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 Post subject: GlenD-Come what may ....... I just had to get back!Oct 2010
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:38 am 
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Have you ever had that feeling that you just had to get back to Kruger, urgently ..... before you explode :evil:

Sure, you might think ... what kind of question is that on a forum like this :slap:

Well I had a day like that, on the 2nd September 2010 to be exact, I just had to get back to my beloved Kruger, at any cost. My previous trip in March this year to Berg-en-Dal seemed a far distant memory and I was begining to lose my mind in the concrete jungle.
Without thinking, I picked up the phone, got through to central reservations and made a booking. The only booking I could get at such short notice during a school break was 4 nights at Pretoriuskop, arriving the 29th Sep and leaving again on the 3rd Oct.

As I hung up, I realised that I had not consulted SO about this, I had not requested leave from the boss man and neither did I have any idea how I was going to pay for this trip. :hmz:

"It doesnt matter" I said to myself, Im going to KNP no matter what. I looked up and asked "please help me make this happen" :pray:

Well it did :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: Come what may ....... I just had to get back!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:46 pm 
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After speaking to SO and seeing her delight I started feeling better about this sudden trip. It didn’t take much to persuade the boss to give me a few days off considering all the long hours and weekend work I had been putting in.
Everything started to fall into place and in no time we were looking fwd to our trip, until the week before that is. :wall:

Just as I thought we were well on our way, busy planning our trip, I could see a show stopper slowly descending. The teachers strike that had been happening was possibly going to be the cause of great sadness and anger in my life. :sniper:
The LO’s school had just notified that the school would not be closing during the usual week break, but they will instead be having catch up classes. (their school was not directly involved in the strike but had been intimidated by unions and had to close intermittently). We contacted the teachers and notified them of our dilemma and asked if we could be given the work to take with instead. “No problem, they are not too far behind so it will not be serious” came the reply. :twisted:
The trip was back on track and my blood pressure was dropping back to normal.
The weekend before we were to leave, saw us doing shopping and packing of all the camping gear into the trailer. The days seemed to take forever to pass but eventually the evening of the 28th arrived. We were packed and sorted, ready to roll. :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: Come what may ....... I just had to get back!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:39 pm 
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Day 1 .....

At 02H30 the alarm went off and I was awake instantly and up in no time. After a bath, I woke the SO and ran her bath while her eyes struggled to open ….. and stay open :roll: . While everyone was washing, bathing, splashing and whatnot, I packed the freezer into the trailer and organized the car boot with the last few items.

Eventually we got going at 04H00 (stopping between somewhere and who knows where in Pretoria for an urgent loo stop, thank goodness for GPS). The trip to our usual Belfast stop seemed very quick for some reason, not that I was complaining. We sat and had a full breakfast at Wimpy and were soon on the road again, winding our way down into the lowveld 8) . The warm lowveld air was a welcome relief from the cool Highveld.
After stopping at White River for some last minutes goodies, we headed for Numbi and arrived at 11H00.

When I got to the reception, there was a family enquiring to see if there was any accommodation in the park. As they went through the whole park from north to south, camp to camp, only to be told it was fully booked, a queue was forming behind me and I could sense the frustration of the poor reception lady as she ever so politely continued helping the insistent guests in front of me. :?
Eventually we had checked in and were on the way.
From just booking and not knowing how, to crawling along from the gate to the camp, it all just faded into the background, we were home and that is what mattered.

Checking in at 11H20 was quick and friendly, and in no time we were circling the camp grounds like vultures, looking for a nice spot. We eventually settled for one near the top, not quite on the fence but close enough to see it from our site.

Within an hour or so we had set up home and were relaxing and enjoying our lunch.

Campsite all set up
Image

Day 1 to continue.....


