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 Post subject: Lowveldboy A week of reflection!! Oct 2010
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:31 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
Where to start? It took me all of 2 hours just to get a title.

This trip was booked today, Thursday 30/09, and it starts on Friday. It was very hastly arranged. Luckily I have a very understanding boss! The reason for this was, as the title say, to go and reflect. SO and I decided to call it quits and go our seperate ways on the Wednesday. :cry: Sad - yes indeed but sitting on a heap and feeling sorry for yourself won't work. I decided the best place to get your head right is in the park, and where better than an area I have never visited - Punda Maria. Since the call to Central reservations, my mind has been wandering. Food, clothes (they all still in bags), camera, what am I missing? O, the beer. That will help! Then the problems start again. Why am I excited, shouldn't I be sad? Is it possible to be both?

I will be leaving Nelspruit tomorrow morning to be at the gate by 5h30. It October the gates open earlier :dance: Good thing because it is a long drive. The 1st night is in Balule(another 1st), then 3 nights in Punda, 1 in Satara (My fav, but that might change if I listen to other people) and finishing of in Pretoriuskop. A lot of driving some days, but plenty of time in Punda to relax. I will also do a night drive while there! :dance:

Now for the wishlist, and it is long one, but can be summed up in 1 word. EVERYTHING. Yeah, yeah I know, that is hoping for a lot, but who knows. The most special sighting I hope for is the Pel's fishing owl. The fever tree forest is also something I really want to explore!

Sorry for the sombre note to start with, but this is going to get better. I promise!!!

Now I have to go get the organising done, otherwise I wont make it early tomorrow. I will then continue when I get back. So I'm leaving all to get nice and :mrgreen:

CHEERS!!!! :thumbs_up:

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


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 Post subject: Re: A week of reflection!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:08 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
Hi All

Back, and all I'm saying for now is WOW!!!! WOW!!!!! WOW!!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

What a relaxing week, just what the doctor ordered, and sightings wise, where to start. No less than 10 new sightings for me - HOW IS THAT? :big_eyes: 10, I say again, some birds, some antelope, something of everything. I could not have asked for anything more, and man, am I chuffed!! :dance: :dance: :dance: Never mind the new sightings, some "oldies" also made some very special appearences.

I will do a proper report as soon as I sorted through the 1600 pics, and had time to settle at work (came back into a storm or should I say fire :doh: :wall:, why even come back, should have stayed).

I will start off in saying that this week was amazing, funfilled and relaxing - even with 40+ degrees heat most of the time. I will list the negatives in the beginning, as unfortunatly there was a few.

NEGATIVES
- speeding, the more south you go the more idiots think their THE STIG or something. But you all knew that. :roll:
- roadkill, 6 x squirrel, 2 x Swainsons Spurfowl, 1 x kingfisher, 1 x Yellowbilled hornbill and 1 leopard tortoise - No Joke. :evil: :evil: , and I bet 99% is because of point one. Got me very emotional seeing this. :evil:
- service at Punda Maria shop, not even a greeting is all I'm saying. Overall the worst maintained camp I've ever seen, and I take into consideration it's old. NO EXCUSE!! :evil:
- Anthrax, I know it is a natural thing but in the 2.5 days in Punda I saw 4 carcasses (2 x buffaloes, 2 x Nyala). :cry:

POSITIVES
- Service at Satara restaurant, talk about friendly and efficient. Actually offered them a job, it was that good! :thumbs_up:
- Some rain the last 2 days - very needed, although some waterholes the level was still good
- Scenery along the Levuvhu :thumbs_up:
- Alfred Nelukalo - Guide at Punda Maria - Friendly, funny, helpfull and downright a nice chap. Had such a good time on the night drive chatting away, you will have to wait for the pics though. Well done to him, its enjoyment not just a job :clap:

Well thats it for now, will start with TR proper soon, I PROMISE!!

:thumbs_up:

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


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 Post subject: Re: A week of reflection!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:27 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
Hi All

Thanks for all the replies.

Sorry for the suspence, but The pics I havent even started working on. A good friend of mine(he works as a guide in a private lodge), came to visit last night as he is on his break, so we ended up comparing pics instead of working on them. It is a lot of fun to get a guide to "shut up" when you show him some sighting he has never seen. Over a few liquid refreshments we even made a plan to do a daytrip next week - MALELANE WATCH OUT HERE WE COME :twisted: :twisted: . Man those refreshments have some bite the next morning if you know what I mean :doh: Will get to the pics ASAP, promise, but in the meantime lets begin.

