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 Post subject: Sharifa and Duke-Heritage Day Braai-Sep2010
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:22 pm 
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Location: Centurion, ZA
Heritage day is also National Braai Day and Kruger is our great heritage. Being the patriots we are, we decide why not braai in Kruger, so here we are ready for another long weekend in Kruger.

We will be spending a night each in Letaba and Skukuza .

As always we are very excited and can’t wait to get going :dance: :dance: :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Day Braai
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:15 am 
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We had another great trip to the Kruger. Had some great sightings but just a little disappointed on how few birds we saw :(

The park is very dry at the moment and it was very hot.

This is Kumana dam on 06 August 2010

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Here is Kumana Dam on 24 September 2010.

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Jones dam for the same dates.

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So many of the dams have dried out and both plants and animals wait in anticipation of the first rains.

Temperatures reached 30 by about 9.00am and by noon it was about 38 resulting in animals doing a huddle in the shade.

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Many of the areas in the south have been burned or were been burned, not conducive to good game viewing.

Burning around Pretoriuskop area
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Burned area around ship mountain
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It was good to see KNP as the great unifier again and many Saffies and overseas visitors having a good old braai on Heritage day at Thsokwane.

Most infuriating is the behavior of some people :evil: Bottles and cans were strewn all over the place, even a disposable nappy :shock: and somebody even played Hansel and Gretel as orange peels left un unsightly trail for about 5km on the H1-2.

The behavior at a lion sighting was despicable :sniper: but more about that later. No issues at the other cat sightings we had so there are positives too.

Read about the behavior at the Stephenson Hamilton memorial on another thread and I guess education on behavior/etiquette :rtm: in the park remains a challenge.

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Day Braai
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:28 pm 
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24 September 2010

Thank you for all the comments.

We arrived at Phabeni gate at 9.00am and our first night was at Letaba so we decided that we will stick to the main road as it was a long drive.

We caught a herd of buffs coming for a drink at Nyamundwa dam
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Not much more action till Skukuza. From the low level bridge over the Sabie River we saw a water monitor lizard
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It darted off as we got close
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A ground hornbill came close to the car almost begging for food
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We then saw some rhino and soon were wondering what the future holds for these ancient beasts. Rhinos disappeared from Kruger in the 1920’s and the white rhino was reintroduced from 1961 and the black rhino from 1971. When I first went to Kruger seeing a rhino was a collector’s item and sightings were few and far between. Both have done remarkably well and now we have heavy poaching again.

Isn’t he just adorable – who would want to leave this little guy an orphan?
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Made me think of a beautiful, brilliant but very moving song by David Crosby and Graham Nash titled “The last Whale” which you can listen to here


Over the years you have been hunted
by the men who throw harpoons
And in the long run he will kill you
just to feed the pets we raise,
put the flowers in your vase
and make the lipstick for your face.

Over the years you swam the ocean
Following feelings of your own
Now you are washed up on the shoreline
I can see your body lie
It's a shame you have to die
to put the shadow on our eye

Maybe we'll go,
Maybe we'll disappear
It's not that we don't know,
It's just that we don't want to care.

Under the bridge
Over the foam
Wind on the water,
Carry me home.


It is great to see that we are all doing our little bit to stop these poachers who are decimating our rhinos so that we can still enjoy sights like these

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Hope it does not come to a song for the last rhino (I modified the above for the rhino)

Over the years you have been hunted
by the men who shoot rifles
And in the long run he will kill you
just to feed his vanity and ego
and make the handle for his dagger.

Over the years you roamed the savannah
Following feelings of your own
Now you are crushed on the ground
I can see your body lie
It's a shame you have to die
to feed a stupid lie

Maybe we'll go,
Maybe we'll disappear
It's not that we don't know,
It's just that we don't want to care.

Under the acacia
Over the grasslands
Wind on the savannah,
Carry me home.



Every little bit counts – make a difference

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Day Braai
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:38 pm 
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Thank You Kamadejo, Lowveldboy, Pumbaa

We had a break at Tshokwane. Just before Mazithi Dam we saw 2 cars parked off and pulled up behind them. We could see a baboon in a tree and another one at the foot of the tree and both barking and snarling so we thought a skirmish between baboons. But then we noticed that both were focused on another tree

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Would have like to hang around but we still had some way to go so we moved on.

Just before the S86 loop we spotted Mr. and Mrs. Lion sleeping under a tree some distance from the road. Always nice to find something for yourself and amazing how many cars had driven pass.

