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 Post subject: Duke Ellieton Driving Miss Sharifa Through Kruger Dec 2010
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:08 am 
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Location: Centurion, ZA
The Interview

The 8 February 2010 was like any other day.
Got up, showered, had breakfast and went to work. Did not know I had an interview.
Like any other day I left the office at 5.00pm.

Not like any other day Miss Sharifa was all business like when I got home :?

“I need a driver” said Miss Sharifa

“You drive perfectly well”, I replied.

“I don’t drive in Kruger”

“So”

“I have made a booking for Kruger for December. Six camps in eighteen days. I need someone who will do the driving, stop when I say stop, reverse when I say reverse. Someone who does not have a problem getting up at 04h00 every morning”

That meant stopping for many rocks and termite mounts, but some of them turn out to be wonderful sightings so that was a small price to pay.

Seems like Miss Sharifa read my mind beacuse she said, "And no cussing if we go back a few meters and find a rock"

“What’s in it for me?”

“Why you get to drive through one of the top wildlife reserves in the world, get some great sightings and free board and lodge to boot”

“OK, I’ll do it”

“By the way, you also get to cook, light the fire and wash the dishes” said Miss Sharifa.” :slap: :huh: ( Always read the small print)

“Is there anything else I should know?”

“No” said Miss Sharifa not very convincingly. :hmz: wonder what else.....

This is how I got to Drive Miss Sharifa through Kruger – the best job in the world I reckon. Pity it was only for 18 days.

Only a week to go before we in KNP again :dance: enough time to hone my cooking skills - hey I would like to be considered for this job again :tongue:

Join us on this drive through Kruger starting at Crocodile Bridge on 15 Dec 2010 and ending at Punda Maria on the 02 Jan 2011.


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 Post subject: Re: Driving Miss Sharifa Through Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:56 am 
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PNF :thumbs_up:

anne-marie, I certainly will find a shady spot under a jacjalberry tree :wink:

Michel :lol: just remeber that you may meet up with Miss Sharifa :lol:

Moggiedog :thumbs_up:

The Itinerary

15-17 Dec: Crocodile Bridge
18-20 Dec: Lower Sabie
21-23 Dec: Biyamiti
24-26 Dec: Talamati
27-29 Dec: Bateleur
30/31 Dec and 01 Jan: Punda Maria.

Have family joining us at Talamati and our son will be with us at Bateleur and Punda – Hmm :hmz: somebody to light the fire and wash the dishes

The Challenge

Look here


The Story

An 18 day adventure driving though one of the top wilderness areas on Planet Earth

Starring: The animals of Kruger

Co-starring: Miss Sharifa as herself
Duke as the driver (cook, dishwasher……..)

Featuring: Some Forumites – all set up to a meet a few

Special Guest Appearance: Some Rare gems of Kruger, hey we all can hope :pray:

Photography: Miss Sharifa
Video: Duke

Premiers on the 15 December 2010 - watch this forum


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 Post subject: Re: Driving Miss Sharifa Through Kruger
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:44 pm 
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Hi All,

Got Miss Sharifa safely to CB.

Entered from Malelane at 11.00am. First sighting at intersection of S114 and H3 was :shock: :big_eyes:

pack of Wild Dogs :dance:

Last time we saw WDs was in 1998 so we both are :D

Park is grreen and lush and lots of nice bird sightings.

Bye for now - have to go cook :whistle:


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 Post subject: Re: Driving Miss Sharifa Through Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:42 pm 
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Location: Centurion, ZA
Elsa, Katja, Hugh, Anne-Marie Lionspoon - a fantastic start - to see Wild dogs within 10 minutes of entering and the first sighting for the trip :dance:

Yesterday was a "quiet" day although we did get a glimpse of a Blackie.

This morning we took the S28 hoping to find cheetah and my namesake, instead found the big 5 and all within an hour to boot :thumbs_up:

The leopard sighting was AWESOME!


