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needed a (permanent?) fix so.....

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ecojunkie
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Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....

Unread postby ecojunkie » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:40 pm

Today I had a trip to Skukuza to help with some filing of things for archives. It was expected to take a day - and maybe a few hours more - but we were finished before lunch! Mainly because the manager I was doing it for stayed with me, so I could ask her about a few things I was not sure of straight away, and the department that would store the stuff later sent 2 folk to help as well. So while I got the files out and checked them, the manager labelled boxes, and the 2 helpers packed the files into the archives boxes. On my own it would have been a tiring job, but it ended up being fun.

On the way through I saw ellies, wild dogs near the Renosterpan turning, and then 2 ostriches near Afsaal, also zebs, kudus, warthogs, impalas, ellies. And a couple of traffic jams...... Simply had to get past and did not even try to see what they were about.

Outside the store area we were working in was a mum warthog with a tiny baby......only one though, and I suspect she has lost others to the hyenas prowling around the camp.

On the return trip lots of ellies about, zebs, kudus, impalas, warthogs, and a male lion lying right next to the road, but with 3 cars almost blocking the road already.......so I enjoyed a quick look as I negotiated my way around the cars and kept going.

Then decided that I had earned an afternoon off to do some laundry and zzzzzzzzzzzz-ing!
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

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Completed over 6 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!

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ecojunkie
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Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....

Unread postby ecojunkie » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:03 pm

All has been mundane over the past week.......office work mainly! It has been quiet around camp, the route to the gate has also been quiet. But I did hear there have been lion, leopard, wild dog around BnD......so the area has not been quiet.

I have a friend visiting for a few days from Friday, so hope to be able to do some driving around with her.
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 6 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!

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ecojunkie
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Location: Tramping in the bush again.....

Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....

Unread postby ecojunkie » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:24 pm

My friend arrived shortly after 2pm. We had a hot drink, a quick walk about the camp and then headed out. She had a good introduction to Kruger!

We found a herd of buffalo, unfortunately a bit far away for a good view, but still bufflalo. Then several rhinos, alone and in groups. While watching one, with several other cars stopped, I glanced in my wing mirror and saw an ellie crossing behind us totally unseen by anyone else! Turned and we found him, and then were able to watch some interaction between them....interestingly the rhino had the upper hand. A dwarf mongoose also crossed in front of us just before we eventually moved off.

Then also found 2 herds of ellies bickering over rights to a waterhole! Lots of squealing, chasing, interaction to watch. As we left I saw one of the youngsters on the left of the car, and as we passed he squealed giving my friend a fright.

Also had a juvenile tawny eagle, and a Wahlberg's which was nice as she is a birder.

Later in camp we heard birds making a noise and found a pearl-spotted owlet sitting right near the fence with lots of different birds trying to make it go away......they eventually left and the owlet sat on! Also saw a bushbaby jump into the bush as we sat down to eat.

Now both heading for bed......
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 6 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!

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ecojunkie
Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:05 am
Location: Tramping in the bush again.....

Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....

Unread postby ecojunkie » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:30 am

impyim wrote:EJ - is it ok to post when you see rhino's? In my TR I've made sure that I don't write anything about them, but maybe I could do as long as I don't identify the road we saw them on - enlighten me.


Yes, just don't give any clue as to where they were etc. Photos are OK if they are later and with no clear indication of locality.
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 6 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!

User avatar
ecojunkie
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Posts: 9758
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:05 am
Location: Tramping in the bush again.....

Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....

Unread postby ecojunkie » Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:27 pm

Today we did a long drive.....well left camp at 8am and were not back until after 6pm although we only drove just over 100km in all. Had a great time despite not many sightings because we had some good sightings......

Lots of birds, including a yellow-billed oxpecker with impalas, immature martial eagle, bronze-winged courser, African crake as specials. Many animals, but still looking for zebras!

The day was a bit cooler than the past week so it was pleasant, and although out for so long we did not feel tired until we got home. That post-lunch dip did not occur.

Still trying to decide what we will do tomorrow......first church though. At the moment there is a storm rumbling in the distance so the predicted rain might be on the way.
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 6 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!

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ecojunkie
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:05 am
Location: Tramping in the bush again.....

Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....

Unread postby ecojunkie » Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:00 pm

We did a birding stop on the bridge on the way back from church and also had a good time with some dwarf mongooses on the road near camp. Earlier this morning 2 waterbuck males were grazing right next to the fence outside the caravan.

We are going out again a little later on. My friend was in urgent need of a rest!
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 6 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!

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ecojunkie
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Posts: 9758
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:05 am
Location: Tramping in the bush again.....

Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....

Unread postby ecojunkie » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:20 pm

Long day out today, doing big loop to Tshokwane and back via Lower Sabie. We found impala lambs at last, and lots of ellies, buffs, giraffe, zebs, kudus, warthogs, many birds, and 2 separate lots of lions absolutely stuffed with food.

Tomorrow we will have an easier day, possibly going to BnD to wander round the rhino trail and do some birding there.
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 6 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!

User avatar
ecojunkie
Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 9758
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:05 am
Location: Tramping in the bush again.....

Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....

Unread postby ecojunkie » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:18 am

I am late up this morning, friend has already gone out in her car for a lone drive. But she will be back for some brekkie before too long I think. We had some rain in the night, but not a lot.
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 6 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!

User avatar
ecojunkie
Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 9758
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:05 am
Location: Tramping in the bush again.....

Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....

