Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 1 of 2
 [ 25 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Flutterby-A Flutter with My Family and Other Animals-Sep2010
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:17 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:42 pm
Posts: 1645
Location: Paulshof, Gauteng
It’s nearly here…only 6 more sleeps!! :dance: As usual, Bush Brat & I will be accompanied by my Dad (designated Kruger driverImage), but this time we have some other family joining us. My dad’s younger brother and his Irish SO arrive from the UK tomorrow for a month long holiday in SA. We visited them in the UK last April and it was when they saw our Kruger pics that the idea of them coming out took root. My dad booked as soon as the booking for September opened, still not sure if they were coming or not, and after many emails back and forth that idea has become reality and now 17 months later we are only a couple of days away from deaprture!!Image

My uncle grew up in KZN and then left SA in the ‘80s with only two quick trips back since, and his SO has never visited our rainbow shores, so they are both Kruger newbies. We can’t wait to show off our beautiful Kruger to them. Let’s hope cooperation is on the cards and all its’ magic will be revealed. Image I’m sure it will also feel like the first time for us, as we see everything through their virgin eyes.

Our first two nights are at Orpen and the second two at Lower Sabie. At both camps we are staying in the family cottages, which we have not been to before. We have also never stayed at Orpen and would have preferred Satara, as that is our favourite area in the park, but it’s close enough, and Orpen does look like a lovely camp. We are hiring a Kombi so we should have plenty of room to move around. I can already see Bush Brat bouncing from seat to seat (and there are enough of them for him to hide behind when we meet up with his nemesis – the dreaded elephant)! :twisted:

I am in charge of nourishment and hydration, and I know that when my Dad and uncle get together, nostalgic trips down memory lane will be the order of the day :roll: , and a fair amount of lubrication will be required to keep those wheels well-oiled. Let’s hope our local offerings will do the trick – Hansa instead of Guiness, Hunters instead of Scrumpy Jack, and of course a bit of Amarula on ice under the stars!! But I assure you they are very well-behaved – they are veteran party animals after all – hence the title of my TR!! Thank goodness we have a large vehicle for all the supplies! Of course my lists were made long ago, and menus decided, but the shopping is still to be done. All other necessities are slowly being added to the piles around the house - batteries are being charged; cameras and binoculars have been cleaned; books are ready for perusal (including all 50 of Bush Brat’s – OK, that is a bit of an exaggeration, but he does have a lot :wink: ); gas cylinders are full; yellow ribbon is ready and waiting to be tied….

….SO…for now we hurry up and wait!! :whistle:

The veteran party animals.
Image

_________________
"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?"

SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Flutter with My Family and Other Animals
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:17 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:13 pm
Posts: 810
Location: Johannesburg
Hi Flutterby

Looking forward to your TR.

I have an unopened Lands End Scrumpy if you are willing to take me along!

I am sure you are gonna love Orpen. What's not to love :huh: - you are gonne be in the KNP.

Hope you have some fab sightings, great pics :cam: , plenty too, and impress your "other animals" so much they gonna come back every year, join the forum, post TR's.

Tell Bush Brat, with a Kombi, nothing to fear from ele's. They hardly give those a glance. Too big! And he's got a sympathetic fellow forumite here.

Have a wonderful time!

Noel


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Flutter with My Family and Other Animals
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 10:40 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:42 pm
Posts: 1645
Location: Paulshof, Gauteng
So, last night we went to my Dad's house to see my uncle and his SO. They had had a good but tiring flight, and Johanna (uncle's SO) had just woken from a nap when we arrived. After talking about the flight, family and some other stuff it wasn't long before the conversation turned to Kruger. Menus for each day were discussed in detail (got quite hungry thinking of all that yummy food), as were the liquid dietary requirements!! :lol: My uncle has just recently seen the video of "Battle at Kruger" and was amazed by it - if only we could show them something like that!! :pray:

It turns out that Johanna got a new camera just days before leaving - a Canon 1000d - exactly the same as mine!! :cam: This is also her first DSLR and is not very sure of how to use it. I gave her some tips (not that I'm the best person to talk - I'm also still learning), but it will be fun to have another photographer in the car. At least I won't feel so bad making my dad stop for every single thing that moves!! :redface: :lol:

