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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:19 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Thanks Ecojunkie for your trip report :clap:

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:06 pm 
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Location: ..on the road again.....
My caravan is at last ready for me! I am going to celebrate by going in at Malelane gate in the morning and doing a drive to Afsaal and back - route yet to be decided......
Then I will get to Nelspruit at a reasonable time to hitch up...And when I am back do a few more bits and bobs in the van - and then Kruger here I come for a longer visit.... Yippee!!!!!

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:08 am 
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Location: ..on the road again.....
Almost had a disaster yesterday morning! I forgot to set the alarm..... Fortunately woke up in time anyway and was only 15mins after opening time at Malelane. But the rush made me forget my good binocs - fortunately I have some in the car anyway.

Headed for BnD after the gate. It turned out to be a giraffe day, and by the time I got back to the main tar road I had seen more giraffe than impala! Passed Louren's walks vehicle parked at the side of the road and wished I was with them rather than in a tin can..... Decided to take the Matjulu road rather than go over Steilberg - and realised I have not travelled that road before! Sightings were few though.

After getting back on the tar road I found a lone buffalo bull below the Mlambane bridge, and shortly after that my first large herd of impalas. 2km before Renosterpan I found a rhino mum with a calf right next to the road, but obscured by thin bushes which prevented a photo (Grrrr!). Turned down to Renosterpan to look for the silver-back jackals, and think I saw them in the grass heading south, but not a good view. Sat at the waterhole and had a mug of tea, and then went north to Afsaal and turned round. The plain was almost empty of animals - just a warthog family busily hunting about.

On the return trip about 4km south of Afsaal there were 2 young hyenas resting right on the side of the road:
Image
Image

My rhinos had moved on, and apart from evidence that I had missed a herd of elephants crossing the road near Matjulu turning I only saw impalas after that.

Still a good 2 1/2 hours!!! And then got my caravan.... so now I need to plan my trip.....after car service next Thursday I can leave....

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the gate leaflet? Do you KNOW the regulations?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I were normal I wouldn't be me!


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:48 pm 
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Great!! Let us know when and where and for how long...cant wait to read it again... :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:55 pm 
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Location: ..on the road again.....
I've done it! See my signature for when and where. Staying intially at BnD and hopefully get in a walk with Lourens (knowing my luck he will be away.....), and be handy for church meeting on Sunday in Malelane, then a stop at Satara to break the trip north. I loved Shingwedzi but have not explored area well enough, so a stop there and then up to Punda. Never been there (although have done a day trip from Shingwedzi to Crooks Corner). Then Letaba to break the trip south to Skukuza for cricket. There are some longish distances, but with the caravan in tow I tend to just concentrate on getting from A to B and only stop for something really good en route.

I promise to report regularly, daily if possible!

My first long trip and mega-fix...... But will probably have to fit in one or two short fixes before that.......

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the gate leaflet? Do you KNOW the regulations?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I were normal I wouldn't be me!


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:05 pm 
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Great itinerary... I am just a tincy bit :mrgreen: enjoy.. look forward to a full update.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:36 pm 
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Have a great trip, ecojunkie :D
You will love Punda :wink:
See you at the cricket.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:19 pm 
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Location: ..on the road again.....
Needed to be in Malelane for 11am yesterday morning - so......you guessed it, I took the scenic route! This time I went up the tar road from Croc Bridge (no sign of my young leopard) and crossed over to the Malelane road via the S21.

It was a good day with no long gaps between sightings. Lots of zebs, wildebeest, impala, warthogs and giraffe about. And I lost count of the white rhinos - they seemed to be everywhere!

I thought I saw something at the waterhole near the H5 turnoff, and reversed to get a better view. Almost immediately heard a rattling noise so stopped to investigate, thinking I'd caught a branch or something. A young elephant bull promptly emerged less than 10m in front of me and crossed the road headling quickly to the waterhole. He did not even look at me - fortunately! A close encounter........

About half way along the S21 I was held up for quite a while by these guys ambling down the middle of road:

Image

And then shortly after that this martial eagle:

Image

Huge rhino crossed the road at the junction of the S21/S114 and there was already a traffic jam watching him - including a backpacker bus with folk standing in the deck area taking photos. I just left.......

It was a good day - but I will not take that route again when time-limited - it was a little too far.

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the gate leaflet? Do you KNOW the regulations?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I were normal I wouldn't be me!


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:09 pm 
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Location: ..on the road again.....
Mega-fix Day 1...