Unread postby ecojunkie » Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:39 am

Had a visitor this morning

Image

I could hear something outside and went over to sit on my bed and look out and came face to face with the big guy. He was sure the grass was greener this side of the fence!
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 6 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!

User avatar
ecojunkie
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Posts: 9758
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:05 am
Location: Tramping in the bush again.....

Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....

Unread postby ecojunkie » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:42 pm

Last night I ended up doing a sunset drive.....2 South Africans, 5 Japanese, and 2 Israelis.......an interesting mix!

The strange weather with changing temperatures, wind, rain, has made animals a bit confused and it was quiet. We did find the usual impalas of course and enjoyed watching some lambs bouncing about. Also had scrub hares, and a hippo next to the vehicle almost at the end of the trip, and an elephant very close too at one point. Apart from that it was a couple of good times with large greyish animals, and some duikers, and a waterbuck.

About 20mins before we finished the wind suddenly became unpleasantly strong and with common agreement I drove a bit faster to try and get folk back to cars/hotel before the rain came. Made it.....and actually just got back to the caravan myself as the rain started.
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 6 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!

User avatar
ecojunkie
Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 9758
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:05 am
Location: Tramping in the bush again.....

Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....

Unread postby ecojunkie » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:53 pm

This past week.....Monday to Friday I have been camping with 7 other guides out in the bush at a secret location in Kruger. Besides going for a training/assessment purpose, we were also asked by the section ranger to walk in certain areas to report back to him what we found. Such an immense privilege to be allowed to walk there, and to be able to assist in a small way while doing so!

On the first afternoon we only had time for a walk near the camp. While preparing to leave camp 2 young elephant bulls came across the clearing next to us. One was brave and came close, the other only came close just before they left. Because they could see us easily and we did not move off until they had gone it was a safe encounter with the elephants deciding just how close they wanted to come to us.

Shortly after that we found another young bull, this time on his own. We cautiously got quite close to him shielded by bushes, and then the wind swirled and he realised we were there and moved off quickly. We were able to follow and get close again this time shielded by a ring of fallen leadwood trunks and branches.

As we left the bull we saw a large breeding herd of elephants behind us, but decided to allow them to pass without trying to get closer.

Later in the walk we found the same elephant bull again, but gave him space rather than stress him by trying to get close again.

Lots of signs of rhinos and leopard about but we saw none.

Back to camp to prepare a meal and go to bed ready for an early start next morning.......We got up at 4 am each morning while in the bush!
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 6 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!

User avatar
ecojunkie
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:05 am
Location: Tramping in the bush again.....

Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....

Unread postby ecojunkie » Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:09 pm

On our second day we did 2 walks, driving to one location and walking from camp again in the afternoon, and the animals hid away from us! We found lots of tracks and dung and signs of activity, but saw very little life other than a few zebs, wildebeest and impalas. It was strange and frustrating........! But still so good to be out there in the wilds of Kruger.

The third day we drove to another location and again were struggling for a while. But then suddenly we were almost tripping over animals!!!!! We had several rhino sightings, and then stopped for a break in a dry river bed. After starting off again we heard lions and then saw them ahead of us as they jumped up from a wash-away area and ran off. The large male did stop briefly and look at us.....

We tried then to skirt around the bushes they had run into to get downwind and see if we could find them again......and as we neared a clearing had to stop because again there were rhinos in a muddy wallow ahead of us. As we stopped the lions growled at us from bushes near by!!!! We could not see them though...... And then we saw a herd of elephants opposite us, downwind of us, and they picked up our scent and one large female began actively moving up and down looking for us. It was time to make tracks! We carefully moved away and stopped for a 'water break' once we reached safety.

More rhinos before we got back to the vehicle again, but no more sticky situations!

We were too late back to camp to go out again, so cooled down and then got ready to braai for the evening.
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 6 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!

User avatar
ecojunkie
Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 9758
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:05 am
Location: Tramping in the bush again.....

Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....

Unread postby ecojunkie » Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:21 pm

Fourth day we went back to the area we had used the day before, but started walking in a different place intending to do a large loop linking up with the tracks from the previous walk.

Once again we did not seem to find animals easily despite lots of signs. Then as we got back to the area we had been in the day before we found some buffalo bulls. We were able to sneak up closer and then away again without them even knowing we were there - exactly what the intention usually is. We then walked to the furthest edge of the clearing they were in and walked across to an area we had ear-marked for our break. They then saw us and moved away after studying us for a while. We were far enough away that they did not feel threatened - just a bit uneasy with strange 'things' in their vicinity.

We then headed back towards the vehicle, and had to keep dodging ellies! We had heard a herd around most of the morning and wondered a little if they were actually trying to find us, but I think they would easily have caught us had they wanted to get us.

Eventually we found ourselves almost face-to-face with a herd! We ducked into bushes, fortunately downwind of them, and stayed very quiet. We thought we would cross the dry river bed we were next to and work our way around them......only to find they were on both sides of the river anyway.

We sat and watched and waited.....Those on the far bank began to cross towards our side, but walking away from us. Then the fun started........
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 6 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!

User avatar
ecojunkie
Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 9758
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:05 am
Location: Tramping in the bush again.....

Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....

Unread postby ecojunkie » Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:22 pm

...we saw bushes moving, heard ellies squealing.......
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 6 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!

User avatar
ecojunkie
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9758
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:05 am
Location: Tramping in the bush again.....

Re: needed a (permanent?) fix so.....

Unread postby ecojunkie » Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:30 pm

...even more ellies heading our way.......The wind was OK at that stage, and they had not yet realised we were there, but if we moved......or they came closer to us.......
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 6 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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