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 Post subject: buffalo_soldier-!!! The best Trip ever !!!Sep 2010
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:12 am 
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Location: Next trip is planned! This time BOTSWANA. But i will come back to SA!
Hello everybody! :D

I´m 27 years old, from Germany and this is my very first trip report, but hopefully not the last!

This trip report is about my 2nd trip to KNP. In December 2009 i visited KNP for 4 days, this time we enjoyed the unspoiled, beautyful nature of kruger for 7 days.

It´s been my 4th trip to south africa. As you can see, i totally fell in love with this country.... :thumbs_up:

Well, enough words about me, let´s get started with my trip report 2010.


25.09.2010 Pretoriuskop
26.09.2010 Satara
27.09.2010 Satara
28.09.2010 Skukuza
29.09.2010 Skukuza
30.09.2010 Skukuza


Last edited by buffalo_soldier on Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: !!! The best Trip ever !!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:21 am 
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Location: Next trip is planned! This time BOTSWANA. But i will come back to SA!
We were entering the park through the Phabeni gate, driving in direction to Skukuza for having a breakfast.

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This was the first animal i saw on our trip!!!
A lonely elephant bull. He was quite near for my lense.

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Last edited by buffalo_soldier on Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: !!! The best Trip ever !!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:48 am 
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Location: Next trip is planned! This time BOTSWANA. But i will come back to SA!
Beside the road we saw some beautiful birds. Burchels Coucal, Brown Headed Kingfisher....

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Then our first impalas...

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Before entering the Skukuza Camp for breakfast, we stopped at Lake Panic where the resident hippos were relaxing and a lot of birds were having their fun.

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A Grey Heron with its baby...

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Some crocodiles enjoying the sun...

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Last edited by buffalo_soldier on Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: !!! The best Trip ever !!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:56 am
Posts: 192
Location: Next trip is planned! This time BOTSWANA. But i will come back to SA!
I love McDonalds!!!! :wink:

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I love impies!!!!

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Vervet monkeys and warthogs relaxing in the shade! Temperature about 33°C

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Now we were prepared for a nice breakfast in Skukuza...
Mountains of eggs with bacon and mushrooms....... :P


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 Post subject: Re: !!! The best Trip ever !!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:13 pm 
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Location: Next trip is planned! This time BOTSWANA. But i will come back to SA!
After breakfast we made us on our way to Pretoriuskop. We spent there one night. But at first we were driving to Lower Sabie to see whats on at Sunset Dam.

On our way we saw a lot of birds, impies, kudus, and a lot more of the general game.

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Shortly after Skukuza we saw a small traffic jam. And all the people in their cars stared on the other side of the river bed....AND there they were! Our first lions of the trip. 3 beautiful males. Just to see with the binocs (i guess 200m away), but nevertheless...LIONS. That counts.

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As usual we saw a lot of elephants in and around the river...

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Some bachelor buffalos crossed the road directly in front of us.
They looked very sad, as they always do, BUT they are one of my favourite animals! I love their power and strength.

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One of my favourite birds of KNP,...the Lilac breasted roller

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Family crossing!

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Red billed hornbill

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Big guy with huge tusks

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In Lower Sabie this Starling enjoyed a bath!!!!

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This evening we saw our first Rhinos of the trip but they were to far away for a good picture! But they shouldn´t be the last rhinos we are going to see.

We saw some buffalos as well and some general game!

We had a nice braai that evening and a bottle of lovely red wine! Good start!!!!


The next morning started almost perfect!
We were the only car at the following sighting....6 white rhinos! We enjoyed that sighting and the rising sun with some rusks and coffee. Just for information: We´ve seen 22 Rhinos on our trip!!!!!!!!! But unfortunately no blackies!!!!

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What a beginnig of the day! After that beautiful sighting we made us on our way to satara, passing Skukuza for breakfast.

On our way we saw some amazing birds like tawny eagle, Juvenile Bateleur and some vultures.

