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 Post subject: The Senyetses' Karoo, Cape and Frontier Parks Tour Dec 2008
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 8:24 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
We're leaving for Kimberley on Friday morning where we spend one night before heading for Karoo National Park for three nights. We'll be camping there for the first time (stayed in a chalet last year). We then head for 3 nights to Wilderness National Park where the flood damage will hopefully have been cleared up. (The folks at Wilderness reckon they will be ready for us). Then we spend 4 nights in a forest hut at Storms River where we ill be doing lots of birding, hiking and snorkelling. Thereafter two nights in a safari tent in Addo, then two more nights in a tent at Mountain Zebra and before we head a one night stay in the Bloem area.

Trip report to follow upon our return in January 2008. :D

If you get stuck behind a slow poke remember its holiday, there's no rush! :tongue:

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


Last edited by Senyetse on Tue Dec 18, 2007 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:28 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
We're back at home all safe and sound. I'll do a short trip report as soon as I have some time.

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:40 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
We leave Krugersdorp at about 5:30 am heading for Kimberley. My wife is driving and at a squatter camp along the N12 somewhere (I forget where but about an hour out of KDorp) a man runs out in front of our car. The first thought that went through my mind was that the man was attempting to commit suicide because it was obvious that he did not run into the road by accident. I noticed a wild almost sneering look on the guy's face almost as if is having fun :shock:. My wife swerves right and luckily it is a double lane highway and no other car is in sight. But the guy stops, hesitates while deciding whether to continue crossing the road and then turns back, runs inbetween the shacks. Had he continued crossing the road our car would have hit him. My wife was livid. She stickks to the speed limit and had been going relatively slowly as we passed the squatter camp. Had she been going faster we could have rolled the car or would have hit the guy.

We wondered why he would do something so daring? Was it a dare or thrill seeking attempt? Was it an attempt to cause the car to stop or evene worse roll and then rob us? Who knows?

To be continued...

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 4:17 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
WE spend the night in Kimberley and the next morning head of for Karoo National Park where we will be camping for the next 3 days. On the way there's moe drama - a helmeted guinea fowl flies up and hits the car's windscreen right in front of my face (I' driving this time). I get obne hell of a fright. The SO forces me to stop to check if the bird is still alive and drag it off the road. Luckily the road is deserted and I can safely get to the bird. It is dead so I move it off the road, feeling quite bad. Luckily there's no damage to the windscreen and we set off, my 5 year old daughter scolding me for not having stopped in time! Mind you every time I had the bird book out she demanded I show her the bird I killed! I started feeling quite guilty I tell you, scarred for life I am. :redface: :lol:.

After shopping at a brand new shoppping center in Beaufort West we head off for Karoo NP. At the gate a very friendly man greets us and informs us that it is 38 degrees celcius. We check in and drive to the campng area to select a site. It is hot but there is a sprinkler on in camp which I use to cool me off. This is the last hot day and the weather is to change quite drastically...

More to come...with pics...

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:11 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
So we set up camp in the 38 degree heat.

Image

Here is the camping area


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That afternoon the clouds start gathering and it starts to rain, a soft drizzle that carries on and off for the next 4-5 days. The wind also starts to blow that night and carries on for the rest of the next day. The second morning we take a walk to the bossie trail (which is highly recommended to anyone with an interest in botany) during a break in the rain. We also do a quick stroll through the fossil trail (it starts to drizzle again).

Here is a shot of the fossil trail with the family cottages (FA6) in the backround.
Image

In camp are several large tortoises that wander amongst the tents grazing on the very green and well kept lawns. One of these has a large crack in its shell and I later learn from the honorary ranger on duty that it had crawled under a car which had reversed into it. Well every time we started our car we made sure there was no one beneath it!

That afternoon we take a short walk in the howling wind...

_________________
Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


Last edited by Senyetse on Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:53 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
Quote:
Are there many shading trees for camping?


Yes there are. You wouldn't think it being in the karoo and looking at the rest of the park. The camping area is set in a large grove of large sweet thorns which provide shade and shelter from the wind. Actually you can't see any sign of the camping area from the road which passes right by it, very good choice for its location. The ablutions are excellent, one of the best we've experienced.