DAY BEFORE
That is the day the TR started. The day was spend on the forums, between shopping trips for food, drink and a tent. "My tent" did not belong to me anymore :hmz: . Then the news that my cars brakes are shot and the dealership did not have parts :huh: . Luckily I have a very nice family and was allowed to borrow a car (with a full tank of petrol). Lucky me!!!
The night was spend packing all the cooler boxes and setting up the tent so I dont look like an idiot the first time. Then off to bed, lot later than I wanted, but so what I'm heading to KNP. Sleep came quickly.

Day 1 to follow .....

:thumbs_up:

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


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 Post subject: Re: A week of reflection!!
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:58 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
Elzet wrote:
PS. I'll let the Oom keep 'his tent' when we separate. Promise. :lol: :lol: :lol: :tongue:


:funny: really funny, good for the tannie. and no need to apoligise tannie.
Funny is funny, and I decided to look and move forward, looking back to the past gives you a serious neckpain and you bump into thing in front of you!

I apologise again for the non pics, hopefully by tonight I can post pics!

So lets continue

DAY 1 - PHABENI TO BALULE
As you can see from the heading above, I had a long drive ahead. 04h00 it was time to get up, but after only going to bed at midnight, the eyes really stuggled to open. Even the thought of going to the park did not make them go easier. OKAY time for a solution - very cold shower, and man it worked. Packed everything into the car and headed out. I could not decide where to enter and only decided that when I got to the turn-off towards Numbi, I wanted to go to Phabeni, just because and for no other reason. GOOD CHOICE!! Got to the gate and there were 2 cars in front of me. Gates opened at 05h30 sharp and before checking in I needed to have a pit stop. 5 cups of coffee does have that effect on people :doh: Check In was efficient and I was in :dance: :dance: Sound like some fraternity/club/gang - I WAS IN! :huh:

The first animal I saw was one I would never have guessed - IMPALA :tongue: Hey they are still stunningly beautifull and gracefull animals and I stopped and had another cuppa, just soaking in the bush and the scenery with the rising sun. Then driving slowly off it all started - RHINO and plenty of them - 5 in total. The light was not good for pics and they were far off. And from that moment the animals on day 1 just came and came and came and came .... you get the picture.

TO BE CONTINUED ........

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


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 Post subject: Re: A week of reflection!!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:15 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
Sorry Shi, no bragging!! :tongue: Here's the :cam:

DAY 1 - Continued
After the lovely Rhinos I saw some more Impis and then this lovely lady ....

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who turned nasty, and sticked out her tongue at me ...

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The burnted areas started but did deliver some more Impis, another Rhino (sorry no pics) and then these little birdies ....

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Sorry, I know the pic is bad but the rest is even worse. 20m later I had this boy eyeballing me. Naughty piggy .....

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and then just around the bend, the rest of the hornbills. The one that stood out most was this fella, doing some grooming ...

Image
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Then came up t a ditch, and it was time to have another cuppa, with this boy as company ....

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I had rusks and he had branches. Nice brekkie for both. :lol:

Sightings went quiet for a bit and I thought my luck has changed. Then 3/5 ....

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Although I took a few pics, I'm only posting this beacuse the little one is so cute!

Skipped Lake Panic because of an urgent needed pitstop. Saw some more Rhino far from the road. Got to a bridge and had to stop to enjoy some of the smaller miracles .....

Image
Image

I skipped the Skukz camp, too busy, and decided to head to the day visitor area. Made my pitstop, empty the last coffee from the flask and headed towards Tshokwane. I decided on the H1-2 and in the beginning it looked like I made a mistake, but all was to change ...

You will have to wait for tomorrow for the rest ....

Goodnight all ....

:thumbs_up:

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


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 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A week of reflection!!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:13 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
I will do a double installment tonight since things are working :whistle: TOUCH WOOD!

Sorry I am doing so many installments of the days, but ther was so many things I want to share, hope its :thumbs_up: , otherwise I will :cry:

Thank You for the patience with the pics.

DAY 1 - CONT
Like I said, it started of very quiet. But then all of a sudden. There is something in the distance that looks out of place. Reverse and .... 4/5

Image
Image

Wow, not bad for a morning, and not 9 yet. I was happy!!! Saw nothing except some more impis up to Tshokwane, the next needed pitstop.