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 Post subject: Re: Come what may ....... I just had to get back!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:13 am 
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Thanks to all for the compliments :thumbs_up:

Lion Queen, yes it was rather a last minute trip but as Shi puts it spontaneity is the spice of life. :)

Thanks Chip and Joey, although I have to re-count my words carefully as I have a tendency to just write whatever comes to mind and that could get rather dangerous :twisted:

Yip Elzet, I had to flee Gauteng for sanity reasons, but im ok now, at least that’s what the voices still tell me :tongue:

Theuns, yes I bought a new one for our trip in March to BnD. The previous one I had (still have) I bought from my Dad, it was the tent we as a family first went camping with in 1985 at LS. It has seen many trips to KNP and survived a few wind storms too and it is still going strong. Unfortunately it is a bit heavy for the 1,6 Nissan and takes up a lot of space. Now with the extra space Im saving I can take luxuries like the camp freezer and fan.
Btw .. I bent a 'Glen unit' at P’Kop, yeesh that ground is like reinforced concrete. :doh:


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 Post subject: Re: Come what may ....... I just had to get back!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:27 am 
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GlenD wrote:
Btw .. I bent a 'Glen unit' at P’Kop, yeesh that ground is like reinforced concrete. :doh:

:lol: :lol: :lol:

All I need now is a good cheap second hand trailer, if you hear about anything please let me know!

Looking forward to your TR! :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Come what may ....... I just had to get back!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:59 am 
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Day 1 continued ……

After lunch we headed for the pool for a quick dip to cool off before heading out.
Well I tried to get in anyway. My mind was hell bent in getting into that water to get rid of the heat built up from setting up camp, but the body just wasn’t having anything to do with that. :naughty: It was too cold and that was it.
So SO and I watched the LO’s swim for a while, pretending that they were not getting cold.

At 16H00 it was afternoon drive time and off we headed for a slow tour around Fayi loop. A lot of the area has very recently been burnt and in some places it is still smoldering, so when I saw that I really didn’t expect to see much. To our surprise though, there was quite a bit of life around for the amount of burning that has taken place in the area.

Now .... you need to know that I do not possess a bird book and my knowledge on birds is somewhat limited to memory :roll: to say the least so ……. please correct me where I call a goose a vulture (ok, im not that bad but you get the picture), having said that, our first sighting was what I believed to be a Black Bellied Koran??

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These guys were having a royal get together on the side of this boulder.

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And just around the bend, this little one was looking for a bit of comfort from an adult who politely just bulldozed him while carrying on eating

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With other sightings of Waterbuck, zebra, giraffe and impalas, that was pretty much it for the day. And with daylight beginning to fade, we stopped to take some scenic pics and could not pass up a moment to pause and take in a beautiful sunset.

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Getting back to camp saw us stocking up on wood and getting the fire started

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Sitting back watching the flames dance in the darkness, listening to the chirping crickets and the fruit bats adds that Kruger magic to any visit (I had to filter out the sounds eminating from a rare species not often heard but for some reason were quite prevalent at Pretoriuskop during this trip, ….. the “Belchus Maximus Homo-Sapien” :tongue: ).

After supper there was the usual walk around camp, you see .... I have this thing about walking up to the camp gate and shining my spotlight up the road to see if I can spot anything, but tonight it was only the regular Impala’s keeping watch right outside the gate.

After a very busy day, it did not take long for us to settle under our duvets and in no time SO heard me sawing down the Sahara rain forest (and fighting with someone in my sleep, I don’t know who that poor sod was but apparently I was giving him a stern talking to :redface: )

I was hoping to hear some animal sounds, but I did not have the pleasure of falling asleep to that (it was only at about 01H30 that I heard lions in the distance, or was it another distant “Belchus Maximus Homo-Sapien”, or perhaps was it someone else sawing down the Kalahari woodlands :hmz: , ….. no I think it was Lion). Back to zzz land

Day 2 to follow …………..


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 Post subject: Re: Come what may ....... I just had to get back!
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:44 am 
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Glen, I so understand your way of operating. I know how the moment arrives and you know that you just need the bush. There is no question.

