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 Post subject: Two Aussies visit Kruger in Feb
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:57 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:19 am
Posts: 147
Location: New Zealand/Australia
In October we visited Kruger. [see the trip report 'Five Aussies visit Kruger']. Three of the passengers had never been Game-Parking before and we rushed along looking for new adventures ......... This was of course great fun, but when you have never seen an elephant in the wild, stopping to look for birds and bugs can not compete. So three of the Aussies have gone back to jobs in Aussieland leaving my daughter and I go explore at our leisure.

Adventures do not start at the park gates - so I am starting with 'how we got there'

We caught the train from Belville station near Cape Town. Not the Blue Train but the ordinary train. It was late.

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Leaving Cape Town you can just see Kaapsedraai's Table Mountain in the background.

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Off north through the winelands

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Round the mountains

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Then through the mountains

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And into the Karoo

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At the end of the day we were about 4 hours late. And things were not going to get any beter.
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Tomorrow - we wake up and find that we are not were we should be !!


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 Post subject: Re: Two Aussies visit Kruger in Feb
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:00 am 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 4:30 pm
Posts: 2629
Location: Helderberg
I like your start, and just know this is going to be a TR not to miss - I'm on the train :dance: :dance:

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

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Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away


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 Post subject: Re: Two Aussies visit Kruger in Feb
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:03 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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yay :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

but oh dear, :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: sounds like we are in for some surprises.

:popcorn:

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The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.


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 Post subject: Re: Two Aussies visit Kruger in Feb
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:19 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:19 am
Posts: 147
Location: New Zealand/Australia
Next day - we woke up to find that we were waaayyyy behind schedule. We had not even reached Kimberly which I think was meant to be at midnight. Then we stopped somewhere, there was a fire ahead. Turned out that our loco had caught fire and they shifted it onto a side track. Eventually we passed it, the staff rushed down the train telling everyone to close their windows ! Billows of black smoke !

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We have been having a few adventures with trains on this trip !!!

Eventually we stopped at Bloemhof station, and waited, and waited, and waited. Eventually we got the message that we could get a bus to JHB, arriving in three hours time, or stay on the train and get there at 11.00pm. So we jammed into the bus and set off the JHB. No pictures - you are safe. I could not move my arms to even get out a pocket camera.

We got from the bus station to the Gautrein and on to Pretoria. Did you know that you can not get from the bus station to the Gautrein with out climbing lots and lots of steps.

Next day we picked up a little hire car and set off east.

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Ooops you may say, that is not the road to Kruger, but I have a little diversion. I wanted to see the Drakensberg Mountains.

So we wended our way to Giant's Castle for a few days. Just a few piccies for those who have not been there, off topic I know .......

Gaint Eland grazing across the valley.

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Interesting locursts

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I was only going to sneak in a few Drakensberg Pictures, but it is hard to choose and we did visit the Lammergeier Hide ....... !


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 Post subject: Re: Two Aussies visit Kruger in Feb
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:41 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:17 pm
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Location: Durban
Quite an adventure so far, Dijo. Looking forward to the rest.


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 Post subject: Re: Two Aussies visit Kruger in Feb
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:31 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Award: Small Parks Promoter of the Year & Sighting of the Year - Small Creatures and Insects (2013)
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:02 pm
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Location: Bellville, Cape Town
Dijo... :D :D :D :D Bellville station ...know it all too well and then on the Shozoloza Meyl (we did the Premier Classe one year and loaded our car on it to Kruger) The scenes through the Karoo is something else.
Then a Bus trip, Gautrain...you we really testing all the travel medium.... :D :D

Not a good experience with fire moment. :wall:

Look forward to the next episode.

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Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: Two Aussies visit Kruger in Feb
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:20 pm 
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Quite a traumatic start to your trip with the fire and delays etc. but a nice build up!
Hope the next part went smoother. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Two Aussies visit Kruger in Feb
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:23 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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What a diversion. :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: Those locusts do indeed look like a Steven Spielberg special effect.

I am following this report with great interest.

:popcorn:

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The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.


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 Post subject: Re: Two Aussies visit Kruger in Feb
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:05 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:19 am
Posts: 147
Location: New Zealand/Australia
No complaints about me being 'off topic' so I will continue with my saga. Thanks all for your kind comments. After our October 13 trip to Kruger we caught the Premiere Classe train to Cape Town, same rails, more expensive...

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The clouds had not lifted off the mountains, but the scenery was still great. We took the walk to the Caves to look at the paintings.

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By afternoon the clouds cleared and we saw the view.

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Next day we took the trip to the bird hide. The hide is situated just below the high grassed plateau. This is the view just before going into the hide.

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Tomorrow early we start the long drive to Kruger.


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 Post subject: Re: Two Aussies visit Kruger in Feb
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:42 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Perth Western Australia
Can a West Aussie just on board please.

A really interesting way of getting to Kruger (via Karoo) and on the ordinary train.
Looking forward to the rest of the TR. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Two Aussies visit Kruger in Feb
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:17 am 
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I really like this type of trip report :clap: A trip start with the planning, then the packing, then the driving/sailing/flying or whatever means to get there and then, the eventually the arrival.

I am on the bus here as well :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Two Aussies visit Kruger in Feb
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:11 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:19 am
Posts: 147
Location: New Zealand/Australia
Thanks everyone for your comments, Rooies, I agree, the adventure starts with a thought, moves through planning, travelling and then you arrive at the 'start'. Impyim, currently I am an East Aussie, living in Orange, inland NSW. Elsa and Kaapsedraai - this was the second train fire ! When we were leaving Australia to travel to SA the railway line was caught in bushfires and our plans had to be altered.

Back on topic. We spent a night in Barberton then navigated ourselves on to the N4. This is looking familiar.

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We did some quick shopping in Malelane, then travelled to the gate amid a massive rain storm. I really slipped up because I have always taken pictures of the entrance gate.

This looks promicing ..... ?

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And here is our first animal.

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We are making our way to Lower Sabie, but with so much rain I was reluctant to take the unsealed roads so we headed north along the H3.


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 Post subject: Re: Two Aussies visit Kruger in Feb
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:45 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Beautiful pictures of a beautiful escarpment. 8)

Wow, it does look wet. Funny how dung gets a completely new importance in Kruger. Ah, for e good piece of promising dung right now. :wink:

:popcorn:

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The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.


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 Post subject: Re: Two Aussies visit Kruger in Feb
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:39 am 
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Some stunning and breathtaking landscape shots, Dijo :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

and love also the colourful critters and finally Kruger :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: Two Aussies visit Kruger in Feb
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:33 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:19 am
Posts: 147
Location: New Zealand/Australia
As we travelled northward we nocticed such a difference between now and our visit in October - SOOOOO GREEEEN. The windows were open (between the rain showers) and in came all the lovely sounds and smells.

Quick diversion up the granite-gneiss dome.

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Can't miss this one
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He looks like he has his head in the clouds.

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You may think I am strange putting in a picture of a sign, but there is history behind this. I have been to KNP a few times but have rarely ventured south. I can not handle the crowds and the frantic-ness. As we were travelling in February, out of the main season, we throught we would give it a bit of a go. I have booked into Lower Sabie which I have heard so many wanderful things about. So to see a sign with so many different places to go to is so different to the north where ones choises are limited.


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