By now the heat was getting up there and I decided on leaving its time for some "alternative refreshment". :whistle:

The next sighting was when I got to Mazithi, where the dam made up for the "dead" patches. I decided to stop off for a while and just - CHILL!

First some very thirsty guys

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and then some Individuals - Husband and Wife? :huh:

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Gentleman he was - drinking first to make sure there is no crocs and then standing watch over her. I then noticed a very old man on the opposite side of the road. Apparently the spots go darker with age, then this guy must be from the stone ages. :wink:

Image

Then for a couple and party poopers .....

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and on the other side of the dam a little Juvenile Saddle Bill Stork

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And then a Sight I thought makes a nice pic. WATCH OUT!!

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All in all the dam gave me Impis, Giraffe, Wildebeest, Ellies, Birds, Waterbuck. I went on to Satara. Got to some PJ donkeys ...

Image

and a ground hornbill ...

Image

and some proof of the heat ....

Image

Check in went smooth at Satara for balule. i decide to take the S90 and agin I thought - MISTAKE!!! Until .....

To be continued....

:thumbs_up:

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


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 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A week of reflection!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:06 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
lion queen wrote:
:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Do you need to ask???? :huh: :huh: :huh:


:twisted: :twisted: , sorry got this little devil in me

GlenD wrote:

Um :hmz: .... ja, c'mon spit it out now, day one and yesterday pleeeeeze :twisted:

:popcorn: :popcorn:


OK, since I am being forced, and just now it might turn violent :twisted:

So I will hijack my own TR and first give a daytrip report ... the pics are at home (I am at work like most people) so will post them seperatly tonight. We saw 4/5 and you will not guess which one we missed out on ....... :whistle:

Background - My friend, which works on a Private lodge as a ranger, came to visit during his break. He really wanted to go to the park and was looking for someone to go along, and do the driving as he did that for a living. I took some convincing to go on a free trip to the KNP, especially after just coming back from a week trip :twisted: Man, I can lie, need to shake that habit quickly. :whistle: :redface:

We left home at 04h30 sharp, Snacks packed and Cooler stocked, with as it turned out not enough "juice". We arrived at malelane gate at 05h20 and was let in excatly on time and was "processed" very efficiently. We decided to 1st visit Matjulu dam and then head to Croc bridge, the rest of the trip will be planned from there.

On the way to Matjulu, we saw Giraffe, Ellies and the normal Impalas. At the waterhole ther was nothing, or so we thought. We just left and not even 50m further there was the 1st Rhino of plenty for the trip. The lady was very far in and irritated by something, we could not figure out why or what. On the road back there was more Rhinoe and the ellies was now in the road, we obviously gave them right of way. They were actually very relaxed.

We got past them and headed down the the croc river road and up the timfene loop, we saw ... nothing.

Then back down and on the Croc river road again up Molombe loop and past Gardenia. Saw the usual Impalas, and then a Nice Rhino bull marking its territory.

We Continued on to Croc bridge, and saw all the usual suspects on the road - Elephant, Giraffe and Impala. No Zebra or Buffaloes yet. We did see a lot of raptors though. Tawny Eagles, bateleur, African Snake Eagle, Martial Eagle and then also some smaller birds, most notable the crested barbet, of which I will post a pic tonight. About 10 km from Croc bridge we got hit by a smell of note. We did not see the carcass, but there was some Vultures in the trees. We could however conclude that due the smell this was something big and has been dead for a while.

At the T-Juction, there was the regular Wildebeest and Warthogs as well as Zebra. The juice was forcing a quick pitstop at Croc bridge. We decided to head up to LS and then up the H10 to Nkumbe.

We were going along quite merrily with sightings of a lot of General game and more Tawny Eagles. Then ......

Cars Parked, we slowed down and started to guess. We had no idea what we in for .....

We some ears between some trees, and then it went something like this in the car...

Lion, no hyeana, no Cheetah, No leopard, no cheetah, no hyeana, NO DEFINETLY LEOPARD!!!! :dance: :dance: The 1st in a while for me. We saw she was looking very intently in a direction and followed her stare to some impalas. The word then was : "OH, S..., SHE IS HUNTING, NO WAY!!" and then some more words that cant be put on a public forum. She dissapeared and the other cars started driving up and down searching. We found a nice spot with a clear view on the impalas, switched off the engine, took another cold one (only the 2nd) and waited. The cars were coming and going and we received some stupid comments about being patient. We were rewarded! :dance:

Next moment we saw a white flicker and we had her, busy stalking. WHAT A SIGHT!! :big_eyes: If you did not know about her you will be very hard pressed to spot her. She made it to about 20m from the impalas and lied low, she just lied there for a good 10 minutes, while all other cars left. We were alone. IDIOTS!!!! :twisted: Next moment you just saw dust........