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More rhinos, with calf

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Between Skukuza and Tshokwane we came into a big traffic jam! Our first Leopard-traffic jam!!!! It was lying in a tree, resting! I can´t get some good shots! But Leopard is leopard!!!!!!

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We saw a lot of birds on the way to satara. And after check-in we enjoyed our sunset drive on the famous S100. The light was perfect!!!!

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The S100 also showed us some really big guys...

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That evening we had a really nice braaii with lamb, beef and our obligatory bottle of wine! But that evening white wine!

That evening a small fruit bat was hanging over our table and made it´s "businness" on the pants of my father in law!!!! :mrgreen:


The next morning began very quiet. Just some giraffes and waterbucks.
We arrived at a picnic spot on the s36 between Satara and Orpen.
I asked the guy who is working there, if he knows something about lion sightings in this area in the last time!!!

I didn´t expected what the guy was going to show me!!!

He was walking over the picnic area to a small windmill, i followed him! He climbed up a few steps, took a look, came down and said: "Yeah, there it is!" and disappeared!
I climbed up the steps and couldn´t believe what i´ve seen!
A lioness lying in the shade, about 60 metres away from me! I was in the middle of the bush, not in my car and there was a lion! I took some pictures, unfortunately with my small lense and went back to the car! Puuuhh! It was an amazing feeling!

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The rest of the morning was quiet, instead of that!!! A huge herd of buffalos crossed the road! I guess about 400 to 500 animals. GREAT!

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After that sighting we went back to Satara for lunch! Before starting our afternoon drive...the weather changed and it was cloudy!

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Beautiful Kudu Bull with an amazing ram!!!

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Later on that afternoon we made a very special experience. We were about 3 hours away from Satara on a dirt road. The road was quite bad. I was the driver and the sightings were really rare. It seemed like all the animals were hiding.
The bush was getting more dense and behind a long turn i saw some small elephants and baby elephants on the right hand side in the bush...i stepped on the break and realized that we were driven between an elephant herd and we seperated the babies from the mothers and bulls! We know that this is always a bad idea, but we couldn´t see the elephants behind the turn!
Then two of the bulls turned their heads in our direction and began to charge us! I put in the rear gear and drove back as fast as i could! On of the bulls was hunting us! He was about 5 metres away from our car and we were driving about 40 km/h backwards. I had to look in the rear mirrors and the elephant was trumpeting and running more than 500 metres after us until he stopped....

We were waiting for about 10 minutes till we continued our way back to the camp.

My heart was running! But a few moments later i asked my father in law: "Did you make a video???" But for sure, he didn´t! :pray:

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We were on our way back to the camp and it was almost getting dark, when we saw a lot of cars coming from a dirt road. We stopped and asked someone. He told us that there are lions!
We hurried up to catch a look at them because the light was getter worse.

We arrived where a lot of cars still standing. The grass was high and then we saw them. 3 beautiful male lions lying in front of a tree in the high grass.
I started taking pictures because the light was getting bad. But then some action went on and the lions were moving....

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The perfect end of the day!!!! Strike! :mrgreen:
Just for information: We had lion sightings every day of our trip! But most of them where too far away for pictures.


Last edited by buffalo_soldier on Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:48 pm, edited 28 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: !!! The best Trip ever !!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:56 am
Posts: 192
Location: Next trip is planned! This time BOTSWANA. But i will come back to SA!
Let´s go to Skukuza!!!
The next morning started also very quiet with some general game and some birds!
We saw a lot of birds in the area of satara. Much more than last year.

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On the way to Orpen Dam, we came across this big guy. He had no tusks anymore and he was huge.

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At the Timbavati Picnic Spot we stopped for lunch where we saw this Yellow Billed Hornbill

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When the sun was going to set, we made us on our way to Skukuza.
About 2 km before Skukuza we´ve seen something in the bush next to the road. Only one other car was standing there and a few metres further we realized that it was a leopard!!! I drove the car directly in front of that bush and took some pics of this beauty. Suddenly it moved and came straight to our car!!! A beautiful big male LEOPARD. About 7 metres away from my lense. It was amazing....

