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 Post subject: Re: Game drives/walks
Unread postPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 1:20 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Walk, Letaba, April. Guides Jacques & Riana. Great experience, few animals, good birds. Flat, about 7km.
I had hoped for more animal sightings. Guides professional, friendly & competent. 50/50.

Sunset ride, Pkop, May. Guide Edward ( late substitute) shy, but he worked hard ('overtime')looking for sightings in the high thick grass. Saw very little except scrub hares, rhino, but other rides found lions. 50/50.

Morning ride, Pkop, May. Guide Pat, very good. Saw lions, eles, buffs, rhino, and it was a good ride. "Overtime". Recommended.

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 Post subject: Re: Game drives/walks
Unread postPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 7:42 pm 
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I took a camera (which I didn't use), binos, pen & paper for sightings, some dried fruit and a small bottle of water.
I wore a cap, bush waistcoat, and thin long trousers, for the threat of ticks, and strong casual shoes.
I left my jersey in the car, as it got quite warm so I handled the fresh morning.
Walks are about 3.5 to 4 hours.

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 Post subject: Re: Game drives/walks
Unread postPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 11:49 pm 
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Take proper walking shoes, not open shoes. You do not really need hiking boots, but they are better than sneakers if you have them available.

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 Post subject: Re: Game drives/walks
Unread postPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 4:45 am 
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And long trousers and suitable socks, to avoid those little nasty insects and thorns.

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 Post subject: Re: Game drives/walks
Unread postPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 12:48 pm 
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On a walk less is better. You are anyway not going to use most of the stuff you are carrying with you.

I also prefer long trousers. It just gives better protection making your walk a more comfortable experience. But that is personal taste ...

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 Post subject: Re: Game drives/walks
Unread postPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 12:55 am 
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It is better to book in advance, because they can only take 8 guests. So a walk can fill up very quickly!

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 Post subject: Re: Game drives/walks
Unread postPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 4:02 am 
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Basically I take a water bottle and a camera (both in pockets in my bush jerkin) and nothing else.
I've done a lot of hiking over the years and went from carrying 30+ kilo's to about 24 kilos and still had as good a hike.
The walks are not that strenuous and the amount of sightings seen to write down should be able to be retained in memory.
I do a lot of day bush walks and hunts here and for those I use a small waist pack for grub, maps and compass.
As far as pants go that is defendant (for me) on terrain and temperature.
If the ground is reasonable open and it is fair to middling warm then I will wear shorts, boots and gaiters.
Long grass / thorns I will wear long pants even though it may be a bit warm.
The spinifex here is an absolute killer on the legs and long pants even in mid 30's is required.

I found in June last year in KNP that long pants were pretty much required as the early mornings were fairly cold, especially down south.

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“ Every year elephants were becoming scarcer and wilder south of the Zambezi, so that it had become impossible to make a living by hunting at all. ” FC Selous 1881


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 Post subject: Re: Game drives/walks
Unread postPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 8:21 am 
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I did 2 at Rhino Post which I won't recount here as they were slightly different to the KNP ones (brilliant though!!!).

We did two with Sanparks guides, one at Olifants and one at Shingwedzi.

At Olifants we were driven along the dirt road towards the (S92) back to the main road at 05HDARK :wink: We stopped about 4 or 5 k's back towards Satara and pulled about 100m into the bush.
There were a mating pair of lions about 200m from where we stopped so we sat in the vehicle and listened to them for a while.
Once we got out they bolted.

The walk itself meandered back towards Olifants up a hill and round over a small river.
These walks are not tough and there are a few stops where the guides will explain things.
We saw giraffe who pretty much just stood and watched us.
About 2 hours into the walk you stop and have a break which consisted of crackers, biltong, cheese and juice boxes.
You also get the chance to use one of Elzets bush toilets :whistle:
On the way back we saw the lions again - haring off into the distance.
They do seem to have a very extended "comfort" zone - maybe that had to do with the fact that they were mating.
You wander back to the vehicles having done a "circle".

Shingwedzi was not as far a drive but pretty much followed the same format.
The difference was that we were taken down to the river and walked along for a bit looking at hippos and crocs.
We came out near the big bush lapa (can't remember the name of it) and then tramped back along the road to the vehicle.

The walks go out early and in winter even up north you need to be reasonably rugged up.
At Shingwedzi even though we were there for a week we only got 1 walk as they were short of guides.

My SO has a weak leg and sometimes can struggle when we are out bush walking, but she had no problems on the 4 walks we did.
I will say that we are both regular bush walkers but no-one else really struggled except an American lady at Rhino Post.

We have pre-booked all our walks this time taking a couple of days between each and are doing a total of 8 walks (Hopefully :pray: ) between 27 July and 13 August.

Hope this is what you were after B5S?

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“ Every year elephants were becoming scarcer and wilder south of the Zambezi, so that it had become impossible to make a living by hunting at all. ” FC Selous 1881


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 Post subject: Re: Game drives/walks
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 3:54 pm 
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B5S...

The walks are great but don't expect to see too much big game... I reckon they either hear you coming or the smell of our deo chases them off.

But it's the little things that are facinating - on my last walk at Shimuwini we saw a baboon spider and a community nesting spider/s (??? I think that's the correct name). Unfortuantely a poor grass-hopper got tossed into the web by our guide, but it was so interesting to then watch them come out and paralyse their victim.

Also had a good scare one time while walking from Shingwedzi when we got charged by a grumpy bull elephant!

DGK


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 Post subject: Re: Morning walk from Satara
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:12 pm 
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All morning walks takes a maximum of around three hours.

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 Post subject: Re: Safari Times?
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:09 pm 
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Yes, you are allowed to book on the day, or the day before for the walks and the morning drives.

The only problem might be availability. It may be that the walk / drive is fully booked. Usually when that happens they will try and organise another drive. But this depends on the availability of vehicles and guides.

The walks are more tricky, because you need two qualified guides, and they can only take 8 people maximum. So often they will not be able to organise another walk for the same day. All camps do not offer walks either.

To ensure your place I would book a day or two ahead of time.

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 Post subject: Re: Safari Times?
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:47 pm 
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You can book these thru sanparks head office or phone the camp concerned and book direct with them. But best to do it in advance especially if it is holiday times for our schools.


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 Post subject: Re: lifting turtles
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:07 pm 
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A good guide will do his best to disturb nature as little as possible, while giving his clients a good nature experience.
The lifting of tortoise is not good practice.
This goes for the lifting of snake as well, which many guides see as a statement of machoness and do to impress their guests!

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 Post subject: Re: Morning Walk from Tambotie/Orpen
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:15 pm 
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Wear anklets to cover your socks to prevent grass seed getting into socks or wear long pants .
Take binoculars & camera for that once in a lifetime picture , a hat , water bottle and daypack (both of these are supplied) if you want to use your own ones and a snack if you need to snack regularly (snacks are supplied - nuts , 250ml fruit juice , dried fruit , biltong , etc)
Best not to have too high expectations as far as animals are concerned -the animals usually smell , hear or see you long before you see them , but you may even see most of the big 5 if you are lucky.
Walks usually are around 3-4 hours from departure to arrival .

Expect a short unique wilderness experience where you can also smell and hear - even if it is only silence - not just see , as in a car !

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 Post subject: Re: Morning Walk from Tambotie/Orpen
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:10 pm 
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Walks are about 7 km.
I wore light, as in not heavy long trousers and braved the morning cold. It gets hot quite quickly and a jacket or jersey is a bit of a bind later on.
There is no 'e' in Tamboti.

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