Loving this report :thumbs_up:

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


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 Post subject: Re: Come what may ....... I just had to get back!
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:48 pm 
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Day 2 ……

Day 2 started with us getting up at 05H00 as it was the last day for gates opening at 06H00, from tomorrow the 1st October they would be opening at 05H30.
I had slept on and off and felt a bit cold in the early hours of the morning. The morning temperature was a bit cool for that time of the year and it caught me by surprise. I guess I was too busy fighting in my sleep to bother to reach down and grab my other blanket .

After a lovely warm shower in a nice clean shower cubicle that was the size of a small room, I had warmed up and felt a whole lot better. I made some coffee and we had a light breakfast then set off at about 06H20 to Skukuza for the morning. The drive I chose would be up the S7, around the S10 Shabeni loop, back up the S7, backtracking to Mestel Dam and then back up the S3 to the Doispane road to Skuks.

Not too far outside camp sat a Martial Eagle in a treetop surveying the landscape in his specked vest.

Image

The trip around Shabeni loop was, with the exception of a lone elephant, quite uneventful. Recently burnt in patches with smoke still rising from smoldering tree trunks was indeed quite a turn off. Back up the S7 and then on turning left onto the S3 to backtrack to the dam we saw a few buffalo deep in the bushes, though not clear enough to get a picture of.

Mestel dam was very quiet and peaceful and I could have sat there all morning as it looked very promising. After the odd few cars had come and gone we decided to carry on with the trip and headed back up the S3 and reached the Doispane road after not seeing anything.

After driving for a couple of kilometers I noticed a helicopter circling round and around in the air up ahead and just as soon as I saw it, it vanished again. Shortly after that we came across a truck with a huge container on the back just standing in the road with no-one in sight. Thinking it a bit odd, we hung around a bit scanning the bush for the owners of the truck. Not seeing any activity around we were just about to drive off when we heard a ‘klunk’ noise coming from inside the container. I stopped and reversed and looked through the two tiny holes on the side. At first I could not see anything but then noticed movement and what looked, from the skin pattern, like a small Elephant or Rhino (given the size of the container).

Not being able to see much more we drove off and about 2 km further came across a traffic jam with the helicopter standing to left of the road just slightly in the bushes. People were out of their cars all over the place and on closer inspection noticed that they were in the bush as well on the right hand side of the road. The group of people turned out to be rangers with a spectator group following. I asked the man in the car next to me what was going on and he said that they had just shot a poacher. I was about to shout for joy when his wife smacked him and said “no man, they just captured a Rhino for relocation”. After weaving our way through all the cars that were parked anywhere and everywhere, we could very briefly make out a blind folded Black Rhino being led into a container by a group of rangers with a whole lot of visitors standing around. I couldn’t help thinking what if that Rhino broke free …… a few land speed records would have been broken

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After all that excitement we headed off towards Skukuza. Not much further down the road stood a White Rhino all on his lonesome. I wanted to warn him that if he liked living in the KNP he should run as far away as he could before he was next.

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A few kilometers later and we came across a whole lot of vultures circling quite low. We tried to see what all the commotion was all about but all we could vaguely see were some vultures eating something quite deep in the bush. We pushed on to find this guy

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Shortly after turning right onto the H11 we found a Fish Eagle sitting in a huge shady tree. It looked so cool in there I felt like joining him

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We stopped at Skukuza to stretch legs and bought some refreshments. We were very surprised to see how the camp had changed since we were last there in Jan 2009. The road down to the shop area is now diverted to the left via a traffic circle and runs through the old film show seating area and joins up at the car park to the left of the shop. To the left of that is a completely new building, and if any one knows what that is, we are quiet curious to know.

Hunger was setting in and we decided to head back to P’Kop straight down the Napi road. Image

Stopping in at the Transport Dam, we found a few Ground Hornbills on the side of the road, looking at us up and down as if to say ……..Whaa-aaat? Stop staring at me!!! Image

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We came upon this Kudu floating in Transport dam and it was being eaten by crocs. No idea how she landed up in there though.

