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 Post subject: Haupie and family in KNP - Jul 2007
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 9:45 pm 
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Location: East London, South Africa
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HI THERE EVERYONE. THIS IS JUST A TEST PIC TO SEE IF I CAN DO THIS POSTING THING. IS THE IMAGE TOO BIG? IS IT TAKING TOO LONG TO DOWNLOAD?

I'LL BE ENTERING THE PARK ON MONDAY 2/7/2007 AT ABOUT 12H00 AT MALELANE GATE AND WILL TRY SEND YOU THE 1ST REPORT AFTER THE BRAAI FROM SKUKUZA THAT NIGHT. (IF I CAN FIGURE THIS OUT)

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO GIMME ADVICE IF THE PIC IS NOT 100% WHAT IS REQUIRED

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:33 pm 
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i am in the park and haev just finished braaing at skukuza. we entered the park at malelane gate at 11h45 and had teh usual bets about the 1st sighting. my eldest predicted giraffe and 2km further 5 of these beautiful creatures lay in the veld looking at the strange object with 4 humans in excitedly pointing at them.

sightings were, in order they happened, giraffe, ellie, impala, warthig, zebra, blue wildebeest, lion, buffalo, duiker, kudu, martial eagle, crocodile, waterbuck, white rhino, baboon, vervet monkey, maribou stork.

the roads were reletively empty for high season. what did strike me was the speed at which people were travelling. most people were doing in excess of 60km/h. i'm sure!

somewhat disappointed with the bungalow we were given. it is number 148 and is located right outside the shop! what a disaster. also very weak hot water supply.

well thats me for the day. thanks to zolbol, i'm trying this reality reporting. i dont have pics today. i forgot my mass storage device at home nad will try to fix that tomorrow. will think of something to download without the tools.

by the way (and i know i should not go there) i played a round of golf at west bank golf club in east london on wednesday last week and had the followig sightings: southern right whale, 14 dolphins and 2 seals. all while playing the front 9!! wonderful that one can see all this in the sea and in the park within a few days of each other.

tomorrow off to letaba.....

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:50 pm 
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hallo again from kruger. thank you for the messages of good luck. the whole experience here is far more than luck can ever hope to give.

it was a long trek from skukuza to letaba today. it was freezing to start with and it only became warmer when we hit Tshokwane.

letaba is most pleasant at this time of teh night and i'm still in short sleeves.

it was a really special moment when i walked onto the lawn outside the satara restaurant and saw the webcam and the watering hole which is stuck in my mind all day at the office. tehre were a few impoala drinking at the time and i felt so loucky to see it in person.

our sightings today were kudu (too many bulls) impala, wild dog, zebra (more than 300), wildebeest, giraffe, ellie, martial eagle, tawny eagle, 2 different types of vultures (i'm still training to become a birder) lion, buffalo, kori bustard, ground hornbill, squirrel, warthog, steenbok, red duiker, common duiker, bushbuck, hippo, crocodile, saddle billed stork, many different types of storks, silver back jackal, lilac breasted roller, many other small birds

life is good and we are happy to be in a bungalow with lots of hot water tonight. (and i'm not even in hot water with the wife yet!!!

after teh webcam experience at satara, the opportunity to get out of teh car at the bridge over olifants river, was special too. saw a lioness appearing from the dense bush and srolling out onto the 'beach' where she crashed for a late afternoon nap!

strangely no hyena yet and as usual, no leopard or cheetah yet. but that is alweays the case for me.

tomorrow i'll eb off to mopani where i will be looking out for python and a black mamba. these 2 have apparently been seen regularly within 15 km form teh camp!

good night!
o, db, say hi to our home town, please?)

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:35 pm 
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hi everyone.

let me start by saying that i am enjoying myself 100%. and the kids are having even more fun! just seeing them living for each animal moment, is worth al the effort of getting here!

yes i do aim high with the reference to the big 5 and mamaba adn python, but i only get this opportunity once a year and really want it big time. i do however never walk away from my visit to heaven disappointed as i am just too grateful that i am able to be here. like today.....

after sort sleeves in letaba last night, i woke up cold and wet. yes that very characteristic soft, drenching rain was feeding the earth. and it was dry wherever we went. i really wanted to mention this. all the rivers were either dry or flowing very weakly. the natural dams had no water (or mud) whatsoever. i'm sure the rain brought a little relief in the letaba, olifants area.

due to the rain sightings were slow. took an early morning drive from letaba on the main road towards mopani. a few waterbuck and 3 crocodile in an hour's drive. on the way back to camp at least had 15 minutes on my own with a very destructive ellie bull (he appeared horny too as per my 9 year old!)

packed up and left for mopani at 9. trip was animalless untill we reached the tzende turnoff, when zebra, buffalo, willebeest, giraffe, 15 ellies, impala, a pair of steenbok (must have been a couple) and one common duiker cheered us up over a short distance of about 5km.