The impalas somehow spotted her and took off. SHAME, what a dejected figure she made out as she watched lunch running away. :wall: We drove on when she dissapeared and found the impalas had stopped, and calmed down. :huh: We thought she might have a second go but no such luck. Oh well, what a sighting nevertheless.

We saw nothing else up to LS, where we stopped and had a pitstop and refuel (the car, and the cooler as well :wink: ).

We went to sunset dam, and the usual huge crocs and party of Yellowbilled storks was there. Then on to the H10, and on the bridge we slowed down looking at how full the Sabie river was and admiring the view. About 80% across, I managed to look up to the opposite bank and there she was, a very beautiful Lioness, and everybody waves at us as we try and show them. :doh: :huh: she came down and we went to the end of the bridge. She then jumped on the bridge and started to cross, actually scraping against the car as she passed us. WOW!!! what a feeling having such a creature this close :dance: we had now seen 4/5 and that was the way it would stay - no buffaloes, cant say that happens much.

The drive up to Nkumbe went smoothly, except for 1 incident. We were at Mlondozi, when the car behind us told us that at the turnoff where we were admiring some Blue Wildebeest, a serval ran right behind us and dissapeared :wall: :wall: What luck, but thats how it goes. You only see what you are meant to see. Up to Nkumbe we saw - Ellies, impala, warthogs, wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, kudus and a sleeping Rhino. While at Nkumbe a wonderfull experience - THE FIRST RAIN STARTED TO FALL :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: . This meant sighting got less, but who cares. We headed back to croc bridge, at again saw the same up to LS as the drive from there.

That is up to 500m from the bridge, a huge pileup of cars. LION, a male this time. We took up our position in the queue. He was softly calling and then went a lied down right next to the road, not caring about the cars. He suddenly stood up and hurriedly came back across the street, and towards us, then we saw why. A female coming out of the bush. they greeted and went to lie next to each other, obviously waiting for some privacy. :wink: :redface: We let them have just that.

The road to croc bridge was quiet except for plenty of impala drinking from the puddles forming on the road. But it changed again .....

Another huge pile up of cars, in the exact same spot we saw the leopard earlier this morning :big_eyes: . NO, COULDN'T BE WE WAS PATIENT!! We slowly tried to make out way through the mess of cars (the only negative thing all day - traffic at 2 sightings). We saw everybody was looking on the opposite side from this mornings sighting.by now I have to mention we were 10km away from the gate, it was darker than usual due to the clouds and it was 17h30, gates close at 18h00. We were stoked and stressed at the same time. We managed to get closer and saw it was indeed a leopard :big_eyes: . She was very relaxed and then we saw her head go down. Is she eating? On the ground, not worried? THEN :big_eyes: :big_eyes: , SHE IS NOT EATING, BUT LICKING. A CUB!!!! NO BIGGER THAN A HOUSE CAT!!! WOW, AT THIS STAGE WE WERE BEYOND OURSELVES WITH JOY. So happy we even botched the pics (rather my friend working with my camera, one he does not know how to operate), but I will still post as proof. It was the same one as this morning. What an end to a perfect day. It did turn out to be our last sighting, as we had to do 50 just to be at the gate on time. We made it with 5 minutes to spare, so many cars would not have been in time.

The day started of great(Raptors, Rhino, Ellies), and then got better (Leopard hunting, Lion crossing the bridge), and better(lions interacting) and ended with a bang (leopard sighting with cub). I want to end by saying one thing - I AM VERY BLESSED TO BE SO CLOSE TO A PLACE THAT CAN OFFER SUCH AMAZING MOMENTS, TRUELY BLESSED!!! THANK YOU!!!! :pray:

Will post the pics tonight .....till then

Sjoe, that was a lot of typing!! :doh:

:thumbs_up:

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


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 Post subject: Re: A week of reflection!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:34 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
OKAY, the pics as promised, of the daytrip. Will have to be in 2 parts as there is a few. not to many though, but I like to stick to the rules. Yes, I'm a nerd, just ask Richprins he was my teacher, and I only got better with age. :twisted:

So here we Go part 1

At matjulu ...
Image

nice to see Rhino, marking ...
Image

Image

Some raptors ... (tawny and martial)
Image

Image

Crested barbet
Image

A giraffe bleeding, and a wildebeest
Image

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then the 1st really special sighting, Leopard hunting. Spot her in the 2nd pic, not so easy, if you dont know what you looking for ...