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We headed on back to camp and cooked up a delicious breakfast and decided to relax until the afternoon. This time Braveheart Image got into the pool completely and had a refreshing swim Image albeit a quick one, probably because the cool wind from the day before was no longer making things unpleasant for me.

Afternoon of day 2 to continue ……………


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 Post subject: Re: Come what may ....... I just had to get back!
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:26 pm 
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Day 2 continued ……….

SO and 'small LO' decided to stay in camp for the afternoon so that small LO could catch up on her school work that was given to her to do. Image

‘Not so LO’ and I went for an afternoon drive to Mestel Dam. That dam has an attraction to it, I don’t know why but I could easily spend the day there.
We left camp at about 15H30 and took our time crawling along the road hoping to see something nice.

Just around the first bend we saw this buffalo. Now, I think he must be the oldest buffalo I have ever seen. His hindquarters were wearing thin, quite bony and his walk was so stiff, I think rigamortis was already settling in. He was seriously becoming biltong before his expiry date. I couldn’t help feeling a sense of admiration for the old guy, making it to an old age in a lion infested environment like Kruger.

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A few meters further we found a Kudu herd browsing.

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I tried my luck via Shabeni loop but no luck yet again. I could just picture a leopard stretched out on top of some of those boulders but apparently we were out of luck. But then again, how does that Kruger saying go, if you didnt see a Leopard on your drive, you can bet that one saw you. The drive to Mestel produced the regular sightings of zebra, impala, duikers, giraffe etc.

When we arrived at Mestel dam, we were quite surprised by a few primates :shock: . They seemed rather advanced in their intelligence because they were extremely mobile

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Sitting quietly at the dam produced no unusual sightings and so after waiting patiently for a while , we headed back to camp, going via the loop behind the camp to see the elephants and baboons from the day before. Some more buffalo were sighted before we finally passed through the camp gates.

SO had kindly offered to organize the braai fire just before our return and what a beaut of a fire it was I have to add, great coals that facilitated a great braai Image, thank you darling Image

And so, the second day drew to a peaceful close with a beautiful sunset, chirping crickets, pinging bats and ……”braaaaaaaaaaaaaak:big_eyes: :big_eyes: , it was the call of the “Belchus Maximus Homo-Sapien”, it seemed that they were beginning to stir for their evening rituals. We planned another evening stroll around the camp, ever hopeful in spotting this strange creature Image so that we could add it to our sightings list.

While we were braaing, the LO’s went to watch the evening movie and when they returned we received a detailed review of what they had seen. It took me right back about 30 odd years when I used to do that.

After supper we washed up and went for the walk around the camp, and at the gate, only the Impalas keeping watch. We settled in early and were soon in dream land.

Day 3 to follow ……………


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 Post subject: Re: Come what may ....... I just had to get back!
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:24 pm 
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Day 3 ……….

Day trip to Lower Sabie

For day three’s trip, we decided on a day trip to Lower Sabie, rather than wait until the busier weekend.

We were up at 04H30, showered Image , got ready, had coffee and were out the gates not long after 05H30. While I was in the ablutions I overheard two guys taking Image about Lions just up the road, “around the bend” the one said. I was planning on taking the Napi road up to Skukuza, but though I should just check out “around the bend” first in case their claims were legit. I don’t know who their source was seeing that the gate was still closed. Instead of Lions we saw the Pretoriuskop Old Age Buffalo herd, this guy only had one horn, c’mon mites ….. he needs more votes :huh:

Image

We made a u-turn, proceeded a few hundred meters and then turned left and carried on along the H1-1. As mentioned before this area is extensively burnt. We saw a lone elephant not far along; I think he could be a regular as we spotted him quite often near the camp. After an empty Shitlave Dam, (sightings that is, not water) we headed back up to the H1-1 and saw a White Rhino along the way

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I turned off at the S11 and went via the Napi boulders (We saw lions here in March). It has always been interesting to me to see the difference in vegetation at various times of the year. With nothing happening along that road we turned back onto the Napi road and headed for the Transport Dam. These two Fish Eagles wer sitting in a tree on the far bank of the dam. Quite a few sightings of Fish Eagle this trip, I must say.