Anyway, the party animals were in good form last night, and I think Bush Brat is going to have a hard time getting a word in on this trip - he is normally the chatterbox, keeping up a running commentary the whole day!! :lol: Thoughout the evening my SO just quietly observed our excited chatter with a bemused expression on his face! :| (For those who don't know, he is not a Kruger fanatic, and does not accompany us on our trips - but he still has to sit through hours of detailed accounts of them - before and after!! :lol: )

So, not long to go now, but still so much to do!! :shock: Better get moving!! :D

_________________
"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?"

SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER


Last edited by Flutterby on Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Flutter with My Family and Other Animals
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:10 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:42 pm
Posts: 1645
Location: Paulshof, Gauteng
Well..here I was at 5am this morning, wide awake :shock: , going over all the lists in my head. I normally like to have a lie-in when possible, and only when in Kruger am I up with the birds. My body obviously feels like it needs some practice runs...or I am as excited as a child before Xmas!!! :lol:

Nkumbe - Hopefully I can bring you an action-packed TR. :pray:

Theuns - Thanks..not long to go now!! :dance:

Shi - SO is fanatical about fishing, and I have now given up trying to convert him!! :roll: He came with us on a few trips, but was bored after one day and there's nothing worse than having someone with you who is not having fun. So now he enjoys looking at the pics when we get back, and that is quite enough for him, plus I don't have to worry about who looks after the dogs!!! :twisted:

And you're right about BB - it's impossible for him to be quiet - on & off-line - he's started his own TR now - Bratpacking - just to get his side of the story in!! :doh:

Anyway my lists are calling...I keep thinking of more things that need to be added...they are getting very long!!! :wink:

_________________
"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?"

SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Flutter with My Family and Other Animals
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:55 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:42 pm
Posts: 1645
Location: Paulshof, Gauteng
5am and I was wide awake again!! :shock: And I only managed to fall asleep some time after 1am! :x This is ridiculous....you would think I had somewhere better to be than snuggled up in bed....oh yes I do...the forum! 8)

Before our last trip it was the Brat's birthday and it was party mode for 3 days until we left and now, tonight the party animals and some friends are coming for a pasta dinner - they want to carbo load before the meat fest in Kruger. :lol: (Although I think they will be getting plenty of carbs in liquid form.) :whistle: Why do I do this to myself?? :huh: :wall: As soon as we get to Kruger I'll probably pass out from sheer exhaustion! :doh:

_________________
"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?"

SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Flutter with My Family and Other Animals
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:42 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:42 pm
Posts: 1645
Location: Paulshof, Gauteng
Whew...busy, busy, busy!! :? I have just baked 30 muffins, which will be our early morning snack for the next 5 days, and made a potato bake for tomorrow night. But otherwise I can't seem to get organised...I just keep moving the same things from one place to another! There are so many things that can only be packed in the morning before we leave, so I'd better find something else to do. :roll:

Normally, we would leave at about 2am to get to Kruger as early as possible, but this time we have decided to leave a bit later - 3.30am - so that we will be driving through the more scenic bits after it gets light. We are hoping to show my uncle the Long Tom Pass, but will wait to see what the weather is like. If we do go that route we will enter at Phabeni, otherwise we will go via Nelspruit and go in at Numbi. Decisions, decisions!! :)

My uncle is driving down, and then I think there could be some squabbling over who gets to drive in the park. My dad loves to drive in Kruger and claims he cannot spot animals if he isn't driving, but my uncle also wants to have a go - but I'll leave that to them to sort out! :roll:

OK - the tumble drier is finished, so now I'm off to pack my clothes! 8)

_________________
"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?"

SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Flutter with My Family and Other Animals
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:50 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:42 pm
Posts: 1645
Location: Paulshof, Gauteng
OK, I've gone through some of my pics and thought I'd better get this TR going before I lose my audience. :roll:

Thanks for all your comments and congratulations - I love my new horns!! :dance:

This was a fantastic trip with some amazing sightings – Kruger co-operated in full and put on a worthy display for our overseas family! :clap:

We also saw 3 yellow ribbons and I got a very nice phone call – but more of that later.

Let's get this show on the road…..