Image

Image

and then looking all dejected, shame! I really felt bad for her at this stage ...
Image

Image

and then sunset dam ....
Image

Will have to post the next when the page has turned ....

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A week of reflection!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:15 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
Okay since the page turned

Daytrip part 2

Okay here we go

A nice lion sighting. OKAY, a awesome lion sighting ...

Image
Image
Image

then up to Nkumbe we had an ellie with 1 tusk ...
Image

and an impressive kudu
Image

then we had the rain, until this awesome sighting ...
Image
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and a reunion
Image

a goliath heron on the bridge ...
Image


and some horrible pics to conclude. The leopard cub, but they are proof. They are truely horrible, so be beware ....

Please forgive the quality, they are just proof :redface: :redface: :redface:

Should not even be posted they are that out of focus ...


Image
Image



They have been deleted from camera and PC, so this is the only place you will find them.

Soon as the page turns, the rest of day 1 ....

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A week of reflection!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:37 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
Okay, so the hijack is over, lets continued

Day 1 Continued
Okay so I thougth I made a mistake, again ...

Everything was very quiet, I turned noth towards Balule. The temp by now had climbed extremely high, and things was uncomfortable. I wanted to get to camp ASAP. Then suddenly Under a tree (bush) lied this fella ......

Image

I switched of the car just to relax, when I look to the opposite side of the road, and there was a loving couple ........

Image

There was actually two under the bush on the left, but they kept doing what lions do best during the heat of the day - NOTHING. I spent a good 45 minutes with them, all alone, and just enjoying nature

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I kept on my way and found some ellies ....

Image
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...a Kori Bustard ...

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and this fella - "Can you see me?"

Image

I got to the Balule and found a spot, set up camp and then chilled for a bit, REALLY RELAXING!! I needed Ice and wood and decided my afternon drive would have to be to Olifants and back. So I head off. At the bridge I saw some hippo, but they were shy, as the pic proves ...

Image

On the way to Olifants I saw very little, except a lonely giraffe ...

Image

and then of course the view from just before the camp ....

Image

It is amazing. I did my shopping and go a huge surprise at the cost of the wood, lot more than I budgeted for and it was a tight budget. Had a look from the deck and off I went back to Balule. I was tired from all the driving but had to stop on the bridge and sit there for as long as time would allow. The usual Egyptian geese was there. Isn't the colours just beautifull ....

Image
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I got to the camp, had a quick shower and then started the fire. I sat down and really started to relax. The usual showed up, but I was stoked because their my favorite .....

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Some pics of the camping spot, just for oom Theuns ...

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I realised while the hyeana walked past on numerous occasions, that for the 1st time in months, I did not have a stiff neck, I was relaxed, really relaxed. I went to bed early and slept like a you can't believe. It was the end of an amazing day, if only I knew what was still to come.

Day 2 to follow.

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


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 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A week of reflection!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:24 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
FINALLY, work gave me a break, for a week at least :wall: :wall:

Sorry about the delay, it is crazy season in retail. HATE IT!! but pays the salary.

Then just to get me really worked up, I had one customer calling me from my office to say he is going to Shingwedzi for 1 month, and another calling me just to say he was in Satara for a full 7 days. :sniper: :sniper: :sniper:

Enough rambling lets carry on ....

DAY 2
I woke up early to so I can pack up camp. Actually, was woken up by the hippos, best sounding alarm ever.I was extremely excited to be going to a place I have never been. PUNDA WATCH OUT! The self inflicted headache :doh: :redface: was soon forgotten and the tent was packed, and so was "refreshments" as this day was going to be a cooker. Then just as I got into the car, the 1st fish eagle let us all know its morning. What a start to the day. My plan was to stick to the main road all the way as it was a very long drive.

First sighting of the day, some sibling having breakfast - peacefully :whistle: .

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A very nice set of horns ....

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and in the very distance a lonely grazer ....

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then just before reaching Letaba, some kids that never was thought manners. MOUTHS CLOSED WHEN CHEWING!!!