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These regular Waterbuck were also mulling about

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Not far along after the Transport Dam we came across a traffic jam and were advised by a passer by that we just missed a Leopard crossing the road. He suggested that if we hung around a bit we might spot him lifting his head on occasion in the grass. Well ….. we sat around like customers at Home Affairs, not knowing where or when or if any action would occur. Enough of that, with the temperature rising and the fact that we had absolutely no idea where this leopard could have been, we decided to head on.

We slowed down past the boulders just before the H3 turnoff as they were a regular home to Klipspringer that we had seen there on trips before. The rocks were empty. Just after the H3 turn off, on the bend there are another set of rocks to the right and we were pleased to see that the Klipspringers had merely moved house.

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A few km’s outside Skukuza, we came across two Hyenas standing on either side of the road like two patrolmen. Once we and another car had stopped, they decided to make themselves scarce and headed off into the bush.

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We stopped at Skukuza for a leg stretch, pit stop and headed on again. Turning on to the H4-1 (we first back tracked to the first river loop) I was as happy to say the least, now I was home Image

On the LS road, a few Buffalo with an Elephant in background.

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We got to the H12 high level bridge and saw an Elephant on the right hand side and two White Rhino in the far distance on the left. I carried on over the bridge and made a u-turn at the entrance to the Salitje road, a decision I would soon regret :wall:

As we were crossing back over, SO spotter a car with EC number plates and a YR
It was Bartman, Gillykins and kids. My SO was starting to think that this YR thing was not working because we were always the only car with one on, but now we had finally met other Forumites.
Firstly, it was great meeting you guys :thumbs_up: , and secondly THANK YOU!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: You had broken our cat drought. If we had not stopped to chat, we would have missed the two lions approaching from behind, nice spot Bartman :thumbs_up:
Now, ... this is why I regretted turning around at the Salitje road entrance. I was now facing the wrong way. Bartman and family headed off towards the lions and I had to reverse back across half the length of the bridge until I could turn around again. When we arrived, the lions (who had a procession of cars behind them) decided to move off the road and into the bush but at least we were fortunate enough to get a few seconds of sighting them reasonably close.

Lioness
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And Male Lion following lioness
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After turning around we headed back across the bridge and had to wait patiently for the many cars to finish watching the Rhino’s.

We stopped at Nkuhlu for a leg stretch and an ice cream. I really wanted to try the famous Buff Pasties but they were a bit over baked and dried out for the R25 price tag :( .
Under the lapa there were a few tables that were nicely laid out. One patron had already arrived and was waiting patiently for the rest of his group to join him for lunch.

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These Impala lily’s caught my eye

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We headed on towards Lower Sabie. By now the temperature was beginning to climb and most of the animals were standing around in little groups under whatever shade they could find. At one point I just had to reverse back to have a look at a small herd of elephants all huddled together under a smallish tree. It looked quite amusing I must say, unfortunately no pic as it was in amongst a few trees and bushes.
We stopped for a few monkeys on the side of the road and this one in particular though he would be getting a handout and was rather disappointed at not getting anything.

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When we arrived at Lower Sabie it was hot to say the least.
Image We headed down to the deck for lunch; luckily it was not too busy.

This guy was also feeling the heat and was making his way down to the deck.

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From the deck we could see these Hippo’s out of the water.

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Not long after that this herd of Elephants came down for a drink

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We had lunch, did some shopping for ice-cream and went for a quick walk around the camp. It had to be quick, we were melting. I was really not impressed at the sight of many many empty campsites after I had struggled in vain to get accommodation there.