_________________
"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?"

SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Flutter with My Family and Other Animals
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:07 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:42 pm
Posts: 1645
Location: Paulshof, Gauteng
29 Sept. – Johannesburg to Orpen - Part One

I was up at 2.30am to pack the cooler box and make all the padkos, and the party animals arrived at 3.20 in the hired Quantum. In terms of space the Quantum was perfect, but for game viewing and photography it is not the ideal vehicle. It has only 3 opening windows for the back seats and they are tiny, making it very difficult to move a camera around easily. These tiny windows also meant not much air flow in the back, and it was HOT!! :? Anyway, we solved that by playing musical chairs – taking a different seat on each drive. At last everything was packed and we were on the road at 3.40 – at last!! . :dance:

We had still not decided on our route, and as we approached Belfast it was quite misty. My uncle, however, decided he wanted to do Long Tom, and then promptly missed the turn off!! :roll: At the next crossroads he did a U-turn and we were on our way again. We made a quick stop in Dullstroom for toilets and some food and coffee. The sun was trying to burn its way through the mist and by the time we reached Lydenburg it was clear – my uncle had made the right choice. Near the top of Long Tom we were above the clouds and the views were stunning.

Image

There was a bit of mist at the canon but as we descended we were soon clear of the clouds.

Image

We arrived at Phabeni just after 9am, and it was a bit overcast and cool. We sorted ourselves out, yellow ribbon on, cameras and binocucules (as my dad calls them) ready. My dad took over the driving (he, my uncle and Johanna all took turns driving in the park – not a job I would have enjoyed with 4 back seat drivers all giving different instructions), and we were off on the S1 to Skukuza. :D We had all said what we thought we would see first, and we were all wrong – it was a family of dwarf mongooses scurrying across the road. Soon we came across our first zebra and impala, and then I took my first photo – a Dark Chanting Goshawk (I think).

Image

The sun finally broke through the clouds and it was warming up quickly. When we crossed the Mitswau River we saw our first of the Big 5 – buffalo.

Image

At Nyamundwa Dam we found hippo out of the water, Woollynecked Storks and wildebeest. We carried on towards Skukuza, seeing more impala, giraffe, and at last I managed to get a decent pic of a Southern Black Flycatcher.

Image

We finally found our first ellie who seemed determined to hide from us, eventually getting himself wedged between two small trees and then standing dead still. I could imagine him thinking “if I can’t see you, you can’t see me”! :wink:

Image

Johanna was so excited by this close encounter with her first ellie and Bush Brat was behind a seat somewhere – when he finally realized that it would take some time for this ellie to disentangle himself he finally peered out the window and took some pics. Then we found a kudu also trying to hide behind some twigs.

Image

After watching some more ellies crossing the road we got to Skukuza for a quick stop. Johanna thought we had arrived at our camp, and was quite shocked to hear that we still had at least 6 more hours of driving before reaching Orpen. :shock: But she took it in good spirits and once back on our way again, she and my dad decided it was time for their first beer – maybe that would make time pass a bit faster! We got onto the H1-4 and saw our first bush buck and lots more ellies and buffalo in the river. We also saw this chap cycling along – during the four days we saw quite a few rangers out on foot – doing a very worthy job in such hot weather!!

Image

We crossed the high level bridge, seeing monkeys, a terrapin and a pied kingfisher, which Johanna had been wanting to see. Soon after the bridge we found our first traffic jam – a single lioness under a tree. :dance: Three of the big 5 already!! Rex (my uncle) and Johanna were so excited, as were we, but now my dad was under fire as we all told him where to go – “forward a bit” (me), “no back a bit” (Rex), “right here, perfect” (Johanna), “all I can see is a bush!” (Bush Brat)!! :lol:

Image

Eventually we had all seen her and taken our pics, and as there was a lot of traffic, we moved on, finding this little one peering at us just a little further on.

Image

We were all feeling very upbeat with the morning so far. What lay in store for the rest of the day….. :whistle:

_________________
"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?"

SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Flutter with My Family and Other Animals
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:36 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:42 pm
Posts: 1645
Location: Paulshof, Gauteng
Sept. 29 – Johannesburg to Orpen – Part 2

We left the lioness behind, enjoying the birds and more buffs.

Ground Hornbill
Image

Yellowbilled Kite
Image

A very vocal starling.
Image

Just before Tshokwane we saw more cars stopped. There was an impala in a tree – a dead one! :wink: We scanned the whole area but couldn’t find the culprit who had put it there – what a pity! :(
Image

While we were stopped my dad got talking to someone coming the other way who told us he had seen a leopard and 2 cheetah within 500 metres of each other near Kumana Dam. :mrgreen: It was on the route we were planning on taking and of course BB wanted to get there immediately, but it was still a bit of a drive, and who knows if they would still be there!