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A quick stop at Letaba to refill the ice and the coffee flask, and then north I go. 2km later I saw the Impala in the tree but alas no spotted predator. Then ... NOTHING for a long time. Suddenly something caught my eye in the road and there this fella was basking happily in the road.

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I parked sideways so he can take his time and not be bothered by uninterested motorist and idiots that sees him as a speed bump. I finished the flask and the snake (sorry no ID) decided to go into the grass. What a pleasure to spent 30min with one of the smaller creatures, with only 2 cars the whole time. I continued up to Mopani and found this guy in urgent need for some insectiside. ALL DONATIONS WILL BE APPRECIATED :lol: :lol:

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Driving up I also had the biggest scare of my life in the park. Driving at a steady 35km/hour, out of nowherethere was an ostrich running right in front of my car. It appeared and dissapeared before I even realised. I had to stop and have a cold one to calm the nerves, because it was shot. Before Mopani I only saw "The lonely Bull"

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and my second Kori Bustard

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And this absolutly stunning tusker ...

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Went to Mopani to fill up, both the car and my stomach as last nights' food was not enough. The temp read a very comfortable 37 and not midday yet - NICE!!! :lol: Then I hit the road to Shingwedzi.

Then at the turn off to head north to Shingwedzi, my 1st first sighting.

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TSETSEBE!!!! WHOOHAAA!! What stunning animals. They were far away but with the help of the bino's saw them clearly. Why does all the other people just drive past :huh: , but I guess they dont care about anything else than the BIG 5.

I saw nothing till 1km before the camp, another tusker

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Stopped at Shingwedzi for a leg stretch and started the final leg, which I will never forget.

That will have to wait to later ....

Won't take that long again, promise!

:thumbs_up:

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


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 Post subject: Re: A week of reflection!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:25 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
Okay so lets continue.

Thanks to AAT, he ID the tusker of the previous post - Nshawani. :dance:

It was day 2, right?? :lol:.

This post might contain pics that could upset sensitive viewers.

DAY 2 CONTINUE
So the temp was rising. and me not being scared of "old spike" the sun, I opened a beer and headed from Shingwedzi. Saw the elephants in the riverbed again and nothing. All the critters was obviously having a siesta ... and that includes the birds.

Then not to far from Babalala, I saw some ellies. Cool, nice ... but wait ther is something else.

More Tsetsebe

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WOW, I was happy. That is a serious understatement. WAIT ... there is something else hiding behind the ellies ...... DOUBLE WOW!!!, I was screaming, shaking, crying and more ..... Another 1st - ROAN!!!!

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I spent a full hour there, then left with a song in my heart. Happiness had a new meaning to me.

I carried on "celebrating" the days viewing so far, and came across a Zebra Crossing -

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and stunning young male ...

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and the the 1st Nyala for the trip. They are stunning!!

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I stopped for some birding

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and then turn off to Punda Maria. I was suddenly hit by a smell of note, and found the source. The proof of Anthrax.

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An ellie was bit unsure of this carcass, befiore deciding it is fine to have a refreshing drinkand cool down.

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The giraffe was "admiring" from a distance ..

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I saw only 1 more animal up to the camp and it was an ellie ...

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Went to the camp, set up the tent. Filled up the cooler, and then headed out to the Mahonie loop.

Stay tuned for another 1st ....

Yes that is correct ... another 1st

Till later.

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


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 Post subject: Re: A week of reflection!!
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:49 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
Thank You for the people still following, and the nice comments. Very much appreciated. :redface:

This installment will be sweet and short due to time constraints - got to go to a party, that after last night's party. All part of the tough life of a single man. :lol: :wink:

So lets finish day 2 - shall we

DAY 2 - LAST INSTALLMENT
So off I go on the famous Mahonie loop I have heard so much about. The temp was doing a good 43 degrees - FUN :twisted:

My first animal was kinda small, but still beautifull

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then some nice ellies, up close

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and in the distance ...

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I had a lot of time left so I took it very slowly, and couldnt resist the stunning opportunity

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then a kudu and a very young male Nyala

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Then a 1st for me - another Forumite. Nice to meet you DaveR.