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 7:48 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
We set out on the pointer day trail when it appears as if the rain has gone. It is still overcast but the wind is really blowing. The trail traverses uo teh side of a hill and circles around teh top of the fairly flat hill. At the top the wind is quite bad but apart from that the walk is very pleasant, many birds being seen, and with all the rain, there are flowers everywhere and the landscape is very green.

We do a few game drives and see very few animals - springbok, mountain zebra, hartebees, ostrich, all in very low numbers. Karoo NP is not a big game park, it is more about the entire system, and the many plants and animals making up that system.

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 7:49 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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On the last morning its starts to rain again and we pack up in the light drizzle. On the way out of the park we have a very special sighting, someone comes along to bid us farewell...

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 9:43 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
On the road out of Karoo NP probably a few kms before the gate I see something running in the veld o teh left. First thought is jackal. But then I see the ears and there's no mistaking a bat eared fox. The fox stops, turns sideways to look at us briefly, before heading off into the veld at a trot. It was far too quick for any photos but what a nice sighting!

We get to the gate, greet the friendly attendant and head on our way to Wilderness NP via Meringspoort. It is Christmas day and the roads are deserted. And it starts raining hard just before we get to Meringspoort. I have never seen it rain like this in the karoo! It is still raining when we turn off the N2 toward Wilderness National Park...

Some pics from Karoo National Park

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:34 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
Thanks everyone for the comments. Karoo NP is a very special park, a definite must do for anyone in the area. I would recommend a stay of 3 nights to fully appreciate teh park. I could spend a week there.

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:35 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
I'll continue with the Wilderness visit next week...

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:36 am 
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We stopped outside the reception buidling at Wilderness National park, a light drizzle falling from the heavily overcast skies. After a quick check in we have a look around the new reception building they are busy building. Due to the floods it is still incomplete.

We are staying in the budget 2 bed rondawels in Ebb & Flow North. You have to drive through the south camp, cross over a small bridge and then enter the north camp on the other side of a sand road. It is evident that a lot of water has recently passed over this area. The road in north camp is extremely muddy and sections of the camp sites and in front of the rondawels have standing pools of water. The Touws River is visible to the left as one drives into the camp. We get to our rondawels and unpack our things. The inside of the bungalow smells damp, which is understandable, seeing that these rondawels had been underwater a month previousy. The rondawel is very basic but is fine for three nights. It has 2 single beds, basic utensils, a basin, cupboard and electricity. Some of these bungalows have a toilet and shower and are only marginally more expensive (R5 per night) than those without. Unfortunately we were staying in one without since that was all we could get.

Only two hiking trails are open, I forget the names but one starts just over the bridge near the north camp entrance while the other starts near the south camp gate.

We walked the former trail which moves along the bank of the Touws River. Everytime we stopped to look at something, mosquitoes descended in clouds and attacked my wife (she seems to have very sweet blood). At one point we passed a small marsh and there were mozzies all over the place! Needless to say they attacked in large numbers driving us back! :lol:

The rain continued for the next two days and only cleared up on the last day, allowing us to visit the beaches at Wilderness, which my daughter enjoyed tremendously. The Touws River mouth was still spewing quite a bit of debris from the floods into the ocean.

I noticed that the north and south camps were crawling with Knysna Louries which we had battled to find on our previous visit 11 years ago.

The ablution blocks at north camp were clean but are in need of a face lift (which I think is on the cards). All in all it was an enjoyable stay, the area is very beautiful but the Wilderness National Park does not feel like a national park, it feels more like a holiday resort or typical caravan park. Don't get me wrong it is really lovely with beautiful trails but the area around it is quite developed. It may also be the rain and the fact that most trails were closed.

The sun came out again on our last afternoon and remained out for the next 4 days, which we would be spending at Storms River rest camp in theTsitsikamma National Park...

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


Last edited by Senyetse on Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:47 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
Some images from Wilderness National Park

Image

Image

Image

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Image

Pic are
1. Camspites (Ebb & Flow North)
2. 2 bed rondawels (Ebb & Flow North)
3. Log cottage (Ebb & Flow South)
4. Forest Cabins (Ebb & Flow South)

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


Last edited by Senyetse on Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:49 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
Should I continue?

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:52 pm 
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Thanks for another installment Senyetse! Love your last pic, wouldn't mind go wandering on that path... :wink:

and yes, please continue :wink:


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