A lone hippo at Mazithi Dam.
Image

By this time it was quite hot and we had been in the car since 3am!! This was thirsty work! A few more beers had been consumed between the party animals (Johanna was now a junior member), and a couple of Hunters by yours truly, but BB was the one who was drunk on Kruger and coke!! :tongue:

As we approached Kumana we could see a few cars were stopped. Something was still there!! I spotted them right away - two cheetah lying in the shade!! :dance: Some of the others took a bit longer – too much thirst quenching perhaps? :hmz: BB was so excited (not to mention the rest of us) - our last trip was the first time he had seen cheetah, and now again! :D

Image

Image

And, no more than 300 metres away, an even bigger traffic jam! :big_eyes: Could we really be that lucky??? We watched the cheetah a bit longer, but it really didn’t look like they were going anywhere so we decided to see what was up ahead…..

_________________
"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?"

SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Flutter with My Family and Other Animals
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:19 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:42 pm
Posts: 1645
Location: Paulshof, Gauteng
Sept. 29 – Johannesburg to Orpen – Part 3

We approached the next traffic jam slowly, scanning the bush. We assumed it was a leopard from what that man had told us earlier. BB was the one who spotted it…..in a tree right next to the road. Kamadejo asked what could beat a cheetah sighting…what about this? :big_eyes:

Our first view.

Image

We were quite far from it at first, but people kept leaving and we got closer and closer until we were virtually underneath it!

Image

Image

Not sure if it was male or female but it was so beautiful I will call it a ‘she’! She changed positions a few times but seemed quite unconcerned with all the mayhem below. Although, it did look as if she wanted to get down a few times, and probably would have if there had been fewer cars.

Image

Image

We had had a fantastic leopard sighting on our last trip of 3 leopards in the road but in terms of photographic opportunity this was even better! I took almost 80 pics of her!! :cam: :cam: By this time my uncle and Johanna were almost speechless – lion, cheetah and now leopard!! What are the chances? We stayed with her for about 45 mins, and then decided we had better move on. We had been in the car all day and still had to check in and unpack, and who knows what else we might still see!

Image

Image

We made quick trip back to the cheetah but they were still in the same place. Moving on we turned off to show Rex and Johanna the baobab tree and then carried on to Nsemani. There was a croc out the water and an ellie who had just finished drinking and was heading back to the road. When we caught up with him, we noticed he had a floppy left ear – I’m sure I’ve seen him on someone else’s TR. :hmz:

Image

We eventually arrived at Orpen at about 5.20 after a very long day. Check-in was quick and efficient. This was our first time at Orpen , and we found it utterly charming. We were in Unit 13 – a family bungalow - which had 2 large bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a lovely big verandah. We could see the waterhole quite clearly and lots of animals came down to drink throughout the evening.

Image

We lit the fire and settled down with some wine to enjoy our first night in Kruger, and Rex and Johanna marveled over their first day in the African bush. I had made a potato bake, thinking there was an oven (there was one in the pic on the website :? ) but there wasn’t! So we filled a pot with water, put the lid on upside down, put the potato dish on the lid and covered it with another lid – voila - “’n boer maak ‘n plan”! 8) This was accompanied by pork chops, boerewors and avo salad – delicious.

After dinner, we decided to take one last walk to the waterhole before collapsing into bed. Not a minute after getting to the fence, something came to drink – at first we thought it was a lion, but then realized it was a leopard!!! More unbelievable luck!! Although, even with everything we had seen, we had not found the Big 5 – no rhino!

Image

I went to shower and when I got out I gave the waterhole another peek, and saw a hyena!! Everyone was in bed by now, but of course BB had to check it out, so it was back to the fence in my PJ’s!! :roll: BB now wanted to stay up all night but I was finished, so it was off to bed. Tomorrow was another day! :dance:

_________________
"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?"

SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Flutter with My Family and Other Animals
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:26 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:42 pm
Posts: 1645
Location: Paulshof, Gauteng
Sept. 30 – Orpen to Olifants and back – Part 1

After sleeping like the dead I woke at 5.15 ready for action :dance: , and got the kettle on. While everyone was doing their morning ablutions Image I packed all our breakfast goodies for a brunch we planned to have at Olifants later on.