We had a quick chat and off I went, just to have another 1st ever for me - Sharpes Grysbok

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Went back to the camp and got the braai ready and had this stunning view from my chair - just to get you all :mrgreen:

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The day was spectacular and after a nive piece of steak on buns with salad, I climbed in - thinking this day can't get any better. Well I was wrong. I was not even asleep when the lions started roaring - they were at the waterhole - unfortunately my camera equipment is not suitable for night time photography, but the memory of having them roar that close is forever etched in my mind. Went back to bed - happy. Again the day was not yet over. I woke up at around midnight and had to go to the ablutions - as I crawled out my tent I stared into the face of a genet - wonder who got the biggest fright. Then as I came back - the day ended with another 1st sighting for me - Ciwet. My only regret I couldn't get pics. I fell asleep to the roar of the lions again and with a massive smile.

Day 3 will follow.

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


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 Post subject: Re: A week of reflection!!
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:25 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
So lets carry on ...

DAY 3 - Part 1
I woke up early and got ready in a flash. Teeth cleaned, breakfast packed, flask filled up, cooler stocked. Off I went, 3 minutes late. Yeah I checked. Not far I found the cause of the previous nights noise - a pic finally

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I planned driving up past Klopperfonteindam, so I turned up the S60 and found these ladies staring into the distance. Searching for their knight in shining armour ...

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I carried on and was met by a massive Kruger traffic jam - Buffaloes. I only realised later I had no pics of the buffs. I must have been too excited from another 1st sighting - Yellowbilled Oxpeckers ....

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Then at Klopperfontein dam, I struggled to keep my happiness in check. I saw them on day 2, but from very far, now they were close ...

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Those eyes are stunning. Windows to the soul. I carried on north and saw nothing. I finally reached the Luvuvhu valley and turned off on Nyala drive. What an amazing little piece of road. never saw so many animals in such a short stretch. Zebras, Wildebeest, impalas, Nyalas, Warthogs, Baboons, Monkeys, Grysbok and too many birds to mention. Some pics to set the scene ...

Clever Wildebeest, searchinf for shade ...
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An unsure fella ...
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The stunning Grysbok ...
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And some of the smaller wonders, I love squirrels ...
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i went up to the Luvuvhu bridge and had rusks and coffee for breakfast/brunch. Then another 1st - Crested Guineafowl. They dissapeared before I had time for a pic. A quick toilet stop at Pafuri picnic spot and then off to Crooks corner. The scenery you drive through is out of this world ...

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Sit back and imagine driving through there, okay now stop hating me :twisted: . I saw plenty - Zebras, Wildebeest, impalas, Nyalas, Warthogs, Baboons, Monkeys, Grysbok, birds and awesome scenery. A pic just to wet the appetite ...

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Crooks corner too follow. Till then ...

:thumbs_up:

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


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 Post subject: Re: A week of reflection!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:09 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Nelspruit
BB30 - Took the rope with, but they kept outrunningme. :tongue:, You will not be dissapointed.

MD - I couldn't agree more, and then there is the sightings you didn't even think of wishing for

DAY 3 - Part 2
I drove up to Crooks corner, ther was only 1 car, but plenty of life - So I snapped away

Crocs
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Bee-eaters
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And my this guy trying his best to hide away -
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I spent some time there and headed back, along the way found this heron searching for something to chew on, with the regulars relaxing in the back
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and then there is the "general game" - I love Zebras
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then I decide to take a pic or 2 just to make sure the northern regulars get their fix - Boabab Hill with its sign, all northerners know it well -

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Notice the blue sky, showing it was another cooker. I carried on past klopperfontein dam and the Tsetsebe was there again. I am posting a lot of pics of them, but they are so amazingly beautifull.

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On the otherside there was two ellies having a staredown -
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This one looks like he has been around the block a feww times. No wonder the other backed off - RESPECT THE ELDERS,.
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Then this only pic I could of this boy. The reason - it is difficult to take pics and reverse the car. :roll:

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I headed to camp but not before taking snaps of this guy relaxing -

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I couldn't help taking a snap of this colour in the dry, sun-burned bush

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I arrived at camp and went straight to the swimmingpool, there I met some guys going on the Nyalaland trail, and some visitors from Cape Town coming to do some birding. We had a nice chat and cool down, then some wors on rolls with salad for late lunch and then off I went.

If only I knew what the last part of the day and night held in store ....

Tell you about that next time, stay tuned ....

:thumbs_up:

_________________
TRIP REPORTS
March - Done & Dusted - TRIP REPORT HERE

TRIPS PLANNED 2011
April
11-12 - Tamboti
13 - Letaba
14-16 - Punda Maria
17-19 - Shingwedzi
20-23 - Balule
24-25 - Pretoriuskop


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