then the sighting of the day! just before the loop to the ntshawo dams (+- 3km from mopani) a hyena bitch came charging accrioss the road fro mleft to right. she appeared very nervous and i still commented to the kids we should stay and have a good look as something was wrong here. taht something appeared right next to me when mom was still about 20 meters away. a small puppy appeared from a culvert next to the road, yelping for mom. she dashed accross to it qand stood fearlessly over it. at taht stage we were still the only spectators. she nudged it into the culvert wnd lay down in front of the opening. i manoevered into better position and then sat for 20 mins watching puppy playing with a very nervous mom. no good pics unfortunately as mom protected puppy well and mostly kept it in the culvert. but having the sighting to ourselves for about 20 mins was soooo special.

pioneer dam is special. say no more. fish eagle catching fish, hippos playing/fighting and birds galore.

forgot to mention my birds of the day, the brown headed parrot (4 of them puffed up in a tree in the rain at mooiplaas picnic spot) and crested barbet outside letaba.

mopani is a nice camp. in the bush feeling.

tomorow to shimuwini for a really special night. looking forward to that. kids as well as they have heard of their animal friend in the camp

good night

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:08 pm 
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hi all.
especially to freda. shimuwini is closest to heaven i haev experoenced anywhere in the KNP. i will try Biyamithi next year and only the lack of game can put shimuwini 2nd. but the remoteness and tranquility cannot eb surpassed! shine is so spoilt. i thin kvisitors feed her too often. my kids made enemies becoz they were yelling at everyone who tried to feed her.

there was no cellphone reception at shimuwini last night so this real time reporting went for a royal ball of (yes you guessed it)

but no w i'm back in letaba and online again.

mopani and shimuwini were disappointing in a gameviewing sense, but the setting at these 2 camps make up for it. u really get the feeling of being totally out of reach, especially at shimuwini.

but the lack of animals is no problem. the kids loved the quiet camp. it meant real quality time with Dad and that is worth it.

on the way back to letaba, we came accross a fresh giraffe skin. obviously a recent kill. literally a poiece of skin the size of a doormat and 2 vertebrae left of the whole animal!

also came accross 2 ellies with the biggest tusks i have certainly seen. was just outside letaba on the loop towards olifants. they were together and made me think i may haev stumbled accross 2 of the lataba legends. once back hime i will post pics and teh experts can help me on the way.

my time here is coming to an end. leaving on monday and already the sadness is creeping in. i just wanna stay here forever.

one comment: have not seen 1 yellow ribbon.

good night

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I say 'no bail to poachers', name and shame them, even at a sniff of suspicion. Lets get rid of them quickly


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 8:54 pm 
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hallo from a very warm skukuza.

we had a wonderful day! it was a long trek from letaba, but a truly great kruger experience. teh mopani bush quickly made way for the real bushveld at satara. it is amazing to see how the animals appear near satara!

had my 1st lion on kill sighting about 10km north of satara. they can really strip all the meat off a carcass. not too sure whether a zebra or buffalo, but a HUGE ribcage was all i could see, and 6 very well fed lions around it.

also saw ellie, white rhino, steenbok, duiker, bushbuck, kudu, impie, side striped jackal, hyena (with pup) (just south of satara), hippo, crocs (some really big ones at orpen dam outside tshokwane), zebra, willebeest, waterbuck, kudu, baboon, monkey, warthog and terrapin. wife says she saw african wild cat outside satara (but we cannot credit it as our rule is 2 people haev to id the animal or it has to be in film).

saw some truly magnificent bords. some 1st timers for me. i'll have to confirm the sightings when i get home and will inform you. best for me was a bateleur hunting. watched it for oabout an hour. had to drive after it for about 10 km, but no luck witnessing a kill. but what a gracious, beautiful creature. saw tawny, martial and brown sanke eagle as well. 2 different types vultures again, and storks and herons that i am yet to identify.

late afternoon drive from skukuza on road to lower sabie was also special. another 6 young lions on a rock accross the river. about 30 ellies drinking and playing in the river. a troop of entertaining baboons. some magnificent kudu bulls.

this is really the best place on earth. i'll challege anybody who finds a beter place.

last day and night tomorrow. really sad, but also excited.

good night

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:45 pm 
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it is with sadness that i start my 2nd last trip report. tomorrow morning the short trip to malelane gate from skukuza and then its back to reality.

another super day of animals. 7 lions ( 2 different sightings) and some really special gathering at sunset dam.

drove from skukuza to croc bridge on the main tar road. only deviated onto gravel at lower sabie to chase after a report of a cheetah sighting 6km from the turn. needless to say, my spotted bad luck continued. i last saw cheetah or leopard in the park over a decade ago. btu i'll still coem back

maybe tomorrow's last hour and a bit will do the trick....

i'll try to do a grand finale when back in slum town (east london) and include a pic or two. but that will only be on rfiday or saturday. watch this space.

to bb re kgalagadi... yes i have heard that too, but it sounds too rough for me. then again, i haev become a lot rougher over the last 3 years. also still need some convincing that a truck is better than my sassy sedan!

live reporting is the way forward. i cant wait for my adsl line again so i can live all the reports with all of you!

by the way, it was 32 degrees in the southern park today. i haven;t heard any news or read any newspqapers, but i'm sure it was hotter here than inmost parts of the country

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