We were out the gate just after 6am and made our way towards Satara. Our first sighting was 4 jackal in the distance – our first of the trip, but too far for a pic. We then found 2 lazy hyena on either side of the road. Looked like they could have used a cup of coffee. Image

Image

These warthogs were enjoying their breakfast.

Image

There was a lot of game around – impala, kudu, monkeys, ellies – and birds – more ground hornbills, whitecrowned shrike, burchell’s coucal.

Image

Before Nsemani we saw these 3 bulls…

Image

…and a bit further on this little family.

Image

Just before reaching the H1-4 there were lots of vultures circling. We stopped to try and get some pics and noticed that they were landing about 200m into the bush. There were also a few maribou storks and we could see that they were eating something. While trying to figure it out 2 rangers in a bakkie arrived and drove into the bush. One of them got out and walked around where the vultures were and then got back in the vehicle. When they got back to the road we stopped them and asked what they were looking for, but they were not very communicative and just said “carcass” before driving on. I thought they might have been checking to see if the dead animal was a result of a kill or poachers? :hmz:

Image

We stopped in at Satara to let Rex and Johanna have a look around, and I grabbed the chance to do some birding!! The birds were very busy in the parking area – barbets, hoopoes, orioles, paradise flycatcher, but no scops owl! :(

Not a very good pic but a first for me. :D

Image

We carried on towards Olifants, passed some buffs and at last found a rhino – the Big 5 at last! We moved off and found another 4 rhino on the other side of the road sleeping under a tree. Not one rhino the day before, and now we see them all at the same time!! :roll:

Image

A bit further on someone waved us down, and pointed out 2 lionesses in the distance, but they were much too far for any pics.Image While watching them through the binococules, another one appeared, but they soon disappeared into the shade of some trees. We moved on, seeing another rhino and these two couples who were out on a double date.Image

Image

I think I’ve used up my quota for pics in this episode so I'll hang around until the page turns!Image

_________________
"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?"

SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Flutter with My Family and Other Animals
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:49 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:42 pm
Posts: 1645
Location: Paulshof, Gauteng
Sept. 30 – Orpen to Olifants and back – Part 2

At the Nyamarhi waterhole two ellies entertained us for a while. The smaller one was not at all impressed with the impala and flapped his ears and waved his trunk whenever they got too close. :naughty:

Image

Image

This giraffe tried very hard to hide behind that little branch, and when that didn’t work, gave me the evil eye instead! :evil:

Image

We made the obligatory stop on the Olifants bridge – Rex and Johanna found it quite exciting to be allowed out of the car in the wild!! There were lots of ellies and the resident croc.

Image

Rex, BB, Johanna & my dad with theTank!

Image

We eventually got to Olifants, and the temperature was at least 40 degrees if not more!! :shock: We found the shadiest spot we could and got started on a big greasy fry-up – eggs, bacon, porkies, tomatoes, mushrooms, and to top it off some champagne & orange juice!! When we had finished eating a guy in Sanparks uniform stopped his car next to us & jokingly asked whether we’d left him anything. There was one lone sausage on the skottel, which we offered him and he jumped out of his car looking very happy! He then proceeded to tell us his whole life story - he was in charge of maintenance at Olifants, AND a recovering alcoholic, AND he & his wife could not have kids and then managed to conceive after 15 years of marriage, AND he had left Kruger and then come back, AND, AND, AND……!! This went on quite a while, and I could just see that he was starved of conversation and company, but we were melting in the heat and we still wanted to show Rex and Johanna the lookout point. So we surreptiously started to pack up, and eventually he said good-bye and went on his way. A very nice man but, BOY, could he talk!! :doh:

Rex and Johanna loved the lookout point where we could see waterbuck, baboons and some kudu.

BB with binococules at the lookout point. 8)

Image

We decided to take the S92 to Balule, get onto the S90 and eventually onto the S100 – we had to do THAT road before going down to Lower Sabie the next day. The heat was now stifling (I don’t know why no one thought to put the aircon on :doh: ), but the beers and hunters were cold, and BB was allowed to sip the foam off the top! On the low level bridge before Balule we had a very obliging kingfisher who sat perfectly still while we clicked away.

Image

We moved on seeing more ellies, our first secretary birds, baboons, zebras and this raptor – a young bateleur?

Image

Keeping cool.