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 Post subject: Re: Driving Miss Sharifa Through Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:58 am 
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Hi All,

Thanks for the comments :thumbs_up:

Still having great luck and found cheetahs :dance:

Also great raptor sightings

Its raining lions in the CB/LS area :lol:

Dirk, there will be plenty for you to see :thumbs_up:

Hop in Bushbuddies


15 December 2010

Episode 1 - Dog Show

We entered from Malelane at 11.00am and there were 3 cars parked off just before the S114 turn. We could not believe our luck - WILD DOGS :D :D :dance: :dance: . Have not seen them for may a year.

looked like a few youngsters and that was all we could see

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Then we saw an adult get up and start trotting and head behind some bushes :hmz:

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We moved forward and :big_eyes: there were dogs all over the place

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and they were cooling off in a rainwater pool

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The youngsters were not having any of it

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and another one arrives from behind the tree

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A great way to start the trip and get wild dogs as the first sighting


Last edited by Duke Ellieton on Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Driving Miss Sharifa Through Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:52 am 
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Location: Centurion, ZA
Greeting from LS and thank you for all the comments :thumbs_up:

Having connection and login issues :evil: so was unable to post.

Luck is still with us and having wonderful sightings.

Getting ready to move to Biyamiti where we will spend the next three days.

If no issues :pray: will post next installment later today


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 Post subject: Re: Driving Miss Sharifa Through Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:34 pm 
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Hi CB, glad you back home safely and it was a pleasure spending time with you :thumbs_up:

Greeting from Punda Maria. Poor signal at Byamiti and none at Talamati and Bateleur but back on line now.

Episode 2 – Birds and Babes

We left the dog show and took the S25 to Crocodile Bridge.

Our first experiences of Kruger were in summer as I could only take my leave in December. It is five years since we did a December trip and it is wonderful. I love the 4.30am start to the day and the lush vegetation. Granted visibility is restricted and the animals are not concentrated around waterholes but little impala are all over the place and at that playful age testing their legs and discovering the bush

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And other babes too

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The migrant birds are also in KNP and together with the resident birds make wonderful sightings. Despite the heat and the lush vegetation one can still have great sightings and the hotter part of the day can be spent in camp.

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and this babe seemed lost this far south, :hmz: never seen one on the S25 before

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guess who do these fluffy babes belong too?

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 Post subject: Re: Driving Miss Sharifa Through Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:04 pm 
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Great meeting you today Michel367 :thumbs_up:

Kamadejo the little fluffy balls are Egyptian Geese :lol:

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it was such fun watching the little ones swimming and searching for food

Thank You Moggiedog, CB, Ollie, Pumbaa and Nina

Pumbaa happy to brighten your day :thumbs_up:

The Egyptians and Malachite were seen from the bridge over the Biyamiti River on the S25. Also present were a Pied Kingficher and a grey headed Kingfisher.

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We saw the Malachite catch a fish :dance: but just went to far in with the catch for a real great pic,

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Further on a green pigeon.

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and a comb duck

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We arrived at Crocodile Bridge and unpacked and just relaxed. A great first drive in KNP. Miss Sharifa was very :D


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 Post subject: Re: Driving Miss Sharifa Through Kruger
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:13 am 
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Thank You Kakadejo, Pumbaa, anne-marie , Rookie 2009, Anja and CB :thumbs_up:

16 December 2010

Episode 3 – Some Raptors of KNP

We were first out of the gate at 4.30am and took the S25. Saw the usual plains animals and then it was very quiet until the day lit up. Today was a day for raptors and we saw several on our drive along the S25, S119 and S114.

A Martial Eagles Eye View of Miss Sharifa

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And a Bateleur

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A Fish Eagle

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We stopped as some impala were nervy and snorting and there was a Brown Snake Eagle (BSE) perched nearby

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Sharifa took pics of the impala and I could sensed that the BSE was going to take off so I got ready

I still did not get the full bird in th first shot :whistle:

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And Miss Sharifa found a BSK

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 Post subject: Re: Driving Miss Sharifa Through Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:56 am 
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Thank You Kamdejo, PNF, moggiedog, Elsa, Lionspoon, michel367, anne-marie, Aat and CB :thumbs_up:

Aat your comment had me :lol:

17 December 2010

Episode 4 – Déjà vu but twice as nice this time round.

