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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:22 am 
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Ecojunkie, enjoy the packing and the drive to Satara, hope you have good sightings to make me more :mrgreen: Once again, thanks for sharing.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:30 am 
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Hi Ecojunkie

Great report so far, cant wait for the Satara part.. :clap:
I will also be in cat country next week. :dance:

Please can you give me some updates regarding the abbundance of wildlife in the area, state of the bush at the moment and maybe weather...? :)


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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:55 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Long hot day! and correction - it did rain in the night as I discovered when packing up the tent!

I left BnD about 0845, having had the dwarf mongoose gang come to supervise the packing up..... Right outside the gate I met the herd of elephants, but fortunately not on the road! It was fairly quiet after that, apart from a few more eles, until the open area south of Afsaal which was full of zebs, impala, warthogs and wildebeest. No sign of the rhinos. Couple more eles en route to Skukuza. Stopped briefly to get paper from the hole in the wall.....

The rest of the trip up was quiet, and I got to Satara about 1300. No one else at reception so quick check-in! And then found a great spot near the bottom of the camp-site, at the fence, under 3 trees for shade, and right near a new power box!! Absolutely ideal - and just a few minutes later and an older couple would have beaten me to it. They had parked their caravan and were walking around looking for a spot - I drove around, saw this one and pulled straight in.

Sat and relaxed and then headed for the S100 at 1500. Right outside the gate was a traffic jam - lion under a bush. No chance of getting a decent view so I went on. The S100 was alive! Large herds of zebs, wildebeest and impala all over

Image
Several groups of waterbuck too, and one small group of kudus plus lone giraffes and one herd.

Stopped at Gudzani waterhole, but nothing doing there so decided to go back and enjoy the S100 some more.

Less than 2km along I found a different kind of animal - in a bright blue tin can speeding along with a male passenger sitting in the window, arm spread over the car roof for support. Perhaps they were wanting to add to the suicide/manslaughter figures??????? I called in a report to the Satara manager immediately!

Shortly after that there was another herd of elephants, and several buffalos.
Back on the main road I was met by a wall of cars coming towards me - the lion was on the move!
Image

The annoyance on faces of those coming towards me was amusing - they obviously did not appreciate giving up their place in the cavalcade to let me through!

On the opposite side of the road were a couple of mating lions! The female had a collar, so I suspect she is one of the two who kept me awake last January....
Image

Stopped to get a take-away meal, and was just about to eat when the hyena wandered past along the fence!
Image

I am tempted to stay on - but it is easy to get here anytime, so will keep to my plan and go on to Shingwedzi tomorrow.

So - Satara is cooking at present! Hot, lots of animals, bush dry looking.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:10 pm 
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Your report and pics are making me :mrgreen:
Thanks for sharing it realtime, ecojunkie :D


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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:23 pm 
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ecojunkie, fantastic live reporting.... sounds wonderful :D I suspect Shingwedzi will be a lot quieter than Satara. Keep ti coming.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:56 am 
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Great report .. and thanx for the update on satara... Unfortunatley i will just miss you next friday when you leave letaba and i arrive.

have a good one :clap:


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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:15 am 
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Love your report ecojunkie. Glad to hear Satara is cooking - hope it is still like that when we are there soon!

We will probably miss you at Letaba - hopefully meet up with Dotdan there.

Hope the rest of your trip is just as good! Looking forward to your report on Shingwedzi.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:45 pm 
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Great pics of all the animals in the long grass!Can't wait for your views on Shingwedzi.It will bring back memories of my trip there :D

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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:15 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
I am set up at Shingwedzi - under shady trees again, which is great as I am here 5 days! Right next to the fence too. The camp site is fairly empty, so it should be quiet. This time it is tree squirrels who want to get in on the action......

The trip up was reasonably quiet sightings-wise - but I did cruise-control it which meant 46km/hr. slowed it I saw something or others were stopped. More details and pics this evening......I am going to have a rest now and then go out for a drive around.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:51 pm 
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Look forward to news from your afternoon drive.... :whistle:


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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:38 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
Right - got away from Satara just before 7am. 2 giraffe bid me farewell - one each side of the road! There were quite a few herds of zebs, wildebeest etc to start with. I saw 2 rhino in the distance, and then near the Timbavati turn-off there was a car-jam - an Isuzu was actually parked diagonally across the road completely blocking it, and about 4 other cars there too ahead of him. I crept forward hoping he would move, but no chance - then I saw what he was watching - 2 cheetahs!! (Still no excuse to block the road that way!). As I eventually managed to get past, they began to move alongside the road keeping pace with me - so I quickly grabbed the camera and fired off a couple of shots. This is the best one:
Image
Then at the Middlevlei waterhole there were lots of Wildebeest and zebs so I slowed down as they were close to the road. And got a real treat:
Image
Just after Olifants there was a lappet-faced vulture in the road attacking a piece of skin.
Image
There were several eles about, and a couple of herds of buffalo before getting to Shingwedzi.

On my afternoon drive I found an elephant near the Ma....waterhole - he seemed to be about to trap me at the turn-round, so I tried to position the car so I could go whichever he did not - he stopped and looked at me! Deadlock. I decided to move forward cautiously, and he immediately moved in the opposite direction - obviously as wary of me as I was of him! I found another on the Confluence loop, but he stood his ground in the middle of the road, so I turned around and went back the way I came! A third on the road outside camp was only interested in getting as much tasty greenery into his mouth as possible and did not even glance at cars.

I was disappointed to find the causeway closed, but glad to see so much water in the river! When I crossed the bridge on the main road there were huge numbers of storks in the distance. I took the loop road just past the bridge and found even more storks in the trees - almost every tree had at least one! Definitely a stork party......
Image

I have booked a morning drive for tomorrow - it is something I have never done, always going for sunset or night drives before. At the time of booking I was the only person, but they assured me it did not matter!

The grass is even longer up here, and it is greener than down south. There are tree squirrels everywhere. And the armoured crickets that I met at Letaba on the walk are here too!

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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.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:05 am 
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Great sightings and pics ecojunkie. :D :D Enjoy the rest of your stay and once again I cant wait to read all your reports....wish it was me already :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:16 pm 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
5 difficult customers joined the morning drive. They had tried to tell the reception clerk yesterday that they only needed to pay for 3 people, then turned up this morning not having filled in their indemnity forms..... They then moaned about not finding the big 5 within half an hour of setting out!!!!! (We found zebs, waterbuck, the stork party, tawny eagles and lesser spotted eagles)

Zanile, the guide, was very patient with them. I had walked with her last time I was here and she remembered me. At the end of the trip I asked her what sort of schedule she had for the rest of the day, and found she was free so invited her to join me on my drive. We both had breakfast and set out on the Mphongolo route. There was not much doing - a few buffs cooling in the river at one point. We had fun trying to identify a little LBJ between us - decided we had found a new species - a neddicky with orange beak and legs!!!!! Later we suddenly realised why there were so few animals about - her colleagues had forgotten to let them out this morning......... She intended to report the oversight when we got back!

Back in camp it is hot, and the squirrels are making a determined effort to bite their way into my canvas larder in the tent! I will have to move the food back into the caravan before I go out again....

I am going to try the Kanniedood road now.

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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: Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:39 pm 
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Great report, ecojunkie. Do hope you meet up with the Shing pride and not the grumpy Kanniedood ellies ! :D


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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:41 pm 
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:mrgreen: :mrgreen:


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