Image

The S100 at last – and what did we see? :huh: A Sabota Lark, a pair of Saddlebilled Storks, a Tawny Eagle and nothing else!! You either love it or hate it (although I have to admit that I still love it even though we have not had good luck there recently!).

We started back towards Orpen, seeing some ellies and vultures, and a herd of buffs enjoying the shade at Nsemani.

Image

We got back to camp at about 5.30, and went straight to the pool to cool off – although the water was freezing and I couldn’t stay in too long. Then it was time to start the braai and relax. We feasted on spare ribs, rump steak, boiled potatoes and strawberry & sweet chilli salad, washed down with some cold wine, and an Amarula to end off the day. As we were getting ready for bed someone called out that the leopard was back, so off to the fence again!! The perfect ending to another perfect day. Or so I thought – there was more action to come, but I will let BB reveal the surprise ending to the day. :whistle:

_________________
"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?"

SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Flutter with My Family and Other Animals
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:04 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:42 pm
Posts: 1645
Location: Paulshof, Gauteng
TheunsH - This was our first stay at Orpen, and we really loved it. Would recommend it to anyone! :thumbs_up:

Although...the fridge had been moved off the verandah into our room and we discovered that if you wanted the aircon on you had to unplug the fridge!!! :huh: Note to self - bring a double adapter next time! :doh:

_________________
"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?"

SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Flutter with My Family and Other Animals
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:14 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:42 pm
Posts: 1645
Location: Paulshof, Gauteng
Okay…so BB has revealed the action at the end of the day. He finally got to see his honey badger, and once again I had to traipse around camp in my PJ’s! :wall: He (the HB) had tipped over our bin and left a nice mess for us to clean up! :roll:

1 Oct. - Orpen to Lower Sabie – Part 1

As it was the 1st, the gates were opening at 5.30, so up at 4.45 to pack everything up for our move to LS. We said goodbye to Orpen and were on our way. We saw jackal in the same place as the day before – so still too far for any pics, and also found the two hyenas in the same place again. They obviously have a den under the road. One was getting down and dirty with a rack of ribs! :lol:

Image

Image

Our route to LS was via Talamati on the S140, S145 then the S36, the S34, and then finally on to the H10. It was the bumpiest ride I have ever had…a real bone rattler!!! At one point we thought the whole dashboard was going to fall off or that the airbags would be deployed! :? But despite that, we could not have chosen a better route! I found two new birds – a Red-headed weaver and a Whitecrested Helmet Shrike, and Johanna was on top form, firstly seeing a Redcrested Korhaan, and then spotting a lone sable in the distance!!! Our first for many years. I took a pic but it was very far away – I think BB got a better one than I did, so I’ll let him show it to you.

Image

We saw lots of game along the S140 – kudu, impala, wildebeest, zebra – but the rattling was starting to grate on everyone’s nerves. :x As we approached Fairfield waterhole there was one other car and we immediately spotted another sable and a herd of kudu. As we were getting ready to take pics of the sable my dad shouted “LION CUB”!!! :shock: One cub was drinking, and then another one appeared! Where there are cubs there must be a mommy, so sadly, the sable was forgotten for the moment.

Image

Then suddenly there was chaos. The kudu and sable took off, ran across the road, and the next thing a lioness appeared and was on the chase, then another one, and then a third!!! The kudu and sable soon disappeared into the bush with the three lionesses in hot pursuit. :big_eyes:

Image

We were all in shock as my dad reversed, trying to find them in the thick bush. The two cubs now crossed the road, obviously going to see what was for breakfast. We thought we had seen the last of them, when one of us spotted a lioness walking back towards the waterhole. We drove forward and stopped in front of the waterhole waiting to see what happened. There were now two lionesses, and not two cubs, but four!! They slowly regrouped and all crossed the road back to the waterhole. Obviously the hunt had failed. :( You must excuse the blurred pictures, but I was shaking so much, I eventually had to put my camera down, take a couple of deep breaths and have a couple of large slugs of coke!!

Image

Only when going through the photos at home, did I notice that this lioness had one blue eye – I wonder if she was blind in that eye?

Image

“Not very good at this hunting thing are they! Now what are we supposed to eat?”

Image

Two of the lionesses and all the cubs went to drink, while the third one lay down in front of some long grass on the other side of the waterhole. She was still in hunt mode, and we noticed a family of warthogs approaching. She made a half-hearted attempt but the warthogs made a hasty exit.

