead tree trunks when the dam was full?
I took about 12 photos of it, to me it was just beautiful. :)

I always say that Aug, Sept, Oct. is the best time to go to Kruger, cause then it is very dry. But it's sad that it was already end Dec. and there still wasn't allot of water. :cry: It seems like it is going to be very tuff for the animals this winter. :shock:


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:44 am 
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wildheart wrote:
arks wrote:
Fascinating to see your pix from Grootvlei, when I was there in April, the dam was very full :(

Could you see all the dead tree trunks when the dam was full?
I took about 12 photos of it, to me it was just beautiful. :)

Here's one of my pix from Grootvlei, very full and very few of the dead trees visible.

Image


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:51 pm 
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We were booked in at Shipandani hide on the 29th of Dec. The car was fully packed seeing that we were off to Shingwedzi after the night at the hide. We stopped at reception to pick up the bags with the duvets and had to get that into the car as well. The kids ended up sitting on it. Image Luckily it wasn’t a far drive. At the hide was a big traffic-jam because a little boy spotted a leopard. The cars were pulling backwards and forwards in the hopes to see this leopard behind the rocks. Nobody saw it and eventually decided to go back to the camp and let us through to get to the hide. My daughter, Christie was sitting in such a position that it looked like she was kissing her tows and I thought that the kids will never be able to straighten upright after that ordeal. After unpacking the car I asked Craig if we could just go back to the bridge cause there was a beautiful flower I wanted to take a picture off. We all jumped back in the car and drove down the road to the bridge, its just a couple of meters or so. This is the beautiful flower. Image. While on the bridge Craig saw a tail move in-between the reeds. It was the leopard and he was lying very, very low. After a couple of minutes he jumped up and we watched him until he disappeared.

We went back to the hide and settled in for the night. A very, very exhausting ImageHOT Image night. Thankfully there wasn’t a lot of mosquito’s. We used facecloths with ice inside to wipe ourselves down, it helped a bit, but also meant that we had to get up for fresh ice every now and then… Next morning we were out very fast and into the car with the aircon full blast. Image Wow, didn’t think we were going to survive that one….Image


Our first sighting on our way to Shingwedzi, except for ellies and buffalo, was this owl Imagesleeping in a tree. I was shocked when we turned into the road leading to Shingwedzi, the river was completely dry…. :cry:
We came across a whiteheaded vulture next to the road. Image
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And just ahead was a carcass with lots of vultures and Marabou storks. I really enjoy watching them compete for a little bit of food.
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The wingspan of these birds are just incredible!
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When we got to our bungalow no. 26 and started unpacking we discovered that there was no fridge! NO FRIDGEHOW ARE WE GOING TO KEEP THE BEERS COLD?!?! Image
After really getting upset, angry, worried, devastated ….. Imagethey brought our fridge on a bakkie. Shoe, I’ve never been so happy to see a fridge before in my life.Image


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:34 am 
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Jazil wrote:
I think you are very brave to sleep anywhere there at this time of the year without aircon or at least FANS!!!!

I hope you were able to keep your beers cold.

Lets rather say desperate to be in Kruger. :lol: It was the only place available and the only time we could go.

Mopanie and Shingwedzi ran out of cold-drinks and ice. Only beer was available. If and when they did get ice you were only allowed 1 bag per day. That was a bit of a bommer :( But never less, we made the best of it and still enjoyed it. :lol:


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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:16 pm 
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I loved every thing about Shingwedzi. The best birdlife activity I have ever experienced especially with the Woodland Kingfisher always present. It seemed like this bird never goes to bed because even way after sunset we could still here them.
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We drove to the Shingwedzi bridge as soon as the gates opened on the 31 of Dec. It was one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen. It took my breath away.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:00 pm 
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We decided on taking the H1-7 and just past the Lamont gravel road we came across bee-eaters in the middle of the road. They were all around us on the road and in the trees, I would say at least 30 or so. They were definitely having a get-together breakfast. :lol:
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