We were the second car out this morning and barely 2 km out of CB there were lions on the road. It was still very dark and difficult to focus so I took a shot with my compact and then we were both fiddling with settings on the other cameras :whistle:

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we could see 2 males

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And then Miss Sharifa saw the 5 lionesses at the side of the road – one of them was collared.

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Two hyenas appeared but we could not see a kill anywhere and one of the males stood up and the hyenas were gone.

The male joined the females and then one of the lionesses joined the other male on the road.

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After a while they went to the side of the road too.

Traffic was building up behind us and we decided to move on giving others a chance to see the lions.


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 Post subject: Re: Driving Miss Sharifa Through Kruger
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:36 pm 
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We took the S28 as we were hoping to find Duke and maybe some cheetah. We saw 3 rhinos sleeping at the side of the road and a herd of buffs. We also came across 2 groups of ellies but no Duke and no cheetah :(

Soon we were on the H4-2 again and we were all eyes as we have seen leopard in this area in the past.

At this point I rewind to 4 April 2009 when we saw this beautiful leopard grooming herself on the rocks.

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This is on the Bridge over the Mativuhlungu River on the H4-2 very close to the intersection with the S28.

As we hit the H4-2 I joked about finding our lady leopard on the rock (LOR) and Miss Sharifa said, “Don’t be foolish.”

Then we both blinked, looked at each other, blinked again, WOW, it was for real, our lady leopard was in familiar pose, grooming and sunning herself. We compared dot patterns with the pix from April 2009 and it was her all right. Amazing to find the same leopard in the same pose after 20 months :dance: :dance: :dance:

She had grown up into a beautiful princess and was grroming herself in the morning sun - Deja vu

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………………….and then we both blinked again, looked at each other, pinched ourselves,

WOW, WOW………..


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 Post subject: Re: Driving Miss Sharifa Through Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:21 pm 
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Thank You Anne-Marie and Lionspoon :thumbs_up:

OK, I did say it was twice as nice this time round. Out of nowhere :shock: a handsome male leopard appeared.

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The romantic in me would like to think that our Princess had found a Charming Prince suitor and this wasn't her son.

He went about sniffing all over the place and we now moved forward to take photos of him (sorry princess, but you are still number 1).

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Phew this smells bad (you can see the princess in the background)

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:hmz: who was here

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I am the Prince here :rtm:

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and what did the Princess think of all this - not much - she just sunned herself

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This was so special and we were beyond very very happy :D :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: Driving Miss Sharifa Through Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:45 am 
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Sorry to bore you with more leopard photos :tongue: I promise this is the last lot :whistle:

Prince Charming now came walking towards us

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I love this pic with the sun shining on his face

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and disappeared under the bridge.

Our Princess was still sunning herself

a little scratch

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a sleepy stare

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and then she too was gone

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---------------------------------SIGH


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 Post subject: Re: Driving Miss Sharifa Through Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:51 pm 
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As planned we had breakfast at Sunset Dam although a lot later than we thought.

Two hippos put on a show for us

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On the way back to CB we saw some

Playful young baboons

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Zebra

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Giraffe

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And a Jacobins Cuckoo

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 Post subject: Re: Driving Miss Sharifa Through Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:27 am 
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18 December 2010

Episode 5 – It’s raining cats

We had our 3 nights at CB and were going to move to LS today.

Lady Luck was smiling on us and we have no complaints but I still wanted a cheetah sighting so we decided on the S28 again and then check out for our princess on the rock and then return to Crocodile Bridge via the H4-2 for breakfast. Then we would have to find a roundabout route to LS as you are stuck till 2 PM.

We were the first car out at 4.30am and the only one to take the S28. But we met up with the SANParks morning drive vehicle about 5 km into the S28 and they were looking at ellies.

Just before the turn off to the Nhlanganzwani Dam :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

Two cheetahs on the road. :dance: :dance: :dance:

I slowed down, Sharifa took a quick shot and then I approached very slowly not wishing to chase them off.

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One got up and moved into the bush anyway :(

The other one put on a show for us

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even doing the typical cheetah roll

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The SANParks vehicle joined us and we all enjoyed the cheetah before he too got up and joined his brother in the long grass.

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