Image

Image

The lionesses were still very alert, and obviously very hungry. We settled down to wait – there was sure to be a kill here today! We were now the only car there – who says Kruger is like a zoo? :huh: Another warthog approached the waterhole, as the lionesses watched him. It amazed us that the warthog could see them but still cautiously moved forward. But then, common sense prevailed, and he turned tail and ran. :doh:

Image

Image

Eventually they had all had enough to drink and moved off to the shade of some trees quite far from the waterhole. We were quite prepared to wait with them to see if any game came to drink, but the cubs soon grew bored and it wasn’t long before they moved off into the bush! But what a fantastic sighting, and a hard-earned reward after having to put up with such a terrible road!! :twisted:

Image

Not long after that someone waved us down to tell us of something up ahead…… :whistle:

_________________
"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?"

SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A Flutter with My Family and Other Animals
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:16 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:42 pm
Posts: 1645
Location: Paulshof, Gauteng
1 Oct. - Orpen to Lower Sabie – Part 2

Okay…so we left the lions (or rather they left us) and not long after that someone waved us down to tell us there were …..WILD DOGS…. about 5kms past Hamilton’s Camp!! :big_eyes: Of course that got the adrenaline going again – but we tried to keep calm as they might have moved on by the time we got there. We saw a couple of rhinos dozing under a tree, but not much else. Eventually we got to the area where we were told they were, and started scanning the bush. But just around the corner the traffic jam told us they were still there! Luckily it wasn’t a very big jam – only about 5 cars – as the doggies were not very easy to see. They were quite far into some dense bush, and not easy to photograph. From our position we could see about 4 or 5 of them lying in the shade, and occasionally one of them would get up and then flop down again. We managed to move forward and saw one a bit closer to the road.

Image

We didn’t stay long as there was not much to see and we were melting in the heat. But we were ecstatic that we had seen them – a first for Rex and Johanna and for us, wild dogs on 3 successive trips!! :dance:

At Lugmag Dam we watched a large herd of zebbies going down to drink, some taking a leisurely stroll and others in a bit more of a hurry.

Image

Image

We got onto the S33, and at Vutomi Dam got to watch a giraffe preparing to drink – what a palava. :roll: Thank goodness the party animals didn’t have to do that everytime they wanted another beer!! There were also a couple of buffs enjoying the water – we asked if we could join them, but were told that this dam was for non-partying animals only. :naughty:

Image

At last we got back onto the tar – no more rattles!! 8) At Mazithi Dam there were lots of impies, wildebeest and 3 ellies coming down to drink. One of them looked to have some very impressive ivory, and a whole in his left ear. I consulted my notes (from Aat’s website) but couldn’t identify him – will leave it to the expert. Please excuse the pics, but it was that horribly harsh midday sun, and I still battle to get it right! :?

Image

I noticed afterward that I managed to get the one on the left in mid-poop!! :wink:

Image

Oooh….I’ve got an itch!!

Image

We moved on, and after a quick pit-stop at Tshokwane, got onto the H10 for the final push to Lower Sabie. We were all feeling rather frazzled and limp and were looking forward to a nice, cool swim. Apart from some Rainbow Rock Skinks at Muntshe lookout point we didn’t see much else.

What a welcome sight it was when we got to the low level bridge…all that cool water….and another reasonably sized tusker!!

Image

There was a bit of a queue to check in and it was before 2pm, but everyone was dealt with efficiently with no problems. We had booked a family cottage, and my dad and I are not ones to complain or find fault wherever we can, but after Orpen, we were not very impressed. :( There are two family cottages at LS, which have been converted from the original dormitory bungalows. They have two bedrooms and a separate kitchen/lounge, which was all fine. The problem is that they have screened the family cottages off with thin pole fencing from the rest of the camp. There is no view, you feel totally cut off from camp life and it is quite claustrophobic and hot, as no breeze can get in. Lower Sabie has always been one of my favourite camps - and still is – I just would never stay in one of these units again or recommend them to anyone else.

Anyway, we unpacked quickly and then we were off to the pool…..eeeek…that water was freezing…but very refreshing!!! :shock:

_________________
"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?"

SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 25 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by rolle at 11:03:34 Submitted by Mrs. S.K.L.Gauntlett at 10:30:08 Submitted by Mrs. S.K.L.Gauntlett at 10:32:01 Submitted by Anonymous at 08:06:52