We decided to get back on the road as we had a bit of a journey ahead of us back to the Swartland (black landscape). At Sunset dam we stopped to survey the area and I was getting excited by the possibility of showing SO how a giraffe drinks water, when a crocodile suddenly snapped at some of the birds on the bank scaring this poor guy off to go and hide behind the bushes.

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As we headed off, I could not help stopping to get a picture of what the temperature was outside, and it still went up another two degrees as we were driving.

40 deg at 13H10 on the way back to P’Kop

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Another Fish Eagle

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This huge herd of buffalo’s had us waiting no less than twenty minutes for them to cross. We switched off and waited it out as there were hundreds of them, peeling out of the bush.

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Wouldn’t this impatient cash van driver start revving his engine at the cars behind us for them to get out of his was. They all made way for him and he proceeded to rev his way through the Buffalos, luckily though the procession was coming to an end and most were across already.

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This poor Baboon really looked like he was taking strain in the heat

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The road was quiet to say the least until we saw this Saddle billed stork at Shitlave dam

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We eventually arrived back at camp just past 16H00 and decided to spend the remainder of the afternoon at the pool cooling off. After a refreshing swim, we lay on the grass under a tree and baked in the hot wind, you know the kind you get when you open the oven door. We left the LO’s at the pool for the last few minutes of swimming while SO and I went back to start the fire and prepare supper. When the LO’s arrived back from their movie, we ate supper, had our evening walk and headed off to slumberland. It was hot and the fan really came in handy.

Day 4 to follow ………..


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 Post subject: Re: Come what may ....... I just had to get back!
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:47 am 
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Day 4 …….

Today, SO and LO’s wanted to stay in and sleep a bit later so it was me flying solo. I awoke at 04H30 and headed for the shower. I decided today to grab the opportunity to be in line at the gate when 05H30 rolled around. After a quick cup of scorching hot coffee, well lets put it this way, it was so hot that I couldn’t taste the rest of the cup after the first sip. That will teach me for making coffee with boiling water :tongue:

I headed for the gate and was no 7 in the queue, (if I was old and my name was Jack, that would have been a serious coincidence ………some of you might miss that one but I couldn’t resist hehehe :whistle: ).

As the gates opened, panic struck as I had still not decided on a route, despite thinking really hard since last night. I decided that seeing I had no specific road in mind, I would head up to Mestel dam and spend some time just sitting there and seeing what would come down. As I mentioned in previous days postings, I had wanted to park there and just sit and watch so this morning was my last chance on this trip to do just that. I took the Shabeni loop yet again, and yet again it was dead, it was also still burnt. :slap:
Not long after re-joining the S7, I saw a White Rhino, but the bush was a bit thick and I was unable to get any good video shots of it. I turned left at the S3 junction and crawled very slowly down to the dam.
When I arrived there were two other cars, thankfully both silent, unlike the baboons from the other day.
I parked in a position so as to get maximum view of the dam and just sat back and surveyed the land through the binoculars. The silence was beautiful to say the least. Besides the regular Hippo in the water occasionally grunting and snorting, there, were the local Impala herd on the far bank to the left. Not long after that, a lone Giraffe strolled down for a drink. I had a nice clear shot, however had to hold dead still while I zoomed in across the dam.

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While sitting and taking in the early morning awakening of the dam surrounds, the silence and the gentle breeze, I thought that it could not get much better that this. I was so very fortunate to be in the place I loved dearly, and to be able to sit and witness this all, I thought to myself how truly blessed I was.
Shortly after the Giraffe had moved off into the bush again, I noticed two Hyenas on the very far right of the dam. By now, the car that had prime position had moved off and I was able to get a clear view of them. They were on the move and soon disappeared from sight and I soon forgot about them as I continued to survey the surrounds through the binoculars.

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You know that 6th sense that tells you that you are not alone, …… well listen to it. I got the distinct feeling that I was being watched and put the binoculars down. As I looked to my right, there stood four Hyenas evenly spread out on the slope in front of the dam. :shock: I actually got a bit of a fright as I was not expecting to see them again and one of them was quite close. After looking back in the direction they had come from they decided to carry on past me, with one being kind enough to walk past the car, enabling me to get a nice clear shot of him/her ….. well, you know what I mean.