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Mr. Lion got up

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and tried to wake Mrs. Lion up

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but made no impression on Mrs. Lion - not even a sorry honey I have a headache :lol:

So he fell sorry for himself and went back to sleep

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Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Day Braai
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:43 pm 
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Further on we saw a kudu

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followed by a imressive ellie (checking with Aat if it is a known one)

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We finally arrived at Letaba. What a pleasue to be having our Heritage day Braai in such a lovely setting. Two ellies were in the river bed.

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There was a full moon in the sky
and meat on the braai
A hyena patrolled the fence
and a lion roared in the distance
What more can I say
perfect ending to a great day

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Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Day Braai
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:38 am 
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25 September 2010

We left Letaba at gate opening time. Tonight we were in Skukuza. Surprising :hmz: how quiet the road was for a long weekend. You get the feeling that there is a major sighting somewhere and you missing out.

We were the only car heading south and met another car just before the turn to Olifants camp. Pass Ngostso dam there were a few cars parked off. It was a lion sighting and all were well behaved :clap: :clap: :clap:

There was a lone lioness under a shrub

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and a young male and two lioness besides another shrub

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Seems like they had finish eating breakfast

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On the way to Satara we met Imax.

We decided we will take the S126 Sweni road and then get on to the S36 and drive south.

The Wisteria flowers were in bloom on the Sweni Road

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and we found this camouflaged liitle guy at Muzandzeni picnic site

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Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Day Braai
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:39 pm 
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We saw a herd of zebra that were quite lively and Sharifa had some fun switching into black and white mode.

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I take the S36 whenever I can as I still rate it as the best road in Kruger for seeing sables. Stop at all the waterholes and wait and you might get lucky. Today we did not have to wait as a lone bull was drinking at the Manzimhlope (which means clean drinking water) Waterhole. Sharifa was still in black and white mode and I had to get some shots of the sable myself with my compact.

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We were very happy :D :D :D :dance: :dance: :dance:

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Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Day Braai
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:34 pm 
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Just shows Elsa - right place at the right time. Like the notorius S100 :lol: - always has been good to me but some don't think so....

Anyway we headed to Mantimmahle dam. We could see about 10-15 cars parked of in the "bush" but :doh: :hmz: could not figure how they got there. So we drove round the circle and then saw the logs that were placed there to keep tourists out had been removed and a car was "bundu bashing" it back to the tourist road :naughty: :rtm: :wall:

We asked them what the fuss was about and they said a lioness, maybe two but difficult to see :wall:

We carried on to the H1-3 and could see the cars from the main road :sniper:

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More interesting was the tawny we found just thereafter

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followed by a dark chanting goshawk

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and a white backed vulture

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Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Day Braai
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:11 pm 
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Thanks Xankanka :thumbs_up:

At Skukuza, while I checked in, Sharifa found 2 Bulbuls preening themselves

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and a Cape purple water lily in the pond.

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After relaxing till about 4.00pm we decided to go for a drive and saw a huge traffic jam on the bridge overlooking the De laporte waterhole on the H1-1. We pulled up behind the last car and even the dirt road leading to the waterhole was jammed with traffic. I must say that we were very lucky :dance: as we got poll position although we were last at the sighting. We were shooting directly in the sun but what a magnificent leopard :dance: :dance: :dance:

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Now please just look our way

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a little more

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there you go

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Further on we saw a white backed vulture

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and an ellie drinking at the renosterkoppies dam

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26 September 2010

Sadly :( the wekend was coming to an end. We were out at gate opening time and decided we would drive down the S114 and exit at Malelane gate. It was a beautiful but quiet morning. Then at the bridge over the Mpambane River just before the turn to the S118 we got a most wonderful farewell sighting :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Day Braai
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:54 am 
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Thank you all for the wonderful comments :thumbs_up:

So as we get on to the bridge over the Mhlambane river we see a pied kingfisher (PKF) and a hammerkop

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the hammerkop is glistening in the morning sun

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the PKF is focussed and we sense we going to be in for a special treat

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sure enough it takes off and Sharifa was ready to capture this sequence

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Guess what - Sharifa missed the final plunge, the PKF was just too quick, and the PKF missed the fish and took off again

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What a sighting :dance: :dance: :dance:

The highlight of the trip for us and a great farewell. The PKF was going to have another shot at the fish but now we had a car on both sides of the bridge waiting to cross :wall:

Thank you for joining us. See you again soon :thumbs_up:

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