After setting up at BnD we were exhausted - it was a very hot day! A late lunch, short rest and then out game-spotting. My '2 leopard friends' are also here for the weekend so we went together. Took the road down to waterhole, back and along Matjulu road and up to S118 and then completed the loop back to BnD via S114 and tar road.

We saw lots of eles - lone and two herds. None were interested in us even though the driver did not spot one on the other side of the road from the main herd at one point and got a huge fright when he saw it very close to us!

There were so many buffalo around that I think we saw more of them than impala. Some very young calves about.

And we found 4 lots of rhinos - 2 in the Matjulu river bed, then on the S118 a mum with a very young calf. They were both well rounded and waddled along in front of us, mum almost puffing in her efforts to keep up with junior who kept running way ahead of her. Eventually they moved off into the grass.
Image
Then another mum with older calf below the Matjulu bridge, and on our return near the camp we found the evening drive stopped to watch a group of 5 or 6 rhinos in the bush near the road.

Oh, and an elephant came to visit us at the fence while we were having lunch. He showed no interest in our meal - obviously the trees his side were very tasty though!

Intend going out early tomorrow - but not setting an alarm, so may not be as early as all that.....

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the gate leaflet? Do you KNOW the regulations?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I were normal I wouldn't be me!


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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:17 pm 
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Sounds great, ecojunkie :mrgreen: Enjoy !


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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 8:13 pm 
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Location: ..on the road again.....
Mega fix day 2.

I have a feeling it is going to be a noisy night - and no amount of contact with the manager will help...... The elephant from yesterday is still around the fence area. This morning he irritably chased a bushbuck and some warthogs away, and tonight he is squealing and rumbling around just outside our area!

Went out this morning and began to think the animals had gone away for a break with Lourens.... Drove to the waterhole -nothing, and in fact only saw my first animal, an elephant after turning on to the mountain road! 200m further on was a waterbuck. Then nothing much again. Came back for breakfast and then headed out again for a bigger circle drive towards Afsaal. Had a 'just missed it leopard', and then lots of elephants - almost more of them than impala! In one river valley there was an elephant and a buffalo but the grass was too long to get a pic of both together.

On my evening drive I found 3 rhinos together, and a young bull elephant came to the waterhole but seemed nervous of the cars and had a quick slurp before moving off.

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the gate leaflet? Do you KNOW the regulations?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I were normal I wouldn't be me!


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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:39 am 
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All sounds wonderful ecojunckie,
Thanks for the on the spot reports, all the best for the rest of your mega-fix. :D

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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:06 pm 
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Location: ..on the road again.....
The elephant did make a bit of noise - but not too much, and was in full voice again this morning. Maybe objecting to a breeding herd just outside camp - in the first dip on the gravel road if you know the area.

My morning drive was incredible..... by the time I had gone down the tar road to the main road, my sightings list was 1 warthog and 8 impala rams!!! A few more groupings of impala and then the elephants as I got back to camp. I am sure Lourens has taken them away with him......!

I drove out just before 8am to go to church in Malelane, and found an elephant and a rhino along the tar road - both really close to the road. On the return I hound my first giraffe of the trip also right next to the road.

It is now very hot, so will wait and do a short drive again if it cools down about 4.30. Tomorrow I will use the cooler morning moments to pack up rather than go out and then struggle later in the heat!

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Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the gate leaflet? Do you KNOW the regulations?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I were normal I wouldn't be me!


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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:00 am 
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Thanks Ecojunkie,
you have certainly had some special experiences.
Have a great day.
I specially loved your spaced out hyenas :lol:

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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:17 am 
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Location: ..on the road again.....
Yesterday afternoon while I was trying to keep less hot I heard squeaking - and dwarf mongooses joined me! They investigated the caravan, car and tent - and foraged under the nearby trees. Much nicer companions in the camp than vervets or baboons!! As long as I moved quietly they were not at all bothered by my presence. Lovely.....

The evening drive produced 4 young zebs at the Matjulu waterhole and a few impala about, but nothing else.

Heavy dew last night so the the tent and caravan top are damp - but no rain unfortunately. There was some lightning and thunder about though. Noisy ele behaved himself and kept quiet. Campers near me with bright lights outside their caravans went yesterday so the night was blissfully dark too. Wonder if they realise how many insects they killled?

Right - time to get packing..... then Satara here I come.

_________________
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the gate leaflet? Do you KNOW the regulations?

Completed over 5 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I were normal I wouldn't be me!


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