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At about 8 o’clock I decided to head on as there was not much in the way of activity. Not really wanting to get back to camp so early I decided on the Fayi loop around the back of the camp, I am so glad I did.
On the way was this youngish zebra, it was quite fascinated by the car and insisted on leading me down the road for a bit.

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Just before turning right onto the bigger loop I came across the buffalo herd who had decided it was time to cross the road. Once again I switched of and sat and watched these fascinating creatures. Its amazing what you miss when you only briefly stop and drive off again. After watching them for a while I decided to head on again.

When I arrived at the low level river crossing a car stopped me and the driver told me of a Leopard he himself had just missed a bit further up around the bend and was trying to see if he could get a better view from the angle he was at now. I said thanks and decided to try the position a bit higher up looking down on the river bed, where two other cars had also stopped.

After moving back and forth trying to see anything I decided to switch off and sit and wait it out. I was adamant that I was going to see this guy. The one car pushed off and the other car had also decided to wait (I later heard from them that they had already been waiting 40 minutes). With the car off I could hear the Leopard calling, presumably a mate. I could hear him but I could not see him. I must have waited about 15 minutes when all of a sudden I saw a movement down in the river bed on the opposite bank, in-between the grass and reeds. It was Mr Leopard :dance: :dance:

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At last I had seen a Leopard, I whipped the camera up in a flash and started filming whatever I could. Not long after that he got up and started moving off to the right. I started the car and slowly moved back and was able to get some nice clear shots of him standing on a rock. He hung around for about 10 minutes before he disappeared into the reeds.

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I thought, seeing I was only about 8km from camp and that the Leopard had been calling something, I would take a chance and quickly get back to camp, pick up SO and LO’s and offer them a slim chance of seeing the leopard as I could not guarantee that he would still be there, but hey … it was a chance. They did not hesitate when I told them and off we went back to the spot. Unfortunately the Leopard was not around, well if he was, we could not see him. Unfortunately they had missed out on the Leopard.

While we were preparing lunch later in the day, SO said she had spotted a really ugly looking spider hanging around the cutlery bag. I pulled it out from behind the table just in time to see something dash inside the bag. Just great. :evil: Well I was too hungry to deal with that right then so sat and ate with the bag in front of me, keeping an eye on it in case the critter came out again. After eating, Braveheart got up and started emptying the bag slowly. When I had zipped the sides of the bag all the way down I saw it hiding at the bottom. It was a Red Roman (Sun Spider), man that thing is freeky, and extremely fast too. Well I managed to shake him out and he made a dash for the shade. I managed to get a shot of him before he disappeared under the tent :big_eyes:

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That afternoon, we went back on the Fayi loop as it was the only road in the area that had the most signs of life on it, and maybe spotting the Leopard also helped us decide as he was apparently resident in the area and our neighbors had seen him a few times before. The drive produced the regulars of Buffalo, Elephant, Baboons, Zebra, Waterbuck etc. As I approached the turnoff to the H2-2, we still had 40 minutes to spare so we decided on going about 15 min down the H2-2 road and then turning back.

I turned back after 5 minutes, the road was terrible and I am one that doesn’t see the point in traveling on a road where you cannot even look in the bush because you are too busy navigating a path that wont destroy the car.
Back at camp, the fire was lit and we enjoyed our last evening in Kruger, taking in the sounds and atmosphere.

Once again we slept soundly and awoke at 06H30 and got up just before 7. After the tedious task of packing up and fighting off another red roman (we also had an Elephant at the fence who had come to say goodbye), we headed for the showers.

We were sad to leave, but were grateful for the four nights were could spend there. On the way to Numbi, we saw the Buffalo herd and an Elephant before heading out into civilization again and leaving paradise behind :cry: …………. well, that is until the next time I get the sudden need to get back :hmz:

The end


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