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The leopard turned around and disappeared in the bush, but i was still able to see him moving. We were waiting and then i thought that he might cross the riverbed, so i drove back about 30 metres to wait for him coming out of the riverbed! And a few minutes later we had the perfect place again!!!!!!

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This crocodile was lying in the riverbed which the leopard crossed.

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Perfect end of the day! :mrgreen:


The next day started with a guided morning drive. It was cold in the morning when the sun rises it began to warm up and we´ve seen a lot of animals. A huge herd of Buffalos, Kudus, Giraffes, Rhinos with calf and a pride of 6 lions. But they were far in the dense bush so i wasn´t able to take pictures of them...

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This baboon showed as that he definately needs a dentist!

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Last edited by buffalo_soldier on Sat Oct 16, 2010 3:08 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: !!! The best Trip ever !!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:56 am
Posts: 192
Location: Next trip is planned! This time BOTSWANA. But i will come back to SA!
fleabean wrote:
great pics!!! you make me so excited for my first visit to SA and KNP 16 more days!! if you dont mind me asking what kind of camera and what size lens did you use? will i really be seeing all these birds and animals?!! :pray:
keep up the super pic posts!
thanks for sharing,
darcy (fleabean)



Hey, thank you very much!
I used a CANON EOS 450 D. And i used two different lenses, a 18-250 mm and a 120-400 mm. I also used a 1,7 x converter for objects far away!

You will enjoy your trip! I can promisse you!


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 Post subject: Re: !!! The best Trip ever !!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:56 am
Posts: 192
Location: Next trip is planned! This time BOTSWANA. But i will come back to SA!
After breakfast we made us on the way to Lower Sabie. This road is always busy!!!! As you can see....


"Size doesn´t matter". I think that´s a good headline for the next pic.

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Our first Nyla ever! Made me proud.

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About 10km before we arrived Lower Sabie we came into a big traffic jam! I guess about 35 cars. Someone told us that theres a LIT, a leopard in tree.
I´m always a little bit cheeky if there´s a chance to get a good pic. That´s why i searched the best place to catch an eye on the leopard-tree. I placed the car in the best position you could get....and then we´ve seen it! Sorry, we´ve seen HER! A beautiful female LEOPARD. Lying on a brench, relaxing. She looked very tired and was yawning almost every minute. I took a lot of pics, of the yawning as well...BUT i hate this brench in front of the leopards face!!! This brench destroyed the best pics i could take!!!!! :?

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A few minutes later she decided to climb down the tree and disappeared in the bush. But sometimes i could see her between the dense bush.

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After a while, she layed down in the shade and we decided to leave her.

After lunch in Lower Sabie, where we enjoyed the beautiful view, we decided to drive back to Skukuza. But not without taking the most taken picture in the area of Lower Sabie...

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Fighting hippos! Unbelievable how fast these massive animals can be...

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White fronted bee eater

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On our way to the camp we´ve seen a lot of different mongooses. Dwarf mongoose, slender tended mongoose and a pack of side striped mongooses.

As usual we had a lovely braai that evening! Venison and Chicken!!!!! Yummmiee...


The next morning started with a bushwalk for me...
We were driving south for about 30 minutes. When we get out of the car, the first noise we heard was the roaring of lions. Our Ranger told us that they should be about 1 km away....

After a few minutes of walking our ranger found some footprints in the sand. RHINO.
About 15 minutes later we met these guys. A WHITE-RHINO family. The parents with their calf were about 35-40 metres away from us. I took some pics, with my smaller lense.

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These holes are made from elephants. They are digging for water with their trunk.

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We also found a herd of buffalos on our walk, but to far away for good pics.

On the way back to Skukuza we had a very special sighting!
A TAWNY EAGLE with a Steenbock KILL.

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In Skukuza we had a nice breakfast! I was very hungry because of the bushwalk!!!! EGGS, BACON, MUSHROOMS, CAFÉ LATTE and a perfect view over the Sabie River and some grasing buffalos.
After breakfast we decided to visit Lake Panic again.
I love this place!!! :P

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These are some of my favourite bird pics. I love the african darter.

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Last edited by buffalo_soldier on Sat Oct 16, 2010 3:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: !!! The best Trip ever !!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:56 am
Posts: 192
Location: Next trip is planned! This time BOTSWANA. But i will come back to SA!
Here are some impressions of the afternoon!!! Our last afternoon in paradise...

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We followed this young male lion for more than one hour. He disappeared in the bush and came out a few hundred metres away. We lost him after crossing the river.

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Just before entering the camp we saw a pride of about 15 lions lying on the other side of the river. But just to see with the binocs...

We enjoyed our last night in paradise in a Luxury Riverside Bungalow in Skukuza and had a very special braaii....We enjoyed the noise of the bush for the last time!

The next morning we wanted to leave the park through the Crocodile Bridge Gate.

On our way, passing Lower Sabie, we had some very special sightings...and the next is one of my absolutely favourite sighting of the whole trip...A MARTIAL EAGLE with kill...

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more birds...

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A few kilometres after Lower Sabie, we saw this huge herd of buffalos.

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Last edited by buffalo_soldier on Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:41 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: !!! The best Trip ever !!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:56 am
Posts: 192
Location: Next trip is planned! This time BOTSWANA. But i will come back to SA!
We enjoyed the view over the Blyde River Canyon before we entered KNP.
It was the first time watching the BRC when the sky was clear!!! And i was happy about that...

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I took this pic near pretoriuskop. After our trip I read in the south african newspaper that the park rangers made these fire. Like an experiment. And i heard that some rhinos get killed of these fires....

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But, enough of sad stories. Here are some more pics...

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Last edited by buffalo_soldier on Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:14 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: !!! The best Trip ever !!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:56 am
Posts: 192
Location: Next trip is planned! This time BOTSWANA. But i will come back to SA!
Bushbuddies wrote:
BS - this better not be your last TR - I enjoyed this one too much! :clap:

You got some gorgeous leopard pics :mrgreen: and I must agree - the martial eagle with the kill :big_eyes: - WOW! All your pictures are amazing! And it is wonderful to see how you appreciate God's magnificent creation through your photography! :D

Just one question - those lenses of yours - they're nice and sharp :thumbs_up: - what brand are they - don't think Canon has those?!?! :huh:




No, not Canon. They are both SIGMA lenses. The qualitiy is much better then Canon.

:D


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 Post subject: Re: !!! The best Trip ever !!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:56 am
Posts: 192
Location: Next trip is planned! This time BOTSWANA. But i will come back to SA!
I don´t know, when i´m gonna join KNP again. But i´m sure that this was not my last trip to Kruger. I totally fell in love with KNP and there is a lot more i want to see and enjoy......and of course i will share all my experiences of south africa with you guys! With everyone who is as crazy as me about KNP...

Some more impressions....

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Last edited by buffalo_soldier on Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: !!! The best Trip ever !!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:56 am
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Location: Next trip is planned! This time BOTSWANA. But i will come back to SA!
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Thank you for all these great comments about my TR. :P
I´m thinking about posting some pictures from our 2009 trip?!? Well, i will see.... :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: !!! The best Trip ever !!!
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:01 pm 
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Location: Next trip is planned! This time BOTSWANA. But i will come back to SA!
Now, here are some of my 2009 Trip pictures. Well, i have to say that i didn´t had my big lense yet. So, some pictures aren´t as good as i hoped!

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This Mozambiquan Spitting Cobra tried to climb up our night drive-vehicle!!!!!

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Last edited by buffalo_soldier on Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: !!! The best Trip ever !!!
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:45 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:56 am
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Location: Next trip is planned! This time BOTSWANA. But i will come back to SA!
Oh man, my trip to SA is only 4 weeks ago and i already miss that country again!!!!!!
I had to promisse to my girl friend, that our next year holidays won´t go to africa.... :cry:

Just to dream a little bit, here are some more pics of my 2009 trip....

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One of the most spectacular views in Kruger...the Mlondozi Dam.

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Last edited by buffalo_soldier on Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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